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Gay marriage.

I support gay marriage.  For a long time, it was only Lance who knew. Then I told his family, then my own and a couple of close friends. The reactions varied from complete horror, to acceptance of me and my beliefs, even if they were different from their own. Some believe the way I do, but most do not.

I have heard it all, and I’m sure I will again when I click “post” on this.  I know this isn’t the popular opinion held within those I closely associate, but I really don’t care. I never was popular anyways.  I’ve been debating writing this for months and months. While at the Martin Luther King Memorial, I saw this quote, and felt the words tremble within my bones:

It is not comfortable or convenient for me to post this now. In fact, I’ve had massive panic attacks over posting anything about it at all. I’ve already received HARSH criticism for my beliefs, and I’m sure it will continue. This is how I feel. I’m not trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking. But I could no longer keep something I think is this important to myself.

I’m afraid to post this because I know that there will be a negative reaction from both people outside of my church, wondering how it is that I can disagree with a church that I love and still be in full fellowship, and from inside the church, for, well, exactly the same reason. This post isn’t about my religion. I had to mention it because that’s the question that gets asked, and I’ll tell you now what my church leader told me when I “confessed” this to him: I was doing nothing wrong by supporting gay marriage if that was what my convictions were.  I did not have to support Prop 8 or any other measures that the church was endorsing.  The church had asked its members to support these measures across the country, but did not punish if they refused. I was not punished by the church. In fact, my beliefs on this issue are not in spite of my Christianity, but because of it. I feel like God loves all of his children. I don’t know why He chooses for some to be born with the challenges they face, I sure as heck don’t know why he chose me to have to special needs kids, but I know this much: he loves all of us. Gay, straight, religious or not.

Moving on to the subject at hand.

Last Friday I went with Peyton on his Kindergarten field trip to the National Monuments.  We wound through the Jefferson, the FDR and then came to the new Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.  We had a little worksheet to fill out and one of the questions asked what Dr. King did. Peyton plopped himself down on a bench next to two men as we talked. In response to a question, Peyton said, “He (Dr. King) thought that all men and women should be treated the same, no matter what.” That’s when I noticed that the two men sitting next to Peyton were holding hands.  They smiled as they listened to a boy saying what he knew to be right. And he was right.

I am profoundly grateful for Dr. King’s work. The Civil Rights Movement paved the way for the Disability Rights movement.  The Disability Rights movement is alive and at work in my everyday life.  It ensures that my children, one born with autism, the other born with Down syndrome, the same rights as everyone else.  It took individuals who were not disabled to stand alongside ones that were, to add to their voices, to be heard. It was a long time coming. As recently as 1970 in New York, it was against the law for people who were disabled to go out in public in order to protect the sensitivities of those who were not disabled.  Children like mine were institutionalized, some were sterilized against their will. Those things make me cringe even as I write them.

And, hopefully, it is the way our children will cringe when they hear that the generation before would not allow two people who are in love to get married.  Because of fear. The same fear that made segregation last so long. The same fear that kept people with disabilities hidden from view. Because somewhere along the line, people believed that it helped themselves to not have to deal with those things. That it made the world a better place.

I just can’t conceive how the world would not be a better place with more happy marriages in it. My marriage is by far the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. And at the same time, I hear people argue that allowing gay marriage wrecks the sanctity of marriage. How would it worse than what we’ve already done to it? Almost half of marriages end in divorce. And that’s regardless of how religious you are.

Here’s what it comes down to: I don’t believe this is a religious issue. I believe that when you protect the rights and freedoms of others, you are also protecting your own rights and freedoms.  It happened with the women’s, civil, and disability movements. In each case these people received their rights and their dignity, really, and the world didn’t come to a crashing end as was believed by many at the time. When these movements started to succeed in their goals, the churches still held their own rights. These churches were never forced to allow women or blacks in their leadership or clergy, they were never forced to marry interracial couples. I believe that freedom of religion is a sacrosanct principle to Americans, it’s protected in the Constitution, and allowing gay people to greater rights under the law is never going to be allowed to infringe on those freedoms. Remember, that there’s a big difference between Religion and organizations run by churches.

Why shouldn’t they be afforded the same privileges I get because I am straight?  I hear you say, “well, let’s let them have separate ‘civil unions’ because they’re pretty much equal to ‘marriages’, right?”

Did you see what I did there?

I guess what it really comes down to with me is that I just don’t get why it’s even a big deal to begin with. Why is it so tough for us to imagine gay people are good, loving, and dare I say, wholesome, human beings?  Why not let two people who are in love make that commitment to each other and have it be recognized universally? Does it really affect your marriage? Do you really think the fires of hell will rain down upon us if we allow such a thing? And how would the fires of hell rain DOWN on us if hell is beneath us?

I never really understood that one.
 

218 thoughts on “Gay marriage.

  1. Aileen, you're seriously bringing up NAMBLA to support an argument that there's a threat of pedophilia becoming legalized?NAMBLA?NAMBLA is a punchline. It has roughly 1,000 members nationally. It is universally reviled and rejected by every community, including the LGBT community, for good and obvious reasons. But it is not a threat. You need to come up with a better argument.

  2. I find it quite ironic, but Anonymous at 3:30 makes a great point! (Ironic, because I DO have religion (LDS) and I agree with his point)He brings up the point that I always come back to . Because I've struggled with some similar concerns (like why should I force my belief about marriage onto people who don't share it) which thankfully don't last very long in my thoughts….but what always brings me right back is that I believe 100% in the gospel! I believe 100% that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, therefore, I believe 100% that he restored the gospel. And that means that I believe 100% that President Monson is a prophet of God. Which then means that I believe 100% that the apostles are apostles of God. If I believe this 100% why oh why would I only follow their counsel 90% of the time? Sometimes we cannot find an earthly answer to these worldly issues, we have to have that trusting faith that the prophet is guiding us the correct way. I wouldn't call it blind Faith as the world likes to do. I call is trusting Faith. Trusting that the prophet knows and understands more about the eternal perspective than I do right here and now. Kind of like when you see a "DANGER! HIGH VOLTAGE!" sign on a fence that is around this cool looking metal fort thing. You KNOW that whoever put that sign there put it there to protect you because they know what you cannot see. That cool looking metal holds high voltage that will kill you if you touch it! But to the unknowing eye it just looks like a bunch of silver stuff in cool shapes. Just some food for thought from a new anonymous.

  3. I learned so much about love and acceptance from my LDS ward members. Mine and my husband's very good friend was at odds with either living as a gay man or continuing to "stay in the closet." I know that if he had not had the love and support of our church leaders, he would have taken his life. He has chosen to live as a gay man…lifestyle and all. The Stake President embraced his decision and through tears told our friend that the door is always open…gay lifestyle or not. Who am I to judge? I don't. This really is a civil rights issue. We all must fight to protect our rights. There was a time when a black and white couple could not be married. I remember growing up in SC and my family was asked to leave a pool because our black babysitter was with us. My mother withdrew our membership on the spot. Human rights matter.I am so thankful to all my gay friends that have taken on foster children or adopted children that have been abused by the biological parents. There are so many children that need a loving home. Ironically, one of my gay, male friends is against gay couples adopting. He believes a child should have a mother and a father. Ideally, a child should, but it is not always possible (example: divorced and widowed). Well, he finally gets that a loving home is first and foremost.If we truly live the word of God, we will "love one another as I have loved you." If not, I recommend you do not live in a glass house.

  4. I'm not LDS but I am Christian. At one time I was Catholic but since I married my husband who was married previously I've now been excommunicated. Plus any church that condones sex abuse is no church of mine especially since they live in their mansion and drive Lincolns while their parishioners go hungry. I'm going to point something out that no one has even said thus far.10 commandments. God gave us 10 laws to live by. He made it simple and clear. But no where does it say that thou shall not have gay marriage? Oh that's right it doesn't. I'm not really clear how the Jesus Christ fits into LDS but I know he never said anything about it. Also considering that their are some political and socio-economic reasons why the religions (Jewish, Christian and Muslim) wouldn't have condoned gay marriage. It would screw up inheriting. A good example of this would be priests in the Catholic Church not being able to marry. The yarn that is commonly believe is it was because a priest is married to God (hmm male on male marriage) but it really had to do with inheriting. That's why the Catholic Church is so friggin rich many times over. They didn't marry because they didn't want the wealth to go out of the church and yet they let their Cardinals (considered lords back then) to scrump anyone woman before she married. Kind of like when the Bible says that women don't have souls..which meant women could neither inherit nor take communion and that WE were in fact property. I think y'all all forget that that the Bible (mine at least) is written by humans. Human are born with sin and are sinners. No one escapes. Having said that one sin is not worse than another unless you get into CARDINAL sins…and those have been laid out clearly. Love and happiness isn't just for strait folks. Having the ability to help your family with medical issues (such as insurance) is a right but cannot happen due to laws in our country and the definition of marriage. When a gay couple separates but have children who does the child go to? Our definition of marriage is outdated. I don't care what you believe….being a decent person and allowing people to have their certain unalienable rights is common sense. I'm glad we outlawed cutting off a person's hand for stealing our a lot of Anon's would only be typing with one hand here.

  5. You sir (or ma'am), are the idiot. Arguing over a persons faith and admonishing soul searching as you admit you have no faith? And if you lack the mental capacity to understand the difference between the personal and religious morals associated with Homosexuality and the civic and Governmental application of Marriage then you surely aren't going to understand something so complex and personal as an explanation of how ones faith and principles like freedom and equality could influence both in ways that could appear contradictory…So here's something more on your level to help you pass the time between not thinking (couse you either do or you don't!!!!) and telling other people how to have the faith you don't have….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8MDNFaGfT4

  6. I won't poke the trolls, but you're right Lexi. This isn't a religious issue.It's an AMERICAN CITIZEN issue. It may be a religious issue to some people, but no religion gets to dictate the law in America. They HAVE for a long time, but it's getting better. Unless we're going to outlaw pork & shrimp & dictate that parents can have their wayward sons stoned to death by their village leaders, or that men can't be clean shaven…I'm sorry some people are giving you a hard time. Don't let their voice ruin the supportive voices in this thread. ❤

  7. I find another comment up there Ironic. Anonymous said (excuse the harsh language..not mine!): "Lexi, you stubborn idiot! It IS about religion. Your religion is against homosexuality. It says that it's a terrible sin. A prophet dictates morality. Yes, that what a prohet does. Do you not believe in your own prophet? Seriously, you can't have it both ways. You either support your prophet, or you don't. You came out against your prophet, so own it, and quit trying to sell us this equality/morality bullsh*t. That's why I don't go to any church—hypocrites and wishy-washy people. You are wishy-washy, Lexi. You're either support your prophet 100% or you've denounced him. Don't be luke warm, dam* it!"He brings up the point that I always come back to . Because I've struggled with some similar concerns (like why should I force my belief about marriage onto people who don't share it) which thankfully don't last very long in my thoughts….but what always brings me right back is that I believe 100% in the gospel! I believe 100% that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, therefore, I believe 100% that he restored the gospel. And that means that I believe 100% that President Monson is a prophet of God. Which then means that I believe 100% that the apostles are apostles of God. If I believe this 100% why oh why would I only follow their counsel 90% of the time? Sometimes we cannot find an earthly answer to these worldly issues, we have to have that trusting faith that the prophet is guiding us the correct way. I wouldn't call it blind Faith as the world likes to do. I call it a trusting Faith. Trusting that the prophet knows and understands more about the eternal perspective than I do right here and now. Kind of like when you see a "DANGER! HIGH VOLTAGE!" sign on a fence that is around this cool looking metal fort thing. You KNOW that whoever put that sign there put it there to protect you because they know what you cannot see. That cool looking metal holds high voltage that will kill you if you touch it! But to the unknowing eye it just looks like a bunch of silver stuff in cool shapes.

  8. I really hope my comment isn't the one you're referring to. It started off with a quote from someone else. I think it was very rudely and harshly worded. I tried commenting earlier, and in my haste couldn't see it. Now I see that it is there. I decided I had no reason to hide who I am. I commented because I've been through some of the same doubts as you started out with. I just wanted to share what centered me. You can take it or leave it. 🙂

  9. ugh!It's so hard to be clear when typing versus speaking. The comment I quoted was the one I was calling rude and harsh. I don't feel that mine was……OK, hopefully that is clearer. 🙂

  10. no no no, you're name is on it. It's all of these people who are getting on and saying terrible things under the veil of anonymity. I have no problem with people respectfully disagreeing. But this has gotten out of hand. I've made it so people now HAVE to sign their names. If they are going to come to my personal blog and say insulting things to me under the guise of Religion, they can say it knowing that anyone else who reads it knows who they are and how they treat people.

  11. Dear Anonymous,I'm not normally one to respond to people who are ignorant and just plain mean, but I like Lexi. You have NO right to say that ANYONE is apostate when you have no idea the intent of his or her heart. Only HF knows that. If you think Lex will get in "trouble" for posting this or you think it is making her head into apostasy, take a look at your comment and ask yourself if HF would be happy with it. I think right, he is more happy with Lexi than what you said. Obviously, I have no idea who you are because you're too scared to publicize your name, but I think you need to take a step back and look at yourself and how you treat others rather than commenting on a blog and chastising the author. Who are you, Nephi? You have no right to call anyone to repentance. I think HF appreciates Lexi for standing on her own to feet and being kind to everyone and loving everyone. Obviously, you cannot do the whole "kindness" things or your hateful words would not be written on this thread. If you don't believe what Lexi or anyone else believes, that is fine, but you do not need to say hateful and rude things to make yourself look better. Nobody will admire you for this comment.

  12. Nope. I'm done. I refuse to let the people who are gay that are following see this kind of trash go on. This isn't what my church teaches at all. It teaches to love everyone. To treat everyone with dignity and respect, and that clearly isn't happening. I thought we could have a respectful conversation, and for a while we did. People stated their points of views and were nice to each other. And then in the past day that has broken down to name calling, judging and hate. I refuse to let people who do not know me think that they have space in my life to say the kind of things they have said to me.God will judge me for the way I live, the things I do and say. He will do the same for you.

  13. Lexi,I just came across your blog because I was looking for a "How to" for sewing a tutu for my daughter's first birthday. That blog post was EXACTLY what I was looking for, so thank you! Then, on the side, I saw a link to this post. And, because I just couldn't not read it, I held my breath and clicked.I don't know you and, as I said this is my first time to your blog, but I had to comment to say THANK YOU! Thank you for speaking so eloquently and so passionately. Thank you for explaining your position with logic and a level head. Thank you for being able to separate your ideas about the religious RITE of marriage and the RIGHT of marriage that is given to consenting adults by the government in recognition of legal union between the two. I have been looking for a way to explain this issue in this exact manner for years and years and you have managed to express exactly what I have been unable to.I am a wife and a mother. I am a Christian (raised Catholic, but practicing Lutheran). I live my life with the goal of being the best wife and mother, as well as the most compassionate person, that I can be. We are raising our daughter in hopes that hate will have no place in her head or in her heart – even for those who hate us.I am gay, and, although I am the opposite of loud or in your face or pushy, for that simple fact some people are unable to hear what I have to say on this subject. And, again, I thank you for this post and your words. They are reasoning that I know those people in my life who struggle with loving me will be able to hear, respect, and understand.It was a happy accident when I stumbled across your blog today, and exactly what I needed.Elizabeth R-S

  14. THANK YOU! It takes people speaking out, even when they are afraid, to change thinking. It may take years, months, or decades, but if we all follow your example (specifically within the LDS Church) we can end bigotry. You are amazing!

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