Monday, September 1, 2008

Why NOT just live and let live?

Traditional Marriage is at a crossroads, especially when activist judges recently overturned the will of the people in California. Please read the links posted on the right side bar of my blog (and posted below), and urge anyone you know in California that supports traditional marriage to vote yes on proposition 8 this November. Please, if you can financially support prop 8, don't hesitate.

Please know that I do not personally condemn anyone who chooses to live a homosexual lifestyle, and I believe that many are born with same-gender attraction. I have read some touching blogs of LDS members who feel same-gender attraction and choose not to act on their feelings even though it means a lonely life in mortality. I see them choose to abstain just as God asks single people, divorced or never been married, to obey laws of chastity. I do not love homosexuals any differently, and in fact go out of my way to show that I care even though we have fundamentally different beliefs. We can accept and love a person without accepting their choices.

So, why not just live and let live?

I feel that homosexual activist groups are making the issue that if we do not accept and condone their lifestyle choice, we are not accepting them as a person rather than allowing us to accept them without accepting their lifestyle decisions. If we do not accept their lifestyle, we are considered bigots/racist/discriminatory. Homosexuals cry "Inequality!," which seems compelling.

Prop 8 is up for vote in November for all Californians. It maintains that marriage is between a man and a woman. This is not a declaration of war against individuals, but a defense of a vital institution.Prop 8 is NOT an attack on same-sex couples and does not take away the rights that same-sex couples already have under California’s domestic partner law. California law already grants domestic partners all the rights that a state can grant to a married couple. Same-sex couples have a right to their private lives, but not to change the definition of marriage for everyone else.

Here are just some of the legal ramifications, including being on a precipice of losing our first amendment rights:

1. Marriage between a man and a woman is the fabric of our society. To deny children growing up in a home with a father and mother whenever possible (I understand there are many single parents and non-ideal situations to which you do your best), is to further plummet already declining moral values in our country, which will have many dire, unintended consequences to the stability of our society. Children need input from both a mother's and father's differing strengths for the best possible development. To be raised by same-sex parents is to teach them that one role or the other is irrelevant.

Even from the religious standpoint of arguing that God has commanded the acting on same-gender attraction as a sin, "Gay marriage" is not bad because God forbids it. God forbids it because it is harmful for us, as a society and as individuals. Even if people don't believe it or know it, God has a plan for us, and family is centered around that plan. Marriage is ordained of God to fulfill the purposes of our creation, including being a sacred mechanism whereby spirits can be housed. Our bodies are physically designed to compliment each other, as are our male and female natures. Strong families are also the fundamental institution for transmitting to future generations moral strengths, traditions, and values that sustain civilization.

Poignantly posted at www.calmarriagedefense.blogspot.com is the following: "Marriage is a social contract because the issues involved go beyond the particular individuals. Unions of a man and a woman produce the future generations on whom the fate of the whole society depends. Society has something to say about that.

Even at the individual level, men and women have different circumstances, if only from the fact that women have babies and men do not. These and other asymmetries in the positions of women and men justify long-term legal arrangements to enable society to keep this asymmetrical relationship viable — for society's sake.

Neither of these considerations applies to unions where the people are of the same sex.

Centuries of experience in trying to cope with the asymmetries of marriage have built up a large body of laws and practices geared to that particular legal relationship. To then transfer all of that to another relationship that was not contemplated when these laws were passed is to make rhetoric more important than reality."

All of this is extremely endangered by the legalizing of same-sex marriage. Co-habitation under any title is not a sufficient reason for defining new forms of marriage.

2. Churches may be sued over and lose tax exempt status if they decline to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings.

2. Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages may be sued for hate speech and risk govt. fines. California municipal employees are already not allowed to say "traditional marriage" or "family values," due to them being considered hate speech.

3. Religious adoption agencies will not be allowed to place children solely in homes with both a mother and a father, even if this is counter to church doctrine. Catholic Charities in Boston already closed its doors due to the legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

4. Children in public schools will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is the same as traditional marriage, causing serious clashes between the secular school and the right of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.

Urgently important articles/links:
The Divine Institution of Marriage
Proclamation on the Family
http://www.protectmarriage.com/

22 comments:

Benjamin said...

Hi Kimberly -- Thanks for publicly sharing your strong feelings on the matter. I especially appreciated the link to the Church website:

The Divine Institution of Marriage

Too often the arguments against same-sex marriage are close-minded and poorly reasoned. This short essay is neither and cites several objective scientific studies in addition to religious arguments against same-sex marriage. It makes a case against same-sex marriage that is open to reasonable debate from even a non-religious viewpoint. Especially interesting is when it said:

The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.

This would seem to indicate that the Church does not officially oppose "civil unions", something which I was not aware of. There are several Democrats who oppose same-sex marriage, but support civil unions. This would appear to be consistent within this framework. Interesting.

Stacy said...

Wow, I can't believe about not being able to use "traditional marriage" anymore, especially in schools. Yikes!

Publicola said...

We have started a blog specifically to defend traditional marriage in California and to promote the passage of the constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot this November that retains marriage as between a man and a woman.

Please join us at http://calmarriagedefense.blogspot.com/.

The Dances said...

Kimberly, thanks so much for this post--VERY WELL SAID!!

Kimbooly said...

Thanks Ben, I really appreciate your comments. I had read the specific rights civil unions have, but couldn't find it when I was completing my blog. Thank you for such quick responses everyone. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to read this crucial blog. I just read this morning that so far supporters of Prop 8 has raised 8.4 million, and that the opposition has already raised 8.5 million, and some of the opposition is calling their efforts "Californians against Hate." I feel that is misleading and incorrect; my blog and Ben's comments affirm that our support for prop 8 is not out of hate at all.

Kimbooly said...

I forgot to say again, please, if you can contribute to Prop 8, do so. As of mid-August, 44% of prop 8 opponents' money has been raised from out-of-state donors.

Tom said...

"Children need input from both a mother's and father's differing strengths for the best possible development."

And how specifically will denying marriage equality help achieve this goal?

Patrick Meighan said...

"Here are just some of the legal ramifications, including being on a precipice of losing our first amendment rights:

1. Marriage between a man and a woman is the fabric of our society. To deny children growing up in a home with a father and mother whenever possible (I understand there are many single parents and non-ideal situations to which you do your best), is to further plummet already declining moral values in our country, which will have many dire, unintended consequences to the stability of our society.


Barring (or allowing) same-sex marriage makes absolutely no impact on the extent to which children are raised by multi-gender (or same-gender) couples. Gay couples won't become heterosexual (and go marry individuals of other genders) because Prop 8 has passed and same-sex marriage has been banned. They'll simply adopt children into their unmarried, same-sex households (as they currently do). How being raised by unmarried gay couples is better for children than being raised by married gay couples is beyond me. But, in any event, that's the only impact Prop 8's passage would have in this arena: making sure that children are raised by unmarried gay couples instead of married ones.

2. Churches may be sued over and lose tax exempt status if they decline to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings.

Bullpucky. Your church *already* declines to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in its religious building, despite the fact that same-sex marriage is legal in California, right this now, at this very moment. Has your church lost its tax exempt status? Of course not.

Churches have legal and constitutional protections allowing them to refuse to enact procedures that are contrary to their own readings of scripture. That's why the Catholic Church can legally bar women from the priesthood, despite the fact that gender discrimination is illegal in the workplace. It's also why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints could (up 'til the late-70's) bar black citizens from its clergy, despite the fact that racial discrimination had been against federal law for decades. In both cases, the churches had been (and continue to be) immune from legal action forcing them to act contrary to the dictates of their own theological policy. The church's right to discriminate and be bigoted according to the dictates of its own church policies continue at this very moment, and will continue if Prop 8 fails.

2. Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages may be sued for hate speech and risk govt. fines. California municipal employees are already not allowed to say "traditional marriage" or "family values," due to them being considered hate speech.

See above. Ministers have free speech rights at their respective pulpits that state municipal employees (who are conducting government business) do not have.

3. Religious adoption agencies will not be allowed to place children solely in homes with both a mother and a father, even if this is counter to church doctrine. Catholic Charities in Boston already closed its doors due to the legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

This is irrelevant to the subject of same-sex marriage. The case in question was a result of anti-discrimination law in Massachusetts. The passage or defeat of Prop 8 will not impact adoption law in any way, either positively or negatively.

4. Children in public schools will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is the same as traditional marriage, causing serious clashes between the secular school and the right of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.

Parents already have (and will always have) the right to opt their children out of health education classes (which is where such subjects are discussed). And parents will always have the right (actually, the responsibility) to teach their children according their own values and beliefs. Racist parents, for example, are free to tell their children that interracial marriage is wrong, even though their child's teacher may be married to someone of a different race. Sexist parents are free to tell their children that women are inferior, even though their child's teacher may be a woman. And gay-hating parents are free to tell their children that same-sex marriage is wrong, even though their child's teacher may be homosexual, and perhaps even married to someone of the same gender.

So, rest assured, your work for Prop 8 provides no necessary defense to your church, your children, or your family. All it does is enshrine, in the state constitution, a piece of bigoted legislation declaring that some Californians are second-class citizens. And I'm not okay with that. The California that I believe in doesn't stand for that kind of bigotry, it stands for equality and tolerance. It stands for letting consenting adult citizens do what makes them happy (as long as they're not hurting others)... and that goes for straight Catholics, straight Latter Day Saints, gay Episcopalians, bisexual Baptists, lesbian Unitarian Universalists, transgender agnostics. Everyone.

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA

Kimbooly said...

Tom and Patrick, I teach piano lessons all day today, but I will respond as soon as I can.

Teric said...

Opponents of Prop 8 maintain that supporters of traditional marriage are guilty of bigotry, hate, and discrimination. Some also infer that opposition to homosexual marriage is in the same arena as racism, sexism, and other superiority complexes.

This is blatantly untrue.

Prop 8 is not about hating or discriminating against gays or lesbians. It is not about treating gays or lesbians as second-class citizens.

The purpose of prop 8 is solely to maintain the institution of marriage as it has been defined for centuries, since before the beginning of recorded history.

In order to label prop 8 as hate, discrimination, or racism, opponents infer that its passage would cause clear, material harm to the gay and lesbian community. This is not the case. There are no rights nor priveleges that would be lost if prop 8 were to pass.

The only thing that would occur is that marriage would continue to be defined as it always has been.

It's not about hating/discriminating against gays.

It is about the definition of marriage.

Thank you for posting this, Kimberly.

Emily said...

Thanks for sharing everything this entails...I hadn't realized how far it had gone in California. I think it's very important that people think about the implications of allowing same-sex marriage and I'm so glad you've mentioned some here. Sometimes I get so frustrated with political correctness!

Kimbooly said...

Tom,
I see the point you intend to make, and I understand that many same-sex couples may marry and not have children. I also think Patrick raises a valid point that whether or not same-sex marriage stays legalized, gay couples will continue to raise children, and how is an unmarried gay couple better off raising children than a married gay couple.
However, I believe that protecting traditional marriage through prop 8 specifically affects children being able to, on the whole, be raised in homes with the strengths and complimentary roles of both loving husband and wife, which countless studies have shown that such situations are the optimal environment for children to be protected, nurtured, and raised. Allowing same-sex marriage to stay legal implies that there is no difference between gay marriages and straight marriages. That is where I differ.

You both feel it is a question of equality, but I believe differently. I believe that within the bonds of a strong heterosexual marriage are two different roles that together raise the children that are the future of our society; the status of marriage is closely linked to the inherent powers and responsibilities of procreation, and to the inherent differences between the genders. That simply cannot be duplicated in a same-gender household, and the legalizing of same-sex marriages perpetuates the idea that it can be duplicated with no ill-effects on the stability of society.

Througout history the family ahs served as an essential bulwark of individual libery. The walls of a home provide a defense against detrimental social influences and the sometimes overreaching powers of government. Usually govt. doen't have the right to intervene in the rearing and moral education of children in the home. But when govt. presumes to redefine the nature of marriage, issuing regulations to ensure public acceptance of non-traditional unions, this crosses the line for me. As I stated in my original post, I can accept and love you (and do love my gay friends) without accepting your lifestyle, and shouldn't be asked by the government to legally accept the lifestyle that I fundamentally disagree with.

Goverments have consistently recognized and affirmed traditional marriage for ages as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself.
Allowing same-gender unions will affect society as a whole over time. In the European countries that have legalized same-sex marriage, the dilution of the traditional definition of marriage already further erodes the already weakened stability of marriages and family generally.

However much a same-gender couple loves each other, they cannot raise their own mutual offspring.
Even though many will still add children to their family in other ways, it begs the same question--what environment is best for the child and for the rising generation?

I feel the comments on my original post, as well as this response, answer your question in detail (and then some).

Tom said...

"It's not about hating/discriminating against gays.

It is about the definition of marriage."

But by denying marriage equality through the passage of Prop 8, you would, de facto, discriminate against gay people.

I'm sure you're probably a decent, fair-minded person, but if you think this amendment won't adversely affect gay people simply because they are gay, you're wrong.

Kimberly -

First, I hope your lessons went well.

Second, you never really answered my question.

You said: "I believe that protecting traditional marriage through prop 8 specifically affects children being able to, on the whole, be raised in homes with the strengths and complimentary roles of both loving husband and wife, which countless studies have shown that such situations are the optimal environment for children to be protected, nurtured, and raised."

But if gay people don't have children (most don't), how can this deny children a loving mother and father? After all, those children don't exist.

If you want to talk adoption, that's a different subject, but adoption by gay couples is currently legal in virtually all states.

"Allowing same-sex marriage to stay legal implies that there is no difference between gay marriages and straight marriages."

And there is none -- at least on a civil level. You can accept civil heterosexual marriages, even if they are different from church marriages or temple marriages, can't you? Whether it is a same-sex couple marrying at the courthouse, or a opposite-sex couple being sealed in the temple, they are, on a CIVIL basis, exactly the same.

More later.

Tom said...

Kim -

Continuing...

"But when govt. presumes to redefine the nature of marriage, issuing regulations to ensure public acceptance of non-traditional unions, this crosses the line for me."

There is nothing about "acceptance" going on here. You don't have to accept interracial marriage, or non-temple marriage. It simply happens, and you can judge however you like.

"and shouldn't be asked by the government to legally accept the lifestyle that I fundamentally disagree with."

But you legally accept all sorts of lifestyles you fundamentally disagree with. So do I. Personally, if I were in charge, I'd start by outlawing motorcycles (why should my insurance rates be higher because hospitals have to treat victims of motorcycle accidents), toupees (I just think they're weird) and remove the tax-exempt status of churches.

But I'm not in charge. Neither are you. We're in this freedom thing together. I tolerate your way of life, you tolerate mine. As long as what we do doesn't impinge on the rights of others, we're pretty free.

And I don't see how my marriage (four weeks from tomorrow!) will affect anyone else's relationship.

Kimbooly said...

As much as I disagree with you, Tom, I sincerely congratulate you, and wish you and your husband well. Unless I'm way off base and Tom is a a tomboy nickname and you're a girl, and in that case you have less cooties and I wish you and your wife well. : )

It can certainly be argued that you see sanctity in the institution of marriage, which many people don't even value marriage, or don't treat it sacredly if they do marry. But we open other whole cans of worms by bringing up already existing non-ideal situations.

Tom said...

Kimberly -

Thanks so much for your good wishes. I send my best to you and your family, as well.

Patrick Meighan said...

Tom,

Congrats on your upcoming marriage. I wish you and your partner great joy, and I hope that the Yes on Prop 8 campaign is unsuccessful in its attempt to deny that joy to the both of you.

In the long run, the love and commitment demonstrated in same-gender unions such as yours are what will eventually open decent, well-meaning hearts such as the one belonging to our blog-host, here, and bring us all closer to the day that we do exactly what is hinted at in the title of her post: live and let live.

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA

kbaccellia said...

Wow, this Proposition is a hot one! I'm still going over both pros and cons on the issue. It's interesting to read both sides.

Tesana said...

Kim-

Thanks so much for posting this! I feel as you do on this subject, but I've been struggling with how to express it.

There are good arguments for each side. For me, I know that God exists, that he loves us, that he has a plan for all human beings, one that is about our happiness and eternal progression. I believe that how we choose to define something as basic as marriage has a very large effect on all aspects of our lives.

You might also be interested in an article from the LA Times, and this one from someone named Dennis Prager. They are thought provoking at the very least.

Though I support traditional marriage wholeheartedly, I'm afraid some of the supporters on Prop 8 are getting carried away (though I also disagree with the idea that pro-Prop 8 means anti-gay). Some of the emails I've seen lack references to back up their statements. It's hard to be rational in politics sometimes.

Kimbooly said...

Patrick, I apologize for taking so long to respond. Who knows if you're even still expecting a response from me.

School started yesterday, which has made it a busy week, but I have also pondered your comments a lot before responding.

The bottom line is that you and I fundamentally differ. I absolutetly believe that the failure of Prop 8 opens the door to religious legal and constitutional protections being challenged under the guise of "discrimination." You may believe that the maintained legal recognization of same-sex marriages will have no negative impact on society. I believe changing the definition of the institution of marriage will have a tremendous negative effect on the stability of society.

Same-gender marriage simply cannot duplicate the conditions that heterosexual marriages create for raising rising generations (Of course, I'm talking about overall; I get that not every marriage has kids, homo or hetero). Fighting for this truth does not mean I am intolerant, a gay-hater, or discriminatory. You saying to "live and let live" DOESN'T allow me to just live. It fundamentally changes the institution to which I belong.

The other half of my response is subjective, and my only purpose in posting this part is that perhaps you will see where I'm coming from even though we see life from two opposite points of view--I am not trying to push my beliefs on you, only state my side.

I have a very deep and sure knowledge that there is a God that has an eternal plan for us in this earth life, and that families are central to that plan. I believe homosexuality did not exist in our pre-earth life, nor will it in our post-earth life, so to legally define same-gender unions being the same as traditional marriage frustrates our eternal purposes and goals as a people.

You may or may not have read my link to the Proclamation on the Family. I also have a very personal and very strong knowledge that its teachings are true principles: Marriage is ordained of God. We were spirit daughters and sons before we came. We each have a divine nature and destiny. "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

My beliefs affect how I vote, because I look at the eternal perspective that I understand. Again, this does not make me a bigot. In fact, President Hinckley, our former prophet, said: “Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married"

WATGNAT said...

Teric said; "There are no rights nor priveleges that would be lost if prop 8 were to pass"

Which was my argument not to abolish slavery - the Africans in America were brought here to be slaves - they were not losing any rights or privileges that they didn't already have.

But did I get any support then from any internet bloggers....no.

How ironic- a Mormon writing about the importance of marriage being defined as between A man and A woman (singular).

I think gays should be allowed to marry, but it should be illegal for them to divorce. That would be comedy.

TJ said...

"Family values" is hate speech. give me a break!!!!!