ANALYSIS: How the Dem. candidates view same-sex 'marriage'

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--When the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled late last year that homosexuals cannot be forbidden from "marrying" in that state, Democrats competing for the presidential nomination scrambled to court the vote of the homosexual community.

Their overtures on homosexuality and the related issue of same-sex "marriage" ranged from the tragically humorous to the perplexing to the outlandish.

Rev. Al Sharpton, for example, emphasized that he had already spoken up on homosexual issues in his book, "Al on America." His explanation of support for the homosexual community was inept and defied logic. While he said that he personally disagreed with the practice of homosexuality, Sharpton said he would defend a homosexual's right to sin.

"My religion does not support homosexuality, but I do. I was asked why I was supporting and marching with the homosexuals in parades, when according to the church, homosexuality is a sin. I responded that God gave people free will. God gave people the right to choose -- even to choose to sin. That's why there is a heaven and a hell. So I will fight for the people to have the right to go to hell if that's what they choose. I'm not here to judge. I was placed here to fight for justice for all people," Sharpton wrote.

By that reasoning, Sharpton would side with those who want to molest and murder children. After all, that's their right -- to sin and go to hell. I would like to ask the so-called "Reverend" where in Scripture he finds apathy to the sinfulness of humanity as a prerequisite for the ministry.

Other candidates provided more mundane answers, but still showed themselves willing to stoop to any level to obtain the support of a small margin of the electorate.

Sen. John Edwards has said he disagrees with the idea of same-sex "marriage" but would oppose any attempt to formulate a constitutional amendment in response to the Massachusetts decision. Edwards was unwilling to defend traditional marriage against the homosexual lobby, despite his conservative Methodist upbringing.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark has stated that he believes homosexual couples are "healthy families." He noted on his website that he would work as president to promote "stable communities and families -- this includes both heterosexual and same-sex families." He told CNN that he supported giving same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual married couples. After all, marriage is only a "deeply embedded tradition," according to Clark.

When Clark sent a letter to the Gay City News, a homosexual publication, in December 2003, he wrote that he welcomed the Nov. 18 Massachusetts court decision "with open arms." He even likened the struggle of homosexuals to the struggle for civil rights in Little Rock, Ark., in the 1950s.

The general has proven that he is no historian. One can hardly make an analogy between young black Americans climbing the steps of Central High School in Little Rock and the open acceptance of homosexuality in gay pride parades, on television and in movies. Of all the places in the United States I've been, I've not once seen a sign for a separate drinking fountain for homosexuals. I've not seen a waiting room solely for homosexuals in the hospital. I've heard of no homosexual told to move to the back of the bus.

Clark should cease to insult the black community by comparing its struggle to obtain equality in American society with the effort of homosexuals to force their agenda on those who believe their lifestyle is sinful.

Alas, Clark is not alone in his poor understanding of what is and isn't an honorable struggle for equal rights. Sen. John Kerry agrees with him, but has not specified how he would support equality for homosexuals under the law. It seems as if Kerry would do so by denigrating marriage. The Massachusetts senator cast one of 14 votes against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and has said that he would oppose federal legislation that protects marriage.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich supports same-sex "marriage," according to a statement issued following last November's Massachusetts ruling. "I support federal legislation for civil marriage between same-sex couples. Civil unions do not provide equal rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans," Kucinich also told NBC News. Fortunately, Kucinich doesn't stand a chance of receiving the Democratic nomination.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said he is proud of his record as Vermont's governor to enact a law in 2000 allowing civil unions for homosexuals, which he said guaranteed equal rights. "I can't wait to ask the President of the United States why he doesn't support equal rights. I can't wait to ask him to repudiate the GOP-authored Defense of Marriage Act, an unconstitutional, mean-spirited law that stoked fears of homosexuality and pitted one group of Americans against another," Dean wrote on his campaign website.

And Dean owes the homosexual community. According to a January report in The Washington Times, homosexuals were the first to contribute to his campaign as part of their efforts to export the immoral concept of civil unions to the remainder of the United States. Homosexuals referred to Dean's leadership in Vermont as evidence of his "strength of character." That's not character folks -- it's depravity.

At the root of each one of the Democratic candidates' stance is the struggle between modern culture and the timeless truths of God's Word, which describes homosexuality as a manifestation of the sinful human nature, rather than one of the racial differences between the various peoples of the world.

In contrast to the seven Democratic candidates, President George W. Bush said after the Massachusetts ruling that he believes Americans should welcome and respect all people, but that marriage "is between a man and a woman. ... I think we ought to codify that one way or another." He has not yet squarely endorsed a marriage amendment to the Constitution.

The president issued a call for tolerance in spite of his opposition to same-sex "marriage" and homosexuality. "Yes, I'm mindful that we're all sinners. ... And I caution those who may try to take the speck out of their neighbor's eye when they've got a log in their own.

"I think it's very important for our society to respect each individual, to welcome those with good hearts, to be a welcoming community," Bush said. "On the other hand, that does not mean that somebody like me needs to compromise on an issue such as marriage."

Thank you for speaking your mind, Mr. President, and infusing a little leaven into our culture.


Gregory Tomlin is director of communications at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

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