Homosexual Marriage

Well, we’re heading into election season again. What a surprise—homosexual marriage is again becoming a central issue in politics. Forgive me if I’m a bit cynical about the Republicans’ motives for bringing the issue up again.

I was in Church the other week when our Bishop read the 1st Presidency letter urging our support for the Marriage Amendment. The letter perplexed me. I’ve given the issue quite a bit of thought and study, and I cannnot find the justification to support the amendment. I know some people will think I’m on rather theological thin ice here, and I don’t take this position lightly. Nor am I unwilling to update my opinion based on new arguments or perspectives. But for now, my concerns prevent me from advocating a ban on homosexual marriage.

Please go to my page on the topic for a full exploration of my concerns.

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11 Responses to “Homosexual Marriage”

  1. Thom Says:

    For what it’s worth, I’m more or less with you on this one. My response has been to put my head down and keep quite. I’ll agitate on a lot of issues, but not where I’m directly contravening the First Presidency. I’m very uncomfortable with their position and I cannot bring myself to advocate it, but neither will I encourage others to disagree. In fact, this in the first time that I’ve stated to anyone (I think) that I have serious issues with the Church’s position. (The second time will be if someone tries to call me into our soon-to-be-reorganized bishopric. *grin*)

  2. Brian the brother Says:

    I hope that the response system will take this all. I would hate to putting it into multiple responses. It is a bit lengthy, and I hope that I can adequately describe my feelings on the matter.

    After our conversation at our parents house, my wife and I were talking on the way home, what would happen if the Prophet did tell us what to think on this one. I didn’t think it really would happen, but…

    Anyway, I have thought long about this one, and think that you do have some valid points. But something still did not sit well with me. I have done some “research” and can say that I do support the Prophet on this one. Let me explain, before you start ripping into it.

    First, lets think of who defined marriage: the Lord, our Heavenly Father. Why change His definition.

    I agree with Elder Oaks who talked about the people who commit homosexual acts. Homosexuals aren’t a type of people. It is something they do. I would say that it is the same as people who look at pornography, who masterbate, who have sexual relations with children. These people do things, they aren’t groups who are “pornographers,” “masterbaters,” or “child-erters.” (I sure couldn’t think of a good word here, obviously.) We don’t give adulterers special opportunities either. All of these things are actions. They aren’t adjectives. You can read Elder Oaks talk, titled “Same-Gender Attraction” Ensign, Oct. 1995.

    You have mentioned here, basically, “What would Jesus do?” I ask the same thing now. Let us suppose that He just came again. Everybody that is still around, is coming and kneeling before Him. (Here is a little background to what I will say next.) I have always thought that people will still have their own ideas, and opinions. Just because He comes different than others have thought, doesn’t mean that they will still believe, right? I was of the opinion that if someone was a strong believer of the Lutheran faith, and being a real good person, and was around when the Saviour comes again, he would go to him and say, “I really still want to believe what I always have believed.” the Saviour would say something like, “That is okay. You lived your beliefs. Keep being good.” Now back to the real subject, someone who practices homosexuality, and is “married,” is kneeling before the Saviour. He now asks, “Can I still be married to Bob?” What do you think the Saviour would say? What did He say to the woman taken in adultery? Did He ask, “Do you believe you were doing wrong? Do you believe this is right?” Did He stone her? Did He forgive her? At this point in time, none of those are the right answers. He said, “Go and sin no more.” There are many people who are on this earth with different challenges. Some people could be inclined to be addicted to alcohol easier than others, while others could be inclined to be “addicted” to sex, with the other sex, or same, and would pursue either one. We are here on this earth to overcome all sin, and other challenges that keep us from our Saviour. And I have heard, that through Christ all things are possible.

    Another thought, it is said that satan is cunning. He doesn’t get anyone to commit a big sin right away. He gets them to take little steps. He gets someone to swear (which is something that you have addressed before, and I just might comment on that, and others topics later.), who hasn’t sworn before. Then will come the lie, then cheat, then steal, then etc. You know this, as we have been taught it before. The big sin is the last he will get you to commit. Now the question is, is this the first of the steps that will lead us to heck. Okay, okay, it leads us to hell. Let’s accept this in our society. Next, let’s accept adults being married to children, after all, we don’t want to discriminate against these people either. They want to have the rights for the “pursuit of happiness.” This sounds funny now, but what is really the difference? I have heard of kids as young as 10 having sex with each other. Why not allow it with adults? Will we become as Sodom and Gomorrah? Some places here could be considered that bad, probably. Are we going to be like Lot, who turned his tent toward Sodom, and eventually lived in Sodom? Where will be the ground when we finally say, “This is what I believe in, and will take a stand.” If we feel we can’t offend others, will we ever get to that point. The previous example might be extreme, but step by step things happen, and unless we try to prevent it.

    On a similar note, I also want to teach my children about sex, at the right time, and the right place. I don’t want the schools teaching it, muddled with “false doctrine.” It seems a little too late. The new ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stating, “There is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children…Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students.”

    You have talked before about enforcing our morality on others. I would rather that with this issue, than having others enforce their immorality on me. Which is better in your eyes? One of my co-workers has mentioned, I don’t talk about what I do in my bedroom. Why do they have to talk about what they do?

    I would agree with you on several points on your topics page. Why do we have to have this controversy, when there are much more important things to deal with. Why do those who are practicing this act, who call themselves homosexual, pushing so hard for a redefining of a word, when they could have themselves a civil union that would do all they need. Why can’t they leave the word “marriage” alone. That is a God defined word, not a man defined word. It is sacred, and eternal, and should be left alone.

  3. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Brian. I’m glad you shared.

    I would like to reiterate the fact that I have not questioned in my statement the Gospel doctrine that homosexuality is wrong. To try to convince me of this is pointless, because I haven’t said anything to the contrary. In essence, I’m questioning the manner in which the Religious Right (and recently the Church) has chosen to deal with those engaged in that sin. I’m questioning the policy, not the doctrine. The policy is one which is inconsistent with Gospel principles, American political theory and values, and practicality (ie, it is self-defeating). I am certainly in favor of taking a stand against homosexuality. I am NOT in favor of using the government to do so.

    I find a lot of the points you bring up interesting. The points are very valid. The conclusions you draw from those points seem suspect.

    For example, you ask what would happen if Christ were to come to earth again. I question the premises you present (ie, that people will still feel and believe certain ways when the Lord comes in his glory), and am skeptical about the conclusions you draw. If a homosexual couple have been “good,” as has the Lutheran in your example, why wouldn’t he treat them the same as the Lutheran? If the homosexual couple has been committed and loving to one another, treated others with love and respect, served their community, been unselfish and charitable to those around them, why wouldn’t the Lord be pleased with them? Can you say for certain that their sexual sins would outweigh their goodness in the Lord’s eye? Do you really think homosexual transgression, despite the fact that he speaks of it very little in the scriptures, will be some sort of litmus test of righteousness for the Lord?

    I don’t think any of us have the perspective to determine how the Lord will judge.

    However, your suggestion makes me recall the Savior’s example in his prior earthly sojourn. The Jewish leaders at the time of Christ were awaiting a political Savior; someone who would liberate them from the dominion of outsiders and establish a kingdom based upon their religious/cultural laws.

    Christ, however, simply didn’t care about the politics of the day. “Render therefore unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s (Matt 22:21).” He wasn’t concerned with who was in charge, or what were the laws. He made no effort to establish a Judaic legal system. According to Jewish law, the woman taken in adultery to whom you referred was subject to capital punishment. But the Savior had no interest whatsoever in having the law enforced.

    Now compare the scriptures with our lives. Do we want to be like the Scribes and Jewish leaders, who wanted to establish a religious state and use legal coercion? Or do we follow the path of the Savior, who sought to establish his kingdom on earth through persuasion and individual conversion, refuting any legal moralism?

    You very astutely pointed out at the end of your post: “That is a God defined word, not a man defined word. It is sacred, and eternal, and should be left alone.”

    Exactly right. It is a term established by God. Therefore the secular and worldly government has NO place in defining and shaping the institution. That is a role solely for those who seek to divine God’s will: individuals and religions. The church should very rightfully stand up for the true definition and meaning of the word, exhorting everybody to adhere to the established and traditional definition. Other churches should be extended the same right—even when their stand differs from ours. For any religion or individual to use government as a cudgel by which to force their understanding upon others taints both parties.

    You are absolutely right. Satan is cunning and leads people by small sins to Hell. Small sins like little acts of unrighteous dominion. “its okay to force our beliefs on others in this matter. It only affects a few people, and is such an obvious sin, we’re completely right about it, and it is really icky.” Then greater ones and greater ones, collecting for ourselves more and more power, until the cancer of pride and power consumes us.

    But slowly increasing the depth of sin isn’t the only trick the adversary uses. The devil in his cunning is perfectly willing to get us to dwell upon one thing, even morality, to distract us from the bigger picture. He is perfectly willing to distort justified concern about sin into an obsession that blinds us to the bigger picture. We obsess upon the icky sin of homosexuality, all the while ignoring the need to love our neighbors, to bring in the lost sheep and prodigal son, to comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to aid the sick, hungry, cold, and naked.

    You wonder if it will stop when we become as Sodom and Gomorrah? Who is to say we have not become so now? We’re so focused on the homosexuality of the twin cities from the story of Lot’s family, we may be ignoring a key part of the downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. (Ezekial 16:49).”

    At least as important in the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah was selfishness, lack of charity, and pride. By getting us to dwell so much on homosexuality, becoming increasingly divisive and in many cases, even hate, is Satan distracting us from what is arguably the more dangerous sin, lulling us into a sense of complacency and security about our own beams, drawing us unawares into his clutches?

    Your comparison between homosexuality and pedophilia is not a valid one. Homosexuality is (assuming no force is involved) the consenting and willing sexual activity between two adults. They are fully aware of their actions—or at least as much as any other adult in making choices. Pedophilia involves someone too young to truly make informed and self-aware choices. Thus to say one is comparable to the other is logically flawed.

    In referring to others “enforcing their immorality on [you],” you misunderstand the situation and the use of the term “force.” By getting married if they so choose, homosexuals are not forcing their morals on you. They are not forcing you to marry someone of the same gender. They are not banning heterosexual marriage. You still have the freedom to say homosexual marriage is immoral. You still have the freedom to refuse to attend or recognize homosexual marriages. You still have the freedom to teach your children what you believe about homosexuality. You still have the freedom to persuade homosexuals not to marry.

    But by legally barring homosexuals from marriage by entities who choose to endorse it forces your morality on them. To claim that it is a zero sum game (ie, if you are not allowed to force your morality on them, then they are ipso facto forcing their morality on you) would be rather presumptuous and arrogant. Just as people can choose to break the Sabbath (or not recognize it in the case of other religions) and not infringe upon your rights and morality, so homosexuals can legally marry in organizations which find such an arrangement acceptable without infringing upon the your morality.

    So take a stand for what is right. Do continue to stand by the doctrine that homosexual sex is sinful. But do so in a way that does not betray free agency. Do so in a way that will really be effective rather than impotent. And consider whether their are more pressing principles which we should stand for and which are more truly threatening the moral character of the nation.

  4. Brian the brother Says:

    I was afraid that I several of my comments wouldn’t be understood, because of my inability with words. I will see if I can clarify with a few of the important points, and not worry about the rest.

    With the example of the Lutheran and the “homosexual,” it wasn’t saying that one was more righteous. I wasn’t trying to judge one or the other. Here is more what I was trying to say, as an example conversation, between the two married men, Joe and Bob, and Christ.

    Bob: I recognize you as the Christ, and recognize you support the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (We would agree that Christ would support our Church over all the others, right. I hope that this wouldn’t be an arrogant assumption.)

    Joe: Both Bob and I love each other, and the world accepted our marriage. I know that the LDS church didn’t, but I would still like to be married to Bob. Can we still be married?

    Christ: (Here are my guesses, according to Church Doctrine.) You both have lived exemplary lives. You treated everyone with kindness. You have fed the poor, taken care of the sick, and done all those things so well. I appreciate that. But, your living situation is a sin. I will tell you the same thing that I told the woman taken in adultery, go and sin no more.

    I wasn’t trying to say anything more than that. Christ we accept them as people, and be very happy of the good things they did. But I will always believe He will try to correct their behavior, meaning telling them that they are sinning, and should change. If He won’t accept their situation, we shouldn’t either. We should love the sinner, but not the sin. Now you are right, that I don’t know that this is what will happen, but it sounds more right than Christ saying, “Yes, stay married. I don’t mind.” He has said I can’t look upon sin with the least degree. And whether they will accept that or not, it is a sin.

    Another point of clarification is the forcing moralities. While, I currently don’t know what is talked about in schools about sex, I don’t want my children that homosexual acts are good, and natural, because it isn’t. I also want to make sure that when it is time to talk about these matters, it is the right time, and the right place. According to the 9th circuit court, we don’t have that right.

    My point in bringing pedophilia into this is just an example of what different steps could lead to. Do I think that it will? I hope not, and think not. But where will the steps lead? I don’t think you can say, and I definitely can’t. What was the first movie that had a swear word in it? How many movies where before? How many swear words are in current movies? How has the sexual content of movies changed over the years? It seems that PG rated movies used to be R rated movies. Things change, as things become more acceptable. That was the point I was trying to bring out. So again, I will ask, where will this step lead, if we recognize it as a whole society? There is one I do know, and I know what he has asked us to do.

    We have talked about marriage and how it is God defined. Why are we discussing this? Is it because someone just thought that I want to make sure that it never changes? Or is it because someone thought, I want to change the word? While, again, I don’t know, but would guess it is because someone wanted to change it in the first place. I don’t know why. Maybe you could enlighten me. But my point here is, I think that these people already have the rights of married people with what is called a civil union. Why do they want to change the word marriage from man and woman to define the joining of two individuals. Why did they start this in the beginning? Is it a religious reason to begin with? I don’t think so, as our religion is the only one that says to become like God you need to be married as man and woman.

    This will be my final point. Don’t change the word from the God given meaning. If they must have the legal and lawful rights, lets give them a civil union, and more on to more important points. I don’t think that is taking away their agency.

    I will leave this issue in the same mindset as I came with. Though it has been thought provoking. I will listen to someone who knows the beginning from the end. If asks us to do something, although there are several logical reasons not to, He knows where it will lead. Though I don’t do this blindly, as I feel it is right, although you have given several reasons not to.

  5. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Thank-you for the clarifications, Brian. I am much more comfortable with how you have explained your point about the Savior and how he might respond. I don’t accept all of your points (for one thing, who is to say that there will be any churches at all, even the LDS Church? When Christ comes again, he will rule on earth. What reason would there be to have a Church in the sense that we have them today?). But yes, he would ask homosexual couples to end their relationships.

    But there are many things we tolerate and permit in life today that will not be acceptable after the Second Coming. That will be a totally different situation. That is when he comes again to rule and reign, to be the government of the world. That is not the government we have now. Right now we have a government built on the principles of liberty and separation of Church and State (I again remind you that the Constitution NEVER mentions God except in a phrase referring to the date). And thus we cannot, nor should we, use legal coercion to promote our beliefs. That is up to Church and individual action, not the government and law. We need to recognize the distinction or we shall fall into abuse of power and sin.

    Many Christians sincerely believe that the LDS faith isn’t Christian, and that htheir actions are a threat to true religion and morality. They are the majority in this nation. How would you feel if they were to ban temple sealings? Or if they were to outlaw missionary work?

    If you do not feel it would be appropriate for others to infringe on your right of worship and pursuit of happiness, even in the name morality, then you should not support efforts to infringe upon the rights of others to worship (and it IS an issue of worship; I know of at least half-a-dozen Christian and Jewish congregations who believe homosexual marriage is just as valid in the eyes of the Lord as is heterosexual marriage) or pursue happiness as they please. We cannot have it both ways, lest we be rank hypocrites.

    So what if marriage is redefined in the public? You think it hasn’t been constantly redefined over the past centuries? Child marriage (10-18) has been legal and even promoted in past centuries. Now many of those would be considered grotesque and even criminal. At many times in history, simply shacking up with a woman was considered marriage (Ben Franklin never underwent any ceremony, but simply announced to his friends one day that he and his companion were married). Is that the Lord’s definition? In many ancient cultures, if you did not have children, you were not technically married. Thus a man whose wife did not conceive (because of course, it is the woman’s fault;) could simply walk out of the home and again look for a wife. Is that how we define marriage today? The government in the Nineteenth Century, most of America felt that the Mormons were redefining marriage. Plural Marriage hadn’t been accepted in the entire history of Christianity. Who was right about the definition?

    Words are just words, combinations of letters. They mean what we want them to mean. The world at large has very different understandings of “salvation,” “faith,” “Eternal LIfe,” even “God.” That is simply the way language and humanity works. Words mean different things to different people. So what if some people change the word again for themselves? Nobody will change the definition for you or your family unless YOU decide to change how you interpret the definition.

    I know of a few very faithful LDS members who are homosexual (meaning they have those feelings, but have thus far resisted responding). They didn’t choose that orientation, and they dearly wish that they could change it. Their examples (as well as that of our uncle, who himself didn’t want to “be” something considered evil by the Church, and who resisted for many years) seem to indicate to me that we don’t know as much about whether homosexuality is “natural” and whether they can “change” as you seem to think.

    You again point to the example of the woman taken in adultery. You are neglecting important aspects of that example. Yes, the Savior did tell the woman to sin no more, just as we can and should tell the homosexual to sin no more (and ourselves to sin no more). But notice that he did NOT call upon the authorities to follow her and force her to sin no more. He did not warn her of legal repercussions should she continue in her sin (“I’ll let you off with a warning this time”). He left her the agency to choose. He gave her a command, and then permitted her to decide for herself without external compulsion to obey.

    Will you follow the example of the Savior while on the earth? Or follow the example of the Pharisees, who would force obedience to the moral principles as they saw it on others?

    If you feel that the Savior is telling you to support the marriage ban, then there is nothing to argue. By all means, do so.

    But I for myself must say, based on study, pondering, and prayer, that I do not feel that the Savior is directing us to pursue a marriage ban.

  6. Susie Says:

    I think what it all boils down to, rather than critiquing your every argument, is that the church tries to stay out of politics as a whole. But we do have a prophet that leads us in these confused times, and if he says to support one certain political argument out of all the political dilemmas we have, then we should support it! I’m normally not one of those people who agrees with the exclamation point at the end of everything that prophets say, because it probably isn’t all prophetic, but do you really think the 1st presidency would send out a letter that political if they didn’t feel strongly about it? Look at their motives, as well. They know the church will be unpopular for this, they know this will come across as bigoted and perhaps seen by some gay church members as pouring salt in their wounds in an already difficult life.
    Basically, if the prophet says that it isn’t a good thing for our society to begin to promote the homosexual lifestyle in the public and religious institution of marriage, then we should be listening because I’m sure he isn’t the prophet just for his health. He’s the prophet for all of our well-being. Don’t you think Satan can just be very cunning about the arguments for pro gay marriage? Institutionalizing it under the guise of “love and equality for everyone?” Or do you think Satan is just cunning for the first presidency and it’s President Hinckley who has this all wrong and needs a major wake up call? Maybe you should write him a letter to let him know!

  7. Aaron Says:

    u can neva stop ppl from havin these feelins and gays marrying if god wanted to could stop it but gay marrages r gd

  8. Aaron Says:

    and i grew up as a mormon and h8 ur church

  9. Don Says:

    Derek, you have rightfully removed your religion from the matter at hand and have dealt with it accordingly and properly in respect to our Constitution and the principles upon which our country was founded.

    Regarding Brian’s recoil to the possibility that some would “redefine” the word “marriage, I could wholeheartedly agree with what you say here:

    Words are just words, combinations of letters. They mean what we want them to mean. The world at large has very different understandings of “salvation,” “faith,” “Eternal LIfe,” even “God.” That is simply the way language and humanity works. Words mean different things to different people. So what if some people change the word again for themselves? Nobody will change the definition for you or your family unless YOU decide to change how you interpret the definition.

  10. Benjamin Says:

    Hey all, another point regarding the definition of marriage. I recall one of Elder Parley P. Pratt’s wives (the one he lost his life over when he was murdered by her former husband) said that a “sectarian marriage isn’t even a marriage at all” so a lot of later 19th century Mormons were defining marriage as an eternal Temple marriage and plural marriage as being the most sought after form of marriage for most. If the Church has changed so dramatically in the past who’s to say what the Church will look like in 20 or 50 years in the future especially as society goes thorugh a paradigm shift as it is doing right now.

    I know of several gay Latter-day Saint people (some excommunicated, some still in limbo with the church and others very quiet about their relationship) who have very honorable and loving relationships. They pray together, take part in community affairs, fast, give to the poor, study the scriptures together, etc. I think that too many Latter-day Saints look upon gay people like the ancient Jews did the Samaritans. President Hinckley said some of the most wise words on the topic only about a year ago when he told Larry King on television that he was no expert on the subject and that he did not pretend to be. I think that is a very powerful testiment to the prophets humilty. There are many questions out there and this is a crucial issues that does affect the Church very deeply these days. I know too from personal experience (also from many gay people I know) that the spirit is moving among gay people and the gay community to lift them up to a higher level of goodness and light. That is because gay folks are finding an ever deepening love and light within themselves and a self acceptance that is truly humble. An example of this (a non-LDS person) is Chad Allen who appeared in Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and a movie entitled “The End of the Spear.” He has done several things to help and inspire the gay community (www.chadallenonline.com). The pejorative “gay lifestyle” label is so unfair to the real life stories of these people. Watch how God is working in these people’s lives when they accept the challenge to love themselves as they are and include their families, friends and (as much as their chuch will allow) their churches. It is amazing. I know of (in rare instances) where several gay people have heard the voice of the Spirit in their lives to accept themselves, love themselves and to embrace who they are. Not to become promiscuous. There is a collossol difference between someone who is promiscuous and out of control and a person who makes a solid commitment with another person. The unfortunate thing is that the Church (as an institution) does not seem to differentiate but typically just says “ick” and “sin” and “evil” using the language of abomination which places huge divisions between people causing a tremendous amount of pain. I don’t think this is what Jesus wants.

    This could be one of the best possible tests for the Church as a whole and are we choosing the loveable approach or the hateful pharasaical approach? Do we seriously look at the abyss (the “ick factor”) and get to know gay people (couples and individuals) and learn about their personal stories? That takes far more courage than sitting back in our easy chairs and making glib judgements based on what other people may write or say. There are Church leaders who have looked at the abyss and listened with an open mind without judgement to the personal stories of these people. Bishop Robert Reese is one LDS Bishop who did this and there are many others. Take a look at Bishop Reese’s writings on this issue and others at http://www.ldsresources.info/

    We need to take heart to the Book of Mormon as we are to “Bear one another’s burdens”. We covenanted to do this. The Church leadership will create policies and receive revelation as needed on many issues but it is crucial for us to be authentic in our search and being non-judgemental.

  11. sheri Says:

    This conversation appears to be over, but I only stumbled across this blog today and wanted to leave a few words on this topic. I appreciate all the posts on this topic and have to say that it heartens me to find that civil dialogue is possible…it seems very hard to find anymore, especially on a hot-button topic such as this.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I will introduce myself by saying that I am a gay woman and a former Mormon. My family is all still very active in the church. Coming to terms with who I am was a very long and difficult process for me, but through it all I have felt, and continue to feel, the hand of God guiding my life. There are several things that happened as I struggled with this issue, many of which are too personal to share in a forum like this, but at a particular turning point, I was reminded of a verse from D&C 6 which says (and I’m paraphrasing), “If you still lack faith, remember the night when I spoke peace to your heart. What greater witness can you have than that from God?” When I remembered this verse and thought about it, I realized that the times I’d felt peace were the times when I was closest to accepting myself fully, and the times when I felt darkest were when I was trying to conform to other ideals. Not long after that, I met someone and fell in love. We have been together for 3 years and this has been one of the happiest times of my life.

    I only share this now because I wanted to add a personal touch to this discussion. I greatly appreciate the viewpoints expressed here, even those that would seem to disagree with mine. I espcially appreciate knowing that there are people out there who are thinking seriously about these topics, even when they don’t affect you personally. This is obviously an important issue for me, because I feel I should be able to leave my property to my partner without filling out lengthy and expensive legal forms (which could still be challenged in court should I pass away) or visit her in the hospital should she fall ill. But having said that, I must say that I very strongly agree with Derek when he says there are much more important things that we should be concerned with and fighting for right now in this country and this world. I like the idea that Satan could be using the entire issue as a distraction to keep thinking people from noticing that our Constitution is in fact hanging by a thread (and not because of the threat gay people pose to marriage but because cornerstones of our freedom such as Habeus Corpus are being stripped away by those in power). This is the first summer in several years when we haven’t been subjected to loud and hateful debates over gay marriage, but I dread knowing that the closer we get to the presidential elections, the louder the yells to ship all the gays to some other planet somewhere will become. And what we should really be talking about is finding a way out of this quagmire in Iraq, dealing with the crushing poverty facing so many of our citizens here at home and restoring our Constitutional protections.

    Anyway…mainly I wanted to say thank you for the tone of this discussion and for conducting it without descending to the level of hatefulness or name-calling that many blogs are known for.

    Sheri
    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    –Benjamin Franklin

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