Document Type


Publication Date


Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Interdisciplinary Integration, Scholarship of Community Application, Scholarship of Faith Integration


The goal of this paper is to help frame the issue of gay marriage in a constructive way, without the rhetoric and the oversimplifications that are too often prevalent. It is the author’s contention that this issue is not ultimately about legal rights; it is about legitimation. In order to support this claim, it is first necessary to clarify the various aspects of the issue, namely, homosexuality itself, the role of marriage in society, and the hermeneutical challenge of formulating a Christian response. The paper also briefly considers some of the more common arguments that are made for or against gay marriage. The paper concludes by framing the issue in a way that can hopefully stimulate discussion that is both edifying and productive.


This paper was presented to the Olivet Nazarene University community on April 18, 2013 in conjunction with Scholar Week 2013. The author is the recipient of the Samuel L. Mayhugh Award for Scholarly Excellence.