UPDATE 4: Read “Why Marriage Matters” – this is the best explanation yet about why marriage is a fundamental institution of society and gay marriage is not.
With friends and family in California, I watched the recent election battle over Proposition 8 with interest. We experienced a similar election fight here in Michigan a few years ago, with the result that Michigan is one of the majority of states to re-affirm and protect “traditional” marriage. For me, the civic lunacy of gender neutral “Party A” and “Party B” marriage licenses that resulted from the May California Supreme Court decision illustrates why courts are not the place to decide issues of public policy and morality.
However, we humans are complicated creatures, so I suspect that for many people (not just me) opinions and feelings about gay marriage are similarly complicated:
1. As a Christian, I believe that marriage is an eternal institution established by God to be between one man and one woman, and that no government can legitimately alter that. I supported Michigan’s constitutional amendment and favored passage of Proposition 8 this year. Children deserve to be raised by a mother and a father in a stable and monogamous partnership. Strong families are the foundations of our neighborhoods, our churches, our schools, our communities, and our country. Legalization of gay marriage in the United States would further weaken the family and corrode the foundation upon which our country exists.
2. As an American, I believe in democracy and the supremacy of the people. In the U.S., laws are established by the people (through referendums like this one) and through the people’s elected representatives in Congress and state legislatures. The liberal activism of the California Supreme Court offends me. It is not the place of the judiciary to make laws, and it is certainly not the place of a judge to stick his or her finger in the proverbial winds of culture to decide cases. The law is the law. It is the role of judges to enforce the law, administer justice impartially, and limit interpretation of the law to those instances where the intent of the legislature is unclear from the text and where a law may violate Constitutional limitations on government power.
3. As a person with a close family member living a homosexual lifestyle, I was happy to receive word that he and his long-term domestic partner had decided to marry in San Francisco. Long ago I welcomed his partner in as part of the family, and I love my family member no less because of his lifestyle choices. I’m glad that they have chosen to take this step to further their commitment to one another.
I don’t find any contradictions in these seemingly conflicting ideas. As a complicated human being, I can hold these apparently opposing beliefs simultaneously, because they are all grounded in the Gospel of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ taught that we must abhor sin, but love the sinner. He taught that we all sin, and we all can be forgiven of our sins if we repent and come unto Him. It is through our behavior that we sin, not our feelings. We all are tempted to sin (including those that have feelings of same sex attraction) – to be tempted is not the same as sinning. We sin when we give into temptation, including homosexual sex.
I am a Christian, and I work to keep His commandments and follow His example. I believe that as the United States keeps close to the intent of our Founding Fathers, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, we will prosper as a country. We are at heart a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. When we fall away from those principles as a nation, we will fail.
Being a Christian nation does not mean an autocratic theocracy, but it also does not mean that we should accept the redefinition of sin into virtue. Gay marriage is a poor counterfeit for the real thing, and those that seek to force society to approve their lifestyle choice seek nothing less than to compel me to give up my faith and my beliefs for theirs.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell recognized the beginnings of the times in which we are living, and spoke eloquently of them more than 30 years ago:
As evidenced by the near riots and violent protests at the LDS Church temple in Los Angeles, attacks and vandalism of church properties, and attempted intimidation of those that donated to the effort to pass Proposition 8, the pro-gay marriage minority seeks to impose a politically-correct thugocracy in America. Even the New York Times now says so.
I love my family member who is living a gay lifestyle, I could not forsake him anymore than I could cut off my right arm. He knows my beliefs and I know his, and because we love and respect one another we have a good relationship. My love for him and my happiness for his decision to marry does not change my belief that these gay marriage court decisions are undermining the foundations of our constitutional democracy and damaging our American culture.
Even though I didn’t vote for Senator Obama, I accept the will of the people who elected him to be our next President. Those protesting the approval of Proposition 8 should accept the will of the majority there too.
Apparently the large majority of voters in California still agree with my view. After all, in the year of Obamamania, gay marriage proponents had the best chance they may ever have to succeed, and despite the help of Hollywood heavy hitters like Tom Hanks, they came up short.
UPDATE: The latest from the pro-gay thugocracy is an assault on Christians in San Francisco. The description of one of the Christians is quite graphic, and includes attempts at molestation and being sprayed with bodily fluids. Police in riot gear were called out to protect the Christian group! The group’s crime? Singing hymns on a public street.
2009 ELECTION UPDATE: With the voter-approved repeal of the gay marriage law in Maine, new threats of pro-gay marriage thuggery are emerging. Michelle Malkin has the story here.
2010 ELECTION UPDATE: Despite a huge plurality of votes in favor of Michigan’s Proposal 2 years ago (which amended the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman) and recent gay marriage defeats in California and Maine, state Rep. Pam Byrnes wants to put the state’s voters through more pain and waste more of the state’s dwindling tax revenue on a Prop. 2 “do-over.” Read all about it here.
UPDATE 2 – Fairness Doctrine Equal Time Provision: Along with all of the thuggery coming from the pro-gay marriage crowd, there are still the occasional gems, and here is one.
This 3-minute video entitled “Proposition 8 – The Musical” was conceived and written by Hairspray Tony winner Marc Shaiman, directed and staged by Adam Shankman who helmed the “Hairspray” movie musical, and stars an array of theatre and Hollywood actors. I don’t have to agree with their idiotic interpretation of Old Testament verses to find that this is funny stuff. Kudos to those that put it together!