“Friends, we are gathered together in the sight of God to witness and bless the joining together of Name and Name in Christian marriage.
The covenant of marriage was established by God, who created us male and female for each other.
With his presence and power Jesus graced a wedding at Cana of Galilee, and in his sacrificial love gave us the example for the love of husband and wife. Name and Name come to give themselves to one another in this holy covenant.”
– From The Methodist Wedding Ceremony
This is generally what the Protestant Wedding Ceremonies declare, with some adding that Marriage was established for the purpose of procreation (which is hinted at above). While never explicitly sermonized (at least not in MY church, in the 1960s), sermons that touched on marriage or the family were quite clear about the Man & Woman thing.
I quit going to Church when I was 14, when I had moved to the South & found the Christians to be anything but Christ-like in their behavior. I was always taught it was the duty of every Christian to behave in as Christ-like a manner as possible. We’ll never be as good as Him, but we can strive. To see people saying “Praise The Lord!” every 5 minutes (even out of Church) and then talk about the GD N-Words in casual conversation didn’t square with how I had been taught.
I never took the Bible literally (Methuselah lived to be 969? Really? In the days when 40 was considered old?), taking much as allegory or mistranslations – still do. But, that declaration of “Marriage” being for a Man & a Woman & for the purpose of procreation stuck. Never mind “marriage” was instituted as a transference of Property (the Bride & Dowry) from one family to another, it stuck.
For years I was uncomfortable with the idea of Gay Marriage, because it wouldn’t be a man & a woman and it obviously wouldn’t be for the purpose of procreation. I asked why not Domestic Partnership or Civil Union? Have the same Rights as Straight Marrieds, but leave the word “Marriage” for the religious sacrament. The State would recognize the CU partners as having the same Rights as Straight Marrieds. Reserve “Marriage” for a Man & a Woman.
Consciously, I knew it was wrong to deny ANY Rights to anyone, but those Religious teachings – part of my entire value system – were hard to beat back with Reason. I finally managed it several years ago. Because of this, I was able to react with joy on Friday night when New York State passed a Same Sex Marriage law. It felt good & it felt right.
I’m sure other Christian Liberals will eventually let Reason triumph over Belief – evolution & open-mindedness are hallmarks of the Liberal character.
Don’t get mad if they don’t do it as quickly as you’d like.