The December 2008 issue of Newsweek published a scintillating article entitled Our Mutual Joy by Lisa Miller, which focuses on debunking religious rhetoric in the gay marriage debate. Gay marriage is an important issue in our society, and involves similar constitutional issues to those raised at the time of abolition. The article nicely outlines the limited discussion of homosexuality contained in the actual text of the Bible. Just as other similar debates involves out of context statements, Ms. Miller notes that much of the discussion of homosexuality utilized as religious rhetoric raised against gay marriage is contained in the book of Leviticus (King James version). Interestingly, the larger focus of Leviticus is aimed at establishing rules to live by for survival in the ancient Jewish world, many of which are inapplicable, outdated and/or simply ignored by our communities and society today. Thus, Ms. Miller’s point is well taken: “Why would we regard [the Bible’s, specifically the book of Leviticus’s] condemnation of homosexuality with more seriousness than we regard its advice, which is far lengthier, on the best price to pay for a slave.”
In New Jersey, Civil Unions are available to homosexual couples, but not marriage, as in several other states. However, Massachusetts and Connecticut now both offer homosexual couples the option of marriage, as did California before the ballot initiative. The information set forth in Ms. Miller’s article is thought provoking and promotes the larger biblical themes that remain pertinent to the 21st Century, specifically the message of acceptance for all.