Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Utah County Prop 8 Events This Week (+ Musings)

Young single adults (mostly students) in the area have organized some events this week for Prop 8. These are being held on BYU campus, but have no official association with the school -- they are all student-organized activities.

Every day: There will be a booth set up to get CA residents who are living in the area registered to vote and registered for an absentee ballot. The deadline is coming up VERY soon. The booth will be by the West doors of the Wilkinson Center from 11-2 every day. They will have absentee registration card and voter registration cards. If you know anyone in the area who is a CA resident in Utah County and needs to vote, this would be a great place to send them. People can also come help run the booth.

Tuesday (that would be today!): Blogging blitz. Meet in rooms 4824 and 4826 of the Lee library. The idea is to have groups get onto various sites, news stories, etc. and make comments to help people understand why we are supporting Prop 8. More information can be found here.

Wednesday: Speaker and phone banks. At 7pm in the Terrace of the Wilkinson Center (by the Cougareat), Beverly Rice, president-elect of United Families International (UFI), will be speaking. UFI has donated all the money we have needed for this effort. She will be talking about why Prop 8 is so important and monumental. Food and phone banks will follow her address.

Thursday: Phone bank from 7-10pm in room 3222 of the Wilk.

There are many ways we can each get involved in this grassroots campaign as our leaders have encouraged. Tell your friends about Prop 8. Share the new website the Church has created (one of the videos from that site is in my sidebar). Talk about it on Facebook. Write on your blogs. Encourage those you know in CA to vote to support Prop 8.

My musing for the day: I think something that is so important is to make is so very clear that we are not supporting Proposition 8 out of hate or a lack of love. We need to help people understand that we who support Proposition 8 love and care about our gay brothers and sisters. As the Church's website, preservingmarriage.org, states: "We can love someone while still maintaining and advocating our standards and beliefs."

One way we can help people know this is to vocalize our support of the Church's position AND our love and concern for our gay brothers and sisters and their families. Silence in either way can leave people wondering. Let's let our voices be heard, both in support of traditional marriage, but also in support of those who are gay. We *can* do both. And we need to. It's what the Savior would do. Our leaders have made this clear. The Savior always held up and defended and taught the truth, boldly and without apology. But He was there, loving and supporting and reaching out to those who were cast aside by others in society. Let us NEVER be someone who casts people aside. But let our unequivocal position about traditional marriage and morality NEVER be equated with a lack of love. And let us never give someone reason to make that association.


  1. I think something that is so important is to make is so very clear that we are not supporting Proposition 8 out of hate or a lack of love. We need to help people understand that we who support Proposition 8 love and care about our gay brothers and sisters.

    As the old saying goes, "I can't hear your words, because your actions are speaking too loud."

  2. Nick,
    I'm sorry you feel that way.

    I believe this is one of those situations where a key way we show love and concern is to respect each others' agency and effort to be true to ourselves. I should not ask you to change your lifestyle to prove that you care about me, and you should not ask me to stop doing what I believe I must do on this issue to somehow prove something to you. We can care about each other and have different opinions, actions, and beliefs at the same time. To me, it's part of what it means to be human and to be respectful. And what it means to be American. :)

  3. I think you hit on a good point, m&m. Saying "If you loved me, you would do this" is not really love. For either party.

  4. Gosh Michelle I really am having such a difficult time with this...especially after just coming back into the church and praying about this and still not feeling like this Prop 8 thing is ok at all. I am grateful I am not in California but I know this issue will come to all of our states most likely.
    You posted,
    "As the Church's website, preservingmarriage.org, states: "We can love someone while still maintaining and advocating our standards and beliefs."
    And this is where I take issue. We can maintain and advocate our standards and beliefs without forcing them on the rest of the country or state who do not have the same standards and beliefs as us. It's called free agency. We do not impose our religious beliefs on others and let everyone 'worship how where and what they may.' Prop 8 looks to me to be a legal way of making LDS church doctrine become the law of the state. I know there are other church's supporting this but that is what bothers me... it is a religious effort to define something that is religious and make it law so that others who do not believe this way will be held to our religious beliefs! What about separation of church and state?

  5. Steph,
    I understand how hard it can be to sort through this issue and I'm glad you shared your thoughts. It's important to be able to have discussions about this, and I am glad you felt you could share your concerns here.

    Here are my thoughts in return. Consider for a minute the issue outside of the Church's doctrine. Of course, our beliefs as a people and a church influence our participation in this issue, just as any other person will have beliefs and other factors that come into play. But if you read the reasons the Church is involved, you will see that it's far beyond just our doctrine. We have concerns about rights, too, and this really could create some problems in that area.

    To me, a key point to consider is what is happening on a bigger scale, outside of the Church altogether. We live in a democracy, and the majority of people in the country have already made their voices heard on this issue. The majority of states (27, I believe) already have passed amendments, other states (another 17 or something like that) on top of that have passed other measures to protect marriage. The people in CA (not just the Church, but the majority of citizens who voted!) already had voted on this issue as well, and FOUR people (with THREE voting against it, so essentially ONE judge) nullified the voice of the people.

    Add to that the fact that both presidential and vice presidential candidates support traditional marriage and do not want the definition changed.

    Even within the courts, you have a split vote. Of the 21 judges (in CA, MA and Conn), only 12 of them voted for gay marriage. The other 9 did not. That's hardly a slam dunk about what is even legal and constitutional and politically, judicially, correct! Again, that doesn't even consider the fact that the majority of states have already made this decision. There is a collision course ahead as the couple of states who had judges decide they could change marriage come to realize that those gay marriages won't be valid anywhere else.

    People want to make this about gays vs. the Church. But that is simply and totally inaccurate. In fact, if anything, to me, it's the other way around. I feel that the minority, those who support gay marriage, are trying to force THEIR 'doctrine' on the rest of the country.

    To me, that is a key concern about what is happening. Democracy exists to allow the voice of the people, the majority of the people, to have a significant say in things like this. Judicial decision that carries by only one vote, that violates the voice of the people in the state, and that seeks to run against the voice of the people nationwide, is risking and violating principles of democracy, imo.

    You've got to do what you feel right about, my friend, but please consider that there is more to this than just the Church's doctrine. Again, ultimately, this is not a church vs. gays issue. This is so much bigger than just our doctrine. Marriage between a man and a woman as an insitution has been the foundation of society for millenia, and that whether the Church existed or not.

    Again, the people of the US as a whole have already voiced their opinion on this through amendments and legislation nationwide. If we really do respect choice, imo, we should respect the choice that the American people have already made and not allow judges to have the ability to overturn the voice of the people. And we should not invite the political, legal, and social messiness that can result when a couple of states decide to change something that most people think should be left alone.

    Ahem. There are a few of my thoughts to chew on. :)

  6. In 1992 the Oregon Citizen Alliance launched an aggressive anti-gay-rights ballot measure which generated a frenzy of anti-gay sentiment throughout Oregon, and terrorized the gay and lesbian community, resulting in a number of attacks and several deaths.

    Although that was then and this is now, and the two circumstances are different, there is still potential for violence. Even though you and I do not agree on this issue, I want to thank you for encouraging love and respect during the Prop 8 campaign.

  7. Steph,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I understand that you are confused about the Church's involvement when our forebears were persecuted.

    I guess to me one of the best answers to this is from Elder Oaks when he was asked about this:

    PUBLIC AFFAIRS: The emphasis that has been placed in this conversation on traditional marriage between a man and a woman has been consistent throughout. Do you see any irony in the fact that the Church is so publicly outspoken on this issue, when in the minds of so many people in the United States and around the world the Church is known for once supporting a very untraditional marriage arrangement — that is, polygamy?

    ELDER OAKS: I see irony in that if one views it without the belief that we affirm in divine revelation. The 19th century Mormons, including some of my ancestors, were not eager to practice plural marriage. They followed the example of Brigham Young, who expressed his profound negative feelings when he first had this principle revealed to him. The Mormons of the 19th century who practiced plural marriage, male and female, did so because they felt it was a duty put upon them by God.

    When that duty was lifted, they were directed to conform to the law of the land, which forbad polygamy and which had been held constitutional. When they were told to refrain from plural marriage, there were probably some who were unhappy, but I think the majority were greatly relieved and glad to get back into the mainstream of western civilization, which had been marriage between a man and a woman. In short, if you start with the assumption of continuing revelation, on which this Church is founded, then you can understand that there is no irony in this. But if you don’t start with that assumption, you see a profound irony.

  8. Tearing a relationship apart for ANY reason is straight up discrimination! Two committed partners who want to express their love should have that right no matter what! Don't justify your hatred based on your religion.