I think for me at least, the few words of Wayne Besen in his article in the Seattle Gay News of December 12th say all that we need to think about what homosexual Americans must believe and understand about our future civil rights and the affect on them by religious people and groups.
In the middle of the good article he says, "We must still work to enlighten the flock where we can, but fundamentalist leaders will only transform their anit-gayviews when popular opinion decidedly turns against them-as it did with race relations in the 1960s and 1970s."
That is how we must understand our work. And as a obscure thought on the views of the religious right on the sanctity of marriagve, I would refer them to two mentions on the subject of how marriage was used in the early days by one church group against another. The mentions are in an old book, published in 1940, which not only discussed the important issues such as how the Baptists were such strong supporters of the separation of church and state, but how the southern churches so easily left the main church to use the Bible to promote slavery, etc, and the authors were from (and the book is was published by) the University of Chicago.
In the book A Short History of Christianity, in discussing the early church in France, on page 179, it says, about the attempt to overcome Catholic opposition to Protestant churches, with the "church in the Desert," "Its services were celebrated in secret, and its members were without civil rights. Because marriages at which its ministers officiated were deemed void, Protestants were all legally illegitimate." And on page 234, talking abot religion in England, it says,"...but all other protestant bodies were shut out and their ministers were not permitted to perform marriage ceremonies."
I wonder how the religious right fundamentalists answers such clear evidence of how the church has abused the words of the Bible and theology in the past and is doing so today. Is it too much to say that it is not the homosexuals who are on trial, and it may be that the ones who have to change to survive are the religious right.