Wednesday, January 21

Gay Marriage?

America’s homosexual communities are in the midst of a remarkable new trend that looks as if it could very well transform them forever. Couples are getting married. But it’s not what you think. It’s not what the newsmakers and the political commentators have been crowing about during the past year.

To be sure “gay marriage” is a hot topic these days. In November, Massachusetts moved closer to becoming the first state in the country to legalize homosexual unions after the state’s highest court struck down a ban on same-sex marriages. The 4-3 ruling, which stopped short of declaring that homosexual couples should be granted marriage licenses, mirrored a 1999 decision by the neighboring Vermont Supreme Court, which also put the question of legalization into the hands of state lawmakers. Both landmark decisions gave homosexual advocates another foothold in the burgeoning national debate over legalizing same-sex unions. They lent further support to the watershed United States Supreme Court ruling this past June in which justices rejected a longtime ban on same-sex sodomy in Texas. That case was widely viewed as the “Roe v. Wade” for homosexual activists.

With similar court decisions in Hawaii, New York, and throughout Canada, and with cases pending in nineteen other states, it appears that a sea change in the legal environment is occurring before our very eyes.

But the court decisions, and all the hand ringing that they have elicited among family advocates across America, have little or nothing to do with the remarkable resurgence of marriage sweeping through the homosexual communities. That is because the marriages are not same-sex unions. They are the old-fashioned, bride and groom, husband and wife, male and female kind of marriages. Yes, that’s right: men and women. And they are not marriages of convenience or efforts to skirt adoption or child-custody regulations. These are for-real marriages. You know, the “to have and to hold, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part” sort of marriages.

According to Bob Hertzmann, “This is not exactly the sort of thing the TV networks are likely to tell folks about.” In fact, he asserts that this remarkable new trend may very well be “the most under-reported story in America right now.” And he should know. Hertzmann is a local counseling coordinator for Exodus International, an organization that has helped hundreds of gay men and women abandon their homosexual practices over the last several years while finding fulfillment, satisfaction, and freedom in welcoming churches, in healthy relationships, and in monogamous marriages.

Hertzmann and his wife, Lisa, are living examples of this trend. “I was an activist in New York for the radical homosexual advocacy group, ACT UP. Lisa was a practicing lesbian involved with a local AIDS support agency. We met at several political rallies through the years. But both of us were so enmeshed in our own worlds, our own troubles, and our own relationships that we never even really paid much attention to each other. But then we both happened to meet at a local Bible study. I was shocked to see her. She was shocked to see me. It turns out though, that like so many gays, we were both terribly sad and we were both beginning to search for something more.”

Over the next several months, the two of them explored the claims of Christianity. “We were amazed to discover that the hunger for significance we’d both always had was satisfied, not only in the Christian faith, but in the Christian community. As our hearts began to heal from many years of abuse, promiscuity, and desperation, we began to feel again for the first time in a very long time. And then it just happened; to our extraordinary surprise, we fell in love. The rest, as they say, is history.”

Amazingly, Bob and Lisa’s love story is becoming more and more common in the homosexual community. John Thompson, a clinical psychologist practicing in Buffalo, New York has said, “As men and women become more and more disillusioned with the gay lifestyle, they look for alternatives, answers, anything. In desperation, they turn to local churches or ministries like Exodus International or Homosexuals Anonymous. There they encounter dozens of others who once were bound by sexual addictions and other compulsive behaviors--who are now free, happy, and hopeful for the future. For them, it is a stunning revelation.”

Of course, the prevailing orthodoxy asserts that homosexuals are born with their same-sex attractions. It argues that they cannot change. It asserts that their sexual orientation is determined biologically. “I am living proof that such politically-correct maxims are just not true,” says Hertzmann. “And there are hundreds, even thousands of others just like me. The proof is in the pudding.”

It appears that he is not exaggerating at all. If the testimonies on the Exodus International website or the documentary evidence compiled by Focus on the Family are any indication, the number of former homosexuals, transsexuals, bisexuals, and lesbians who have left their promiscuous lifestyles only to embrace traditional values, the Christian faith, and ordinary family life is increasing every day. Support groups are springing up in virtually every major city across the country. Newsletters, magazines, journals, books, tapes, and films now abound. And wedding bells are ringing. As author, lecturer, and former homosexual Joe McCallum has said, “The homosexual community now has a back door as wide as the broad side of a barn--and people are pouring through it into the church and into healthy families.”

Any number of politicians, media pundits, and cultural critics are scrambling to deal with the issue of same-sex marriages in a fashion that somehow will not undermine inheritance, property, and insurance laws while at the same time satisfying the demands of the homosexual lobbyists and activists. Meanwhile, this dramatic new trend within the homosexual community may well be making such machinations moot. “The best way to deal with a difficult problem is not always to attack the problem itself but to focus on the solution,” Michael Spinnaker, another counselor for Exodus, has said. “The sudden spate of marriages we’re seeing among former homosexuals is only surprising because the media has steadfastly avoided reporting the story. But it is one of the most amazing and wonderful stories to be told. And it makes the hubbub over same-sex unions pale in comparison.”

Indeed, it does.

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