BY LEA TRUSTY
History is being made. I would say you would have to be living in a bubble to not know about the Supreme Court’s examinations of Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. But even in a bubble like ours, it would be virtually impossible to not know at least something about what’s happening — you’ve either seen many friends’ Facebook profile pictures change to an equal sign, seen talks and coverage on the news in Frist or witnessed the ongoing cases through another form of media. An argument as central as same-sex marriage is pervasive even here because its outcome will so greatly affect the future for LGBTQ Princetonians and allies.
This fight represents many different things. For the LGBTQ community and its supporters, it is a milestone in the ongoing battle for civil rights. For many religious persons, it is a sign of how far man has strayed from the word of Christ. But this fight also represents the turmoil of the groups of people who are daily integrating the two communities — those who are religious and queer or those who are religious and support queer rights.
Though I cannot speak for the former party, as a part of the latter group, I can say this stance is a battle all its own, as I have struggled to reconcile my spiritual and personal beliefs while, at times, facing criticism from other religious persons.
I am not always extremely vocal about my social stances, spiritual beliefs and any causal relationships between the two. I have found that when asked about my view on same-sex marriage by other religious people, a decent number of inquirers display either thinly veiled disappointment or blatant indignation. The very brash go so far as to question my relationship with God. People who judge others’ faith in the name of self-righteousness make it easier to dismiss them. It’s those who sincerely wonder how I can support same-sex marriage and be a practicing Christian that help to grow the seeds of confusion, doubt and self-reproach.
Because it’s not like I can lie to myself and say I only support same-sex marriage legally, since religious beliefs should not determine citizens’ civil rights where church and state are supposed to be — key word, “supposed” — separate. It would be simpler to have this view. But I genuinely believe in the concept of same-sex marriage, the idea that two people in love should be able to express that love in the highest form of legal unity, no matter their gender.
While the Bible does speak of how a man should not lie with another as he does a woman — the meaning of which is heavily debated among scholars — it does not speak on homosexual marriage. One may ascertain the former transcending the latter, as one of the essential purposes of marriage as defined by the Bible is to “be fruitful.” But I see marriage as more than sex or as a means of procreation. Like the Bible, I also see it as union in “steadfast love.”
Love is perhaps the most powerful force known to man. Two of my favorite verses about it are from 1 John and 1 Corinthians — the former, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God,” and the latter, “Three things will last forever — faith, hope and love — and the greatest of these is love.”
The former verse, for me, is the most powerful case for the support of any relationship where there is love. When you love someone, you know God. Why? Because the highest act of love was when God let His only son die for our sins. God needs you to know love, any love, in order to know Him: the maternal love a mother has for her child, filial love between life-long friends or romantic love two people, regardless of their gender, share. Love is everlasting — technicalities like the form of love and with whom love is shared are insignificant in the grand scheme of anyone’s life and relationship with God.
Loving another person is one of the greatest expressions of God through man. It precedes and transcends all. This may be why marriages in general have been failing — love has not been preceding it. While many would scoff at love being the only necessity for a marriage, as the Bible defines it, it is. Love is patient, kind. It is not proud or envious. It endures. For those who argue marriage is essentially a partnership, I agree. And by love’s definition, its qualities are those found in the most prosperous partnerships.
With love comes understanding, truth and faith. The foundation of a successful marriage does not depend upon a special combination of X and Y genes. All you need is love.
Lea Trusty is a freshman from Saint Rose, La. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.