The practice of marriage existed long before Christianity was ever created. Before Judaism was ever created, and before Zoroastrianism, and most all religious systems. Marriage was created by Pagans. It’s not a Christian religious institution. So, in theory, the “author” or “authorized” practice of marriage belongs to the ancient Pagan cultures. This presents quite a dilemma for modern Christianity and for those who stand by “the Word of God” as to what is or is not “allowed.” It also provides an open window for permissive requirements, restrictions, rituals, allowances, and who or what may marry who or what.
The concept of marriage predates Christianity and the other two Abrahamic religions, Judaism and Islam which share a common origin and common values. Marriage is very ancient dating back beyond recorded history and was practiced by all people of many cultures, ethnicities and belief systems across all continents. The prevalence of the concept of marriage derived from a time when culture among humankind evolved from early man -hunter gatherer – to agriculture and pastoralism, which occurred about 10,000 years ago.
I have not checked the validity of the above information. However, the fact that marriage has always been around and not just Christians do it, make this knowledge almost innate. Christians may in fact been the first to use the word marriage. Other words were used, however, and mean marriage.
Some religions have their definition of marriage. They can and should define marriage within their religion how they want. However, marriage has a different definition. This definition is a legal one and the constitution is the supreme law of the land.
So perhaps many disagree, but churches must have their definition and the law must allow for other definitions. They can fight against marriage for other individuals, but not through the law.
As I see it, marriage is like trucks.
The first motor truck was built in 1896 by German automotive pioneer Gottlieb Daimler. Today there are many trucks on the road. For example, UPS have distinct trucks. I can call my truck a truck. UPS can not stop me. However, I can not paint my truck brown and call it a UPS truck.
Because I have a legal right to have a truck. I do not have a legal right to have a UPS truck. The same way, a gay person can have a marriage, but not a Catholic marriage (unless they are just consumed with guilt -Ha! Ha!).
There are gay couples, gay married couples. They have raised children that are good people. Meanwhile there are people labeling them. Trying to make them feel bad. Sending them the message that they are not as good. People that have read this thread.