Theres a few things here.
Firstly – what is marriage.
In the old testament – a man that God considered rightous – could have multiple wives. The main stream church frowns on that now yet God obviously didnt have a problem with it.
The apostle paul – who never actually met Jesus nor heard him preach – said it was better to live without marriage if you could and so the Catholic church doesnt allow priests to marry – and we can all see what a great success that has been.
I live with my same sex partner – and its not called “marriage” by the church (or the state) but I and he have legal rights. Our relationship is recognised by the state and my employers. It was even recognised by the UN when I worked for them. In some countries they don’t recognise a church wedding to have any legal impact.
So are all the people in those countries that have the legal wedding and no church wedding living in sin ??? What about people living in countries where the the church is not encouraged and a church wedding is NOT possible.
Or what about the age old tradition that a captain of a ship can marry someone. Is that wrong ? why ?
My point is here is “marriage” is hugely cultural.
The importance of getting “marriage” in australia actually is not about sin. I dont think (and many ministers I know dont think) I live in sin now. However. Some of my friends have children AND there are rights given to parenting children given by the marriage act which they can not give their partners. So for them its about discriminating against the children.
For others its just about not being allowed to have a church wedding (even by churches that want to do it). Its discrimination and makes them feel bad so they want to stop that injustice.
For those who think that Gay sex is a sin – whether we get “married” or not it will be a sin.
But those people in fact don’t really trust God and I do. I believe that God made me this way for a reason. and I embrace the way he made me. I dont condemn God’s actions or say he made a mistake (imagine the hubris it takes to say – he made a mistake in creation). So, I dont think a committed loving relationship is a sin. Whether its recognised by a minister or a captain or the state or by a village elder. Marriage is actually what ever works for the community whether its called “marriage” or something else.
I also would point out the the Sins of sodom were listed as inhospitality and I would suggest that many people spend more time focussing on the sin of sex – which Jesus didnt (remember – the story in luke where he forgave the prostitute her sins. And he didnt say – SIN NO more or anything like that. Nor tell her to give up her career He just said her faith had saved her) So Jesus didnt think it was such a big issue. Why should we ??
Jesus also said to worry about the beam in our own eyes and not the mote in others
I think thats critical because I dont think we have any idea (despite the agonising of many theologians on this issue) whether A is a bigger sin than B.
In fact. I think there are many worse sins than Sex outside marriage. Jesus said to give to the poor etc. He didnt ever say NEVER have premarital sex. However to be honest. The point Jesus made about not Judging others is really important because we can never know how God will judge a sin.
Lets say I have NO sex drive at all and so I never have sex -ever.
and my friend has a HUGE sex drive. all he can think about all the time is sex – and he fights it all the time – and just occasionally gives in to the temptation for pre-marital sex. who is the better person. Me – who never had the temptation and never sinned ? or my friend who resisted it valiantly but occasionally failed ? Jesus suggests the one who gives the most is the better person. So I suggest that maybe my friend is the better person even though he sinned. I dont know that – thats up to God to judge – and my point is we cant know how he will judge others – and we cant know what they felt or desired. Their trials and tribulations.
However I think sex is convenient as a distraction from some of the more powerful and unpalatable of Jesus’s teachings.
I wouldnt advise going somewhere you feel bad about. However I can say that a good gay sex life can be totally consistent with being “christlike” (The word christian original MEANT – “like christ”)
Hope all thats helpful