More than 50 people crowded into the Brown-Lupton Student Center Lounge on Thursday night to hear four professors voice their views that Proposition 2 not only denies U.S. citizens their fundamental rights but also goes against the Christian principles supporters use to defend it.Stephen Sprinkle, an associate professor of practical theology at Brite Divinity School, said the public misunderstands much of Proposition 2, which will ban gay marriage in Texas if passed and uses faulty religious reasons to defend it.
“Early church leaders said all sexual behavior was sinful.” Sprinkle said.
Sprinkle pointed out that the church said in past years that slavery was acceptable and that a man could not be a Christian and serve in the military.
“Today the church teaches sexuality is a gift from God,” Sprinkle said. “Changes are a result from applying the changes that come with mutual love, respect and justice. To act contemptuously and self righteously toward anyone is un-Christian.”
Sprinkle quoted state Rep. Senfronia Thompson’s speech made in front of the State Legislature saying Proposition 2 is about hate.
Thompson, as paraphrased by Sprinkle, said she never read a Bible verse that said gay people can’t marry or that people should discriminate against those not like them.
Christie Neuger, professor of pastoral theology and pastoral counseling at Brite, said many people view gay and lesbian marriages as a threat to the institution of marriage, but many straight couple are cracking under the stress of marriage.
Allowing gay couples to marry, Neuger said, offers committed couples the crucial protection of legal rights and the support of just knowing they’re married.
“God loves diversity,” Neuger said. “So let’s support differences rather than be afraid of them.”
Political science professor and constitutional law expert Donald Jackson said equal protection under the law for gay couples must develop as society develops.
Jackson said he believes that if the amendment is passed, it will eventually be overturned because of its unconstitutional nature.
Bayliss Camp, an assistant professor of sociology, rounded out many of the arguments by pointing out that some people feel threatened by gay marriage because of its threat to a traditionally patriarchal institution.
Kennedy Shuler, a senior psychology major who watched the panel, said students should care how the state makes laws.
“(The issue) It not only addresses how we define marriage, but how the state regulates relationships, civil unions,” she said. “Important issues like domestic violence are also being addressed with laws on the rights couples have.
“A lot of us aren’t married now, but in some way, it will affect you later.”
Nueger said that a lot is at stake for TCU students, including straight students.
“This amendment is going to remove rights for citizens, whereas most amendments normally give rights to the people,” She said.