Vanson recently blogged about Stuart Matis and how the churches active support of proposition 22 in California, to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, was a factor in his suicide. Vanson then went on to say that he doesn't understand why the church is so opposed to the notion, which generated some passionate comments on both sides of the argument. I was composing another comment, but it was getting so long that I decided to make it a blog post; although, this isn't the first time I've addressed this topic.
For what it's worth, I don't get it either. I'm married, I have children - even grandchildren. And, I do not feel threatened in the least by families like Scot (Utah Cog), John (Young Stranger) and others. In fact, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for these families who are able to make a loving home environment in a society that wishes they would go away.
I understand that we need to follow the prophet - and I do follow the prophet: I pay a full tithe, I hold a valid temple recommend, I serve faithfully in my calling. But when I hear our church leaders say that same sex marriage threatens the purposes and sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, I can't help but have this nagging thought in the back of my mind, wondering if it is truly the will of the Lord for them to say such things, or are they are letting their own personal prejudices cloud their vision.
Heterosexual couples are doing plenty to destroy the sanctity of marriage with the high divorce rate, infidelity, spousal and child abuse, etc. How does a homosexual couple in a committed monogamous relationship and having gay sex in the privacy of their home threaten other marriages? Yes, church leaders preach against those topics as well - but not with the same fervor. We're not seeking legislative action to make divorce more difficult, to add legal consequences to infidelity, to increase the punishment for abuse. So, why is same sex marriage being singled out as a political cause for the church?
Just so I'm clear, I don't have any problem with the doctrine of a celestial marriage, between a man and a woman in the temple, being the only marriage that will be recognized beyond the grave - that all other marriages (same sex or opposite sex) are only for mortality. But, when the church steps in and actively opposes those who are simply trying to have their unions legally recognized and be granted the same legal rights and privileges as their heterosexual counterparts (as it has in California, Hawaii, and other places) then I believe the church has crossed a line. I'm not saying the church should recognize same sex marriage - I just think we need some separation of church and state, and a little more "Live, and Let Live" attitude.
I once got caught up in these things. While living in California back in the 80's, I heeded the calls of our local church leaders and went door to door seeking signatures for an earlier bill to oppose same sex marriage - something I am now deeply ashamed to admit. But, no more - I now let my heart govern my actions. Usually my heart agrees with the church, but when it doesn't then so be it. And, if other members of the church choose to consider me 'less than faithful' when I question the motives of church leaders then that's their prerogative - God knows what's in my heart. And, in the end, that's all that really matters.