The issue of same-sex marriage is a hot topic nationwide. A groundswell of civil disobedience is afoot, wherein same-sex couples are being wed by various government officials as a test of existing laws. It is an intrinsic part of our philosophy as expressed in The Satanic Bible to accept a broad range of human sexual practice—so long as it is between consenting adults and within the parameters of local laws. Therefore our position on this issue should be clear.
The Church of Satan is the first church to fully accept members regardless of sexual orientation and so we champion weddings/civil unions between adult partners whether they be of opposite or the same sex. So long as love is present and the partners wish to commit to a relationship, we support their desire for a legally recognized partnership, and the rights and privileges which come from such a union.
Currently the primary colloquial use of marriage is to form legally recognized “family” when partners formalize their bond of love. In the past, marriage was intended as an encouragement for propagation while serving as a state/church sanctioning of sexual activity. Marriage is no longer viewed by general society as a means for enforcing Christian morality as the standard for behavior.
Evidence shows that our society popularly does not see marriage as a device for encouraging breeding, as there is no invalidation of a marriage if a couple cannot or choose not to have children. Nor does our society find that marriage is required as a sanction for sexual activity; that concept was shattered during the sexual revolution of the 1960s. If existing law maintains outmoded religious moral codes which infringe on equal treatment for people subject to these dictates, then the time has come for our legislators to purge these laws of religious dogma and bring them in line with the secular society which exists in the USA.
This secularism was one of the goals of the Founding Fathers and generally remains sound, despite some successful theistic pollution. The changing of our national motto from the secular “E Pluribus Unum” (“out of many, one”) to the religious “In God We Trust,” and the addition of the religious reference “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance stand out as primary examples. Perhaps these aberrations need to be corrected as well.
It is time for Americans to stand up for the axiomatic principles of individual liberty and secularism upon which our nation was founded and thus prevent further incursions of Christian morality, meant to force non-believers into the strait jacket of their belief system.
Allowing same-sex marriages does not mean that Christians and others who oppose such a practice will be forced into such unions. They may find it distasteful, but then, when a nation encourages the individual pursuit of happiness, there is no guarantee that everyone is going to like what everyone else is doing. That is part of freedom—tolerance of diversity. The idea of amending the U.S. Constitution to bring it in line with Christian dogma should be anathema to Americans who understand its conceptual basis.
Finally, since certain people try to suggest that our attitude on sexuality is “anything goes” despite our stated base principle of “responsibility to the responsible,” we must reiterate another fundamental dictate: The Church of Satan’s philosophy strictly forbids sexual activity with children as well as with non-human animals. Any members who engage in such abusive activities can consider themselves expelled. Our standards are liberal, but we see the need for clearly defined limits which are meant to protect those who cannot give informed consent. The Church of Satan has represented this position to the public for over 35 years.
9 March, 2004 C.E.
Peter H. Gilmore
High Priest of the Church of Satan
We Are Legion
A Moment In Time
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