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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 2, 2006
Latest Update: March 2, 2006

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Index of Topics on Site Issues, Beliefs, and Arguments on Same Sex Marriage

It seemed to me that the position paper of the Protestants for Common Good offered a good explanation of how liberal Christians believe that same sex marriage should be handled in the United States. Statement for Equality on the Political Issue of Same-Sex Marriage

Gramwell Statement on Marriage Statement of Statement by the Rev. Dr. Franklin I. Gamwell, Chairperson, Policy Committee of Protestants for the Common Good.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is the Board of Protestants for Common Good so careful to separate Marriage as a religious rite from civil unions?
    "We emphasize that our focus concerns this issue as a political question, that is, a question about what constitutional provisions and other laws are consistent with justice. Our conclusions are deeply informed by our faith commitments. But we appeal to our faith here solely as grounds for an interpretation of democratic justice and do not address how marriage should be authorized within the Christian or any other religious community."

  2. Why does Rev. Dr. Franklin I. Gamwell say that it is so important for Protestants to speak up on same sex marriage?
    "The government’s relation to marriage has not only become a prominent political issue but also one in which religious communities have been engaged, and we find virtually no religious voice speaking for the basic equality we take to be essential to democratic justice."

  3. What then is the primary issue at play in the discussion of same sex marriage?

    Rev. Dr. Franklin I. Gamwell describes the primary issue as "the basic equality we take to be essential to democratic justice."

  4. What is the primary argument called upon in opposition to same sex marriage?

    If one holds literally to the Scriptures, it is plausible to interpret the Bible as prohibiting homosexuality.

  5. Why, then, do liberal Christians insist upon same sex marriage as a "basic equality we take to be essential to democratic justice" ?

    Consider the larger issue of the liberal premise that no citizen shall dictate to another that he must follow a given belief or hold a given value sacred. Rev. Dr. Franklin I. Gamwell reminds us that "We focus only on the government’s responsibility to treat all persons equally under the law. However, our convictions regarding equality and justice stem from our religious values. From our perspective, God calls us to work for democracy at its best, in a society where we all live together as equals for the sake of the common good."

    The Board of Protestants for the Common Good says in Paragraph 2 of Statement for Equality on the Political Issue of Same-Sex Marriage: "We believe that the God of boundless love who, for us, is decisively revealed in Jesus Christ is also present to every member of the human community. This God redeems all the world and empowers every person to love God in return by loving all those whom God loves. We humans are meant to love our neighbor as ourselves, that is, to love every person as someone loved by God."

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