Sexual Deviants Against Proposition 8

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.

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15 Responses to Sexual Deviants Against Proposition 8

  1. Tim says:

    I wonder if you could extrapolate on why government got in the business of handing out marriage licenses in the first place. I never hear anyone talk about this and in my mind it would get to the heart of the issue. Is government celebrating love? Is it into dividing the people into two groups, Married and Losers, and then giving rewards to the Married folks? Just curious what you think?

  2. runtu says:

    It has to do with property rights, as far as I can tell. I’d be content to get government out of the marriage business and leave it to religions to determine who they will marry. Government ought to be in the business of determining legal contracts. Civil unions for all works for me.

  3. Odell says:

    I completely agree with your thoughts Runtu that once the Mormon prophet spoke in support of Proposition 8, most Mormons never questioned the issue more and simply supported what they consider divine direction.

    However, I think that in order to “make sense” of the prophet’s decision to oppose gay marriage in California, Mormons must invent a rationale which justifies their leader’s position and by extension, their own position. I think Mormons then must view gays as evil, otherwise, why would God direct their prophet to oppose Proposition 8? Once Mormons view gays as evil, they do become bigots. The bigotry develops and underlying foundation of their faith.

    Mormons did this same thing to Blacks and have done it to Ex-Mormons as well. The LDS church could undo much harm in the lives of others and their own members if they taught love and tolerance. Instead, the LDS church leaders are causing their members to become bigots and haters of people at odds with LDS dogma.

  4. Simeon says:

    Amen Brother Runtu. I completely agree that the main reason most members support bigotry is due to the fact that “The Prophet has spoken”. They then work backwards from there to build a case that makes them feel warm and fuzzy about the stance they inherited.

    It’s the inability of members to honestly and freely think on their own without any influence that has people screaming cult at the end of the day. Whatever happened to, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.”? It’s more like, “I tell them what to think and how to feel and threaten them with excommunication and they fall into line.”

  5. cameron says:

    i disagree with your generalization that most mormons oppose based on a prophet. Why then does the christian world in general oppose? There are many more christians who oppose comparison to mormons. marriage has been known for centuries as a religious ceremony between man and wife, a union to procreate and raise a family. Why need the word marriage approved by government. if men or women choose together, they have same laws and rights, why need same word, same definition, if not the same?

  6. Tim says:

    I think I agree with you that civil unions for everyone might be the eventual solution.

    I agree as well that it’s about property rights, but then the question is “why do married people need their property rights defined?”. My impression is that government started issuing marriage licenses in an effort stabilize families for the protection of children. Men and women who cohabitate together with a sexual relationship produce children as a natural by-product. To ensure that children are given a stable environment in which to thrive marriage licenses were drawn up. This protected the property of one or both parties and meant it would remain with the newly created family if either died. The financial benefits of marriage were delivered so that cohabitating couples would feel encouraged to join into marriage and give the stabilizing benefits to their children.

    IF the benefits of marriage were created to protect children then they need not necessarily be passed on to cohabitating men and women who do not produce children. But that’s where the equal protection of the law comes in. All men must be allowed to marry any woman and all women must be allowed to marry any man. This ensures everyone has the same rights because (generally) the natural by product of cohabitation between men and women is children.

    IF marriage is just about joining property with someone you choose to join property with (for love, sex, business, coercion, or any other reason), then marriage should not only be extended to same sex couples, but also non-sexual friendships, cousins, siblings, parent-child relationships and perhaps to multiple partners as well. None of these relationships affect your marriage any more than same-sex marriage does. If that’s the litmus test we are using than you really should be in favor of no restrictions on marriage whatsoever. Any restrictions you come up with will ultimately be shown to be arbitrary with no more weight than you think they are “icky”.

    The very fact that marriages must be sexually consumated to be valid suggests to me at least that the government thinks it’s about the creation of children and not just property law.

    As dissatisfying as the argument comes across gay men have the same rights as straight men; neither are allowed to marry men. The same goes for women. I think Victorian romanticism has strongly injected itself into our thoughts on marriage. Marriage has been around much much longer than our belief that it should be about love. It’s about sex (that may produce children), not love.

  7. aerin says:

    It is hard for me to understand how a church that was forced (by threat of having their temples and church taken away) to stop practicing polygamy is so concerned with marriage being defined by that same government. Many of us are descended from those unions – some of which were not legal either.

    Not that I’m defending polygamy, necessarily, but I think it should make many LDS pause.

  8. Fr. J. says:

    Marriage between one man and one woman is about biology, procreation; it’s about natural law. Marriage is defined in the New Testament by Christ himself. But, more than that, it is founded in the way men and women are made. The differences between the sexes is fundamental to understand human nature. Men are made for women and women are made for men. It’s simple really.

    Also, all the rights of marriage are conferred to gay Californians through domestic partnership, so this isnt about rights. It is about the definiton of marriage. I simply dont see how gays can expect to redefine marriage which is an institution founded on the fundamentals of human nature.

  9. Fr. J. says:

    I would not be too sure that straight children wont be lured into homosexuality. Sexual attraction can attach itself to all kinds of things. Consider ancient Greece where virtually all men had sex with boys. The idea that orientation is fixed from birth doesnt fit the evidence.

  10. runtu says:

    If they’re going to be “lured,” it’s most likely because of molestation, which is illegal.

  11. Bull says:

    I think that Fr. J. confirms a niggling suspicion of mine. No offense, but nothing could lure me to have sex with a man. Heck, the thought of cuddling with a man makes my skin crawl. Women on the other hand… And it’s always been that way for me for as long as I can remember. It seems to me that those most opposed to homosexuality are those, like Ted Haggard, that find themselves attracted to men and believe that without the cultural restrictions would find themselves lured into homosexuality. What they don’t realize is that they are privately gay and are fighting against their own nature while declaring that homosexuality is a sin against that very nature. They don’t seem to realize that it just isn’t attractive or even a choice for a heterosexual. And of course, I also believe that hetero- homo-sexuality isn’t a pure dichotomy but rather a continuum with some people conflicted with attractions to both genders.

  12. Fr. J. says:

    Bull, I think you just called me a homosexual. I am not. Still, it is well documented that among the ancient Greeks, sex between men and boys was almost universal. Ever read the symposium. Thanks for regaling us with your heterosexuality, but your personal experience is irrelevant. You were not raised in a pro-gay world. You were not raised in a world where “gender” was considered something flexible and fluid. This is the agenda of the lgbt community. And, yes, it would have effects on children.

    You have failed to address the fact of Greek homosexuality on a universal scale. Explain that, and you will have said something worthwhile.

  13. Fr. J. says:

    runtu, one can be “lured” by someone your same age. If homosexuality is seen as perfectly normal, this will draw more children into experimentation and some will develop patterns of behavior which will last a lifetime.

  14. Ray Agostini says:

    Fr. J, you’ve explained, correctly, that homosexuality in ancient Greece was mainly pederasty (boy love). Male to male adult homosexuality was not common, and considered a social stigma. The Catholic Church has also had its share of problems with pederasty, even though it was illegal. I know about this firsthand too, since I was raised Catholic. The age of male to male consent in my country is 16, the same as that of females, though some states prohibit “anal penetration” until 18 for males. So what is your argument, that 16 year old males will be “enticed” into homosexuality? Doesn’t this have to be done at a much earlier age?

    And what does any of this have to do with SSM?

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