MARK KIESLING: Same-sex marriage time has arrived

2012-06-01T00:00:00Z MARK KIESLING: Same-sex marriage time has arrived nwitimes.com
June 01, 2012 12:00 am

A friend of mine had to travel two states away to Iowa to get married.

Why? Because he is gay and wanted to be legally united with his significant other.

Now comes the news that two advocacy groups in Illinois have filed a suit against the state for prohibiting same-sex marriages.

And Indiana's Democratic lieutenant governor candidate, state Sen. Vi Simpson, of Ellettsville, has come out in support of same-sex marriages.

OK, it's not my cup of tea. But who am I to say what people should or should not do with their private lives?

And regardless, who is the government to step in and legislate morality? Maybe people are going to disagree with the premise of same-sex marriage, and maybe they serve in the Legislature.

That's fine. This is America, last time I looked, and we are each free to hold our own opinions and speak out on them.

But when a person is put into a position where he or she can enact legislation, they need to stick to the issues of the economy, the health and welfare of citizens and taxation, just to name a few.

There is heated debate within churches about this question.

Yes, in the Old Testament homosexuality is punishable by death by stoning. Yes, in the New Testament St. Paul in particular comes out in opposition to the practice.

While many take these strictures literally, though, other scholars say they have been misinterpreted.

The ancient ban was meant to allow the nation of Israel to grow through the birth of more children. Paul's comments have been interpreted to address the then-common practice among Greek teachers to engage in sex with their male students.

Who knows whether these interpretations are correct? I don't. But I know it becomes somewhat dangerous when we use one religion's holy book to justify enacting or refusing to enact certain laws.

Jesus said if your eye or hand causes you to sin, pluck it out or cut it off. Yet I have not seen one Christian who has mutilated himself or herself because of this admonition.

I've known more than one gay couple who have stayed together longer than many straight couples. With a divorce rate of more than 50 percent, it's not clear that straight marriage should be cited as a successful example.

I said earlier, it's not my thing. But when I consider the economic benefits that could accrue taxwise, it seems like it is time to back off on people's personal lives.

Plus, why should straight people be the only ones saddled with obnoxious in-laws?

The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at mark.kiesling@nwi.com or (219) 933-4170.

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