“This (ordinance) just puts us in line with other cities, like Louisville, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio,” said Bil Browning, a gay-rights activist who helped garner support for the passage of Proposal 622, which bans discrimination in the workplace and housing market on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The measure is known in the local gay and lesbian community as the Human Rights Ordinance, or HRO. The City-County Council passed the measure Monday night by a 15-14 vote. Mayor Bart Peterson has said he plans to sign the measure this week.

First thing Tuesday, Mary Byrne, who operates a bookstore on East Street that caters to gays and lesbians, painted a message in huge letters across her front window: “YEAH! HRO Passed!”
“We’re so pleased, we’re thankful, we feel welcomed,” Byrne said. But she then quickly added that the proposal’s passage is just a start. “The push at this point needs to be working to defeat the state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.”

And it begins.

All this ordinance passing does is set up the fight over the state’s ban on gay marriage. My e-mail and voice mail boxes were filled with pleas to rally, call, and pray against the passing of the Human Rights Ordinance. While I still don’t equate the Gay Rights movement with the Civil Rights Movement, I have no issues about there being no discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation. If people are this hysterical now, I can’t imagine what things will be like when that war is actually waged. Normally at this moment, I’d make some flippant comment about making some pop corn and watching the debacle unfold, but I know that this will bring out the ugly (on all sides) and be divisive. Ultimately ending up with the ban being upheld – be serious, this is Indiana.

Beyond that, don’t look for me to get caught up with this non-starter of an issue. Not that gay marriage isn’t an important issue to discuss, but both sides want this issue out there to rally their troops. For me, where there are troops, there is a war, and where there is war, there are casualties. And I simply don’t have the stomach for this one. I know too many pastors who can’t wait to lob inflammatory grenades meant to mobilize their conservative “moral” masses (and sadly, the Democrats were caught with their pants down by allowing themselves to be cast as the party who doesn’t care about morals). So that’s who I want to direct this to: “us”.

If we’re going to yell about “sinners” who are out to ruin the sanctity of marriage, why not fight the real enemy: adulterers. Now there’s a sin that doesn’t seem to get the same kind of airplay. Why not organize Disney Land boycotts against them? Why not ask court nominees whether they are soft on adulterers? Why not pass legislation banning them from ever getting (re-)married? For the record, it’s not like I think that I’m better than adulterers: I fully realize that I am one moment of weakness from becoming one (I don’t know what that may say about gay protesters).

I’m all for defensive marriage acts, however, there are other issues involved that warrant some consideration, things that may get lost in the furor of the “debate”:
-marriage is a common grace given to “saved” and “unsaved” alike
-there is a civil/legal component to marriage, with rights conveyed by the State
-we have little to no problems marrying and re-marrying adulterers and divorcees
-it’s harder to get a driver’s license than a marriage license
-there is a culture-wide lax attitude toward marriage. A lackadaisical mindset, a disrespect of misunderstanding of the institution that says we can simply opt out when it’s inconvenient, your needs aren’t being satisfied, or it’s just plain too hard.

The long and short of my Defensive Marriage Act would have marriage being harder to get into and harder to get out of, hopefully reinforcing the idea of its seriousness and sanctity. Now, with a Congress full of people married multiple times, on both sides of the aisle, what are the odds of that receiving serious consideration? Quit wasting my time with your rhetorical tirades.

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