Yes on Proposition 8

Last night, the LDS church took a rare and striking step. Two apostles and a member of the quorum of the seventy addressed members across the state of California and at university and college campuses around the country in a satellite broadcast in support of a proposed amendment to the California state constitution.

Eight years ago, the voters of California [61%] defeated a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state. Last year, the California Supreme Court overturned that vote. Proposition 8 is an effort by an inter-faith coalition to reinstate the voice of the people and define “marriage” in California as between one man and one woman.

Obviously, this is a sensitive and potentially divisive issue, and I have struggled to understand my church’s strong stance. I have many friends who are gay—and many of them have loving, supportive, respectful relationships. I have learned much from their examples of selflessness, their commitment to communication and the quiet service they render. I love them and have been blessed by their goodness.

I don’t know what would happen if the definition of marriage was left open to the vicissitudes of pop culture and popular opinion. I know some of the things that could happen, and I don’t want to live under what some have termed a “tyranny of tolerance”—the kind of tolerance that continually expands to include more and more divergent beliefs and perspectives [as it should] but only in one direction. Where values I hold dear are called close-mindedness and bigotry and tolerance of one view necessitates intolerance of another.

Last night, Elder Quentin Cook called on members of the church to “protect Heavenly Father’s Plan” referring to the centrality of marriage and family in the doctrine of the LDS church. This struck me as odd—If the plan really is God’s [as I believe it is] why would it need protection!? Nothing can break it, harm it, stop it, or even slow it down. No, God doesn’t need me to protect His plan.

As always, as with everything in that plan, this is about me. The fight over the definition of marriage in California is about me. It’s about me taking a stand for the things I believe in. It’s about making an unpopular decision and bearing the consequences. It’s about my priorities, my integrity, my influence and how I use it.

And, as a good friend pointed out this afternoon, it’s something I have done before. Something we’ve all done before.

So, I am in favor of Proposition 8.

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6 responses to “Yes on Proposition 8

  1. We’ve had several Sundays devoted to this as AZ has a similar prop. on the table. Here’s the thing, it IS the work of the Lord. And His work will move forward, no matter what. Even if the LDS church loses it’s tax exempt status because we will not perform gay/lesbian marriages inside our temple. (Which means property tax on every bit of land the church owns…a steep price to pay.) I could even see them not performing legal marriages in the temple, and reverting back to civil marriages and then going to the temple for the ordinance of an eternal sealing. I don’t know, just speculating. Anyways, even if our right to say “family values” gets taken away from us, the work WILL move forward. BUT….we are meant to be a light on the hill. We are meant to declare truth in a world of confusion. It is for OUR eternal welfare that we take a stand.

  2. jacob1207

    Show me one church that’s ever been sued because they wouldn’t marry a particular couple. I don’t think there’s ever been such a church.

    Churches are protected not only by freedom of religion but also freedom of association. Many churches have policies whereby they won’t marry an interfaith couple, or a couple that’s already engaged in sex. Have they ever been sued?

    The only case I’m aware of is a church that had a pavilion that they rented out to the public for events, including weddings. They lost their tax-exempt status on the pavilion (not anything else) because they made it available to the public but chose to discriminate in that way. They could still discriminate, but they’d have to pay property taxes on the pavilion. They could also have decided to not rent out the pavilion anymore.

    But this is a canard, that churches will be forced to marry gay and lesbian couples. It’s not going to happen.

  3. Katie

    Nothing irks me more when courts presume to know better than the voice of the people and OVERTURN the popular vote! Drawing the boundaries of marriage is NOT their prerogative. In any case, very well-reasoned commentary.

  4. tsladeche

    Proposition 8 is a step backward in civil rights. Why should we even consider restricting the right of marriage to Americans. We have done it before with the marriage between races, and the same argument was used by those against allowing interracial marriage. They always say they want to protect marriage. Well that is crap, they just want to insure homosexuals continue to be treated as second class citizens.

    I vote no on proposition 8

  5. Thanks for the comments. This is definitely an issue that needs to be talked about.
    I want to clarify something. Proposition 8 is not, in my mind, a limitation of civil rights. If anything, it is an exercise in civil rights. Insurance, tax, and other benefits and certainly things like visitation rights in hospitals etc. are, and always should be, guaranteed to partners in legally-recognized civil unions. Proposition 8 does not change that. The issue on the table is whether a “marriage” and a “civil union” are fundamentally different things. If a majority of voters in California believe that, and believe that the distinction is important, then the distinction should be preserved. The idea that those types of judgments are made by the voice of the people–not any one person of any persuasion–lies at the very foundation of our democracy.

  6. Here’s another really well-reasoned argument. It’s a bit long, but makes clear some of the more muddled legal issues:
    http://edr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/24/7/5

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