Saturday, November 15, 2008

Propostition 8

BEWARE!! LONG POST AHEAD!!

We've all been hearing about Proposition 8. Although it has already passed, and it was an issue only in California this time, I know we all have very strong feelings one way or the other. It has frequently been a topic of conversation in our home.

Recently I have received personal hateful e-mail and had very personal attacks because of my position on Prop 8. I'd like to share my own views on the subject.

Initially, I was conflicted. I feel that rights should be given equally to ALL. I feel that VERY strongly. I didn't understand how this would affect me and my family and I couldn't comprehend why my church (the LDS church) would be in support of denying rights to anyone.

However, putting my own feelings aside I also believe this church is Jesus Christ's church, under the authority and direction of my Heavenly Father, 100%. I can never deny it. I believe that the prophet on the earth today, President Thomas S. Monson, was called of God and ordained by the correct authority to the position he holds.

The day it was announced he would be the new president of our church I had been praying continually for my own confirmation that this was the Lord's will. I trust my church leaders, however I have been promised that I can know all things for myself through the Holy Ghost, and I wanted this knowledge.

Jack had just had a blow out diaper. Feces was EVERYWHERE. Not a fun thing to clean up. I had the press conference on in the background turned up so that I could here it as I bathed Jack and cleaned up the mess. When they announced President Monson as the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, tears filled my eyes. My heart knew this man was who my Heavenly Father had chosen to lead and guide His church. I knew it without a doubt.

I laughed when I realized that this sacred moment came in the midst of cleaning a poop covered child. :) But regardless of the circumstances, I received the confirmation I had sought for.

In April of 2008, at the church semi annual General Conference, I stood in my home, raised my arm to the square, and sustained President Thomas S Monson, his counselors, and other leaders of the church.

There is something natural in each of us that confirms what TRUTH is. When something is true we feel it. I know this to be the Holy Ghost. When I feel it, I am forever changed. I would suffer beyond comprehension unto death before I denied it.

That said, although I wasn't sure how I felt about Proposition 8 in the beginning, I knew that I had to support it, if only because the Lord, through His latter-day prophet, had asked me to.

Shortly after exercising this faith, I began to learn more. I began to understand the reason the the Lord and the prophet were asking me to support this. I watched the news and read the Yes on 8 information I received in e-mails from trusted friends and family members, and then researched each story on my own. I did not want to be accused later on of blindly believing something that turned out to be false.

Recently, I was introduced to an interview with with Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, and Elder Lance B. Wickman, a member of the Seventy which completely describes my personal views on homosexuality. The article is REALLY long, so I won't post it here. But I hope you'll click here and read it.

Situations are already popping up in states where gay marriage has been legalized. A teacher in California took her first grade class to a gay wedding as a field trip. First graders. Parents were not notified and given an option.

David Parker of Lexington, MA was arrested for simply requesting that the school sign something agreeing that they would notify him before reading stories such as, Who's In A Family by Robert Skutch.

Also, some friends have stated the information better than I could myself, and have given me permission to share their thoughts. (Some thoughts may be duplicated.)

Michelle said:

Background

In March of 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22 to crate a law that said only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. However, in May of 2008 the California Supreme Court Ruled that the statute enacted by Proposition 22 and other statutes that limit marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. They also ruled that same sex marriages would be recognized under the California Constitution.

Prop 8 Proposal

Proposition 8 is a measure the will amend the California Constitution to specify that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. It would overturn the California Supreme Court ruling of May 2008 and make marriage between a man and a woman the only recognized marriage in California.

Why we are Voting Yes!


When the Supreme Court gave their decision last May they said changing the definition of marriage “would not alter substantive nature of the legal institution of marriage or impinge upon religious freedom.” However, the apparent fallacy in this statement is shown by the new rights that will be granted if Prop 8 is not passed. One of these rights would allow individuals to sue religious institutions that teach traditional marriage. If a religious institution doesn't conform their teachings to the definition that the California Supreme Court issued (recognizing same sex marriage) they could be sued and lose their tax-exempt status. It appears that embedded in this Proposition there is another agenda beyond the desire to marry. We believe this will be just the first step toward a wide range of issues that will be more easily pursued if Prop 8 is not passed.

We see Proposition 8 as a direct attack on the family.

The decision of the California Supreme Court renders all civil marriage meaningless. The state Education Code requires that teachers instruct children as young as kindergartners about marriage. If the same-sex marriage ruling becomes permanent, teachers will have no choice but to teach young children there is no difference between same-sex marriage and traditional marriage, we are already seeing this happen in Massachusetts. I personally don't like that 4 judges on the Supreme Court can tell me that my child will learn about this in public school, period. It is wrong that they have gone against the will of the people (Proposition 22) and can tell us on such a huge ideal or belief that our children will learn about it and they get to say how. The issue of same-sex relationships is an issue that parents should discuss with their children, in their own homes, in keeping with their own beliefs. It is not something that should be forced on us or our children.

Redefining marriage will deny many children the right to be raised by a mother and a father. There are specific characteristics that are innate and irreplaceable that men and women bring into a successful raising of a child. However flawed traditional families can be, being flawed is not a good argument against traditional families. The flaws being pointed out are human and are flaws that non-traditional families will have as well (death, divorce, or other issues). The best environment for a child to grow up in is a family with a loving mother and a loving father. Statistics have shown how important it is for a child to grow up in a home with both parents (a mother and a father). It is important that we allow a child to have every opportunity to succeed in life and redefining marriage will only create one more situation in which a child could be denied this opportunity.

Proposition 8 does not take away any rights or benefits from gay or lesbian domestic partners. Under California law, “domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections and benefits” as married spouses. There are no exceptions to this. Proposition 8 will not change this. Proposition 8 is not an attack on the gay lifestyle, but rather about preserving marriage.

Cara pointed out:

Six Consequences If Proposition 8 Fails

1. Children in public schools will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is just as good as traditional marriage.The California Education Code already requires that health education classes instruct children about marriage. (§51890)Therefore, unless Proposition 8 passes, children will be taught that marriage is between any two adults regardless of gender. There will be serious clashes between the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs. (Schools are not required to get a 'permission slip' for this.)

2. Churches may be sued over their tax exempt status if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings open to the public. Ask whether your pastor, priest, minister, bishop, or rabbi is ready to perform such marriages in your chapels and sanctuaries.

3. Religious adoption agencies will be challenged by government agencies to give up their long-held right to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father. Catholic Charities in Boston already closed its doors in Massachusetts because courts legalized same-sex marriage there.

4. Religions that sponsor private schools with married student housing may be required to provide housing for same-sex couples, even if counter to church doctrine, or risk lawsuits over tax exemptions and related benefits.

5. Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages may be sued for hate speech and risk government fines. It already happened in Canada, a country that legalized gay marriage. A recent California court held that municipal employees may not say: “traditional marriage,” or “family values” because, after the same-sex marriage case, it is “hate speech.”

6. It will cost you money. This change in the definition of marriage will bring a cascade of lawsuits, including some already lost (e.g., photographers cannot now refuse to photograph gay marriages, doctors cannot now refuse to perform artificial insemination of gays even given other willing doctors). Even if courts eventually find in favor of a defender of traditional marriage (highly improbable given today’s activist judges), think of the money – your money – that will be spent on such legal battles.

When I said before that I have been personally attacked for my position here, I will give you an example. The other day I was told that I was no different from a member of the KKK. I have personally been called sheltered, a prude, ignorant, a bigot, intolerant, and hateful because of my faith and beliefs. I have lost friends. My church buildings and temples have been vandalized and picketed (respectively) because of what I, and others, believe.

There are both good and bad people on both sides of this issue. I will not deny that gays and lesbians are discriminated against by many. They are suffering right now as well.

This issue does not need to yield hate. Fighting meanness with meanness, disrespect with disrespect, and hate with hate does no good. Ever.

The last thing I want to say is that regardless of any of this, I do not hate anyone. I am not a perfect person, by any means. But I can honestly say that I don't hate gays or anyone else. I don't hate anyone who is against Proposition 8. I don't believe in smoking, however I still love people who smoke. This is the same thing. We don't have to believe the same things to be friends, to be family, to get along, to love one another. I have both close friends and relatives who are gay. I love them no differently than if they were straight. Seeing the hurt that this debate causes them makes me sad. I can't deny my beliefs and faith, but that doesn't make it easy for me to watch them suffer.

I welcome your comments on this subject, whether you agree or disagree. The only thing I ask is that EVERYONE, on either side of the issue, be respectful of everyone else. We can discuss this and agree to respectfully disagree. Please harness your passion and convictions just enough to remain kind. I will remove anything that is intended to hurt anyone else, on either side.

P.S. Also thought this was interesting!

3 comments:

Dansie Family said...

thanks for this post... we also had a proposition in arizona to make marriage between a man and woman. the definition of marriage should not be changed and i stand firm on that. i'm sorry that people have reacted so awfully to what 52% (in the case of cali) have stated. it's not just mormons. 52% of people in cali said YES. i find it sad at how horribly they have acted and behaved... it's quite ridiculous. if it would've been reversed, i would hate to think that we would have thrown as big of a fit (with hate, violence, and discrimination). it's truly sad... if people want to be gay, fine. but if gay people can marry, how would they be able to stop anyone from marrying? if someone wants to marry their dog, why not? two cats? a dog and a cat? what if someone wanted to have 3 wives instead of 1? that would be "discrimination" also. they have their opinion, we have ours, we all voted, and it just came out that we won. this country is about majority vote.

Addicted Fisherman, SlingShotGirl, and Ms. Drool-bug said...

What a great post Mckenna. I realized how much I over-reacted the other day on facebook...I feel awful. I just get so protective of my friends...especially when they are being compared to the KKK.

I could tell you put a lot of thought into this post (well, not saying you don't for all the others, but you know what I mean). I loved reading about your testimony.

Melinda said...

Hi I've never met you. I'm an old friend of Jason's, but THANK YOU for what you posted. It is my feelings exactly. You are so articulate and mirror the things I have been saying and thinking about. I've been scared to voice my opinion because I can be less conservative than many around me. So anyway, thank you. In sunday school this last Sunday, we read about Mormon loving those wicked people and crying and praying for them. The level of sins is of course a lot different here, but that's how we really should be feeling about gays, is loving them (like your example with the smokers) and hope that their anger and hurt will lessen and understanding can be reached. Thanks again.