Friday, November 07, 2008

Prop 8

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.


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.


  1. I agree this is such a hard thing to talk about. I am glad that you had such a wonderful insight because we have to have what we believe it but also compassion for other.

  2. I agree with your insight. What I have a hard time understanding are those former members of the LDS church who think that the Church's beliefs and a gay lifestyle can and should coincide. Those people don't really understand the Mormon doctrine of divide nature or God's plan for us.

  3. Anonymous11:14 AM

    Hey I saw your post from another blog. While talking to my husband he opened my eyes to the ramifications of legalizing gay marriage and ammending the constitution to that. I don't know if this is truth but he said the LDS church could then be forced to marry same sex couples. Maybe that has a little something to do with why the church has taken such a strong stance.

  4. the Church would never be forced to marry gays.

    Legalizing gay marriage will put churches and the govt on a crash course that will end in the Supreme Court having to decide if churches and non-taxed entities will lose their tax-exempt status if they "discriminate" against a protected legal class i.e. Gays. Religious families will also end up pulling their children from public schools in droves as homosexual relationships will then HAVE to be taught as equal to heterosexual.

  5. Hi Kristine -

    Thanks for leaving comments on my site. I do appreciate you sharing your blog and insights. I'd just like to clarify that I don't classify everyone who is against Prop 8 or gay marriage in general as bigoted or hateful. I suppose however, when I'm trying to make a point it probably comes across as looping everyone under the same umbrella of thought. I acknowledge that there are those such as yourself who have a foundation based around a belief in God and His plan for the world. I disagree with religious belief restricting the choices of those who do not share those values, but I do respect your choice to guide your life by religion and speak freely about your beliefs.

    Unfortunately however, many who are actively against homosexuality are in fact driven by hatred and spite, having no reason to develop any line of thought similar to yours here. Those are the individuals that my article was inspired by, and I apologize if any insult was interpreted in that regard.


  6. Well, Kristine, here's my confusion:

    When homosexuals are allowed to marry, therefore exercising their beliefs, then everyone is allowed to marry regardless of belief.
    When homosexuals are *not* allowed to marry, they are restricted from practicing their beliefs because of someone else's belief.

    To me, the intolerance still falls with religion because essentially, they are restricting another's freedom for the sake of their own. It's one thing to refuse to marry a homosexual couple in a church or to deny them membership in a church - religious institutions have every right to do so as the law stands now. Marriage however, does not need religion to commence, so extending the right of religion to restrict something that exists outside of religion seems unconstitutional to me. I don't understand how religious people are being denied their right to practice their beliefs when they have an institution that provides immense freedom to do as they wish (the church).

    The government and the constitution stands to protect all people - in the case of gay marriage, it seems as though it is being used as a tool to justifiably deny a certain population their right to exist as freely as everyone else. In the case of forcing a certain religion to accept something as law, there are those who believe that war is sinful, polygamy should be legal, and drug use is a way to connect with God - our laws force them to accept an adverse opinion, so should we rescind these laws? I doubt that would ever happen.

    I do feel that many of the demonstrators are completely overstepping their bounds when they disrupt worship services or intimidate folks as you so described. Fighting on that ground hinders everyone's progress and does not advance anything in society except hatred. They will never get their message across in a constructive way - as you pointed out, you can't preach tolerance while practicing intolerance.

    As far as the government rescinding a tax-exempt status, I'd fight that too based on the same separation application that I see as advocating gay marriage. The way I see the law (separation between church and state), government should not be involved in religion and vise versa. That would mean that by taxing a religious institution, it is being turned into a government institution or an arm of the government anyhow - the government would be benefiting from the church's activities. I don't think churches should be held under the same laws as other non-profit entities unless they are receiving government aid of some sort, and even that should be very limited since a religious institution is supposed to promote the overall well being of a society, meaning that a government aiding the institution is in effect aiding the welfare of the country.

    Alas, I'm sure we will have to agree to disagree on the gay marriage issue. The most action I will take on the issue is make statements on my personal blog or social network profile and discuss it with those who would like to do so. I'll never advocate either side in any serious manner, so no protest marches from me. =)