Thursday, October 16, 2008

Preserving Marriage

I wanted to respond to the bullet points listed on the LDS Church's official website concerning Proposition 8:
Having tolerance without condoning: We can love someone while still maintaining and advocating our standards and beliefs.
Actually, I'm not going to respond to this one save to say that the LDS Church's definition of the word "tolerance" is a definition I will not be teaching to my children.
Unless Proposition 8 passes, California society will soon undergo a profound change in its basic understanding of marriage and family life: That will affect everyone in numerous ways. Over time, greater acceptance of nontraditional marriage will be demanded of all people. This could impact the ability of any religion to teach and practice its beliefs.
Society, in general, is undergoing profound changes "in its basic understanding of marriage and family life." This is why support of gay marriage is growing. It is not the law that is instigating the change, but society seeing the actual equality of families headed by gay couples and families headed by straight couples. And this change is going to take place whether gay marriage is legal or not.

So, really, this is not a consequence of gay marriage, but the reason why gay marriage is becoming more and more accepted.

The last two sentences of the quoted statement are... well, for lack of a kinder word... hypocritical. That is to say, this 'demand of acceptance' is precisely what Proposition 8 is doing: demanding that society accept traditional marriage as the only kind of marriage. As far as impacting the practicing of beliefs, Proposition 8 is the greatest offender -- and, to be frank, gay marriage's 'guilt' in this offense is quite debatable.
Proposition 8 will not hurt gays and lesbians: In California, the law provides for marriage-related benefits to be given to civil unions and domestic partnerships. Proposition 8 does not diminish these benefits.
I think the wording of their explanation is quite misleading. That is, it gives the impression that Proposition 8 will not take anything away from gay couples. I do not know the differences between civil unions/domestic partnerships and marriage -- I am assuming there are some, besides title, but I don't know -- however, there is at very least a removal of status.

I would assume that, if you were to ask those who have been forcefully deranked [sic], most would say they were affected negatively (i.e. hurt) by their demotion.

However, title holding is mostly superficial. The underlying harm is that harm instigated whenever one group claims superiority over another group (now, I'm no Historian, but from what I have studied in History -- which, granted, isn't all too impressive -- that which has caused societies to fail has most often, if not always, been one group of people claiming superiority over another group -- I know, a little off topic, but such is my response to: "[Insert perceived evil here] caused the fall of [insert well known mighty society that fell here].")
Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt children: If same-sex marriage remains legal, public schools will put it on equal footing with traditional marriage. Children will likely receive “age appropriate” information about sexual relations within heterosexual and homosexual marriages.
Frankly, this is going to happen whether gay marriage is legal or not. It's happening in states where gay marriage is illegal.

And the question on my mind is: How will learning about homosexually headed families hurt children? Simply put: It will make it more difficult for them to believe what their parents are preaching.
Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt churches: The court’s decision will inevitably lead to conflicts with religious liberty and free speech rights. Society will become more and more hostile to traditional beliefs about marriage and family.
Firstly, religions will always have their liberties and free speech rights -- sure, there will be conflicts (but no conflicts not already existing with religious liberty and free speech in regards to other legal matters -- for example, the conflict concerning smoking, drinking, etc. that came up when the LDS Church opened the walkway in downtown Salt Lake City).

The last fear, "Society will become more and more hostile to traditional beliefs about marriage and family," is perhaps the most valid of all consequences.

However and again, this is going to happen whether laws are passed or not. Again, this is for one simple reason: Society is finally beginning to see the goodness of gay couples raising families.

Children are going to see this goodness, whether or not taught specifically in their school classes, and such will make believing in their parents' claims that homosexual couples are inferior parents extremely difficult.

I have found that children, especially and in general, don't like being lied to. So when they start seeing these good, amazing families -- and not seeing the abominations preached to them by their parents -- they are going to start questioning... and not just the beliefs of homosexuality, but pretty much everything told them by their Church and parents.

Again (and again), this is going to happen, no matter how any state constitution defines marriage. Passing Proposition 8 may grant some more time to shield children from what's actually out there, but gay parents are going to become more common. The days of homosexuals living in the closet are coming to an end (well, I'm sure there will always be closeted homosexuals, but it's becoming more and more rare)... to quote a show I wasn't expecting to love as much as I did:
You can't stop
The motion of the ocean
Or the rain from above
You can try to stop the paradise
We're dreamin' of
But you cannot stop the rhythm
Of two hearts in love to stay
Cause you cant stop the beat!

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