G Jeffrey McDonald interviewed Bishop Gene Robinson about his new book God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage for Publishers Weekly. Here is some of what they said:
Q. You seem to argue that one can be inspired by religious convictions to influence public policy, but one must make his or her case on secular grounds.
A. That’s exactly right. Stability is why society has an interest in marriage. Opponents of gay marriage have to be able to argue that it undermines stability. But all the studies show, and reason shows, that gay marriage supports stability in the culture.
Q. The church in many corners has long considered celibacy to be the faithful option for those not called to marriage, but you suggest celibacy is not an option. Why not?
A. The truly longstanding tradition in the church is that some are called to celibacy. Some feel called to it. But the church has never supported that celibacy be mandated for someone not called to it. It’s never imposed on someone.
Q. If everyone should be free to marry whomever they choose, should three consenting adults be allowed to get married?
A. The state’s interest in marriage is stability. Generally speaking, polygamy does not work for stability. Inherent in the whole polygamous movement is a deep and abiding misogyny and denigration of women. So polygamy is objectionable on lots of grounds.