Friday, June 28, 2013

Recent Supreme Court Ruling

I was saddened, but not surprised, by the recent Supreme Court ruling a couple of days ago on DOMA.  I reiterate what the LDS Church said in their statement:

"By ruling that supporters of Proposition 8 lacked standing to bring this case to court, the Supreme Court has highlighted troubling questions about how our democratic and judicial system operates. Many Californians will wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong when their government will not defend or protect a popular vote that reflects the views of a majority of their citizens.

"In addition, the effect of the ruling is to raise further complex jurisdictional issues that will need to be resolved.

"Regardless of the court decision, the Church remains irrevocably committed to strengthening traditional marriage between a man and a woman, which for thousands of years has proven to be the best environment for nurturing children. Notably, the court decision does not change the definition of marriage in nearly three-fourths of the states."

I've stated before that I would not be posting the pink equals sign on facebook and explained my reasons why.  As I've spoken with my husband and other friends, I'd like to explain a bit more what my thoughts and opinions are on this.  I've had some interesting discussions with many people about it, and there are some common questions/arguments that people have who support same-sex marriage.

Isn't it bigoted of you to say that homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to marry?  It's just as bad as racists who say that people of difference skin color shouldn't marry.

I don't agree with the idea that homosexual marriage and interracial marriage can be compared. Race is something that you're born with, and nowhere in the Bible does it say that it's a sin to be one color (although many people believed it).  On the other hand, the Bible specifically defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, and anything else being a sin.  See Matthew 19:4-5 and Romans 1:26-27 and Leviticus 18:22.  Also see here for a longer list of scriptures.

There is a large argument on whether or not people are born gay, and I won't weigh in too much on that.  I have some of my own thoughts on it.  But regardless of where it came from or why, it does not change the fact that to act on it is a sin.  However, having those tendencies is NOT a sin in and of itself.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said this, which I love:
"People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are."

(In fact, that entire article linked above is wonderful.  It is the president and Prophet of the LDS Church stating very clearly what the LDS Church's stance is on abortion, homosexuality, polygamy, and other "hard" topics.)

All of this having been said, there is a very big difference between interracial marriage and homosexual marriage.  Choosing to act on an inclination or feeling (attraction to same gender) is very different than choosing your skin color.

Why do you care?  If they marry, it isn't hurting anyone.  The government should only get involved in moral situations if their actions are causing harm to others and infringing on their rights.
First, to some extent, there is discrimination for the other sins that you mentioned - prostitution is illegal, lying under oath can be prosecuted, drug user can go to jail even if they've used them at home alone. Then you have to argue at what point it's endangering another person - NAMBLA, for example, would have you believe that it's real love that can only enrich a person's life. There have been absolutely no studies done on the impact of a child who is raised by two parents of the same gender from a social standpoint.

Or the reverse - we don't punish fornication or adultery from a legal standpoint, but a man (or woman) who has an affair, that clearly is hurtful to their spouse and their children. Or unwed teenagers who are being taught that it's okay, but the number of children born to teenage parents have a high likelihood of poverty, not graduating, etc.

Then if you look at it from a religious standpoint, don't those who have a testimony and truth have an obligation to share it with others?  I'm not talking about forcing people to believe what we believe, but what about this situation: a child is raised in a non-believing home (atheist). They go to school where God isn't allowed to be mentioned, being taught by teachers and other trusted adults that sins such as fornication are normal, natural, and even right. Surrounded by all of that, very few will seek for truth later because they believe that they have it. Even if they do look for it, they could have been spared years of sorrow and sin.  But people will argue that raising a child this way isn't harming the child, that it's in fact helping them be "rational" and "logical." But as believers, Colossians 1:26-28 talks about the importance of warning and teaching all men. How can I do that if I'm not standing up for what God says is wrong? If I say, "Well, it's wrong in God's eyes, but sure, why not let society think it's ok."

I've shared this before, but while in Puerto Rico in 2008 during the hype of Proposition 8 in California, we were visited by Elder David A. Bednar, one of the 12 Apostles of the Church. We were invited to have an open question-and-answer session with him, and someone asked why the Church was getting so heavily involved in the debate when usually they choose to stay out of politics. Elder Bednar said something that made a huge impact on me and I will never, ever forget it. He said, "We [meaning the First Presidency and the Twelve] are prophets and apostles. But we are not prophets and apostles for just the Mormon Church; rather, we are prophets and apostles for the entire world. We are the only men on earth with the authority of God to speak in His name. So if we will not stand up for righteousness and tell the world what God's laws are, who will?"

What about people who are the same gender and in love?  Don't they have rights, too?
I firmly believe that people have agency to make their own decisions.  If they want to live a homosexual lifestyle, they are welcome to do so.  However, they must deal with the consequences of their actions.  Allowing them to have all of the benefits that come from a heterosexual marriage say that their relationship is as of the same value and worth, when it is not.  I know that may sound harsh, especially to those who are in it and feel like they are in love, but it is not the same.

I know some people will jump on me for that, saying that I'm not experiencing their situation so I don't know, etc.  I may not personally know, but I have had several friends in recent years (both LDS and non-LDS) who have same-gender attractions.  Some are happily married to someone of the opposite gender, they have a family, and they are happy that way.  Sincerely happy.  Others have lived a gay lifestyle and have felt the sorrow of it.  In all of my conversations with those who have experienced both situations, they have stated the same conclusion - that it is not the same.

Plus, I am concerned with the direction this is heading.  A church was sued last year for refusing to marry a black couple.  Now, I disagree with that church's decision, but it is their right to say that it is against their religious beliefs to perform that ceremony.  In saying that homosexuals have the right to marry and to government benefits, is it opening the doorway to force churches to conduct same-sex marriages?  I don't like where that could be headed.

I am also concerned with the idea that the popular vote in California passed Prop 8, and a judge decided to overturn it.  That says a lot to me about how our nation is getting further away from the principles on which it was founded.

In conclusion, I'd like to end with the words from Elder David A. Bednar, an LDS apostle, from last General Conference:
"The doctrine I have described will seem to be archaic and outdated to many people in a world that increasingly mocks the sanctity of procreation and minimizes the worth of human life. But the Lord’s truth is not altered by fads, popularity, or public opinion polls."

I also appreciated the words from this blogger, whose post started my thoughts and conversations:
"If there are any gays reading this, I love you and I respect you as a person. I may not agree with your lifestyle but I don't look at you any differently than I do a straight person who has sex before marriage. I apologize on behalf of people who have mistreated and bullied you. But please understand this: When you try to redefine marriage, you're out of your jurisdiction. God already defined it. If you want to be homosexual that's totally your call and you do not answer to me for that. But don't cross the line and try to twist a fundamental teaching of God's word into what you think it should be. You're discriminating against me. That's so hypocritical of you."

I would be very interested in hearing some of your thoughts and comments.  Have I missed anything?  Anything to add or dispute?  Please share below!

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  1. Well said!

  2. Love this! You beautifully defined my beliefs on the matter.

  3. This is why I am so glad to have you as a friend.
    You see each person as a child of God and view each situation as an opportunity to love.
    I am also very thankful for what President Hinckley said and how he said it. Some people have inclinations that are very difficult to overcome. A year ago I would have been glad if gay marriage were legal in my home state, but now I am glad that it isn't because it has saved me a lot of legal problems and heart ache.
    Maybe I'm off base in my opinion, but I view homosexual urges the way I view substance urges. It's not illegal to drink, but it's not healthy. I'm not as good with words as you, Tiffany, but hopefully you see where I'm coming from.
    For anyone who thinks I'm close minded or brain washed by different religions, I would like to make it very clear that I was raised in a community and church where it was no big deal if you were gay. It was perfectly acceptable. The difference is that I personally feel that it's wrong. Everyone has to find the truth.
    Again, I am thankful for the church's view and for friends like you that support my desire to follow God's will.


Please share your opinions with me!