More Mormons for Marriage: All You Need is Love….

Four* LDS people discuss their feelings about Prop. 8. We welcome submissions of other videos expressing respectful opposition to LDS church involvement in California’s Proposition 8, or Arizona’s Proposition 102.

*Around a month after these four videos were posted, two of our guests were contacted by their local church leaders, and those local leaders asked the posters to quietly remove their videos from the internet. The commenters were led to understand that posting their video commentaries – these exact videos – were not compatible with holding temple recommends. As a tribute to Valentine’s Day 2011, they’ve returned their videos to the internet, and we’re happy to re-post them here at Mormons for Marriage.

Welcome Back!

Claire:
Carlton:
Mel:
Randy:

Filed in Help & Support – LDS, mormons, prop 8 |

29 Responses to “More Mormons for Marriage: All You Need is Love….”

  1. 1Carolynon 25 Sep 2008 at 8:15 pm

    It is so refreshing and a relief to hear members of the church speak positively regarding gay marriage. I appreciate all of you speaking out and influencing people to support gay marriage.

    Thank you for renewing my hope in our fellow beings in the LDS Church.

    Carolyn

  2. 2Lisaon 26 Sep 2008 at 9:12 am

    Thank you all for having the courage to stand up and speak out for marriage for everyone. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

  3. 3Michael C Hansenon 05 Oct 2008 at 10:46 pm

    My wife and i are students at BYU Hawaii, we recently had our bishop read us a litter over the pulpit that asked us to contribute to the Prop 8 initiative. We were both shocked and appalled. To make matters worse, no one in our ward seemed to think there was anything wrong with this and were very positive on the message that day. I thought I was losing my mind. I felt my faith in this church had been Hijacked to push a political agenda that was so misaligned with the message our savior gave to us about loving one another.

    I cannot thank you all enough for sharing your thoughts and feelings here. It is nice to know that we have some allies.

  4. 4Lin Hendersonon 06 Oct 2008 at 1:27 pm

    This morning I read the article about the Church’s stand in opposing Proposition 8. I am an “inactive” member of the LDS church, but my daughter and her family are actively involved in the church. I have one grandson who is a return missionary and one who is serving at this time. I support all of their activities and allow them to believe as they wish. My choice to continue to be a member of the church, but as an “inactive” is because of the church’s stand on issues such as this one.

    I strongly believe that marriage is a civil right. If a religion wants to take a different position and their members agree, then I do not have a problem with the church believing as they wish. But in this case it goes directly against the basic principle of Separation of Church and State. I see it as no different than the laws against inter-racial marriage or the previous belief in the Church that black men could not hold the priesthood. It is basic discrimination at its lowest form.

    In one of the videos I watched one member commented that this type of proposition is “a slippery slope” and pointed out that the government could take a position against something the LDS church strongly believes in. I think the members should be concerned about how the Southern Baptist Conference came out in opposition to Mitt Romey and the Mormon church. This group of people have actively tried to take control of the Republican party and I believe that if they were to go unchecked they could easily become religious extremists.

    I am please to see that not all members walk lockstep with the Church beliefs and commend those who publicly speak out. My one last thought is for everyone to carefully consider their choice in this Presidential election and the fact that three seats on the Supreme Court could be appointed by the next president. For me the risk of future decisions that could take away my individual rights and choices based on religious beliefs of extremists with power is too great.

  5. 5Emily Hayeson 08 Oct 2008 at 12:49 pm

    All I can say is thank you. You said it way better than I ever could have. I feel the same way as you. I really feel betrayed by the leaders of the church and feel that they are abusing their power. I have a hard time not losing my faith in the church which its supposed inspired leaders are doing things that I know are wrong. I am not really sure what to do at this point. Do I stay or do I go? I think for now I will be on a break.

  6. 6Tim Hunteron 09 Oct 2008 at 2:26 am

    I’m not sure I should bother writing a long post since you only post the comments that agree with your view (I’m sure you’ve received hundreds that don’t and I don’t see one) but I felt I had to say something.

    I do love and accept all kinds of people. I have many friends who have “come out of the closet” over the years. They’ve all remained my friends (over the years I’ve tried to keep in touch with all of my friends as much as possible). I want them all to find happiness in this life and happiness the next (the same as anyone else). I have yet to hear from any of my friends that homosexuality lead them to more happiness. But I have become very familiar with the stories of horrible sadness, guilt and shame they’ve felt. I’ve watched friendships lost, families torn apart, lives consumed and ruined. I truly wish I could take that pain away from them. No one should have to feel that way. The problem is those feelings don’t just come from other people, they come for within as well. Homosexuality interferes with one “fulfilling the measure of (ones) creation and (finding) happiness there in.” There is no happiness to be found there only darkness and sadness. I’ve had a couple of friends who have returned to heterosexuality after a few years because they “just want to be happy again”.

    I’m not sure what you mean by our church “accept gay marriage” in the future, do you picture our church conducting the sealing of gay couples in the temple? How does that fit into what you know of the plan of salvation? How could that ever lead to exaltation as we know it? I’m not sure how any of this could really fit with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Can you honestly say you prayed about this issue and still feel like you are on the right side of this battle? I’m amazed that there is any one who has “the same faith” I do that could have such a different view of who Jesus Christ is, what he taught and died for.
    Please explain.

  7. 7Greg Neilon 13 Oct 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Tim, you seem to be under the misconception that Homosexuality is a choice. Certainly the church’s position makes much more sense if it is. But the reality is that it’s not. I can’t answer to the people you know, since they’re not my friends, but my observations have been different than yours. My gay friends who are in committed relationships are every bit as happy as my straight friends in committed relationships. They have the same ups and downs, the same struggles, the same feelings. The ones who grew up LDS are much happier being who they are instead of forcing themselves into some damning condition of celibacy and loneliness imposed upon them by the church.

    If homosexuality, as you say, “interferes with fulfilling the measure of ones creation and finding happiness therein”, then why doesn’t God make gay church members straight? After all the prayers and pleading and blessings and tears and trials… I have yet to hear any story of a gay man or woman being “healed”. Perhaps fulfilling the measure of creation for a homosexual is to build a life together with someone they love… of the same sex.

    I absolutely see a future where we accept our homosexual brothers and sisters in the church who are married. It doesn’t even take a radical change in doctrine. All the church has to do is recognize that homosexuality is not a choice, and it is not changeable. The concept that man is not meant to be alone applies to everyone, not just straight folk. The church can even start by saying that married homosexuals are welcome in full fellowship in the church, but that we believe their marriages are for time only, and that God will “cure” them in the hereafter. That’s a step in the right direction.

    At some point we may even get past the idea that we have to have celestial heterosexual sex to make spirit babies, and that’s why only heterosexuals are in the celestial kingdom. But one step at a time. I really don’t see any of this happening for a long time, especially the way the church is digging in their heels now. But maybe in 50 years. I hope I live long enough to see it.

  8. 8Wendyon 14 Oct 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Tim, I appreciate your eloquent and loving words. I support proposition 8, but I frequent this site to get a feel for what others are feeling so I can better understand their point of view. I very much agree with you and the more I study the other side of this issue, the less I understand where church members that oppose this proposition are coming from. I don’t feel that the church is imposing its morality on anyone at all. This is not a campaign to stop homosexuality itself. This is about the institution of marriage which is fundamental to not only our doctrine, but to our society. In changing the definition of marriage, you are granting new rights, not protecting existing ones. Every man has the same civil right to marry one woman and every woman has the same civil right to marry one man. If your lifestyle is such that you choose not to exercise this right it doesn’t mean it’s being withheld. Changing this definition absolutely opens the door to any and all definitions of marriage. There is enough noise out there as it is without the ambiguity of what a marriage means to add to it. We can stand up for our doctrines and love our neighbor at the same time. That is what I strive to teach my children every day.

  9. 9Captain Moronion 14 Oct 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Wendy – Every man has the same civil right to marry one woman and every woman has the same civil right to marry one man.

    CM – Wendy, please compare and contrast these 2 paragraphs. Which one is justified and which is a denial of rights?

    When gays ask permission to marry, government officials suggest that gays don’t deserve “special rights” just for them and if they want the benefits marriage, that they marry someone of the opposite sex like everyone else. The gays will say that since they are not straight, that that doesn’t make sense. The official may tell the gay that they CHOOSE to be gay and that America won’t provide gays with “special rights” based on their lifestyle choices. What gays do in the privacy of their own homes is one thing, but why should American society, built on monogamy, have to change to accommodate gays’ chosen lifestyle? The gays may also say that they pay taxes and their tax monies are being used by the government to give government benefits and protections to straights while they are denied those same benefits and protections. Click here for a list of these rights. Their claims fall on deaf ears because they CHOOSE to be gay rather than marry an opposite sex partner.

    When Mormons desired to practice polygamy, US officials suggested that Mormons didn’t deserve “special rights” just for them and if they want the benefits of marriage, that they practice monogamy like everyone else. The LDS may have said that since they are not strictly monogamists, that that doesn’t make sense. The government official may have told the Mormons that they CHOOSE to be polygamists and that the United States won’t provide Mormons with “special rights” based on their lifestyle choices. What Mormons preach in the privacy of their own homes and churches is one thing, but why should American society, which was based on traditional Christianity (which preaches strict monogamy), have to change to accommodate the Mormons’ chosen lifestyle? The Mormons may also have said that they paid taxes and their tax monies were being used by the government to give government benefits and protections only to monogamists while they were denied those same benefits and protections. This fell on deaf ears because they CHOOSE to be polygamists rather than being monogamists.

  10. 10Wendyon 14 Oct 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Captain Moroni –
    I can see the point you are trying to make, but consider that the United States didn’t provide special rights to the church based on their choices. Polygamists in Utah lived underground for years. Eventually the prophet denounced plural marriage seeing that it would be the downfall of the church if they continued a practice that went against the law of the land. Also in the early days of the church, plural marriage was only practiced by select members. It was a prophet then who counseled the members, many of whom left the church over that counsel, and it is a prophet now who is counseling us. And we are being couseled, not commanded.

    In addition, I am not trying to imply that homosexuals CHOOSE to be gay, only that because they are gay, they choose not to enter into traditional marriage. Some do choose to enter into a traditional marriage. Their rights are equal.

    Just to be clear, this is not my primary reason for supporting prop 8, but it is one of the reasons why I feel that this is not a civil rights issue, but a moral one. I don’t mean to thread-jack and turn this into a debate. I have a lot of love for my neighbors and I know we will get through this as members of the church and come out stronger and hopefully more loving and supportive toward gay members of the church.

  11. 11Emilyon 14 Oct 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I respect that some of you support proposition 8. That is your choice. The real issue I have is that the church is taking half truths and pushing members to promote these scare tactics in order to have proposition 8 passed for their own political reasons. I believe that the church should stay out of politics and should not encourage its members to spread half truths and lies. This is why I haven’t been to church in the past 2 months. I cannot reconcile the fact that the leaders of the church are abusing their influence.

  12. 12Captain Moronion 14 Oct 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Wendy –
    I can see the point you are trying to make, but consider that the United States didn’t provide special rights to the church based on their choices.
    CM – That’s right. The US didn’t. LDS CHOSE their lifestyle. If they wanted to be considered married, they could choose to be monogamists. We LDS just wanted to be considered as married as typical mmonogamists.

    … we are being couseled, not commanded.
    Cm – If it was just counsel, then why are the members in CA asked to send their donations to a site other than the Yes On 8 address? The members are to put their stake and ward on the slip so that stake presidents and bishops will get reports back on who donated what. This is an obvious strong arm tactic. Will members who don’t donate be released from leadership callings…wwweellllll….could be. Perhaps during their next Temple recommend interview when the bishop asks if they sustain President Monson as prophet seer and revelator, he’ll pull out the donation report and ask the interviewee why they didn’t donate or donated less than the bishop “suggested” would be an appropriate amount. There is NO reason for such reporting unless consequences for not donating are a realistic threat…real or perceived. Many leasers are calling this a tet of people’s faith.

    In addition, I am not trying to imply that homosexuals CHOOSE to be gay, only that because they are gay, they choose not to enter into traditional marriage. Some do choose to enter into a traditional marriage. Their rights are equal.
    Cm – Those paragraphs contrasting polygamy with same-sex marriage are on our site. there is also a 3rd paragraph about Christians in Saudia Arabia going to a city hall trying to get a building permit for a new church. The official asks why should Christians get special rights and if they wanted to worship God publically, they could go to a mosque like everyone else…yada yada yada. Are Christians’ rights here equal with Muslims?
    in all 3 paragraphs, government officials are asking people to deny who they really are in order to get state sponsored perks. All 3 sets of people CHOOSE to act in the politically uncorrect behavior. Should people REALLY be punished for CHOOSING objectively benign behaviors that the majority dislikes?

    Just to be clear, this is not my primary reason for supporting prop 8, but it is one of the reasons why I feel that this is not a civil rights issue, but a moral one.
    CM – of course it about civil rights. We are taking away a civil right that they currently have (in direct contradicition to D&C 134:4 and 1 Cor.10:29). Church leaders vehemently denouced those who opposed their politically incorrect version of marriage for denying them equal rights. We’ve switched sides. The persecuted and now the persecutors.

    I don’t mean to thread-jack and turn this into a debate. I have a lot of love for my neighbors and I know we will get through this as members of the church and come out stronger and hopefully more loving and supportive toward gay members of the church.
    CM – Fat Chance. There are several posts here and on other places like signingforsomething.org which tell how this campaign has caused people being estranged from their parents/siblings/etc… During the 22 campaign, there were suicides by gays. With the church being THE driving force behind prop. 8, the Church will get the rep of being extremebly anti-gay. Look at the division it’s caused here. What is it like in families that have a gay member? Won’t there be a lot of members in that ward that will condemn the family if they don’t support 8? You bet. The members who know the gay person will likewise get criticized for not having enough faith if they are anti-8.
    The church should simply have restated the Proc. on the Family as being our position on the matter. our active involvement is splitting families, wards, will harm missionary work with people who saw no problem with gays being married, and will leave a bad taste in peoples’ mouths for decades to come, etc…
    All of that, plus being contrary to scriptures makes 8 the embodiment of evil. Write me at lds4gaymarriage@hotmail.com if you want to take this discussion off-line. Thanks for listening.

  13. 13Susanon 20 Oct 2008 at 9:42 pm

    http://www.hcn.org/issues/40.19/prophets-and-politics?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email

    Is it possible to oppose prop 8 and also support Religion?

    Apparently Kim B. Clark (President of BYU-I) doesn’t think so. I find this level of overblown demonizing (on both sides of the issues) very troubling… Would just hope for more from everyone. Thinking about writing him a very respectful letter.

  14. 14Megon 24 Oct 2008 at 10:10 am

    I too am a supporter of Proposition 8, and I don’t find it appalling that the Brethren have felt compelled to take a stance on the issue; 13 years ago in the Proclamation to the Family, the First Presidency clearly stated what the doctrine of the Church is regarding the family, gender, and marriage, and then exhorted: “We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.” It seemed fine in print, but now that we have actually been called to do this, it seems to be a shock to many.

    I don’t doubt that there have been divisions in ward and families over the issue of gay marriage. But didn’t Christ Himself say that His ministry wouldn’t necessarily result in temporal peace?

    “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son aagainst the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” Luke 12:51-53

    Just because an issue is divisive doesn’t make it evil. Christ loved all, and promised peace to those who followed Him and kept His commandments. That wasn’t necessarily peace in the world, but peace in Him. He loved those who sinned but did not condone the sin.

    I do find it troubling when we are insensitive to the feelings of those around us and when half-truths, and un-truths, are perpetuated. Unfortunately, much of this has happened among well-meaning members that aren’t fully informed on the issues and don’t understand the law behind the claims being made. It is important to note that in all of the commentaries and broadcasts in which the brethren have spoken out on gay marriage, they have expressed concern and love for those that struggle with same-gender attraction, but they have also been firm in condoning the sin. There is a delicate balance to strike, and whenever we don’t speak in love, I agree that there is a problem.

    As one last note, in partial response to some commentaries that I have read on this site, I realize that asking a person to forego intimate relationships in this life is a lot to ask, and I admit that I really don’t understand how hard that would be. I can only imagine and empathize. It is tough to understand why our Father allows His children to suffer in that circumstance. I don’t understand it, just like I don’t understand why a lot of suffering is allowed to happen. But my faith is that all that we sacrifice in this life will be made up a hundred-fold and more. We’ll have peace in Christ through His Atonement if we seek to keep His commandments, including the law of chastity, which requires that we have sexual relationships only with our lawful husband or wife in heterosexual marriage. Blessings will be multiplied for those who keep those covenants with sacrifice, but that peace and those blessings won’t necessarily come in the world; they will come in Him, according to the will of Him whose ways are not my ways, and whose thoughts are higher than my thoughts.

  15. 15Karlan Juddon 26 Oct 2008 at 11:12 am

    I just wanted to add my voice to the many who are thankful for this website. I am a gay man, and I was recently contacted by a Sister from my mission. I decided I should go ahead and tell her that I had left the church and come out as a gay man. I was nervous, but knew she was a loving soul. Sure enough, she was very sympathetic and directed me to this website. I was thankful to watch the videos that are posted.

    I am from one of those big Mormon families. Most of my family knows that I am gay, but I have only talked about it with a few of them, because it’s just too uncomfortable. I hope with time that will change, as I know that we have a foundation of love that can overcome these things.

    Thanks again. I do believe the Church has overstepped by participating in this political movement and aligning itself with those who seek to divide and conquer. The church does have a history of love ministry, and I hope it will re-focus its efforts there, because so much love is needed in this world.

  16. 16marieon 26 Oct 2008 at 2:01 pm

    thank you to the courageous saints who have made these videos. they have given me the courage to vote my conscious by voting NO on proposition 8, despite heavy pressure from within my ward and stake.

  17. 17Scott Oberton 30 Oct 2008 at 10:14 am

    Thank you all so very much for coming forward and expressing your compassion for your fellow man. I have always had a love for the the LDS church, even though I grew up Catholic. One thing that always kept me away was their doctrine and views against homosexuality. However, it’s always been the saints of the LDS that have embraced me as a human being. You should all be proud of Choosing the Right and speaking out by letting others enjoy life the way you do. God did give us that right, but we still are all of his children.

    I just want to thank you for being you and because of your courageous acts you have continued my hope that the LDS church is still all about it’s people. Good, enriching, loving compassionate people who follow the Lord. I have been blessed by having lot’s of Mormon friends in my life and all of them are just like you. Regardless of where the church stands on prop 8, you are all the ones that lead the way.

    Once again, Thank you and God bless.

  18. 18Kindraon 31 Oct 2008 at 1:56 pm

    I am a child of God who loves the LDS gospel with all my heart and who has a very strong testimony that it is true. I love the Book of Mormon. I know that Joseph Smith was and is a true prophet. I do not understand all that the gospel talks about but I do have faith that I will understand it piece by piece as the Lord sees fit to help me understand it. I have a very strong testimony that our Savior lives and more importantly that He has a love for each and every one of us that is so strong, that we in our state of being human, will never be able to completely comprehend. I also have a strong testimony that we are not meant to be perfect in this life. We have been sent here to learn, gain understanding and wisdom. Those virtues can only be truly gained through experience. And experience only comes through trial and error and we could only be tried and create error through our human experience. I know with all my heart that no matter what experience or trial we face in this life, if we do our best to deal with it with the help of our Savior, deal with it and face it with love and the idea that there is something to be gained from it that will help better us as an individual, that we will gain the knowledge and wisdom to allow us to be better people. And when we are better people with knowledge and wisdom, we will have a better capability to see everyone around us as other children of our Heavenly Father who are trying to do the best they can and who also just want to be loved and accepted.

    I grew up in a ward, neighborhood, and family where it was normal and common to always judge everyone around you. I knew it wasn’t right but I started to do the same thing. Then as I grew older and started exercising my right to free agency, I realized that I had been judging people for the very same things I was doing and experiencing. I just wanted to be loved and accepted just like everyone else and I chose to go about getting that love and acceptance the way that I saw fit was best for me. I realized that everyone else in this world was doing the exact same thing; they just chose to go about it in a different way than I was and I had the nerve to judge them. Every single one of us does and will and is making mistakes whether we consciously chose to make them or whether we didn’t know until after the mistake was made. Very rarely are these mistakes made with the intent of harming others or the world in a way that people like Hitler intended. It takes a lot of conscious thought, commitment and effort to cause that kind of evil in the world. Everyone just wants to be loved and everyone is just trying to do the best they can to make it in this life. We all have our own set of personal and unique trials that we have faced, are facing or will face but each of us is dealing with them the best and only way we know how.

    I don’t know why I am attracted to other women but I do know that it is not something that I chose. I would not wish that kind of struggle on anyone. I have tried to fight it and choose to be straight several times even to the point of suicide. I didn’t find my peace and happiness until I went to a past bishop of mine and explained my struggle of not being able to change my sexuality but still having a very strong testimony of the gospel. That night I received a blessing from him that only reconfirmed my love and devotion to the gospel and at the same time find peace with who I am as a lesbian. But most importantly that night I realized for the first time, that my Heavenly Father and my Savior still love me with the same immeasurable, unconditional love that he has for His children who are attracted to members of the opposite sex. I also learned that night that I needed to have faith that it will be sorted out and dealt with at a different point and time by the appropriate person and that I am to live my life the best way I know how despite the churches stance and points of view on homosexuals. And I am doing just that. I’m not in the closet about who I am but I’m not on a rainbow rampage either. I am in a loving, committed relationship with a wonderful, hard working woman whom I feel very honored and blessed to share my life with. We share the same religious beliefs about the church and she really is my perfect other half. We are not out trying to recruit others to believe and live as we do. Like I said, I wouldn’t wish the struggle of homosexuality on my worst enemy. We go to work, go to school, and yes, go to church on Sunday and we live our lives the best way we know how. We do what we can to help others out in times of need and are happy, productive members of society. Nothing that we do or say is in anyway shape or form, threatening the sanctity of marriage or the family unit. What is threatening the sanctity of marriage and the family unit is by far greater, more important matters like infidelity between spouses, pornography, fathers and mothers neglecting to spend time together as families to strengthen the bonds of their marriage and their family ties, parents refusing to talk to and be honest with their kids, parents prioritizing worldly possessions and events above their families and children, the filth on television, in movies, video games and the internet, parents abusing each other and their kids and fathers and mothers choosing drugs and alcohol over their loved ones. But where is the money that should be poured into those causes?

    I know that whatever happens with Proposition 8, is what is supposed to happen. We may not know the reason for it but I know we will eventually when the time is right. But it doesn’t matter if it’s passed or not. It still doesn’t stop me from having my testimony and loving the gospel right along with loving my partner.

    “When we forgive our loved ones, we are also forgiving ourselves and we are choosing love over anger and regret. And that is truly divine.” ~ Dr. Laura Berman

  19. 19Shannon Leeon 15 Nov 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Of course the Church has a right to express its views and doctrine on the covenant of marriage. They have a right to teach it in their chapels. But they have no business trying to insert their religious views into the Constitution. If they had simply said to the members, “You know the issue at hand. We ask that you sincerely pray about it, and encourage you to then get out there and exercise your civic duty and vote your conscience,” I would not have had a problem with it at all.

    But like many expressions here, I was floored at the level of involvement in a matter which affects the civil rights of citizens, some who are in the Church, many who are not in the Church, or may even be athiests. What on earth is the Church doing getting so directly involved in the laws of the land? I am really struggling to come to terms with this. I’ve been a member for over 30 years and this has been truly faith shattering for me.

    I’ve always held my agency as most precious and sacred to me. I have been shocked and dismayed by this entire episode, and yes even feel betrayed in some ways as well. I am deeply saddened that any members of the Church have been made to feel like the enemy, or apostate, if they felt they could not support Prop 8. This has divided members and families – not united them. I’m so grateful to realize that I’m not alone. I thought there was no one that I could talk to in the Church about my feelings.

    The Church is a religious organization. The fact that it would insert itself into political matters to this degree has me genuinely confused. Have we not always been taught that they do not get involved in such matters? I’ve also learned that this is not the first time this has happened, which upset me even further. They’ve just never been involved quite to this extent before.

    At this point, I don’t know where this is going to leave me. Do I leave? My trust in my leaders has been shattered. How does one willingly walk away from their Salvation? But how do I stay, knowing that I’d feel like a hypocrite if I did? I am truly frightened, and I honestly don’t know what to do.

  20. 20Jeanie Mortensen-Besamoon 15 Nov 2008 at 10:03 pm

    #19 Shannon Lee–

    Only you can decide what is the right path for you. But there are many of us who are willing to be a listening ear or to share with you what our paths have looked like based on the decisions that we made. Some of us have walked away from the Church. Others have stayed. Many of us have given “admin” our contact information and permission to forward requests for direct contact so if you want to talk to someone on this list directly, check to see if an email can be forwarded to a specific individual.
    I’m someone who left the church in 2000 after Prop 22. It was difficult, but I don’t regret the decision. I don’t feel like I walked away from my “Salvation”. I decided that it was more important to live my life like I preceived Christ did…helping others in the “here and now” rather than worrying where I was going after I died. The change of focus has really been quite liberating. I think that I can honestly say now that I believe the world is a little better place because I was alive. I never felt that way when I was a part of the church.
    Listen to the stories of those who have stayed in the church too. You’ll be able to decide which path will be best for you.

  21. 21Markon 19 Nov 2008 at 2:09 am

    I’m not sure if Wendy will be re-visiting this site after so much time has passed since the election but one thing that she wrote that really stood out as erroneous was her comment listed below:

    “In changing the definition of marriage, you are granting new rights, not protecting existing ones.”

    This seems to be a rampant belief among many members of the church. I’m a gay mormon man who is legally married to another man and who is lucky enough to have a good and open relationship with both of my parents who are active in the church. During a visit to them in Utah this week a discussion inevitably arose about Prop 8. We discussed it civilly at length and they were stunned to find out that Prop 8 was a proposition written to strip same sex couples of EXISTING RIGHTS. It is not a proposition to grant new rights. It is a constitutional AMENDMENT. They, like Wendy, thought it was a campaign to legalize same sex marriage. Prior to prop 8 same sex marriages WERE ALREADY LEGAL. My marriage license was obtained legally and my wedding ceremony performed by an officer of the court.

    I’m curious to hear if Wendy truly believed that Proposition 8 was penned to change the definition of marriage to grant new rights to same sex couples. If so, where did she hear this? This is absolutely incorrect. It’s a definition change to STRIP AWAY EXISTING RIGHTS.

    I seem to have found this site after most of the traffic has slowed down but would live to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this seemingly common misconception.

  22. 22Shannon Leeon 19 Nov 2008 at 10:34 am

    Hi Mark. That’s an excellent way of putting it. I hadn’t stopped to think of it in quite that light before. You’re right though. I think that most people’s perception is that they were trying to grant marriage to gays, in lieu of it simply being a civil contract “as currently constituted.” Or so they thought. They will often say, “Why can’t they simply be happy with a civil contract? It’s the same thing,” to which I’ve always said, “Well if it’s the same thing, then why not call it what it is, rather than trying to make yourselves feel more comfortable by calling it something else?” Anyway, when you put it the way you did, I realized that I already knew what you are saying to be true, but it hadn’t quite clicked in my mind like that before.

    Jeanie, I just made myself a shannonlee1959@hotmail.com address. Thanks for your kind words.

  23. 23Franon 20 Nov 2008 at 8:47 am

    Mark, while I see your point, I think it’s still not a 100% accurate presentation of the situation. Initially, way back it was legally not possible for homosexuals to marry. Then it became a legal possibility that got shot down in 2000, then was overturned, became legal, and now was made legally not possible again through proposition 8. So, while I agree that gays are now being stripped of a right they had, this right wasn’t (legally speaking) there all the time. therefore I think the claim that new rights are granted is also valid, though I think it would have been more valid at the point when homosexual marriage became legally available for the first time, rather than now with Proposition 8.

    Just a thought…

  24. 24Markon 20 Nov 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Fran, thanks for your thoughts and comments. Yes, I agree, with you that there’s confusion surrounding the back & forth on the issue where the courts are concerned. You’ve illustrated my point better than I could have. However, we can’t completely rely on backtracking through the history of any civil right to base our current decisions or viewpoints on. I believe we must rely on the situation as it currently exists. Do we agree or disagree with the current law and do we want to take steps to change or uphold it? The current situation is that the courts deemed that marriage is a civil right that by it’s very nature was too basic and integral to the country’s citizens to allow for it’s denial to any singled-out group of people by a simple majority vote. This is why the courts are hearing the arguments to have prop 8 overturned. Our country’s history of civil rights is heavily peppered with court rulings that have favored against the majority opinion. Integration, interracial marriage, and even the abolition of slavery were not backed by the popular vote of those states and communities which were forced by the courts to adhere to them.

    Again, thanks for your thoughts. I’d love to hear more of yours. I’m very happy I found this discussion group, which allows for DISCUSSION (imagine that!). So many of the other websites I’ve been to leave me with such a horrible feeling of despair and disgust after reading the venomous comments people (from both sides of the issue) make from behind the anonymity curtain of the internet.

    I look forward to continuing this discussion with any interested parties.

  25. 25Lara Cleveland Torgesenon 20 Nov 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Yes, I think you are right. Many people weren’t really aware of the distinction. Prop 22 was bad enough–trying to pre-empt the legalization of gay marriage. But Prop 8 was much worse–taking away a hard-won right for marriage equality. I think of the 18,000 gay couples who were married during the brief window it was legal and my heart breaks for them. What will become of those marriages? I think of the desperate pleas: “in lieu of wedding gifts, PLEASE donate to No on 8. The greatest gift we could have is to have our wedding take.”

    I’m so saddened to watch as the religion I was raised in–the one that taught me about the importance of committed, loving family relationships–morph itself into something I no longer recognize or want to be associated with…. the face of homophobia. There are so many things we could do to support and strengthen families. Spending millions of dollars and countless volunteer hours in support of a political measure to strip gays of marriage rights is repugnant to me. I fail to see how it protects other marriages or strengthens families in any way. Rather it breaks hearts and polarizes family members, church members, and community citizens. I cannot convince myself that such a path is morally correct or in any way associated with the divine.

  26. 26Maryon 23 Nov 2008 at 7:34 pm

    I am relieved to discover this website. I fear where I live I am one of the scant few church members in my ward who feel that the passage of Prop 8 was wrong.

    Today our bishop offered a few words regarding Prop 8, tinging his talk with over-reliant pathos that demonized the gay community. He spoke repeatedly about tradition of the law. Does that mean that laws should never be questioned? The heartfelt dedication of thousands who fought against laws such as the Jim Crow laws forged the way for integration and protection against those being discriminated against for the color of their skin.

    No, I do not agree with fighting hate with hate, and am thus disappointed by the explosive reaction against the church in California and the like. But I also do not agree with the victimizing stance our church has taken up against the detractors of Prop 8. By breaking the bonds of legal unions between gay families our church does not promote tolerance and understanding.

    The stamp of heterosexuality does NOT equate itself with wholesomeness and it is a blind farce to propagate marriage between one man and one woman as such. Who are we to force our brand of marital sanctity on others? Heterosexuality is not a prerequisite for creating a healthy, happy family. I still stand for separation of church and state.

    Thank you again for your inspiration. I am comforted to find like-minded members who clearly see the fault in the church’s influence in the passing of Prop 8.

  27. 27Johnon 12 Jan 2009 at 4:44 am

    I am a teenager living in Australia but I watched closely as Prop 8 unfolded and I was very upset and disappointed to find that it had passed. I would just like to say that I have been so relieved to have found this site, it assures me that there are religious people who will show compassion and respect for all people regardless of religion or gender. I am so very glad that there are people who look at me and other homosexuals as law-abiding human beings that do breathe the same air as everyone else.

    I’ve known that I am a homosexual since before I can even remember, and it has been very hard sometimes. It’s a battle of self-denial and being told by the people around you that you are not normal. I have tried to change myself and I have tried to tell myself to be “normal” but I cannot, and this upsets me even more. It’s not easy living a life that you do not want to live sometimes, and it hurt so much to know that one day I would have to apologize to my parents for not being able to produce grand-children for them, and knowing that they may not see me as their son anymore.

    I want to personally thank every Mormon or religious person who has spoken out against Prop 8 in the past. Thank you for being compassionate, respectful and open-minded. Thank you for promoting love to all people, and thank you for speaking up against the removal of marriage rights to homosexual Californians. Thank you for helping society be that little more accepting of the other person and that other member in the community. Thank you for bringing awareness to a problem that still hurts and effects so many people. I appreciate it, and I am sure everyone does.

    I hope that one day when I am a bit older and ready to marry, I will be able to marry my boyfriend and adopt a child and live a normal life just like so many other people can. It will be hard because marriage isn’t legal between two same-sex couples in Australia but I know if these rights are given to Americans then Australia may one day follow through as well.

  28. 28trent harrison 01 Apr 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I am a TV producer for a PBS program called Religion and Ethics News Weekly. I am looking for Mormons who do not support Prop 8 and are willing to speak on camera about their feelings. please contact me at
    harristrent@yahoo.com
    this is posted on april 1 2009

    thank you, Trent Harris