Monday, September 15, 2008

Even if you don't live in CA, you can help with Prop 8

As you are well aware, many people in California are walking precincts and making phone calls to help assess voter sentiment about Proposition 8, and to talk to those who may not know much about it.

This effort is NOT intended to change anyone's mind or opinion. It is simply to find out how people are feeling about the issue, to answer questions if someone has them, and to invite those who support Proposition 8 to get involved and to vote when the time comes in November.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have asked its members to do what they can to support Proposition 8. (Some reasons for the Church's position on this can be found here.)

How can we do this if we don't live in CA?

One thing we can do, of course, is donate to the coalition the Church has joined. You can do so here.

Did you also know that people outside of California can actually get involved in the assessment and communication process by making phone calls? If you are interested in joining in this effort, you can find out more here. [Edited to keep a focus on pointing others somewhere where the effort is organized on a larger scale.]

And I will say this: I will admit it; there was a part of me that breathed a sigh of relief with the fact that I don't live in California. (I walked precincts in 2000. It was hard.) But since I believe this is an issue that affects us all, and that the decision in CA will have a significant impact on the rest of the nation, I feel it's important for me to get involved. I invite you to consider getting involved, too.

One last note: Proposition 8 is not an anti-gay effort. It is a pro-marriage effort. Please respect my choice to support the effort to keep marriage between a man and a woman. I respect your choice to do something different. But don't misinterpret or misrepresent my choice (or the Church's position) as a lack of love or concern for gay people, because that is simply not true.

You are free to share your thoughts about this topic here, but I do moderate comments, so please keep comments respectful and relevant.

8 comments:

m_and_m said...

p.s. I got hit with (another) migraine (or a continuation of the one I got last nite) so if your comment gets stuck, be patient. I will get to it as soon as I can.

Michael said...

I greatly respect your position that marriage should be between a man and a woman however, as an active gay Latter-day Saint convert, if you are trying to be pro-marriage and not anti-day, then why aren't you tackling the MAJOR reasons for the deterioration of marriage. Why not work towards banning divorce, or re-criminalizing adultery or fornication or tackling parental irresponsibility? IMHO, those are the MAJOR items destroying marriage. Why concentrate on 5% of the population instead of the 95% that are actually causing the most damage?

m_and_m said...

Michael,

This is a question that is brought up many times. Our leaders talk much about these other things that undermine marriage and family. They talk about these things in sermons and in our Church magazines more than they do about gay marriage.

HOWEVER, none of these things are on the ballot right now. The Church is not the one putting things on the ballot; it is simply supporting an effort that was already there.

And our leaders have explained how and why this can and will have an effect on marriage and family (as well as potentially on religious rights), and now is a time that we can actually do something about it.

Michael said...

With all due respect, I don't buy it. There are many LDS Senators and Congressmen that could easily introduce such legislation concerning these other threats. On the state level there are five or six states with significant LDS legislators where such bills could be introduced. Your explanation seems like a diversion.

Michael said...

I hope your migrane is gone.

m_and_m said...

Michael,

I respect your opinion. I just think that what you are talking about (making divorce and immorality illegal, for example) is pretty much impossible. And I think senators, even LDS ones, know this.

Thanks for the well wishes about my headache. I'm still nursing it. I hope it will be gone soon.

BookwormMama said...

I walked the precincts in 2000 also. My hubby and I led a group of us in California in our Stake. I have mixed feelings about that now. I was young and more naive back then and now that I am closer to the issues... I feel like maybe what I did was a mistake. I am not comfortable with the Church getting involved in political issues, even if it involves marriage. I don't believe our Father in Heaven is as considered about political issues. I feel that the Church should not be considered tax exempt if it is endorsing, supporting, and even asking its members to support a particular political position. It makes it difficult for those who disagree with Prop 8 and are good LDS members...they are looked at as "sinners" or not "following the Prophet" {at least in my ward however- they try to keep quiet about it}. I don't like mixing religion with politics. Having said that however, the Church did not put this measure on the ballot.. the gay community did so I realize that the Church is responding to that. I have read much about this issue on both sides and there is much about it I still do not understand.
I admit in the future if this Prop. is defeated then I could see people suing the church for not allowing gay marriages in the temples, and then soon will be polygamists demanding marriage ceremonies and/or wanting rights granted to them for marriage by the state as well. I don't know how I feel about that either. I think in the long run the Church has a vested interest in this because it could mean a lot of legal trouble for the Church later on if it doesn't pass.
Having said that, I do have a problem with laws that take away a person's agency, regardless of what choice is being made. So this should be interesting to see how this plays out. I am taking a no-position stand right now... not sure whether I agree or not. Good luck to everyone involved on either side.

m_and_m said...

I understand that many people are torn on this issue. However, I don't see this as a political issue primarily, and that is one reason why I think the Church getting involved is valid. It's a moral issue and a more general rights issue. There are more rights to consider than just a small percentage (very small!) of gays who want the legitimacy of marriage (which isn't itself a right anyway). Religious rights, parental rights, even free speech rights are issues that are of concern to me.

I don't see this as threatening others' agency. Gays can still be together. They can still get legal rights (in CA, they already have many). The proposition is not trying to control people's choices about their sexuality or their partnerships. The state has *no* obligation to validate every relationship that people want to have. (That really is a slippery slope to me.)

I have let this issue simmer in my mind and heart for years since 2000. I am more convinced than ever that the Church's position is an important and correct one. I think that logically now, not just on faith like I did in 2000.

That said, I think that it is significant that prophets have used the word 'warn' when they talk about the consequences of the disintegration of the family. Of course, there are other things in addition to gay marriage that threaten marriage and family, but this is a biggie, imo.

But I understand that everyone has to work the issue out individually and decide what to do about it.