Straight and outraged by Sen. Forrester

I suppose I should be grateful to Sen. James Forrester and his local political apologists for forthrightly framing the proposed state constitutional amendment on gay marriage for what it is: an excuse to legislate bigotry by hiding behind the cloak of religious respectability. I'm a dinosaur from the '60s when far too many churches defended Jim Crow on the basis of scripture, and this feels suspiciously like more of the same kind of rationalization. If there's a compelling interest in North Carolina to single out a specific group of consenting adults for discriminatory legislation, I can't find it.

Neither do I see a corresponding moral clamor for denying statutory rights to adulterers, fornicators and divorced people, groups that scripture far more specifically addresses. This proposed amendment reeks of cynically playing to the worst instincts of the public for political gain.

Legally, marriage is a civil contract. What happens at the courthouse makes a marriage in the eyes of the law. Churches, as organizations of voluntary association, can choose to bless unions or not. That's not a matter for the state. Neither is it the place of a particular religious point of view to promote legislation that makes blanket pronouncements against an entire group of people. Gay lifestyle? Would that be those who embrace promiscuity (not a matter for the state regardless of moral stance), those who have a series of monogamous relationships, or those who've made longstanding, loving commitments? The same spectrum of behavior can be found in the straight community.

My heterosexual marriage of 35 years (or any straight marriage) is in no way threatened by gay people marrying if they so choose. Neither is my personal understanding of the Gospel undermined if that option exists. If a person dislikes homosexuals or homosexuality on the basis of religious morality that's their prerogative, but they don't have a God-given right never to be confronted with behavior that offends them or to engage in legal persecution.

— Doug Murray
Black Mountain

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