Post # 32
If you open a dictionary, you will see that there is indeed a vast difference between religion and church, and the state and politics. The church and state are entities, each with their own by laws and spheres of influence. Neither of these are allowed to control the other.
Religion and politics, however, are two different facets of my personal code of ethics. My ethics on religion, politics, justice, compassion, etc, all inform each other and cannot be cleanly separated. And yes, I derive my ethics from the source of a (I hesitate to use the word because of its implications, but it’s still true) literal interpretation of the Bible. NO, that does not mean that I think the government’s laws should follow that of the Old Testament. However, I simply cannot stand by when my government asks me to either agree or disagree with something that is very clearly spelled out in my beliefs, be they of a religious or a political nature.
And yes, this is a part of my public life. If a man and a man or a woman and a woman want to have a legally binding marriage, they are asking for public recognition of the nation as a whole. Don’t try to tell me that if gay marriage eventually does become legalized, that all those of religious beliefs that state that there is no such thing as marriage between these two parties will be allowed to simply ignore the status that the government has bestowed on homosexual couples. I believe that I have the right to not be legally forced to acknowledge something with which I fundamentally disagree.
Doctorgirl: Thanks for the info. Does a referendum such as Prop 8 fall under either the category of legislation or a candidate? I also find it interesting to note that these laws mention it must be a "substantial part" of the organization’s activities. Seems rather vaguely defined to me, and I would posit that the church might have a good case for this not being a "substantial part," especially if, as elizzard87 said, the organization itself donated no funds. If we are living in a world in which a simple combination of exercising our political rights to hold politically incorrect views while having a church membership is cause for petitions against us, then I truly fear for America’s legacy as a free nation.
Post # 33
December – Your religion can continue to do whatever it wants, regardless of the legalilty of homosexual marriages. People are legally allowed to marry across religions, and have been for a long time – yet my religion will not officially recognize my marriage, and the fact that it is legal has had NO impact.
That is what I find so disturbing about people who agree with this ban – your religion can continue to hold on to your beliefs so I just don’t get how it impacts you at all to allow people who love each other to have the same rights as you have, legally. No one needs YOU to recognize a thing – these couples sure don’t need your recognition, they want the legal rights you have.
Post # 34
My point is that legislation rescinding LDS church recognition WOULD be discriminatory and wrong. I know people in the Mormon church. Good and kind people, every one of them. The GLBA community hates to see their rights taken away and discrimination against them written into the California constitution. But they are good people as well just trying to live their lives. Remember the words of Martin Niemoeller:
"In Germany, They came first for the communists and I didn’t speak up, for I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up for I wasn’t a Jew.
They came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up, for I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholic, and I didn’t speak up for I was a protestant.
And then they came for me, and by that time, no one was left to speak up."
If you have to feel the discrimination yourself before you understand it is wrong then that maybe this is the course of action it takes to keep the rights of people safe. Your beliefs and opinions are all wonderful things, but they should govern your life and not mine or anyone elses.
Post # 35
This is how it impacts me.
All of the following assumes a world in which gay marriage is legalized, and discrimination against it in all sectors prohibited.
If I am a financial advisor who is morally opposed to gay marriage, I will be forced to recognize it when I cannot turn away a gay couple who wants me to manage their retirement funds.
If I am a photographer who is morally opposed to gay marriage, I will be forced to recognize it when I cannot say no to a gay couple who wants me to photograph their wedding.
If I am an adoption counselor, I cannot refuse to work with a gay couple to find them a child.
If I am a lawyer, I cannot refuse requests to set up wills with gay couples, draw up prenuptial agreements between gay couples, etc.
If I am a teacher, I will have to interact with a parental structure over some of my students which I believe to be invalid.
If I own a business, I will be forced to assure that any homosexuals working for me have health insurance that covers their spouse.
There are so many more ways that I can’t put up right now, but believe me, it is there. In every way that we interact with heterosexual marriage in the public sphere today, we will also have to interact with homosexual marriage. It will have a PROFOUND impact on my life.
Post # 36
I’m sorry December but I think we will have to agree to disagree.
Anti-miscegenation laws were on the books not too long ago and ALL of what you said would apply to my Filipino self and my marriage to a German/Irish girl if you simply changed "same-sex" to "inter-racial." So no, I do not see how anyone has the right to impose their morality on the homosexual community. Fifty years ago I could be lynched for even daring to come near a white woman, much less marry her. Prop 8 is no different. Churches are about love and acceptance, stop worrying about your rights to deny other people the things they want to pay you for.
Post # 37
December, good question. I believe it falls under legislation, but I agree the statute is vaguely worded.
Elizzard- I actually have 2 memos issued by the Mormon Church that would disagree with your assertion that they did not contribute money and provide evidence of church issued doctrinal statements regarding prop 8. I’m happy to share them, but my point is not to be anti-Mormon church… Rather, I would just want the church to truly stay out of the affairs of state, and I think this is a case where at the very least the waters are getting muddied.
I’ll just close with a question for you December… substitute "black" for "gay" in your hypothetical situations above. I wonder how acceptable that seems? See, not that long ago, there were laws that said blacks could not marry whites. I’m sure some people wouldn’t have been willing to be the lawyer for, financially advise or allow adoption for inter-racial couples… But 40 years later, we see that stance as completely bigoted. My fiance’s family wouldn’t even exist if there were still anti-miscegenation laws, and I don’t think that’s right.
I hope that it doesn’t take 40 more years for people to realize the same with gay couples!
Anyway, I had no intention of getting overly political in this thread, and I really hope I haven’t offended anyone. I understand that we’re each on our own journey. I love and respect my religious friends and family as much as my gay friends and family and I long for the day that both are equal in the eyes of the law.
Post # 38
December- Do you mind if I ask about the viewpoint of LDS churches on inter-racial or inter-faith marriages?
Post # 39
honestly December, I think this is the whole point. The discrimination you want to practice (the ability to turn away gay couples from being given the same rights to education, the legal system, etc. etc. ) is pure and simple discrimination and we need laws to protect these people from people like you who think it is ok to treat them differently.
You should not be allowed to discriminate against people the way you describe because you don’t agree with their lifestyle. I am actually really sad to realize that people still think that they should have the right to discriminate the way you want to. I agree with doctorgirl – should we think teachers should be allowed to not meet with parents whose lifestyles they disagree with? What is there is a teacher who thinks inter-racial or inter-faith marriages are wrong. Should they be allowed to not interact with these parents? If you don’t like black people, do you think you should have the right to turn them away?
It is plain discrimination and I hate the fact that we live in a place where people think it is ok to place judgement upon others the way you do.
Post # 40
@emilygrace: Be careful comparing homosexuals to pedophiles, that’s really a line you shouldn’t be crossing. It’s a very brutal statement and you’re really comparing apples to oranges.
Post # 41
@Lillindy I think it is more akin to comparing apples to flaming bags of excrement. One is consentual and the other is victimizing.
Post # 42
@RyanT: Thank you, I could not agree more.
Post # 43
On the flip side, where does freedom of thought, speach and belief factor into this? Just like people who voted against prop 8 have every right to believe that gay couples should be married, people who voted for prop 8 have every right to believe that gay couples should not be married. So yes, it is discrimination for someone to refuse someone based on their gender, sexual preferences, race, etc. But is it also discrimination against the refusing person to disregard their beliefs and force them to do something that they believe is morally wrong?
Post # 44
I think we should end this thread- The original poster just asked if anyone was sad or disappointed. There isn’t a need to try to convince anyone of their personal convictions. We won’t get anywhere.
I think the last message should simply be- we need to be respectful and good to one another in our communities. By trying to impose something on someone else we open the door for them to impose on us as well. And that is what I fear- because it starts a viscous circle.
I just wanted to say I have met incredible people. I think what makes these people, in my book, so amazing is how there were no barriers in their heart. They embraced everyone no matter what color, race, denomination & sexuality/gender.
My hope is that we maintain respect for everyone in our communities. Please allow for people to live dignified lives the way they choose.
Post # 45
I think this one is tricky. Freedom of speech, yes. I do agree people can feel any way they want, and December has a right to her opinion as much as I disagree with it, but I think saying people like December are being discriminated against is a bit of a stretch.
If you were rephrase this as "people have the right to believe blacks shouldn’t have the right to vote" would you say that white people who felt this way were being discriminated against because we were "forcing" the right to vote for blacks upon them?
Discrimination against gays, is, I hope, going to be seen the same way in the future that other types of discrimination are seen by us now. It was only until recently that women were seen as equals (and in many places, we are still working on it). So I hope that my kids, or grandkids if it takes that long, will look back and be shocked that people felt ok to look down upon others using their religion as a rationale.
Post # 46
I live in Virginia and we unfortunately passed a bill last year defining marraige as between a man and woman. I am adamently against this as it is blatant discrimination. The government has no place to decide who can and cannot get married. They should be celebrating the unions between any couple in love. If they are protecting the sanctity of marriage then perhaps they should conside that homosexual life partners are much more likely to stay together forever than a heterosexual marriage, perhaps our divorce rate would go down if we had gay marriages to pad our statistics. If you oppose gay marriage, don’t go out and marry someone of your same gender, otherwise, just let people be who they are and marry who they love.