So, I don't know about you but I've been following this Prop 8 thing in California and it's really getting ugly.
I've read about members of the LDS church that feel they were forced into voting for Prop 8.
I've read about members of the LDS church who didn't vote for Prop 8, and why.
I've read about people not in the church that voted for it, and why.
I've read about misleading ads and leaders of the church who misled their congregations.
I've read about protests in front of the Temple.
I've read about people leaving the LDS church because of their support of Prop 8.
I am amazed and saddened and confused by all of it.
Apparently marriage is a 'fundamental right'. I am not sure how that happened. I kind of wonder if attaching the word 'right' to marriage was just a way to make it so that the courts would have to let everyone do it. Abortion is a right. Marriage is a right. Health care is a right. Gun ownership is a right. Free speech. Voting. You can dance if you want to. Speedy trial. Miranda. We just keep adding and adding to the list until we include everything.
I am not saying that some of those things on the list aren't our 'rights' as citizens. Please don't get me wrong. I am just surprised that marriage is a right, a constitutionally (in CA) guaranteed right.
I read today that a group is calling for a boycott of Utah to punish the Mormons for being involved in the passage of Prop 8. Forget that there were other groups, forget that the majority of the population passed Prop 8. The Mormons made them do it and so the Mormons should be punished. I just don't get it. Threatening and punishing another group because your group lost a vote...I just don't get it! Mormons in California voted for what they believed in, so did Catholics, Blacks (who are pointed to as one of the major reasons it passed), and other groups. So, lets hate the Catholics for hating the gay people. Let's hate the Blacks for hating the gay people. We definitely should hate the Mormons for hating the gay people. Because hate is wrong, we should hate them for hating.
My head hurts.
My heart hurts!
I thought this was America. I thought I was allowed to stand up for, vote for, my different viewpoint. I thought that I was free.
I realize that marriages are going to be annulled or whatever they decide to do (so far, nothing, they don't know what to do) and do you - theoretical person who is trying to understand me too - really think I feel good about that? Do you really think I want people to suffer, hurt, grieve, rage? Why, why, WHY would I want that? But...
That's the word of the day.
But, I want to stand up for what I believe in.
I don't think marriage is a right. I think it is a privilege that we enjoy. I have no problem with civil unions, I have no problem with granting rights to people who have been partners their whole life and are a family. I don't think it is my place to tell them that their love isn't worthy of being bonded together. However, I don't think you can seperate marriage and religion, they are part of each other. Marriage has been a religious ceremony since before America was even a twinkling. I think marriage was set up to create a structure for family life. I think that children benefit from having a mom and a dad. I'm not saying heterosexuals are perfect. There are a lot of crappy, straight parents, husbands and wives. There are a lot of wonderful single parents and gay parents. But I do think we should strive for the standard of a loving, well rounded home.
These are my beliefs, I own them, I stand up for them. Sometimes I change my mind about them. I understand that others might feel differently. I don't show up at their houses, their worship centers, their communities and say "You don't agree with me and so I refuse to associate with you."
You can't fight hate with hate.
And this isn't about hate in the first place!
This is about belief.
This is about my right to disagree.
This is about freedom to be different.
This is about respecting the outcome when you disagree. If Prop 8 had lost, would the Mormon church - or the other supporters - be calling for a boycott of gay communities and business? I surely hope not, it would disgust me. There are other ways to fight the good fight!
I have that feeling in the pit of my stomach. The one that says: hold on, don't give in, don't give up, ride out the storm. I feel sick, and sad, and determined all at once.
I truly, honestly wish there was a middle ground but as the debate rages on it becomes more clear to me that there isn't one. Both sides are going to lose.