On page 2 of the July 11 issue of Time, the magazine's editors touted as a "top read" a personal celebration of New York's gay marriage vote by Time news director Howard Chua-Eoan and "how religious institutions still frown on same-sex marriage." Time plucked out how one reader wrote: "If God exists, surely he has bigger fish to fry."
Chua-Eoan complained that "in one very important way, gay marriage will not quite be marriage even in New York," and that's the refusal of religious people to honor gay marriages. Everyone must be compelled into acceptance, and exemptions must be banned:
Marriage without a church or temple wedding isn't the real thing. Why can some people have all the bells and whistles in the church of their choice but not me? Of course, there have been and will be congregations and churches that allow gay men and lesbians to be married in their midst and to bless those unions, recognizing that God loves them just as much as Governor Andrew Cuomo does. But some rich and influential religious institutions are not only free to continue to reject gay men and women as equal beneficiaries of all aspects of faith but will now also rally their congregants to reject politicians who are willing to abide with this extension of secular civil rights — no matter how much acceptance there is of same-sex marriage elsewhere, no matter how many wedding announcements appear in the New York Times.
I write this as a deeply religious Christian who is pained that the church that otherwise provides me with so much spiritual comfort and joy will never allow me to marry within its walls. Some clerics may be "liberal" enough to turn a blind eye to gay relationships so long as they do not have to recognize them, much less grant them any kind of imprimatur. And as of now, even in New York, religious institutions cannot be compelled to perform such a simple act of charity.
The state cannot force a church to change its beliefs. Even gay people realize that is wrong. And so, just to remind folks that we're here, we will have to continue to march in parades and sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Nonetheless, waking up Saturday morning, I was very happy not to be in Kansas anymore.
Twenty years ago, MRC's Quote of the Year: Time's Howard Chua-Eoan blames American homophobia for Jeffrey Dahmer's murders, cannibalism