Blessing Same-Sex Unions
The Perils of Queer Romance and the Confusions of Christian Marriage
Why then, asks noted gay commentator Mark D. Jordan, are so many churches vehemently opposed to blessing same-sex unions? In this incisive work, Jordan shows how carefully selected ideals of Christian marriage have come to dominate recent debates over same-sex unions. Opponents of gay marriage, he reveals, too often confuse simplified ideals of matrimony with historical facts. They suppose, for instance, that there has been a stable Christian tradition of marriage across millennia, when in reality Christians have quarreled among themselves for centuries about even the most basic elements of marital theology, authorizing experiments like polygamy and divorce.
Jordan also argues that no matter what the courts do, Christian churches will have to decide for themselves whether to bless same-sex unions. No civil compromise can settle the religious questions surrounding gay marriage. And queer Christians, he contends, will have to discover for themselves what they really want out of marriage. If they are not just after legal recognition as a couple or a place at the social table, do they really seek the blessing of God? Or just the garish melodrama of a white wedding? Posing trenchant questions such as these, Blessing Same-Sex Unions will be a must-read for both sides of the debate over gay marriage in America today.
“A powerful, at times brilliant, brief for Christian churches blessing same-sex unions. . . . Jordan traces the history of Christian thought about marriage . . . and insists that there is no fixed, transhistorical Christian ideal. . . . Since the early church only grudgingly allowed Christians to marry, same-sex unions may be no more a departure from previous Christian understandings of marriage than today’s enthusiastic endorsement of heterosexual marriage. . . . This is not merely a contribution to gay studies; any Christian who wants to think more clearly about marriage should read Jordan.”
Introduction: Uncivil Ceremonies
1. Some Boys' Romance
2. A Proper Engagement
3. Your (?) Special Day
4. Finding Some Marriage Theology—Before the Ceremony
5. The Wedding and Its Attendants
6. Afterward; or, Out of Bounds
7. Ending in Time
Epilogue: A Comic Exhortation
List of Works Cited