I read the article in the Deseret News today regarding the Church's new document on Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment proposing that marriage be defined as between a man and a woman. The comments on the news article are always interesting to me. Blatant falsehoods, spiteful comments, and bigoted Mormons making inflammatory statements are often beside carefully considered thoughts. I try to see everyone's point on the matter. My opinion on this has changed some over time. I've gone from "it's a sin; quit, fool and don't talk to me about it" (bigoted and ignorant, I admit), to really feeling genuinely sorry about the entire situation. I honestly feel that this is not about 'marriage' at all.
Much gay culture is reckless and dangerous: multiple partners, disease transmission, drugs, etc. But I believe there are gay people just seeking long term relationships, just like straight people are. I feel no sympathy for anyone (gay or straight) seeking a sexual thrill or satisfaction through dangerous or perverted behavior, but for anyone seeking companionship and love and who is constantly denied, I mourn.
Sex outside marriage is forbidden to all, gay or straight, by God. It means that gay and straight singles suffer loneliness and despair in solitude far too much, far too often. I don't know why God demands this particular sacrifice of some people, but I do know that terrible sacrifices are demanded of each of His children. Many aching singles are denied companionship. Many desperate couples are denied parenthood. For other individuals, divorce or other circumstatnces are denied relationships. From all of us, God demands broken hearts. Ultimately, He asks everything that matters most to each of us, from all of us.
Each of us can determine what is too much for God to ask, and we can (and do) refuse to place something on the altar. Alternatively, each of us can choose to show our devotion to God by our willingness to sacrifice. I've never felt a lesbian attraction. But I can imagine what it might be like to be denied the intimate relationships I have with my husband..... vast, soul-draining sacrifice.
As for Proposition 8, I can see how gay people would take it as persecution. I personally think that people's righteous desires for acceptance and lasting companionship are being used by Satan to drive barriers between God's children.
Gay and straight alike are pawns in this battle, imo.
Both sides are being stirred up to hate each other. That's wrong. I wish we/I could focus more on slogging through life together and less on feeling self-righteous because we/I don't suffer a particular temptation or trial.
I was pleased to read how fair the Church's position on gay rights seems to be. The LDS Church doesn't oppose civil rights for anyone, just the potential legal implications of changing the meaning of the term "marriage". While stating that sexual sin is a violation of God's laws, it also makes clear that no one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. "The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference."
Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married. (Gordon B. Hinckley, "Why We Do Some of the Things We Do," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 54)
I would support Proposition 8, but as a Virginia resident, my opinion matters little.