Thursday, May 28, 2009

Same-Sex Marriage

I am for same-sex marriage. My church, as far as I understand it, is opposed to it.

On May 26, 2009, the LDS church in Salt Lake City welcomed the California Supreme Court's decision relative to Proposition 8. In essence, the court ruled that the vote to ban same-sex marriage in California should stand. It also ruled that marriages already performed are valid and should be honored.

The church's news release indicates the LDS Church "recognizes the deeply held feelings on both sides, but strongly affirms its belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman." I wonder if the verbiage, "marriage should be between a man and a woman" means what it says or if it should say "marriage should only be between a man and a woman"? As things stand, marriage is between a man and woman. And in California, before this latest California Supreme Court ruling, it was between a man and a woman and between members of the same sex who wanted to marry. So, it seems to me that the LDS news release should include that word "only" to make it clear what they mean. Unless, of course, they have changed their position.

Nobody of sound mind can argue with the statement that the LDS church wants to stand firmly for what it believes is right for the health and well-being of society as a whole. That is a noble aim, it seems to me, that anyone would be hard-pressed to argue against. It would also be difficult to criticize its understanding that all of us are children of God, except for the fact that many people don't even believe in God at all, so I guess atheists and perhaps agnostics may argue the point but probably would not be too upset about being categorized in the same inclusive set as everybody else.

There is not much to criticize in the church's observation that all deserve to be treated with respect. However, it seems to me, there is a fallacy in saying that all deserve to be treated with respect but then saying that being treated with respect doesn't include being allowed to be married like other folks. That is the crux of the problem. The church believes that tradition should rule the day in secular society, while I don't believe it should. There's no question but that societal bias against same-sex attraction throughout the ages has often wreaked havoc upon a class of citizens of the world. We all should rue that havoc and do everything we can to make it so it doesn't continue.

The news release says that the church believes parties of the discussion should not demonize each other. Demonize means "to turn into or as if into a demon." A demon is a devil. The devil is Satan and his followers. Mostly, those on the pro-side of same-sex marriage indicate that those against it are bigots. A bigot is a person who is strongly partial to his/her own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. That seems to be a pretty apt description of the church and those against same-sex marriage. On the other hand, the church indicates that those who engage in same-sex sex, apparently, even those who are validly married under the jurisdictional law where they live, are committing grievous sin and have allied themselves with the devil. In other words, it seems to me the church demonizes them.

I'm opposed to that.

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