Religion and Gay Marriage


Good morning, Hank, it’s Tuesday. I really liked your video about marriage equality on Friday, but today I wanted to approach the question of gay marriage from a specifically religious perspective. But to do that we have to first figure out what exactly marriage is, which turns out to be incredibly complicated. All right, so to illustrate this, I’m gonna make yellow thingamajigs men and blue whozeewhats women. Let’s begin with the idea that so-called “traditional marriage” is a union between one man and one woman. Well that’s simply not accurate: There are some very traditional marriages that did not feature just one man and one woman. For instance, in the Bible, King David was married to… 18 women, and Solomon, who was known for his good judgement, was married to seven hundred! Which is not even to mention his three hundred concubines. Frankly, it just seems greedy. In fact I think almost everything we associate with traditional marriages — from white dresses, to monogamy, to scripture readings, to saying “I do” — is not very traditional. For the vast majority of Christian history until the 16th century, it was uncommon for Christian marriages to happen in churches, or to be overseen by clergy, or even to feature witnesses! People became married by agreeing to be married and then honoring that commitment. It was just, “I marry you,” “I marry you,” “Mmmmmmarried!” And then often, but not always, they let the church know that they got married, because the church kept the records. Furthermore the idea that marriages always occur between one man and one woman imply that everyone is either a man or a woman, which is simply not the case it and it never has been! A significant portion of the human population — somewhere around 0.5% — has always been intersex. Intersex people might be chromosomally XXY, or XYY, or have androgen insensitivity syndrome, or a bunch of other conditions that make them neither unambiguously male nor unambiguously female. Historically, many of these people have gotten married without the social order falling apart and many of them still get married today, but laws like the one just voted on in North Carolina make it unclear whether intersex people are allowed to marry anyone. Right, so marriage and sex turn out to be very complicated. Well I’m about to make it more complicated. So for many religious people, including lots of Christians, Jews, and Muslims, marriage is not just a legal agreement, but a covenant. You’re making a promise to God that you will stick together for life. And for many religious people, marriage is only really marriage if that covenant is involved. And that means that for lots of those people, gay marriage is impossible, because “homosexual relationships are inherently sinful” which means that God cannot be present in and bless that union. Now Hank, I should add that lots of religious people and institutions don’t believe that, but some do, and I’m not going to try to convince those people or those institutions that they are wrong, because 1) it won’t work, and
2) I read the comments from your last video. It was a little discouraging. But Hank, if we’re gonna say that the legal benefits of marriage should only be extended to people who have made this covenant with God, then we get ourselves into a HUGE problem! Like you and The Katherine got married in a field – does that mean you’re not really married? Like should you be allowed to visit The Katherine in the hospital, or share custody of kids you adopt, or file taxes together? Or should those privileges only extend to people who got married in a church, like me? And do all church weddings count, or only people who get married in certain kinds of churches? Because then I might be in trouble. Hank, that line of thinking does not lead to a good legal definition of marriage. The truth is, marriages are intensely personal, and they are defined not by courts or by voters, but by the people who live inside of them. That’s traditional marriage! People making a private, daily, life-long commitment. We can’t make gay marriage illegal because gay marriage is already happening. It has been happening, in fact, for as long as human beings have been pledging themselves to each other. But tragically, in most of the world, we deny gay people the rights and obligations that are associated with their marriages. And that is just discrimination. There are going to be marriages you don’t like and married people who do things that you don’t think married people should do. But whether they’re getting married, or they’re getting married, or they’re getting married, those marriages won’t affect yours. Hank, I’ll see you on Friday.


100 Responses

  1. SoulFire39

    December 11, 2018 2:54 am

    The guy's got a good point. Hell, in Islam, you're ALLOWED (not required, allowed) to have up to four wives if you can love and support them all equally, and in Mormonism, well, polygamy has been a thing for as long as Mormonism has been a thing, or I think so, anyway. And how about some of that polyandry for us chicks, eh? LOL.

  2. Alex Ray

    December 11, 2018 1:50 pm

    As a christian, I have a simple solution: Don't call gay marriage marriage, but make it the same in every legal way. Its the best compromise, it negates the religious argument against gay marriage while keeping our secular government from discriminating due to religious reasons.

  3. Geo Duck

    December 20, 2018 2:17 am

    Why doesent ANYBODY know gay is not ok? Throw hate comments at me for PETE'S SAKE! Gay is not ok. Some people choose to not follow God and his rules and that's ok because he gave you a choice. BUT you can't just keep making excuses and saying gays ok because we're "EQUAL" or were "HUMAN". If your a true follower of his your know this. But EVERBODY is getting sucked into the trap of satan. It's just SAD. dislike this HATE me. at least I have gods respect and love for not being gay.

  4. Muntazir Mehdi

    January 7, 2019 3:00 am

    marriage in islam is not just being together for life for just SEXUAL REASONS, its an oath before GOD that, we will help each other in the long journey of Life to reach the peaceful eternal life with the blessings of God,
    and that we will not behave like an animal to commit adultery.
    and that we will bring a generation that would strive to make this world a better place and would stand with the oppressed people
    what GAY activists describe marriage is just a form of LUST nothing else.

  5. Safir

    January 10, 2019 8:55 pm

    Imagine a religion where cutting your baby in the leg with a knife is “traditional”

    Would the government allow that?

  6. Safir

    January 10, 2019 9:02 pm

    Honestly I’m opposed to all weddings because they’re super expensive, a waste of time & the whole Diamond Ring Scam where one company has a Monopoly on all the Diamonds on Earth

  7. 6 !

    January 16, 2019 10:37 pm

    You conflated intersex folks with non-binary trans people (sorry to critique: I am a non-binary trans person! Gender and sex aren’t synonymous) but I like where you were going with this!

  8. Jerry Gossett jr.

    January 22, 2019 8:32 pm

    Jesus is the truth he is the only way to escape damnation. Its written man shall not lay with another man as one does with a woman. Anything involving sex outside marraige between man and woman is sin

  9. Whuzzin Gamont

    January 23, 2019 5:03 am

    The green brothers are like my heroes for life. Cant believe they supported lgbtq rights waaaayyy b4 america caught on!

  10. Marcel Penuela Traub

    February 3, 2019 7:24 pm

    I agree with this- to love somebody doesn't necessarily mean the desire to make love with them. Rather; I believe that it means the view that these people belong together.

  11. Jim Bob Barton

    February 9, 2019 7:23 pm

    I'm a conservative bisexual. I believe in gay marriage, creationism, and intelligent design. I attend the Presbyterian Church in America at least twelve times a year.

  12. eddyvideostar

    February 25, 2019 9:34 pm

    Ignorance can be overcome with an open mind, heart and sound education, faith, works, and accurate knowledge.

  13. H.A. S.

    March 8, 2019 1:38 pm

    If only it were that simple. Marriage becomes a government concern when children are involved. Then it becomes a socialization issue. You did not deal with the real deal at all. Most people have no issue with people making private decisions based on their own beliefs. It's when you are making these decisions for children, adoption, etc. that it is a thornier topic. It's the same with abortion. It deals with making lasting decisions that impact another life/lives. As for the Biblical examples you mentioned, God never condoned the "many wives". And the new testament clarifies this. Biblical stories, history, is full of flawed human beings being saved by Grace. No one lives up to God's design for our flourishing.

  14. Cosmic Stalin

    March 16, 2019 1:36 am

    I could care less about gays and I don't even give a crap because it's against my religion so I'mma keep thinking that because it's my life and my mind

  15. Jay

    March 22, 2019 4:49 am

    Homosexuals do not inherit the kingdom of God they burn in torture in hell for eternity repent from your lust and moral filth

  16. ashye hylton

    March 22, 2019 10:29 am

    As an ex bi person I think that it is wrong. If it wasn't I wouldn't have changed. It still you love tho cause I passed my history exam because of your vidoes.

  17. Hamsterking101

    March 22, 2019 9:34 pm

    Dumbest thing I’ve seen. There are two genders, just because each person isn’t exactly the same doesn’t take away the fact of there just being two genders. Since the beginning there have been just two genders and most agreed until the dark ages, aka the 2000’s. This is disappointing to see humanity plummet this deep into sin. I can’t even say much more since no one will agree with anything I’d say even with no reason. All I will say is when judgement day comes, don’t be pleading to god/Jesus because you had your chance

  18. Orville Chris Lilley

    April 2, 2019 9:01 pm


  19. Who Are You?

    April 4, 2019 3:05 am

    If being gay is a sin and u go to hell for it.
    And god made all humans.
    Why did god make millions of humans gay?
    Just asking.

  20. Henzo Henzi

    April 24, 2019 10:43 am

    Woah I was really expecting John to bash religion here… 🤭 I don’t think anyone can get offended though. Good job John 👍

  21. FL0W Kenster

    April 25, 2019 11:02 am

    Fr though. All of that Old Testament stuff wouldn’t be good source. Cause think about it realistically, you eating pig/shrimp? Go to hell. You divorce your wife? Go to hell. God says you have to love or you are not god, yet it’s unfair for someone to pick who I’m going to love. What if I don’t like them? I feel bad for everyone who gets into arranged marriages.
    I love god and everyone, no matter how many times I say “I hat you.” I don’t mean it literally. Everybody have a fantastic day, ❤️.

  22. Paige F

    May 12, 2019 3:38 pm

    It's interesting coming back to this video in 2019, I just wrote a research paper on this exact subject for school.

  23. M L

    May 22, 2019 3:19 am

    For the ones that are homosexuals, they think is not a sin. Babies don't have sex, only when people grow. That means that sexual relations are learned once you are growing and begin experiencing daily feelings. God doesn't immediately punish people for doing wrong, but one day we all must face a Judgement Day. It is then when all people will understand what is really called sin by God

  24. Domingo Sandoval

    June 5, 2019 6:39 pm

    Hello compas l was never marriaged with the officer woman and l was never sex with any officer woman and I was never divorced from nobody in my life

  25. realms lV

    June 8, 2019 2:47 am

    This is so dumb
    Veterans get 2 days of celebration or remorse
    And these people get a whole month of celebration for liking guys

  26. Bryceton Bryceton

    June 9, 2019 4:06 am

    I don't agree with any of your opinions but that thing you've said that about 2 minutes 20 seconds made me really sad I do feel bad for you although I do not agree with your opinions and you are right no matter what you say I've heard many people's arguments and my opinions can never change there's not because I am ignorant is because I choose to believe my religion tells me but I am only 15 and my opinion might change some day but I think it is highly unlikely now I do not think I'm ignorant for believing what I do and if you disagree with me go fuc yourself

  27. Lyrix97

    June 17, 2019 10:46 am

    Technically in leviticus it is stated that Having lots of wives is wrong

    (Edit) so technically the david and solomon part is wrong

  28. Magnus Juul

    June 30, 2019 12:44 pm

    3:15 and what's so wrong about discrimination dear John? Explain to me why it's wrong. There will always be discrimination in any society and no matter how much you and other people wish it, there is nothing you can do to prevent that and make a society that's inclusive to everyone. would you please wake up from your daydreams?

  29. cat taylor

    July 2, 2019 5:41 pm

    David and Solomon’s marriages were not seen as correct; both were punished for it. As a christian, I believe that christian marriage is a covenant, but I have no right to tell others what unchristian marriage is. Although I disagree with gay marriage I don’t thing those people are inherently bad and I absolutely don’t think the government should have any say in marriage at all.

  30. Scott Summers

    July 8, 2019 10:03 am

    King David and Solomon were in sin due to adultery and having sex with strange women (meaning women of other nations).

    In the beginning (book of Genesis 2:22-24) it says God made the Woman for the Man. Jesus Christ repeats that in Matthew 19:4-6z

    And the Bible says to avoid fornication a man should marry a woman and a woman should marry a man.

    “1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

    Fornication is any sex not involving a man and his wife. Homosexuality is fornication.

  31. Ddot Norreh

    July 10, 2019 4:49 am

    your using the wrong examples. God created Adam and made for him a help mate, Eve. male and female created He them. PERIOD

  32. Assis D'Souza

    July 10, 2019 8:20 pm

    Marriage is a bond God united between man and woman. There is no traditional marriage but it’s just called marriage. What is marriage? A marriage is married in a court to fulfil the society’s requirement but the main blessings come from God in His temple. God united Man as Adam and Woman as Eve. Other than that everything is an abomination in the sight of God.

  33. Assis D'Souza

    July 12, 2019 1:45 pm

    @Jeff this one is for you and for all who think like you.

    Psalm 19:7-9
    The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. …


    July 12, 2019 5:37 pm

    My church is pretty clear on it's stance on marriage. It is not complicated at all. The Book of Common Prayer has very clear rules on how a marriage is to be done, here is a quote "At the day and time appointed for solemnization of Matrimony, the persons to be married shall come into the Body of the Church with their friends and neighbours: and there standing together, the Man on the right hand, and the Woman on the left, the Priest shall say,". It clearly indicates that matrimony is between a one man and one woman.

  35. Carlos Mateo

    July 17, 2019 1:40 am

    1:14 "a significant portion of the human population somehwere around .5% identify as inter-sex"(or something along those lines) was I the only one that found that funny?


    July 21, 2019 9:15 pm

    No religion here. Thousands of homosexuals died because they were using their digestive systems as sex organs. Mess with mother nature, you pay the price. Don't pay attention to homosexuals rather only pay attention to ex homosexuals.

  37. Boogiefatboy Prime

    July 28, 2019 5:06 am

    Leviticus 18:22 says, “[Men] shall not lie with a male as onLeviticus e lies with a female; it is20:13 an abomination.” says, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act.”

  38. BenJammin aloha style

    July 30, 2019 4:43 pm

    Who the heck would want to chain your life down. Be free don't thro your life away

  39. E

    August 2, 2019 8:50 pm

    We break God's law so far, and we have got to the brink of ww3, I think this new movement will cause the tipping threshold, everyone is on a journey what we do is our choice but making a new religion is bad. teaching kids and sexualising them and changing God's commandment means He will have to intervene.

  40. Sara Proper

    September 5, 2019 1:15 pm

    The only way it affects your marriage that now everyone can get married is if the only reason you got married to the person you did is because you couldn't marry the person you wanted and now you can.

  41. Red Reaper

    September 5, 2019 3:04 pm

    “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act”- Leviticus 20:13

  42. Gio SoMo

    September 9, 2019 10:09 pm

    Thank you for this 😉 I know I’m like 7 almost 8 years late but this really helped me feel better about myself since I’m gay and have been told I can’t get married to a woman if I love god.

  43. robert mccully

    September 24, 2019 4:20 am

    85 % of gay men have Aids. Obama made it legal.. The dems will do anything for votes.. look up the stats yourself. Promoting a union that is deadly is just plain reckless. Not sure how religion fits into this epidemic except the Bible warned this was dangerous behavior .


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