Thursday, October 23, 2008

YES on Proposition 8 does not equate to "hate"

Update on April 10th, 2014:

Wow, I can't believe how much time has passed since originally writing this blog post.  There's truth to Thomas Paine's quote: "Time makes converts more than reason".

In the years that have passed since posting this I have undergone a mighty change of heart.  I still recognize that people who oppose marriage equality should not automatically be labeled "haters" and that many of them are good and sincere people.

However, I now personally identify as an "ally" and feel strongly in favor of marriage equality (and this isn't even speaking as a religious issue, but as a public policy issue).  While I know many fellow members of my faith have become discouraged by the recent state rulings in favor of marriage equality, I have been heartened by them.  I feel in my heart it is the right thing.

I believe that religious beliefs of a majority should not dictate public policy for the minority.  There is wisdom in separation of church and state.

The interior walls of the Jefferson Memorial are engraved with passages from Jefferson's writings. Most prominent are the words inscribed in a frieze below the dome:

 "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

This sentence is taken from a September 23, 1800, letter by Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush wherein he defends the constitutional refusal to recognize a state religion.

My personal opposition to  "tyranny" or any other imposition of human will over my liberty/rights makes me sympathetic to our gay brothers and sisters.  And my understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ makes me more compassionate.  I love my gay brothers and sisters and desire the best for them.  I'm sorry that my church has been an impediment to this.  I see hope that this has and is changing, although the pace of change is painfully slow.


A friend of mine who lives in California and who is heavily involved in Proposition 8 recently pointed out that the entire controversy is really only about 14 words: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California." That's the entire constitutional amendment.

I've since taken the time to educate myself on the Proposition 8 controversy. I've let it stir in my mind as objectively as possible, and I've thought about things that have been said by both opponents and proponents of the proposition.

I finally found an opinion piece which expressed almost exactly what I have been thinking of saying, especially after seeing Ellen say on Jay Leno that YES on 8 is "hate". As much as I like Ellen (and I really do), I find that very disturbing. Can not decent people disagree without be labeled as haters?

The article I read is by Dennis Prager entitled "Opposition to California Proposition 8: Hate in the Name of Love". Just in case something happens to the link, I want to now include it here in its entirety:
__________________________________________________________________________________

Next to the presidential election, California Proposition 8 is the most important vote in America.

It will determine the definition of marriage for the largest state in America, and it will determine whether judges or society will decide on social-moral issues.

In 2000, 61 percent of the voters in California, one the most liberal states in America, voted to retain the only definition of marriage civilization has ever had -- the union of a man and woman (the number of spouses allowed has changed over time but never the sexes of the spouses). But in May 2008, four out of seven California justices decided that they would use their power to make a new definition: Gender will now be irrelevant to marriage.

As a result of this judicial act, the only way to ensure that we continue to define marriage the way every religious and secular society in recorded history has defined marriage -- as between men and women -- is to amend the California Constitution. It is the only way to prevent the vote of one judge from redefining marriage, as was also done in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Which is why Proposition 8 exists.

But even though California voters decided by a large margin to retain the man-woman definition of marriage, passing Proposition 8 will be a challenge.

First, the attorney general of California, Jerry Brown, unilaterally renamed the proposition as it appears on California ballots. It had been listed as "Amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Brown, a liberal Democrat, changed the proposition's wording to: "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. Initiative Constitutional Amendment."

The reason for this change is obvious -- to make the proposition appear as a denial of a basic human and civil right.

Marriage has never been regarded as a universal human or civil right. Loving and living with anyone one wants to live with are basic human rights. But marriage is actually a privilege that society bestows on whom it chooses. And even those who believe that any two unmarried people who want to get married should be given a marriage license should regard as wrong an attorney general changing a ballot proposition's language to favor his own social views. What Brown did was attempt to manipulate people who lean toward preserving the definition of the most important social institution in society -- people who have no desire whatsoever to hurt gays -- to now think of themselves as bigots.

According to Sacramento Bee columnist Margaret A. Bengs, "a recent Field Poll analysis found" that the new wording by Brown "had a 'striking' impact on those newly familiar with the measure, with a 23-point swing against it."

What we have here is truly manipulative. Four justices create a right, and then a sympathetic attorney general renames a proposition so as to protect a 4-month-old right that no one had ever voted to create.

And the left accuses the right of imposing its values on society.

The second hurdle for Proposition 8 is even greater: the multimillion dollar campaign to label proponents of Proposition 8 "haters" and to label the man-woman definition of marriage as "hate." Or as they put it: "Prop 8 = Prop Hate."

It is apparently inconceivable to many of those who wish to change the definition of marriage that a decent person can want to retain the man-woman definition. From newspaper editorials to gay and other activist groups, the theme is universal -- proponents of traditional marriage are haters, the moral equivalents of those who opposed racial equality. As The New York Times editorial on the subject put it, Proposition 8 is "mean-spirited."

But it is the charge of hate (along with bigotry, homophobia and intolerance) that is the primary charge leveled against supporters of Proposition 8. That's why one major anti-Proposition 8 group is "Californians Against Hate."

Any honest outsider would see that virtually all the hate expressed concerning Proposition 8 comes from opponents of the proposition. While there are a few sick individuals who hate gay people, I have neither seen nor heard any hatred of gays expressed by proponents of Proposition 8. Not in my private life, not in my e-mail, not from callers on my radio show.

It is the proponents of same-sex marriage who express nearly all the hate -- because in fact many of them do hate, loudly and continuously. But hate in the name of love has a long pedigree. Why should our generation be different?

These charges of "hate" against proponents of retaining the man-woman definition of marriage do not speak well for those who make them. I, for one, find it easy to believe that most opponents and most proponents of Proposition 8 are decent people. There are millions of decent people who think marriage should be redefined. I think they are wrong, but I do not question their decency.

Why won't those who favor redefining marriage accord the same respect to the millions of us who want gays to be allowed to love whom they want, live with whom they want, be given the rights they deserve along with the dignity they deserve, but who still want marriage to remain man-woman?

28 comments:

Reuven said...

Be careful! You may win the battle and lose the war. Some Evangelicals are telling people to Vote NO on Proposition 8

Clean Cut said...

Reuven, thanks for providing me a chuckle. It's actually hilarious that somebody would think that Proposition 8 should not be about adding those 14 words to the California state constitution, but should instead be used as a referendum on Mormonism!

Eric Nielson said...

Thanks for passing this along. It is a good point.

Just a Thought said...

"It remains to be seen whether the majority of Californians will align with the Protect Marriage Coalition view that “gays have a right to their private lives, but not to change the definition of marriage for everyone else” or whether voters will instead agree with the No on 8 Campaign which believes that “like the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech, the freedom to marry is fundamental to our society...[and] it’s wrong to single out one group of Americans and prevent them from having access to the same rights and responsibilities as their fellow citizens.”

May we all be respectful of each other at all times, including in the middle of heated discussion with those whose opinions differ from our own.

Chino Blanco said...

"It is the proponents of same-sex marriage who express nearly all the hate -- because in fact many of them do hate, loudly and continuously."

Weird how that works.

Gays have been discriminated against by good folks like yourself since time immemorial, and now some of them have the nerve to vocalize their resentment of this sad state of (unChristian) affairs.

Clean Cut said...

Hi Chino, thanks for dropping by. You said that "Gays have been discriminated against by good folks like yourself". I just want to state that it is a flat out unfair thing to include me along with those who have done the discrimination. I condemn discrimination in any form--always have. Bigotry leads to hatred. I prefer charity and understanding.

One can hold a differing opinion than a gay person without discriminating against that person, indeed while still all the while having great respect for that person AS a person--a human being.

"just a (good) thought" reminds me of a premier talk by Elder Marvin J. Ashton entitled The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword. Here's one of the better know known quotes:

"Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other."

Chino Blanco said...

And thanks for having me!

I hope you know that I'll take you at your word that you're not a hater and will keep in mind the courtesy you've extended to me here.

That said, I'd suggest that you need to start the hard work of getting your head around the reality that Prop 8 is only about declaring that all marital relationships are worthy of the imprimatur of legal recognition, same as what you and your wife and my wife enjoy.

I didn't include myself because, as far as I'm concerned, I stopped enjoying it a long time ago. After 12 years of marriage, I gotta say, it's become a constant source of irritation for me, as I'm constantly reminded by my better half that I'm somebody's husband, somebody's father, and someone who should probably stop worrying so much about other people's situations and start paying more attention to my own.

Come to think of it, maybe we'd all do well to stop worrying so much about what other people are up to?

Ryan said...

Wow, that was a good talk... thanks for the link.

BTW, I was a missionary in CA during the last marriage proposition. Burning "vote yes" signs in members' yards, shot-out church windows... definitely some hate out there.

This might open a 50 gallon drum of worms, but...

The whole "discrimination" thing is a really messy topic. It's good and necessary to discriminate -- society rightly discriminates against convicted criminals on parole, and against parents who have been involved in child abuse. Credit lenders are finding out right now what happens when they don't discriminate against those with bad credit. In matters of trust we (hopefully) discriminate against those who have proven untrustworthy, etc.

Otherwise it's called "not learning from your mistakes" or "being naïve."

The real problem is unfair discrimination -- taking away rights or denying opportunities without a just reason, and at that point the debate comes down to who decides what is right and wrong.

If you believe that morality comes from some flavor of "God" then by every major religion homosexuality is just plain wrong and should be discouraged, if not outright illegal.

Otherwise, the closest thing to a consensus I've seen is "if society at large thinks it's bad, it is." Like it or not, large chunks of the world's population think it *is* bad. Hence the huge battle of words and minds -- to make society decide homosexuality is good, or at least not bad. Or, even better, to get a few powerful people to impose their concept of "good" on the people (*much* easier than convincing voters).

If you buy the "society decides" way of doing things, then the proposition is a good thing -- it says, in effect, "a few people, no matter how important or smart [they think they are], may not unilaterally override the will of the people." The U.S. constitution is all about preventing such a concentration of powers.

What most people practice, though, is, "society (or God, or insert-authority-figure-here) is right... as long as I agree," which really just means, "I'm right." You end up with "elites" who try to impose their "superior" ideas/morals/whatever on the unwashed masses.

For the record, I would never condone violence or similar discrimination against gays, any more than I -- a staunch pro-lifer -- condone bombing abortion clinics. It's just the wrong way to go about solving the problem.

(If this is incoherent, it's because it's 1am my time)

Clean Cut said...

Ryan, I think those are valid points. I would just add, as I'm sure you would too, that it's important to keep in mind what Proposition 8 is actually about and what it is not. Proposition 8 is NOT about whether one agrees, disagrees, or is indifferent to homosexuals or homosexuality. It's NOT a referendum on whether or not we love and tolerate or whether we "hate".

For right or wrong, it's only about preserving traditional marriage. I suppose I would use the word "differentiate" or "differentiating" marriage rather than using "fair" or "unfair" discrimination to describe the process of further defining or redefining marriage.

HeidiAnn said...

You know what? I'm going to go out on a limb here and be brutally honest...I'm so glad I live in TX and not CA! I've decided for myself though that if I did live in CA, I would do what was asked of me (I know, easy decision since I don't live there). If I knocked on somebody's door, and they wanted me to have a discussion about the pros/cons of Prop 8, I'm not sure I'd do very well. I don't hate anyone who lives a gay lifestyle, but I can understand how they might come to that conclusion. If someone said, "Why are you doing this?" I'd have to say, "I know not, save the Lord commanded me." The only thing I'm sure about with this is that HF and JC know more than I do. I have a testimony of a living prophet and apostles, and that they really are mouthpieces for the Lord. Therefore, I will do what is asked. I can't articulate the whys of everything. But then again, I'm pretty sure Abraham couldn't have articulated why in the world he would be commanded to slay his son, which is surely more serious than what CA saints are being asked to do.

Seth said...

Clean cut, I enjoyed your post on the article about how it is not "hate" to supporting Prop 8! I have been supporting Prop 8 since I found out about it this summer. I then put up a website about it and man have I been getting a lot of hate mail!! If people want to talk about "hate" it is coming from the other side. I don't hate or dislike anyone for being gay, but they sure hate me for supporting prop 8.

Again thanks for the article, nice post. Yes on Prop 8, 2008

Jill said...

Good ol' Clean Cut. Been a long time. Thanks for the post. It is, as usual, well-thought and well-cited.

I went to a Forum here in CA today. I was worried what people would say to me. I wondered how to act. As I went to sit at my table, preparing for the event, I saw everyone around me, some Yes voters but mostly No voters--not surprising considering the venue. I decided to be me; I decided to smile no matter the response.

I hoped that those I met could feel my earnest desire for respect of opposing views. And I was not disappointed. Did we walk away with each other's cell numbers? No, but did we walk away recognizing the humanity of each other? I think so, especially with Reina, the shirt maker.

The forum was active, but not malicious. It was a good showing of differing minds meeting to dialogue. The best uniting of opposites that I've seen in this campaign, thus far.

Anonymous said...

I think Brother Coleman was trying tonight to get across the idea that the Church's position on prop 8 is all around the idea that Family is eternal and has a specific eternal order we must be in and we are just trying to stand up and stay "no,eternally speaking, things should be this way." That's what I got out of it, anyway.

Good job singing. I tried to come up and say hi, but got side tracked. Maybe some other time.

Matt W.

2nd2Nun said...

I am gay and have been with my wife for 8 years. We made personal life commitments to each other in 2007 and then committed to each other legally in 2008 after same-sex marriage was granted by the California Supreme Court.

I think it’s overly dramatic to claim that Proposition 8, which denies same-sex marriage in California, promotes or supports hate towards homosexuals. I really believe that most who are against same-sex marriage simply don’t understand it.

The supporters of Prop 8 use the saying that they’re trying to “Protect Marriage.” It’s not about taking rights away, they affirm, but protecting their own rights. I promise you, we don’t want to take anything away from straight couples who have found love.

My devotion to my wife doesn’t take anything away from the commitment you’ve made to your significant other. It would not weaken or cheapen what you have. Instead, denying same-sex marriage or allocating us a “civil union” cheapens our commitment.

If your beliefs on homosexuality are shaped by the Bible, it should still not influence your vote. I could make arguments about the Bible and how it’s been edited or other “rules” it includes that people are not passionate about. But bottom line, the freedom of religion allows you to believe in the Bible. If you choose to do so, I respect that.

But for America to be what it is, and for YOU to continue to have the freedom to worship who you choose and to believe the written words of the Bible, there has to be liberty. There has to be the allowance of people to be who they are and then expectations to respect each other and their differences. The separation of church and state requires that religious beliefs not be the basis for decisions when it comes to how I live my life as an American. Denying me the ability to marry whom I choose is a violation of my civil rights and it legalizes discrimination.

While it is about legal rights, tax filing, and medical decisions, it’s really about love. Marriage is the ultimate expression of a person’s love for another. Some may use the argument that the institution of marriage has been cheapened by the divorce rate and the “Marry a Millionaire” shows, but I respect and believe in it. I honor the commitment that I made to my wife.

This past week in the San Francisco Chronicle, a 29 year old woman by the name of Myrna Elias was quoted as saying, “A lot of friends had a hard time coming out to their parents and others, and I’m sympathetic to what they went through. But I can still love those persons and still be for Prop 8.”

If you vote yes on Prop 8, you are supporting an idea that ignores my core identity and declaring that my commitment to my wife is deficient. You may not be promoting hate, but I cannot see how you can claim to love me.

I ask Californians to please respect me and my liberties as an American and vote NO on Proposition 8. I appreciate you taking the time to read this. If you’re interested in discussing the topic further, please feel free to contact me and I would love to do so.

Anonymous said...

There are some things that make me crazy. Like Palin's bragging about her daughter making such a great "choice" to keep her upcoming child, but opening promoting her desire to outlaw any other woman's opportunity (like, say, the young Obama girls, when they get to the same age) the opportunity to do the same...

New Rules: You can't claim your superior choices if you don't believe in God giving everyone their own choice. You can't claim your marriage is special if you don't allow others to exercise their own marriage choice too.

What is your real fear? After all your great family training, you think your children are going to hear about gays together a couple of times and all your great training will fly out the window? Iinstantly, they will just not be able make a good choice that fits them well? Or, do you think, given a wider look, that your children will not see your lifestyle choice as attractive enough to follow? Why do you have such little faith in your own faith and your children? Or is it you have such little actual faith in your own religion?

Truely, I say this in all love. Love is about giving all people the chance to make good choices. Love is not about hiding opportunity choices if you don't think people are capable of good choices. After all, if you can't chose, how can you stand on a box as someone who choses well?

"Equal but different" is not equal. "But" negates every statement before it.

Really, try life without hate. It is possible. I grew up in Utah and I made the change. It truly is liberating. The first step is to recognize your hate as hate. I'm not saying the hate is your fault. But it's your fault if you don't clearly ask your self if it's possible that it's true...

By the way, I hope you don't hate me for standing up for those that often can't speak freely. I think you know some one else who walked the earth that did the same. Maybe you should try it out too. Just as a crazy experiment. Just to see if it helps you feel more Christ like.

Anonymous said...

"The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people."

Unbelievable. They scary thing is, you can't even see your own hate and fear.

Clean Cut said...

2nd2Nun, thank you for dropping by and for charitably explaining your perspective. I think your comment is exactly the kind of thing that should lead to dialogue in which we can share our differences without the heated rhetoric of the two anonymous commentaries after you. I've been meaning to respond earlier but I had a large deadline looming until yesterday.

I'm glad that you can concede that "it’s overly dramatic" to claim that Proposition 8 "promotes or supports hate towards homosexuals". That was precisely the point of this post. Unfortunately, it appears you are in the minority on that point. For example, the two comments preceding mine vehemently declare that I am hateful because I have a perspective that differs from their own in regards to Proposition 8. Unfortunately, some people (I'll concede on both "sides") who believe in their own infallibility also believe they are right, the other is wrong--end of discussion. The only thing such people are right about on that is that the discussion ends. Conversation and dialogue cease when "the ends justifies the means" and we resort to treating each other in ways that belie civility.

I hope that is not the case here. As in matters of religious differences with people who do not believe the same things I do, I choose to disagree without being disagreeable. I can completely empathize and try to understand your position without conceding my core convictions. However imperfectly we communicate, we can still learn from each other and mutually benefit from the process. I happen to believe that meaningful conversation, not heated rhetoric, provides a flicker of light in a dark world of hatred and misunderstanding.

I welcome this kind of dialogue--respectful and charitable dialogue. I'll try to respond to your points as soon as possible.

Sariah said...

I'm not in California, but I am in Arizona where we are voting on Prop 102. Voting yes would define marriage as between a man and a woman and would be a part of the Arizona Constitution, not just a law. We already have a law that was voted in a couple of years ago to define marriage this way, but as we saw in California, all it takes is a judge or two to overturn a law that had been voted in by the people of the state. Apparantly what the majority of a state's voters have decided on doesn't matter if a judge thinks differently.

This is such a hard and confusing subject and seems to bring out heated discussions and contention from both sides. I do not consider myself any kind of a "hater" or a bigot, but I am for defining what marriage is.

Anyway, I don't have a lot to say on this (I think you, Clean Cut, have said what I would want to say) but I did want to point out that California is not the only state to be voting on this initiative. Arizona and (I believe, but could be totally mistaken) Florida are facing the same issues. We just don't have a lot of Hollywood stars out to promote one side or another.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's "if the judge thinks differently." Those specific judges are assigned to say if laws passed are contrary to the US constitution and state constitution. The clarification was that "all men created equal" is a fundamental right to equal opportunities, while discriminating some people to not marry who they choose is not a right guaranteed by the US constitution.

Even if Arizona passes an Arizona constitutional change, it will likely be quickly overturned as it's repeatedly been found counter to the US constitution's "all men created equal."

When it comes to "a lot of Hollywood stars out to promote one side or the other", I usually hear them express their drive as "where much is given, much is expected." My experience is they feel a certain responsibility to help raise the voice of those who have been discriminated and silenced for years.

By the way "hate" is terminology as used in the term "hate crimes" which is a common government term for crimes against minority groups. That could be race, religion, sexual orientation, physical health, etc. Hate can been seen in fear, separation, isolation, as well as physical or emotional direct crime against those minority.

The thing that I'm still waiting to hear is: How does isolating marriage now to be only between one man and one woman "save marriage?" I mean, both religion as well as many countries have either current or recent polygamy history. Many countries in the world give the opportunity for people to marry who they choose and it hasn't seemed to destroy their heterosexual marriages either. Are you saying the U.S. population is not as capable of such independent thought without hate? In fact, you could also easily argue some heterosexual marriages which started early , could likely avoid painful later breakups and avoid unneeded family pain when one partner later leaves to finally live honestly with their homosexuality. Avoiding the stigma put on homosexuality could avoid unneeded marriage pain.

Obviously, the history of marriage is not just between one man and one woman in the western U.S. and many other areas of the world, so why make that limitation now? Why? What is the risk or reward? I still can't hear anyone expressing how this amendment preserves "traditional" marriage. (Other than by continuing a "mine, not yours" type greed...)

Clean Cut said...

The point of this post was not to debate Ad infinitum the points of why to support or oppose Proposition 8--there are plenty of other forums where this is already taking place. My point was simple: Those who support Proposition 8 are not doing so out of hatred for homosexuals, and it is wrong to label them as haters.

My distant observation is that they're doing it out of their conviction that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman, that society (as well as children) are better off for this, and that this should not be altered. There is also a concern that it would lead to an infringement of their religious freedom.

Historically, marriage has always required members of the opposite gender. The number of partners have fluctuated traditionally, but not the gender. Would continuing to define marriage this way mean that people are being denied a fundamental right? I don't see it that way.

The right to marry will still be there for any and all, but to qualify you would have to choose to marry someone from the opposite gender, among other qualifications. You have every right to love and live with whoever you wish, and enjoy civil liberties and be respected and not treated inhumanely. However, desire for acceptance by society is not the same thing as forcing society to change the definition of marriage.

I allow others to hold their own views. I also reserve the right to change mine. I don't try to force my views on anyone else. That's why I'm not going to take the bait and start a debate here. The opposition demands tolerance but appears unwilling to show any towards differing views than their own.

Dallin H. Oaks explains: "Tolerance obviously requires a non-contentious manner of relating toward one another’s differences. But tolerance does not require abandoning one’s standards or one’s opinions on political or public policy choices. Tolerance is a way of reacting to diversity, not a command to insulate it from examination."

Two Cents, for what's worth said...

Any person is entitled to get married. It seems there is a disagreement with whether or not it is a "right" to marry whomever you choose. The right to marry has attached to it certain stipulations and the opposition argues, I think safe to say, that it requires less stipulations.

Here is my analogy. All people have the right to a driver's license. However, there are requirements that must be met in order to earn that "right" or to qualify a person for that "right." When a person has acceptable eyesight, passes the written and actual driving test, practiced with his/her Learners Permit, and pays the fee, you will find yourself a legal driver--most of the time. In other words, all of those above listed items are necessary in obtaining a license.

If even one of those necessities is left out of the mix, the aspiring driver, no matter how much s/he succeeds in the other areas of the acquiring of the license, will not be granted a license. This is not minimizing her commitment to driving. It's just simply that she doesn't meet the established requirements. All conditions must be met in order to obtain a license.

It is obviously the same with marriage. It is a right, but just as above there is more than one requirement for legalizing a marriage. Yes, it requires love (at least in most cultures). Yes, it requires commitment. It also requires an opposite sex couple. I know that there is love and commitment in homosexual relationships, I have seen it with my gay friends. However, no matter how much the "love and commitment" requirements are met, it is not sufficient to qualify the relationship as a "marriage." It lacks that necessary " man and woman". component. The right to marry exists, but the qualifications must be met.

As for religious freedom, there is a problem in giving the word "marriage" a new definition. What is that problem? It begins to take away religious rights, even NPR agrees with that. (see http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91486191).

It is not a civil rights issue. Civil rights was about the color of skin. Civil rights is about a person being equal because of the color of his skin (and only the color of his skin was the reason for the discrimination). This issue is about a couple wanting to get married that doesn't meet all the requirements for marriage. And the argument of interracial marriage doesn't justify it either. That was, once again, the issue of skin color and no other difference. This is about (among other things) the biological make up of two people. There is no difference in an interracial couple uniting in marriage, except their skin color. There is a big difference in uniting a homosexual couple in marriage-- they anatomically don't match.

President said...

Did not know if you have heard the contraversy on Steve Youngs family voting no for proposition 8. Pretty big deal here in Utah as you can imagine.

Clean Cut said...

Oh yes, we based our entire Saturday morning yesterday discussing this. It was a very interesting discussion! Ultimately all people need to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and each of us has different perspectives.

It's despicable when extremists lay into him as if this means he can't be a "good Latter-day Saint" or when extremists on the other side use this as extra ammunition to lay into the Church.

Likewise, it bugs me when some people treat politics as if our faithfulness is contingent on which party we belong to, how we vote, or act as if the "other side" is evil. I seek out a more reasonable, moderate, middle ground.

I find the controversy interesting and the debate healthy. What an opportunity for understanding.

J+C Wood said...

I think of the homosexual issue less in terms of marriage and more in terms of family.

The family is the basic unit of society. Is a homosexual couple a family? Will they adopt and raise children?

My answer is no, a homosexual couple is not a family. Homosexual unions are not included as a basic unit of our society. To me this means no marriage and no civil unions.

I have a lot of respect for what 2nd2Nun said and I'll try to explain my view in a similar manner. I don't feel hate or fear when I say that homosexuality should be officially rejected by our society. I also believe that heterosexual adultry should be rejected by our society. It may be a man's core identity to love two women, his wife and the attractive woman at work. I say our society should reject this man's core identity. It will be diffucult for the man, but it will be good for society.

I believe that the following is true prophecy.

"we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."
-Family Proclamation

All my study and personal experience tells me that a real prophet of God wrote that, and that it is the truth. My interpretation is rather black and white. It is that a loving male and female raising children is a family. Anything else is the disintigration of the family. This means that abusive hetersexual parents, single parents (divorce or death), and homosexual couples as parents are all included in "the disintigration of the family". Now bear with me. I do think there is gray area. The people in disintigrated families are not evil and condemned. Many are good people. Gay, divorced, widowed, abused, and abusing. Sometimes thing are what they are and there isn't anyone to blame. Bad things happen to good people. But we must admit that the family needs to be repaired and I choose to push for reparations. I choose to call broken broken and to apply pressure to fix it with love and kindness.

I have a lesbien sister-in-law and I don't hate her. I don't feel sorry for her either. She certainly doesn't feel sorry for herself. But I will stand on the side that pushes against her lifestyle becoming normalized and legalized in our culture. I believe it is for the good of our society that I apply pressure in that direction.

America is not about making ideals into law. It is not about protecting minorities. America is not about right winning over wrong. It is simply about doing what the people say to do. In America the majority rules. We go off course when we decide that a small group is more right than the majority. America is about "We the People". It is not about enlightened minorities.

Jill said...

Steve Young has taken no official stance on Prop 8. His wife has taken a stance and she wrote the check. Read the link: http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/localnews/ci_10874562?source=rss

Clean Cut said...

Wow, I can't believe how much time has passed. There's truth to Thomas Paine's quote: "Time makes converts more than reason".

In the years that have passed since posting this I have undergone a mighty change of heart. I still recognize that people who oppose marriage equality should not automatically be labeled "haters" and that many of them are good and sincere people.

However, I now personally identify as an "ally" and feel strongly in favor of marriage equality (and this isn't even speaking as a religious issue, but as a public policy issue). While I know many fellow members of my faith have become discouraged by the recent state rulings in favor of marriage equality, I have been heartened by them. I feel in my heart it is the right thing.

I believe that religious beliefs of a majority should not dictate public policy for the minority. There is wisdom in separation of church and state.

The interior walls of the Jefferson Memorial are engraved with passages from Jefferson's writings. Most prominent are the words inscribed in a frieze below the dome:

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

This sentence is taken from a September 23, 1800, letter by Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush wherein he defends the constitutional refusal to recognize a state religion.

My personal opposition to "tyranny" or any other imposition of human will over my liberty/rights makes me sympathetic to our gay brothers and sisters. And my understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ makes me more compassionate. I love my gay brothers and sisters and desire the best for them. I'm sorry that my church has been an impediment to this. I see hope that this has and is changing, although the pace of change is painfully slow.

Clean Cut said...

Reading over the comments I was reminded of Steve Young. He gave a great speech at the Annual Conference of Affirmation: LGBT Mormons, Families and Friends. Worth a watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S-4gOzvLFE

Clean Cut said...

Why I regret voting yes on Prop 8:

http://www.elizabethesther.com/2010/08/why-i-regret-voting-yes-on-prop-8.html