Last June 26, a divided U.S. Supreme Court made a historic decision by legalizing same-sex marriage. The 5-4 ruling made the U.S. the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage across all 50 states.
This means same-sex couples in those states may enjoy legal rights and benefits of heterosexual couples.
Their civil status will also be recognized on official documents such as birth
and death certificates.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community in Silliman,
together with straight people considered as allies, started using Celebrate Pride,
a Facebook application that puts rainbow hues on profile pictures and the
hashtag #LoveWins. Photographs showing people raising rainbow
flags around the world are all over social media sites.
On the other hand, those who are against it put big cross signs on their
Facebook profile pictures. They post or tweet Bible verses that states the
illegality of homosexuality and use the hashtag “#LoveWon when Christ
died on the cross 2000 years ago.”
Online and personal debates about the matter have also been continuous
in the campus. Some stopped talking to each other. Even friendships ended
because of the clash of opinions that is very visible on social media sites.
Some students and even professors started unfriending people who are
against it on their Facebook friend list.
Sillimanians who wants it legalized in the Philippines still fight for it,
despite the flipped Bible pages and thrown verses against homosexuality.
They consider marriage as a covenant recognized by the State, not
by the Church. Marriage equality would lead to equal rights, not
special rights. They stressed that homosexuals, too, can love truly
and raise children well.
Meanwhile, those who are against same-sex marriage hold on to what is stated in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit
the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the
sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers
nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders…will inherit the kingdom of God.” Hebrews 13:14 also
states that “God will judge the sexually immoral.”
They stress that homosexual desires is not a sin, it is
temptation. It is when homosexual acts become over that they become a sin. The Bible commands that one
must continually resist temptation. They continue to
oppose homosexual marriage and behavior, knowing that
Jesus Christ’s court and rules is higher than the Supreme Court’s.
Despite the division, the Weekly Sillimanian believes that
if love wins, so does mutual respect. Homosexuals would
not feel and express strongly about gender inequality in
the aspect of rights if the pain they are experiencing is not
real. Homosexuality, once considered as a mental disorder,
may have been disproved by psychologist Dr. Robert Spitzer
on 1981, but the discrimination is not yet part of history. In the
Philippine report under the study of United Nations Development
Program (UNDP) last year, Filipino LGBTs are subjected
to discrimination and bullying not just on marriage but in the
aspects of work, education, and even politics.
At the same time, people against same-sex marriage should not be generalized as
homophobic in an instant just because they oppose it.
They also have the right to be respected for their stand
on the matter. It is possible for everyone to love and respect
one another despite different views and beliefs. No one has the
right to judge, condemn, and throw the first stone because
everyone is still learning to love truly.