Someone wrote to me to ask if his daughter should attend the “gay marriage of a homosexual friend. With such an invitation, this is where the rubber meets the road, at the practical level of friends. What principles should inform such a decision?
Friendship is important and must be cultivated, but real friends understand when friends have principal problems. So what is the principle involved?
A wedding is not just fun with friends. A wedding is a legal event, where we witness the joining together of two spouses before the civic and religious authorities. In classical wedding ceremonies, those in attendance are asked to speak up publicly if there is any reason “why these two persons should not be joined together in holy matrimony.” Thus a wedding is a public event that is part of the fabric of culture to which both the collectivity and God give their blessings.
Because it is a “wedding” I do not think you can separate attendance from endorsement. That is doubtless part of why gays want the formality of marriage. It obliges the rest of society formally to affirm the rightness of their relationship. As soon as Christians attend gay weddings as a matter of course, in the name of friendship and even “love,” we will have lost the public attempt to preserve creational marriage as society’s norm. If you want gay marriage as part of the law of the land, supporting individual gay marriages is a sure-fire way to make it happen.