This morning someone wrote on a pro-Mormon board that the main reason many ex-Mormons support “the homosexual agenda” (whatever that is) is that they themselves have the “sexual problems and hang-ups that plague” ex-Mormons.
A few minutes later I saw a picture from a Seattle newspaper of a group of protesters chanting while a small girl walked to church. The little girl looked terrified.
These two items are symptomatic of the divide on this issue and the problems we’ll have in resolving it. Simply put, a lot of Mormons think that those who support same-sex marriage rights are sexual deviants bent on destroying marriage and by extension society. On the other hand, a lot of SSM supporters see Mormons and other religious believers as unrepentant bigots determined to deny others rights because they are “different.”
I’ve seen the arguments against same-sex marriage, and they don’t seem convincing to me at all. For me, the bottom line is that whether or not a gay couple marries, my heterosexual marriage is not threatened in any way. Nor are heterosexual kids going to be lured into a gay lifestyle. Nor will school teachers be forced to teach gay marriage in class. To me, if a gay couple wants to get married, they should get married.
Furthermore, I think the reason most Mormons opposed same-sex marriage is that their leaders have told them to oppose it. Once the prophet has spoken, you don’t really need to think about it. In other words, the arguments against same-sex marriage are used to support the prophet’s position, but the prophet’s position came first. And let me say that many thoughtful Mormons have indeed weighed the issues and decided to oppose same-sex marriage. But I suspect that for most people it was a non-decision once the prophet had spoken.
So it’s unfair to call people bigots over this issue. For whatever reason, the church feels that traditional marriage is threatened by same-sex marriage. But automatically considering your opponents as bigots is not conducive to dialogue and resolution. Shouting at little girls accomplishes nothing.
I fully expect that someday there will be full marriage equality and in that day people will shake their heads in wonderment that anyone fought so hard to deny the rights of others. But until that day comes, we are best served by peaceful dialogue and legal challenges to the status quo.