Before I begin, I want to remind all that the purpose of this blog is to expose people to the various perspectives held by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). My view is not the only one among LDS people, even though Church doctrine will always proclaim that Marriage is between a man and a woman.
This post is about my perspective on the recent Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage across the whole United States. I remain firm in my view that Marriage is between one man and one woman. I am concerned that the Court’s ruling has serious negative implications for our country.
My view may be considered “old-fashioned,” especially now, but it is not bigotry. Let me be clear: I do not hate gay people. The definition of bigotry is “intolerance toward people who hold different opinions from oneself,” and I still like people who may disagree with my opinion. In fact, I have both LDS and non-LDS friends of the opposite persuasion — who have overlaid their Facebook profile pictures with a rainbow, posted pro-gay marriage statements, and called June 26 a “happy day.” According to LDS Apostle Elder D. Todd Christofferson, as cited in this Salt Lake Tribune article, Mormons can hold the view that gay marriage is okay without jeopardizing their membership in the Church, as long as they do not advocate against the Church or seek to draw others away from the Church. Although I’m really surprised that some of my LDS friends are celebrating gay marriage, that’s allowed, and by the way, we’re still friends.
Anyway, here are my thoughts on same-sex marriage.
I believe Marriage goes beyond a social statement. Marriage is not about becoming more accepted by society. That is not the point of Marriage.
The “Love Wins” hashtag seems to miss the mark. Certainly, gay people may have love for each other. But Marriage is more than love. As Elder Christofferson said of Marriage, “It has never been just about the love and happiness of adults.” Rather, Marriage is “a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind.”
Marriage is bigger than individual rights and preferences. Marriage is bigger than me, than my spouse, even bigger than the two of us, because Marriage is about Family.
Marriage is the framework for families, the building blocks of society. Study after study shows that Marriage between a man and a woman provides the most ideal setting for raising children. This argument is not new.
The Church forewarns several adverse effects on children everywhere because of same-sex marriage legalization: “erosion of social identity, gender development, and moral character”; no choice in school curricula about sexuality; and “more difficult to engage in wholesome courtships, form stable marriages, and raise another generation imbued with moral strength and purpose.”
In addition, much could be said about the threat same-sex marriage legalization poses to religious freedom: loss of tax-exemptions, loss of church-run adoption agencies, loss of job stability because of disagreeing with same-sex marriage, etc. (For a comprehensive overview of the effects on religious freedom, see the “How Would Same-Sex Marriage Affect Religious Freedom?” section of the Church’s Divine Institution of Marriage document.)
What’s done is done I suppose. So what can I do about it now?
Though same-sex couples may be allowed to “marry,” I will teach my children the absolute, God-given truth that Marriage is for a man and a woman. Then, and only then, do sexual relations have God’s approval.
I will equally teach my children to be kind, compassionate, and civil to all people. I will educate my children on the viewpoints and issues at hand. They will run into discussions about it, there is no doubt. I will encourage them to stand for truth with confidence and clarity while being tolerant to those with different opinions.
I will help my children come to know their loving Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ, Who help us resist temptations and provide strength and stability in a world of shifting values.
I will strive to strengthen my own marriage to provide a secure home environment for my children to grow up in. I plan to show by example a happy, healthy heterosexual relationship.
I will continue to educate myself about religious freedom and act to protect it. I will vote against and speak out on matters where I feel religious freedom is threatened. Likewise, I will support nondiscriminatory efforts in things like employment opportunities and equal housing (just as protected by Utah state bill 296).
These are my deep-felt convictions. I felt compelled to write, to add my voice to those who proclaim that same-sex marriage has not been unanimously accepted even though it is now legally condoned. I love all people, including gay people, but loving them doesn’t mean I need to support gay marriage.
Note: Some may want to counter my views as expressed here, and you’re welcome to do so. But please keep it civil, or your comment will be removed — not because you disagree, but rather if you are disrespectful (see comments policy on the sidebar).
If you’re interested in some sources that have informed my opinion, see these:
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “The Divine Institution of Marriage” (and its cited references)
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”
- American College of Pediatricians, “Same-Sex Marriage: Not Best for Children”
- Bruce C. Hafen, “Marriage, Family Law, and the Temple,” J. Reuben Clark Law Society fireside, January 31, 2014 (begins around 29 minutes)
- D. Todd Christofferson, “Why Marriage, Why Family,” Ensign, November 2014