Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Utah County Prop 8 Events This Week (+ Musings)

Young single adults (mostly students) in the area have organized some events this week for Prop 8. These are being held on BYU campus, but have no official association with the school -- they are all student-organized activities.

Every day: There will be a booth set up to get CA residents who are living in the area registered to vote and registered for an absentee ballot. The deadline is coming up VERY soon. The booth will be by the West doors of the Wilkinson Center from 11-2 every day. They will have absentee registration card and voter registration cards. If you know anyone in the area who is a CA resident in Utah County and needs to vote, this would be a great place to send them. People can also come help run the booth.

Tuesday (that would be today!): Blogging blitz. Meet in rooms 4824 and 4826 of the Lee library. The idea is to have groups get onto various sites, news stories, etc. and make comments to help people understand why we are supporting Prop 8. More information can be found here.

Wednesday: Speaker and phone banks. At 7pm in the Terrace of the Wilkinson Center (by the Cougareat), Beverly Rice, president-elect of United Families International (UFI), will be speaking. UFI has donated all the money we have needed for this effort. She will be talking about why Prop 8 is so important and monumental. Food and phone banks will follow her address.

Thursday: Phone bank from 7-10pm in room 3222 of the Wilk.

There are many ways we can each get involved in this grassroots campaign as our leaders have encouraged. Tell your friends about Prop 8. Share the new website the Church has created (one of the videos from that site is in my sidebar). Talk about it on Facebook. Write on your blogs. Encourage those you know in CA to vote to support Prop 8.

My musing for the day: I think something that is so important is to make is so very clear that we are not supporting Proposition 8 out of hate or a lack of love. We need to help people understand that we who support Proposition 8 love and care about our gay brothers and sisters. As the Church's website, preservingmarriage.org, states: "We can love someone while still maintaining and advocating our standards and beliefs."

One way we can help people know this is to vocalize our support of the Church's position AND our love and concern for our gay brothers and sisters and their families. Silence in either way can leave people wondering. Let's let our voices be heard, both in support of traditional marriage, but also in support of those who are gay. We *can* do both. And we need to. It's what the Savior would do. Our leaders have made this clear. The Savior always held up and defended and taught the truth, boldly and without apology. But He was there, loving and supporting and reaching out to those who were cast aside by others in society. Let us NEVER be someone who casts people aside. But let our unequivocal position about traditional marriage and morality NEVER be equated with a lack of love. And let us never give someone reason to make that association.

11 comments:

Nick Literski said...

I think something that is so important is to make is so very clear that we are not supporting Proposition 8 out of hate or a lack of love. We need to help people understand that we who support Proposition 8 love and care about our gay brothers and sisters.

As the old saying goes, "I can't hear your words, because your actions are speaking too loud."

m_and_m said...

Nick,
I'm sorry you feel that way.

I believe this is one of those situations where a key way we show love and concern is to respect each others' agency and effort to be true to ourselves. I should not ask you to change your lifestyle to prove that you care about me, and you should not ask me to stop doing what I believe I must do on this issue to somehow prove something to you. We can care about each other and have different opinions, actions, and beliefs at the same time. To me, it's part of what it means to be human and to be respectful. And what it means to be American. :)

Cheryl said...

I think you hit on a good point, m&m. Saying "If you loved me, you would do this" is not really love. For either party.

BookwormMama said...

Gosh Michelle I really am having such a difficult time with this...especially after just coming back into the church and praying about this and still not feeling like this Prop 8 thing is ok at all. I am grateful I am not in California but I know this issue will come to all of our states most likely.
You posted,
"As the Church's website, preservingmarriage.org, states: "We can love someone while still maintaining and advocating our standards and beliefs."
And this is where I take issue. We can maintain and advocate our standards and beliefs without forcing them on the rest of the country or state who do not have the same standards and beliefs as us. It's called free agency. We do not impose our religious beliefs on others and let everyone 'worship how where and what they may.' Prop 8 looks to me to be a legal way of making LDS church doctrine become the law of the state. I know there are other church's supporting this but that is what bothers me... it is a religious effort to define something that is religious and make it law so that others who do not believe this way will be held to our religious beliefs! What about separation of church and state?

m_and_m said...

Steph,
I understand how hard it can be to sort through this issue and I'm glad you shared your thoughts. It's important to be able to have discussions about this, and I am glad you felt you could share your concerns here.

Here are my thoughts in return. Consider for a minute the issue outside of the Church's doctrine. Of course, our beliefs as a people and a church influence our participation in this issue, just as any other person will have beliefs and other factors that come into play. But if you read the reasons the Church is involved, you will see that it's far beyond just our doctrine. We have concerns about rights, too, and this really could create some problems in that area.

To me, a key point to consider is what is happening on a bigger scale, outside of the Church altogether. We live in a democracy, and the majority of people in the country have already made their voices heard on this issue. The majority of states (27, I believe) already have passed amendments, other states (another 17 or something like that) on top of that have passed other measures to protect marriage. The people in CA (not just the Church, but the majority of citizens who voted!) already had voted on this issue as well, and FOUR people (with THREE voting against it, so essentially ONE judge) nullified the voice of the people.

Add to that the fact that both presidential and vice presidential candidates support traditional marriage and do not want the definition changed.

Even within the courts, you have a split vote. Of the 21 judges (in CA, MA and Conn), only 12 of them voted for gay marriage. The other 9 did not. That's hardly a slam dunk about what is even legal and constitutional and politically, judicially, correct! Again, that doesn't even consider the fact that the majority of states have already made this decision. There is a collision course ahead as the couple of states who had judges decide they could change marriage come to realize that those gay marriages won't be valid anywhere else.

People want to make this about gays vs. the Church. But that is simply and totally inaccurate. In fact, if anything, to me, it's the other way around. I feel that the minority, those who support gay marriage, are trying to force THEIR 'doctrine' on the rest of the country.

To me, that is a key concern about what is happening. Democracy exists to allow the voice of the people, the majority of the people, to have a significant say in things like this. Judicial decision that carries by only one vote, that violates the voice of the people in the state, and that seeks to run against the voice of the people nationwide, is risking and violating principles of democracy, imo.

You've got to do what you feel right about, my friend, but please consider that there is more to this than just the Church's doctrine. Again, ultimately, this is not a church vs. gays issue. This is so much bigger than just our doctrine. Marriage between a man and a woman as an insitution has been the foundation of society for millenia, and that whether the Church existed or not.

Again, the people of the US as a whole have already voiced their opinion on this through amendments and legislation nationwide. If we really do respect choice, imo, we should respect the choice that the American people have already made and not allow judges to have the ability to overturn the voice of the people. And we should not invite the political, legal, and social messiness that can result when a couple of states decide to change something that most people think should be left alone.

Ahem. There are a few of my thoughts to chew on. :)

BookwormMama said...

Thanks Michelle for responding. I have a feeling my reply will be long and I apologize. I understand about other states and their already voting on this issue and all that. I understand about the judge overturning the will of the people. We had a vote back in 2000 that it looks like this Supreme Court Judge has totally disregarded and violated. I get that and personally that frightens me that a judge can just overturn the voice of the people that way. That is too much power and I agree that something should be done about that.
However, the Defense of Marriage Act was started first back in 2000 as a way to prevent gay marriage. That WAS the issue then and it is the issue now. To DEFINE what marriage is. Marriage has never been defined anywhere in constitutional law except for when someone has tried to put it into law such as with the Defense of Marriage Act. THAT is what I mean by forcing someone's religious views upon others and putting that into law!
You said, "People want to make this about the Church vs. the gays" and I don't mean any disrespect but the CHURCH has made this about the Church vs. gays! If you have read what the Church's website says and what the Leaders of the church have said in their discussions about this, that is very clear! It isn't people making it about that, it's the Church themselves! Of course this is about the Church vs. gays... it would never have come about if the Supreme Court Judge hadn't allowed gays to be married legally in California!!
Marriage as an institution between a man and a woman has NOT always been a foundation of our society. The CHURCH itself was one of those that held radical beliefs outside of mainstream Christian belief back in the 1800's with the practice of polygamy! They were the ones being persecuted for their practice of marriages which were NOT between a man and a woman, but a man and many women! They were driven and persecuted from their homes and they sought refuge outside the United States in order to worship and live with their families in peace, away from the persecution they received. In the late 1800's they were persecuted more until the United States passed laws which made polygamy illegal in the United States. In order to keep property and to keep their Church legal, they had to ban polygamy. Many men went to jail during that time because they would not stop practicing polygamy {they did not want to break up their families and they felt the laws were unconstitutional! I think they were right! Even the Prophet of the Church was in hiding until he died!} It was not an easy time. The issue then was between monogamous marriage and polygamous marriage... with non-LDS Christians believing polygamy was an abomination and evil. They eventually won out by making polygamy illegal. I have to wonder if we would still be practicing polygamy today if it wasn't for those laws? The Lord saw fit to remove polygamy but not without much difficulty and upheavel in the church and many families being broken up. All in the name of the law.
I am having a really difficult time understanding why the Church is focusing so much time, money, and energy on making it illegal for gays to be married when the Church has essentially had the same thing done to them before by other religious zealots who thought that mormons were evil heathens? {regardless of the details... this is my MAIN concern and the basis of my argument for needing to have a separation between church and state in the marriage issue}. The Lord doesn't recognize civil marriages anyways, so why does the Church even care about this? The Lord recognizes temple sealings... and a gay couple will never be sealed in an LDS temple because the Lord would never approve of that. Why He would care about the civil unions or marriages makes no sense to me at all which is why I am concerned that the Church cares so much about this. If the civil unions are not eternally binding and are over when death do they part, then why do they care if gays marry one another at all? Why impose your religious views when it isn't even an eternally binding thing?
I understand about the judge overstepping his bounds and ignoring the will of the people. But I don't believe that this is the way that should be handled. Something should take place in the law and in the way that Supreme Court Justice's handle things like that... not in the definition of marriage.
Oh and also, we are not a democracy. We are a Republic. At least I hope we still are. {Although lately it seems like we are more socialistic than anything}
Sorry if I rambled too long! :]

Steven B said...

In 1992 the Oregon Citizen Alliance launched an aggressive anti-gay-rights ballot measure which generated a frenzy of anti-gay sentiment throughout Oregon, and terrorized the gay and lesbian community, resulting in a number of attacks and several deaths.

Although that was then and this is now, and the two circumstances are different, there is still potential for violence. Even though you and I do not agree on this issue, I want to thank you for encouraging love and respect during the Prop 8 campaign.

m_and_m said...

Steph,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I understand that you are confused about the Church's involvement when our forebears were persecuted.

I guess to me one of the best answers to this is from Elder Oaks when he was asked about this:

PUBLIC AFFAIRS: The emphasis that has been placed in this conversation on traditional marriage between a man and a woman has been consistent throughout. Do you see any irony in the fact that the Church is so publicly outspoken on this issue, when in the minds of so many people in the United States and around the world the Church is known for once supporting a very untraditional marriage arrangement — that is, polygamy?

ELDER OAKS: I see irony in that if one views it without the belief that we affirm in divine revelation. The 19th century Mormons, including some of my ancestors, were not eager to practice plural marriage. They followed the example of Brigham Young, who expressed his profound negative feelings when he first had this principle revealed to him. The Mormons of the 19th century who practiced plural marriage, male and female, did so because they felt it was a duty put upon them by God.

When that duty was lifted, they were directed to conform to the law of the land, which forbad polygamy and which had been held constitutional. When they were told to refrain from plural marriage, there were probably some who were unhappy, but I think the majority were greatly relieved and glad to get back into the mainstream of western civilization, which had been marriage between a man and a woman. In short, if you start with the assumption of continuing revelation, on which this Church is founded, then you can understand that there is no irony in this. But if you don’t start with that assumption, you see a profound irony.

m_and_m said...

Steven B.,
Sincere thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Tearing a relationship apart for ANY reason is straight up discrimination! Two committed partners who want to express their love should have that right no matter what! Don't justify your hatred based on your religion.

m_and_m said...

anonymous,

Please note that Prop 8 didn't tear relationships apart, or didn't end the right for people to have relationships.

Wanting to maintain the definition of marriage is not close to either of the things you accuse prop 8 of doing. Nor is it about hatred, although I understand how it can feel that way to some. This is an emotional issue, and I realize that.

However, I have said this before to other commenters: please try to refrain from generalizations, particularly those that want to condemn or label or attack others' faith or character.