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The Truth About Gay Marriage, Equal Rights and Your Children
Protecting Traditional Marriage is Still Worth Our Best Efforts
In 2008 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) joined with a large coalition of other faith-based organizations in the Defense of Marriage. In doing so, they invited their members (of which I am one) to do all that [they] can to support and pass Proposition 8 in California. That amendment was intended to ensure that only a marriage between a man and a woman would be legally recognized in the state of California. This article is one of the ways in which I accepted that invitation to help protect traditional marriage. I believe that education is the key to ensuring that traditional marriage is preserved; thus this invitation was extended to those who embrace these truths and values in our society; to join efforts to teach and proclaim that which is truth - to our friends, neighbors and associates and is still effective today.
In this article I frequently refer to commentary, in the form of a document that is now published on the LDS Newsroom, entitled The Divine Institution of Marriage, (DIM).
"The focus of the Church’s involvement is specifically same-sex marriage and its consequences. The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) 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 family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.
The Church has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality: intimate relations are proper only between a husband and a wife united in the bonds of matrimony." (DIM)
Marriage between those who practice homosexuality, also known as same-sex marriage, distorts truth and the truth is that wickedness never was happiness. It never will be. Man, may distort and even change laws to say otherwise, nevertheless there are absolute truths, which are eternal, which come from God. The natural consequences of choosing contrary to these innate truths will bring about a future that will camouflage these truths, which are intended to bring about happiness not only now, but ultimately throughout eternity. In our carelessness as a society who will suffer the most?
“Now, the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved.
And now behold, my son, do not risk one more offense against your God upon those points of doctrine, which ye have hitherto risked to commit sin.
Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.
And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.”
Save The Family - The Protection of Marriage
Same-Sex Marriage Distorts Truth
Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage is Not What Is Best for The Family
We are living in a world of individuals that have become conditioned to having what they want, whatever that may be - right now. A society based on instant gratification. Such individuals generally feel that they are entitled to satisfy personal wants and no longer view them as such but wish to make them a “right" of daily life. Society, in general, is beginning to accept these wants in others as legitimate, in order that they too may have their own "rights" or desires validated and protected. "If I give allowances for the wants of others, then they must give allowances for me and my "wants" or desires." Most people today are willing to accept this common sense philosophy, as fair and term it tolerance.
What is happening in society today with this attitude of liberal tolerance for others in general - is changing the very culture of our communities, and ultimately our existence. Although, what may not be immediately realized is the serious effect this attitude may have on the way our future generations will learn to make choices. The moral values that you personally hold dear, and are potentially unwilling to stand for, because you don't want to force your beliefs on others are at risk of becoming unrecognizable to future generations. Perhaps even your own children and grandchildren, of whom you have the greatest interest in their happiness and well being, will be unable to see clearly those values at all.
It is my firm opinion, that if I find value in living by a personal standard of truth in my daily life, then it is also a truth worth standing up for when threatened. It is equally important to teach that truth to my own children and loved ones as well. It is my desire as a parent, to teach my children that which I believe will bring them the greatest happiness and joy in this life. I am confident, that most every responsible parent feels the very same toward their own children and future generations, in their own heart, after all, what is a parent - but a teacher of truth.
Are we ready, and willing to allow the selfish desires of a few to change the communal norms of what has been traditionally accepted as moral and right for Millennia? As far as I am aware, God has not changed on His position as to the definition of Marriage. Through the legal endorsement of same-sex marriage we risk a detrimental distortion to the understanding and truth of what Marriage is.
Marriage is between a man and a woman. The definition of marriage, what a "marriage" is to accomplish, and why "marriage" is so highly regarded - are based in natural and eternal truths that are unchangeable. Regardless of even what man may do to temporarily undo the sanctity of the Marriage Union, as it is intended, it remains unchanged in its purpose. May I restate it in a stronger way, legally changing the definition of marriage - because a very small sect of the people wish it to be otherwise, will never change the Divine Institution of Marriage and its purposes for mankind.
What this will do however, is distort truth in such a way that the spiritual progress of mankind will become degenerate in our society. This distortion of truth will leave in its path future generations that will not be able to distinguish moral truths any longer. The ability of parents to teach their own children, that which they believe to be right, and that which will bring them happiness - will be greatly diluted. Moral parenting is at risk of being undermined because we may not understand completely the implications and consequences of our willingness to be so tolerant right now.
Teaching Children Truth - Is What Parents Do Most Effectively
Same-sex Marriage Dilutes the Ability Parents Have to Teach Children Truth
Consider the child, perhaps one of your own future children or grandchildren, who would be brought up in a world where not only are same-sex marriage is legalized, but the homosexual relationship is taught and accepted in your community as normal, and equally as acceptable as a heterosexual relationship? They will be taught that it is an individual preference, which is completely natural. They may even be taught that they now live in a much more “evolved society” than did those of their parents and grandparents. The “good old days” so to speak will be looked at as a time of intolerance and uneducated views. In fact, the comparison of racial discrimination may be viewed side by side with the discrimination between same-sex behavior, comparing two completely different issues. They will be taught that such a thing was unthinkable and barbaric! Your children and grandchildren are at risk of believing this lie that is being presented to us today, as a truth naturally, having been exposed no other view.
Our future teachers may even invite them to “imagine a time when two women or two men who deeply loved each other and wanted to be a family were kept legally from professing their love in a marriage union!” This future teaching of "our" past mistakes may become shocking to our future generations, just as the discrimination of African Americans, is to us - now! Today, "we" are a much more evolved world, and recognize the ignorance of past generations, right?
Let me just ask a few sensitive questions... Are you being accused of being ignorant right now, because you stand in defense of traditional marriage? Or, perhaps you are one of those who are being viewed by the “media” as more evolved than the rest of us, and are fine supporting same-sex marriages, thinking this issue is about equal rights?
If you have fallen prey to such arguments, equal rights being parallel to the plight of those who practice homosexuality, by those in support of gay marriage, then we need to talk.
These two issues, that of race discrimination and those few who are demanding gay marriage - have absolutely no parallels whatsoever. The outward appearance of an individual as being the only reason that a person is kept from having the same rights as another who has those rights, because they have the more "acceptable" color of skin to the majority, is easily defined as prejudice. This is a passionate issue of our past, with lingering sensitivity today. Most good people are embarrassed by our past histories, whether in relation to anothers race, sex or religion. Yes, we all are much more evolved in these areas, with even more progress to make. On these issues, we most likely can and do agree.
Marriage as Ordained of God
Same-sex Marriage Has Nothing to Do with Equal Rights
The proponents of same-sex marriage claim that their case is one of equal rights. They would have you believe that homosexuals are being discriminated against, simply because they are not attracted to someone of the opposite sex. Because of this ban on their ability to get married, they feel that they are being kept from benefits that are extended to those in a legal marriage. Included as a result in their list of demands, is for the rest of society to accept homosexual relationships as generally normal to society. They are demanding that those of us who oppose same-sex marriage, validate it through legal means. In order to make such demands of society opponents are adamant in trying to convince the public that choice has nothing to do with the practice of homosexuality, "Born that way" is their cry! However, the facts are, that there is no solid evidence for or against either conclusion - nature or nurture. It continues to be the great debate.
I am personally offended for those who have been and still are legitimately discriminated against - for that which they could never change! A person with the certain color of skin, does not have any option whatsoever to be a different color, than that which they were born. A woman, is a woman - regardless of any wishes she may have to be a man. With-holding equal treatment, opportunity, or rights in these circumstances is true discrimination. The very kind of discrimination for which the Constitution of the United States ensures will not be tolerated.
In my opinion, these distortions and attempted parallels by proponents for same-sex marriage should be an insult to all those who have truly suffered for that which they have no choice, but that which they are! Those who have circumstances beyond their control, which make them different to others. These, where there is absolutely no question that needs to be determined by society that they are different from you or I. Those, who have been discriminated against because they are different, and not by choice! These are the few, that when society discriminate against them bring shame to us as humankind. This shows a deep lack of compassion and love for others and is the epitome of ignorance and pride! To blur the lines between tolerance and clear discrimination is just wrong!
We, as a people who represent parents and teachers who cherish our morals and values need to be wise to what is being perpetuated by the proponents for same-sex marriage in their desire for us to believe such distortions apply to gay marriage. There are absolutely no comparable arguments between what is happening to promote same-sex marriage now and the issues of such past discrimination in society. If the advocates of same-sex marriage are able to convince you that it is the same issue, then I must respectfully say that you are being terribly misled. However, if this argument is successful, and that the issue of same-sex marriage is accepted as one of equal rights, which it is not, then there is no doubt that future generations will readily accept these distortions as the truth.
Let me just make it very clear, that I am very sensitive to the plight of those with same-gender attraction. The fact is, that there is much more that society could do to support same-sex relationships; and help them acquire some of the rights that should be made available to any two individuals that are deeply committed to the care of each other.
Protecting Tradtional Marriage is the Right Thing to Do
Same-sex Marriage is Not an Issue of Tolerance
As Elder Dallin H. Oaks of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has explained, "In today’s secular world, the idea of tolerance has come to mean something entirely different. Instead of love, it has come to mean condone – acceptance of wrongful behavior as the price of friendship. Jesus taught that we love and care for one another without condoning transgression. But today’s politically palatable definition insists that unless one accepts the sin he does not tolerate the sinner.”
Elder Oaks continues, “Tolerance obviously requires a non-contentious manner of relating toward one another’s differences. But tolerance does not require abandoning one’s standards or one’s opinions on political or public policy choices. Tolerance is a way of reacting to diversity, not a command to insulate it from examination.
The [LDS] Church does not condone abusive treatment of others and encourages its members to treat all people with respect. However, speaking out against practices with which the Church disagrees on moral grounds – including same-sex marriage – does not constitute abuse or the frequently misused term “hate speech.” We can express genuine love and friendship for the homosexual family member or friend without accepting the practice of homosexuality or any re-definition of marriage." (DIM)
It is my opinion, that too many of us are accepting the false definition of tolerance which then allows us to also accept that which will ultimately tear apart the very fiber of what we hold most dear: the family. Traditional marriage, in the Biblical sense, is still what mainstream Americans accept as the best way to perpetuate healthy families and stable future generations. The majority of the reputable research which has been done on this issue remains supportive of these ideals that have been handed down from generation to generation even still; however, there are a few who promote research which is being distributed, that would have us believe differently. Even within the process of how these studies have been conducted there are breeches of integrity which have been identified and exposed. The proponents of same-sex marriage have far greater motivators than simply love between two people of the same sex as their foundation. They intend to change the sanctity and reason for marriage, thus the intended purpose of the family, which is ordained of God.
Marriage Between a Man and a Women Is Beautiful to Behold...
Marriage Between A Man and A Woman Is Central to Happiness
"Marriage between a man and a woman is central to the plan of salvation. The sacred nature of marriage is closely linked to the power of procreation. Only a man and a woman together have the natural biological capacity to conceive children. This power of procreation – to create life and bring God’s spirit children into the world – is sacred and precious. Misuse of this power undermines the institution of the family and thereby weakens the social fabric.Strong families serve as the fundamental institution for transmitting to future generations the moral strengths, traditions, and values that sustain civilization. As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms, ‘The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society.’
Marriage is not primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. While governments did not invent marriage, throughout the ages governments of all types have recognized and affirmed marriage as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself. Hence, regardless of whether marriages were performed as a religious rite or a civil ceremony, married couples in almost every culture have been granted special benefits aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared. A husband and a wife do not receive these benefits to elevate them above any other two people who may share a residence or social tie, but rather in order to preserve, protect, and defend the all-important institutions of marriage and family.
It is true that some couples who marry will not have children, either by choice or because of infertility, but the special status of marriage is nonetheless closely linked to the inherent powers and responsibilities of procreation, and to the inherent differences between the genders. Co-habitation under any guise or title is not a sufficient reason for defining new forms of marriage" (DIM)
The Divine Institution of Marriage is for Happy Eternal Families
A Commitment to Ensuring the Optimum Family Experience for My Posterity Through Traditional Marriage
This issue, of defending traditional marriage, to me, is a deeply personal issue. I would like nothing more than to say to my neighbor that I am fine with them having their same-sex relationship validated and perpetuating their lives as they please. Of course I want them to be happy, but unfortunately this issue of same-sex marriage is too deep and too far reaching in its affects upon future posterity. The kind of tolerance that I may wish to extend today will have a lasting impact on the ability of future generations to experience the joy and happiness that God intends, through the family, as ordained by Him. There can only be one definition of marriage that it true.
As a child of divorce, I understand the pain and suffering caused by the choice of one's parents'. I know the confusion that is experienced by a child when their world explodes. I know what it's like to yearn for a father or a mother to be present in my life, even with an attempt at a replacement; it is just not the same. With my vivid memories of my own childhood, and the fall-out I have lived through as an adult child of divorce, I know that the traditional family, which rises up from the marriage between a man and a woman, even with all its frailties, is the absolute best for every child in this society still. I believe firmly, that by nature it is our birthright and that every child born is entitled to both a mother and a father.
As a responsible adult, and a loving mother and grandparent, I am now committed to ensure the optimum family experience for each one of my own children and grandchildren, and my future generations to come. That “optimum family experience” begins with marriage between a man and a woman. I have learned that happiness comes from choosing what is true and right and working hard to maintain it. It is worth our best efforts as a society, to give to our children the path to the greatest happiness that is available to them in this life! To do anything less would be pure selfishness, and that is not true parenting.
"Strong, stable families, headed by a father and mother, are the anchor of civilized society. When marriage is undermined by gender confusion and by distortions of its God-given meaning, the rising generation of children and youth will find it increasingly difficult to develop their natural identity as a man or a woman. Some will find it more difficult to engage in wholesome courtships, form stable marriages, and raise yet another generation imbued with moral strength and purpose." (DIM)
It is my sincere desire, that as we move forward and openly discuss the issue of same-sex marriage and its potential affects on future generations that it will not be construed as a personal attack against those who experience homosexuality. I am not a stranger to those who have struggled with issues of same-gender attraction. It is from this very perspective, that I have gained a greater understanding and desire to teach what I believe to be the truth about same-sex marriage.
LDSNana-AskMormon - Kathryn Skaggs
Note: You are invited to read the entire content of the document, The Divine Institution of Marriage, on the LDS Newsroom website.
The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage, and What That Means to YOU!
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LdsNana-AskMormon Acknowledgements and Reguests
Please feel free to leave your respectful comments, regarding the issue of same-sex marriage and defending traditional marriage in reference to Proposition 8 - in the comments section below. Comments will await approval by the author, before they are posted.
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