Wednesday, October 08, 2008

SSM Won't Affect MY Family

That is one of the biggest arguments for allowing SSM. "SSM won't affect my family or my marriage!"

Well, duh, people! I'm sure it would never affect my marriage as far as my relationship with my spouse goes. I mean, that's a no-brainer, right? But it's wrong to say it won't affect families. Or invade our lives.

Recently (? Not sure of the date) a man was arrested in Massachusetts (where SSM is now legal) because he wanted to opt his son out of SSM education. His FIVE YEAR OLD son. I mean, parents can opt their kids out of things against their religion, right? Parents can opt their kids out of Sex Ed., sports, activities, even required reading in English class. But this man was told he couldn't opt his kids out of "diversity day" because SSM was legal, and therefore deemed as "Normal" and "Moral."

What the?

Here's the video link.

P.S. If you are here simply to bash me (as in you've never read my blog before but you feel the need to lecture me), then go somewhere else. I don't mind discussion; I do mind contention.

*Update: Here is a video with a positive message about marriage and why it's not a "civil right" but a strong institution that stabilizes society and raises the next generation.

60 comments:

Cristy said...

Oh really? I was just about to write a scathing bash.... dang. ;) Seriously, this is so sad. So so so so sad... One of the reasons living in the Bubble is pretty great!

Annette Lyon said...

I had a professor in college who had such a great perspective on these things--he was very conservative, and a lot of liberal people in his department attacked him on a regular basis.

He never did change his stance, but he did point out the irony in how all these people claiming "celebrate diversity" refused to accept HIS diversity in being different from them. "Diversity" was code for, "agree with us."

Same thing going on here. It's just wrong to force a value on anyone--but somehow that concept is sometimes lost when it's liberals attacking conservatives. For some reason, it's okay for them to push their beliefs on anyone, anywhere.

(A 5-year-old?!!! Are you KIDDING me?! And an arrest? Oy.)

Ryan and Missy- said...

I admit, I sort of started out thinking, "oh, let them do what they want, big deal." But after learning of the consequences that gay marriage might bring to us individually and as a chuch, I realized how big of a deal it really is.

I've learned that not only can churches lose their tax exemption, but they can also lose their right to marry altogether. To me, that's a huge deal. It changes everything and it's scary to see that our personal and religious practices could be threatened.

flip flop mama said...

Like I said before I didn't understand the ramifications either of SSM on society. I'm so glad to understand now. I got that video a couple days ago from a friend and was just floored. It WILL change. It will change so much.

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Bravo Cheryl for spreading the word. I wasn't aware of all the ramifications this could have. The fact that I may, as a future public school teacher, be required to accept and indoctrinate my students in SSM is horrifying. There is no way that I could teach something that I don't believe in.

More scary is, and correct me if I'm wrong, our church could loose the right to marry people if they refuse to perform SSM. Does that mean my baby boys might not have the privilege of an uncomplicated temple marriage? Would they first have to be married "legally" by the state, and then perform their temple ordinances afterwards, knowing that their temple marriage is not recognized as a legal marriage? My heart hurts just typing this....

Cheryl, I'm super busy, but I feel strongly that I must do something. Please email me to let me know of some small way in which I can help. Love ya, Shauntae

ECS said...

Hi, Cheryl,

I think it's important to point out that the man was arrested for criminal trespassing after school officials repeatedly asked him to leave a private meeting on school premises.

I'm in favor of same-sex marriage, because I do believe that, all things equal, marriage between two consenting adults is a civil right guaranteed by the federal constitution. I've lived in Massachusetts for almost ten years and am happy to send my children to public schools here. I don't believe gay marriage threatens our society any more than interracial marriage, or polygamous marriage.

It's also not true that the Church will lose its tax exemption or will be forced to perform gay marriages. If you're interested in the legal reasons why, you should read this article written by Morris Thurston, a practicing Mormon and California attorney who attended BYU and Harvard Law.

http://www.mormonsformarriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/secondversionresponsestosixconsequencesifprop8fails1.pdf

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Not to be contentious, but does ecs actually believe that the current laws will always stay the same? The article that is referenced relies heavily on current laws that have the potential to be overturned. How can ecs not realize that these events will have a domino effect? Just because a law "protects" ideals now, that doesn't mean that it won't be challenged and replaced later on. I think the article provides a very weak argument.

The point of the story of the father arrested for standing up for his parental rights is that he was DENIED those rights. He was given no options, he was told outright that his wishes and religious beliefs would not be respected. Really, I would've done the same thing.

How can people like ecs not see the long-term effects of this monumental decision?

ECS said...

Hi, Mother of Wild Boys - I'm right here, so you can ask me these questions directly. The article was written specifically in response to Proposition 8, but its arguments are sound. The separation of Church and State set forth in the U.S. Constitution will allow religious organizations to continue to choose whom to marry and which principles to teach their followers.

For example, no one forced the LDS Church to allow blacks to have the priesthood, even though private employers are sued for treating their black employees differently from their white employees. The LDS Church is free to deny access to those who do are not worthy to marry in the temple, which includes those engaging in or those who wish to engage in homosexual relationships.

Of course the father in the story has parental rights, which include the rights to educate your children at home or to send them to a private school. The father was arrested only after school officials asked him to leave. He chose not to and was arrested for his decision.

As far as the longstanding effects of gay marriage, I'm not sure what you mean by these. Could you be more specific?

brenbot. said...

Hi ECS - Thanks for the link to that article. I thought it was great.

Cardalls said...

I have hesitated to comment because I read these comments and I want to jump in but I'm afraid I would make it contentious because I feel strongly about this. I will just say that the family with a husband and wife is the basic unit of society and when we mess with it our society begins to crumble and it is crumbling! There are absolute truths that have nothing to do with "civil rights" and those come directly from our prophets who get it from THE Source.

Cheryl said...

ECS-
Marriage is not a right. It's an institution.

I know this issue is really hard for people --LDS or not --to agree on. For me? After much thought (about 10 year's worth) and prayer (same 10 year's worth), I (me, myself) have decided that marriage is meant to be between a man and a woman and if SSM becomes law, it truly will change our society for the negative. The research is there --in Sweden and The Netherlands --that has proven SSM has help to cause the moral and temporal decay of the family and society as a whole (in those countries). SSM is not just about two people loving each other; it's about a demanding the change of a unit that was created from the foundation of the world to bring about children and stability.

Link to reserearch done in Sweden :
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NmNlNWYxNmZjMjVjNjEzYjdhODAwYmFiYTUwMWQyMTM=
The Netherlands:
http://www.nationalreview.com/kurtz/kurtz200602230800.asp

These talk about the long-standing effects of gay marriage because it's the only place where the long-term effects could be studied.

Here is a liberal democrat in LA that also believe SSM isn't going to be helping anybody:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-blankenhorn19-2008sep19,0,2093869.story

One last thought (and it's kind of personal): I don't get it, ECS. You will tout the knowledge of some random LDS guy who happened to go to BYU and Harvard, but you won't listen to the knowledge of a Seer? I know you have your right to choose (and I honestly respect and admire you and your kind tone, I do), but I guess I just don't get it. It baffles me, really.

Brenbot-
Dude. Of course you loved ECS's article! :) :)

Becky, I have a cat said...

Dude, I was pretty keen on ECS's article as well. Surprise surprise. :)

And Cheryl, I also read your articles. I'm going to pooh-pooh both from the National Review Online since they lean as far to the right as the Huffington Post does to the left. I just can't take most writers for either publication seriously. And Mr. Blankenhorn comes from such a biased opinion to begin with.....I'd really, really love to see some commentary from people who's reputation doesn't include a preset agenda.

I can't speak for ECS since I don't know her (his?) religious background, but there are a lot of people out there looking for some unbiased research on how exactly SSM will crumble the foundations of society. And the word of your Seer just doesn't do it since, to me, he's just another guy with an opinion. At least the lawyer has spent years dedicated to his education and practice that is recognized by people of all creeds.

If you'd like to use the arguement that the institution of marriage is to provide a stable upbringing for the biological offspring of the union, then there are other things that need to be addressed. How about not allowing people to marry if they never plan to have children? Or if one of them is biologically unable to have children? What about adopted children? Or not allowing people to marry that are past their childbearing years? Or enacting stricter regulations for allowing divorce?

Personally I'd rather not see this country have to open that can of worms. The way I see it though is that is the slippery slope we head down on the other side of granting marriages strictly to raise biological children.

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

ecs,
I have to repeat Cheryl's words here:
You will tout the knowledge of some random LDS guy who happened to go to BYU and Harvard, but you won't listen to the knowledge of a Seer?

Anyone who has studied the law must admit that no law is set in stone. The article you cited, while well written, skims over the fact that legally establishing SSM as acceptable and equal to marriage between a man and a woman can and will only lead to the forced acceptance of the breakdown of the traditional family. I'm really confused as to how you cannot see the path that such acceptance would lead us down.

As a child of multiple parents, I can attest to the fact that it is possible to raise a well-adjusted child in an unstable situation. But does that mean that I would choose to do the same to my own children? No way. Same Sex partnerships have been shown to generally have a short shelf life, meaning that the child's family situation is highly likely to be filled with un-needed transitions. Trust me, it's no fun to have to choose between your parents. No child should have to do that.

So why would we knowingly doom children to that fate? There is no way that providing a way for the outright mockery of human nature will be viewed as acceptable by our Heavenly Father. The is no relative answer to this problem, the laws of sexual/family relations are a well established and delineated line. Do you really want to contribute to the blurring of that line, and thus the misleading of those unfamiliar with the laws of God?

I choose to love the sinner and not the sin. Good people sin, but that does not mean that I should be forced to accept their sins as "moral, normal behavior".

PS- As for the "right" of parents to home school or private school their children, what is the point of public school if the public cannot send their children with being able to trust that they can have a say in what their child is exposed to? And I think it is a bit naive of you to assume that any parent could just drop everything to homeschool, or afford private school. The point of public school is so that everyone has equal access to an education, not just the people that choose to ignore the words of the prophets.

OK, I've rambled a bit ecs. I'm definitely not a trained debater, nor was it my goal to convince you of my side. I only feel that I must stand up for my beliefs, as opposed to sitting silently and watching this debate unfold.

Thanks for your kind tone, as Cheryl pointed out, and your resolve to state your beliefs. You have helped me to more clearly understand my motivations for the position I take on this subject.

tamrobot said...

In defense of ECS and other faithful LDS members who feel conflicted on this issue, our Seer, President Thomas S. Monson, has publicly stated church members can disagree politically with the church's opposition to same-sex marriage. He has, however, said that if the disagreement turns into an apostasy situation, that would be inappropriate. FWIW.

ECS said...

"I have to repeat Cheryl's words here:

You will tout the knowledge of some random LDS guy who happened to go to BYU and Harvard, but you won't listen to the knowledge of a Seer?"


I’ve listened to both. In fact, I’ve even done primary research on this issue, so I can be confident I’m making the right decision.

"The article you cited, while well written, skims over the fact that legally establishing SSM as acceptable and equal to marriage between a man and a woman can and will only lead to the forced acceptance of the breakdown of the traditional family."

I’m not sure that recognition of SSM would require the breakdown of the traditional family. Are you saying this because more people would choose same-sex marriage than heterosexual marriage? What evidence do you have of this? It certainly hasn’t been the case in Massachusetts. In 2005, fewer than 2,000 same sex marriages were performed in Massachusetts, whereas 36,000 heterosexuals were married. Of approximately 10,000 same-sex marriages performed since 2004, fewer than 100 of these marriages have resulted in divorce, this is lower than the 2.4% divorce rate in Massachusetts.


"Same Sex partnerships have been shown to generally have a short shelf life, meaning that the child's family situation is highly likely to be filled with un-needed transitions."

Could I ask you where you heard that same-sex relationships have a “short shelf life”? Does this include lesbian couples with children?

"Trust me, it's no fun to have to choose between your parents. No child should have to do that.

So why would we knowingly doom children to that fate?"

I think it is very important to consider the children here. Children are already living with same-sex couples. Why not allow their parents to marry each other, which would lend stability to the relationship? It’s much more difficult to get divorced than to break up a non-marital relationship. Not only that, with the recognition of same-sex marriage, children of same-sex couples will have the protections that children of heterosexual couples have. Meaning, child support, visitation rights, etc. As it is, children of same-sex couples have no protection and are vulnerable to financial insecurity. We shouldn’t punish children for the behavior of their parents by not allowing children of same-sex couples the same rights and protections as children of heterosexual parents.

"As for the "right" of parents to home school or private school their children, what is the point of public school if the public cannot send their children with being able to trust that they can have a say in what their child is exposed to?"

This is a good question, and comes up not only with respect to gay marriage, but with respect to human sexuality in general, and topics such as evolution and intelligent design. Parents certainly should be able to influence the curriculum of the public schools, and there are avenues in every community for parents to become involved in their childrens’ education in this way. That said, a few parents cannot control what is taught in public schools because they object to the content.

Thank you for the interesting discussion.

ECS said...

Cheryl, the battle over same-sex marriage will be fought in courtrooms across this country. The U.S. Supreme Court has defined marriage as a fundamental civil right. Marriage is so fundamental to our individual freedom that the Court allows deadbeat parents with multiple children and multiple ex-wives to re-marry, even though these deadbeat parents have no means of supporting the children they already have. Marriage is so fundamental that convicted murderers have the right to marry while they are imprisoned.

If you feel strongly against same-sex marriage, it’s crucial that you find arguments that the courts will accept in their decision to recognize same-sex marriage.

Courts will not accept arguments that same-sex marriage is against God’s will. Courts are also unlikely to accept arguments based on tradition. On the contrary, the courts in California and Massachusetts decided that equal protection of the laws requires the state to recognize same-sex marriage. This is the most difficult argument for opponents of same-sex marriage to refute, so it’s important for opponents of same-sex marriage to explain why consenting homosexual adults cannot marry each other based on something other than tradition or religious belief. The social science data on children raised in same-sex relationships is limited, but anecdotal evidence suggests that children do as well with two parents who love each other.

This is a difficult issue, and I hope we can resolve it together with peace and understanding in our hearts.

m_and_m said...

OK.

I'm going to pretend for a moment that I don't have any feeling for or belief in prophets and just discuss concerns I have in my brain alone.

- I do not believe ONE vote in a state's supreme court should be allowed to overrule the overwhelming voice of the people as the CA court did. I'd even be concerned if it had been a unanimous vote, but a 4-3 vote? No way. This happened in both MA and CA and that concerns me. The fact that judges in both states were split in and of itself shows that there is no consensus that this kind of drastic change is right and good. And something this significant should not be changed on such thin threads of opinion, imo. The way lawyers disagree on this is another evidence of how unsure we really are about what really will happen.

- I think there are significant potential problems legally and politically because different states have different positions on gay marriage. 27 states have already passed constitutional amendments and 17 others, I believe, have passed other votes (I suspect they are similar to what prop 22 was). I think those who support gay marriage have not come close to addressing and acknowledging this significant problem.

-The numbers above suggest very strongly that the majority of Americans till believe that gay marriage is not good for our country. So, talking about 'a few people' influencing schools or whatever else, imo, does not hold water.

-People want data. Data are mixed. And, truth be told, there aren't a lot of data on this issue. That in and of itself is part of the problem to me. Making gay marriage legal really is still a huge social experiment. I don't believe the role of constitutions and government is to engage in such an experiment. We should be codifying what we *know* is solid for society *and for future generations.* We know heterosexual marriage works, even with its failings. Again, split decisions among supreme court judges, lawyers, and other 'experts' show that this is just not a clear-cut thing by any means. And we should not leave such a messy, unsure legacy for future generations on something this significant, where on the flip side, we have millenia of proof that marriage is good for societies, even with its weaknesses. (The failings of marriage are not because of the institution, but because of individual weakness and error -- and that would exist with gay marriage, too, so using divorce, etc. as a *reason* to support gay marriage imo holds no water. These problems cancel out -- people will make bad choices and do dumb things either in traditional or SS relationships. They will still sometimes be selfish and such. So it still remains to actually show that gay marriage would be beneficial to society and to future generations and to children on the whole (not just those few who (through no choice of their own) are in SS households.)

more to come....

Becky, I have a cat said...

m-and-m,

Thank you for your insights. I especially appreciate the last one. I've had a bit to chew on that has, like MOTWB, helped me solidify my position. I know there is very little reliable data out there supporting gay marriage while there is historical data to show the benefit of straight marriage for society. Unfortunately, without very many opportunities to look at long term changes brought about by legalized gay marriage, any effect it may have remains very theoretical.

I think one of the largest obstacles to seeing eye-to-eye is a difference in perspective. One side of this issue is the institution of marriage and it's role in our society as a whole. The other side of the issue is civil rights and equality for all American citizens and what that means for our society. I have yet to hear someone bridge that gap and give a sufficient reason that some should forgo their civil rights to prop up the institution.

Ann said...

I totally agree with Cheryl on this topic. And as far as history goes, we don't have a lot of recent records to go by on the effect of SSM. But like in so many other areas, our Heavenly Father has given us the answers in the scriptures. Anyone familiar with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah?

m_and_m said...

OK, so an entire, very long comment, disappeared. Ughamugha.

Becky I have a cat, on the issue of civil rights, CA already protects the civil rights of gays. I'm assuming you know that, but some people don't. To me, the 'rights' argument doesn't hold a lot of water because of that.

On the flip side, if we really are concerned about rights, we need to be concerned about the rights that could be affected if gay marriage passes. Parental rights could be on the line. Taxpayer rights, too. Free speech rights and religious rights could very well end up being threatened as well. If gay marriage is legalized, the likelihood of intolerance, even ostracization, for those like us of the LDS faith and many others who believe in traditional is high.

I, too, believe rights are important, but I belive we must take a bigger view and consider ALL rights that might be affected, not just the rights of gays. This won't necessarily all happen at once, but over time, I think it's not hard to imagine how many rights of those who hold traditional beliefs about marriage could be negatively affected. The concept of tolerance MUST go both ways, and making gay marriage legal will reduce the chance for tolerance and protection of many rights.

And again, if gays already have civil rights and protection in that way under CA law.... It really is risky business to put so much on the line when gays really gain no tangible rights. This is in my mind not about rights for them but about validation. I can understand the emotional desire for that, but to me, this is not what should motivate a significant change in something as fundamental as marriage...especially when it goes against what the majority of people believe and think.

I also am deeply concerned about the rights and well-being of children, which I will try to recreate in my next comment.

m_and_m said...

I believe Proposition 8 benefits children in many ways. Although of course there are less-than-ideal situations out there, I believe children deserve all the possibilities to be raised by a mother and a father. There are things that each parent of each gender can bring to a child's life. Girls and boys each have some needs that are unique, particularly as they grow and mature physically (and I would add emotionally). Having a parent of each gender can help with healthy and normal sexual development as well. I totally understand that some people have biological tendencies toward those of the same sex. I can't fathom how hard this must be in a society where that is not the norm (and when I speak here of 'norm' and 'normal' consider it in a statistical sense, and not in a desire to label people. Statistically, gays are still in a definite minority). We shouldn't *force* it to be the same or the norm, because it's not. Even our biology asserts this reality. And we shouldn't confuse children about that reality. Most children will grow up heterosexual. But some will be confused if both lifestyles and thus attractions are encouraged and presented as the same.

[I will stick my LDS perspective in here for a minute and say that I think we need to do a better job of reaching out and supporting those who struggle with SSA. In a sense, we all fall out of the norm in some way. And we all deserve love and compassion. But I should not be expected to change what I beleive to be naturally true and morally true to 'prove' that love and concern. And I don't believe our laws should be expected to validate every person or group of people whose life is different from the norm just to "show compassion."]

I grew up with a gay member of my family. I struggled during my junior high years, wondering if I was 'different,' if I was gay, because boys at that time were not attractive to me in the least. When I talk of possible confusion in the NORMAL development of sexuality, I speak from a little bit of my own personal experience. I know what kind of confusion can come to a teenager when the *natural* connections with those of the same sex come during periods of adolescence. While I recognize that there are those who are born with sexual attraction for those of the same sex (and again, my heart goes out to them), I know from personal experience that nature is not the only thing that can come into play in a young person's process of sexual development. Nurture is critical. I believe we owe our children to know what the norm is, and not to confuse that process all the more by asserting that homosexuality and heterosexuality are the same, by calling gay marriage and heterosexual marriage the same. We can teach them to value individuals regardless of their race, religion, or sexual orientation. But we don't -- and I believe we shouldn't -- teach children that there is no difference between being gay and being heterosexual, or that being marriage in a gay marriage is no different. It's simply not true. Children deserve to understand what is 'normal' in terms of the typical development and unfolding of life.

I'll say this again. I also believe Proposition 8 can help protect my rights as a parent to teach my children about my beliefs about morality, sexuality, and marriage. And I believe that children deserve to be taught these things by their parents in an environment of love, faith (where that exists) and safety.

If the law says that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, this can also put some teachers who believe gay marriage is morally wrong in a difficult position. Should teachers be required to teach something they feel is morally wrong, to actually lie to children? Again, people's rights ARE at stake here, and it's not just gays we need to consider.

OK, more to come....

m_and_m said...

This is my last bit for tonite. (Whew, you say!)

I watched two videos that sum up another concern of mine. One was of two men (the implication was that they were partners), getting children ready for school. One man was in the kitchen, and a child came in and called him 'Mum.' Another video was of two men who got married in CA. The woman narrating the video commented on one picture where one of the men was holding a bouquet. She said, “He looks just like a bride.”

Changing the definition of marriage will mean that the definitions of mother, father, husband, wife, bride, groom, and male and female could be significantly blurred and confused and altered. (Perhaps you have already seen stories about marriage licenses and the debates about what wording should be used for the spouses.)

I believe my roles as a wife and as a mother are significant -- and tied inextricably to my womanhood. As much as I respect and love men and appreciate all they do in their families, I don't want 'mom' to mean either male or female. That is a role that is uniquely female. The biology of motherhood is uniquely female (and please don't cite that one person who changed genders and is carrying a baby as a male...exceptions don't change the rule).

In short, I am deeply concerned about removing the connection between gender and family roles. Again, this can affect and confuse children as well.

I don't want to become 'spouse A' or 'parent B' in my marriage and family life and I don't want that to happen in the larger context of society.

I'm even thinking about the logistical nightmare of trying to define these terms in a dictionary. The logical fallout of this to me is not insignificant. As much as people want to normalize homosexual behavior and remove gender from our lives, it is so deeply embedded in our society and in our biology (again, norms) that it's like trying to make a river change direction. You can't mess with nature without consequences.

Related to that, and finally, in a general sense, I believe gender is an essential part of human life which has always been a foundational element of marriage and family life, of life in general. To remove that connection between gender and marriage and to blur what it means to be male, female, mother, father, husband, wife, is, I believe, to reject millenia of wisdom, experience, and even the realities of our biology. Even as technology has been able to create some exceptions to the 'normal' process of creating a human life, the 'norm' is still the same. And even if it ends up being in a petrie dish, the creation of life can ONLY happen by bringing a part of a man and a part of a woman together in one of the most amazing miracles any of us can ever witness. No matter what your faith, you cannot deny this miracle, and we should not, in my opinion, decouple (no pun intended) the truth that biology testifies of: the bringing together of male and female is what continues the human race, and what keeps societies alive. Even as there are some exceptions of heterosexual couples who cannot procreate through the normal means, these exceptions still do not negate the rule of nature, and imo, neither should we negate nature with our laws. Surely there are other ways we can find to show compassion to our gay friends, neighbors and family members without changing (and even denying) all of these fundamental elements of our existence.

(So, Michelle, you ask, how do you REALLY feel about this? :) )

ECS said...

m&m – you say that you don’t believe one vote should be able to decide the legality of gay marriage. Remember Bush v. Gore? The U.S. Supreme Court decided by only one vote that George W. Bush had won the 2000 election and disregarding the millions of voters who had chosen Al Gore for president. Some matters of the law are close calls, but the courts are the final authority on constitutional interpretation. Voters in Hawaii amended their constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, so perhaps seeking an amendment to the U.S. Constitution will be the next step for opponents of same-sex marriage.


You then say that there are potential issues with some states recognizing gay marriage while others do not. I can’t speak for all supporters of same-sex marriage, but some of them would agree with you that the current patchwork of anti-SSM laws and constitutional provisions is untenable. The answer is that the U.S. Supreme Court will probably have to decide this issue in a few years under the U.S. Constitution.

You mention that a majority of Americans do not support gay marriage. It depends on the demographic surveyed. A strong majority of Americans under 25 do support gay marriage. In fact, a recent poll in California shows that 68 percent of voters 18 to 25 support gay marriage.

I think the rest of your comments discussing your fears with the legalization of same-sex marriage are personally important to you and to other opponents of same-sex marriage. It’s important that both supporters and opponents create a space to discuss our fears and hopes for the future and our children together.

If same-sex marriage is legalized, parents who oppose same-sex marriage should educate their children that homosexual relationships are not appropriate just as parents who oppose pre-marital sex should educate their children that these relationships, while socially acceptable and often encouraged, are not appropriate. For LDS parents, same goes for drinking and smoking. It is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children these values, regardless of whether society’s laws follow the same values.

Finally, you mention free speech, taxpayer rights and parental rights that might be jeopardized by the legalization of same-sex marriage. I’m not exactly sure of the rights you’re referring to here - could you be more specific? Again, it’s important to identify specific _legal_ arguments against same-sex marriage, because the courts will not decide this issue based on our personal, religious views.

Interestingly enough, the U.S. Supreme Court just this week refused to hear the case of the Lexington parent arrested for trespassing.

http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2008/10/09/us_supreme_court_refuses_lexington_case/

Cheryl said...

ECS-
The reason Adults 18-25 believe in SSM is because they have been indoctrinated to believe anything moral is simply "a choice." There is no "morality" to many of the next generation; it's all "Do what you want! Who cares?"
But you are right. That has nothing to do with legalities, which is just depressing.

But with the article link you posted? You proved my point, ECS. The fact that the courts denied the Lexinton couple (and 2,000 others?!) their rights as parents in choosing to opt their children out of "diversity day" proves that SSM is having a legal ramifications and invading our homes. Telling parents they should "just homeschool" if they don't agree with one small part of school cirrculum is ludicrous. What about the teachers who have to teach it? Do they have the rights to refuse?

And this is what I don't get: We're not allowed to teach Creationsim (which doesn't really bother me), but they are allowed to teach Homosexuality? What blatant hypocrisy! It's like what Annette Lyon mentioned (third comment): Liberal viewpoints scream "equality" but they are really saying "think like us, or else." I mean, what is the big deal? Do you honestly think that parents opting their children out of SSM teachings in school is a bad thing? That they should be denied those rights? If SSM supporters truly wanted to get the public behind them (the secular public, I might add), then maybe they shouldn't be all "Haha! Now we get to teach your kids it's normal and moral and good!"

m&m did a good job (I thought) on showing all the problems with SSM from a secular viewpoint and I appreciated her thoughts (and time!). But who can contend with you, ECS? We neither have the vocabulary nor the education (nor the debating skills??). You are trying to convince people who believe in the ability of a Prophet and Seer to see --not just the future and need of the LDS people, but for the ENTIRE WORLD-- the future as well as our immediate needs. A Prophet's job is to Testify of Christ and Preach the Plan of Salvation. SSM has no place in the Plan of Salvation; the very idea repels and destroys every facet of it, turning it into a mockery of God.

However, I am arguing/discussing with people who believe Pres. Monson is some random guy with a religious agenda. For some, I would say it makes sense (not believing in Prophets, anyway). But ECS, I thought you did...? This is where I'm left baffled and...well...just baffled. I just don't get it.
[Any chance you could email me? I don't want you to have to talk about it in public, but I'd sure appreciate your perspective so I could understand better. cssavage at gmail]

So, I would say we are at an impasse.

(I will leave comments open, however, for those who would like to continue the discussion.)

ECS said...

Cheryl, can I just make two clarifications before you close the comments?

(1) The 2,000 cases mentioned in the article are all the cases that were appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court this term. These 2,000 cases have nothing to do with the Lexington parent's case. The Court decides only a few cases of the thousands appealled each year, so it has to decline many of these cases. The Lexington parent's case was only one of these 2,000 cases.

2) I know morality and religion are powerful arguments, but they aren't as effective in winning in a court of law. I think it's important to focus on why the U.S. Constitution protects the right to marry for convicted murderers in prison and deadbeat parents who refuse to care for their existing children but continue to divorce their spouses and seek marriage licenses to marry again and again, but not two consenting homosexual adults.

It _is_ a matter of morality, but we need to be more articulate in why we don't support same-sex marriage so that we can help others - including the courts that will decide this issue - understand why homosexuals shouldn't marry each other.

If you want to continue the discussion - please do email me at fmhecs at gmail dot com. Thanks.

Cheryl said...

ECS-
Ah. Thank you for the clarification on the 2,000 cases. I must have read quickly. :)

Oh, I'm not closing comments! I just don't think I'll be participating much in the discussion. (Of course, I may change my mind.) By all means, it can continue!

Becky, I have a cat said...

m-and-m, again, thank you for the time and thoughtfulness you've put into your responses. It gives me a lot to think about.

To clarify one thing, when I talk of the traditional marriage versus civil rights concept I was referring to the country as a whole, not specifically California. I do know that California currently gives most civil rights to gay couples but, like ECS, I think this will have to be addressed nationally in the near future.

To give a peek at where I'm coming from, politically I lean strongly libertarian. I think with moral issues, the government should provide education and options. It is then up to individuals to make decisions based on all available information and choose which option is best for them. So I personally don't see a problem with children being exposed to views in school that oppose their parent's beliefs. I think that the parents are still free to use that as a starting point to discuss with their children what they believe and, more importantly, why they believe it. I do not see a problem with more information. I think that this will also help people on either side of an issue to solidify their beliefs if they have to articulate the very basic foundational concepts of their position.

I won't go on since I've obviously hit a nerve with Cheryl, which was never my intention. I sincerely appoligize.

Cheryl said...

Ah, Bex. I stink at the written word. You can continue discussing this, I really don't mind! And I didn't mean YOU specifically in reference to Pres. Monson, because many other people feel the same way you do. So, don't feel you have to stop the discussion just because I'm a lousy writer. :)

Leslie said...

A lot to read through...but no matter what the arguments for SSM...I just can't buy it. I hope to raise my children in a moral society and I just don't believe SSM is moral.

I do believe that people are free to choose...but I think that you can't choose the consequences of your actions. If you choose to live a homosexual lifestyle...I think you choose not to be married. If you choose to have sex and you somehow get pregnant...you choose to have a baby and either decide to raise that child of allow that child to be adopted into a caring family. Choices have consequences.

I live in Arizona, a state where a similar measure is on the ballot. I am hopeful that it will pass here. Because I think it is a moral question...not a legal one.

Becky, I have a cat said...

Oh honey! You gotta get that lousy writer idea out of your head!!! You do know how many people read and adore this blog, right? I feel like my writing is a little rusty and there are other people better articulating both sides of this than I. How appropriate that I stuck my foot firmly in mouth just in time for Yom Kippur. :) Jewish Day of Atonement, me being a dudner head, maybe there is some higher power keeping me in line. :)

Becky, I have a cat said...

"Because I think it is a moral question...not a legal one."

Not to single you out, leslie, but this is part of my problem. If it is not a legal issue why are there votes on laws and constitutional ammendments? If it is a strictly moral issue why not leave it up to individuals in their homes and places of worship? This is not a snarky question, I'd genuinely like to know.

Cheryl said...

Haha! Becky, you are one of the most eloquent people I know. And I sure love ya. :)

Okay, Leslie said: "it's not a legal issue, but a moral one" and Becky said: "Then why is it being voted upon?"

My answer: It has to be voted upon because supporters for SSM (and SS relationships in general) have turned it into a legal issue, forcing their beliefs on an institution that has not changed for...let's see...at least 4,000 years (since the written word?). Or, if you believe in religion, eternity. But religion aside, that's the issue at hand: It wasn't religious people pushing a moral issue to become legal, it was the exact opposite. We HAVE to fight the legal side because we've been forced to.

Becky, I have a cat said...

I'm not buying the "you started it" arguement. From what I understand, there were not originally strict definitions of marriage in most state laws. So then when a few homosexuals came along and wanted to take advantage of their legal rights is when people got squidgy about it and started passing laws. Yes, the religious pushed for stricter definitions legally to maintain the status quo.

Cheryl said...

But there's the thing: They didn't HAVE legal rights to get married. Every marriage license mentions "bride" and "groom". There wasn't a need for a constitutional amendment or for a law to be passed because there didn't *need to be* until SS couples pushed hard to redefine the very definition of marriage.

Moddy said...

Cheryl, thanks for your thoughts. When I read posts like yours I think, "oh I have something to say, but don't know how to put it". So it is great to have someone else to say it for me. Love your blog and you are a great writer, keep it up

Becky, I have a cat said...

Hm, so let's have a little fund and think of it like this. There's a boy's baseball league. There's not anywhere written that explicitly says "boys only", but that's just the way things are because that's how it's always been done. So a girl comes along and wants to play. Oh no! That will threaten the entire league. We'd have to call a girl a "third baseMAN"? Can't have that, so sorry little girl, you can't play, because....um.....(furious scratching and scribbling)...because it says right here that you can't. Sorry, better luck next time.

Nothing explicitly said "can't marry the gayz" until a couple come along and want to play your game. Then it becomes something that needs to be ammended and made specific.

Becky, I have a cat, again said...

Oops, fun, not fund.

Cheryl said...

Yes, but Becky, a little league baseball team doesn't have familial, social, and/or procreation ties to it. Most feminists are all about SSM because of the whole gender issue (your story made me think of feminism since it was a feminism issue): Most feminists (liberal) and Gays (liberal again) would like to see gender gone altogether. They want a gender-neutral and gender-free society. That horrifies me. And that Satan guy is havin' a field day with it! (sorry, got all religious again).

Going back to non-religious debate, here you go:
The Secular Case Against Gay Marriage
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1082190/posts

David T. said...

cheryl,

I confess I haven't read all the comments thus far (damn you, job responsibilities!), but ever since the whole SSM/Prop 8 thing came about I've been confused by the number of members who disagree with the First Presidency's position. Granted, I didn't think much of the issue, either, before the Church's announcement, but to second guess something that's being emphasized so strongly by the prophet seems reckless. I mean, seriously. The Church's admonitions have been nothing short of a biblical prophet on the wall, crying repentance-- and those members who choose to ignore or object only remind me of Zion's inevitable purification.

m_and_m said...

Now I'm putting on my LDS hat. :)

Someone said above something to the effect (sorry...on the run) that Pres. Monson said it was ok to go against the prophets on this issue. That is simply not true. The First Presidency clearly and specifically asked members to do all they can to *support prop 8 and to keep marriage between a man and a woman.* They could not be more clear that this is an unequivocal position they have taken. We as members should be defending traditional marriage.

Everyone definitely has agency, of course. But this issue must not be confused with the concept of political neutrality in the Church, which says that we don't support specific candidates or political platforms and that there are lots of ways we can do good and fulfill our civic duties. There is no One Right Way when it comes to platforms and political parties and candidates. But this is not in that category.

I attended the broadcast last nite. We have been called to action in an unprecedented way. There is simply NO QUESTION that the prophets are unified on this and are asking us to be the same. This is a way for us to defend and sustain the plan of God and His kingdom.

Again, I understand the power and principle of agency, but I think it's completely wrong to imply that our leaders have *condoned* the choice to go against them on this issue. There has been absolutely nothing but a direct call to action and absolute clarity about where we stand and where they expect members to stand on this. Bold, yes, but it's because one of the main purposes of prophets is to teach and defend the plan of God. And it's our opportunity to play a significant role in helping protect that plan and our rights and our children and generations to come.

tamrobot said...

m&m

I read the statement straight from a public interview of President Monson in the Deseret News. It is also quoted in the Wiki article about Homosexuality and the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

----

Regarding another question about whether church members could disagree with the faith's opposition to legalizing same-sex unions and still remain in good standing, he said the answer "depends on what the disagreement is."

"If it's an apostasy situation, that would not be appropriate. If it's something political, there is room for opinion here and there on either side."

----

Leslie said...

Not to single me out...hu? I'm not a good debater...I just meant to say that for me the question is a moral question. Why do we need to have laws that define moral issues and not just let everybody decide what's moral for them? That's a can of worms that there's no way to address here. But aren't most laws trying to uphold a system of morality? Anyway...I really don't want to debate it...I'm not eloquent enough. Thanks for making me think though...

Cheryl said...

An opinion here and there hardly means it's okay to promote SSM, though, or spreading that opinion around on blogs and forums and anywhere else.

However, I already know about *your* struggle, tam. I know it's hard.

Leslie-
I agree. Most of morality is already law. There are laws against stealing, murdering, assault, slander, smoking in public, rape, statutory rape, cousins or siblings marrying each other, lying under oath; there are laws limiting divorce, marriage (ooh! ooh!), adoption, ownership, alcohol intake and drug abuse.

Most law is moral. Without law, there would be no morality. Without morality, there would be no law.

Rochelleht said...

Interesting comments all of them. I do understand why it is a volatile issue, certainly. But I agree most heartily with m_and_m's last comment. If the prophet told us where he stands on an issue, I think it leaves no room for argument. It is what it is. For those not of our faith, it will be a much different discussion. But for someone who takes covenants and professes to have a testimony of the gospel, I think the argument has to end with the First Presidency's statements on this issue.

Bottom Line.

Leslie said...

Thanks Cheryl...just been thinking how I could have phrased it better earlier...maybe it would have been better to say. For me it's not just a legal issue...it's really a moral issue. And again...this is how I look at it. I don't expect everybody to feel the same about it. Thanks again for the healthy discussion.

Cheryl said...

Oh! And david t., thank you so much for coming by. I loved your post at Nine Moons today.

And I agree. It is very reckless.

Cheryl said...

Leslie-
You are welcome. :)

Rochelle-
Agreed. Thank you for your thoughts!

m_and_m said...

tamrobot,
Let me clarify my comment. I think there is a difference between *allowing* some room for people to sort through and think about this without fearing for their membership, and *condoning* people taking a public and definitive stance against the prophets.


I also want to say that I totally understand someone struggling with this issue, for philosophical or personal reasons. I am not unaware of how hard this issue can be to sort through, because even as I have always supported the prophets, it has still lots of rhetoric to sift through and lots of concerns to consider.

I also have compassion for those who struggle with SSA, all the more those in the Church who want to be members, and know what that cost means. This is a difficult issue, there is no doubt.

But I still believe, all the more after listening to the broadcast last night, that *actively and publicly fighting* against the leaders on this issue is wrong. And I don't believe the Church leaders would *condone* it even if they are giving people their space to make their choices, even make their mistakes.

In short, just because you *can* do something and not be penalized in terms of Church membership doesn't meant it's *right.*

ECS said...

Hi, Cheryl -

I just wanted to chime in again and thank you for hosting a very civil discussion here. In all of the debates about SSM I've participated in on the blogs, this has probably been the most reasonable and respectful.

I also wanted to say that the anti-discrimination laws are already in effect and the legalization of gay marriage will not have any impact on these laws that protect homosexuals from discrimination.

Becky, I have a cat said...

Thank you Cheryl for taking a public stand for what you believe so strongly. I'd just like to clarify one of your bullet points. It is not in all states that gays receive the same civil rights without the official title of marriage or partnership or civil union. While that may be true in California, it is not in Utah.

1. Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman.
2. No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.

Those last four words mean no civil unions. The words are slightly different, but the same holds true for 18 other states (19 in total).

Cheryl said...

Becky-
Whoo-hoo! You were comment #50! I wish I had a door prize for you, darn it. Maybe I'll just have to take you to lunch. ;)

Thanks you for the info. I didn't realize many states do not allow civil unions; I knew CA did...
If I am to be perfectly honest, I don't believe in those, either, though. I don't like civil unions, adults living together (SS or heterosexual), etc. It all goes back to the law of chastity. And I don't agree with that lifestyle as is: if they want the tax breaks, then get married. To a SS couple, I know that seems unfair because they CAN'T get married, but it is what it is. And like I said, changing it just isn't right.

And we have now come full circle...again...

Who wants to go again? :)

Cardalls said...

i thought i posted a comment yesterday but it didn't show up. it is admirable miss cheryl that you have stirred up so much discussion and given so much info over this very (obviously) hot topic. it is admirable that you have very courageously stood up for what you believe in without contention! i may or may not post...however since only family and friends read mine I am sure it would not generate this type of discussion. GREAT JOB!

Amy Coons said...

Hello Cheryl,
I got to your site through a link on my BYU friend Em's blog (and I even know your husband a bit too!) Anyway, I'm not going to comment much at all, just that I really appreciated this post and the discussion that insued. Very insightful. Thank you for speaking up and sharing what you did.

Cardalls said...

you gave me the courage to post about it on my blog...thanks!

Cheryl said...

cardalls-
You did post a comment! It's up there...you just have to find it in the mix. :) But thank you for your words, I really appreciate them.

Amy Coons-
Welcome! Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. How do you know my husband? I'm curious! :)

m_and_m said...

Those last four words mean no civil unions. The words are slightly different, but the same holds true for 18 other states (19 in total).

This to me illustrates why a federal marriage amendment would make the most sense. It just doesn't make sense to me to have one state define marriage in one way and another state another. (Definitions just don't work that way! ...it's like we'd need each state to have its own dictionary or something!) CA can't make other states recognize relationships that are called marriage in CA.
It's a messy thing for a few states to do this. It just doesn't work in my mind.

Amy Coons said...

I thought I would check back today to see if you saw my comment. :) Yes, Brandon was in my BYU freshman ward. He was one of the few nice guys that year that actually would socialize with our hall. "Coons" is my married name. I was part of a crazy group of girls--Bethany, Penny, Jennis, Emily, Cathy, Corinne (you may have met some of them?) Good times!

Amy Coons said...

P.S. You have a beautiful family. You are a fantastic writer too. :)

(And sorry this whole thing is off topic of your post!)

Cheryl said...

Amy-
Heavens, yes! I know Emily and Bethany, and I believe I've met Cathy (Brandon, isn't she the one who served in your mission, too?). That Emily will always have my gratitude for dating Brandon back in the day and writing him so faithfully on his mission. She was stability when he needed it the most! And she's a great girl, too. :) I feel the same way about Bethany (except the "dating Brandon" part, since...erm...it didn't happen...ha!).

So nice to meet you! Sort of. You know, through blogging and all. ;) Your blog is private, I noticed, so I'm sorry I can't leave a comment for you over there!

P.S. Thank you for the compliments!

Dan said...

I won't even pretend to be "a good debater" and I don't intend to create an argument. With that said a lot has been argued on both sides about the ability of SS couples to raise children properly. Aren't we forgetting an important thing? Biologically speaking, if we eliminate technology advances, SS couples can't have children naturally. Eliminate adoption (assuming a world in which all parents are responsible and bear children and raise them within their own home), and the only way for SS couples to raise children is to...steal them?

I know it sounds ridiculous and you can say the assumptions don't hold in the real world, but...scientific thought is often based on assumptions to isolate variables. So with the variables isolated we now have a world where SS couples may exist, but now there are no children who have to learn about having 2 mommies, or 2 daddies. Or, "Why is Billy's mom a man?"

So ecs, you say no one has proved that SSM causes a strain on society. It's pretty easy to tell that the only reason we have this issue is because man (not God) has abused technology/society in a way that allows children to be in a situation (SS Family) that is not even able to be created in the bounds of "nature."

Biology (the essence of our physical selves) did not intend for families to be based on gay parents acquiring children from a third party. There you have my semi-scientific argument that SSM is irrelevant when SS couples already have "rights" in California, and biologically speaking should need no help raising the children they "can't" have.

So it has been said that I should teach my children it is not ok, even though the school fights to teach them it is ok. The school isn't teaching my kids that pre-marriage sex is approved by the state. School doesn't teach my kids that smoking and drinking alcohol is okay for them (in any grade...not just 1st.) so why should it teach my kid that we can defy biology and raise other kids in a family with gay parents???

I understand that there are those who naturally feel gay tendencies, and I don't discredit the difficulty that causes. I do however feel like many people also "become" gay because it has been advertised as being cool by our "modern" society. Let's not let Hollywood dictate our laws and sit back and say the Prophet is wrong.

P.S. Cheryl and I don't agree on too many things, (well at least not in the details) but here's one...cool huh?