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Straight Talk About Gay Marriage

by Gene Robinson

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-307-95788-7
Publisher: Knopf

Reasoned argument for gay marriage by one of its most famed proponents.

Ever since openly gay clergyman Robinson was elected as an Episcopal bishop in 2003, he has been one of the most visible champions of gay rights and gay marriage. Here, he attempts to persuade others of the viability and legitimacy of gay marriage through a point-by-point approach. Beginning with a brief retelling of his own personal story, he moves on to ask why this topic has so suddenly come to the forefront of debate. Then he tackles a series of questions that have been brought up against gay marriage: “Doesn’t Gay Marriage Undermine Marriage?” “Don’t Children Need a Mother and a Father?” etc. Robinson’s strength is his willingness to see these questions from another perspective. He charitably realizes that, to many people, the concept of homosexuality is foreign and even distasteful; rather than condemning such viewpoints, he reasons with readers. While many of his arguments concern such issues as respect, civil rights and family dynamics, Robinson also discusses issues of faith and theology. He counters arguments taken from Scripture against homosexuality and points out that Jesus was silent on the issue. Beginning and ending his work with the statement that he believes in marriage, Robinson’s points often seem highly focused on family values. “At the end of the day,” he writes, “this is a very conservative argument being made for gay marriage.” Nevertheless, his reasoning may not move conservative Christians (or conservatives of other faiths). Robinson approaches the topic with a view of separation of church and state (“In simple shorthand, the State marries and the Church blesses”) that will not be shared by many of his opponents.

Sober and well-structured, but still preaches to the choir.