Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Stuck in the middle with you

Current posts on Times and Seasons and Feminist Mormon Housewives referencing gay marriage and the LDS Church's past involvement with the California ballot initiative to ban it have me flummoxed. I'm emotional about this topic, I doubt myself, I fear for the future. So instead of making a fool of myself in the comments on someone else's thread, I'll just sort out my thoughts here. Because of course the topic continues to come up in my new and much-loved home state, not to mention the rest of the country. I probably should try to figure out what I think and feel.

So far, I've been lucky, you might say. I lived in Utah when Prop. 22 was going on in California, and in California whenUtah had a ballot amendment on the topic last year. But I know I can't escape the debate forever. Sooner or later I'm going to have to show where I stand. Looks like it might be soon.

I think most who read here (all three of you, and I thank you) know my situation. I have two gay brothers. I love them. They were deeply hurt when other members of the family did as they were asked and campaigned for Prop. 22. I understand that hurt and I don't want to perpetuate it. I also believe in the gospel and mostly in the LDS Church. I believe that someday, in this life or the next, something is going to change, either on the policy end or on the biology end, making it possible for people who are or were gay to be full partakers in the restored gospel. When that day comes, I don't want the emotional rift between me and my brothers to be so deep that they cannot or will not return. If I am less than compassionate, I believe I would bear some responsibility there.

But there's this. And this. And this.

Is hurting your family (a family in which, by the way, the last convert baptism was in something like 1856) to crusade against gay marriage the same as leaving your family to follow Christ? I'm not sure. But I'm thinking, and I worry.

I'm not sure gay marriage is a great social ill. I understand that it wouldn't work in the Church. But I think there could be solutions that wouldn't require the Church to perform such marriages. And I think there are rights we often associate with marriage (like health insurance or being with a dying loved one in the hospital) that are basic human needs or rights having nothing to do with sexual orientation. Without direction from the Church I would probably campaign for legal domestic partnerships with the same rights as marriage. With direction from the Church ...

I will probably just try to keep a low profile. I hope that's not a big mistake.


SalGal said...

Ana, you say you keep thinking but you haven't shared what the thought is...

When Prop. 22 came along and we were asked to make calls, put up signs, etc. it was really hard. I think I captured a small glimpse of what missionaries must feel like going door-to-door. However, once we started doing were asked to do, it was not so hard at all. Although, we are not in the same familial situation that you are.

Personally, I am completely and wholly against gay marriage with or without the Church. I'm all for civil unions and giving them the same rights that married couples and enjoy, but marriage is sacred. It was designed with the idea in mind that a man and a woman would marry and create children (a family), something that homosexual relations cannot accomplish. The family, as designed by God, is eternal.

Ana said...

Well, I'm no legal eagle, but my ideal solution is pretty libertarian. Get the government out of the marriage business altogether. Legal unions should be only civil, and the same for everyone. Then whoever wanted to have a church-sanctified marriage could do so within the church of their choice. Inevitably there would be churches willing to sanctify gay marriage. But each church would be able to set its own limits. So that's just another way of making gay marriage legal, but I think it would protect the freedom of individual churches to preserve their doctrinal preferences.

And BTW, my marriage cannot create children, either. Pull on that thread and see what happens to the cloth. That's why to me no solution seems cut and dry.

Heather P. said...

Ana, It would have been difficult for me to be in California during Proposition 22. I did live here in Utah last year, but I didn't feel any pressure from the Church one way or the other. I voted no on it and had a "No on 3" sticker on my car. (Of course, it passed anyway.) I am uncomfortable with the Church influencing members' voting.
As to gay marriage, I like your solution of civil unions for everyone and church marriage as individual churches see fit.

Essy said...

Ana, I'd be interested in what your thoughts are about what has happened here in MA...where the state ordered Catholic Charities to allow adoptions to gay couples...which lead CC to stop adoptions all together. So to me, it kind of looks like the next thing in line is for them to order the churches to perform gay marriages.