Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why I Support Proposition 8

The whole man/woman marriage debate has become quite exciting, even for non-California residents such like myself. I have never been one to shy away from action and so I've decided to throw my insight into the mix. Hopefully, this will be brief and to the point.

I've seen a number of different approaches to proposition 8. There are those who become angry at the whole homosexual movement. Their support of proposition 8 is simply because they are bigots. Others hate the supporters of proposition 8. They manifest their own bigotry by calling sincere and rational people bigots. Why can't we reason through this without hate? I like to consider myself a very tolerant person. I understand that by living in America, we need to be tolerant of other people's beliefs. After all, that is what makes our country great. Our country is engaged in a never-ending quest of balancing individual freedoms and limiting the infringement of others' rights. I strongly believe that homosexuality is wrong. But I try not to so in an arrogant, self-righteous, or intolerant manner. How can I believe in an amendment that would limit others' beliefs and still claim to be tolerant? Let me explain.

Lately I have been inundated with legal jargon. Honestly, I feel slightly less intelligent than I was a couple months ago. One thing I have taken away from my law school curriculum is that in some situations, you need to come up with a bright-line rule. This standard may not seem fair to some people, but is necessary to make things work in society. Establishing marriage as only between a man and a woman is a standard that we need to make. If you don't draw the line somewhere, you'll just have a big mess.

The basis for my support for proposition comes down to a matter of faith. Recently, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affirmed its support of Proposition 8 and called on all members to help out in the cause. It has been recently reported that out of the $30M raised for the pro-prop8 movement, 40% has come from donations from the Mormon church.

I had mixed feelings when I first heard the church's statement. If you'll recall, in the late 19th century, Utah was a community that was prohibited from joining the United States because of its beliefs in plural marriage that it held. If we were being discriminated against back then for the government regulating our marriage practices, why should we enforce the government to regulate that today? Then I thought about how I know that God leads and directs this church. I don't know all the answers to how He leads and guides the affairs on earth. What was true back then may be different today. But what I do know is that God has affirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman.

There is a lot of excitement as to the implications of gay marriage in California. A lot of speculation abounds pertaining to the effects of Proposition 8 not passing. I don't know if children will be taught gay marriage in public schools or if churches will be sued if they don't perform gay marriages. I believe the effects of not passing Proposition 8 will be more detrimental than not to the state. Marriage needs to be a bright-line standard for our country.