Sweden has become the latest country to legalise homosexual marriage. This makes seven countries in total that have extended marital rights to same sex couples. The more I think about this issue, the more I wonder why it manages to cause so much controversy.
I can understand why certain religious groups are against it, but I still struggle to understand why these groups would want to impose their own view of marriage on the rest of society. South Africa legalised homosexual marriage in December 2006, and there was much debate in the media while the Constitutional Court was working towards this decision. The most common dissenting argument I heard was that marriage is ordained by God in Genesis to be only between a man and a woman. I understand this argument, but it doesn't work because, as I argued in a previous blog post, society does not consist solely of Christians; there are many citizens who do not believe in, or abide by, the Bible, and thus we should not expect them to live by biblical teachings. This seems obvious; after all, as a Christian you are not expected to live by the commands of another religion, such as Islam, for example.
I would like to ask a question, directed towards those who are against the legalisation of same sex marriage. Why are you so concerned about this? I mean, by legalising homosexual marriage, nobody is stopping heterosexuals from marrying each other; in South Africa, heterosexual Christians can still marry when they like, who they like, and in the manner of their choosing. If two men (or two women) want the state to legally recognise their commitment to one other, how does this harm you in any way? I would like to understand more of your thinking around this issue.