Over the weekend two New Zealand men, Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick, got married. The laws of that country allow same sex marriage, but their wedding has angered gay activists. Why? Because the two men are heterosexual, not homosexual.
This is one of the most bizarre news stories I have read, and a twist in the whole gay marriage debate that I don’t think anyone could have predicted. And in my view it is tragically funny.
So why did they get married?
The reason these two men got married was not for love, was not out of a commitment to each other, was not for political, financial or taxation purposes, but it was to win a radio station competition for a trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
So why have gay rights groups condemned the union?
Gay activists have come out and said the wedding was an insult as it trivialises the hard fought battle for marriage equality in that country. They also claim that it suggests that marriage between two men is something negative, or something outrageous that you would never consider, unless it was to win a competition or to have a laugh.
So what is the best Christian response?
I am not really sure what the best Christian response is, but I know I went through a range of emotions and thought-processes upon discovering the story.
Firstly, perhaps I am a superficial person, but what I actually did was have a laugh. Yes, I thought it was funny. These two guys are best friends, have known each other since they were six, have played rugby together and just wanted to win the competition and go travelling together. The competition was for two heterosexual men to get married and they did and they won the prize (they also look pretty happy about it all as well).
Secondly, I felt a certain amount of “I told you so”. Many Christians have claimed that allowing same sex marriage in itself trivialises marriage in that it is fundamentally altering what has been held across all cultures for millennia that marriage is between a man and a woman. The gay marriage argument has fundamentally been about if two people love each other why can’t they get marriage. Well if that is true, then why not the next step, if two people want to get married, regardless of whether they love each other, why can’t they get married.
Thirdly, there was a certain sadness about it all. The two guys are mocking marriage. They are mocking traditional marriage and at the same time mocking same sex marriage. It is really sad that marriage could be held in such disregard.
Fourthly, perhaps in all of this it shows how much Christians have really lost the marriage debate. Lost the battle of the definition of marriage, in that it should be between a man and a woman. Lost the battle of the good purposes of marriage, in that it is there for the good of society, for the good of the family, for the good of the couple, and for the good of children. And lost the battle for the institution of marriage, in that people now openly mock and trivialise what God has set down for good.
As one commentator stated:
“If society insists on deconstructing marriage it must be prepared to endorse many more forms of marriage, to do anything less would be sheer hypocrisy.”
Do I agree with what these two men have done? No, not all all. But it is funny, albeit it tragically funny. The marriage, and the competition that inspired it, makes a mockey of marriage, but so did the redefinition of marriage in the first place.
What do you think? What does this story say about marriage? (If you are going to comment please keep this post in mind)