By Scott Tibbs, November 20, 2008
Supporters of homosexual marriage attempt to discredit opponents by pointing out that, at one time, some "Christians" opposed interracial marriage, again linking the cause of homosexual rights with equal rights for everyone regardless of skin pigmentation. This argument was rejected two weeks ago by 70% of black voters in both California and Florida, showing that they do not believe skin pigmentation is the same as sexual behavior.
Yes, some "Christians" misused Biblical texts to oppose interracial marriage, and interracial marriage was illegal as recently as a few decades ago. But bans on interracial marriage are not Biblical. The primary Scriptural example is the book of Ruth, where a woman of Moab followed her mother-in-law to Israel after her husband and father-in-law died. The key with the story of Ruth is that she said to Naomi that "thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God." Ruth eventually became part of the line of Christ. If God forbade interracial marriage, why would He place a woman of pagan peoples into His Son's line? Ruth is also one of the few women mentioned in the line of Christ.
As the people of Israel moved into the Promised Land, God forbade them from intermarrying with the people of the land. This was not because of race, but because God knew that the pagan "gods" those people worshiped would become a snare to the people of Israel. After all, Moses married an Ethiopian woman, and God condemned Aaron when Aaron whined about it. The danger of idolatry is also why God commanded the people of Israel to drive out the Cannanites. Israel disobeyed God and did not drive out the people in the land, and as a result fell into idolatry time and time again. What God was ultimately forbidding was inter-religious marriage, a warning that carries into the New Testament when the Apostle Paul commands followers of Jesus not to marry unbelievers. (See 1 Corinthians 6:14-17)
The problem with comparisons between interracial and same-sex marriage is it ignores biological reality. Regardless of skin pigmentation, the union of a man and a woman of different races is fundamentally the same as the union of a man and woman of the same race. In both cases, you have male and female of the species homo sapiens in a union. That cannot be compared to the union of two men or two women. As I explained back in September, racism is sin condemned by Scripture and condemned directly by Jesus. However, same-sex intimacy is also condemned by Scripture. Those tempted by either sin need to repent and ask God for His forgiveness.