“Marriage equality” is the latest catchphrase to be thrown into the gay marriage / same-sex marriage debate. The term “marriage equality” is an attempt to reframe the conversation and ascribe a certain level of irrationality to those who oppose same-sex marriage. To oppose the recognition of homosexual unions as marriages is one thing. But it is much more difficult to oppose “equality” in marriage rights. What American would deny equality? However, attaching a new label to the cause does not change the core issues in the debate. If “marriage equality” means “gay marriage,” Christians should be opposed to it.
Why are Christians opposed to marriage equality? The question itself is misleading. Not all Christians are opposed to marriage equality, gay marriage, or whatever else it is called. Many Christians support gay unions being legally recognized as marriages. Such Christians generally hold that sexual morality should not be legislated and that, in a free society, people should be able to marry whomever they want. Biblically speaking, this is a tragic mistake.
The Bible is abundantly clear that homosexuality is an unnatural sin (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). The Bible presents marriage as God’s invention, and God has defined it as a covenant between a man and a woman for a lifetime (Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 7:2–16; Ephesians 5:23–33). Biblically speaking, a homosexual union is not a marriage. It does not matter if the government legislates a new definition of marriage. It does not matter if society is overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage. A homosexual union always has been, and always will be, a perversion of God’s creation.
In modern societies that are increasingly secular and non-Christian, the marriage equality debate is eventually going to be won by the gay rights movement. Barring national repentance and a revival of the Christian faith, gay unions are going to be officially recognized as valid marriages, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. But, whatever society does, it cannot change the fact that followers of Christ are to align with, and submit to, His Word. And His Word unequivocally declares that marriage is between one man and one woman. As Christians, we accept the fact that we live in a secular and ungodly nation, but we esteem the unchanging Word of God over society’s modulating mores. “Let God be true, and every human being a liar” (Romans 3:4).
Christians do not need to fight against homosexual couples being granted civil unions and the governmental benefits such unions provide. Tax breaks, inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, etc., are not addressed in the Bible. But, when it comes to the definition of marriage, Christians should stand firm. God created marriage. No human being has the right or authority to redefine it. No matter what governments and societies sanction, homosexual unions will never truly have equality with heterosexual marriages.