tml> Is Same-Sex Marriage Good for the Nation?
  [Contents] [About the Participants] [Opening Statement by Norm Allen] [Opening Statement by John Rankin][Dialog] [Questions from the Audience] [Closing Statements]
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Is Same-Sex Marriage Good for the Nation?
 
Closing Statements

Norm Allen: I just wanted to say that the best way to judge an action is by its consequences. If the consequences are negative, then the action is negative. If the consequences are positive, the action is positive. I see nothing intrinsically wrong with someone who wants to have a same-sex marriage. That's their business. I see nothing wrong with of course heterosexuals wanting to marry. But I do have a problem with people who are trying to use their influence to prevent others from doing what they want to take for themselves. Now there's this talk about unalienable rights and whether or not that right should apply to same-sex marriages. Well, we have to talk about the importance of legal rights. It is a legal right for a man and woman to marry. Now the question is, should that be a legal right for gays as well. And I don't see why that has to be an issue. There's just too much talk about going back to the basis of what founded this country. As was pointed out earlier. The founders made a lot of mistakes. The founders were slaveholders. The founders were male chauvinists. The founders were classist. There were a lot of problems with the founders. It's just absurd to say that these were the founders, therefore they had no shortcomings or that we have to go back and accept everything they had to say on a particular issue. They were human beings. They got some things right and some things wrong. Well, we're moving ahead. We're in the twenty-first century now. Things change. Family relations change. Family structures change. We can either change with the times or we can try to go back, try to force an old morality into the realities of the day. I'm not for that. I'm for being fair. I'm for being free. I'm for respecting everyone's rights, not just my own particular rights. Because if you're only going to look out for your own rights, then pretty soon your own rights might come under attack by others. I think the best way to be safe is to look out for everyone's rights equally. [audience applause]

John Rankin: And I would argue the only basis to look out for everyone's rights equally is unalienable rights from God the Creator in Genesis. Every religious origin text in history, apart from Genesis, starts with xenophobia and other fears and tribalisms in place to begin with. Basically they are texts to justify one person over against another person. One of the marvels of Genesis is that it claims to be the source for all humanity. When you come to the end of the book of Revelation, it says every tribe, nation, language, and group together will be in God's presence. It is a truly universal ethic for humanity. And so the question of debate is ultimately the health of homosexuality versus heterosexuality. I would never defend abusive fatherhood. In fact that's the problem of most social ills in the nation. And so all I've tried to do is make an argument for the ideal. My language was explicit as I read it earlier this evening, of a man and a woman respecting each other as complements and equals in marriage for a lifetime. And that's what I'm aiming for. I think that's the best thing for all people and for the building of family and society. I'll leave you with this thought. Those of you who support same-sex marriage or homosexuality intrinsically as a right, do you have a better theory of rights upon which to base this society? What rights would I have in a majority homosexual society to disagree? I will tell you as a Christian, I don't believe theologically I'm in the majority, but I believe the foundation of this country is the foundation I affirm in the Bible. And I will say that based on that foundation, I affirm everyone's right to disagree with me in civil society, equally, in a complementary capacity. And I don't know of a superior basis for that. So as much as we disagree, the truth is if you ever encounter me personally or in any other context, I will give you everything I have to honor your humanity, your life, your liberty, and your property. But that doesn't mean the same thing as same-sex marriage. Thank you so much. [audience applause]


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  [Contents] [About the Participants] [Opening Statement by Norm Allen] [Opening Statement by John Rankin][Dialog] [Questions from the Audience] [Closing Statements]
[Return to Mars Hill Forum]