Virtual Oases XII

News and voices from the week:

Church headquarters has issued an official statement, voicing support for a federal constitutional marriage amendment. Elder Russell M. Nelson joined James Dobson, Chuck Colson, and several evangelical and Catholic leaders in signing this petition. Here is a New York Times article and Peggy Fletcher Stack’s write-up. (Bumper-stickers, anyone?)

The Deseret News been running a compelling series on teen suicide in Utah.

More information here. (Incidentally, one third of all suicides in Utah are committed by gay teens or teens struggling with sexual identity.)

Ann’s thoughtful post on “Believing Again”

Rosalynde’s long-but-worth-it essay on the first six weeks of motherhood: “Insomniac Diary”

New (to me) LDS women’s blog of the week: Mom on a Wire

Deborah

Deborah is K-12 educator who nurtures a healthy interest in reading, writing, running, ethics, mystics, and interfaith dialogue.

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  1. AmyB says:

    I read the petition supporting the federal constitutional amendment. I literally felt sick to my stomach. How do other people’s marriages have any effect on or anything to do with my own? Is my marriage suddenly less valid if two gay people get married? This issue gets my panties all in a bunch.

    I appreciated the link to Jana’s blog. Glad to know there are mormons out there who don’t blindly follow the party line.

  2. Caroline says:

    Amyb,
    I’m with you. I don’t get it. Two gay people marrying just doesn’t devalue or threaten my marriage. It makes me sad/sick that the Church has decided to support this.

    If the church really wanted to get behind something that was truly a threat to families and marriage, how about supporting a campaign against domestic violence? Or child abuse?

  3. D-Train says:

    This isn’t about the family, it’s about redefining morality in exclusively sexual terms. That’s unfortunate, but that’s pretty much the way we see the world in the Church. Having illicit sex or writing an unorthodox book are pretty much the only ways you can get kicked out, short of killing someone.

  4. Tigersue says:

    I think you need to concider where this could lead! If marriage is legal for same sex couples it can also eventually lead to the leagalizing of other sexual problems that you would be horrified to think about. Did you realize at the end of many of the rallys are people who are sex offenders waiting for this legalization so they can start pushing their own agendas. Also there is the problem then with something being socially acceptable, what pressures will be put on religious institutions. Will laws be made to say that since marriages are legal to homosexual couples religions can not discriminate, that the churches would be forced to accept them because they are legal socially. There are many ramifications to think about. I do think compassion and ways to help in society is good, but I think that legalization is wrong, and could lead to many things that one could not possibly even imagine. One of the best Education Week classes I went to was about this very issue and enlightened me in ways I have never thought about.

  5. Caroline says:

    Tigersue,
    I respect your opinion – you are certainly not alone – but I think I just fundamentally approach the gay issue differently. I personally don’t like to think of homosexuality as a sexual “problem,” so I don’t mentally categorize homosexual partnerships with sexually molesting a child or rape. One is a relationship between two consenting adults, the other is violence. So I don’t see legalizing gay marriage as leading to legalizing violent and hurtful behavior. Perhaps you can explain more why you think it would lead to legalizing sexual violence?

  6. AmyB says:

    Tigersue said: “Will laws be made to say that since marriages are legal to homosexual couples religions can not discriminate, that the churches would be forced to accept them because they are legal socially.”

    Churches are private institutions- as far as I know, they don’t have to accept anybody they don’t want. Legalizing SSM would not change that. Drinking coffee is perfectly legal, but people can’t be married in the temple for that “offense” either.

    Consider for a moment, though, how this sounds. . . Churches being “forced” to accept people. I’d personally prefer to be in a church that already accepts all people. They are all my sisters and brothers and I feel deep sorrow for my homosexual friends that feel like pariahs in the LDS church.

  7. Matt T. says:

    tigersue said: “Also there is the problem then with something being socially acceptable, what pressures will be put on religious institutions.”

    Yeah, because social pressure from the uninformed “world” is always a bad thing… it sullies the pure, unfiltered truths of the restored gospel. The world pressured us into giving up the “real” Eternal Marriage (Polygamy), and they pressured us into giving the Blacks the Priesthood. Three strikes and you’re out, so we really need to hold the line on this gay marriage thing. So the best way to do it is to resort to scare tactics by comparing homosexuals to sex offenders. Sure, it doesn’t make a lick of sense, but throw the word “sex offenders” out there and most of the audience will be too freaked out to notice.

    While we’re on this “slippery slope” subject… we sure are lucky E.R.A. didn’t pass because it is likely the government would have forced the Church to give the Priesthood to women, because as you said “religions cannot discriminate”.

    In any case, like you, I shudder to think of the “many things that one could not possibly even imagine” were homosexuals ever given the right to marry.

  8. sarah says:

    Homosexuals aren’t people with “sex problems” — they are regular members of our families, our coworkers, and often our parents or children. They are humans who just happen to be attracted to people of the same sex — big deal. It doesn’t mean their sexual life is depraived or that they lack moral fiber. All of my gay friends who are coupled are fiercely monogamous and have very normal, loving relationships and lives. It’s Colson and Dobson who perpetuate fear and lies about the “homosexual agenda” — none of my gay friends or family have an agenda; they simply want the legal right to marry the other consenting adult with whom they share a life and children. My guess is that most of those who fear homosexual marriage rights don’t have any close friends who are gay and in committed relationships. If they did, they would see that, just as with straight people, gay relationships come in all kinds with all kinds of dynamics. Simply having a SS partner doesn’t make one immoral or dangerous or in any way threaten the rest of us. I am sickened by the Church’s association with fearing hate mongers like Dobson and his pals. Associating gays with people with “sex problems” that threaten society is a huge stretch in my eyes. There just isn’t any evidence to support this theory.