March 25, 2013

Thoughts on gay marriage

My day started out very simple and without too much thought of anything of great consequence. I went to work. I came home. Bryce and I romped around for a while. Then, just before dinner, Heather shared an interesting article with me. I read through it as I enjoyed some leftover lasagna. There wasn't much of a chance for anything to digest before it was time to take Bryce sledding for- let's be honest- hopefully the last time this season. (Spring come soon, please!)

For the most part, the article was out of my mind and we had a good, carefree time. The melt-freeze-melt-freeze-melt-freeze-again snow did wonders for Mr. Mu, giving us some great rides but shoddy snowballs.


We came in a little late and by the time teeth-brushing, diaper-changing, story-telling, song-singing, prayer-praying, hugging and kissing were over, it was about 45 minutes past bedtime. Hopefully Bryce will forgive us someday.


Lately, Heather and I have filled a lot of that quiet time after Bryce is down unplugging from reality and watching Merlin on Netflix. That would've been fun, but that's not what happened tonight.


We've been getting these emails from protectmarriage.com. I can't say we read them very thoroughly. They usually say something like, marriage is important, it's under attack, and we need money for the legal battle to defend Prop 8 in the Supreme Court. We know that and we have kind of tuned them out because of the redundancy of it all (a little like the emails we used to get from the Romney campaign). It's still nice to get little reminders here and there about an issue we do really care about. I guess tomorrow is a pretty big day. The Supreme Court will finally hear oral arguments on the matter. The email we got today had what you could call a sneak peak of what Andy Pugno, General Counsel for Protect Marriage, will tell the judges tomorrow. When I last checked the video had only two hundred views and two of them were mine. I suppose many people have begun to check out of the conversation.


For a refresher, I went to lds.org to remind myself of what the Mormon church has to say about same-sex marriage. What I found resonated with my core.  This part in particular struck a chord:

"The Church has advocated for rights for same-sex couples 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 traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.”7 In Salt Lake City, for example, the Church supported ordinances aimed at protecting gay residents from discrimination in housing and employment."

I also revisited an interview of Elder Oaks and Wickman. I found the answer to this question very compelling: "Let’s say my 17-year-old son comes to talk to me and, after a great deal of difficulty trying to get it out, tells me that he believes that he’s attracted to men — that he has no interest and never has had any interest in girls. He believes he’s probably gay. He says that he’s tried to suppress these feelings. He’s remained celibate, but he realizes that his feelings are going to be devastating to the family because we’ve always talked about his Church mission, about his temple marriage and all those kinds of things. He just feels he can’t live what he thinks is a lie any longer, and so he comes in this very upset and depressed manner. What do I tell him as a parent?"


I couldn't help but consider how that conversation would go between me and any of my kids. I couldn't think about that long before recalling the stories shared on mormonsandgays.org.


It's getting late and Heather is being really patient with me still being up (sleep is a rare commodity with a newborn, so I'll try to finish up quickly).

 
My surfing took me a couple more places, but the most interesting was a little video, Attacked by Tolerance. The thing that fascinated me most was how quickly its comments evolved into a conversation very similar to the one shown in the documentary-- something I've seen echoed time and time again, with article after article on the issue. Something I half suspect will happen to my blog now that I've mentioned the words "gay marriage". This is a deeply personal issue because it has to do with peoples' beliefs about what is right and what is wrong. It's a tough conversation to bring up with friends, let alone strangers.


However, if there's anything I've learned from my relationships with others, it's that open, honest and respectful communication is the only way to a successful home, workplace, and community. When people share how they really feel about something, they give you a gift, especially when their experience and perspective differ from your own. They open you up to a world beyond yourself-- a world worth living.

I am a Mormon and fully support the stance modern-day prophets have shared concerning gay marriage. I am friends with several people who experience same-sex attraction (some who act on the inclination, others who don't). I am in no place to judge their personal character, just as they are in no place to judge mine. I love them and have learned much from them. I have felt love and respect from them.  It is impossible to say who started the civility, but together, we maintain it.


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