Thursday, October 30, 2008

Proposition 8

Proposition 8 is an initiative on the California ballot next week that would legally define marriage as between a man and woman exclusively, thereby making homosexual marriage illegal by default.

This will probably not sit well with many of my friends or members of my church, but frankly, I am against prop 8, and here's why.

One argument is that gay marriage goes against God. I agree 100%. I believe it is a sin. However, we have a separation of church and state in our great country. No one is asking churches to start performing and recognizing gay marriage. We are talking about the legal definition of marriage. We are not a Theocracy. Someday, according to my personal religious beliefs, Christ will reign on Earth and all our laws will be God's laws. Now is not that time. Now we have a secular government, and I don't believe religious beliefs should affect secular laws. One of the things that bothers me most is how my particular religion has banded together to pass this initiative. I guess in some ways that's why I decided to post this--to let people know that not all Mormons, or all Christians for that matter, want to block gay marriage. Sometimes I think members of my church forget the second part of our 11th article of faith: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."
I don't believe my church should perform gay marriages. I don't believe they should condone gay marriages. I don't believe they should teach it is correct in the eyes of God. But, I also don't believe they should be actively trying to keep people who do not hold our beliefs from having the same rights as everyone else under our secular laws.

The next argument I've heard is that allowing gays to marry will take away the sacredness and sanctity of marriage between a man and woman. I'm sorry, but I don't buy that for one second. One's marriage is as sacred as one makes it. What about marriages of convenience? What about marriages for business purposes only? What about arranged marriages that neither party really wants? Those are legal and take place every day. Where is the push to make those illegal? What about marriages between a man and a woman where the man domineers and abuses, using the traditional teachings of marriage from the bible as his justification? To me that lessens the sanctity of marriage far more than a loving couple who happen to be of the same sex.

The third and most logical argument I've heard is that the initiative is to restore what the people voted into law back in 2000 with proposition 22. At that time, 61% of the vote was in favor of
changing the California Family Code to formally define marriage in California as being between a man and a woman. In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court overturned Prop 22 and declared it unconstitutional. So, here's my problem--if it's unconstitutional it's unconstitutional. It doesn't matter that 61% of California voters supported it. If every single voter in the US writes in Arnold Schwarzenegger for president on Tuesday, he still cannot be president. He was not born a US citizen and therefore it is unconstitutional, even if it's what the people vote for. Our constitution has made us the greatest nation in the world and it is the courts' job to make sure that our legislators enact laws that fall within our constitutional rights.

O.K., sorry to get deep on a Thursday night. It's just something that's been on my mind this week and I needed to get it off my chest.

I'll be expecting the Bishop to be stopping by to abscond my temple recommend any minute now.


  1. Amazing. I agree with everything you said. It doesn't make me very popular with some members, but when you think about it as a church/state division, it just makes sense.

    There are so many things that I wish church members would get as pumped up about.

    Good for you for being so brave and writing about it!

  2. I haven't had the energy (or guts) to write about it, but I am on the same side as you.

    Except I don't believe being gay is a choice for most people, so I am even more wicked:)

    Trust me, we aren't alone on this one...

  3. I do think it's interesting that within our church, that doesn't tell us how to vote and allows us to make those decisions for ourselves, that it's now saying call people on the phone and tell them to vote for it.

    It doesn't give me warm fuzzies. It feels a little off.

    I'm not sure how I feel about the marriage issue. I think that they should be allowed the legal benefits, but then again, I'm also not really for a gay couple to be able to adopt. I think you can't have it both ways. You want to be married? Fine, but the consequence of that is that physically you can't make babies. I dunno, I'm just a jumble on the fence about it all. But thanks for having the courage to discuss it at all.

  4. not long ago we had a fhe about the 10 commandments. we discussed which of the 10 commandments the world still believes in and practices for the most part. it turns out that the things that are against the law such as stealing, murder, people still believe are wrong and the don't do it for the most part.

    that's when it dawned on me that the way certain laws are written matters and that's why the church takes a stand on some political issues.

    some years after things become legal, they become right in people's minds.

    that's the problem with gay marriage.

    when people got stoned for breaking the sabbath, everyone believed that it was wrong. if now you suggest to someone that they shouldn't shop on Sunday, they don't even know what language you are speaking.

    we wouldn't want that to happen to marriage, would we?

  5. I'll preface this by saying I'm a crazy liberal. I'm actually kind of a moderate Democrat, but my office IS ALL conservative so, by default, they think I'm the devil during an election year so I've embraced it. :)

    As for this, I agree with your thoughts that it is the government and it rules the entire country - a country of many cultures, religions, and backgrounds. My church in Connecticut was open and affirming. They welcomed gay couples in to worship. I have not heard if they will now perform marriage now that it is legal in Connecticut, but it wouldn't surprise me. However, I can understand if a church and its worshippers disagree and hold the opposite view though not to the point of threats and violence in the name of God which I'm very against (not my ultimate right to judge). However, I feel this is a legal issue, and I do believe in the separation of church and state. I have my faith and beliefs and respect others who worship differently. I think that's why government needs to be held separately and I also think that's why holy wars can never be won (totally different subject though).

    As for marriage, I don't think allowing gay couples to marry threatens the sanctity of marriage.

  6. Sorry but until the 1960s there was only one definition of marriage. The word has only shifted in meaning very very recently- look it up in any dictionary, in any language, before 1950.
    I support proposition 8 in formalizing what has been a fact of life everywhere on earth for thousands of years.

    At the same time I have no issue with giving gays legal rights equal to that of a marriage.

  7. I have to disagree with you Brandi! I didn't realize fully the ramifications of this proposition until recently.
    I think that people who choose alternative lifestyle should have the right to visit their loved one in the hospital and have legal rights and stuff, so I didn't realize why it was such a big deal if the Prop didn't pass. However, with all the hype surrounding this proposition, I have learned some of the down sides if this Prop doesn't pass.

    First of all, schools will be able to teach about alternative lifestyles in school, without parental consent. If Gay marriage is legal in that state you have no right to say you don't want your Pre-K, Kindergarten, or any other of your elementary students being taught about it, but not just being taught that it's out there but that it's morally OK. It is MY responsibilty to teach my kids and when I want to teach them about it, I WILL CHOOSE WHEN AND HOW TO INTRODUCE IT!
    Second, this will open up the legal doors for law suits against churches that do not condone gay marriage. Do I want my church sued because it doesn't perform Gay marriages?....NO. How are churches suppose to operate without being called organizations of hate? And let's face it, American's and the ACLU are really good at coming up with the most bogus and stupid law suits that waste peoples time and money. Yes, they do some good, and that's noble, but come on!?!?!? I don't want the church wasting money fighting law suits instead of building temples, churches, sending disaster aid, and helping out the people! Do you????

    This is not just about Gay's civil is way beyond that.
    There has to be a better way, or are we all just applauding our way into the scariness before the second coming?

  8. I already voted against Gay Marriage in AZ, but I do believe people have a right to live the way they want. Free agency and all. I did also get a negative vibe when I heard church members were to volunteer their time to campaign against it. So many lines are being crossed all over the place on both sides, I think...
    hmmm and I wasn't going to comment. Oh well.

  9. I would like to point out that a few of the scare tactics beings used to push for the passage of Prop. 8 have been debunked by a BYU Law professor -- an active, recommend holding (as they all are) BYU professor, Morris Thurston.

    I doubt many people want to hear it, but here is the address to the information for anyone who wants to research it:

    If you are against gay marriage, fine. I just don't like all the lies being spread about what will happen if it passes.

    Women were given equal rights decades ago and you don't see the church getting sued for not allowing women to have the priesthood, do you?

    How about during the civil rights movement when the church still wouldn't let blacks marry in the temple? Did we bankrupt ourselves with legal fees?

    Nothing is going to happen to the temples. We already severely restrict who can go in (as we should) and nobody is going to stop that.

    I guess I also have a problem with a church who has faced so much persecution for it's past polygamous practices ("non-traditional marriage") now pressing to limit marriage for another group.

    And as for gays adopting -- I would much rather that children be given an opportunity to be raised in a loving, stable environment where they feel valued than spend their lives bouncing around foster care and orphanages feeling worthless and unlovable.

    The whole thing makes me sick. I need to stop commenting.

  10. (frantically throwing chocolate cookies at everyone)

    Take that.

    (Brandi, I hope you know that everyone thinks I'm nuts now)

  11. Brandi,

    I LOVE DEBATES>>> YEAH for intellectual thinking...

    although your arguments are good and well thought, I wanted to point out that the "separation of church and state" is no where recorded in the constitution of the United States.

    The first time the phrase is known was in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to another politician, and the whole point of the "conversation" was concern for a MANDAtED NATIONAL RELIGION...

    So I truly don't believe God should be taken out of the "government" side, especially when I believe HE himself prepared the originators of the document to do exactly what they did; Establish a government and a land free above any other in this world. The politicians at the time were more religious than any other group of Politicians since, Thank Heavens!! So let God in.

    I dare not wish to live in a country that separates Him in any way.

    I do believe there should be an ammendment to the constitution that defines marriage between one woman and one man.

    Thanks for the thoughts...aren't we lucky to live in a country where we can express these views? Where WOMEN are allowed to learn to read? Where we are allowed to own property? Where we can educate ourselves and VOTE for our leaders? Where we can oppose the government and yet not be jailed?

    In the past year as this election has come to such an intense fight, I thank God everyday for the blessing of living in this country and pray for it to continue to be a beacon of light and hope to other nations in this world.

  12. I was waiting for someone to mention that "separation of church and state" is not in the constitution.

    You are correct. However, the first amendment does state this:

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

    The supreme court has interpreted this as separation of church and state. The supreme court was specifically established in the Constitution to interpret the laws so that the People could not twist them to mean what they want.

    As for having God in our government, I would like all of those who are for it go spend a week or two in a country where God IS part of the government and see how that works out for you. Don't forget your Abbaya!!

    It's all well and good when it's "good Christian values" being represented, but once we open the government up to religious influence, we open it to ALL religious influence.

  13. To all of the people who think homosexuals "choose" this lifestyle, usually don't know anyone who is gay. I have an aunt and an uncle who are both gay. I know for a fact they did not "choose" to be this way. My aunt tried to hide the fact all through high school by dating guys. She came out after that time. My uncle has been with the same partner my entire life (I am 27). I think they should have the right to say they are married, unlike my father who has divorced 3 times in his life.

    So I say let them marry, its not hurting anyone.

  14. My two cents:
    Marriage is a religious institution and should be defined as between a man and a woman, as God intended.
    Civil unions would provide gay couples all of the benefits of marriage and would not go against God's natural law. (Not that being gay is necessarily a choice but it to practice it is a choice and a sin.)

  15. People were nicer to you than they were to me since I am on the opposite side than you are. :) The fact is that our church HAS gotten involved in this... I know they are usually very "hands off," but when they get involved, I listen.

    I compare this to the prohibition law in UT so long ago and how leaders of our Church were actually having a say in this, and our members didn't listen and how sad they were.

    Go Brandi! I am so glad that we can have a choice, right? But now we all have to know what is the BEST choice... and that's the toughie. Now people can do their own research and then VOTE VOTE VOTE! (It makes me want to vote in CA or AZ...)

  16. just as I wanted to make another comment on proposition 8, you said you never want to talk about controversy again....

    well, I'm going to make my point anyway. our church is very neutral on how we vote. it is up to us to decide.

    however, every once in a while they make a stand, I assume it's because God and the prophet can foresee the future consequences when we can not.

    our puny minds may argue this or that way and predict this or that. but God really does know more and when he speaks and commands it is usually to protect us.

    in history many times a prophet spoke and was ignored because the people assumed that they knew better. but every time a people did not hearken, there were dyer consequences.

    i am curious to see what will happen over the years if proposition 8 does not pass...

  17. You're pretty brave to bring this one up and allow the floodgate of comments to open. Kudos.

  18. Point taken Nicole about the church not being sued for not allowing women to hold the priesthood. Very true. I really do like to hear both sides of any issue, which is why I shared the things that I had learned. Truthfully, though, no one really knows whats going to happen until it's happening...I think that's what is scares people on both sides!

    As I was talking to my husband, he brought up the exact same point as Sylwia, and so I say, "Ditto" to what Sylwia said.

    Only God knows...

  19. Wow...the comments keep coming. First, let me clarify something--I KNOW that my opinion goes against what the Prophet has advised us. I know that, and it's been hard knowing that.

    If one believes that homosexuals should have all the rights of married couples, then aren't we just talking about semantics now? We're just talking about words. If a marriage (performed civilly, not religiously) and a civil union are identical, then what is all this about?

  20. Like Perry I typically don't comment on Blogs, in fact I hardly ever read them, but my wife dragged me into this one and so I thought I would throw in my two cents.

    First, Brandi well done on taking a position on an issue even when you realized it would be controversial to do so. That being said I must respectfully disagree.

    Article One guarantees us the freedom of religion. This is also the basis for the 1878 decision by the Supreme Court for the separation of church and state. I personally don't see a conflict between a ban on gay marriage and separation of church and state. Prop 8 merely gives a definition of marriage. This is the same definition that has been used since the beginning of time by all societies and religions. So this definition transcends religion, its about a value of our society, if you could find a religion that had a core belief of gay marriage, then you would have an argument.

    The separation of church and state is to protect us from having a government that is controlled by a religion. I have spent a great deal of time in countries that are controlled by religion and have seen first hand the impact that a theocracy can have on people's lives, so I'm an advocate of the government being separated from a particular religion, which is what our founding fathers envisioned when they drafted our constitution. This has been somehow twisted into the belief that there can be no acknowledgement of God by government. If you read about the drafters of the constitution they frequently acknowledge the hand of God in the founding of our country. It's our nation's motto: "In God We Trust." There are countless examples of our government's incorporation of God and it is impossible to separate Him from our government.

    I've gotten off track a little bit and I've been rambling for some time, but I just want to say that I've noticed there are quite a few comments about the church meddling in political affairs. Our church, more than most, makes an effort to remain neutral in political affairs. Even with the Prop 8, the church isn't endorsing a candidate or a particular political party. The proclamation to the world on families states that marriage is between a man and a woman. There is no gray area there. The church is encouraging us to make our voices heard on a particular issue, that's it. The church doesn't do this very often and when they do it's a good idea to listen. As you know by now this is a touchy subject on which there are a lot of opinions and arguments. It comes down to this. Our church leaders have given the church's position on the issue. If you have concerns, then by all means pray about it.

  21. (whispers)

    B, I don't think the cookies are working!

    Try using the word "maverick" more often. That might work. :-)

  22. brandi

    here is a commercial that is being shown in California against proposition 8. Let me know what you think:

  23. Nicole,
    I agree that no one, regardless of their beliefs, should be harassed, belittled, demeaned, or anything like that. It's sad that people are so petty to resort to such things like that. No matter what anyone believes on either side they are all still Children of God and deserve to be treated as such.

  24. Sylvia--

    I think that ad was made more to attack the church than to encourage No votes for prop 8. I don't believe the church is out to deliberately discriminate or take away rights out of prejudice.


    To those of you (including my husband) who have said that marriage has always been defined as between a man and a woman--

    Umm, so? Until very recent history women and slaves were defined as property. Does that make it right? For thousands of years the definition of Earth was flat.

    Tradition doesn't make it correct.

  25. First it is not a church/state division. All separation of church and state is, is preventing a state sponsored church or a church sponsored government.

    I have two arguments to make here, a secular one and spiritual one. The secular argument is that a society and people have the right and obligation to establish and maintain moral standards for that society. "To each their own" can only go so far. And when we take it too far it is to the detriment of society. So the question the becomes "where is the line that we will tolerate for moral loosenings?" So now we are at the point where we are discussing the legality of allowing two men or two women marry. Ok, so why not allow two men and a woman marry? or 8 men and 4 women all enter into one great ceremony of matrimony? What is it to you? It doesn't affect you? My bet is, however, that most of you that support gay marriage would be against any sort of polygamy. What about if an old un married "cat" lady decides that she loves her cat so much that she wants to be legally married to it? Again, it doesn't affect you, so what do you care? Are my examples extreme? sure they are, but we are beginning a slippery slope. Where do we draw the line.

    The spiritual argument is that have you ever seen the church be this outspoken and involved in an issue at the voting booth? Even Crystal noted the change in her comment. That tells me that this is more than just the prophet and a couple of Apostles discussing the issue and agreeing to push for Prop 8. It tells me this is extremely important to God. I appreciate those of you who have prayed and fasted about the issue, but largely it is a matter faith and understanding what the prophet truly does. It would not surprise me in the least if God showed Pres. Monson precisely what would happen should gay marraige be allowed in California. Go back and read the 1st official declaration in the Doctrine and Covenants. In that, the Lord revealed to Pres. Woodruff precisely what would happen if the Church did not stop polygamy. It would not surprise me in the least that this is what happened in this case as well. Remember these men talk to God, they are not like the Pope and just hope for inspiration and that they are right, they receive guidance from him. And while I understand that we are to pray and fast about prophetic utterances, at some point you have to recognize that while you may not agree, you are going to be obedient. That is the act of faith.

    On a personal level, I don't much care about Gay marriage and even the abortion issue doesn't mean near as much to me as it does to most people. But when I saw the determination of the Church in this matter it opened my eyes to how serious this really is to God. Remember, Sodom and Gommorah was destroyed because bit by bit the people became desensitized to moral degredation and sin and good people tolerated wicked acts. And the fact is Gay acts are wicked. Period. Just like pre-marital sex is wicked etc. I don't doubt that some people are born with gay tendencies, just like people are born with hyper-sexuality, a propensity of alcoholism, etc. But it is our choices that define us. While it may be a tough lot in life to have gay tendencies and not be able to act on them, we all have our demons and challenges, we will be judged upon our choices, not on our tendencies.

  26. Amen to Josh's comments, especially the discussion on the constitution. He is exactly right.


Be nice or I'll punch you in the taco.