Defending and preserving traditional marriage

Yesterday, in some wards in our stake here in California, a letter from the First Presidency was read. In the letter, it was requested that we do all that we can to support the proposed constitutional amendment on preserving traditional marriage here in California. In particular, we were asked to donate of our means and time to assure the passage of the ballot measure.

My wife reports that the letter was read in our home ward, while the bishop of the ward in which I serve had not yet received it. I have read reports that the letter was read in other states beside California, along with commentary that members in those states should support the efforts here. As far as I can determine, nobody got up and walked out in protest like some had suggested.

This invitation is to members of the church to become active in what some describe as a political issue. The church has made it clear over the years that this is a moral issue. That is why back in 2000 we were asked to place signs on our lawns in support of proposition 22. Carol and I walked the precincts with many others in our stake to distribute information to our neighbors.

A moral and a social issue

When the First Presidency of the church asks the members to do something, it deserves careful attention. Why is the legal definition of marriage in the State of California a moral issue? Those who are against it argue that it would not change our society at all. As a church, we disagree. We believe that marriage is ordained of God. No society has ever tried to redefine it until now.

There is great material available on the subject that explains why this is both a moral issue and a social issue deserving the participation of the church. It can best be found in the Amicus brief that the Church filed with the State of California awhile back. If you open the PDF of the link in the previous sentence, skip down to page 27 for the beginning of the argument.

I believe that we owe it to our testimonies and our faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to consider carefully what the prophet of the Lord is asking us to do and to respond accordingly. I know there are many members of the church who have family members or friends who identify themselves as gay. This issue is not about that. It is about preserving traditional marriage.

The position of the Church

From the brief: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Christian denomination with approximately 800,000 members in California. Marriage and the family are central to the Church’s doctrine and beliefs. The Church teaches that marriage between man and woman is ordained of God and that the traditional family is the foundation of society.”

“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.” Source – The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

“The Church believes that marriage and family supply the crucial relationships through which parents and children learn to live basic moral norms and acquire public and private virtue. The Church opposes changing the traditional male-female definition of marriage because of the harm such a change will cause to marriage and the family.”

The argument of the church

[The church has] “a powerful interest in the institution of marriage. We are deeply concerned about the happiness and welfare of our members, especially our member children. Through millions of hours of counseling and ministry, we have seen at close range the enormous benefits that traditional male-female marriage imparts. We have also witnessed the substantial adverse consequences for children that often flow from alternative household arrangements.”

“Since no same-sex marriage can produce children from both spouses, the close cultural linkage between the institution of marriage and the begetting and raising of children will be weakened. Whatever the choices of individual couples, children will no longer be central to the social meaning and purpose of marriage. What plaintiffs advocate is in fact an enormous change in California’s most important social institution.”

“California’s definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is entitled to profound judicial respect. Even in jurisdictions around the world known for being highly solicitous of gays and lesbians, the democratic judgment of nearly all such jurisdictions remains that marriage should be reserved exclusively to male-female couples, with the legitimate needs of homosexuals being addressed through other protections and institutions. Judicial deference to the people’s democratic judgment on this issue is appropriate.”

Summary and conclusion

In other words, we do not believe it is appropriate that the judges have overturned the vote of the people of the State of California in 2000 in which 61% of the voters upheld traditional marriage. The opponents of traditional marriage are wondering if the people will turn out in the same numbers to support this amendment. We expressed our voice then. We can do it again.

This proposed constitutional amendment deserves our support as a church and as a people. I am impressed that the First Presidency has been consistent over the years on our position in this matter. Carol and I fully support the Prophet in this moral issue and pledge to do our part in contributing our time and means to advocate the passage of the proposed amendment.

Some have accused members of the LDS Church of being brainwashed in a culture of obedience. Nothing could be further from the truth. We use common sense, good judgment and the intellectual capacity with which God has blessed us to determine for ourselves that the prophets are right on this issue. We stand with the Lord and the prophet in defining traditional marriage.

For more information:

2. Alliance Defense Fund
3. Family Leader network
4. Campaign for Children and Families
5. Family Research Council
6. Alliance for Marriage
7. Institute for Marriage and Public Policy
8. World Congress of Families

19 thoughts on “Defending and preserving traditional marriage”

  1. Bryce Haymond

    Great article. I’m not sure that “no society has ever tried to redefine it until now.” I think Sodom and Gomorrah were probably there. 🙂

  2. No society has ever tried to redefine [marriage] until now.So nineteenth century Mormonism didn’t try to redefine marriage? Brigham Young said, “Monogamy, or restrictions by law to one wife, is no part of the economy of heaven among men” (The Deseret News, August 6, 1862). Our pioneer forefathers believed that the type of marriage that God intended was not merely “between a man and a woman,” but between a man and several women. In light of our own past, the argument that the “one man, one woman” formula is the only acceptable version of marriage is not very persuasive.Further, Mormons aren’t the only society who have (or have attempted) to redefine marriage. Only a half-century ago, many in the United States believed that the proper definition of marriage did not permit those of different races to wed. Many states considered marriage to be the union of one man of race X and one woman also of race X. Fortunately, our society has since expanded its definition of marriage to encompass interracial unions.As these two brief examples illustrate, this is by no means the first time that an adjustment to the definition of marriage has been proposed. The latter example demonstrates that redefining marriage is not inherently bad.The Church opposes changing the traditional male-female definition of marriage because of the harm such a change will cause to marriage and the family. . .We have also witnessed the substantial adverse consequences for children that often flow from alternative household arrangements.What “harm” and “substantial adverse consequences” are we talking about? These claims demand further explanation and corroboration.And it seems to me that the argument about “alternative household arrangements” is irrelevant. California already allowed gay people to adopt children. In fact, under California’s preexisting legal scheme, gays and lesbians were already given substantially the same rights as married couples (one of the State’s arguments was that, since civil unions were substantively the same as marriages, refusing to allow gays to “marry” did not constitute a denial of their rights). Therefore, the potential for gays and lesbians to create “alternative household arrangements” involving children did not hinge on their ability to marry. Arguments about the effect of gay unions on the “the family” or children were therefore misplaced in this case.Since no same-sex marriage can produce children from both spouses, the close cultural linkage between the institution of marriage and the begetting and raising of children will be weakened. Whatever the choices of individual couples, children will no longer be central to the social meaning and purpose of marriage. What plaintiffs advocate is in fact an enormous change in California’s most important social institution.This argument assumes that California already considered the begetting of children to be “central to the social meaning and purpose of marriage.” That’s not necessarily true. The state imposes no requirement that married couples reproduce or marry primarily for the purpose of reproducing. Reproduction may be irrelevant to many couples’ reasons for marrying, but the State did not forbid such marriages. Like other privacy issues, the right to reproduce (or, as the case may be, not to reproduce) is fundamental in our constitutional traditions; the State’s recognition of marriage does not and should not hinge upon whether or not child-bearing is “central” to couples’ reasons for marrying.In any case, child-bearing and family-forming does not depend upon an individual couple’s physical capacity to reproduce. There are many heterosexual couples who, for one reason or another, are incapable of child-bearing. They may nonetheless form a family through adoption, surrogate motherhood, or other alternative means. Likewise, gay couples may introduce children into their families through similar methods. Indeed, raising children is likely “central to the social meaning and purpose of marriage” for many gay couples, just as it is for many straight couples. Thus, by extending the right to marry to gay couples, we may actually be reinforcing the centrality of marriage, family, and children in society.The argument that gay couples should not be allowed to marry because they are physically incapable of reproducing is uncompelling (unless, of course, we are also willing to apply the same standard to heterosexual couples who are incapable of reproducing, but that seems ridiculous and would be unconstitutional).In other words, we do not believe it is appropriate that the judges have overturned the vote of the people of the State of California in 2000 in which 61% of the voters upheld traditional marriage.The problems with this argument are, first, that it does not appreciate that the right to marry is considered “fundamental” in our constitutional tradition, and, second, that it undermines the importance of judicial review in our legal system. Courts are empowered and required to review the constitutionality of laws that infringe upon fundamental rights with the most exacting scrutiny. If, in interpreting the Constitution (be it the State or Federal Constitution), a court finds that a right is granted and that the law in question burdens that right to an unconstitutional degree, then it must strike down that law, even if the law is supported by a majority of citizens.While you may disagree with the outcome of the particular case, criticizing the justices for overruling a voter initiative is misplaced and irresponsible (unless you disagree with the principle of judicial review altogether).I hope that my comments do not come off as mean-spirited. However, I personally think that the arguments you present are uncompelling.

  3. Tim-I haven’t paid enough attention to this issue. I appreciate your excellent post. I learned several important points and plan I learning more about this subject. I’m sorrowful that some members find it difficult to support the Prophet’s efforts in California.Issue like this are divisive because of conflicting principles. It seems to me that when principles are difficult to sort out the best way to resolve it is to choose the higher principle. I’ll explain my thought by using two scriptures:Thou shalt not kill. Mosiah 13:2114 Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary…to preserve their lives. Alma 48:14Two principles in conflict and we learn that protecting our lives is the greater principle. In the California circumstance I see at least two principles in conflict:Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself James 2:8We believe that men should appeal to the civil law…D&C 134:11Followers of Christ do not want to disturb our neighbors–but there are times when we need to appeal to the law. The Prophet has asked members to help protect the laws of the land from being changed regarding marriage between a man and women. The Lord has said that we should follow the Prophet:Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give aheed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all choliness before me;For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith. D&C 21:4-5It will take patience and faith to follow the Prophet. My wife and I are sustaining the Prophet and are helping with our time and means.

  4. OUCH OUCH OUCH!!!! LOLJust to make it clear: I am not gay, I have never been gay and I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.BUT(and you can call it my french twisted/pervert point of view)I can’t understand why the church mingles with gay marriage.Here is my thing: we don’t believe marriage performed outside the temples to be of any worth after this life. So why would the church waste time on things that have no value administratively speaking for God?Now there is the subject of children. And I am sorry but reading all your post and a few other things I really have the feeling that our FP needs to stop watching Walt Disney’s movies. Children are born from homosexual parents everyday. They are raised by homosexual parents who live together. They grow with and learn to love both and no matter what we think of the subject we can’t deny that their love is genuin.Now what when a drama happens and the biological parent dies? What are the rights of the other parent over the child? Can we be sure that the bound of love that have been created over the years will be respected by a judge if this parent want to legally adopt the child?Still on the subject of children: had my mother been happier with a woman I would have gladly accepted this woman. Children need a male and a female figure for their psychological building and balance but this can be provided from other sources outside the tradionnal patern. Yeah and you know where this last part comes from LOLAnyway I aggree that we need to stand for what we believe but I think that we need to stand as examples. We don’t need to “fight” through our means and our time. I am sorry for the word “fight” but this is the feeling I have from reading things over the net.Now if we talk about rights for gay couples I must say that it really makes me laugh. If it were not for higher purpose I would not care for marriage at all. What does a signature at the end of a contract have to do with love and commitment? And this has been my point of view for couples of the opposite sex for a long time now. I am not going to change my point of view for same sex couples. Marriage is a joke to me.

  5. Six paragraphs of the essay (the position of the church and the argument of the church) came right from the Amicus brief. It was written by Ken Starr and an attorney from Kirton and McConkie – the law firm employed by the church for many, many years. Even the quote, “no society has ever tried to redefine marriage until now,” came from that brief. I think it refers to a legal definition.I am amazed at the talent that so many enjoy in arguing legal points. I have great respect for attorneys, but could never have found satisfaction in that line of work. The church has their attorneys and those who oppose the church have theirs. It does seem like a fight, doesn’t it?I prefer the simple reasoning that the First Presidency are prophets of God and if they say we should contribute our time and money to organizations that are working to accomplish the passage of this constitutional amendment then I am more than willing to do so.I guess I am hoping for the ideal and am willing to do everything I can to bring about that ideal and sustain those who do likewise. For me, the ideal family is a man and a woman. That is based on years of personal experience and observation.I concur with the position of the church that children have greater chances for happiness and success if they can be reared in a family that has a husband and wife at the head. I believe that The Family proclamation is an inspired document and reflects the love of our Heavenly Father for his children. Why not strive for the ideal or at least promote it with all the energies God has given us?Those six paragraphs were taken from various locations in the Amicus brief and represented to me good summary points of the position of the church. By the way, the brief was filed on behalf of the California Catholic Conference, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. It truly does represent the opinion of millions of Californians.This will be a momentous election for many reasons. I am more interested in the outcome of this issue than I am in the outcome of the presidential election. Will California drop off into the ocean if the amendment fails? Of course not. But will the foundation of our society be changed forever if it does? Yes, it will. Read the Dennis Prager commentary on that point. It will be a big deal.

  6. What happened to “teach correct principles and let people govern themselves,” “not by force, but by gentle persuasion,” or “free agency?” Don’t the Mormons believe that it was Satan’s plan to force people to do what was right; and it was Jesus’ plan to allow people to have free agency, make mistakes and learn from the consequences of their mistakes? Has that changed? Why would ANY Mormon believe that the government should legislate ANY moral issue? Shouldn’t Mormons be advocating less government involvement in moral decisions? Shouldn’t Mormons be the greatest advocates of liberty/freedom? Do Mormons realize that legislation is FORCE, enforced with guns, jails, stealing money (taxes), and kidnapping (arrests)? What would Jesus do? Could you imagine Jesus going to someone’s door with a gun and collecting taxes from them or physically preventing them from engaging in gay marriage (or doing anything for that matter…drug use, alcohol use, sex)? When you vote for a law which restricts peoples’ freedoms, you are essentially voting to hire hit-men to go and FORCE people to do what you want them to do. HAVE MORMONS COMPLETELY LOST THEIR MINDS AND PRINCIPLES??? The Mormons, above all other groups of people, should be against government intervention in ALL religious and moral issues. The Mormons were driven to Utah, due to government sanctioned persecution of their religious/marriage practices. Now Mormons want to advocate government persecution of other people? In addition, the Mormons hope that one day they will re-unite in Zion and be able to govern themselves. How will this be possible if the Mormons are advocating government involvement in religious or moral issues? Zion won’t exist if the government has the ability to control religious or moral issues. Zion could only exist in a complete anarchy environment. Even though most members are not looking forward to it, polygamy is promised to make a comeback…it’s an eternal principle, isn’t it? Wouldn’t Mormons want the government to stay out of marriage so that one day, if God wants, polygamy can be re-instated? If the Mormons are worried that government will one day force them to recognize gay marriage in their temples, then I would think they be fighting for LESS government involvement in religious issues right now, NOT MORE. The foot in the door theory is going to work against you, not for you.Why do Mormons even care what the state defines as marriage? Mormons believe that marriage is an ordinance and a covenant between a man, woman, and God…not a man, woman, and the state. Why is the state even involved in marriage? The state has no place in marriage. How does the state’s definition of marriage affect the Mormons’ definition of marriage? Shouldn’t the Mormons be fighting for less state involvement, not more?Being subject to kings, rulers, magistrates, etc. doesn’t mean that you should be a proponent of forcefully limiting other people’s freedoms. It doesn’t mean you should be in favor of making one group of people SUBJECTS to another group of people (or person). Conquering people through law, enforced with guns, is still conquering people. Again, WHAT WOULD JESUS DO??? Jesus worked his entire life to subvert the law of the land and teach that there should only be two laws…Love God and love your neighbor as thyself. Has this changed? Would Jesus advocate government involvement (force) in marriage? Would Jesus go to people’s doors and ask them to support force? THEN WHY WOULD YOU? When did Mormons become such anti-freedom, anti-choice, forceful, violent, strong-arming, war-mongering, tyrannical, blood-thirsty people? I would bet that most of you supported going and invading Iraq…could you see Jesus taking up a machine gun and killing some Iraqis?You are some sick, violent people, and you’ve lost your minds.

  7. Wow, Crusty…this has sure got you worked up, hasn’t it? I thought about deleting your post but decided to leave it. I only wish you would give us a link to go back and read more about you and your views. Do you have a blog? Where do you post? I’d like to read something intelligent with a little less anger in it.Like Gwennaëlle (backandthen) said, I think we’re making way too much fuss about this. It’s not worth getting all upset about. It’s a simple matter of adding a few words to an existing law. You do your side a disservice by your ranting and raving. This is not about restricting freedom. Nobody can take that away from you. It’s about preserving the traditional definition of marriage.I appreciate at least part of your efforts to get us to focus on the Savior. Perhaps we have some common ground there. You are correct that when the Savior comes again, HE will be the law. We will live under HIS rule. Where has Jesus defined marriage in the Bible? Could we use that as our guide? “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:4-6The laws of our society are based on the Judeo-Christian concept that marriage is between a man and a woman. The proposed amendment just clarifies that. I think the majority of the people in the state of California feel the same way. We believe in honoring, obeying and sustaining the law. If the people vote otherwise, than so be it. That will certainly tell us something about the state of affairs in our state.In 2000, 61% of the voters in the sate of California felt that marriage should be legally defined as between a man and a woman. Now, eight years later, we will see if the people still feel that way. Let’s let the people decide what the law should be, shall we?And please, try to be a bit more civil and respectful in your choice of words and insults. You can express yourself better than that. You’ve taken one specific issue and blown it all out of proportion by adding a whole bunch of non-related points about violence. Steve M left us a good example of disagreeing without being disagreeable. If you want to discuss this, stick to the topic of the essay. Thanks.

  8. Tim, I was pleased to see that you provided a link to someone who would finally explain how same-sex marriage will change the foundation of our society. I was disappointed to find only frightening rhetoric and over-the-top hysteria.For example: Prager imagines a world where “little girls will be asked by other girls and by teachers if they want one day to marry a man or a woman.”I suppose such a scenario could happen, just as a child might be asked if she will one day marry a black person or a white person. I doubt this would be very common, even in a pluralistic society. But it simply doesn’t reflect a crumbling foundation for either society or the Family.Prager also proclaims, ” It is up to society to channel polymorphous human sexuality into an exclusively heterosexual direction — until now, accomplished through marriage.”Well, but marriage didn’t really accomplish that did it? We have the Ted Haggards and Larry Craigs of the world and thousands of broken families as testament.And then Prager is worried about advertisers being expected to “show a man putting a ring on a man’s finger.”Yep, these are really scary concepts. The downfall of civilization as we know it.I’m sorry, but I’m not convinced.

  9. Hi Steven B,Thanks for coming back to continue the dialog. You may be interested in these few points that have been circulating via email among the members of the church lately. They come from Maurine Proctor, publisher of Meridian Magazine.Areas of Conflict Tax-Exemptions and Government Benefits : Religious groups could find themselves suffering along with the Boy Scouts, as access to public facilities is stripped away. Gay-rights lawyers will likely challenge groups’ federal tax-exempt status, charging that such an exemption “subsidizes discrimination.” Maggie Gallagher, president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy says, “Religious groups that take government funding will almost certainly be required to play by the nondiscrimination rules, but what about groups that, while receiving no government grants, are tax-exempt? “Can a group — a church or religious charity — that opposes gay marriage keep its tax exemption if gay marriage becomes the law?” Marc Stern, general counsel for the American Jewish Congress, says “That is the 18 trillion dollar question.” Professional Licenses : Professional licenses might also be denied to psychological clinics, social workers, marriage and family counselors, and others who believe same-sex relationships are “objectively disordered.” Would family service providers affiliated with a religion that opposes same-sex marriage have to give marriage counseling to same-sex couples to help them preserve their marriage? Religious Employers : Suppose a Catholic summer camp refuses to hire or retain employees in same-sex marriages, they could be sued on the basis of “marital status discrimination.” Religious Colleges : Colleges that refuse admission to same-sex couples could face civil lawsuits and loss of accreditation. Marc Stern says that “same-sex marriage will affect religious educational institutions, in at least four ways: admissions, employment, housing, and regulation of clubs.”Public Accommodation Laws : Many legal scholars agree that public accommodation laws can require all commercial enterprises to serve all customers. However, if same sex marriage is legal Marc Stern asks, “What about religious camps…? Will they be considered by courts to be places of public accommodation, too? Could a religious summer camp operated in strict conformity with religious principles refuse to accept children coming from same-sex marriages? What of a church-affiliated community center, with a gym and a Little League, that offers family programs?” — End of quote —–Marc Stern, a member of the coalition, wrote a great op-ed piece in the LA Times recently. In it, he points out some real-world examples demonstrating that free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference are no longer guaranteed because of the recent action of the California Supreme court.Some may not be aware that those opposed to the proposed amendment to be voted upon on Nov 4th, have filed suit to block it from appearing on the ballot even though it was certified by the secretary of State. It is my opinion that the majority of people in the State of California feel as I do, that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman. Let’s vote on it Nov 4th.

  10. “Could a religious summer camp operated in strict conformity with religious principles refuse to accept children coming from same-sex marriages? What of a church-affiliated community center, with a gym and a Little League, that offers family programs?”Are you serious here? Please tell me I am reading this wrong. You really think children from a same-sex marriage or relationship should be banned from religious camps, little leagues, community centers, etc? If that is the case, and defeating this amendment would stop that then, by all means, lets spend our time and money to defeat it.

  11. Hi Jay,Thanks for stopping by. That particular quote about the Summer camps was from Marc Stern. I think he was just posing the question. Do you think it could happen? That would seem a bit homophobic to me. But what if someone really took it as part of their religious beliefs to not allow it? Could they be sued and forced to do so? I think he was throwing out some possibilities.I think it would be wrong to refuse to allow children of a gay relationship to participate with other children in a summer camp. That seems to be based on fear instead of love, doesn’t it? But I suppose there are people out there who do fear that such children might somehow influence their own children in a negative way. It’s an awful thought but I know such fears do exist.It’s too bad that such rhetoric has entered into the dialog. Nobody benefits or is educated when fear is the dominate emotion. Some elements of society are filled with this fear. They don’t like to associate with those who are different than them. It is not very Christ-like, but is a common human behavior. Have you seen that at all in your own life?

  12. I concur with the position of the church that children have greater chances for happiness and success if they can be reared in a family that has a husband and wife at the head. I believe that The Family proclamation is an inspired document and reflects the love of our Heavenly Father for his children. Why not strive for the ideal or at least promote it with all the energies God has given us?Even assuming that a healthy, heterosexual marriage is the most “ideal” context for raising children, I don’t think that “promit[ing] it” necessarily means writing all other forms of marriage and family out of the law.Let’s face it: there are lots of heterosexual couples who share an unhealthy, abusive relationship. There are lots of heterosexual people who are by no means fit to raise children. However, the law does not bar these people from marrying, reproducing, or raising children–nor should it. The right to marry and the right to reproductive autonomy are fundamental in the American constitutional tradition. That means that these rights may only be infringed in limited circumstances (even if it means that some less-than-ideal marriages and families result).It’s great to promote healthy marriages and families. If you believe that marriage between one man and one woman is the best form of marriage, then by all means promote away. But since our laws already allow for the formation of marriages and families that, by many counts, are less than ideal, it’s a hard sell to say that gay marriage should be outlawed on the basis of your (subjective) belief that such a family arrangement is not ideal.Let’s let the people decide what the law should be, shall we?Although I generally agree with this sentiment, we have to keep in mind that, in a liberal democracy such as ours, the judiciary also has the duty to “say what the law is,” as John Marshall put it. This is necessary for the sake of protecting the rights of minority groups who may lack the political power to see that their rights are protected through traditional democratic channels.

  13. “It’s a simple matter of adding a few words to an existing law. You do your side a disservice by your ranting and raving. This is not about restricting freedom. Nobody can take that away from you. It’s about preserving the traditional definition of marriage.”I can hardly believe that someone actually believes what you said about it just being a couple of words, it’s not about restricting freedom, and nobody can take freedom away from me. With a couple of words, we could annihilate another country, reinstate slavery, reinstate witch-hunting, suppress the rights of women, or make Mormonism illegal. You can take away a lot of freedoms by adding just a couple of words to an existing law. And…restricting freedom is exactly what this is all about. Why shouldn’t homosexuals be free to form unions however they want, including by way of marriage? Why should the state (or any government entity) even BE involved in marriage, let alone gay marriage? Why not fight for government to completely disassociate themselves from marriage, and then it won’t matter what gay people want to call their union? ‘Nobody can take freedom away from me’…then why can’t I marry another man, why can’t I freely trade with other people/entities without the government being involved, why do I have to pay taxes, why can’t I freely purchase guns, speak freely over radio airwaves, hire who I want to hire, ingest what I want to ingest, or consensually engage in whatever act in which I want to engage? The simple answer is because my freedoms, which ‘nobody can take away from me’ are limited. The reason why they are limited is because people believe they should be able to form a majority and tyrannically take away my freedoms by voting. Right now, people who think like you have the majority, and you plan on using your majority to limit the rights of other people. What happens when the tables are turned, THEY have the majority, and they decide to use the same mechanism (democracy…let the people decide by voting) to limit your freedoms to practice Mormonism. The issue is not whether gay marriage is right or wrong and whether or not it will hurt society. The problem is the mechanism being used to inhibit other people’s ability to freely choose right from wrong. The question is whether or not you should ever vote, or encourage other people to vote, to limit what other people can and can’t do, regardless of how morally opposed you might be to what they are doing. Just because you have the ability (by law) to vote to limit other people’s freedoms, doesn’t mean it’s right. Would Jesus want to limit the ability of two gay people to get married? What would Jesus do to enforce such laws?Even if God DID tell mankind that males and females are meant to be together and man should cleave unto his wife, doesn’t mean that God wants to stop people from doing anything otherwise. It doesn’t mean he wants the State of California to be involved in marriage or limit the ability of gay people to get married. Show me the scripture where God wants the government to be involved in saying who can and can’t get married. Show me the scripture where God want the State of California to be involved in marriage at all.How do you justify your plan to vote against gay marriage, and encourage others to do the same, in light of D&C 134:9, which states…”We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.”?

  14. Hi Crusty,You are way more passionate about this issue than I am. I would be very interested in getting to know you better. You must add a lot of energy to any organization of which you are a part. I hope that your passion is appreciated by others and that you are making a positive difference in the world.You may be right on many of the points you made. I confess that as a white, middle-class, middle-aged male of European ancestry, I am in the minority. I know many young people with whom I have spoken about this issue feel the same way you do – that the state should not have the right to restrict freedoms on this or many other issues.However, we currently live in a society that believes in the rule of law, and that the laws are to be voted on by the people where they are far-reaching like this. I wonder if it will be on the ballot anyway, since Equality America has filed suit to block it. If that is the case, all our arguing will be moot, won’t it?I hope I made it clear in the post that I am following a prophet when he invites us to give of our time and means to ensure the passage of the amendment. Believe it or not, what a living prophet says means more to me than what the scripture says, although in this case, it jives with many of our scriptures that define marriage.I’m not sure I get all the things you claim could happen if the amendment is passed. The rhetoric is high on both sides, isn’t it? Perhaps you could point me to a few safe websites I could visit that will help me to understand your point of view from a logical standpoint without all the emotion. Anyway, thanks for your continued visits. I appreciate that your last comment was a bit more respectful even though it is still very passionate. Cheers!

  15. Whether or not you are (or will become) a minority, and the majority votes to limit your religious freedoms, is irrelevant to the point I’m making. The point is, with the rule of law, people COULD vote to rob you of your freedoms. The problem is that someone COULD take away your freedoms, not that they WILL take away your freedoms. Theoretically, I could use the rule of law (which you apparently support) to vote you out of your house, if I had the majority. Just because it’s the rule of law doesn’t mean it’s right, and that doesn’t mean you should support it or use it to accomplish your goals of legislating morals. The soldiers of Hitler were operating under the rule of law, along with the slave owners in the 18th and 19th centuries of these glorious United States. The question is…is it right to use the rule of law to limit people’s freedoms? It’s great to have high moral standards, but that doesn’t mean you should use the rule of law to attempt to legislate other people’s moral standards. Do unto others, right?A couple other points…The last thing on the mind of a church should be whether or not they will continue to get government subsidies or tax breaks for doing the right thing. Would you agree that doing the right thing should have absolutely nothing to do with money?I would hope that when you say ‘because the prophet says so,’ it has very little, if anything to do with your personal decisions. I would hope that religious people, like yourself, would make decisions for themselves, being their own prophets, and let the prophet of the religion make decisions for the religion. I thought you were supposed to be the prophet of your own spirituality (including your political views). Isn’t personal spirituality far more important than religious compliance? What religion was Abraham or Nephi?“Equality America has filed suit to block it. If that is the case, all our arguing will be moot, won’t it?”No, it won’t be moot. The ideas we’re discussing are far reaching. The issues of freedom, rule of law, the potential (and historical) tyranny of democracy, religion being involved in legislating morals, roles of prophets in our personal lives, and whether Jesus would legislate morals are recurring issues. If you’re looking to learn more about the ideas of freedom & liberty and how they relate to rule of law & democracy, you can look at (read the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution),,,,,,,,, and

  16. OK Crusty,I finally took the time to go read your blog. I don’t know why I didn’t before. Perhaps I was confusing your comments with someone else who had a blogger account but no blog. Call me naive, but I had no idea about the kind of crap you and others like you have to put up with. I live in a whole different world. You see the worst of the worst. Wow! No wonder you call yourself crusty.Thank you for leaving the links to the various sites about freedom, liberty, law and democracy. I plan to spend a few hours reviewing the material there today in preparation for my essay on this Independence Day. Thanks so much for taking the time to add your comments to my essay. I look forward to reading more from you.

  17. But he turned out to be a nice guy once I got to know him. Crusty left some good comments on my essay about patriotism that actually made sense.

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