06 July 2008

California & Marriage Equality

How can we help California voters understand that marriage equality will benefit gay and straight people alike?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remind everyone that marriage is about legal rights and responsibilities and the protection of those you love. Live a life of integrity. Be loyal to your partner. Come out to your family, friends, co-workers, and church leaders.

6/7/08 19:30  
Anonymous Mark said...

It's going to be a different conversation, depending on who you're speaking with.

If you're talking with someone who has gay friends, but has some reservations due to religion, it might be that appealing to their sense of fairness and justice would be the way to appeal to them, and downplaying the religious aspect to it.

For some people who don't have gay friends or family convincing them might be as simple as being a friend to them and educating them on gay relationships, so they will be willing to support gay marriage.

I think people want to get involved when the issue has a face to it. So as "anonymous" said so well - "Come out to your family, friends, co-workers, and church leaders." so they know who you are - and are willing to stand by you.

10/7/08 14:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe education is the most powerful tool one can use in this effort. It is simply a matter of realizing that the stigma behind the anti-gay movement, on a whole, is mis-interpreted or simply wrong scripture. The word sodomy did not even exist in the scriptures before nearly 1100 AD. It replaced a word essentially representing pagan priests, never comfirmed historically to be homosexual. The modern story of Sodom and Gommorrah is also grossly inaccurate. The sins of these cities had little to do with sexuality and more to do with greed and hate of fellow man, how similar to modern churches as opposed to homosexuals. This, among many other things, can help to address the incorrect basis of religious disdain. From this point, one can focus on the lack of modern revelation on the topic, generic terms in what there is leaving open the possibility of further explanation further in the future, such as the key word 'only' is absent from the Proclamation on the Family. How do we fit into the plan of salvation? Well how does a couple that cannot have children fit into it? The plan of salvation is not one size for one, it is one size fits all. The often mistaken concept that the straight and narrow idea is applied to the plan as opposed to the ordinances that unlock its potential is another area that can help people understand why denying a fellow child of God equal rights is anything but in accord with the gospel. I could go on and on and indeed, for some people this is not the way to go about it. However, I can't help but think that a pamphlet expressing some of these thoughts would provoke some to vote 'no' as opposed to 'yes' in November. Or at least to not follow blindly when the Church and the gospel take different paths and think a little more about the topic, the facts are out there for the taking and the faith is generally already in place.

28/7/08 18:48  
Blogger Nils Lindstrom said...

These are all good comments - thoughtful, respectful and engaging. My frustration is that they will never see the light of day to the people who most need to read them.

Yesterday, a member of our Stake Presidency took the last 10 minutes of what was a wonderful meeting to push for passage of proposition 8.

Among other things he equated marriage equality to an infringement on our liberty - but didn't explain how or why anyone's liberty was endangered. He warned that marriage equality would have grave consequences, but again, would not tell us what they were. And finally we were told not to discussion or comments on this issue in Sacrament meetings, Sunday school classes or Quorum meetings was strictly inappropriate - he did acknowledge that were was some hypocrisy in that request whilst he was blatantly doing just that.

In spite of that, pro prop 8 comments surfaced in both the Gospel Doctrine AND High Priests group meetings I attended. No one objected or reminded these good members that they were out of line.

The "annointed" are doing everything they can to make sure this is no dialogue and no discussion. Efforts to persuade are a one way street.

Make no mistake. Proponents of marriage equality are up against a behemoth that takes it marching orders seriously and won't brook meaningful conversation.

11/8/08 11:12  
Anonymous UniquelyCommon said...

Define "equality." I'm serious, not joking around. A lot of unneeded arguments start over different definitions of the same word. (Sometimes both parties want the same thing!)

Quote:"My frustration is that they will never see the light of day to the people who most need to read them. "
Possible Reason #1:I didn't know that such groups existed before I saw this news from the LDS church. Knowledge of such is needed. (Help my unintentional ignorance first.)

Possible Reason #2: I try to be open-minded. I have a friend who is now "open" (again, don't know the respectful term, glossary would help) and so I'm not completely removed. However, a lot of the information and reasoning that I encounter has holes either by (unintentional or not) glossing over an important item of information or taking a position and then finding arguments to support it. I find this to be offensive WHEREVER I find it. (Meaning not limited to this issue) Frustration ensues (esp. as there is no communication route allowed (this is the closest item to it)) as you well know, and I stop looking/listening. This is not the way to find "understanding" (per "your" (loose) definition, I would contest that, but this is not the place).

I hope the above is respectful (it was meant as such) and provides an insight from the "other side" (for lack of a better term).

“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right”
-Abraham Lincoln

12/8/08 22:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"9 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." D&C 134:9 What is the church doing in my voting booth? They have no business telling me how to vote. That is my civil liberty and right and I never abdicated that responsibility to anyone but me. They are wrong to to tell anyone how to vote whether they believe it is a moral issue or not. That is my vote, not thiers. (Lifelong member and currently serving in a Bishopric-I am not gay, but my views may land me as an apostate).

8/9/08 18:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate the 6:16 post by "anonymous." I am a convert to the church of 6 years. I never expected my church to tell me how to vote - just as I don't want the government to tell me how to worship!
I view this issue as similar to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's and the ERA; if I "choose the right," I will support civil rights and legal protection for all people.
I walked out twice on sacrament services where speakers expounded on the "sanctity" of marriage (between a man and a woman) and the evils of marriage between couples of the same gender. At this point I will not return until the church returns to preaching about spiritual concerns (although I continue to fulfill my responsibilities to my calling in Primary).
I felt powerless and alone in my anger & disappointment with a church I had embraced - and I now rejoice to find Affirmation, Let California Ring, and Mormons for Marriage. God bless us all and I pray that those blinded by hate and fear will understand the issues faced by our beloved gay brothers and sisters.

13/9/08 13:54  
Blogger tim said...

I too wish there was more discussion outside of church on Prop 8. I thought I’d add a view from the other side. I don't feel anyone has “told me how to vote” in church, as has been said earlier. Rather that this is "very important issue" and not to be overlook it while praying how to vote. Do all you can to support what you feel is right with everything you have (time, talents , money etc.)
I respect love, family, and mans search for hapiness but I still don't believe a gay partnership, even a life long one, can be defined as a "marriage". That word has meant something very specific for millennia. Why do 4 people think they can redefine it for us?

9/10/08 07:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be shocked that any member of the LDS church believe the Church would be tolerant of gay marriage. It's like they'd be tolerant of non-members entering the temple, or changing any other religious belief as no longer necessary to keep.

I'm in support of Prop 8. Not because California voted for it in 2000 and4 judges overturned it. Not because it will lead to other questions like, "then why can't a brother and sister wed? (genetic inbreeding is no longer relevant if gays adopt/raise children), "why can't we have polygamy everywhere?", "Why can't 3 men or 3 women marry as a group?" where is the end and what's the difference from anything else changing "marriage?"

Those were the weak reasons.

Most importantly, if anyone thinks that by supporting Prop 8 we no longer tolerate homosexuals, come on!!! Really! I am no better or worse than homosexuals and this has nothing to do with their rights, they have them!

But I will never call my wife on a government document or anywhere, Party A or Party B in the marriage. She is my WIFE and I am her HUSBAND. That is my right and I'm not letting anyone take that away from me. Someone telling me that I have to give up my marriage as some partnership of two individuals is infringing on my rights. So if people want to say it's a rights thing, well it is for me.

If heterosexuals are accepting of gays, gay must be accepting of heterosexuals. I support Prop 8 because I accept gays and gays should accept a heterosexual institution.

10/10/08 06:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope our gay members know that there is a very large straight LDS community in Cali that is really struggling with the Church's official position on this issue. A lot of us are interpreting "doing all that we can" as praying for an increase in love and tolerance in our congregations and leadership and finding a way to let our gay brothers and sisters know how much they are valued. God bless during this difficult time.

13/10/08 15:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a related comment. I grew up in the US, and am studying abroad in France this year. I just called a local bishop here to tell him that I would like my membership revoked. He asked me why, and when I told him, he was totally baffled that the church would become involved in such an action as in CAlifornia. He had heard absolutely nothing about it. Look, the membership of the church in Western Europe is very favorably disposed toward gays in comparison to Americans. However, they know virtually nothing about gays and the church in the US or anything that is being done or has been done there. This could be an effective front in our campaign. We should inform bishops and key members in western Europe about the crusade the mormon church is waging against gays in the US. Wage a sort of information campaign. This would help on bringing more internal pressure on the church leadership not to engage in such actions.

18/10/08 03:36  
Blogger wskimmer said...

I just want to add my support to this cause. I resigned the church a few years ago, and they didn't make it that easy. "Please remove me from the rolls" wasn't a sufficient answer. Why did I leave the church? I'm straight but I advocate for LGBT people and work with them in my practice as a psychologist in NYC. I was in grad school while active in Relief Society and in a temple marriage. I saw so much closed-mindedness that was counter to what I was learning about the human mind and emotions. After years of a difficult marriage, I got divorced and stopped attending church. Eventually I started dating my now-husband who is Jewish. I converted. And became a Democrat. Wow! I made a huge life-course correction. I must support my fellows Dems and all who struggle for equality. The church is so 19th century and paternalistic. Bless you all!

18/10/08 10:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the polls continue to slide in favor of Prop 8, I think we need to address our contingency plan in the event that Prop 8 passes. On November 4 or 5, how do we show the rest of California, the U.S. and the world that our civil rights have been killed by theocratic religions and we WILL NOT ACCEPT BEING MARGINALIZED.

For me there are two very important messages to two different audiences:

1) We need to plan to mobilize quickly and demonstrate, peacefully, our discontent. Silent vigils, cloaked in a black mourning, that pass the major religious buildings that killed our human rights.

A pre-vote, peaceful demonstration has been scheduled for Sunday October 26, 2008 in front of the Oakland temple.

2) For me this will be the end of the road and my association with the Mormon Church. On November 5, I will send my resignation, no longer acknowledge church leaders and demand that my personal information be removed from ALL CHURCH records.

23/10/08 04:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not LDS and I found this blog in my search for some way to respond what has been an obvious assault on equality for gays in CA. I am encouraged to see this site but have this need to vent my frustration not only about the LDS church but all of the groups and individuals who voted to invalidate my commitment to love and endure time of good and bad with my partner now of 20 years. We have 2 biological children (boys) and are indeed a family regardless of what anyone else says.

I'm frustrated and confused about the inability by so many that marriage, although sometimes religious, is not always religious. That is why there are civil ceremonies. The fact remains that our state and federal governments use marriage status for several items thus making unions more than just a religious designation. I feel the the LDS and other churches would say O.K. to 2 straight satanic worshipers getting married but refuse the right to 2 honest, loving, respectful people who want nothing more but to share in the joy others get.

There is an anger out here among my community of friends for the LDS and other groups and it is now a deep and painful hurt.

Thank you to all of you in the LDS that stood up to your church and voted with a humanistic and loving heart but the fight has only begun and we refuse to lay back and be trampled upon.

6/11/08 08:17  
Anonymous chadnnocal said...

LA Mormon Temple Protest

Time and Place
Date: Thursday, November 6, 2008
Time: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
0777 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

At last night's Prop. 8 Protest Rally in West Hollywood, thousands of people who came out in outrage to protest "the people" voting on our basic rights, were told that a protest would be held in front of the big Mormon Temple on Santa Monica Blvd. at 2pm today, Nov. 6.

The Mormon church's president sent a letter to all congregants asking them to get involved in the campaign to pass 8. Many responded with donations, estimated to have totaled $40-70 million. They also sent canvassers into swing districts. Even though the final votes are not tallied, it is not likely that the hateful proposition will be defeated.

It seems the LDS does not understand there is a separation between church and state (and they well should given their history). They follow the typical conservative bigoted reaction to say "follow the rules" except that they don't themselves. Like, don't bear false witness.

6/11/08 09:23  
Blogger Dagny said...

Hi Guys,

This is the first time I've posted here. I am not gay but like to believe I am compassionate and sympathetic to your plight. This morning I saw a new Ski Utah ad that is being rolled out by the Utah Toursim Board. It shows a guy selecting snow flakes good enough to go to Utah and it made think of a great parody.

My version would have the snowflakes land in Utah only to be met by a gate keeper with a check board. The first two or three land and he says "Good" "Good" "Good. Then two very flamboyant gay snowflakes land together holding hands.

The gate keeper stops them and thens gets on his walkie talkie and says:

"Gosh Darnit, Jake, you let two more of those fruity flakes slip through again. Ah, don't worry, we Utah boys know how to deal with their kind"

The gate keep then looks over his shoulder and says "Fire it up Boyd"

Cut to Boyd, who gives the camera a missing toothed smile and he fires up a blow torch.

Screams...Cut to black.

On the black screen appears the words "Boycott Utah"

I live in Utah and would be willing to cover the costs of homemade snowflake costumes and and get a video camera, but I would need five or six guys that would be willing to star in it for free. I'm thinking a YouTube, low cost production here

My email addy is magic_jade@hotmail.com

If anyone is interested let me know or simply pass on the idea to folks you know in the business who could put it put together. I think it could be a timely shot at Utah.



7/11/08 07:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a straight, married female, 56 years old with four children and five grandchildren. None of my children are gay. I am an active member of the Church.

I support equal rights for all gay citizens. I support marriage equality in every state of the Union. I also support gay people going through the temple ordinances. If the Lord reveals it, I support same-sex marriage in the Temple.

I agree with Mark... we need to speak out, educate, and communicate with other members. There is a great “underground” of support from Church members who are constrained by the culture of Mormonism to keep quiet.

It takes courage to stand up first. It is easier when a few others are standing.

Historically, from Civil Rights to Equal Rights, when enough good members speak out on these kinds of controversial, moral issues, the questions are eventually taken to the Lord by Church leaders who are ready to listen for new direction.

May our voices hasten that day for our beloved gay members.

Karen in Colorado

17/11/08 16:53  
Anonymous angie w said...

i sure appreciate the comments that have been made on this. right now i am trying to figure out what exactly i feel about allowing gay marriage. i am a blind follower. i would obey the leaders of the church even if they led me in a wrong direction. not because i can't think for myself (trust me, my heart aches on this issue) but because i love the church and believe that the Lord would give them inspiration as to what to do in all situations.
Of all the discussions on this issue that I've read lately, these are some of the most meaningful comments i've read. my heart truly goes out. still I have received confirmation over and over that the prophets are of God. and what they say I will support.
and something within me hopes that somehow there would be a way for all to feel equal and included and loved, no matter what sexual orientation that you have.

21/11/08 07:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the straight married 56 year old that thinks that gay partners should be allowed temple ordances and temple marriage, NOT going to happen in this or the next life to be anointed priest and priestess not two priests and priests, two men CAN NOT have children in this life or the next life. so that's just not going to happen. male and female are an eternal concept.

17/1/09 00:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The funny thing about the LDS Church's position on Propostion 8 is that the Church's interest is explicitly in "Temple Marriage" -- there is no doctrinal importance placed at all on secular marriage. Yet when it comes to gays and their right to marry, the Church places solidarity with non-Mormon fundamentalists above the interests of its own gay membership.

14/7/09 14:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a life long member of the Church, and a dedicated believer in the mission of the church, i myself believe we have lost something valuable in our teaching.
We were never mainstream even in the early days, our own history proves that,the teaching of our own prophet shows this, and i would challenge anyone to prove otherwise.
If we are to be an example for the outside world, and we are supposed to be teaching these values, then let us begin with our own house.
For me Jesus own words are of paramount importance, for i say unto you if you say you love me, and hate your brother you lie, for you cannot love one and hate the other.
I as a gay man, left my ward, for this very reason, i have no hatred or malice i simply ask for the same rights that every American has been afforded. and if we say our country is founded on loving doctrine and deny the Individual rights of any of our brothers and sisters then as scripture says we lie.
The issue was never about taking anything sacred from straight couples, or the institution of marriage itself.
the issue is love thy brother as thy love thyself.
god created us as we are, and we knew according to scripture what we chose before we left the spiritual world .
we are all gods children and we will all enter gods kingdom as we are .
we simply will not surrender our god given right to be afforded the same respect that all American people are afforded.
i pray for the day that i can return to my home,ward openly honestly sit in priesthood meeting and be myself as myself.
I pray that all my family will be joined together as one.

19/12/09 08:00  

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