Gay Marriage Again: A Dilemna

People at Church keep bringing up gay marriage, and I keep quiet. The problem is that the it makes me angry. I don’t want to keep quiet, yet I do. These weren’t places I could pull out all the reasons it’s wrong to create a Constitutional ban (it sounds a lot like this and this).

Maybe I’m a bad Mormon. Maybe I should be against it. I don’t think so. I have yet to hear a good argument against it – and I’ve asked. They all come down to “homosexuality is wrong, therefore gay marriage should be outlawed.” This argument doesn’t hold water for lots of reasons. First, any argument that echoes old arguments about race makes me suspicious. Second, any argument that boils down to “it’s wrong because I say so” doesn’t work for me either. Thirdly, I have the feeling that the people I’ve heard say this, and people in general who are for the ban, don’t actually know any gay people. If they did, I don’t think they’d be so quick to judge.

I don’t know what to do. I feel bad for not speaking up. I feel like a coward. But, I’m not sure how polite I can be. I’m not known for pulling punches in debates, and I’m definitely no diplomat. I feel strongly about the issue, and everyone brings it up at Church, I want to scream, “We have separatation of Church and State for a reason!!! The only reasons you can give me why you’re against this are solely based on religion!!! So, you lose (but, that’s not the only reason, there are a dozen other reasons you lose this one)!!!” Of course, I can’t do that. OK, maybe it’s not that I can’t. Maybe it’s because I don’t have the backbone to do it.

Either way, it’s eating at me, and it has sharp teeth and doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon.

6 thoughts on “Gay Marriage Again: A Dilemna”

  1. Ok, Mr Churchy pants, I know that you did speak up during preisthood and gave some very intelligent and reasonable thoughts on why there should not be a ban on gay marriage. So, cut yourself some slack for not starting an argument every single time someone brings it up, especally with people whose minds are already made up. (On this issue, nobody is going to change anybody else’s mind.) By the way, I think you are right- vive la “family shmamily shit!”

  2. hey kevin. first of all, I didn’t know you were mormon. I’m an evangelical (though probably hopelessly liberal on social and political issues) and I can completely identify with how you feel. For a long time, I was the “black sheep” at my small church, and I just got tired. Now I’m in a big church and I keep quiet. It’s not really better, but at least it’s not so bad…I hope you can find a good balance.

  3. Back when we went to the Howard Dean rally, and we got into this topic, I gave you a reason for my opinion that you said was perfectly sound and reasonable. It certainly wasn’t close to “cause I said so” or “because homosexuality is immoral and should be banned.” What about that opinion? I believe it was perfectly sound and had educated research behind it, and you said so yourself.
    And for the record, I have about three gay friends. I’ve discussed it with them, they know my opinion and respect me for it, for being able to voice it in a proper, emotion-free manner. We’re still friends, and I still believe gay marriage shouldn’t be legalized. Just because I’ve reached that opinion doesn’t mean I’m quick to judge, I put a lot of thought and research into it. Just as I’m sure you’ve done the same with your opinion. Some people just aren’t as good at explaining their views.

  4. Marriage is not something which comes under the auspices of human rights, unless you can argue successfully that denial of the right to marry a same sex partner is discriminatory. For example, it means denial of tax benefits or other quantifiable disadvantage.

    If you cannot successfully argue a denial of human rights, you are left with a cultural disagreement, which has little bearing on anything except on how people think about one another. But trying to change people’s minds about a single issue vis a vis homosexuality will not work — the people will still have problems with homosexuals in general.
    But as heather so obviously demonstrates, it is still possible for some people to convince themselves that they consider a certain type of person an equal while practically not following that belief. And the reason is that the culture will not allow for it, and they have to make a choice, whether they are comfortable with that choice or not.

    So you are right, I believe, Kevin, that it is essential for anti-gay people to meet and know gay people as people, but this is unrealistic for most people with such prejudices. The prejudices are simply too ingrained.

    I think, if we all believe in peaceful resolutions, that the only solution is to wait one more generation and see how much improvement has come about. Or gay people and their friends and families can continue to be in the face of the public until enough fence sitters change their minds.

    In any case, on cultural questions that are not demonstrably connected to human rights, you are stuck, in terms of legalization, with what the majority (or the majority of representatives) believes.

  5. Stop beating yourself up. That’s what your friends and family are for.
    Besides, you do speak up when the time is appropriate. But like my father always said, “You can’t argue with a drunk and you can’t open a closed mind.” I agree with the rights of gays to marry.

  6. Ok, now I know why I haven’t been coming to church (yea, my wife Jennifer and our daughter Grace moved in a few months ago…) Anyway, it would not be a good time for me to come out to church when we’re discussing homosexuals and homosexuality. But, If it comes up again and I’m there, I will have you back.
    You know, someone with a very small imagination could have a lot of fun with that post…..
    j

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