Seldom do I decide to offer up my opinions on political issues - I try not to discuss things about which I am not well-informed. However, when the politics involve moral issues, I tend to get a little more interested. When I found myself thinking about this issue throughout the day, I decided to put in my two cents.
On my way to work this morning, I read in the Wall Street Journal about the California Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriages. To me this is yet another blow to the sanctity of marriage and family. I know that here in liberal California, my opinions on moral issues are often in the minority. And among the liberal-minded, my opinions may seem very narrow-minded and conservative. One of the things that I have come to love in recent years is the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and everyone seems to have a different one. With that in mind, please don't think I'm trying to prove you wrong or persuade you to my way of thinking if your opinion differs from mine. I'm simply trying to share my thought processes and explain why I feel the way I do.
My initial response to this new Supreme Court decision was that it was good that everyone would have the same opportunity to be married and enjoy that state of life. However, right after that initial response, my thought was, "no, the LDS church is against it, so it can't be good." The LDS church makes official stands on political issues and encourages members to vote a certain way even more seldom than I talk about politics. Almost never. So, when the church gets involved, I pay attention and it signals to me that it's an important issue. Later in the day, I was reading Molly's blog post on this very issue. Molly and I disagree, but her post and my initial thoughts on the issue got me thinking about it all day. I went back and forth all day about whether I wanted to blog about this. In the end, I decided that this is my blog and I want to share my opinions.
I do not believe that people should be treated unequally based on their sexual orientation. Nor do I believe that people should be denied of any civil rights based on their sexual orientation. Now, that may make you wonder how I can be in favor of denying the right of marriage to same-sex couples. Well, let's take a look at what marriage is and what it means. The sacred institution of marriage was ordained of God from the very beginning with Adam and Eve. Marriage predates what we know as civil rights by thousands of years. And as an institution introduced by God with specific instructions on its administration, we should hardly be so presumptuous as to decide that we can change it around to fit our needs/wants. Jesus Christ explained it very plainly in Matthew 19:4-6:
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
God created men and women and instituted marriage here on the earth as being between a man and a woman. Like it or not, we have no business making changes to God's commandments. And the fact that it was introduced by God from the very beginning trumps the fact that we may consider marriage a civil right. Marriage was founded on religious principles and you can't take that aspect out of it to consider it a mere "civil" right.
I could go on and on, but this post is getting long already. I would however, like to offer a few thoughts on why I believe that this is an important issue to the LDS church and to us as members of the church. As I mentioned earlier, I believe that allowing same-sex marriages further undermines its significance and sanctity. Undoubtedly, with California setting a precedent, other states will follow suit and same-sex marriages will become more prevalent in our society. As we try to teach our children about the importance of marriage and how it was ordained of God from the beginning, what sort of message are we sending when we decide that we can change it around to fit our needs? God introduced marriage to Adam and Eve, and thus the entire human race, with specific purposes in mind. If we decide that we're going to change things around on our own, then essentially we're putting our own purposes ahead of God's and I would venture to say that's probably not a wise thing to do. When we try to undermine God's authority and wisdom, it only leads to problems. I believe the LDS church has chosen to take a stand on this issue because families are such a key part of God's plan for us and to preserve the family and it's importance we must protect the sanctity of marriage as God has defined it. Please do not misunderstand - I am in no way, shape, or form an official spokesman (or woman) for the church - that is simply my opinion and not any sort of official statement from the church.
I would like to conclude with an official statement from the church however:
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 first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife....
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....
We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets....
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
And that is why the LDS church takes such a strong stance on same-sex marriages.
Of course, you are free to agree or disagree - I do not take offense when someone has different opinions than I do. And I realize that mine is probably the minority opinion here in California. But, hopefully I've at least explained my opinion and thinking well enough so that you can better understand where I'm coming from. Recently getting married myself, I still have so much to learn about the importance and sanctity of marriage. But, I can see already that marriage was created by God with wise purposes in mind and I don't plan to mess with that.