In the wake of the DOMA and Proposition 8 Supreme Court decisions opening the door to same-sex marriage across America, churches have expressed anxiety. For years they’ve said that gay marriage would destroy straight marriage and the family. But what about the church?
Here are some answers that should clarify and perhaps comfort those concerned.
* Will a church be required to marry gay couples if the church doesn’t believe in it?
No. Churches can still claim to love gay individuals even while denying them participation in one of the most profound institutions ever created. It’s the state that will henceforth be prevented from arbitrarily withholding the civil rights it routinely confers on married people from one group—gays.
Another option, of course, would be the state going out of the marriage business and leaving it to the churches. But that would seriously damage tourism in Las Vegas.
* Will straight people be required to experiment with the gay lifestyle?
No. Straight couples will not be required to dance, host Liberace parties, or discuss alternatives to the monogamy at which they’re so famously inept.
* Will churches be required to treat gay people like normal human beings?
No. They will still be allowed to treat them like pathetic diseased creatures—loved despite who they are, despised for what they do.
* Will churches be forced to give gays birth control?
No. They would, however, be required to include it in their health insurance plan for gay people if the government had not exempted churches from having to behave like every other wealthy corporate employer.
* Will churches have to provide abortions for gay people?
Churches aren’t required to provide abortions to anyone; most states, in fact, are attempting to restrict where abortions can take place so tightly that only the Vatican will be able to afford the retrofit to provide them. However, the rate of unwanted pregnancy—and therefore abortions—among gay men and women is so low that their marriages should be celebrated by anti-choice activists.
* Will churches have to consider the possibility that Jesus was gay?
No. True, he was an unmarried bachelor whose best friends were mostly unmarried men. But that doesn’t make him gay. And after this week’s court decisions, it will be that much harder to tell the sexual orientation of men who happen to be unmarried bachelors.
Gay or straight, virgin births will still be considered miraculous.