No one should be surprised that the first legal gay marriages in the country were performed in Massachusetts today. After all, the homosexual lobby has defined the terms of this cultural debate for a long time now.

They have spoken of civil rights and used words like discrimination and equality, making homosexual marriage just another step in a long moral struggle for freedom from oppression. It is a ridiculous argument, but it appeals to an ultimate good and it has worked beautifully.

On the other hand, the anti-gay crowd has been stuck appealing to some vague notion of tradition (“This is what we’ve always called marriage”) or using apocalyptic warnings (“Gay marriage will destroy the nation” or “Gay marriage is terrible for kids.”) These dire predictions have proved ineffective, for at least two reasons.

First, they do not appeal to anything transcendent. Manipulative pragmatic arguments are not based on any ultimate standard for good and are easily countered with contradictory evidence. One story of a child being lovingly raised by lesbians or one example of a country that is “surviving” gay marriage is enough to rend these arguments useless.

Second, the country has already accepted homosexuality itself as OK. The simple fact of the matter is that if homosexuality is all right, then homosexual marriage is all right. Utilitarian arguments against a certain type of homosexual arrangement won’t cut it if homosexuality itself is fundamentally moral.

There, however, is the rub. Homosexuality is not fundamentally moral. It is disapproved of by the universal standard for morality, God. Because of this, and only because of this, is homosexual marriage wrong. This is what opponents of gay marriage should be focusing on.

[And just in case you think I am advocating outlawing homosexuality, I am not. I think government should stay out of the legislating morality game as far as possible. Let’s take the whole debate out of the legislatures and courtrooms and into our living rooms, schools, coffee shops and churches. (And websites, of course.) Let freedom reign and truth come to light.]

Don Johnson Evangelistic Ministries