Gay Marriage Laws – Sri Lanka vs. USA
| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
( December 30, 2012, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I write in response to Sri Lanka Guardian article ‘Pope Benedict: Gay Marriage Destroys theEssence of the Human Creature’ by Professor S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole
A recent meeting with a gay couple with two daughters – with the third on the way – made me think more about gay marriages. They are part of our current environment and to me that is our reality. I was fairly untouched by the challenges of gay relationships until a member of our family’s gay relationship and birth of their daughter became common knowledge. Back then I felt deeply for the challenges that the mother of this gay lady would face in our community. Meeting this other couple this week made me think further and more deeply – especially from the angle of the children.
The problem I saw with the couple that I met was that scientifically speaking the brother of one of the partners is the scientific father of the child. Hence biologically speaking – the brother was the father of his sister’s children.
Professor Hoole states ‘To write on homosexuality is dangerous because of social trends. Upholding traditional marriage is seen as fuddy-duddy. Yet I do it to show that the Christian position is thought-through. To explore the situation properly one needs to be explicit; my apologies to anyone offended.
The Christian Position
The Christian position is laid down by Jesus Christ himself in the Gospel according to St. Matthew:
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" He answered, "Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." [St. Matt., 19:3-6].’
The question is how many Christians marry as per the Divine influence of Love? Sure – if God did join them – then man would not be able to separate them. The above would not apply to most marriages – Christian marriages included.
Also, as per the above a Christian ‘man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife’ If the above were true – then Jesus also would have joined his wife and every Christian man has the duty to join his wife. No Christian man has the choice of remaining unmarried. Every Christian couple thus married – with God as their witness cannot be divorced.
We Hindus see marriage differently. Lord Shiva has Uma as His Equal Half. Shiva’s son Muruga married twice – once as arranged by Family and the other as His choice. Lord Krishna when He was born on earth married twice and in addition Radha was His Love.. There is room for all forms of marriage in Hinduism. In terms of Homosexuality also – we have the example of Lord Shiva falling in love with Vishnu in Mohini (Damsel) form and gave birth to Hariharan (Hari = Vishnu; Haran = Shiva). As per this – the child was born only because at that time Vishnu was a female. Scientifically speaking therefore – a male and female are needed to create new life.
The problem I saw with the couple that I met was that scientifically speaking the brother of one of the partners is the scientific father of the child. Hence biologically speaking – the brother was the father of his sister’s children. This negates the value of cultures that ban sex between parents and children and therefore between siblings. Looking at it philosophically – it helps the mental development of children when they have knowledge of such ban. In addition, it promotes multiculturalism and democracy as we marry outside our biological circles. This also confirms the Christian value as stated above.
Each environment is driven by its own set of laws including in terms of marriage. The only law that fits all is the law of Love/Truth. Partnerships including gay partnerships that are driven by Love / Truth – are healthy for society. But such partners would not seek the outcomes of another system. They would on the other hand be self sufficient and complete. Gay couples who desire children are actually confirming that they are not yet complete in their partnership. Hence their challenges when they ‘adopt’ children – would be far stronger than those faced by male-female partnerships. Even children who have their biological origin in one parent are half-adopted children. One needs a higher mind to lead such a family towards love and completion. At least one partner needs to have that higher mind if the children of such partnership is not to suffer more than the common member of their environment.
Laws – be they secular or religious – would help us address the challenges in a conscious and calculated path. Facilitating that is also the duty of a Government.
The way a Christian manages the issue would be different to the way a Hindu manages this issue. Likewise, the way a Sri Lankan manages this issue would be different to the way an American would . The basic difference is due to the form we give our beliefs.
Below is an excerpt from my book in regard to laws: ‘To me, laws are also plans. We include the needs of all concerned and draw up the consolidated essence of it through laws. Some laws, such as customary laws, are based strongly on the longstanding reality in an area/culture. Some of these customs are not in official form. If there is harmony in that area in which these customs are actively practiced – then these are very much part of the natural laws of that area. The official government needs to recognize this and stay away from it if it does not understand or appreciate these common customs or if they seek to come into that area, they need to include such customs in their own official budget/laws. Currently, in Sri Lanka, there are groups that have become ‘global’ ahead of the Government. A Government that incorporates those values in its own laws would be a democratic and progressive one. At South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service, where I was Revenue Manager, the internal auditor who was allocated the responsibility to ‘audit’ my restructured systems reported that I was five steps ahead of them! I believe that I am likewise, ahead of the Australian Government in terms of Equal Opportunity values. ‘
Professor Hoole states ‘President Obama after saying a few years ago that he is personally not for gay marriage, has recently reversed himself. Surely we in Sri Lanka will face the question in the next few years. It is therefore good to think about it.’
The way a Christian manages the issue would be different to the way a Hindu manages this issue. Likewise, the way a Sri Lankan manages this issue would be different to the way an American would . The basic difference is due to the form we give our beliefs. If we indiscriminately mix ‘systems’ through ‘forms’ there would be chaos in our minds. If on the other hand we let them develop naturally – they would merge at the higher level – where one is not conscious of forms but just has the experience – of one human being merging with another. At that stage one does not need physical connections. When one needs physical connections – one needs laws to regulate and reach the destination of Love. The question is which path does Professor Hoole recommend to himself – in relation to all his relationships – Sri Lankan or American? That is the path through which he could lead others at the physical level.