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Rebuttal to “Six Consequences if Prop 8 Fails”

Guest post by Morris A. Thurston

An anonymously-authored document titled “Six Consequences the Coalition Has Identified if Proposition 8 Fails” is currently being distributed by a coalition of churches and other organizations in support of Proposition 8, an initiative on the November 2008 California ballot. The intent of Proposition 8 is to overturn the California Supreme Court’s ruling allowing homosexuals to marry.

Most of the arguments contained in “Six Consequences” are either untrue or misleading. The following commentary addresses those arguments and explains how they are based on misinterpretations of law and fact. My intent is to be of service in helping our Church avoid charges of using falsehoods to gain a political victory. I do not believe these so”called “consequences” have originated at or been approved by Church headquarters; rather, I suspect they are the result of overzealous volunteers who have misinterpreted California law and the legal cases on which the supposed consequences depend. Relying on deceptive arguments is not only contrary to gospel principles, but ultimately works against the very mission of the Church….mat-responses-to-six-consequences-if-prop-8-fails-rev-1-1


Morris Thurston received his undergraduate degree in political science from BYU and his law degree from
Harvard Law School.  He recently retired as a senior partner with a global law firm, where he specialized in
litigation and intellectual property law. He is an active member of the LDS Church.

UPDATE: An LDS lawyer named Kurtis Kearl has authored what purports to be a “Rebuttal” to my “Commentary on ‘Six Consequences.’” It is lengthy and contains numerous citations, which might lead the casual reader to conclude that he succeeds in his objective.

He does not.

Here is my reply.

Filed in Help & Support - LDS,Uncategorized | 55 responses so far

55 Responses to “Rebuttal to “Six Consequences if Prop 8 Fails””

  1. 1Lelandon 22 Sep 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Thank you for the good legal work. You provide an important service by helping alleviate worries members may have about the impending decision.

  2. 2admin3on 01 Oct 2008 at 12:59 pm

    The author of this document will be on KRCL’s RadioActive program Thursday. Oct 2nd, 6 p.m. Mountain Time. Check back here for a link to the podcast, and listen live at 90.9 FM in Salt Lake City. The call-in number for the radio station is 1-888-404-6050.

  3. 3admin3on 05 Oct 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Here’s a link to Morris Thurston on KRCL’s Radio Active program. He spoke for an hour about his “6 Consequences” rebuttal and fielded several questions. Enjoy!

  4. 4Jeanieon 05 Oct 2008 at 8:36 pm

    We need this in California, not Utah! My sweetheart is going to put out a press release on the rebuttal and see if it gets some bites.

  5. 5admin3on 05 Oct 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Good luck with the press release – and remember, the web has no boundaries, so feel free to share the podcast link. If you’ve got a local NPR station that’s filling up time with local election news, consider suggesting a topic like this as well.

  6. 6J. Todd Ormsbeeon 09 Oct 2008 at 10:41 am

    What are the chances of getting Bro. Thurston to make a 10 minute (or less) video that could be uploaded to Youtube?

  7. 7Don Nielsenon 09 Oct 2008 at 4:19 pm

    As an attorney and devoted (“active”) member of the Church here in California I am particularly appalled at the arguments in favor of Prop. 8 and find them to be simply hysterical, disingenuous and homophobic. What I find ironic however, is how all these so-called “conservatives” have conveniently blown right past the main, essential point of the California Supreme Court’s deciion (In re Marriage Cases 43 Cal.4th 757, 183 P.3d 384, 76 Cal.Rptr.3d 683, 08 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 5820, 2008 Daily Journal D.A.R. 7079), which is, that there is nothing more private and personal then the decision about whom one might marry and consequently, that the government has no right to intrude on that decision absent a “compelling state interest.” I thought most Mormons I know don’t want the government intruding into their lives telling them, e.g., how many AK-47′s they can own, what they can do w/their businesses and to their employees? Isn’t support for Prop. 8 by such so-called “conservatives” just a tad hypocritical? Moreover, one would think Mormons, with our own history of the federal government telling us whom WE could and could not marry back around the turn of the 19th century, would be just a little more tuned into this irony. As a perfectly secure and happily-married (28 years!) heterosexual father of 5, one who has worked around gay men and women my entire adult life, I simply don’t see what all the fuss about. You either are or you are not gay; it’s not a choice and “they” don’t prosylitize. Many years ago when I worked in the airline industry while in law school I learned that no one in their right mind chooses to be gay. I mean really, who in this homophobic society of ours would choose to be gay? ALL of us are God’s children, all of us. We have the right to be happy (“men are that they might have joy” 2 Nephi 2:25) and to ask someone to be alone for the rest of their lives simply because they’re not like most of us, seems mean-spirited, contrary to a real, Christ-like love. We all need to chill out, stop all the fear and intimidation tactics, and remember that we all still have to co-exist in Church, on the welfare farm, home teaching, etc., when this is all over. (By the way, the four justices who voted in the majority in “In Re Marriages” are not “activist judges from San Francisco” — Justices Werdeger, George and Kennard were appointed by conservative/Republican governors Pete Wilson and George Dukmeijian respectively and only Justice Moreno was appointed by a Democrat, Gray Davis — and the California Supreme Court is headquartered in San Francisco BY LAW and has been for nearly 100 years) “I pledge allegiance to the flag . . . with LIBERTY and JUSTICE FOR ALL! (Not just those who don’t make us feel uncomfortable) Love is the answer —

    Don Nielsen

  8. 8admin3on 09 Oct 2008 at 4:44 pm

    The No on 8 folks have some new material about the 6 Consequences materials as well, including a new short ad you can watch here:

    http://noonprop8.com/home

  9. [...] have received a copy of William Duncan’s response to my “Commentary on the Document ‘Six Consequences . . . if Proposition 8 Fails.’” I must say that I am disappointed and somewhat bewildered by both the tone and content of his [...]

  10. 10Curtison 13 Oct 2008 at 1:59 pm

    The consequences of NOT passing Prop 8 have in part already come to pass, some items in Massachusetts and some in California. How blind can one be.

  11. 11baumgrenzeon 14 Oct 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Thank you Morris Thurston for an articulate and logical rebuttal. Would that it was a required announcement in all congregations where a significant portion of the community support Proposition 8.

    Pardon a wordy evangelical protestant for adding comments to a mormonsformarriage.com blog. I have some insights to share. Some of the financial support is from my community I am sorry to say.

    Please read:

    http://www.powells.com/authors/wallis.html

    In this interview Jim Wallis reveals this about Focus on the Family. “Okay Jim, we concede that family breakdown is caused much more by heterosexual dysfunction than by homosexuals. But then they said, We can’t vouch for our fundraising department, which says a lot, I think.”

    These are the same people who do not blush to encourage homosexual individuals to undergo ‘reparative therapy’ so that they can engage in a “mixed orientation marriage” which has a very high likelihood of ending in divorce and a broken family.

    I rest my case.

    They make it hard to preach the Gospel and not be rejected as just another hypocrite.

    I’d rather live in a community that supports and encourages stable marriages and loving families, not one man and one woman marriages, damn the consequences.

    Read Proverbs 6:16-19! In most English translations among the seven listed ‘abominations to God’ are “a lying tongue, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.

    Perhaps they should just stop reading when they encounter the phrase, “He who lieth…”

    As a preacher in Boston concluded, in the end it all boils down to this, “Love Trumps Leviticus.”

    baumgrenze

  12. 12Ponderingon 15 Oct 2008 at 10:53 am

    The Church must stand in favor of this proposition because if the Church did not, it would send a message that it is fine to “give in” to the challenges that you are given in life. I have challenges that I deal with on my own instead of asking someone else to change to accommodate me. If I was gay, I hope that I would understand that asking for a change in definition of a word that means something to people that are not gay is asking too much and is wrong.

  13. 13Captain Moronion 15 Oct 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Pondering – The Church must stand in favor of this proposition because if the Church did not, it would send a message that it is fine to “give in”

    CM – The Church doesn’t have to give in. They can recognize that this is a civil rights issue (ie determining the civil rights of others) and simply send Proc. in the mail to everyone in CA. This would comply with D&C 121 that says that we are to use kindness gentleness meekness and love unfeigned to encourage people to live morally. Using force via the passage of laws was Satan’s Plan.

  14. 14Ponderingon 15 Oct 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Captain Moroni:

    No one is forcing… gays still have the some rights as non-gays. I do, however, see someone trying to force me to redefine a word that means something to me though, which is quite offensive.

  15. 15Captain Moronion 15 Oct 2008 at 7:05 pm

    P – No one is forcing… gays still have the some rights as non-gays.

    CM – Sure, and Blacks did too. They had their own drinking fountains just like Whites. Why should the Blacks complain? They still had the same right as Whites.

  16. 16Ponderingon 15 Oct 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Blacks never asked to change the definition of “white” to “black.” That is a completely irrelevent argument you just gave. I support gay rights and equality. I do not support anyone trying to redefine the institution of marriage for me.

  17. 17Jeanieon 15 Oct 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Those of us who personally have gay friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family members find CM’s argument quite relevant. It is comments like those of “Pondering”, who claim to support gay rights and equality but fail to see the inconsistency in supporting Prop 8 that disturb us greatly. I would ask those feel the same way as Pondering to find someone who is gay that believes that the LDS position honors their civil rights. No one is asking the citizens of California to change their religious beliefs about marriage. The LDS church can continue to deny temple marriage and even a temple recommend to gay couples. The courts have ruled, and we agree, that civil unions do indeed fall into the “separate but equal” category that relegates a class of people to a second-class status. Black people didn’t ask to be white and gay people are not asking to be straight. They do ask to be treated as equals under the law–and rightly so.

  18. 18Captain Moronion 15 Oct 2008 at 9:37 pm

    P – Blacks never asked to change the definition of “white” to “black.” Cm – They just wanted the definition of “voter” to change to include them as it was changed to include women. Women didn’t want to be men then. They just wanted to be treated equally with them. The definition of voter was expanded to the benefit of all and of the concept of democracy. Expanding the definition of marriage will likewise benefit all and strengthen the institution of marriage. White men’s voting rights were not harmed by having women and Blacks vote. Your marriage rights, secular and sectarian, will not be harmed by allowing others to have those same rights.

    P – I do not support anyone trying to redefine the institution of marriage for me.
    Cm – We LDS also redefined the institution of marriage by reinstating polygamy which had not been practiced by Christians since the time of the apostles. We also redefined it by our concept of eternal marriage. Being sealed, my marriage is different than that of my non-LDS neighbors. But we are still treated equally under the law. I may consider my neighbor’s marriage as 2nd class compared to mine, but that doesn’t give me the right to petition our secular government for official recognition of such. Each individual couple defines their own marriage in their own way. Marriage is what we make of it, not how government says it is.

  19. 19Ponderingon 15 Oct 2008 at 10:22 pm

    I guess it all depends on what you think is right or wrong. I, as most people, think it is right for blacks to be able to vote and hold the priesthood. I do believe that women should have all the rights that they do. I do believe that gays should be treated fairly and equally. However, I do not believe that gay marriage is good for our society or that it is right. However, marriage between a man and a man will never be right in any sense. I feel bad for gays and wish that there was some solution out there for them, but changing the definition of marriage is not going to give them what they are lacking. The Prophet has provided us guidance on this issue and I am going to trust him on this. Personally, I think there is a solution in the future for gays, but not now and not like this.

    The Prophet rarely asks us to do anything difficult. Now that he asks us to support this initiative, many are resisting and doubting. What if in the future he asks us to do something that is extremely difficult??? I can see that many will not be up to the challenge.

  20. 20Cowboyon 16 Oct 2008 at 10:18 am

    Pondering – you are conflating religion with public policy. This is not about someone redefining marriage for you, your Bishop, your Prophet, or your Church. This about all people recieving the similar treatment from the State regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. My religious views are the same as yours, I believe that God has spoken against homosexual practices. The genius behind the constitution however is that there is no federal Church to “assist” God in his policies, this maximizes the religious liberties of you, me, the homosexual, the hindu, etc. If we were to pass laws in favor of Church policies, Mormons would be the last group on the list to get their way. Regardless of the State definition of marriage you would still retain your religious rights to practice/view marriage within the parameters of your faith just as fully as you do now, but it is essential that homosexuals are not treated as second class citizens by the State because of your religious views. By the way, the segreation examples listed earlier regarding drinking fountains, bathrooms, etc. in the pre- Civi Rights era, was actually a perfect comparison to what Prop 8 is trying to accomplish.

  21. 21mabon 16 Oct 2008 at 12:03 pm

    In the rebuttal, Mr. Thurston quotes the already-existing California law: “Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and!benefits, and shall be subject to the same
    responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes,
    administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any
    other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.”
    I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know, but it seems as if this Proposition does very little for gay rights, per se. It’s more of an issue of whether the state will formally recognize gay couples as completely legitimate. It’s a question of whether or not we believe that an in-born propensity justifies an action or way of living. It may very well be that that pro-Prop. 8 crowd is wrong in its understanding of the legal implications. But it also seems that the anti-Prop. 8 crowd is wrong in seeing an issue of ‘rights’ here. One can make the argument that you can’t ‘legislate morality,’ but isn’t that what both sides want to do? One side feels it’s morally wrong to deny the same social status (not rights) to a group, while the other feels it’s morally wrong to approve of something they believe God has condemned. It is true though, that making something legal does lend a sort of moral approval of society. This is one of main reasons people are so opposed to legalizing marijuana, even if the person wouldn’t be a danger to others. There are externalities at work here that have not been taken into account.

  22. 22Ponderingon 16 Oct 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Being male, I don’t complain that my rights are being violated because I’m not allowed in a women’s restroom. The definition of a women’s restroom includes that it is only for women to use. I have no control over the fact that I’m not a woman, but I respect the definition and follow it. I respect women and would not want to impose upon them a change of that definition.

    I’m not allowed to drive in the carpool lane unless I have a second passenger. Does that mean my rights are being violated? No… it means that the definition of the carpool lane is that it is for people with one or more people in the car. It’s ok… I still have other lanes I can drive in, but they aren’t carpool lanes. But I’m not going to start a ruckus about changing the definition of a carpool lane…. that would defeat the purpose of a carpool lane!!! Do I think the people that are allowed to drive in the carpool lane are better than me? No… they are just in a different circumstance than I am so they can have another person ride with them to work.

    Words have meanings and when you change the definition of a word, it is no longer the same thing. This is a big deal to me and it is offensive to me that you folks want to force this change on me.

  23. 23Cowboyon 16 Oct 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Pondering – That is absolutely absurd in every regard. The car pool lane is so off topic it does not deserve to be addressed. The womens restroom will get just a comment. You are not excluded under the constitution from “considering” yourself a woman, dressing as such, acting as such, etc. You are prevented from entering a womens restroom however, because your unwelcomed presence there is seen as a physical and direct infringement upon women’s rights to privacy in a restroom setting.

  24. 24Ponderingon 16 Oct 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Just because you say it is absurd doesn’t make it absurd. To me, it is absolutely on topic and a perfect analogy. I could go on and on with things that I am not allowed to do in this life thanks to definitions of words. It is not fair or right for you to impose a definition change on this. The more you characters talk, the more convinced I am that we should all be voting YES on Proposition 8. You talk about unfair treatment of gays when it is actually the other way around… gays are imposing their beliefs on me. I have no problem with someone being gay and living their life as a gay person, but they have no business trying to change my life based on the way they choose to live their own lives.

  25. 25admin2on 16 Oct 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Pondering, you’re getting very repetitive, and since you’ve had a chance to make your point, I think we’ll end this discussion here for now.

  26. [...] Thurston memo has been posted to http://www.mormonsformarriage.com, a website sponsored by Mormons who do not support their Church’s active campaign against gay [...]

  27. 27Bob Crocketton 27 Oct 2008 at 9:07 pm

    I’m Morry Thurston’s law partner. Unlike Morry, I practice in the area of religious freedom and the First Amendment, representing various First Amendment organizations including religions.

    WHAT DOES A “YES” VOTE ON PROPOSITION 8 MEAN?

    • It Means You Want A Definition Of Marriage That Has Been Accepted By All Four Presidential And Vice Presidential Candidates.

    Barack Obama has been on record as opposing gay marriage, although he has equivocated and has also said that he would not support Proposition 8. Nonetheless, Obama said, when he ran for the Senate in 2004: “I’m a Christian, and so although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.” (Chicago Tribune, Sept. 24, 2004.) [But, see, the Pew Forum's summary of his inconsistent views.]

    Hillary Clinton, whom I supported in the primaries, also opposes gay marriage. Her views are summarized in Lesbian Life.

    When the issue of gay marriage confronted the French Parliament, it noted that it does not want “adult aspirations [to] trump children’s rights.” The Parliament’s special commission refused “to change the nature of marriage” as being between a man and a woman, and decided that it is “essential to enshrine” the principle that “the best interests of the child shall be the primary consideration” in all laws involving the family and children. Summary of the French Parliamentary Commission Report on the Family and the Rights of Children, 1-26-06.

    A “yes” vote supports the preservation of all legal financial and property benefits to same sex unions, just as those rights are preserved for any married couple, but also is a vote to define “marriage” as only between a man and a woman.

    What do the Opponents of Proposition 8 Support?

    1. The opponents of Proposition 8 support the teaching of same sex marriage in school, starting with kindergarten, as being exactly the same as marriage between a man and a woman. Those opposing Proposition 8 have launched a series of misleading campaign ads asserting that California schools will not be teaching same sex marriage, when these very same organizations argued forcefully in Massachusetts court cases that same sex marriage must be taught as early as possible, asserting that it is “most effective when it begins during the students’ formative years.” (ADL Amicus Brief in Parker v. Hurley, p. 3.) It is fair to assume Prop 8’s opponents intend the same result in California if they can defeat Proposition 8.

    2. The opponents of Proposition 8 support that same-sex marriage educational campaign taking place at taxpayer expense, as textbooks in California are changed to teach same sex marriage. Opponents of Proposition 8 want this campaign – teaching that sexual preference does not matter – to begin in the earliest grades, even before children develop their sexual identities, which will be confusing and destabilizing to our children.

    3. The opponents of Proposition 8 support this educational propaganda campaign taking place without parental consent or notice. The same groups who oppose Proposition 8 here in California took the position in the Massachusetts litigation that “a broad right of a parent to opt a child out of a lesson [on same sex marriage showing a man kissing a man] would fatally compromise the ability of a school to provide a meaningful education, a conclusion that holds true regardless of the age of the child . . . .” (ACLU Amicus Brief in Parker v. Hurley, p. 18.) Again, it is fair to assume they take the very same position in California.

    4. The opponents of Proposition 8 support forcing on society the right of same-sex couples to adopt a baby even when that couple will compete with and replace a family with a mother and father, although having a mother and a father is always in the best interest of every baby.

    5. The opponents of Proposition 8 support closing down adoption and religious welfare agencies that choose not to place children with same sex marriages (just as has happened already in Massachusetts and elsewhere), placing the right to same sex marriage on a collision course with the right to free speech and freedom of religion of those with whom they disagree, when those agencies are a crucial help to the people of California.

    DOES PROPOSITION 8 STRIP GAYS OF THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS?

    Prior to the Marriage Cases, gays could not marry in California. That prohibition was challenged in a federal court, and it held that a ban on gay marriages had sufficient basis under the U.S. Constitution.

    By the vote of one judge, in a 4-3 majority, Marriage Cases in the spring of 2008 held that a ban on gay marriage violated the California (not the U.S.) constitution. Before this decision, there were no civil rights for gays to marry. If Proposition 8 passes, California law will come into line with federal decisional law.

    Put our children first.
    VOTE “YES” ON PROPOSITION 8

  28. 28Morris Thurstonon 29 Oct 2008 at 10:12 pm

    My law partner Bob Crockett is an intelligent, erudite and honorable man. I’m sure he believes his arguments. I, however, find them unpersuasive.

    The bulk of his argument consists of a swipe at some of the groups who oppose Prop 8—the “guilt by association” argument. Hey, if you want to take potshots at the ACLU, give me a gun. I don’t agree with a lot of what they say on a lot of subjects. I could just as easily point out that the Taliban would be in favor of Prop 8. Heck, they would execute the homosexuals. That would not, however, be a reason to vote against Prop 8.

    So what are these things that the “opponents of Prop 8” want?

    1. To teach that same-sex marriage is “exactly the same as marriage between a man and a woman.” To his credit, Bob does not use the phrase “just as good as,” which is what the “Six Consequences” memo said. But what does he mean? Schools are obviously not going to teach that it is “exactly the same,” because one involves two people of the opposite sex and the other involves two people of the same sex. I think what Bob means is that schools will teach that married same-sex couples should receive the same respect as married heterosexual couples. I have no problem with that. There are currently 50,000 children in California living in families with same-sex parents. This number will increase whether or not Prop 8 passes. Perhaps one or two of them will be in Bob’s children’s classes. I hope the children will not be taught in school that their peers who come from same-sex families are somehow inferior because of that—or that their parents (who may be doing the best they can to raise good, respectful, loving children) are somehow inferior to all the other parents merely because the other parents consist of a man and a woman.

    What most Prop 8 proponents are claiming, however, is that schools will have to “promote” same-sex marriage. As the Los Angeles Times has astutely pointed out, this is nonsense. [The Times editorial can be found at http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-prop8-21-2008oct21,0,7164183.story

    2. Bob says that opponents of Prop 8 want schools to teach that “sexual preference does not matter” and that this teaching should begin in “the earliest grades.” Again, I don’t know what he means. If he means that schools should not countenance discrimination against gay people, then I’m completely on board with this. Schools are not required or permitted to make value judgments about sexual preference. If a parent wants to teach his children that gays are inferior and should be despised, our laws permit this, but I do not want it taught in the schools.

    The argument about having to pay for textbooks being changed seems petty. Textbooks are changed every year. Would we have argued about the cost of new textbooks when other civil rights laws were passed?

    3. Bob cites an ACLU brief filed in the Parker Massachusetts case to demonstrate that “opponents of Prop 8” support “educational propaganda” being taught at the earliest, with no ability to opt out. But Massachusetts isn’t California. The school laws are not the same. Moreover, amicus briefs can be filed by anyone. I’m sure I could pull out a few anti-gay hate messages from some of the Evangelical Christian briefs filed on the other side. Again, the Los Angeles Times article points out the fallacies in the argument that children will be recruited to be gay (which I don’t believe could happen in any event).

    4. I must disagree with Bob’s statement that gay adoptions should not take place because “having a mother and a father is always in the interest of every baby.” What is always in the best interest of the baby is having parents who love and nurture and provide for it. A baby who has two loving, devoted parents of the same sex is much better off than one who has an abusive father or mother, or is a child of a couple who will soon divorce, or is the child of an alcoholic or drug addict, even though these might be heterosexual couples.

    5. Bob is falling back on the old Catholic Charities argument when he talks about the “opponents of Prop 8” supporting closing down religious adoption agencies. That train has already left that station in California. Catholic Charities already chooses not to do adoptions here. We already have a non-discrimination policy regarding same sex couples. None of this will change if Prop 8 is defeated. LDS Family Services has found a way to get around the law. It does only voluntary placements where the birth mother agrees to the adoptive parents. Until some Mormon birth mother decides she wants a same-sex couple to adopt her child, there shouldn’t be a problem. If a birth mother does want to place her child with a same-sex couple, then her rights as a mother should trump so-called “religious rights.”

    Bob makes a common pro-Prop 8 argument that California registered domestic partners already have all the civil rights that married same-sex couples would have. But as the California Supreme Court pointed out, they don’t have the same dignity. People who support Prop 8 apparently want the ability to denigrate same-sex partnerships and feel it would be easier to do so if they were not termed “marriages.” That argument doesn’t move me.

    Bob mentions that all the presidential and vice presidential candidates are opposed to gay marriage (though Obama is a bit iffy). What a politician says he or she supports means nothing to me. I could just as well say that both California senators are opposed to Prop 8. We all know that politicians will take whatever position is safest on an issue like this. I’ll do my own thinking, thank you, and I know Bob will do the same.

    It is interesting that even though Bob and I are lifelong members of the same church, attended the same undergraduate university, and spent our entire careers at the same law firm, we have diametrically opposed views on this issue. And so far as I’m concerned, that is fine.

  29. 29Emmaon 30 Oct 2008 at 6:36 am

    Why I support Prop 8

    It’s first about my beliefs in the eternal role of gender, and second about my moral standards about sex.

    I vote out of my morals, beliefs and conscience.

    I respect that others do the same, thought they come to a different conclusion.

  30. 30Bob Crocketton 30 Oct 2008 at 10:13 am

    Let me quote from my law partner, Morry: “I hope the children will not be taught in school that their peers who come from same-sex families are somehow inferior because of that—or that their parents (who may be doing the best they can to raise good, respectful, loving children) are somehow inferior to all the other parents merely because the other parents consist of a man and a woman.”

    No proponent of Proposition 8 would even think to make such an argument. I am not a rhetorician, but there seems something wrong with Morry’s appeal to this particular argument. Nor would we argue that children who come from divorced households, single parent households or abusive households are inferior.

    But, these households are inferior for raising children. There are just far too many studies to support this proposition. Ignoring the weight of this sociological evidence for the sake of political correctness is akin to ignoring St. Paul’s condemnation of homosexuality.

    And, yes, it is rather compelling to me that both Clintons and Obama have come out against gay marriage. To discard them like an old shoe because they are politicians is akin to discarding the arguments of lawyers because they are lawyers. Do you really automatically discard the positions and thoughts of politicians because they are liars?

    Government-endorsed gay marriage would add to the mix of inferior and unacceptable households just one more unacceptable relationship — but this one now has a government imprimatur. Oh, you say, California already allows gay households to raise and adopt children. This begs the question. California does not prohibit single parent households. California does not prohibit divorced households. California does not sterilize convicted sex offenders; even they can raise children. But, with the government imprimatur what are we doing? Blessing that which is wrong.

    It all comes down, doesn’t it, to a subjective decision as to what is “right” and what is “wrong?” Is right and wrong relative? I submit that it is not. (Gen. 3:5 ["knowing good and evil].) “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil . . . .” (Isaiah 5:20.) We, as Mormons, know that homosexual conduct is evil (a harsh word, but that is the language of scripture), just as divorce is inherently evil and abuse is manifestly evil. No child should be subjected to a household which has as its sandy foundation evil.

    Nonetheless, I can see how opponents can question religion as a framework for our ethics. After all, there are several other competing systems of secular ethics, from the bohemian to L. Ron Hubbard. There are what sociologists such as Dawkins describes as evolutionary ethics. So, which of these ethical systems is better for determining household optimality? I guess I fall back on the Clintons as a bellwether for moderate and centrist positions. Gay marriage is not acceptable.

  31. 31Captain Moronion 30 Oct 2008 at 11:22 am

    Emma – I vote out of my morals, beliefs and conscience.

    Cm – So did those who voted against polygamy and shut us down. What goes around comes around.

  32. 32Bryanon 30 Oct 2008 at 11:24 am

    Morris,

    I really appreciated your comments on the Six Consequences. I think, especially with regard to direct effects, you made some good points. Critical thinking about propaganda is always good. The part I liked best of all was its ostensible raison d’etre: that the Church and its members should take care to distance themselves from allies who–however well-intentioned–may be using methods of which the Lord would not approve. As a member, of course, I defer to the Lord’s appointed servants as to make final determinations, but the principle is quite sound.

    Having said that, as to subsequent comments, I think there is a difference between denigration of a set of people (for the mere sake of pushing people down) and not condoning practices. I think you’re on target or close to it when you make that point that not applying the term marriage to same-sex marriage has something to do with its dignity. I realize that proponents of same-sex marriage take open issue with this, but that’s precisely the point.

    Clearly, the idea is not to denigrate people. We owe them all the love which the Lord gives. Rather, the idea is to not be complicit in condoning practices which a voter considers (or not) incorrect. I think you can say (again, I’m keenly aware of the backlash) I don’t hate you, but I’m not going to call this practice (which is contrary to the will of God) something which is in harmony with it. How could I? Me, as a voter, who is fully enfranchised to cast my one vote in favor or against, according to any principle–religious or otherwise–which I choose, can make that choice.

    I feel some concern that there is a kind of modern rush to be approved of as progressive, not just tolerant. I recall the feeling well, as a Mormon attending an ultra-liberal East Coast law school. I’m a little ashamed to say, I worked on keeping my head low. I hope that that same feeling does not impell us to abandon our commitment to the Lord.

    I think Emma has it about right, when it comes to members in support of Prop 8. For me the message is about what the Lord wants from us, and the standard of conduct that he wants us to exemplify in our dealings with others. Love unfeigned is an integral part of that. But so is an unyielding commitment to call good acts good, and the bad ones bad. Even when others disagree.

    When we leave that reservation in search of legal arguments, etc, we are forced into these tedious rhetorical forays. For members, this should not be necessary.

    [sorry our spam filter went crazy today]

  33. 33cowboy IIon 30 Oct 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Mr. Crockett,

    I humbly submit I can raise a child as well as you can. I can maintain a household with my partner with just as much love as in your home. Quit demonizing gays.

    (Note: there is another Cowboy making comments here. I did not know of said Cowboy until I was reading other threads on this website. I wish no confusion and harm to the original Cowboy.)

  34. 34S.M.on 30 Oct 2008 at 10:19 pm

    First, I have a few positive things to say.

    1. Although I was initially disturbed to see numerous websites by church members that are working hard against the current direction given by the First Presidency (not just the Prophet) and Quorum of Twelve Apostles, after pondering it some, I came to conclude that there are some benefits to the world seeing that not all members of the church think alike, nor do they follow blindly.
    2. Like Mr. Thurston, I also do not care for situations when people promote deception (or flat-out lies) for a cause. Presenting inaccurate information is not the best way to further a cause, and leaves the proponent open to rebuttal that indeed hinders a movement.

    I do not know the intents of the author(s) who wrote the “Six Consequences…” document and whether there was any intention to deceive or not. Sometimes people can be incorrect without purposely intending to be so. In any case, I haven’t been basing my Proposition 8 position on the “Six Consequences” document. I think that there are better overall discussion points on the subject, and certainly better arguments in favor of preserving the de facto definition of marriage that has existed for millennia than what the “Six Consequences” arguments present.

    After reading information from Mr. Thurston and listening to a recording of his recent hour-long interview on a Salt Lake City radio station, I think I understand his position and I believe from his responses (written and verbal) that he truly feels he is being true to his conscious and promoting ideals that are according to his understanding of truth and fairness. I appreciate that it is stated that this website “stands in respectful opposition” to California Proposition 8 (as opposed to some opposition which is definitely not respectful).

    Since “fear” has been mentioned as a driving force for and against this proposition, I would like to identify my “concerns” (as a more-appropriate term than “fears” in my case) related to the issue of same-sex marriage:

    1. Protecting the sanctity of marriage

    I will go a step further than many do on this topic. “Marriage” was instituted as a covenant between a wife (woman), a husband (man), and God. According to scriptures, it was instituted by God. To say otherwise seems to mock God. That He is a third partner is frequently forgotten. Who are “judges” to be able to put themselves in a position to speak for God in changing such a definition? God has shown displeasure in the past when his ordinances have been changed by man, and consequences have been severe at times.

    There have been suggestions by many that maybe the “legal” and “religious” aspects of “marriage” should be separated. I would be okay with that. There are many people who do not believe in God or do not wish to make covenants with God in selecting a partner “’till death do us part”. Where these “agreement” relationships are not detrimental to society, I say that such unions be allowed and facilitated, and that such partners receive equal legal benefits. I believe that such legal benefits already exist currently and will continue to exist whether Proposition 8 passes or not, so promoting “fear” that such benefits are threatened by Proposition 8 doesn’t seem warranted.

    2. Understanding that policy and politics unfortunately drives acceptance and permissiveness

    Here, I believe, is a “fear” that is shared by both sides of the argument. On the “No” side, there is a fear that acceptance of particular relationships is largely driven by one proposed sentence. Can one sentence really change the way people think if it is written into a legal document? On the “Yes” side, there is a fear that allowing the term “Marriage” to be utilized for relationships that go against what that term has always implied will diminish the meaning and effectiveness of marriage in society and that it will also promote homosexual behavior such that it may become more prevalent. I believe that the fears of both sides are warranted, although it will take some time. I don’t think that most people will initially think any differently of a homosexual relationship weeks from now than they think currently. However, I see it as similar to the abortion issue, in which public opinion has changed dramatically since the Supreme Court said it was a “woman’s right to choose”. While some see the propagation of abortion as a human rights breakthrough, I see it as a human rights tragedy. The “free will” rights of one person so frequently affect the rights of another. There are many other examples of which policy has driven acceptance and permissiveness, but most of that discussion is for another time and place.

    I agree with Mr. Thurston and others that some of the apocalyptic scenarios that have been presented as potential consequences of allowing same-sex marriages are exaggerated or unfounded. Churches still seem to be able to speak against abortion and other moral issues without losing rights or privileges. However, one potential difference is that Church leaders are not obliged to “discriminate” about whether to perform abortions or not, but they are obliged to “discriminate” whether they perform marriages or not (being authorized to perform such marriages).

    3. I share concerns that are documented in a article entitled “Homosexual Marriage: A Social Science View” linked here: http://www.narth.com/docs/CPASSAmarriage.pdf

    I feel that putting children in the best possible situation to flourish is very important. I recognize that there are bad heterosexual parents and that there are exceptional and loving homosexual parents, but some of the studies that have been done (as mentioned in the above article) do leave me concerned.

    I have a few other comments on the subject:

    1. Predestination is not a true principle

    People are not predestined to glory or punishment. Believing that gays are “born that way and that there is nothing that they can do about it” is essentially believing in predestination. People have or obtain certain predispositions or tendencies (both good and bad). Some relate to genetic make-up, some relate to environment, and some to other factors or influences. Some people just seem to be more inherently compassionate and understanding; some are more athletic or intelligent. Some people physically and mentally struggle with certain addictions much more than other people do; some struggle with selfishness, aggression, violent tendencies. Most that I have encountered seem to struggle with something or another. On this issue of predispositions and tendencies, taking the example of a violent and abusive person, should we say,“That is just the way he/she is. We should accept it and support that person in their violent tendencies.”? Or, alternatively, should we say, “That person is just born that way, so he/she will be subject to penalties and the wrath of God.”? Of course not (on either instance). If Person A takes the first approach (accepting the violent person as-is and not seeing a need for that person to try to change); and Person B takes the approach that they would like to help that person overcome their tendencies and be able to live a more fulfilling, productive, and opportune life, what can be said about Person A’s approach verses Person B’s approach? Who is more “tolerant”? Probably Person A; but who is more “compassionate” and wants the most for that person? Person B. I, for one, am tired of being labeled intolerant when from my perspective I want more real opportunity for people than they may want themselves. I’m now hearing in my head the potential response, “Who are you to tell me that my life can be more fulfilling than it already is?”. Well, I don’t have a good answer for that other than to say that the gospel promises more blessings to you under different circumstances.

    2. According to many scriptures and many prophets, sexual immorality is very displeasing to God, and in fact, any sexual activity outside the bonds of a marriage between a man and a woman is strongly condemned. As with so many of Satan’s counterfeits, sodomy is a mockery and perversion of a beautiful, natural, and God-ordained act. I’m sorry if this conveys images to your mind, but sodomy is dirty – physically and analogously. While attempting to be an expression of love, is it anything more than a contrived confused sexual act? I can understand men loving men, and women loving women. I love both men and women, myself. I would even say that both men and women can be attractive. I know numerous men and women of whom I could probably even “cohabitate” with for the rest of my life; but many of these relationships would not be ideal if they would take me away from my areas of greatest potential and blessing.

    Following up on the “gender attraction” comment, there is nothing wrong with the situation where “boys like boys” and “girls like girls”. That happens naturally, and is even predominately the situation for a large number of formative childhood years. That is not the problem. The problem is when people want to “educate” these children (directly or indirectly) to think that it is “okay” for boys to prefer sexual relations with other boys, at a time when they are not mature enough to even understand the implications of adults having sexual relations; (and yes, I have heard definitive and direct statements from people that have heartily admitted that this is exactly their intention and hope). Furthermore, since there are periods in the formative years of children in which a child thinks the other sex is “gross”, how could we possibly distinguish between whether a child would eventually be considered gay or not? We can’t. It is not until that person has sexual experiences that one can make any definitive judgment about it, so there is the paradox of homosexuality. Does it really exist without sexual preference, which in itself cannot really exist without sexual experimentation? Can people think of themselves as “alcoholic” without ever taking a drink? Seems implausible.

    In any case, I appreciate it when people can discuss things calmly and intelligently. It is interesting to see the two legal partners with such differing views.

    Thanks for considering my comments.

    [Moderator's note: you got caught in the spam filter. apologies]

  35. 35cowboy IIon 30 Oct 2008 at 11:23 pm

    NARTH is not a reputable peer-reviewed organization…it is highly biased and therefore not scientific. Many members of the organization have been reprimanded by scholars and accredited organizations.

    Comparing sexual attraction to tendencies is a telling sign about how you perceive your own sexual attraction. Be careful. You might be suggesting you could be turned gay or you might be saying you had a choice sometime in your past to be gay or not. I doubt that.

    Changing sexual attraction has never been proven. The only options are to be asexual or mask one’s true attraction. In either case, the suppression of someone’s true sexual attraction would be life-long torture. How cruel would it be for someone to ask you to stop loving. If you think you can turn off love and attraction…I pity your partner.

  36. 36S.M.on 31 Oct 2008 at 11:11 am

    Hi Cowboy II.

    Yes, NARTH does seem to think differently about the potential for some homosexuals than other organizations, and some of the conclusions stated in the document that I linked do differ from conclusions that other organizations might present, but many of the studies referenced in the document (that were not done by NARTH) were subject to peer review and were scientific. The data from these studies is revealing and sometimes disturbing, and in many cases it is not difficult to logically glean some of the same conclusions that the author proposes. In any case, what I said was that I “share concerns” with those expressed in the article. My comments were long enough as it was and I thought I would just point to more of my concerns rather than make the post longer.
    .
    Suppressing sexual attraction is something that I think just about every person deals with in one way or another – even on a regular basis. It can be difficult, and yes, sometimes even “torture”. Who hasn’t had a strong attraction and fixation with someone (for instance, a beautifully-featured movie star)? The answer to such attractions is usually not to act upon them to “realize” and obtain the desire. True love requires more than this, as is aptly stated in the scriptures, “bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love”. It can also be “torture” to resist cravings from other human desires. Many people have a very difficult time “bridling their passions” in other areas such as food. Food can be very “attractive” and many people even frequently use the word “love” in regard to it. Yet, it is usually not in the best interests of that person to fully follow through and fulfill every craving, desire, and attraction that is felt in the appetite within them. It takes a more-distanced perspective to hope and aim for long-term joy rather than short-term pleasure. It is definitely a struggle and sometimes it indeed feels like the short-term pleasures that we could get for sure may actually be more beneficial than some unwritten future joy in which we may or may not qualify to receive. To quote the evil Ursula from “The Little Mermaid” – “Life’s full of tough choices, i’n't it?”

  37. 37Carrieon 31 Oct 2008 at 1:09 pm

    I have provided a link to an online book I found. I have only read chapter 5 so far and I have not double-checked the facts, but I found the CULTURAL CONTEXT it provides absolutely fascinating.

    For example, an interpretation that what happened in Sodom was far more akin to aggression in maximum-security prison than anything actually sexual.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=ksWrErBqRVUC&dq=jesus+homosexuality+bible&pg=PP1&ots=9cFk20gxY9&source=bn&sig=bCBf4NlrcYRCCiw9u8h1lAtkE1s&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result

    Enjoy!

  38. 38Troy Westinon 31 Oct 2008 at 2:26 pm

    This is THE most important propposition for Nov 4.. Go out and vote!!! Also, I recommend to EVERYONE to read the post on editorialsection.com http://editorialsection.com

  39. 39Fiona64on 31 Oct 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Dear Carrie et al:

    The Torah teaches that Sodom and Gomorrah were punished for failing to extend hospitality to strangers. In a desert culture, that is tantamount to a death sentence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodom_and_Gomorrah

    Quote:

    Classical Jewish texts do not stress the homosexual aspect of the attitude of the inhabitants of Sodom as much as their cruelty and lack of hospitality to the “stranger.” (See Jewish Encyclopedia on the importance of hospitality.) The people of Sodom were seen as guilty of many other significant sins. Rabbinic writings affirm that the Sodomites also committed economic crimes, blasphemy and bloodshed[1]. One of the worst was to give money or even gold ingots to beggars, but to inscribe their names on them, and then subsequently refuse to sell them food. The unfortunate stranger would end up starving and after his death, the people who gave him the money would reclaim it.

    A rabbinic tradition, described in the Mishnah, postulates that the sin of Sodom was related to property: Sodomites believed that “what is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours” (Abot), which is interpreted as a lack of compassion. Another rabbinic tradition is that these two wealthy cities treated visitors in a sadistic fashion. One major crime done to strangers was almost identical to that of Procrustes in Greek mythology. This would be the story of the “bed” that guests to Sodom were forced to sleep in: if they were too short they were stretched to fit it, and if they were too tall, they were cut up.

    In another incident, Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, went to visit Lot in Sodom and got in a dispute with a Sodomite over a beggar, and was hit in the forehead with a stone, making him bleed. The Sodomite demanded Eliezer pay him for the service of bloodletting, and a Sodomite judge sided with the Sodomite. Eliezer then struck the judge in the forehead with a stone and asked the judge to pay the Sodomite.

    The Talmud and the book of Jasher also recount two incidents of a young girl (one involved Lot’s daughter Paltith) who gave some bread to a poor man who had entered the city. When the townspeople discovered their acts of kindness, they burned Paltith and smeared the other girl’s body with honey and hung her from the city wall until she was eaten by bees. (Sanhedrin 109a) It is this gruesome event, and her scream in particular, the Talmud concludes, that are alluded to in the verse that heralds the city’s destruction: “So Hashem said, ‘Because the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah has become great, and because their sin has been very grave, I will descend and see…’” (Genesis 18:20-21).

  40. 40Frankon 03 Nov 2008 at 6:45 pm

    The 6 Consequences of Prop 8 For the Mormon Church
    (Whether the proposition passes or fails)

    1.) Members Divided
    The church has been weakened from the inside, as the mandate to support Prop 8 has taken a toll on Mormon congregations across the nation, dividing many families and long-time friends. Many church members who are against Prop 8 have felt ostracized, feel disgust that their tithing money is used to support Prop 8, and have felt uncomfortable attending church meetings.

    2.) Few Friends, Many Enemies
    Ask people of foreign countries what they think of Americans and you will not hear them say many flattering things. Similar to the rest of the world’s view of the United States thanks to Bush’s foreign policies, the Mormon Church will be left with the reality of having few friends and many enemies among non-Mormons and other organizations. One can’t help but feel sorry for the difficulties that future missionaries will face when trying to get people to listen to their message.

    3.) Civil Rights – Reputation Worsened
    Before the Mormon Church even jumped in to this election, it was already regarded by most outsiders of having an abysmal track record when it came to civil rights because of their history of not granting timely equality to African Americans and women. Pushing so hard on not granting marriage equality to another minority group will worsen this reputation.

    4.) Wasted Money
    The Mormon Church has spent tens of millions of dollars on the “yes on Prop 8” cause. Much of this money comes from the money that members have paid in. There have been many reports that a large portion of this money went to pay salaries of the few men who ran the Prop 8 campaign and many people feel like this money could have been spent on something more worthwhile like fighting poverty.

    5.) Secret Truths Revealed
    Before this election, most non-members knew very little about the Mormon Church outside of the Word of Wisdom and its history of polygamy. However, during this election, the casual viewer of popular message boards will learn many false rumors about the Mormon Church. However, they can also learn many of the somewhat secret truths that the Mormon Church doesn’t publicize. Even long-time members may be learning some of the controversial aspects of Mormon history for the first time.

    6.) Still No Solutions
    Once the dust has settled from this election, the Mormon Church will be left in the same predicament it was in before the election; without any real solutions for its present and future gay members and their families. As the rest of the world moves quickly from a “just being tolerant of gays” mindset to a civilization that accepts gays as complete equals, the Mormon Church will either have to change doctrine or be viewed by others as an even more fringe cult. It makes one wonder whether entering the political arena by pushing Prop 8 is just delaying the inevitable and that these 6 consequences will be the result of a major miscalculation by church leadership.

  41. 41S.M.on 04 Nov 2008 at 9:01 am

    Frank, in response:

    1. Re: Members Divided
    It is true that certain issues divide families and long-time friends, within the Church and otherwise, but that is not always a reason to not do what is right, to not teach correct principles and to not advise the members to act appropriately. It is inappropriate for you to imply that the members’ tithing money is used to support Proposition 8. You do not know that and it is highly unlikely. The Church is part of a coalition, and people have donated money (but not tithing) to the coalition for the purpose of Proposition 8. I cannot think of a single expense that the Church has had in which it would utilize tithing funds as the source, except for possibly the paper that was utilized to print a letter that was sent to the Stake Presidents in California, Florida, and Arizona.

    2. Re: Few Friends, Many Enemies
    The Church is not a popularity contest. It has many policies and doctrines that are not “popular”. Many people even dislike or disagree with the stand against premarital sex. That does not mean that the Church should cave in and allow “what is popular”.

    3. Re: Civil Rights – Reputation Worsened
    This is debatable. Is euthanizing a person someone’s “civil right”? How about smoking? If so, even when it impacts the civil rights of others? Again, people may disagree with the Church’s position, but “pushing so hard” should not be based on the impact it will have on “reputation”. The Church leaders do what they feel is right and let the consequences follow.

    4. Re: Wasted Money
    Again, it is deceiving to say, “The Mormon Church has spent” to imply that the Church is spending the money when the correct statement would be “Members of the Church spent” (that you later start to imply). The Church, being part of a coalition, does not have total control of how the coalition money is spent. I would guess that the coalition may have made mistakes, like any organization could. The almost-meaningless statement that “this money could have been spent on something more worthwhile like fighting poverty” also applies to the money that has been spent on the “No” side, also. It is not a fair statement to criticize one side of an issue for not “using funds for specific good causes” when the other side is not using their funds for that cause, either.

    5. Re: Secret Truths Revealed
    So be it, but if you want to make this argument, you should have made it regarding Mitt Romney’s impact rather than the impact of Proposition 8. The amount of information that has been requested and that has come out because of Mitt Romney’s campaign for President dwarfs any information as a result of Proposition 8. I’m sure you are aware of that, so listing this as an issue is again seems to be deceptive. Should Mitt Romney not have run for President because of all of the attention that it would bring to the Church? That would be silly.

    6. Re: Still No Solutions
    You should listen to President Hinckley’s talk regarding this issue from 10 years ago. He very succinctly describes why the Church has a position on this matter and what it means (and does not mean) for people that have same-sex attraction. I’ll include some of it below. There is also an excellent document on http://www.lds.org entitled “God Loveth His Children” that is well worth reading.

    The opportunity and potential of an individual is largely up to that individual. The same opportunities and blessings that heterosexuals have are potential opportunities and blessings for people who consider themselves “gay”. The potential is completely “equal” as long as the individual lives the commandments. The Church wants people to receive the maximum blessings that they can receive, but blessings are conditional upon qualifying to receive such blessings.

    Gordon B. Hinckley, “What Are People Asking about Us?,” Ensign, Nov 1998 . In the first place, we believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. We believe that marriage may be eternal through exercise of the power of the everlasting priesthood in the house of the Lord.

    People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are.

    We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families.

    Frank, none of your six “consequences” are valid reasons for not doing what is right. At least 3 of your 6 “consequences” are either not actual consequences, not true, or not directly tied to the Church’s position on same-gender attraction.

    I’m pretty sure that more people using this website (for or against Proposition 8 ) would like to treat the Church with proper respect. That was a stated purpose on the home page. I don’t feel that some of your statements and accusations above are fair or respectful to the Church.

    Some of what you say is valid, though, and I hope the Church and its members can make efforts to repair and heal any problems and wounds that this issue has caused.

  42. 42Bryanon 04 Nov 2008 at 3:53 pm

    I think Frank makes a lot of good points, which could be summed like this: it’s not always easy to do what you think is right. Sometimes you suffer for it. I’m sure both proponents and opponents of Proposition 8 could relate to that.

    I’ll add one more, for fun:

    7.) Members of the Church will have to continue enduring a certain amount of condescending “advice” and “admonition;” schadenfreude in the guise of concern. But what’s new?

  43. 43anonymousactiveon 04 Nov 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Frank, you have an analytical mind that is right on target with this issue. No matter how the vote goes, PR for the church just isn’t looking good right now.

    My feelings of divisiveness include my opposition to prop 8 as well as being a democrat. A double whammy! The anti-obama comments in Sunday School and Relief Society make me feel uncomfortable and ostracized.

  44. 44Amcon 09 Nov 2008 at 12:35 am

    I’m not a Mormon or live in California but would like to make two objective observations about the issue of Proposition 8.

    One, whenever someone cries “Protect the children!” or “Children will be offended etc” what they really mean is “I’m offended”. No one is interested in some grown up being offended but suggest some horror being inflicted on an unsuspecting child. . . Oh my God, look out. Protecting children is commendable, using children as an excuse for your personal outrage is not.

    It’s similar to the complaints against cartoonist John Callahan for his occasionally outrageous takes on the handicapped ( he is quadraplegic so he speaks from experience). The complainers insist they speak for the handicapped and how insensitive the cartoon is even though they are not handicapped. He has never gotten a complaint from the handicapped because they get his black humor.

    Here’s a thought: Don’t presume to speak for others, you are only allowed to be offended for yourself.

    Children are much tougher than we think and often wiser. When my brother was having martial problems, he sat his daughter down to explain to her that mom and dad were having problems but it wasn’t her fault. It was a bit over her head but she realized what he was getting at. “Will I understand this as an adult?” she asked. “Unfortunately you will.” he replied.

    Observation two: The publicity surrounding the LDS supporting prop 8 and the hysterical claims used in the campaign will backfire on the church. A large protest at a church in LA is a sign of the anger aimed at the LDS. You don’t want that or deserve it. If you yell loudly at someone, don’t be surprised if they yell back louder.

  45. 45Franon 09 Nov 2008 at 6:35 pm

    So, Amc what you are saying is that children will speak up for themselves, and make sure they get what they need? So, if I see child porn, I don’t need to be concerned or offended, and demand that we protect children, because a child knows what’s good for him/her and will speak up as needed, right?

    I’m sorry. I do understand your argument that sometimes children are used as an excuse for the things we are bothered by. We should not use others as an excuse for the things we are uncomfortable with. I agree with that. However, there is plenty of evidence (in the psychological research field) that shows how we are influenced by all kinds of tangible and intangible things, and how children are especially vulnerable (while also being amazingly resilient). Because children do not have a full grasp on the consequences of many things in life, they DO need our protection. When and where the protection is provided properly is certainly another debate, but to deride those who worry about moral issues (rightly or wrongly) in order to protect children…well, that’s sad in my book.

  46. 46Amberon 10 Nov 2008 at 12:20 am

    Why don’t we just say that marriage is performed by religious institutions and legal (civil) unions are granted by the government? It seems a shame to me that the mere definition of the word “marriage” had become such a muddle in our understanding of where church and state should separate. My husband and I were married in a courthouse by a judge – we would have a legal union. I expect most married in churches would also file for legal unions. My mother and father recently divorced, but are still sealed by the Church – they no longer have a legal union, but are still married. This would be fair and provide a reasonable distinction between the government and religions’ roles in people’s partnerships. Our law demands equal rights for people regardless of personal choices as long as those choices don’t infringe on other people’s freedom. Marriage – the approval of God of a union – has nothing to do with whether two people should be allowed the privileges of a legal partnership. It’s somewhat foolish that the law has used the word to define the pairings it respects so far.

  47. 47Captain Moronion 10 Nov 2008 at 9:56 am

    We recently put up another essay on our site with such a proposal. please see it at – http://h1.ripway.com/lds4gaymarriage/Separate.htm

    It gives a lot of justification for such a proposal but the essay also lets you “cut to the chase” and see the bottom line.

    We could appreciate all thoughts on it or on anything else on our site

    Thanks

    Captain Moroni
    Webmaster – LDS4gaymarriage.org

  48. 48Carrieon 10 Nov 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Fran: I think you are conflating “marriage” with “sexuality”. From a child’s point of view, “marriage” is something between two grown-ups and they don’t need the details. Comparing same-sex marriage to child pornography misses the point and is insulting.

    Captain: in the Protestant tradition, “marriage” has been a matter of state. Throughout human history, “marriage” has involved two factors: progeny and the wealth to maintain them (and yourselves when you get old). “Marriage” is a secular symbol, too, and I think it would be sad to neutralize that.

  49. 49Franon 10 Nov 2008 at 1:55 pm

    I was not attempting to compare child porn to any kind of marriage, but was rather trying to show that children are vulnerable, and not always aware of what’s good/bad for them, and not always capable to speak up/stand up for themselves. Therefore, the desire/attempt of adults to protect them is a legitimate one.

    If anything was insulting, it was the claim by Amc that children do not need to be protected by adults. While it’s certainly up for debate what children truly need to be protected from (ie. homosexual marriages or not) is another debate, but it’s certainly warranted to claim that children are vulnerable, and need adult protection. The child porn example, was just that: an example to show that children certainly need protection.

  50. 50Carrieon 10 Nov 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Fran:
    1) that is not what amc said
    2) The caregiving adult has the responsibility of determining whether the thing in question could *actually* be a problem for the child or whether that is a projection of the adult’s feelings.
    3) The caregiving adult often needs to explain life’s realities in terms the child is ready for. In this case, that can easily be done without getting graphic.

  51. 51Lauraon 10 Apr 2009 at 3:21 pm

    The National Organization for Marriage is apparently airing a television commercial based on several of the “six consequences” arguments rebutted here by Morris Thurston and others.

  52. 52Sherion 15 Apr 2009 at 5:24 pm

    This commercial is so aimed at spreading fear and discrimination it truly makes me wonder what master these people are serving. It’s very, very sad – and scary.

    By the way, the Sunstone West interviews and videos are great. I’ve sent the links out to quite a few people. Here’s a link to a well done YouTube Video that shows the commerical at the end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egucbj67WSY&feature=channel_page

  53. [...] in public schools and the elimination of religious freedoms. Mormon legal scholar Morris Thurston described this as “untrue” and “misleading” and urged the LDS Church to discontinue its further [...]

  54. [...] Ahem. Here’s an 8-second clip of LDS/GOP pollster Gary Lawrence claiming authorship of the “Six Consequences” Prop 8 flyer: Transcript: “In fact, the idiot who wrote the Meridian magazine article is me. [...]

  55. 55Adamon 06 Sep 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I am an active Mormon. I am mainly conservative. I have been learning of the libertarian views and like the arguments that the Government shouldn’t be in any marriage.

    None of the above matters to me any more than the legal arguments for or against Prop 8.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Letter day Saints put out a letter from the first Presidency stating that the members should preserve the sanctity of Marriage.

    I agree that we have the right to personal revelation. We do.

    I know that even a Prophet is a man with his own salvation to work out, but he will not lead the Church astray.

    Here is the difference that is over looked here. When the First Presidency declares something as one, it is doctrine and the voice of the Lord. I can not Come up with one example where the First Presidency was wrong.

    I think there IS a lesson to be learned from the parable of the ten virgins. The application for LDS members, is that the ten represented endowed members of the Church. Only half were prepared. As we are taught in Primary, Follow the Prophets, they will not lead us astray.

    I find many parallels in the scriptures and pioneer history where “strong members” opposed the Prophets and this lead them to apostacy.

    So as respectfully as I can say it, me and my house will serve the Lord by following his Prophet and leaders.

    The constitution will only function when a righteous people uphold it. Bringing division in the Church will be a stumbling block. There will be nothing gained fighting agianst the Lord.

    Remember the Lord has warned against those who are learned and think they are wise.