Zelophehad’s Daughters

Singled Out

Posted by Kiskilili

In the turbulent aftermath of proposition 8′s passage in California, the Church made some noise about being unfairly singled out by gay rights activitists. Whether or not the Church served as a lynchpin in the coalition that pushed the proposition through, its centralization alone makes it a logical target.

But here I’m interested in turning the question around: why have gays been singled out by the Church?

In my opinion, the Church’s strongest argument against gay marriage is that which highlights the importance of maintaining the status of opposite-sexed parents in our image of the ideal family. Maybe there’s some validity to the contention that, given its potential benefits to society, government incentives should adhere to and support this particular ideal, which begins to erode if it loses its singular status.

But there’s a lot that could be done, on the policy front, to support families in various ways. And the Church is not involved in any of it. The utopic vision the Church invokes in the gay marriage debate cuts a remarkably broad swath across society, yet its political focus is bewilderingly narrow. Do gay unions pose a particular threat qualitatively different from–and more virulent to our social fabric–than no-fault divorce laws or absent, deadbeat parents, for example?

Should they so choose (and many do), mothers and fathers are accorded the legal right to sleep around, divorce their partner (if they were married in the first place), and abandon their children in pursuit of their own happiness. Where the needs of the community (here children’s need for involved parents) and the desires of individuals are in tension, the law, it seems to me, largely triumphs individual opportunity. Divorce affects nuclear families directly and immediately in a way that gay marriage can only exert a weak, indirect, nonspecific influence (if at all). Given this context, would it not be consonant with our established values to champion gay marriage? It may be individualistic, but for that very reason it should hold some attraction. After all, why should gays sacrifice themselves by accepting the status of outcast in order to preserve a particular vision of society when others who are disrupting that vision more violently are not being asked to make comparable sacrifices?

Is gay marriage really the most alarming threat to the Church’s current vision of acceptable family arrangements? (And I mean in society at large, not merely among its members, since this is the turf on which gay marriage is being fought.) Is this simply a question of pragmatics–the Church is choosing a battle it thinks it can win, whether or not it is the most important battle to win? Is it a matter of dispositional conservatism, which reflexively recoils from enacting change while throwing its energy into preventing it? Or are there cases in which the Church would (or should) fight to effect change rather than simply hinder it?

37 Responses to “Singled Out”

  1. 1.

    Great questions, Kiskilili. Regarding the question of no-fault divorce, didn’t General Authorities speak out against it lots when laws on it were first being passed? Or did they just speak more generally against divorce?

    Is it a matter of dispositional conservatism, which reflexively recoils from enacting change while throwing its energy into preventing it?

    That seems like a good explanation, or at least part of one. I wonder if it’s also the case that Church leaders chose to fight this battle because it’s the battle of the moment. There have been gay marriage related initiatives on ballots all over the U.S. constantly in the past few years. No fault divorce is over. Deadbeat parents (fathers) are difficult to feel like you’re legislating against as nicely and neatly as is gay marriage.

  2. 2.

    Is it a matter of dispositional conservatism, which reflexively recoils from enacting change while throwing its energy into preventing it?

    In light of Prop 8 and the ERA (among many issues which elicited a similar response), I think this is an excellent explanation, though not the sole one.

  3. 3.

    I agree with Ziff. I think that this was something the Church acted on because it was on the table in a big way. I can’t remember anything about divorce ever being on the table legally.

    But I do think that if we look at the teachings, they certainly aren’t singling gays out. They talk often of many things that affect and threaten family life, even down to being too busy in too many ‘good’ things that we miss what is most important.

    I also think that it’s important to realize how much the Church actively does to protect families…not necessarily in the sphere of public policy, perhaps, but there are a LOT of resources in the Church proper (budget is supposed to be used with families in mind) and more external programs like LDS family services, which seeks to address many of the issues that can threaten or strain families — addiction, abuse, marital issues, unwed parents, stress, job loss, etc.

    I also think it’s interesting to note that, re: deadbeat dads, if there is alimony to be paid, a man must pay it to have a temple recommend. So doctrinally, the Church supports other things as well.

    So in my mind, singling out the Church’s stance and support of legislation against gay marriage misses all the many ways the Church *is* actively supporting and protecting the family, using time, energy and resources directly to help families.

  4. 4.

    Given this context, would it not be consonant with our established values to champion gay marriage?

    One other thought — since our “established values” include a very specific limitation on sexual relationships — that they are meant to be between a man and a woman — this statement seems very odd to me.

    (And yeah, I know that I end up commenting a lot on this topic; obviously I have strong feelings about it.)

    Wait…one more thought:

    Is gay marriage really the most alarming threat to the Church’s current vision of acceptable family arrangements?

    I don’t recall ever reading or hearing anywhere that the Church feels that gay marriage is the ‘most alarming threat.’ Again, I think the involvement was what it was because of what was already happening, not because the Church somehow thinks this is the only or worst threat to family.

  5. 5.

    I think the Church’s action against marriage equality has nothing to do with families. I think it’s all about gender roles. The ERA fight of the 1970s and the anti-marriage fight today are two peas in a pod: it’s not okay if women act like men or vice versa. For example, you can dress up as a vampire or ax murderer for the ward Halloween party, but a man wearing a dress will be shown the door. Even on Halloween or even in a theatrical production.

    My guess is that the true issue has to do with patriarchy and the need to justify male-dominated church governance and priesthood. There really aren’t enough gay people to be worth the incredible amount of fuss and effort the Church is expending. It’s got to be a proxy for a more general underlying issue, such as the ongoing tension about gender roles.

  6. 6.

    Great point, MoHoHawaii. It seems like someone wrote a post about that recently, or maybe it was just something one of my co-bloggers said to me she was going to write a post about but hasn’t yet finished it.

    I agree with Ziff.

    m&m, I expect that your computer exploded when you typed that. ;)

  7. 7.

    One more point, m&m, about the question of whether the Church leadership sees gay marriage as the most important threat. It’s certainly true that the Church spends money on things other than hiring PR people or whatever all was officially put into passing Prop 8.

    But I think it’s important to consider the political capital (such as it is) or good will or idiosyncrasy credit or whatever you want to call it that the Church spent, that’s really probably in far shorter supply than is cash. Sorry if those terms are gibberish–I’m trying to reach for words that aren’t coming and it’s the middle of the night. I’m thinking of like how when terrorists attacked the U.S. on September 11th, people in lots of countries were sympathetic and so the U.S. suddenly had lots of goodwill to trade on. And then we invaded Iraq (pretty much) alone and spent all that goodwill and went into goodwill debt. So what I’m trying to say is that, by comparison, Mormons have built up some tiny little bit of goodwill in the U.S. as we’ve become more mainstream in the last century or so and President Benson served in Eisenhower’s cabinet and Steve Young got famous and all kinds of little bits and pieces of things have led at least some people to believe that Mormons are perhaps not as far out as they thought. (Of course Romney’s campaign revealed that we didn’t have nearly as much goodwill as we thought.) And of course how people feel about Mormons will vary over time with different events and whether the missionaries who knocked on their door most recently were nice or rude. But my point is that even if it’s not as much as we’d like, Americans’ goodwill toward Mormons is a very limited resource. For the general Church leadership to decide to spend so much of the little we have to fight gay marriage–of all things–sends a very strong signal that they consider fighting gay marriage a top priority. After all, there are lots of other things that they could have decided to do publicly to spend that goodwill in other ways, perhaps even ways that didn’t align so closely with the wishes of conservative Christians.

    Sorry to be rambly on your thread, Kiskilili.

  8. 8.

    I think it’s all about gender roles.

    Okay, MoHoHawaii, I found a post that discussed this possibility at Mormon Mentality back in October. It isn’t the one I was thinking of, but it’s related to your suspicion: if you don’t have a man and a woman in marriage, how will the couple know who should preside and who should hearken? :)

  9. 9.

    MoHoHawaii, I agree entirely with your comment and have thought the same for some time. The same thinking seems to support the current church policy concerning transgender issues.

    Consider that we seal a bunch of dead people to each other vicariously, not really knowing their ultimate destiny in the hearafter. We trust that God will put everything right that we may have erred on. So, if we make concessions for the transgendered, or even the reality of sexual orientation, cannot God, if necessary, put those situations right as well? Why is it so critical that we maintain a pure gender binary in mortality? Patriarchy perhaps?

  10. 10.

    Why is it so critical that we maintain a pure gender binary in mortality? Patriarchy perhaps?

    If you look at societies across the world, there is a strong correlation between the status of women and the treatment of homosexuals.

    For example, Saudi Arabia marginalizes women in ways that we find completely unacceptable and maintains a death penalty for homosexuality. It’s not a coincidence.

    Women have equal rights in Holland as well as a high level of social respect. Not surprisingly, homosexuals in Holland are treated well.

    It’s about patriarchy.

    P.S. Confidential to Ziff– I ‘preside’ on odd days of the month and ‘hearken’ on even days, just like I did when I was on my mission. My boyfriend and I take turns cooking, but everyone does his own laundry. Living with missionary companions was a surprisingly good training ground for my future gay domestic life. :-)

  11. 11.

    Good comments, all! Don’t worry about being rambly, Ziff–I expect no less on a gay marriage thread, and I think your point is a good one.

    m&m, I agree that within the sphere of the Church itself Church leaders are doing a lot to fight for a particular conception of the family. But when it comes to gay marriage, the Church’s goal is to prevent (for example) two gay atheists from marrying–it’s trying to affect policy in the larger public sphere in a way that it isn’t attempting specifically to impose its values on society in other ways. My understanding is that LDS Social Services works primarily with members, no? So outside the gay marriage battle, the Church’s efforts to strengthen families are occurring primarily within the Church’s own orbit. Do you think that’s a fair statement?

    One other thought — since our “established values” include a very specific limitation on sexual relationships — that they are meant to be between a man and a woman — this statement seems very odd to me.

    By “established values” I was referring to the broader culture, not the Church, and the “value” I had in mind was individualism.

    MoHoHawaii, I agree with you 100%. In fact I have a post planned on this very topic (who knows whether I’ll ever get around to finishing it)! I think it comes down to a fear that gender roles are dissolving (although at this point the Church’s talk on gender is so muddled it’s almost impossible to make sense of).

  12. 12.

    I thought “Singled Out” was going to be a post about being tired of being single. You’ve gotta love the English language!

    I just saw Milk yesterday. Great flick! I hate to admit it, but I didn’t know anything about that story before. To me it adds an interesting gloss on these issues.

    I don’t know what the answers to your questions are, but I agree with Ziff’s point about squandering our very limited goodwill on this. It’s not a choice I agree with.

  13. 13.

    Well, Kevin, in a sense I guess that’s apropos, since gays are being “singled out” by being required to remain legally “single”! Thanks for the recommendation of Milk–I’d really like to see that.

  14. 14.

    I had a NT professor some years ago who told the story of being invited to speak to a group of conservative Christians. The text he chose was Matthew 5:31-32, which pretty straightforwardly condemns divorce. They were quite unhappy, and didn’t ask to hear from him again. I don’t remember the details of why he chose those particular verses; he may have had an axe to grind, or he may just have had a particular interest in the subject. It is interesting, though, that Jesus has much more to say about divorce than about the current hot-button issues of the culture wars (abortion and gay marriage)–but those who base their opposition to the latter two on the Bible don’t seem to have the same enthusiasm for going after divorce in the legal realm.

    I could cynically say that it’s probably human nature to be more enthusiastic about working for a cause like “strengthening the family” by pushing for measures that don’t have the potential to adversely affect you personally. If you’re a heterosexual, opposing gay marriage basically means asking other people to sacrifice for the ideal of the traditional family. A comparable situation might be if I, as a low-income grad student, spent a lot of time pontificating about the need to raise taxes on the wealthy in the name of a more virtuous society.

    But to be fair, I do think there’s more than that going on. I agree with the observation that much of the reason for the focus on gay marriage simply has to do with the fact that it’s currently a matter of public debate in a way that other family-related issues aren’t. Still, I can see why that could result in a lot of frustration–of all the myriad threats out there to the traditional family, the current focus is on one small group whose threatening status isn’t even all that clear. My sense is that the Church sees this as kind of a last stand in a culture where the family is crumbling. And I think I can at least appreciate that perspective. But I have a hard time with the result that gays are being asked to bear a disproportionate share of the cost of maintaining the traditional ideal.

  15. 15.

    The Church has been involved in many, many matters. To say this one was “singled out” is to basically admit that you’ve missed the others ;)

  16. 16.

    I’d actually love the information if you can provide it, Stephen–to my knowledge, the Church’s political involvement of the last few decades has centered exclusively on the ERA and gay marriage. Are there other issues in which the Church played a political role?

  17. 17.

    (In other words, I admit I’ve missed the others.)

  18. 18.

    One thing I’ve noticed in both the Prop 8 action and other instances where the church has injected itself in public policy debates is that the church prefers to play defense. I can’t think of a single instance in the modern era (arbitrarily defined as David O. McKay onward) where the church has led the fight on an issue. Rather it seems the church is content to wait for others to raise issues (ERA, Prop 8, alcohol statues, parimutuel betting) before the church gets involved. I’d imagine that if someone launched an effort to overturn no-fault divorce laws and claimed to be acting on behalf of the church, the church would act quickly to distance itself from that individual, even though the church might agree on principle.

  19. 19.

    Still, I can see why that could result in a lot of frustration–of all the myriad threats out there to the traditional family, the current focus is on one small group whose threatening status isn’t even all that clear.

    FWIW, I can understand why some may be frustrated with what the Church did with this. And Ziff, I understand what you are getting at with goodwill capital — yes, obviously this was important.

    I think discussions like this need to remember the actual reasons the Church gave for its position and involvement as well. I think to limit it to just ‘protecting the family’ misses a bigger picture that is significant, imo. The Church cared about this for many reasons, and those reasons are not limited to its stand on sexuality or gay marriage per se.

    (And I disagree with those who want to boil this somehow to male-domination. Concern about gender on a broader scale, maybe, but somehow wanting to protect patriarchy? Nope, imo.)

    I also agree that the Church plays more in defense mode on these kinds of things, when they are (rare as it is) on the table — but gets involved more actively on care of the poor (immunization, welfare and service missions, etc.) and those in need post-catastrophe. I’ve heard a lot of complaints of ‘why spend energy and money on prop 8 when there are all these other needs’ when the Church’s main modus operandi is to do just that. The political involvement really is minimal in comparison to the proactive involvement elsewhere.

  20. 20.

    I think discussions like this need to remember the actual reasons the Church gave for its position and involvement as well. I think to limit it to just ‘protecting the family’ misses a bigger picture that is significant, imo. The Church cared about this for many reasons, and those reasons are not limited to its stand on sexuality or gay marriage per se.

    Thanks for this reminder, m&m. In this post I limited my discussion to the Church’s claims about how gay marriage influences our view of “family” for the reason that I personally think this argument has the most potential traction; most of the other arguments are, in my opinion, invalid on their face. For example, arguing that gay marriage should not be legal or else children will be taught about it doesn’t actually make a case that gay marriage is deleterious to society–it simply assumes it. And I think it’s hard to make a compelling case that the Church’s tax-exempt status (money, effectively) is more important than individuals’ happiness–and again, this argument assumes gay marriage is unacceptable without making a case (the implicit case being God is opposed, perhaps inscrutably so).

    I’ve heard a lot of complaints of ‘why spend energy and money on prop 8 when there are all these other needs’

    This in itself is an interesting argument, but what I’m arguing specifically in this post is not that there are better ways the Church should spend money, exactly; I’m wondering why the Church has advocated this far-reaching vision of the centrality of the nuclear family and yet is fighting for it on only one isolated (one might say insignificant) front, and whether there’s an ideological rationale for this.

  21. 21.

    BTW, I should have made it clear for anyone who didn’t know that the Church didn’t spend money on prop 8. Individual members did, but the organization did not.

    And I think it’s hard to make a compelling case that the Church’s tax-exempt status (money, effectively) is more important than individuals’ happiness

    I do think it’s more than that, though. First of all, the money is not the issue, the work is. Also, at some point, ‘individual happiness’ may conflict with more general religious rights, and I think that has been some of the concern, which I think is valid.

    In short, there is more going on here, imo, than just ideology about the family — a bigger picture that the Church is concerned about. At some point, I don’t believe that individual gay rights and religious rights will be able to fully coexist.

    I’m wondering why the Church has advocated this far-reaching vision of the centrality of the nuclear family and yet is fighting for it on only one isolated (one might say insignificant) front

    I guess I still don’t agree with that notion, though. There is a lot more to the Church’s stand on family than just being against gay marriage. And again, I don’t think their activity on this was just about the issue of the family. That was certainly part of it, but I think there is more, a lot more.

  22. 22.

    m&m, could you explain why you think gay rights and religious rights must conflict? Thanks.

  23. 23.

    Chris,

    I think that it is likely that they could conflict. At some point, I don’t think you legalize gay marriage without potentially threatening the ability of those who believe gay marriage is wrong to freely hold and talk about and teach and uphold their beliefs.

    I’m not saying conflict would be immediate, but over time, it’s not hard, imo, to imagine conflict arising.

  24. 24.

    First of all, the money is not the issue, the work is.

    BTW, I don’t want to be misunderstood – of course money comes into play if there is a concern about tax-exempt status. But for the Church, money is a facilitator for the work and service the Church does, not an end goal per se.

  25. 25.

    That’s what the government also says, as they take your taxes. :) It’s not about money. It’s about facilitating their work and service.

    BTW, I should have made it clear for anyone who didn’t know that the Church didn’t spend money on prop 8. Individual members did, but the organization did not.

    BTW, I think I should make it clear for anyone who didn’t know that individual members spent money on prop 8 at the behest of their leaders–hence, even when the Church did not donate money specifically I think it’s fair to regard the Church, as an organization, as the architect behind the fundraising.

    Also, at some point, ‘individual happiness’ may conflict with more general religious rights, and I think that has been some of the concern, which I think is valid.

    This brings us back to the point of the post–I think there’s a potential case to be made that the issue is one of tension between what benefits the community and what benefits individuals. But in legal matters, as I pointed out, we tend to privilege individuals over the community. I don’t think it’s fair to operate under different principles when it comes to gays.

    At some point, I don’t believe that individual gay rights and religious rights will be able to fully coexist.

    First, it’s a mistake to equate “religious” with “the religious right.” There are a number of religious groups of different stripes that ordain gays and perform gay marriages.

    Secondly, I find the “us or them” mentality–we have to attack gays’ opportunities preemptively before they try to infringe on our rights–distasteful and wrongheaded (and it may prove, sadly, to be a self-fulfilling prophecy). Some compromises have to be made, but surely there’s a way of accommodating different needs (as I believe was explicitly written into California law). We’re operating within a dictatorial framework, which makes sense in the Church but is absolutely not applicable in the broader society–we need to reorient ourselves to a pluralistic outlook and think of ways to effect conciliatory solutions rather than supposing that gays must be suppressed lest they try to suppress us. There’s room here for cacophany.

    Thirdly, asserting that gay rights will infringe on Mormons’ rights still fails to explain why specifically the Church is opposed to gay marriage to begin with, which is the source of the conflict.

  26. 26.

    Some compromises have to be made, but surely there’s a way of accommodating different needs (as I believe was explicitly written into California law).

    This, imo, begs the question — if the law already provided for compromise, then why is gay marriage necessary? I think it’s important to note that gay advocates were the ones who brought all of this to the table – the Church never challenged the domestic partnership laws, which already provided gays with all the rights CA could offer a married couple.

    So therefore, this:
    Secondly, I find the “us or them” mentality–we have to attack gays’ opportunities preemptively before they try to infringe on our rights–distasteful and wrongheaded

    seems to me to sort of misrepresent what has happened. Gays already *had* opportunities in CA. The Church simply did not want their relationships to somehow drive the changing of an age-old institution called ‘marriage.’ That’s not the same to me, imo, as attacking their opportunities.

    Now, I understand that there is a symbolic element to this, the desire for gays to be validated by calling their partnerships marriage, but that is a different topic and issue, imo.

  27. 27.

    I guess I think a more optimal compromise would allow gays opportunities accorded to straights while protecting the rights of religious groups, such as being allowed to opt out of discussions of gay couples in public schools and maintain tax exemption (these were the provisions in California I was referring to). In theory, I see no reason why the rights of gays and the rights of the religious need clash; this is one of the assumptions in how the Church frames many of its arguments that I find disquieting–that gay marriage may not even be wrong per se, but it’s a step down a slippery slope that will inexorably lead to the dismantling of the Church. I personally don’t believe the slope is that slippery (let alone inclined in that direction), and there’s plenty of room for constructing bulwarks on it.

    (Here I’m looking specifically at the argument that if gay marriage continues, the Church will lose freedom of speech and religious rights over the long term. Since it’s neither an immediate nor a logically inevitable threat, I believe it fair to characterize this particular line of reasoning as “preemptive.” Also, I’m not sure how to describe in neutral terms the possibility for “marriage” except as an “opportunity” (now rescinded). If there’s a descriptive term you feel is less tendentious, feel free to suggest it.)

    By the way, now that this thread has thoroughly jumped its original track and is headed toward the Gay Marriage Debate Main Street Line, which I believe all of us have ridden many times, I’m not personally that interested in the discussion. But if others feel a compulsion to continue driving the train down this track, by all means, enjoy yourselves. :)

  28. 28.

    #20:
    BTW, I should have made it clear for anyone who didn’t know that the Church didn’t spend money on prop 8. Individual members did, but the organization did not.

    I know you mean well, m&m, but that is not an accurate statement. The LDS church initially was on record as spending just over $2,000 as “in kind donation,” for the expenses of sending LDS leaders down to California for coalition meetings. Just recently, however, an additional LDS church donation has shown up in “amended” state reports, indicating that they contributed another $20,000 in “legal fees.” Feel free to check this all out on the California Secretary of State’s website.

  29. 29.

    Nick,
    I was talking direct donations to the coalition. I realize there were some indirect expenses involved. Sorry I didn’t clarify that with my comment.

    And Kiskilili, sorry I derailed things…. Please feel free to steer things back to where you want to.

  30. 30.

    Exactly right, K. I’ve never seen a good explanation for the out-of-proportion reaction to same-sex issues.

    But then, this goes back a long way. I mean, just crack open _The Miracle of Forgiveness_ and you’ll get all sorts of discussion about how homosexual acts are basically the worst possible thing anyone could do other than murder.

  31. 31.

    Oh, no worries, m&m, I expect derailment on such a topic, and I certainly contributed to it! It genuinely is all right with me if you (or others) continue the discussion, and I’ll pop in if I feel an urge. In any case, thanks for your contributions to the thread–I feel thus far that it’s been a civil conversation.

  32. 32.

    To claim that the LDS Church has not singled out gays is just as ludicrous, imo, as claiming that gays have not singled out the LDS Church.

    I, personally, think the Church’s singling out of gays is rooted in one thing: fear of the unknown. The leaders of the Church simply do not understand homosexuality, and instead of trying to understand by talking with homosexuals (both of the celibate and gayly married variety), they’re casting us away or ignoring/dismissing us (for the most part, they will only validate–forgive the psychobabble–those who are in mixed orientation marriages). They are waiting on revelation, but frankly doing the bare minimum on their behalf of understanding.

    I think this is where the greatest handicap lies within the Church. I mean, many–perhaps most, even–of the married gay population in CA has spent a significant time within the walls of the LDS Church.

    The hours General Authorities have spent within the walls of a married gay couple’s home… well, I can only guess it ranges between zero to none–it may be higher, but I would say it’s safe to assume nothing significant.

    So, anyway, yes the Church is singling out gays–because out of all the other threats to their ideal definition of a family, this is the culprit about which the least is known. And the unknown is a scary, scary monster–perhaps the scariest of all. (Not to mention that when your fear is irrational, you act irrationally.)

    (And, yes, the gays are singling out the LDS Church–because… well, there are a lot of reasons.)

    I wish the Church, member and leader alike, would turn on the lights and look under their beds… they may be surprised at what gays unhindered could contribute to society.

  33. 33.

    *correction: the may be surpirsed at what gays [even hindered are contributing] to society.

  34. 34.

    #29 Actually, that slot (sin next to murder) is taken by ANY sex outside a traditional husband and wife relationship, including adultery and fornication, straight or homosexual, splitting hairs, I know, but I don’t think the general mormon poulation (or the presidency) looks at a homosexual and thinks “they’re next to a murderer!”

  35. 35.

    #33: It’s believed by many leaders of the LDS Church that, of all sexual sins, homosexuality is perhaps the worst; therefore, the closest sin to murder is homosexuality. (I don’t know where beastiality ranks.)

  36. 36.

    This is the best argument I have heard against gay marriage.

    Gay marriage doesn’t satisfy life’s purpose

    It is amazing to me the extent that people will go to in order to achieve their personal goals. Take, for example, Prop. 8 that was on the ballot . This is the second time the California voters have passed this law, and yet those who fought against Prop. 8 continue to fight against the will of the people.

    They keep saying this is a religious issue. That is not true. Everyone needs to answer the question of “What is the purpose of life?” Leaving religion out of the answer, as well as the Bible and personal opinions, there is only one answer that can be given that will satisfy the laws of NATURE. That answer is: “Reproduce yourself and your species.”

    Can two female or two male marriage partners conform to this law? No! So, this is not a religious issue alone. It is an issue that defies the laws of nature. The animal, bird, fish, insect, and plant kingdoms all live this law. They reproduce themselves as per nature’s laws.

    If any of these kingdoms failed to live this law, their kingdom would become extinct in a short period of time. If the plant kingdom failed to live this law, there would be no food for man or animals to eat. We would soon become a dead planet.

    Only man wants to defy this law of nature. In so doing, they become destroyers of, rather than contributors to, the human race.

    Society is based on the family of husband wife and children. This is how the next generation rises. I can just see states or countries legalizing gay marriage and then losing population.

  37. 37.

    Well, I have to admit I’m not terribly concerned about the disappearance of humanity through population loss at this point.

    Also, I have difficulty understanding your contention that reproduction is the “purpose of life.” Should people have the legal right to remain single, or childless? I think one could make a better case that relationships and personal growth are the purpose of life.

    If reproduction really is such an irrepressible human drive, we shouldn’t need laws to enforce it. By definition we shouldn’t need to pass laws to enforce “nature”–when we start policing people into behaving “naturally,” we might want to wonder just how “natural” that behavior actually is. (Are we passing laws requiring people to age, for example?)

    Animals do, indeed, reproduce. They also, incidentally, exhibit a lot of homosexual behaviors.

    For those who think reproduction is the core issue, why try to prevent gay marriage? Why not push for legislation requiring everyone who hasn’t reproduced by a certain age to donate sperm or eggs to a national bank for redistribution? I’m not for it, personally, but it would seem to follow more logically from your premise.

    And I don’t think those who fought against prop 8 are fighting the will of the people, so much as attempting to sway it. The will of the people is manipulable; you undoubtedly remember that early on public opinion about prop 8 was not very favorable. If “fighting the will of the people” is reprehensible, how can the actions of those who fought for prop 8 be justified?

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