Perhaps we can ask ourselves to think about gay marriage in the larger context of human freedom, human love and human health. We know that all of these values are strengthened when people are able to choose whom they love and how they love. Whether we look at same-sex marriage through the prism of freedom, love or health, it is worth remembering that none of us can know the mind of God or the mysteries of the Tao. Whatever our personal and cultural prejudices, humility and acceptance are probably wiser attitudes to cultivate than hubris and judgment.

One of the best measures I have found for discerning the depth of someone's spirituality is their ability to laugh. Archbishop Tutu is a prime example; a smile is never far from his lips or a laugh from his mouth. There has not been a lot of laughter around the topic of gay marriage, but I hear Archbishop Tutu chuckling and saying, "God laughs at us and our petty sibling spats, shouting about who is right and who is wrong." Whether we are made by God or by the Tao, our diversity is to be celebrated and cherished, not feared and condemned.

Douglas Carlton Abrams was for many years an editor at the University of California Press, then at HarperSanFrancisco. He is the coauthor of a number of books on love, sexuality and spirituality, including books with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, and Taoist Master Mantak Chia. He also writes "wisdom fictions"--novels that explore perennial human challenges. His forthcoming novel, Eye of the Whale, is an eco-thriller, to be published in August. He lives in Santa Cruz, CA, with his wife and three children. For more information, visit and