Following is a list of some of excellent resources related to the question of “gay marriage.” Please understand that while I don’t necessarily agree with every idea presented by each author below, these resources will provide some thought provoking material for those who want to think deeply about the question of “same-sex marriage”:
Key Books Relating to “Same-Sex Marriage”:
- What is Marriage? Man and Women: A Defense by Robert George, Ryan Anderson, Sherif Gergis / Why is this book important? This is probably one of the most influential books in the “same-sex marriage” debate. One of the helpful aspects of this book is that it is intelligible to those who come from a non-religious background as the arguments presented don’t rely on any explicitly religious creeds. Here’s a flashcard set that outlines the basic argument of the book and is designed as birds-eye view that will not only help you understand the flow of thought, but also help you remember the main ideas after you read the book. Get the book. You’ll be glad you did.
- Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield / Why is this book important? Many people are under the impression that one cannot change their sexual orientation any more than a person can change the color of their skin. Not only is this idea not true, there are scores of people who’ve quit practicing the homosexual / lesbian lifestyle. This book details the journey of Rosaria Butterfield, a former lesbian, radical feminist, and tenured Syracuse University professor, who is now a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom.
- The Bible & Homosexual Practice by Robert Gagnon / Why is this book important? This is one of the leading treatments of the Bible’s teaching on homosexual practice. Scholarly and accessible to the patient reader.
Resources by or About Former Lesbians / Homosexuals:
- Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert – Rosaria Butterfield and Russell Moore (video / book) Abstract: Russell Moore interviews Rosaria Butterfield, a former lesbian and formerly tenured professor at Syracuse University.
- Seven Things I Wish My Pastor Knew About My Homosexuality by Jean Lloyd (article)
- To Men, Pastor Feels Called To Marriage With A Woman – by NPR staff (article)
Resources by or About Children of Gay Parents:
- Dear Justice Kennedy: An Open Letter From the Child of a Gay Parent – by Katy Faust(article) Abstract: This letter was written by a woman whose parents were in a lesbian relationship. In her letter, she details her experience of living as the child of gay parents and the principled reasons she opposes “gay marriage”. The article matters, because people like Katy are rarely given a voice in the public square.
- I’m Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage by Doug Mainwaring (article) Abstract: Doug, a man who is gay, explains why he opposes “same-sex marriage”.
Philosophical Foundations for “Gay Marriage”:
- Before Obergefell: Some Thoughts on How We Got Here by Alastair Roberts (article) Abstract: In this exceptional article, Alastair traces the way that liberalism’s commitment to personal choice and autonomy brought about the SCOTUS decision in Obergefell. Excerpt: “Individual choice and autonomy are dominant and foundational cultural values in a capitalist society, eclipsing almost all else. The liberal notion of the person as androgynous transacting party and consumer that constitutes the heart of the anthropology of capitalism has no real conceptual place for the lasting natural union between the sexes or between parents and the children that they bear. Such unions threaten this anthropology, as they present us with realities that displace the autonomous individual from the centre of the picture, revealing that we are connected to others by nature, not solely by choice.”
- Five Principles of the New Sexual Morality by Alastair Roberts (article) Abstract: In this article, Alastair Roberts outlines five key principles / commitments that sit at the center of the new sexual morality. This is one of the clearest and most charitably written articles on the philosophical presuppositions of the sexual revolution in general and the “same-sex marriage” revolution in particular.
- Sexual Difference, Liberal and Christian – by Alastair Roberts (article) Abstract: Alastair explores the relationship between a healthy sexuality (also described in the article as “sexuality”) and transcendence: Excerpt: “…Fourth, sexuality is a threat because it exposes us to a force that lies beyond the body. Although this is a force that is found in our most intimate being, it belongs to a world beyond it, is also at work in other persons of our sex, and serves ends beyond those internal to our own bodies. For this reason, it alerts us to our bond with and belonging to a natural world beyond us, a world to which we must align ourselves, and a world for which our bodies exist. Fifth, sexuality is a threat because it opens up the site of the self to the claim of the other. When a man and a woman become one flesh, they become mutually and personally involved with each other. And this opening of the body to the claims of others is even more powerfully evidenced in the bearing of children. Our bodies can never be our pure private possession, but are given to us through others and are rendered to others, through which gift they can give rise to yet other bodies, bodies who will always bear the traces of ours. The body—the site of the self—cannot be autonomous, but roots us within relations of gift, trust, commitment, and belonging.”
- Why Unilateral Divorce Has No Place in a Free Society by Jennifer Roback Morse Abstract: This is the fourth chapter in the book, The Meaning of Marriage: Family, State, Market, and Morals. The SCOTUS decision on Obergefell vs. Hodges wasn’t the first time that our nation’s view of marriage was radically transformed. With the introduction of no-fault divorce in 1969-70, the U.S. took a significant step in altering our understanding of marriage. In Morse’s article, she outlines why no-fault divorce is destructive, how it violates the sanctity of the contract, the social costs of private conflicts, and why it has no place in a free society.
- What Do You Do When You Are on the Wrong Side of History? by Michael Hanby (article) Abstract: In this article, Michael Hanby provides several key insights into the role of history in the present discussion on “gay marriage.” Excerpt: “We must recognize first of all what this appeal to the inevitability of history is. It is not an argument but a ‘conversation stopper’ designed to put an end to argument by urging opponents of same sex marriage to resign themselves to a fate which they are powerless to resist and exempting advocates of ‘marriage equality’ from the burden of having to think about, much less defend, their position with depth or rigor. And by placing opponents of same sex marriage beyond the pale of progress and civilization, it encourages those who fancy themselves on the ‘right side of history’ to treat their opponents with contempt. The appeal to history is thus a nifty little piece of rhetorical violence, a ‘performative utterance’ that seeks to bring about the fate that it announces and to excuse the opposition’s loss of agency as the inevitable triumph of justice.”
- Naive Young Evangelicals and the Illiberal DNA of the Gay Rights Movement – by Matthew Lee Anderson (article) Abstract: In this article, Matthew seeks to explain why introducing and sustaining the practice of “same-sex marriage” will require the reconfiguration of an entire society. The article is relevant to the question, “How will “gay marriage” affect you?
- When Pastoral Language Becomes Political Rhetoric – by Carl Trueman (article)Excerpt: “…While Christian theologians have typically regarded a concept such as love as both a passion and a virtue, modern secular society has collapsed the two into each other and made the latter dependent for its meaning upon the former. Love is now really nothing more than a passion. To put it more generally, passions are virtues. When this move is made, the whole vocabulary of moral discourse concerning love and other virtues may look the same as it has always done but conceptually it has been fundamentally transformed into something very different. It is subjective and rooted in emotional responses, responses which are easy to manufacture in our aesthetic age through the instruments of pop culture.”
- Love and Hate in a Foreign Country – by Carl Trueman (article) Excerpt: “Last week I commented on the detachment of love from any prior notion of virtue and its reduction to emotional and sexual self-fulfillment. A moment’s reflection, of course, reveals that a change in the definition of love requires a change in the definition of its antonym, hate. Thus, if love is rooted in self-realization, then hate is anything which prevents this. Hence critics of the revolution are by definition those who hate, however moderately they express their dissents.”
- A Protestant’s Passion for the Virtues of Thomas – by Carl Trueman (article) Excerpt: “Turning now to the modern world, we can see that the concept of love which is extolled as a virtue is in reality almost exclusively that of love as passion. Every time soap operas and sitcoms present love as constituted by physical sex (do they ever do anything else?), love as virtue is reduced to love as passion. Every time daytime talk show hosts make some declaration about morality based upon what they feel in their heart, then passion, not virtue, becomes the criterion of what is good and true. And every time an academic denies that there is an objective telos to human nature, passion masquerades as virtue and ethics is turned into aesthetics.”
- Mechanism, Public Reason, and the Anthropology of Orientation by David S. Crawford (article) Abstract: This article will explore some of the “anthropological implications of the ‘gay marriage’ debate for the meaning of sexuality, desire and love for personal and social identity.” It will also show “how the debate over ‘gay marriage’ has been shaped by some ubiquitous but unexamined presuppositions.”
- Freedom is…A Sexual Ponzi Scheme? by Carl Trueman (article) Abstract: A critique by Carl Trueman of the article: How to Break Free From Monogamy Without Destroying Marriage by Caitlin Dewey (article). Excerpt: “…That boredom is presented as justification for remaking the marriage bond speaks of a self-absorbed approach to life where stimulation and personal entertainment are now almost the only ethical criteria (except for the increasingly tenuous principle of consent). Indeed, the unthinking moral solipsism of this present age is on full display here. “If it is good for me, it must be good for society” is dangerous enough as a principle of social ethics. To replace that with “If it cures my boredom, it must be good for society” is lunacy. And who will pay the interest—financial and social—on this sexual ponzi scheme? Everyone, from the poor and the children of broken homes to generations yet unborn…”
The Relationship Between “Gay Marriage” and the Charge of Racism:
- Is Sexual Orientation Analogous to Race? by Joe Carter (article) In this article, Joe Carter tackles the following argument: Major premise: A sexual orientation is analogous to the category of race. Minor premise: Race is a category protected by anti-discrimination laws. Conclusion: Therefore, sexual orientation should have the same civil-rights protections as those afforded to race.
Can Lesbians or Homosexuals Change & the Question of Immutability:
- The Signed Affidavit of Nicholas Cummings. May 3, 2013 (pdf) Abstract: This affidavit is important because it contains sworn testimony by a leading figure in the gay movement who’s personally helped hundreds of clients change their sexual practices. Additionally, Nicholas Cummings, the sole witness in this affidavit, possesses the following qualifications to speak on the question of whether or not homosexuality is immutable – and the related question as to whether sexual reorientation therapy ought to be permitted:
- From paragraph 1:
- Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley
- Master’s degree in psychology from Claremont Graduate School
- Doctorate in clinical psychology from Adelphi University
- Awarded five honorary doctorates for innovations in such diverse fields as education and the Greek classics
- From paragraphs 2-11, 16:
- Chief Psychologist for the Kaiser Permanente health system from 1959-1979, based in San Francisco, California
- Member of President Kennedy’s Mental Health Task Force and President Carter’s Mental Health Commission
- Advisor to the Health Economics Branch of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the Senate Subcommittee of Health, and the Senate Finance Committee
- Testified before the Congress of the United States 18 times
- Launched the professional school movement by founding the California School of Professional Psychology, one of the first freestanding schools of professional psychology in the nation
- Founded the National Academies of Practice, The National Council of Professional Schools of Psychology, the San Joaquin County Psychological Association, and the American Managed Behavioral Healthcare Association
- Co-founded the California Psychological Association, the San Francisco Bay Area Psychological Association, and the Council for the Advancement of the Psychological Professions and Sciences
- President of the American Psychological Association from 1979 to 1980
- Executive Director of the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto from 1979 to 1981
- Written over 450 journal articles and 51 books
- Recipient of psychology’s highest award, the American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Practice of Psychology in 2003
- In 50 years of professional practice, never saw fewer than 40-50 patients per week in private practice
- As a member of the APA Council of Representatives, in 1975 sponsored the resolution by which the APA issues its official position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder
- In 1976, sponsored a resolution that gays and lesbians should not be discriminated against in the workplace
- While President of the APA, in 1979 appointed the APA’s first Task Force on Lesbian and Gay Issues
Hostility Towards Those Who Oppose “Gay Marriage”:
- The Rise of the Same-Sex Marriage Dissidents (article) Excerpt: “Eich broke the rules of the game. Suddenly everything appears in another light.”
- Seeking the Complete Financial Ruin of a Christian Family (article) by Denny Burk. Excerpt: “…It wasn’t enough that the activists were able to put the Klein’s out of business. The lesbian couple have now sued this family, and the Klein’s are on the hook for $150,000 and are facing potential bankruptcy. Aaron Klein had to take a job as a garbage collector after they lost their bakery. So needless to say, the wages from that work are not going to cover this fine…Someone set up a “Go Fund Me” page for the Klein’s to help them pay the $150,000 pound of flesh. But activists complained to “Go Fund Me,” and the fundraising site changed their terms of service to exclude the Kleins and shut the Klein’s page down. Plainly, the activists are seeking the complete financial ruin of the Aaron, Melissa and their five children.”
- Duck Dynasty Star Phil Robertson Suspended Over Anti-Gay Comments (article)
Pastors & Theologians on “Gay Marriage”:
- The Bible and Same-Sex Relationships: A Review Article by Tim Keller (link)
- N.T. Wright on Gay Marriage: Nature and Narrative Point to Complementarity by Matthew Schmitz (article) Excerpt: “…if you believe in what it says in Genesis 1 about God making heaven and earth—and the binaries in Genesis are so important—that heaven and earth, and sea and dry land, and so on and so on, and you end up with male and female. It’s all about God making complementary pairs which are meant to work together. The last scene in the Bible is the new heaven and the new earth, and the symbol for that is the marriage of Christ and his church. It’s not just one or two verses here and there which say this or that. It’s an entire narrative which works with this complementarity so that a male-plus-female marriage is a signpost or a signal about the goodness of the original creation and God’s intention for the eventual new heavens and new earth.”
- Four Appeals to Christians Embracing Gay Marriage by Gavin Ortlund (link) Abstract: In this article, Gavin addresses four important issues that Christians will want to think through carefully before embracing “gay marriage”: 1) Traditional views aren’t always bigoted (and progressive ones sometimes are) 2) History provides some perspective 3) Marriage matters 4) The comparison to slavery is slippery.
Where can I get some good resources on gay marriage? Where can I get some good resources on same-sex marriage? Good books on same-sex marriage? Articles on same-sex marriage? Same-sex marriage from a Christian perspective?