Wow.I am so super in love with you guys.
I so appreciate having a thoughtful, sincere and articulate conversation about an issue which most people discard with intolerant, impassioned remarks, with now real concern for mutual understanding or respect. I'm only sad I was out all day and missed the conversation as it happened! To those of you who contributed, I appreciate your respectfulness and tolerance for a different point of view. It's important to me that my friends and loved ones on the opposing side understand why I would vote Yes on something that appears to be advocated mostly by religious zealots or extreme conservatives. And I would hate to think that- on any level- anyone might believe that I would ever remotely desire to discriminate or demean another human being.
I'm extremely uncomfortable with most of the arguments advocating Prop 8. I neither fear nor feel threatened by the increase of understanding and advocacy laws for gay unions. In fact, I am a proponent of such education. I think educating children is the best way to begin an accepting and understanding atmosphere for the future. I also feel that it needs to be recognized that there is a great deal of intolerance and cruelty toward those who are religious, conservative, or supportive of traditional marriage and family. Rather than feeling threatened or fearing one another, I think the best thing to do in such a difficult argument is to remove emotions and consider the legal consequences if Proposition 8 does not pass.
The major points on this Prop 8 website were what truly resonated with me. http://whatisprop8.com/ That is- politically, legally and financially- there are negative consequences if Prop 8 fails which will discriminate and legally create religious intolerance within our country.
To those of you who suggest I am intolerant, discriminatory or ignorant; you don't know me. Those who do know me, know that I support, love and respect others- even when they live by standards different from my own. I wrote about my own expectations within my religious institution and remind you that even I - a faithful and active Mormon- would be denied marriage in the sacred temple if I chose not to live according to the spiritual laws and doctrines of our faith. I don't consider this discrimination. It is my choice to live worthily to enter the House of the Lord or to not. To those of you who are not religious, suggesting that "sin" suddenly means one is looked upon as "less than" and therefore discriminated against or looked down upon or unwelcome in a church, is simply misguided. I wouldn't go to church if that's how I felt, either! (In fact, it was Christ who said, "They who are whole need not a physician," (Matthew 9:12) According to my faith, if we did not all sin, there would be no need for a Savior and therefore, no Christianity. We all sin; so to look down on another is ridiculous- the most we can do is love and accept one another and allow the Lord to make us whole.) Since this is becoming largely recognized as a political stand the Mormon faith has become affiliated with, as a faithful Mormon in good standing, I would like to be one to stand up and say that not everyone (and in fact the majority) advocating this proposition are not doing it to be discriminatory, nor to inflict fear or homophobia into the world. Personally, I've have had trouble aligning myself with a side which touts points I find to be completely irrelevant and even officious (what's so wrong about teaching children about gay marriage? Of COURSE gay unions are to be respected as traditional marriage!) However, when I hear my church leaders speak about this issue, their advocacy of traditional marriage as a union between a man and a woman to create families comes from a place of such love and kindness and acceptance...It's just painful for me to think anyone could think I would vote yes for any other reason than to uphold the standards of my faith and protect the freedom of religion and free speech.
So far, most intolerant comments I've heard come not from the advocates of Prop 8, but from those who persecute people of faith. I know my friends who may disagree with my vote couldn't possibly think I would desire to put them in a position of defensiveness or discriminate against them- I simply ask that we understand that maybe each side may require a little more tolerance and a little more understanding.
I'm not trying to change anyone's vote. I'm just trying to make mine understood by those whom I love.