Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gay marriage in Cali today

So you have probably heard that today California's Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. My lesbian co-worker came in all excited about the news, and what could I say but "congratulations!" I am really happy for her and everyone who has wanted this to happen.

A lot of my fellow Mormons are not so happy. So I thought I would blog my thoughts a little bit and maybe it will provide some insight why I approach it a little differently from other people who believe most all the same things I believe.

First of all, if you have read Watch Out for Mama or known me personally for any length of time, you know I have some family connections - two gay brothers, to be precise. I blunder around a lot of the time and I know I hurt feelings sometimes just because I am ignorant or have lingering prejudices or maybe I am just still figuring out what I think and feel. I never intend to hurt feelings. I love my brothers and want them to be happy. I think each of them is best qualified to judge what is needed for his own happiness. If they want to be married to pursue happiness (and yes, that is intentionally constitutional language) then - I don't think it's my business to say, "no, you can't do that." Nor would I want to.

So I think the government has to do something about this from a civil rights and equality standpoint, just out of respect for individuals and their natural rights. Admittedly, my preferred solution would be to make the state recognize only civil unions for both gay and straight couples, and leave marriage up to churches to confer according to their beliefs. I think that would be most fair to everyone and still provide religious freedom. But that is not the way the winds have blown. Plus, I am certainly no legal scholar and there's probably some insurmountable impediment that keeps the problem from being solved that way. I mean, why else wouldn't the world adopt my brilliant idea?

California has a state constitutional amendment probably coming up this fall to define marriage as man/woman only. But the amendment as currently constituted has no language to annul marriages that take place between now and the time it is or is not passed. And as I have said before, that is not a political initiative that I will be participating in except to cast my personal vote when the time comes.

So it looks like lots of people are going to be having weddings this summer. Weddings are happy no matter what. Does God recognize anything about these unions? Who am I to say? For us I think is only to love and support those we know.


SalGal said...

Purposely not taking either side for a moment, I thought the CA constitution had already passed an amendment 7-8 years ago defining marriage as "between a man and a woman". Did you mean to say that there would be an amendment the other way around? Dang, I guess I will have to start watching the news now. Stupid thought-provoking politicians! ;-)

Denise said...

I think you know where I stand on this, so I'm not commenting on that, lol, but I just wanted to say that I was struck by how you said you struggled with "ignorance" and "lingering prejudices". That's the party line; if you judge something to be wrong, it's because you aren't open-minded enough, not because it truly is wrong.

I hope you're not doing some self-flagellating over that. I understand that you're often torn on this subject, but I hope you don't feel like it's because of your own faults.

Anyway, interesting post, thank you!

Marta said...

Amen sister! Basic human rights and agency should not be defined by sexual orientation.

Ana said...

I do think it's important for all of us - in every race and creed and sexual preference - to admit that we have some ingrained prejudices that hamper our abilities to see each other clearly. So once again Denise, I think we part ways on this subject. Surprise, surprise! Heh, I wish all disagreements were as kind and respectful as yours.

Oh, and never fear. I have plenty of things to self-flagellate about, but that's not really one. I think it's more constructive to recognize it somewhat dispassionately, if possible, and try to overcome it.

Ana said...

Sal, I think that was a referendum but not an amendment? I remember when it happened but not exactly what it was. You're bringing out the not-a-legal-scholar part of me.

SalGal said...

Yes, I checked it out and it was just an initiative that prevented CA from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states. My bad! I should've checked before speaking.

Christopher A. Wheeler said...

Here, here Ana!