You don’t have to be an atheist to understand what it is that really bothers opponents of same-sex marriage.
If you’ve ever spent time with a homophobe attempting to explain away their bigotry and the reasons they’re against same-sex marriage, they’ll most probably speak of their belief that marriage is a sacred covenant reserved for one man and one woman. Same-sex marriage, they’ll tell you, violates the sanctity of marriage. They might even at some point grin and snort and inform you that homosexuality is a choice thing. The implication here is that if a gay person wants to get married, all they need do is choose a person of the opposite sex to marry. Easy. Switch on, switch off.
Well, the choice part speaks of their ignorance in regard to science’s understanding of sexual orientation, while the sanctity bit speaks of their ignorance in regard to how the Bible deals with the institution of marriage.
It’s got pretty stuff like Genesis 2:22-24,
Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
…and then it’s got the not-so-pretty stuff like Deuteronomy 21:10-14.
When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nailsand put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.
It’s all quite clear. Raid their land, kill their husbands, take their women, shave their heads, force them into marriage and rape them at will. But when she displeases you and you feel the need to cut off her shackles and let wifey loose, don’t you dare try to sell her for you’re about to make her an outcast. Just let the bitch go.
The sanctity of marriage indeed.
Tell you what, the next time some narrow-minded bigot brings up the sanctity of marriage in regard to same-sex marriage, feel free to ignore them and walk away with the knowledge that what really bugs the hell out of them is that they think gay people are icky.