Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My religion says "no"

My Mormon religion is very clear on it's stance that marriage is between a man and a woman. I myself believe that marriage is between a man and a woman - one of the reasons, I suppose, that I am a Mormon. 

Specifically, I am a card carrying TBM who is gay and is married to a woman - a rather cool woman if I may add. (There is just no short way to say that) 

The SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality made recently supports the stance that gays have the right to marry based on "equal protection under the law". The supreme court has decided that it is a fundamental right that requires protection by the U.S. constitution. 

I agree with their decision. I am not comfortable excluding those of the GLBT community from this right regardless of my personal religious beliefs.

My friend, John Gustav-Wrathall has stated: 

"The majority and dissenting opinions alike agree that marriage is a fundamental right that deserves protection under the constitution. But there are core differences of opinion on the question of what, precisely, about marriage is fundamental." 

It is clear that the institution of marriage has changed over the course of time, so an argument based on keeping the status quo is unsupportable. That would be akin to the government coming up with an approach of "because I said so". Has that ever had any credibility?

And if there have been any changes to the institution of marriage throughout history (and there have been) then keeping the status quo for it's own sake rings hollow. 

The question is whether or not those of the LGBT community should be allowed access to "marriage". Is marriage dependent on gender as the political right thinks, or is marriage the voluntary union of two consenting adults - as per the left?

Liberals see no reason for those in the LGBT community to be excluded from marriage or denied the right to marry. The conservative take is that liberals want new laws that change the definition of marriage as they themselves have historically interpreted it.

Our 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection. It requires. and we expect that SCOTUS will decide if the laws in question take away fundamental rights and freedoms. Who gave SCOTUS this power?  Why, we did. This has been established by the constitution. 

In this case, the LGBT community has been kept from an institution that has been historically reserved for Heterosexuals. A "yes" vote by SCOTUS has kept us from creating a group Americans without the rights that other Americans have - a minority group that isn't allowed the same privileges as their neighbors have. The court did its job and protected a minority group from discrimination. 

Now, if I may bring a bit of my Mormon religion into it. As I have stated, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I support the stance the LDS church takes and I support the right they have to take it. However, I cannot in good conscious force that opinion on others. Neither do I believe that the LDS church wants to force its opinion on others.

There are many things that our rights allow us to do. That doesn't mean that we should. For example, I have the right to speak my mind and picket the funeral of a solder with a tasteless sign. That doesn't mean that I should or that I am going to. But I have that right as per the constitution.

This goes back to the beginning for me - quite literally. Mormons believe - I believe - that we all fought for the right to make our own decisions. Getting married to one of the same gender is a decision. Whether I would make that particular choice is not the question. 

 I do believe that Satan started and will end by trying to destroy the family and I believe that this is part of it. And still, people should have the choice to decide for themselves. We can encourage, plead, suggest, beg, make public the proclamation (which is revelation form the Lord) in order to convince them to make what we feel is the right decision based on our knowledge, but in the long run, we all have agency.

Do gays have the right to marry under the law? Yes. Should they have that right? Yes.

Do I agree that gays should marry?  It just doesn't matter.

No comments:

Post a Comment