This morning, I chanced upon an article about Proposition 8 in California. In 2000, the people of California used their voice and their right to vote stating that marriage would only be recognized between a man and a woman. Recently, the California Supreme Court overruled that decision and determined that it was lawful for same sex marriages to be performed and recognized in the state of California. Proposition 8 was written to amend the state constitution to again only recognize the marriage between man and woman as lawful.
ProtectMarriage.com was created as a coalition of numerous religious groups to spread awareness and encourage California voters to say Yes to Proposition 8. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined this coalition and has since created their own website Preserving the Divine Institution of Marriage. The Church does not support or encourage members to side with any candidate or political party. However, when it comes to legislation involving moral decisions, the Church will give its stance.
I was reading an article from the LDS Newsroom that was posted recently. There was a portion of the article that I just texted to this friend. It addressed perfectly one the major arguments he had against marriage. Here is the excerpt.
"Marriage is not primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. While governments did not invent marriage, throughout the ages governments of all types have recognized and affirmed marriage as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself. Hence, regardless of whether marriages were performed as a religious rite or a civil ceremony, married couples in almost every culture have been granted special benefits aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared. A husband and a wife do not receive these benefits to elevate them above any other two people who may share a residence or social tie, but rather in order to preserve, protect, and defend the all-important institutions of marriage and family."
Yes, I sent that much in a text message. It was important enough to share.
In regards to Proposition 8 and homosexual marriage, I do not love any less gay or lesbian couples. However, I do not support their actions. I believe that marriage between man and a woman is ordained of God. I believe in the truths taught in The Family: A Proclamation to the World release in 1995 by the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It says in part, "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children . . . The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity."
In regards to tolerance, the aforementioned article reads, "
Those who favor homosexual marriage contend that “tolerance” demands that they be given the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. But this appeal for “tolerance” advocates a very different meaning and outcome than that word has meant throughout most of American history and a different meaning than is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Savior taught a much higher concept, that of love. “Love thy neighbor,” He admonished.  Jesus loved the sinner even while decrying the sin, as evidenced in the case of the woman taken in adultery: treating her kindly, but exhorting her to “sin no more.”  Tolerance as a gospel principle means love and forgiveness of one another, not “tolerating” transgression.
In today’s secular world, the idea of tolerance has come to mean something entirely different. Instead of love, it has come to mean condone – acceptance of wrongful behavior as the price of friendship. Jesus taught that we love and care for one another without condoning transgression. But today’s politically palatable definition insists that unless one accepts the sin he does not tolerate the sinner.
As Elder Dallin H. Oaks has explained,
Tolerance obviously requires a non-contentious manner of relating toward one another’s differences. But tolerance does not require abandoning one’s standards or one’s opinions on political or public policy choices. Tolerance is a way of reacting to diversity, not a command to insulate it from examination. The Church does not condone abusive treatment of others and encourages its members to treat all people with respect. However, speaking out against practices with which the Church disagrees on moral grounds – including same-sex marriage – does not constitute abuse or the frequently misused term “hate speech.” We can express genuine love and friendship for the homosexual family member or friend without accepting the practice of homosexuality or any re-definition of marriage."
Below is a video that contains excerpts from a broadcast for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in California. It, too, addresses tolerance.
For more information about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visit www.lds.org or www.mormon.org.
If you missed the other links in this post, here they are again.
ProtectMarriage--A coalition of religious groups supporting Proposition 8.
PreservingMarriage--The LDS website regarding Proposition 8.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World from the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The recent article quoted as found at the LDS Newsroom.