In every argument I hear against same-sex marriage, that word is used. Opponents
worry that gay
and lesbian marriages will go against
“tradition.” At first I believed they were right, and that, yes,
gay and lesbian marriages would not be traditional, and that would be a
good thing. Now, I believe gays and lesbians should show the straight community
the true tradition of marriage.
Everywhere you look you’ll find evidence of how straight America has desecrated
the once sacred tradition of tying the knot. These days more than half of
straight marriages end in divorce. I, myself, am the product of a broken
home, even though my father, as a Southern Baptist minister, should have
been well versed on the whole sanctity of marriage thing.
I believe the straight community is afraid that the gay and lesbian community
will be more successful at making marriage work. To be shown up by a bunch
of heathen “queers” is the last thing Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed and
their cohorts wants to see happen.
But, that’s exactly what I propose. The gay and lesbian community should
take marriage very seriously. Not only does marriage afford you some great
perks like property rights, the right to visit your spouse in the hospital,
and health insurance, it also is a chance to show the world your lifelong
commitment to another human being. Not even Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich or Bob
Barr can say they’ve had completely successful marriages, yet giving gays
and lesbians a chance to try it somehow soils the sacred tradition.
It’s time to return to the old tradition of marriage: a commitment you make
after much soul searching and prayer, and a commitment you make for life.
The founder and Editor Emeritus of Whosoever, Rev. Candace Chellew earned her Masters of Theological studies at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., and trained as a spiritual director through the Omega Point program of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. Her first book, “Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians,” was published by Jossey-Bass in 2008. She currently serves as the Spiritual Director of Jubilee! Circle in Columbia, S.C.