Initial results show that proposition 8 in California has passed by a narrow margin. For many in the GLBT community, proposition 8 has been more important than the presidential race. It has been particularly divisive here in the queerosphere - even though most of us didn't vote in California.
Many have been hurt by the involvement of the LDS church in the proposition 8 campaign - particularly those who live in California and were subjected to anti-gay rhetoric in their church meetings. Sadly, this probably did not end yesterday as it will likely be a subject of conversation for weeks to come with in-you-face smugness; but, it will, hopefully, die down with time.
Many of us in the queerosphere opposed this measure; and, while we may not be directly impacted by its passage - we are disappointed in our church leaders, and particularly in some of our brothers and sisters who live in California. There is no denying that there was some overzeleousness on the part of the membership and local leaders in California. On one hand, we can say that this probably wasn't the intent of the general church leadership; on the other hand, they didn't do anything to quell it either.
And, there are some in the queerosphere felt it their duty to heed the call of the church leadership and support proposition 8. There were some very hurtful things hurled at them because of their support for the measure.
My heart goes out for those who are directly impacted by this decision. Gay culture is seen by many as one of promiscuity, drugs, and a generally hedonistic lifestyle. But not all gays buy into this culture; in fact, many want to distance themselves and simply want what their heterosexual counterparts already have and take for granted - and now that has been taken away from them.
I have a new calling - I am the seminary teacher for the youth in my ward. My seminary lesson yesterday morning included a segment on diversity and tolerance which said
Invite students to think about their attitudes toward people of other religions or those who seem to be sinners. Ask the students to write down what they think the Savior might say if He were to talk to them about their attitude. Read the following statements or give them to the students as a handout.This is the church I believe in. These are the teachings I want to incorporate into my own life. What happened in California is an aberration - it's not my church.
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: [emphasis added]“I plead with our people everywhere to live with respect and appreciation for those not of our faith. There is so great a need for civility and mutual respect among those of differing beliefs and philosophies. We must not be partisans of any doctrine of ethnic superiority. We live in a world of diversity. We can and must be respectful toward those with whose teachings we may not agree. We must be willing to defend the rights of others who may become the victims of bigotry.
(in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 94–95; or Ensign, May 1995, 71).
I was particularly struck by the comment in the lesson about those who seem to be sinners. There are some in the queerosphere who seem to be sinners - at least in regards to LDS doctrine and teachings. Others may feel that those of us who choose to remain in the church are misguided, perhaps even blinded. Regardless of where we stand with the church - we need to love and accept one another. While we may or may not agree with the choices made by some - we need to be tolerant of one another and celebrate the diversity we have in the queerosphere.
I have to confess, my testimony was shaken a bit by all of the rhetoric, misrepresentations, half truths, and outright lies being flung about regarding gay marriage by church leaders and members in California and elsewhere. Someone recently commented on an old post of mine and took me to task for my use of the term "Mormono-fascist". Yet that is exactly what we saw in California with father being set against son and brother against brother. I cannot predict the long term effect this may have on me as I'm not sure I will ever view my church leaders as I once did. But, for now, I choose to forgive them and move forward.