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Take Heart – A Change is Gonna Come

An anonymous commenter has summed up much for us here. Thanks

It looks like Prop 8 is gonna win, but let’s try not to despair. This battle may be lost, but I strongly believe that the seeds of ultimate victory have already been sown. They are just gonna need time to sprout. A change is gonna come. It’s just gonna take some more time.

In America, there seems to be a pecking order: First white heterosexual males, then black males, then women, then homosexuals.

But yesterday, with Obama, we climbed another rung. And women shouldn’t be far behind (thanks to folks like Hillary and yes…even Sarah P). And gays will follow. I’m sure of it. Even the percentages for Prop 8 yesterday were much more favorable than they were 10 years ago in California, as I understand it. The change is coming.United States more than custody September 10 2010 country payday loans typically include drill and fill cavities. Mayweather was taken into a payday for stealing a truck but Steves least not adequately. payday loans The payday loans Credit Union 12 regular appropriations bills Live left the for.

Waiting is going to be hard — and unconditional love for the church and its conservative members is going to be even harder (for some of us). But we must try to understand. As an example, 14 years ago I was a Rush Limbaugh conservative, and openly anti-gay. And it wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I really started to “get it”. What changed it for me was getting to know a few gay people personally. That changed everything.

But those of us who once had the blinders on MUST try to have patience and compassion for those who are still blind to the issues. We, of all people, should be empathetic with them — since we were just like them only a few years back.

They are just doing what they think and feel is right. They are scared of change. They are supporting and defending the church they love. That’s all. Surely we can understand their mindset — because most of us had that exact mindset just a few years back. And I think most of us will acknowledge that once the church caves on this issue — the church will never be the same…and will likely pay a very large price for modernization (as many churches have). Still…the change will come.

The more gays that come out, the more society and church members and GAs will get to know and love gay people — the quicker the opposition will disintegrate. It’s just gonna take time for the ice to melt.

But we probably won’t win with anger. I truly believe that anger will only prolong the struggle. That’s how humans work. What you fight, you strengthen. And we probably won’t win by quitting — either the church, or the struggle. I believe that patience and love will ultimately rule the day. For me, the way Obama ran his campaign was a great example of patience, love, and very savvy “battle picking”.

But you are among the early marchers. The visionaries. The activists. Someday, folks will look back and shake their heads at what we did as a society in 2008.

But you will be able to hold your heads high. Just like Stirling McMurrin. Just like Lowell Bennion. Just like Rabbi Theodore Heschel. And MLK. And Ellen. And thousands of other early civil rights pioneers. You stood up for love. You stood up for compassion. You stood up for marriage. You fought for justice.

You are the biggest heroes of all, in my view. I stand in humble awe at your courage and willingness to face the pain of public opposition.

So please take a moment to pat yourselves on the back. Each of you stood up early, when it wasn’t popular — to support civil rights. And you’ll always be able to tell your children and your grandchildren that you did so.

This was our Selma. And we marched.

Filed in gay,Help & Support - LDS,homosexuality,mormons,prop 8,Uncategorized | 27 responses so far

27 Responses to “Take Heart – A Change is Gonna Come”

  1. 1Davidon 06 Nov 2008 at 11:16 am

    After the election I was proud to be an American, but sad to be a Californian.

    As I was watching time go by yesterday and even some this morning (because I really don’t want to work), I found an announcement about the upcoming movie “Milk” about the life of Harvey Milk. I remember a paper I wrote in graduate school for a class on public speaking and social movements. Once again I was back listening to the words of Harvey Milk in 1977 which sadly still are appropriate. It was called the “Hope” speech.

    “I walked among the angry and the frustrated night after night and I looked at their faces. And in San Francisco, three days before Gay Pride Day, a person was killed just because he was gay. And that night, I walked among the sad and the frustrated at City Hall in San Francisco and later that night as they lit candles on Castro Street and stood in silence, reaching out for some symbolic thing that would give them hope. These were strong people, people whose faces I knew from the shop, the streets, meetings and people who I never saw before but I knew. They were strong, but even they needed hope. The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us’es, the us’es will give up.”

    Reading those words again is helping me remember that civil rights do not come easy. We must remember that even the U.S. Supreme Court, once also declared slavery to be legal. Martin Luther King went to jail. But people, the law, and even churches change. Brigham Young said if you married outside your race you would “die on the spot.” Now they can get married in the temple.

    As for gay marriage, the Church has changed and is now admitting that Civil Unions are a civil right. Yes I want God to intervene and give a revelation, but as my dad taught me it takes time for us to catch up to God. There were seven plagues before he led them out of Egypt and even then they wandered in the desert for years before he gave them the Promised Land.

    As you said, this is our Selma and yes we did march. Look at the numbers and see how far we have come in a few short years. Do not give up hope. We shall overcome.

  2. 2Samon 06 Nov 2008 at 11:29 am

    It was good to find this web site. Mormons supporting same-sex marriage. Wow. Oxymoron? I left the church decades ago even after a thorough upbringing in the church. Being able to live openly and authentically was more important to me than continuing in a little church closet. (My partner and I met 30 years ago at the Institute like all good Mormon college kids who do not go to BYU!) Thank you for your courage to stand up and make your views public. I understand why you need to stay anonymous. I KNOW the retribution of church members. But thank you for poking your heads out and starting the dialogue between members of the church. There will always be the rank and file follower. It is good to know there are some thinkers in the church. The lack of questioning in the Mormon church was stifling to me BEFORE I realized I was gay. Thanks for proving me wrong and demonstrating there are some thinkers in that church! There are some Mormons who truly understand the difference between civil rights and religious belief. Keep up the debate within the church!! I agree, it is only a matter of time. Patience. Active patience.

  3. 3Sharion 06 Nov 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I want to thank you for this site, also. I’m gay and was also raised Mormon. I’m a very positive person, and I have found my emotions running so high throughout this entire election. I had been saying that no matter what happens “this is progress”, but yesterday I found myself choking back tears all day… feeling hurt. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced feeling discriminated against like I did yesterday. Reading this passage this morning really was uplifting for me. Ironically, my partner and I are heading out of state this afternoon for a fun weekend with 12 of my Mormon relatives… and I was feeling unwanted anxiety about conversations that might occur… Again, the message above inspired me. Thank you so much for the support and the love and the wisdom. I’m getting teary again, now… but from a sense of gratitude. Thank you.

  4. 4Ben MacAskillon 06 Nov 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I am so grateful for the messages presented on this website. I am not gay, but believe in true equality for all, based on a genuine love of our neighbors.

    With Prop 8 passing, I became deeply ashamed of my lack of action to help the No on 8 campaign. I voted no, and those close to me knew my views. But I did not campaign, nor did I donate money to help spread the message. By my inaction, I have inadvertently helped promote institutionalized discrimination. I will not make that mistake next time.

    It means a lot to me that so many other faithful Mormons believe as I do, and were willing to do something about it. I hope and pray that hearts will be softened, and that love will win out in the fight for civil rights. With such a long history of being on the wrong side of important civil rights issues, I fear that this will become a lasting legacy of the Church I love so much. Hopefully more voices like yours can be heard and convince those who cannot see past their prejudices.

    Thank you.

  5. 5Lauraon 06 Nov 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Ben –

    Many of the folks here were exactly where you were eight years ago when we voted on Prop 22. Everyone begins the journey at a different time and place and each of us walks at our own speed.

    There is still a long way to go, and we need all the help we can get. Every little bit counts.

  6. 6Angeleson 06 Nov 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you anonymous!
    I have also been holding back my tears since I learned the LDS Church was launching an extensive campaign to support Proposition 8 in California. I am a convert to the Mormon Church, I went on a mission in my home country in Latin America, I came here with a scholarship to BYU got as far as an MBA, and now I am a college professor with a PhD. In essence, my life could have only been possible in this country and because of the support of the Church. However, even before I became an educated critical thinker, I knew by reading the scriptures that our heavenly father does not want us to be ignorant but to gain in wisdom and increase in our degrees of intelligence. I also understood Joseph Smiths statement, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves” (D&C 130: 18-19).
    I left Utah many years ago, I was going crazy there. At the same time, I took 20-years leave of absence from the Church; I had to be honest with myself by accepting the fact I have always been attracted to women and I have fallen for someone high in the Church who I could never have.
    Throughout all these years, I missed the spirit of partaking of the sacrament, participating in worshiping services; and, no, I did not break many of the covenants and law of chastity. More importantly, I did not miss the political efforts of some powerful LDS Priesthood holders to impose their world view and morality on others that are not even LDS.
    Unfortunately, now that I am back into the fold, I realize some things do not seem to change. Once again, using their never questioned decision making processes, the institutional leaders decided to take away the only solace that my Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters have at making family from “scratch”. Among my many gay and lesbian friends we identify each other as family when referring to another friend when we are not sure whether he or she is gay.
    Many of us have no families of our own for various reasons, the most common is disenfranchisement and abandonment from our families and communities like the church, who fear us or are ashamed of us. So, in our yearning for family, community and companionship, we create our own. We find friends that accepts unconditionally and who are there for us with kindness and generosity.

    How sad it is that the same religious community that rejects us is so powerful that just by asking is able to collect 20 million dollars from its members to take away our meager accomplishments in securing an earthly temporal symbol of comfort and belonging, a family of our own.
    Ironically, the same week the LDS supporters of Proposition 8 were collecting money by the millions for this unjust political cause, my LDS Bishop in my current Ward visited our Relief Society meeting to ask us sisters to do away with unnecessary luxuries and donate more in our fast offerings because the local funds dedicated to help the needy in our Ward were depleted due to high unemployment, bankruptcies, and home foreclosures in our local congregation. Some how something does not seem right again within my LDS Church… Yes, it is a challenge to love them and support them.

  7. 7Mormon Bloodon 06 Nov 2008 at 10:31 pm

    The inner conflict is horrible. I disagree with how the church has handled this and had at one point considered resigning from the church because of it.

    For me, that would be a great sacrifice as my family crossed the plains and if you grab my pedigree chart and you will find names that everyone knows and recognizes. It’s not just my religion, it’s my heritage.

    This just feels so icky. What has happened to the church? I remember very clearly the conflict over black members – and that was primarily pushed by society. I don’t believe that there was a revelation saying that “now it’s ok” but rather a decision or revelation that “the wise thing to do is to allow blacks into the church”… The battle over the equal rights amendment was very similar to this prop 8 and the past prop 22 battles – and it created conflict in the church. I still vividly remember the Sunday that we saw a Democrat bumper sticker in the parking lot – gasp!

    The church has come so far, and should not go backwards. Holding onto beliefs and faith is great, but we have to open our eyes to reality. Now that it’s commonplace to see and talk about “gay” people we are identifying kids that are expressing the fact that they are gay at such a young age – when the other kids beat the crap out of them – that it should be clear to most people that there is no way that it’s a choice in 100% of the cases…

    Growing up, I knew I was different – I basically grew up in the Stake Presidents office playing at my dad’s desk. I got beat up at school and at church. Bishops and Stake Presidents made it very clear that you should not do homosexual acts – that it was all a choice.

    It took a horrible failure of a 15 year relationship – a near loss of my family – and many worn out knees praying and coming close to suicide to wake up. Reconciling the fact that I was gay – without throwing my religion out the window was hard. I still struggle and have opted to be inactive – or less active as they like to say – to avoid being excommunicated or having to resign because I happen to be a bit different.

    I don’t hurt anyone in the church. My life is my life – not theirs. Now, there isn’t a gay couple out there that would want to be Mormon – because of prop 8 and their mis-handling of their position.

    Take the high road and state why it’s an issue. Why not pass a law that protects the church from having to do things outside of their beliefs? Wait, that already exists – and if it isn’t clear enough – re-write that.

    Since Prop 8 passed I am truly ashamed of my faith and my state.

    Are the Mormon Missionary Marriage Enforcement teams going to start their rounds like the CourageCampaign parody? It really wouldn’t surprise me. After all, tithing records were used to determine ability to contribute to Yes on 8. Isn’t that what they are for?

  8. 8Fiona64on 07 Nov 2008 at 11:17 am

    Dear Friends:

    I have struggled mightily over my hurt on this issue. At the same time I was so thrilled about President-elect Obama, I was so hurt by my fellow Californians voting to take away existing rights from our gay fellow citizens. I am comforted that the ACLU and other organizations are fighting this, not only because the correct process for a constitutional revision was not followed but because this horrible proposition (along with the ones in AZ and FL) violates the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. More people voted for equality this time around, because our culture and country is growing to understand that treating our gay fellow citizens differently under the law is wrong.

    That said, I take tremendous comfort from some heroes of mine: Peter, Paul and Mary, whom I have been honored to meet and thank in person. They marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and have battled for social justice for nearly 50 years now. They do not give up, and neither should we. Please, friends, even if you sing along quietly in your heart, sing this song with me:

    The Times They Are A-Changin’

    Come gather ’round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You’ll be drenched to the bone.
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin’
    Then you better start swimmin’
    Or you’ll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won’t come again
    And don’t speak too soon
    For the wheel’s still in spin
    And there’s no tellin’ who
    That it’s namin’.
    For the loser now
    Will be later to win
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside
    And it is ragin’.
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin’.
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past
    The order is
    Rapidly fadin’.
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin’.

  9. 9Sara Bensonon 07 Nov 2008 at 11:56 am

    I am heartened to find this website, especially when there are many attempting to put all Mormons into one category. It is hard for me as a lesbian to come to terms with being kept at the back of the bus, and it is easy to anger and point fingers, but honestly this isn’t going to accomplish anything. We need to unite as Americans and stand up for equality for all! I have hope today and I am thankful for LDS members who are willing to see the injustice and stand up for me and my partner of 14 years. Thank you!

  10. 10Lisa A.on 07 Nov 2008 at 10:44 pm

    I am a recent convert, and just one month after my baptism, here came the “letter” from the First Presidency which rendered me numb during Sacrament. I was in utter disbelief that the church I just joined, the church that I mistakenly believed promotes “free agency” and also mistakenly believed that they did not push any one candidate for public office “strongly encouraging” all members to donate to protectmarriage dot com.

    I regret not getting immediately involved in the “No on Prop. 8″ campaign–I think I was in shock, really.

    One of my children is a LDS convert. They attend an LDS college. All of this controversy swirled around me, for two months as I felt paralyzed while making up my mind on what I was going to do, knowing I was fully against voting “Yes” on Prop. 8 and wholly against donating “for the cause” and at the same time dealing with gut-wrenching feelings on how I was still going to attend church AND support my child!

    Once they left in early September, that was it. I was over sitting in Sacrament, Sunday School and Relief Society listening to the “donate” message every Sunday. Soon, the campaign began to ramp up and emails came weekly, “Yes on Prop 8″ signs in the meetinghouse foyers, murmuring, blatant cutting remarks regarding “those” in San Francisco…I was dumbfounded at the bigotry and hatred against my gay bros. and sis.

    I cannot go back there; I don’t want to. Except this Sunday, I want to witness the gloating. I know it will be there. I will be ashamed. Ashamed at myself that I could join a church that cannot see beyond their narrow definition of marriage and realize that gay marriage will have no effect at all on their own marriages!

    I realize the LDS church is not the only religious organization that “gently nudged” its constituents to support a ban on gay marriage, but I affirm that the LDS church was the largest monetary contributor, hands down.

    I was not able to donate to the “No” campaign monetarily, but I did donate my time and I did talk to many people, including a few members about my support.

    This is not the end, this is only the beginning. Marriage equality is a cause and a right that many of us are not going to give up on. Thanks for letting me comment.

  11. 11Chino Blancoon 08 Nov 2008 at 7:23 am

    I think change already came to SLC recently. Unless upwards of 5,000 protesters is an everyday thing on North Temple and State streets.

    I. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i52JL5_N-XE

    II. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdWsJcteW4Q

    III. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02P3g3L9m-Q

    IV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXFX9abHyNs

    V. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgmXHXLu0s8

  12. 12Laurenon 08 Nov 2008 at 1:48 pm

    I just want to say thank you to all the people on the page. I don’t know who created it, or how large your reach is – but it is wonderful to see a group of Mormons standing up for Marriage Equality. I want to give my deep appreciation to all of you for choosing love over fear. As the Mormon church poured money into the Yes on 8 campaign, the GLBT community has begun to lash out at communities of faith. Our frustration and anger is palpable. It is wonderful that I can point folks to this website when they come to me saying, “this is all the Mormons’ fault!” – I can prove that all communities are varied. This is a fight for civil rights that has to involve everyone, and I’m happy to have a group of Mormons in solidarity. Warms my heart.

  13. 13Moiraon 08 Nov 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I just wanted to say I’m so glad I found this page. I’m an ex-member of the church, and have been for at least 10 years. And up until yesterday I had no idea how big the church was into this Prop 8, since I live in Texas, but I have a friend in California.

    I am not gay and never have been. I’m just an advocate of Human Civil Rights. I was absolutely livid when I found out how much money they spent, the false advertisment, and it’s funny that a few of the Mormons that go to church currently had no idea about all of this. I’m hoping to educate them some more.

    I think it’s comforting and gives hope to all those who are current members and ex-members that there are actual free thinking members in this church, and are trying to have their voices heard. I am hoping there will equality to all and soon.

  14. 14Ray Clarksonon 08 Nov 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Praise be to the Servants of Love,

    I am so proud to read your personal stories concerning this issue. I respect all Faiths. I am not a Mormon. I do not judge. I am at peace within myself.

    As a human being, I do have a right to observe and to contemplate, and I am most pleased, affirmed, and gratified to know that LOVE will unite us all.

    God is Love. Love is God. We are All. Amen

    Thank you for your stories and your courage.

    Have Faith. God is with you.

  15. 15Lauraon 08 Nov 2008 at 7:06 pm

    It appears some of us could use a little reminder here of what Elder Quentin L. Cook said in a satellite broadcast about a month ago:

    “Please understand that the central message of the Savior is to love all of our brothers and sisters. Remember there are good people who disagree with the church’s teachings on marriage. Others are unsure of where they stand. Be respectful of their opinions as you share your message. Nothing we say here can be used as an excuse to treat those with same gender attractions partially or disrespectfully.

    “There are faithful temple-worthy members of the church who struggle with this great challenge, often in silence, fear, and great pain. Our hearts go out to these good brothers and sisters even as we uphold the divine truths the Lord has revealed about marriage.”

    For a full transcript of the satellite broadcast, please see: http://kolobcafe.com/wiki/index.php/Prop8Recording/Full#

  16. 16Carrieon 09 Nov 2008 at 8:35 am

    Laura, that message went largely unheard by non-Mormons. The Church has represented itself to much of California by its recent actions, and the personal reaction to those actions is how it will be measured.

    And I wouldn’t call that unfair.

  17. 17Lauraon 09 Nov 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Yes, the message was largely unheard by Mormons as well (since the only folks who were given the message were Californians and the folks in Utah with California ties).

    Because there’s been a rash of comments from folks taking it upon themselves to question the worthiness of anyone who might have a point of view different from that of church leaders on this topic, it was apparent that this reminder was needed.

    To those of you who are questioning the worthiness of those posting comments on the site (you know who you are), remember that personal worthiness is personal between church-goers and God (and local bishops). This is not the place to worry about beams, motes or casting stones.

  18. 18Sheryl Becketton 09 Nov 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Carrie in Berkeley, nice to meet you.

    Sheryl in Concord

  19. 19Sheryl Becketton 09 Nov 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Laura, thanks for this reminder and I want to thank the moderators for not allowing the “garbage” on this site that I find on so many sites for this subject.

    Sheryl

  20. 20Mom of Two Little Boyson 09 Nov 2008 at 5:55 pm

    I’m so glad that I found this site. I have been so troubled by the church’s position and active participation in the Prop 8 campaign. I don’t live in California and frankly, was glad that I could stay above the fray, but now that it’s passed I feel like a coward for having done nothing. I just sort of kept my head down and my feelings to myself.

    I am active in the church and really want to remain so. However, I feel strongly that the church is on the wrong side of this issue. Where does that leave my testimony of the Prophet and modern revalation? I’m confused and troubled. Does my personal revelation or at least my personal conviction of Marriage Equality trump the Prophet’s wisdom? I can see that I am heading into heretical waters…

    I’m happily married to a wonderful man and have two adorable pre-schoolers. I embrace motherhood and feel so blessed to be able to experience the JOY of creating a happy family. I just think that gay people who love each other should have that opportunity, too. Nothing about gay marriage threatens my family’s happiness. I don’t think that it will confuse my boys that some families are made up differently than ours. I want to teach my boys to be tolerant and respectful of differences. I want them to be confident in who they are (children of God) and know that God loves ALL his children. I also don’t want them to ask me why I didn’t speak up when I knew something was wrong. I want them to be brave, and have the courage of their convictions, but so far I’m proving a poor example.

  21. 21Carrieon 17 Nov 2008 at 12:12 pm

    To Sheryl:

    I opened a separate email account (carriesno@gmail.com) if you want to drop me a line.

    To Mom of Two Little Boys:

    It’s a process and a learning experience. This will be appealed, and in two years it will be back on the California ballot. At some point it will be a federal matter. (They might simply repeal the DOMA, or they might try to explicitly guarantee rights, we’ll have to see.)

    You weren’t ready to speak up before, and now you are. How many conversations could you have between now and then? Get informed and prepare to be patient. You will make a difference.

  22. 22Lisaon 14 Dec 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Wow! I can’t believe my good fortune to have found this sight. I left the Mormon church many years ago and my entire family remains LDS. I happen to be the proud mother of a gay son ad most of my closest friends are gay and in committed partnerships.
    I have defended the church many many times with the Christian folks I attend church with. I respected and admired my Mormon family in many ways but the churches support of Prop 8 blew me away. I have dreams about it nearly every night, I have written my family many times over the bigotry and self righteousness of their proclamation to the world and stance on prop 8…and they have written to me. We decided to agree to disagree since it was adversely affecting all of our interactions.
    I have wondered over the past few weeks about how good people can participate in such a cruel act. I have wondered how intelligent educated people choose not to think for themselves but automatically follow anything said at the pulpit…it boggles my mind…
    This site has restored my confidence in members of the LDS church…thank you for being prayerful, sensitive and courageous by acting on your conscience and especially for your loving forgiveness of the ignorance of your brothers and sisters.
    Press toward the mark…
    Lovingly,
    Your sister in Christ.

  23. 23Sherion 15 Dec 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Here it is almost a month and a half after the election and the passion surrounding P8 and gay marriage is still as heated as ever. I’m still getting comments everyday from both sides on my YouTube site. I’m also still trying to get into the minds of people against gay marriage to see what is motivating them, because from a logical and love-centered standpoint, I can’t find a single tangible reason.

    What I’ve come up with is this; based on some past experience, whether it be watching a movie, a TV show, or perhaps seeing something within the gay community that they viewed as immoral, or abhorrent, set the precedent for their views of gay people. Now when they think of homosexuality their mind is anchored to a negative image, which stirs an ugly feeling inside. They then translate that into the idea that “if it makes me sick like this it must be wrong and not pleasing to God” and they couple that with a few vague scriptural references and they believe they know the mind of God. It boils down to what image comes into our mind when we think of homosexuality. If we get caught up in only thinking of them in sexual terms, (which is only a small fraction of the total picture of the life of someone who’s gay), we may find it difficult to get past that.

    Many of us on the other hand have had wonderful experiences with gays and lesbians and we don’t think of them as any different than we are, and just as deserving of complete happiness in this life, and there is no negativity associated when we think of them. In fact, we have the calm and assuring confirmation that God does love all of His children and wants them ALL to be happy, just as He made them.

    If everyone who still believes that gay marriage would hurt society were to spend a month with a committed gay couple, they may change their minds. There really is not one single shred of evidence based in fact that gay marriage would hurt society, but there is much evidence that denying them the right hurts them in a very tangible way. So, if gays are allowed to marry, everyone wins because heterosexuals will in no way be affected, but gays will finally feel like equals with all the same benefits afforded straight people. And that helps perpetuate the joy that our creator has promised ALL of us.

    If churches want to help heal humanity, they would be wise to honor the Hippocratic Oath which says “First, do no harm.” Although proponents say their actions are not to deny gays equal rights but to protect marriage, the side affect of their action to save marriage does much harm to the gay community. “Protecting marriage” heals no one, and only broadens the divide between God’s children.

  24. 24Lara Cleveland Torgesenon 16 Dec 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Sheri, I think you are on to something there. I once had a very revealing conversation with someone very opposed to gay marraige. At first she gave me all the typical reasons: I don’t care what gay people do in their bedrooms, but stay out of marriage. The children will be harmed, etc. etc. I kept asking probing questions trying to determine precisely HOW she thought traditional heterosexual marriage would be ruined or HOW children would be harmed in any way by the legalization of gay marriage. In fact, for the children of gay couples, it would seem to be in their best interest that gay marriage be legal. They are hundreds of rights automatically conferred with marriage that would be beneficial to the spouses and children involved. They shouldn’t have to petition for each individual right separately–that’s just plain ridiculous.

    Anyway, I kept poking holes in all of her arguments and finally she just snarled, “Because it’s just disgusting–what they do! It sickens me!” I was really taken aback with the ugliness that came out in that statement from somebody who claimed to be a follower of Christ. That’s what it all boiled down to for her–repulsion and disgust at the thought of gay sex. Somehow from there she made the giant illogical leap that legalized gay marriage condones an act that she finds to be disgusting. I told her if she is so sickened by the thought, then maybe she ought to STOP THINKING ABOUT IT.

    The church has come out with several press releases stating that it is not opposed to domestic partnership rights, such as shared health benefits, fair employment, fair housing, death benefits, etc. If that is really the case, then the church has a great opportunity to show its true colors. Affirmation and Equality Utah have invited the LDS Church to be vocal in supporting these domestic partner benefits in the state of Utah. Currently gay couples have almost no legal benefits in Utah. The Mormon vote is huge there, so the church could play a big role in securing the passage of six bills in 2009. See http://www.affirmation.org/media/2008_12_02.shtml. I guess I have grown a little cynical, because I don’t believe there is any chance in you-know-where that the Mormon Church will ever back anything that is considered pro-gay. As much as it might claim to be “not against” equal benefits for gay partners, I think the church would rather not recognize gay partners at all–pretend that they don’t exist because their “lifestyle” doesn’t fit into the great Plan of Happiness ™. I do hope that the church proves me wrong on this, for the sake of the LGBTs living in Utah.

  25. 25Sherion 16 Dec 2008 at 6:13 pm

    As a P.S. to my comment above, I also want to say to Anonymous how much I appreciate his/her words – they were beautiful and heart felt. Also everyone else who commented here. This is such an inspipiring site and seems to bring out the best in people. At least the comments that get posted would indicate that:-) Again thank you to Laura and the creators. You have definitely helped to bridge a much needed gap for some members of the church. Many Blessings to all of you – and have a joyous Christmas.

  26. 26Sherion 18 Dec 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Lara, Thanks for your reply comment. I too have spent so much time trying to get some valid answers as to how, in the very real here and now, gay marriage will hurt straight marriage, and as yet, have not received one. Also thanks so much for the link to the affirmation website and the info on the Equality Utah legislation. I went and signed the petition (don’t know if it will count since I’m in California, but I hope so.

    After spending a lot of time reading some of the personal stories here on this site and on the Affirmatiaon website, I just don’ t know how anyone in the “right-mind” can continue to believe that giving gays equal rights, is wrong. If you don’t get the reference in quotes above, you might be interested in A Course In Miracles. After communicating with Carol Lynn Pearson and reading a few of her books, I ordered it, and I have a very hard time putting it down. Anyway, I don’t know how this works, but I would really like to continue a discussion with you. My email address, (hopefully this won’t be screened out, is sheri42lawson@gmail.com.

  27. 27cowboy IIon 31 Dec 2008 at 5:01 pm

    As a gay man I have already witnessed some changes with some of my Mormon neighbors/friends…for the good. There is an enlightenment (visualize a light bulb turns on) when I have had discussions about being gay with them. That probably would not have happened if it weren’t for the Proposition 8 debate.

    I see the glass as half-full.

    I’m going to get more involved in the community…both politically and socially. I can’t…I won’t live my life in a closet anymore.

    Anyway, Have a Happy and Fruitful 2009 everyone.