My Dear Reader,
I've already posted more on politics than I ever thought that I would. At the same time, I feel that there is at least one more thing that I need to say on the subject, so please consider this post on California's Proposition 8, which would ban homosexual marriage in the state. In short, I absolutely, completely, support Prop 8. I think that voting to pass Prop 8 is the moral, ethical, and wise thing to do. Period.
Now, you may be wondering, Gentle Reader, why a person who is registered to vote in Oregon has anything to say on the matter. The truth is that I almost didn't, because this is a state matter, and because I'm not a resident of that state. But I used to be. I was raised there and I still consider California my home. In addition, I was in this fight from the beginning, and I want to see it finished.
This all started back in 1999, when I was a freshman in high school. That was when an initiative called Proposition 22 was on the ballot. Though I was barely fourteen at the time, I knew how important it was that the proposition be passed. And it was a really, really big deal for everybody. Kids at my school wore Prop 22 signs as shirts. We put up signs everywhere, and we put up with the consequences, such as nieghbors and friends who called us intolerant to homosexuals, among other things. We told them that it wasn't about tolerance at all. It wasn't about hating gays, it was about our religious views. (Our religious views, by the way, prohibit us from hating gays.) It was about our belief that each child has the right to be raised in a home with a mother and a father. It was about our belief that both motherhood and fatherhood are so sacred, and so important, that their combined influences on a child cannot be duplicated by any other social organization. It was about our belief that the role that traditional marriage has in society is elementary, and if tampered with, will have horrible consequences. Why do Mormons consider this a religious issue? Why do we feel it appropriate to allow our religous beliefs to influence our vote? President Gordon B. Hinckley said it best at the same time Prop 22 was on the ballot. The folowing is a quote from his address given in October of 1999:
"'Why does the Church become involved in issues that come before the legislature and the electorate?'
I hasten to add that we deal only with those legislative matters which are of a strictly moral nature or which directly affect the welfare of the Church. . . . We regard it as not only our right but our duty to oppose those forces which we feel undermine the moral fiber of society. . . . Such is currently the case in California, where Latter-day Saints are working as part of a coalition to safeguard traditional marriage from forces in our society which are attempting to redefine that sacred institution. God-sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman has been the basis of civilization for thousands of years. There is no justification to redefine what marriage is. Such is not our right, and those who try will find themselves answerable to God.
Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.
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.
I commend those of our membership who have voluntarily joined with other like-minded people to defend the sanctity of traditional marriage. . . . You are contributing your time and talents in a cause that in some quarters may not be politically correct but which nevertheless lies at the heart of the Lord’s eternal plan for His children, just as those of many other churches are doing. This is a united effort."
What better words could be said on the subject? What better words could be said on the issue at hand? President Hinckley, a man who I personally regard as a prophet of God, a man whose addresses lifted and strengthened me in the darkest times of my life, spoke true and eternal words that day, as he did every other day. We listened to his words back in 1999, and we passed Proposition 22 along with 61% of California's population. And as soon as we found ourselves in victory, with our values protected, an official or two decided that the people's voice wasn't valid. So, in short, we have to finish the fight we started nine years ago by passing Proposition 8. This isn't about tolerence; it's about protecting our values, and protecting marriage and the family. Period.
For better words than mine, visit http://iprotectmarriage.com/, http://protectmarriage.com/, and http://www.preservingmarriage.org/.
Regards, best wishes, and morality,