Getting Political

Lately, I keep hearing how fortunate I am to be living in a battleground state (Ohio) for the upcoming elections. My vote counts for the presidential election*.

However, I find myself wishing I could vote in California next week instead. I grew up there and helped Proposition 22 pass 8 years ago by an overwhelming majority. It has since been overturned by the state supreme court and Proposition 8 is on the ballot this year so we can get it back on the books.

It’s an issue I care deeply about. So often voting is between two candidates, each with strengths and weaknesses, good ideas and bad ideas… or voting is about issues that don’t sit very close to home. How much money to allocate to road work as opposed to water treatment, or how many signatures are required on an official petition. I know those issues are important to many people, but they aren’t to me and my family. Proposition 8 is the most important thing on CA’s ballot next week and although I know it will affect the rest of the country in a very direct way, I feel helpless out here in Ohio. I’ve donated money, I’m posting my views publicly on my blog (and for the first time, I find myself wishing my readership was larger). 😉

To be clear: I don’t have anything against people who are gay, though I haven’t happened to know very many gay people personally. I feel that committed relationships should have legal rights, hospital visitation rights, etc. I know several pairs of women who live together, as great friends. The women are single, and not gay, but have been friends for decades and are the closest thing to family. I think they should have an avenue available to pursue “committed relationship” rights, as well.

Proposition 8 isn’t about that.

It is about the institution of marriage. I believe that God ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman. Period. Children deserve to grow up in a home with both a mother and a father, wherever possible. Gender is an eternal characteristic and my womanhood and motherhood are very precious to me. I don’t want a genderless society where God-given roles are indistinct. I want my daughter to grow up seeing a clear path to bearing children of her own with a loving husband and father. I think it’s the best way to keep a stable, family-centered society.

The Proposition is short and sweet and you can read it right here:

“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

That’s it. Nothing confusing or malicious. Just a simple statement of the definition of marriage. But it means everything to me, my family, and the future of our culture.

Random Thoughts In My Head Right Now: I’m not saying that gay couples can’t have committed relationships. I have no right to say that, and neither does the government. But a marriage is between a man and a woman. It always has been, and marriages are the building blocks for child-rearing. When we mess with the foundation of society just because we don’t want to step on someone’s toes, I think we’re not being honest with ourselves. “Hey just let everybody do whatever they want” is NOT the reasoning behind America. It was people coming together for a common good and establishing laws and government to help stabilize and direct society in a productive direction. Changing the definition of marriage uproots deeply held religious beliefs and societal norms and to what end?

*Ironically, I still haven’t decided who I’m voting for as both major candidates have significant drawbacks, and I feel like I’m having to compromise no matter which way I vote. But that’s another post entirely. And, that post will never come to be because this blog is almost never political.

Advertisements

About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
This entry was posted in Nothing but random. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Getting Political

  1. Angie says:

    Amen. Well said Annie.

    Like

  2. Zoey says:

    Hey Anne-

    I’m friends with Lisa and have been quite active in the yes on prop 8 efforts here in Ca. (I actually lived in OH for 5 years previously). Thanks for this post and for your support!

    Since you said prop 8’s passing is more important to you than the presidential election (and that you’re undecided) I thought I’d leave this info, if you haven’t already heard.

    There has been quite a bit of confusion here in Ca regarding Obama and Biden’s (did you see the VP debate) official stance regarding same-sex marriage. While Obama says he defines marriage as between a man and a woman, he opposes a constitutional ban (ie: wouldn’t support prop 8). Says he would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment.

    DOMA:
    In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law Public Law No. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419. This is more commonly known as the Federal Defense of Marriage Act or “DOMA.”

    DOMA has two main effects.

    First, it provides that no state is required to recognize a same sex relationship as a marriage within their own state, even if the same sex relationship is called a marriage in another state. (See 28 U.S.C. Section 1738C).

    This means, for example, that if a same sex couple is “married” in Massachusetts, but then moves to Ohio (where the Ohio Constitution bans same sex marriage), Ohio does not have to recognize that “marriage.”

    Second, the Federal Government may not (i.e. is prohibited) treat same sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if recognized by a state. (See 1 U.S.C. Section 7).

    Some important things to think about. If Obama does actually repeal DOMA, that would have catastrophic effects to marriage in our nation. States’ laws regarding marriage would essentially become null and void.

    Whether or not prop 8 passes I believe the “no on 8’s” agenda is to ultimately make same-sex marriage federally recognized and I think they’ll go through the supreme court. Only time will tell.

    Like

  3. Mark says:

    That’s all good and great, but I think you’re dead wrong on a few points:

    1 – You obviously have a strong opinion on Prop 8, but the Presidential election is going to have a far larger impact on your life, whether you like it or not.

    2 – You think gay couples should have the same legal rights and that Prop 8 doesn’t change those, but that is exactly what Prop 8 is about. It’s just a simple statement, but it is a change to the California Constitution, not just a law. So it opens the door wide to allow future changes attacking domestic partnerships and civil unions.

    3 – Protectmarriage.com, the organization behind the Prop 8 movement, has previously attempted multiple times to get rid of civil unions and domestic partnerships. They failed each time, so they are trying a different method.

    This wouldn’t be such a hotly contested issue if it was about a simple definition of marriage. And reading this makes me glad that you’re not registered to vote here, since both sides are depending on misinformation to get votes.

    You’re certainly welcome to your beliefs, but I just don’t understand why you would want to force them on other people by changing the California Constitution.

    Like

  4. beanland says:

    @Mark:

    Thanks for weighing in.

    You might be right about #1, but I don’t think the choice is as clear cut. I know the President has a lot of power to change my way of life, but I feel like both candidates have pluses and minuses, and with my limited view into the future, I have a hard time seeing which one would make things better for our country. So yes, the presidential election is important, but my personal vote isn’t as important to me, because I have misgivings about both candidates.

    2 & 3 – Kind of irrelevant, IMO. Protect Marriage isn’t on the ballot. Proposition 8 is. I’m not really concerned about their agenda for other issues, because I agree very strongly with the only one up for vote right now. You said “it opens the door wide open to allow future changes attacking domestic partnerships”… but the door is currently open to attack marriage. I’d like to close THAT door firmly.

    Similar propositions have been passed in many states and they are generally just to maintain the status quo. They don’t remove rights from partnerships. Rights may be removed by other legislation further down the road, but I really doubt that because I (and most Californians) are opposed to that. But I (and most Californians) are FOR Proposition 8. 🙂

    It is a simple statement, the interpretation of it will be up to the supreme court, and up to citizens of CA as more legislature comes to you for votes.

    You use really charged phrases like “force my beliefs on other people”, so I can tell this is an emotional issue for you. I think “forcing my beliefs on other people” is kind of the point of voting, yes? Of course not with all the negative connotations, but pretty much just getting your voice and your views heard. Anyone who votes or puts a sign in their yard could be accused of doing the same. But I think the commonly held beliefs of the majority of people are the foundation of society. We believe murder is wrong, so we force that belief on criminals. I believe that Columbus Sewer Treatment should get more funding, so I forced that belief on other tax payers by voting to approve the funding.

    Besides, the CA Supreme Court forced THEIR beliefs on an entire state by a 4-3 decision to overturn the 61% vote by Californians to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

    Like

  5. Andy says:

    Government doesn’t belong in the bedroom. I have many gay friends and even gay family members. You just never, ever know. After 22years of man-marriage, my sister left her husband, got a divorce, and moved in with her lover, (an ex-nun!). Was it difficult, traumatic and worse for the family? Sure – but no worse if she’d left for a man. But the government does not belong in her bedroom, either. She should be able to be married if she wants, to her female lover. By the way, I love ’em all dearly, and they’re totally immersed and accepted into our very-waspish-mostly-conservative-mostly-God-fearing-church-going family. That says a lot.

    So, in sum, Prop 8 sucks and I think government should stay out of our bedrooms.

    Good thing we’re expressive people, huh 😀

    Like

  6. beanland says:

    @Andy: Thanks for your comment. I totally agree the government doesn’t belong in the bedroom. People do all sorts of stuff in their bedrooms, married or not (and as you know, I don’t want to know).

    However, this is about marriage. Not sex. Not attraction, but marriage.

    Separate issue, IMO.

    Like

  7. Debbers says:

    Anne, I agree wholehearted with your thoughts and conclusions on this issue, and have had nearly verbatim conversations about this. I wish more people were able to dialogue about vital, personal issues without resorting to anger and disrespect. You and Scott know exactly how to do this. As you know, Scott and I fundamentally disagree on another major political hot button. Yet he’s able to articulate his views, as well as see it from the opposing perspective, without personally attacking the opposing side. This is how these issues need to be addressed. With intelligence and compassion. Then we each head to the poll booths and let the voices of the majority be heard.

    Another great post on your site!

    Like

  8. Mom Walker (Meghan's mom) says:

    Annie,
    It was interesting to read your blog on this issue and see that you are 180 degrees opposite from what Mark thinks. Bravo to you! My family lives in the San Diego area and fought long and hard in support of Prop. 8
    They passed out signs, participated in rallies, walked precincts and worked to get out the vote. What did they get in return-a big 8 keyed into their car, right above the Yes on 8 bumper sticker. Interesting how they want us to tolerate their beliefs and live style, but are very intolerant if we disagree, even if its civilly and respectfully.
    I don’t know if you have seen on the news what is happening in response to the Church’s support of Prop. 8: Gays and lesbians marched and held a rally in front of the LA Temple yesterday, and today there was a rally and march around the SLC Temple. Both were mostly peaceful. We are not the only church who supported Prop. 8, but we are the one being singled out and harassed.
    Basically it comes down to this-Do you support the Prophet and what he says or do you not? He has spoken and that’s all I need to know. It sounds like you are of the same mind. This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue that will affect the fabric of society and the Church will ALWAYS lead out in support of moral issues.
    Thanks for being strong and letting your feelings and opinions on this be known. Keep up the good fight!

    Like

  9. Hank says:

    As you are probably aware, in the Morman community there are a lot of suicides among gay teens. I’m pretty sure Jesus would have accepted and nurtured them in his time, not cast them away.

    But even if the church cannot accept that someone is gay, allowing the government to do it’s job (for the people by the people) would go a long way in preventing some suicides methinks.

    Not allowing gays to marry is a hate crime. It’s the goverment saying ‘you are second class citizens, not equal to the rest of us’. That’s something the government should not be doing.

    Like

  10. beanland says:

    @Hank:

    Thanks for stopping by. You make a very excellent point about acceptance and nurturing. As Mormons (and human beings), we strive to accept and love all people but that does not mean we accept or embrace sin (in ourselves, or in others).

    Jesus did not teach us to hate sinners, only the sin. He has the great power to forgive and have compassion for people from all walks of life and I believe we should treat everyone with the knowledge that they are loved by Jesus Christ and have the opportunity to be forgiven if they repent. However, if I encourage gay people to marry (by my vote in allowing it), that is encouraging them to commit to continuing to sin.

    I know there are many Mormons who struggle with serious sin (homosexuality, pornography, addiction, etc.) and that this can lead to depression and withdrawal. I hope that the behavior of members of the church does not further discourage people who struggle with sin from turning to God. The members of the Mormon church are not perfect. (And I think that point is sorta obvious and really irrelevant to Proposition 8).

    If a member of our church is unwilling to forsake homosexuality (or any other serious transgression) I don’t see how that person would ever feel truly comfortable at church. Hopefully the members would welcome them, but the Spirit they felt there would be telling them their lifestyle is contrary to the will of God.

    To be clear, having homosexual tendencies or leanings is not a sin, but acting on them is. Any type of sexual relations outside of marriage is a sin.

    I do not believe gay people are second-class citizens. In fact, I support homosexuals having most of the societal “rights” they desire, e.g., being able to visit their loved ones in the hospital and being able to pass on their inheritances to whomever they choose. However, marriage is not and never has been a right. It is an institution and a privilege created by God for the benefit of His children, and He has set the boundaries and rules regarding it. As taught to Adam and Eve by God himself, and reinforced by prophets in every dispensation since, one defining aspect of marriage is that it is between men and women. Homosexual men and women may have very committed relationships, they may have great love for one another, and their relationship may even be exemplary in its foundation of mutual respect, trust, and admiration. However, these relationships can never be marriages. This is not said out of spite or malice, but rather because these types of relationships do not, by their very nature, fit the definition of marriage. As a very simplified analogy, an ice cream cone is made of ice cream, and a cone. If you’ve got two scoops of ice cream without a cone, it’s not an ice cream cone. If you’ve got two cones without ice cream, it’s not an ice cream cone. You can try to convince yourself otherwise, but that doesn’t make it so.

    Even taking religion and morality completely out of the picture (which is a bad idea for society as a whole), precedence has been set that the government DOES have a hand in marriage, such as determining who qualifies to marry and under what circumstances. For example, a minimum age may be set, and someone still legally married to one person may not marry another person. I cannot legally marry a first cousin, a half-brother, or my dog (ok, that’s a stretch, but still true). I can legally marry any human of the opposite sex who is of age and who does not fit one of the criteria mentioned above. That’s not to say those restrictions will never change (because obviously people were given the opportunity to vote on changing restrictions this past week), but just to make the point that the government is already involved in regulating who can legally marry. You might claim that not allowing you to marry your sibling is a hate crime, for instance. The government does deny you that “right”. You could make a case that you would make a loving couple and raise good children. But society has spoken and they’ve said that’s a bad idea.

    Our society and government have already done much to demean and destroy the sacred bond of marriage and its importance in creating stable societies. However, this does not diminish the truth of the fact that the strength of a nation is found within the walls of its homes. Homosexual relationships are not a strong foundation upon which any society can, or should, build. All children have the right to be reared in a home with both a loving mother and a loving father. Sadly, in a world full of failed marriages and broken homes, this is often not the case. However, this does not mean that we should stop striving for the ideal. Allowing gay relationships to be defined as “marriages” would demean the role of both father and mother in the home. Allowing these relationships to be accepted as “marriages” would, in fact, utterly destroy the fabric of our society.

    The recent passage of proposition 8 in California is actually a perfect example of “for the people, by the people” put into practice. A very vocal minority of the population tried to convince the rest of the population that they were being denied rights and that anyone that didn’t agree with them was a bigot and an idiot. Gratefully, the majority of voters disagreed, and the voice of the people has stated that marriage, at least in the state of California, will be defined as union between a man and a woman.

    Like

  11. Jessica says:

    I stumbled on your blog yesterday and was immediately sucked in and I’ve read from the most recent post all the way back to here….I’m really disappointed :o(

    I was raised a member of the LDS church until I was in High School but am now completely non-religious for many reasons, but this subject is one that really reinforced my belief that no organized religion is right

    As a strong believer in the separation of church and state, I think the church was way out of line going to the extremes that they did to get all of their members to vote to take away rights of other people by passing Prop 8. I don’t believe that its fair/ethical to pull out all of the stops by bringing out people who couldn’t care less about the government to vote just to force your religion on others. I like to think I have an open mind but I can’t see it as anything but religious manipulation where it doesn’t belong…in our Government.

    I don’t know what makes anyone think they are so special that they deserve claim to a word just because of their sexual preference or Religious beliefs. The “sacred bond of Marriage” makes me laugh out loud. I’m sorry but in this day and age there is nothing sacred about marriage any longer.

    Since you still have your sacred Temple Sealing all to yourselves, I really don’t see why the church should have anything to do with this issue. How does it affect you personally in any way? Honestly?

    Like

    • beanland says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to write. Without getting into it too much, I want to point out that the outcry against “religion” tends to be a blanket way to say someone disagrees with the morals or ethics of another. A non-religious person who believes gay marriage is immoral (or just a bad idea for society) is allowed to vote the way they want on the issue, and be active in encouraging other members of their community to do the same. A non-religious person who believes that we should give more funding to public schools is allowed to vote the way they want and encourage others to do the same. However, when a religious person who believes gay marriage is immoral and a bad idea for society wants to vote and encourage others to do the same, there is a strong backlash. Why is that?

      I also take issue with this statement you made: “in this day and age there is nothing sacred about marriage any longer.” The sacredness of marriage is not dictated by the age in which you live, but by He who created marriage. I agree that our society today doesn’t give marriage the reverence it deserves but societal whims have never dictated what is true (and thank goodness for that!)

      I was a bit confused about your statement that we have our temple sealing “all to [ourselves]”. You also have access to it, as does anyone who believes in the teachings of our church and obeys them.

      Finally, to believe that the lifestyle choices of others don’t affect me and my family is just silly! I have no control over the individual choices people make but boy, if there is public policy being made about what is appropriate and encouraged behavior in my community, I hope I’ll always be first in line to make my voice heard.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s