Justice is often assumed to be the same as equality. We treat people with justice, it is argued, when we treat them equally.
But it’s not quite as simple as that. Even in a court of law, two criminals may have commited exactly the same crime, and yet each receive a different punishment, because the judges see that different circumstances and motives apply.
Similarly in the home. If two children are fighting, a parent may send them to their bedroom as a punishment. But that may prove to be a less severe punishment for one of them (who had plenty of books in his bedroom and loves to read) than for the other (who prefers being outside to spending time with books). They have been treated equally, but not fairly.
The European Court of Justice has determined that as of 12 December 2012 women must pay the same car insurance premiums as men, even though they are safer drivers. But this is unfair, because it is treating men and women as if they are equal when in terms of safe driving they are not.
And so it is with gay marriage. It is spurious to claim, as many do, that justice requires it. Justice requires that homosexual people be treated fairly, but not that they be treated the same as heterosexual people.
Underlying justice is the issue of truth. And truth – God’s truth – has determined that ‘the only proper context for the full expression of human sexuality (whatever our orientation) is within the confines of heterosexual marriage.’
Treat everyone the same? No, that would be intolerable. Treat everyone fairly, and according to truth? Yes, absolutely.
Based on this article by Dr. James Torrens in Evangelicals Now, January 2013.