ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--If you thought "gay marriage" was simply about equality, you'd be wrong.
California, which recently had such unions declared legal by judicial fiat, has had registered domestic partnerships which mirror marriage for almost a decade. Yet it has not been enough for homosexual activists.
The California legislature created registered domestic partnerships in 1999. Since that time the Golden State's legislature has incrementally increased the benefits for which the registered partnerships automatically and legally qualify.
Hospital visitation was granted to domestic partners within the first year. In 2000, state lawmakers granted partners the right to make medical decisions for one another. In the same year the legislature also granted domestic partners the right to sue for a partner's wrongful death and the ability to utilize stepparent adoption procedures to adopt a partner's child.
In 2002, the California legislature changed the state's inheritance rules so that registered domestic partners who die without a will would have their property distributed between the surviving partner and any blood relatives –- the same as any married couple. Additionally, in the same year, the legislature granted domestic partners the right to receive copies of each others birth and death certificates and mandated, in the even of a break-up, domestic partners to receive alimony and child support.
The aforementioned are not all the rights afforded to domestic partnerships in California; they simply are the highlights. At the time California's highest court mandated "homosexual marriage," California domestic partnerships essentially had all of the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual marriages under state law.
It should be noted that while registered domestic partnerships in California are available to any adult homosexual couple they are only available to heterosexual couples where at least one of the pair is 62 years of age. Can you say special rights for homosexual couples?
If homosexual couples in California already enjoy every single right that traditional marriage affords, why have they continued to push, via the courts, the right to have a marriage license? The real reason is validation and forced acceptance.
Homosexuals realize that many in American society still hold their lifestyle to be aberrant. Even though homosexuals have gained acceptance into every area of society, a significant number of people in the United State refuse to believe homosexuality is a natural, normal and healthy lifestyle.
Homosexuals believe that gaining legal affirmation of their relationships somehow will validate their behavior. They hope that being granted a married license will magically transform the way they are viewed by many in society. It won't. Making something legal does not change its moral status.
Which leads to the second reason homosexuals have pushed so hard for the right to marry –- forced acceptance. Those who refuse to validate homosexual behavior will be forced to accept it. The same California Supreme Court that recently legalized "homosexual marriage" is currently considering a case involving doctors who refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian. The ruling is pending.
According to The San Francisco Chronicle, Guadalupe Benitez, a lesbian, was denied insemination by Christine Brody, her attending physician, and Douglas Fenton, medical director of North Coast Women's Care. The doctors said their Christian beliefs prohibited them from providing infertility treatment for a lesbian couple.
It is germane to the case and worth noting that the doctors also refuse to inseminate unmarried couples.
Though the doctors referred Benitez to a physician who was willing to perform the service, she sued. In essence, she is seeking to force a physician to accept her lifestyle and perform a non-essential, elective service -- even if it goes against the moral convictions of the doctor.
It would be a different matter if Benitez was denied life-saving treatment, but that was not the case. The procedure she sought was due to the fact that she chose to be a lesbian and sought an artificial means by which to become pregnant.
Benitez was angered at the fact that someone in society would not validate her lifestyle. So what recourse did she choose? A lawsuit seeking to force them to accept her behavior.
If the court rules in favor of Benitez, one of two things will follow. Either California society as a whole will cave into homosexual demands or lawsuits like Benitez' will flourish.
The situation in California proves that "homosexual marriage" is not about simple equality. Domestic partnerships granted homosexuals the same benefits as heterosexual couples.
Yes, "gay marriage" concerns a small minority seeking not only to validate their aberrant lifestyle, but also to force society to accept their behavior –- or else.
Kelly Boggs, whose column appears each week in Baptist Press, is editor of the Baptist Message, the newspaper of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, which is online at baptistmessage.com.