But to my fellow straight people I offer the following challenge. You have every right to oppose gay marriage. It’s a free country. We don’t suppress opinions. But aren’t you under a moral obligation to adopt the children in their stead? Surely leaving kids to drown without love is deeply immoral. But to stop others from rescuing them is an abomination.I am the father of nine children, thank G-d. I have at times discussed with my wife the possibility of adopting a child. Every child is a child of G-d, not only our biological children. They should have a home and we should offer it. But my conversations have never gone past just that, conversations. I stand in awe of all those who actually do it. In my religion, Judaism, there is no higher mitzvah, G-dly deed, than raising a child with no parents as your own. This is G-d’s child and really He should have made provisions for him. But the Creator chooses, for reasons unknown to us, to hide behind the veil of nature and it is we humans who must fill in the seemingly empty spaces. Those who adopt are society’s and religion’s greatest heroes.
Please note, here, the deliberate use of that much maligned word “abomination”. For it is not “homosexuality” that is an abomination, but
leaving a child to grow up in an orphanage where nobody wants him might be an even greater act of sacrilege.
In crafting the Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act legislation, I was compelled to wonder why should the Rabbi leading the congregation to which I belong be prevented from legally sanctioning same gender marriages if he feels they fit into our Jewish religious beliefs, values and commitment to building family? Any religious group in our country is entitled to practice their beliefs and to not be compelled to do anything they find in contradiction within their houses of worship.
Legislatively, I know we respect these differences. Personally, I know I respect the differences within my own Jewish community. But it is sad and hurtful when those differences cause pain and isolation to other members of our community. Without this conversation we will be contributing to that isolation and pain which has led to the high rate of suicide among gay youth in our nation and in our state.
I know that most of our Orthodox Rabbis and some of our political leaders believe that same sex unions are against G-d’s law. But I also know that many others believe that we are born into our sexual identity and that love and commitment to another human being should be cherished, not isolated. That making a public commitment to another person should be celebrated and enjoyed on our simcha pages. I look forward to these differences being acknowledged, but most important accepted, so that we can live comfortably within our religious institutions while recognizing who each of us really is as a distinct human being.
Writing in the Huffington Post, the pastor Candace Chellew-Hodge has yet another religious based argument in favour of gay marriage. She says, let gay people rehabilitate marriage:
perhaps gays and lesbians can be the savior for marriage. Just as many old neighborhoods in my hometown of Atlanta were saved by gays and lesbians buying dilapidated houses and renovating them, why can’t gays and lesbians rehab marriage?
Gays and lesbians are clamoring for the right to get married. Obviously, within our community the idea of “’til death do us part” is not a hackneyed phrase or something to be avoided at all costs. We want to walk down the aisle and have our happily ever after. For those gays and lesbians who agree … that marriage is “an institution central to human happiness and flourishing,” we want the ability to flourish together as married couples, and yes, even to raise children together.
The religious arguments for maintaining legal restrictions on equality then become simply indefensible. They will have to go – as they surely will do.
- All Eyes on Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Parents During National Adoption Month (HRC Backstory)
- The Doctor Wouldn’t Recommend Gay Couples For Adoption, So She Was Ousted. Religious Discrimination? (Queerty)
- Happy National Adoption Day! (HRC Backstory)
- Myths persist over gay adoptive parents (Pink News)
- Survey Reveals UK Parents Want LGBT Education in School (The New Gay)
- Article Reflection: “Homophobia Is Itself an Abomination” (icatholic faith)
- DC Bishop’s Christian Case for Gay Marriage. (Queering Theology and Ministry)