ATHEIST & GAY: DOUBLE JEOPARDY… OR OPPORTUNITY?

By David Madison
PhD., Biblical Studies

Two Weddings

David and David, 1992

The message on our placard was straightforward: “It’s Not Complicated: I Want to Marry the Man I Love. Case Closed.” My husband and I carried that sign for many years in the New York Gay Pride Parades—long before we had legal married status.

A few months after our 30th living-together anniversary, we were finally married in California in 2008. A few weeks later, voters passed the mean-spirited Proposition 8, which halted marriage equality in that state. A court subsequently ruled that the 18,000 same-sex marriages that had been performed were not nullified by the vote. We breathed an enormous sigh of relief. It had been a wonderful wedding on a riverboat in the Sacramento River, with our daughter Deb Sweeney co-officiating, a…

This post has been republished
here on our new blog Applied Sentience.

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3 Responses to ATHEIST & GAY: DOUBLE JEOPARDY… OR OPPORTUNITY?

  1. Mary Bellamy says:

    Congratulations on both of your marriages.

    It seems to me that atheism does not have to be more threatening than same sex love/marriage. The parallel of I don’t want the same kind of marriage you have is I don’t believe the same thing that you do — not your beliefs are wrong. People can continue to believe what they wish, they just need to accept that your beliefs are different. Of course when this falls apart is when their beliefs require them to try to control the actions of other people and governments, because your non-belief is a threat to their control, but it is not a threat to their belief.

  2. Jennifer says:

    The main commonality between the LGBT community and atheists is that we are both marginalized and demonized, but the very important difference is choice. It will ultimately be much easier to accept that homosexuality/bisexuality/transgender are merely points on one end of the specturm of normal human characteristics than it will be to accept atheists. That is because atheism is cleary a choice in the minds of most people. I say that even though I consider myself a ‘natural born atheist’: I was raised in a secular home and I’ve never had the impulse to “fill in the blanks” with belief in a supreme being. I had no indocrination to cast off and I don’t consider myself to have actively chosen atheism.

    You are right, people don’t want to hear our carefully reasoned arguements. But I’m one atheist who doesn’t want to give those arguements in the first place. I’m not interested in converting anyone or directing anyone away from their faith. I don’t care if you believe in a magic sky fairy. But that’s very different from the desire to work toward (or to maintain) a secular society and government. After all, it’s only under that framework that everyone can be free to engage in their own belief system. As Mary said, above, it’s trying to control the actions of others that’s a problem.

    Gay marriage is the best chance that the atheist community has right now to demonstrate that limits need to be placed on religion. It is ideal because it allows us to show that an individual can still observe the tenets of their religion without interfering with someone else’s life choice.

  3. Pingback: Atheist & Gay: Double Jeopardy… or Opportunity? | Applied Sentience

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