So I had a really interesting encounter yesterday with my friend/coworker/boss, Kristy, who opened my eyes to something.
Our support of Prop. 8 is because we believe there is a God who created all things - including us, and central to that creation was the defining characteristic of gender. And that we are sent to earth to experience mortal life, to create loving families that have an opportunity to be together forever, and to become good (like God) by overcoming our temptations and weaknesses. Based on this foundation it is very EASY to see why we support Prop 8.
Now suppose you don't believe there is a God at all -- that creation of all things in their order was all random processes, and there is no purpose to life . . . we're just here because we are here so let's progress through life just trying to make ourselves happy. Based on this foundation it is very EASY to see why they do NOT support Prop 8.
Now -- both of these foundations is based on belief, not scientific fact. The existence of God cannot be disproved any more than it can be proved. So here we are . . . at an impasse. Both sides believe any action by the other is a gross attack on either group's rights to believe and act according to our beliefs and forcing those beliefs on others. Legalizing gay marriage forces its normalcy into almost every aspect of society; and not legalizing gay marriage is perceived as us forcing our beliefs on them.
So what to do about the impasse? I would say to come to a compromise with civil unions/domestic partnerships, etc. But a 2003 California law already gives gays registered as domestic partners nearly all the state rights and responsibilities of married couples when it comes to such things as taxes, estate planning, and medical decisions. That law is still in effect, regardless of the results of Prop. 8.
It seems very clear the other side won't accept a compromise. All we can do is stand up for what we believe in and say loud and clear that they cannot force their beliefs on us any more than we can force ours on them.
My plea is before anyone gets in a discussion about gay marriage . . . first put yourself in their shoes - think, "would my feelings be the same if I had a different foundation of belief?" Just proceed cautiously and with respect, I really do respect the points the other side makes, although I don't agree with them. Let's be civil - especially in light of the fact Gay Marriage Proponents are so vocal and vigorous about targeting the Mormon church as spreaders of hate. Please be civil and understanding.
UPDATE FROM LDS.ORG:
Allegations of bigotry or persecution made against the Church were and are simply wrong. The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians. Even more, the Church does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.
Some, however, have mistakenly asserted that churches should not ever be involved in politics when moral issues are involved. In fact, churches and religious organizations are well within their constitutional rights to speak out and be engaged in the many moral and ethical problems facing society. While the Church does not endorse candidates or platforms, it does reserve the right to speak out on important issues
PPS: Also if you haven't yet, you MUST read the article/interview the Church has posted regarding its stance on same-gender attraction. It's long but after reading it I realized there are a LOT of members who would probably be surprised by what was said and I think it behooves us all to be able to understand the issue more than we now do.