A Few Thoughts On the Gay Marriage Issue

At this point, one of the things about this ongoing debate that strikes me most forcefully is my disdain for the more ardent supporters of both sides. Both camps seem narrow-minded, hateful and full of vitriol. Both camps have stooped to unsavory means to force their view or at least legal acceptance of their view on the electorate at large (IE cramming it down the throats of others whether those it is forced upon agree or not).

The tactics used by gay marriage advocates in Texas (masquerading as members of the attorney general’s office and making flase claims about what the incoming law would do in practice, IE nullify existing marriages) and other means intended to sow confusion. This sort of thing seems typical of both sides, though the media has more aggressively reported it coming from the left (for reasons that are likely obvious). The right is doing a pretty good job of showing its stripes in other ways though. Hate literature is never pretty.

I’ll say this to both sides: if your intent is so righteous, why the need to sow confusion and use underhanded, dishonest or just plain mean tactics? I indict both political camps, regardless of my personal view on the issue (which I will address  later in this post). Skullduggery is not justified in a nation that is theoretically a democracy. Confusion is a tool of would-be oppressors and conspirators that believe people exist to be herded like sheep, not those who believe that the will of the people is something to guide a nation by.

Okay, enough of my attack on politicians and activists in general. It’s time to stand up for my own views. Disclaimer time, first: like them or hate them, love me or vilify me as spawn of the uttermost pit, this is where I stand. I have seen personal friendships end over this issue, as absurd as that seems to me. I won’t complain or likely even pay much notice to any unfriending that hits my f-list over this, because frankly I have no interest in that sort of drama. I have a number of people on my f-list that feel the exact opposite way that I do and articulate said stance in most forceful terms, yet they remain on my f-list because I am still interested in hearing what they want to say, regardless of the fact that I disagree with their stance on this particular issue (and often many others). The general thrust of this disclaimer? Do whatever you want as a result of my post here. I don’t ultimately care, since you’re free to feel how you want on the issue.

Okay, this is likely to be anticlimactically brief after all that lead-up.

I am against legalization of gay (or pedophiliac, for that matter, given that at least one pedophilia-rights group has weighed in on the issue) marriage. I am not against homosexuals as people, and I have friendly acquaintances and friends that identify themselves as homosexual. This is in no way about them, and my stance on this issue in no way impacts how I feel about them as people. My views on this issue are not based on hate.

I am against a change to the definition of the institution of marriage itself, and I must defend it. To me, marriage is the most sacred bond that can exist between two people. I’m not going to make a slipperly-slope argument, but I do not desire to see the potential attempted legal actions that at some point in the future might be taken against the Church* if gay marriage becomes the law of the land, even if I do not feel that such challenges are likely to gain much traction.

Now, I am entirely willing to extend legal protections (property rights, insurance protections and so on) to civil unions between individuals of any orientation that have reached the age of consent. That’s perfectly fair and just. I’m all for fairness before the law and in society. I’m perfectly content to see individuals of whatever (racial, gender, religious, orientation) demographic living their lives in prosperity, mixing socially, promoting peace and parity among mankind.I will cheerfully vote in suport of civil unions, and do so with a clear concience.

*when I capitalize “the Church,” by default I mean the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When I speak of other faith-based institutions, i will specify in the context of my discussions.

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7 Responses to “A Few Thoughts On the Gay Marriage Issue”

  1. creativedv8tion Says:

    Personally I don’t see how letting gays marry threatens the sanctity of marriage… or why gays should be excluded from “most sacred bond that can exist between two people.”

  2. uhlrik Says:

    In my view, gender is an eternal part of human identity, and the relationship of marriage between a man and woman can and should be eternal… gay relationships can’t get the eternal stamp.

  3. creativedv8tion Says:

    Any particular reason? I mean, to exclude based on gender is kinda silly, IMO.

  4. uhlrik Says:

    The reason’s pretty simple. Eternal marriage exists (among a few other reasons) to allow for eternal procreation… which isn’t possible if the two partners are of the same gender, and hence there’s no eternal marriage for them.

  5. uhlrik Says:

    For me, a significant part of my feeling comes due to potential legal or at least vitriolically public social challenges that may come down the line regarding the temple if it is legalised, which I alluded somewhat obliquely to in my main post. I won’t explain that in detail, so please don’t ask.

    I do believe in separation of church and state insofar as the state is composed of a pluralistic society. On the other hand, I must do all in my power and within the law to keep the law or other men from impinging on my own freedom of religious observance, which this connects to somewhat.

    As I said before, the civil unions thing doesn’t bother me at all, and I’ll leave it at that.

  6. uhlrik Says:

    It’s not that I won’t explain the deepest reasons for my conviction, it’s that I can’t without explaining some concepts that I can’t without having to explain things about the temples that I can’t discuss with anyone outside of the temple itself. I’ve collided with something like what the celts would call a geas, but I call a covenant… which is more important to me than mortal life.

    I can discuss some connected items.

    One of the things I had to wrestle with in deciding where I stand on this issue was weighing the relative importance of abstract values that I hold dear, and where I think things stand in relation to humanity… I, for one, for the most part try to keep my religion somewhat apart from politics. I say somewhat because the basic values that I believe in as part of my religion are not things that it is possible to entirely divorce from my political thought process… and I don’t think that trying to do so is worthwhile. I had to choose between the values of the civil rights movement and what I consider the basis of human society, the nuclear family. The nuclear family is much more important to me.

    Property, insurance and inheritance rights are civil matters. This is not an issue of who gets to go to what school, have what money, get what job or the like.

    It is established that the government does have power to govern who may marry, whom they may marry and under what circumstances. This has been found constitutional by the supreme court in at least one ruling that I am aware of and lesser courts in others. Age of the parties involved, existence of extant preexisting partners (polygamy) and gender of the partners have all been legally demonstrated.

    I do not see a right to marry whoever as an absolute right. The privelige to marry has limitations, and one of those limitations (a rational one, I think) is gender, just as one of those limitations is a preexisting spouse. I think that the gay rights movement is militating to create and define a civil right that I do not believe exists.

    Part of my thinking there connects to my view on what homosexuality is. As of a couple of years ago (I haven’t researched the subject within the past couple years), the general consensus of the psychological field was that it is a learned behavior rather. There are a few dissenting studies, but they were buried under the weight and number of opposing findings regardless of how loudly gay rights activists trumpeted the very few that came down on the side of their orientation being biological.

    Weight of opinion’s not a reliable means of reaching a conclusion, I will cheerfully admit. After all, I’m Mormon. But I digress.

    Basically, the weight of research seems to be on the side of what I already believed: homosexuality is not an inborn demographic hardwired hopelessly and inescapably like racial physical traits are. It is a choice, often connected with traumatic aspects of one’s upbringing or social rebellion. Basically, I see standing for gay marriage as standing to be counted as a person who sees homosexuality as part of the human norm and indeed as praiseworthy and good. I see it as neither.

    Ultimately, I chose the abstracts of faith and my beliefs on what is best for society over the agenda of certain social rights groups. I’ve thought long and hard on this issue, and this is the only stance that I can hold in good conscience. If gay marriage is legalized, then it is law and I’ll deal with it. I must oppose such a change in the basic structure of society, however.

    As for locking my post against comments, I agree that doing so would be stupid. I’m perfectly willing to be attacked for my views, and to hold views that are not “internet popular.” I will not use an ad hominem attack against you or anyone else over disagreeing with me. I’ll go after people over political tactics (as I did in the original post), but not over their views or beliefs. I will also not hide. I stand to be counted, and accept the consequences and likely scorn of others. I feel it’s my duty to say how I feel in this matter whether anyone likes it (or my reasons) or not.

    I do think I’ll change the post to be friends-only though, because my personal life has gotten involved in the discussion.

  7. uhlrik Says:

    Yeah, we’re going to have to agree to disagree, which is perfectly fine with me.

    I am absolutely in support of civil unions, though. If that does come to the ballot in CA, I’ll vote for it.

    As for twentysomethings… yeah.

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