8/14/2008

Love Makes a Family


Love Makes a Family, originally uploaded by waiting line.

I believe in equal marriage rights.

What makes me incredibly sad about the resources that are being mobilized in California to fight and defend Prop 8 is that those same resources could be far better used for addressing the very real social problems that tear apart families.

Those thousands of dollars that the LDS church is soliciting from its wealthier members, what if they were devoted to fighting poverty (particularly hunger and lack of healthcare), war, racism, and environmental crises. Just imagine the difference that just a few thousand dollars could make.

This issue makes me so weary. Why do we keep fighting to remove rights from people instead of working together to make this world a more loving place? I know I'm hippie-dippy-idealistic. But I just don't get it. How does fighting gay marriage "protect families"?



UPDATE: One reason I feel so strongly about this issue is that it is so similar to anti-miscegenation laws that were in place not so long ago. Given that my spouse and children are products of mixed-race marriages (duly noting the slipperiness of racial categorizations even as I use them so glibly here), I'm grateful to those who fought to change these laws and make inter-racial marriage both legally and socially acceptable. I am thrilled that I had the right to marry my true love and desire to others to have that same right.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm always amused that it's ok to have a game show about marriage, but gay marriage is somehow making a mockery of the institution.

Anonymous said...

Well said anon!

Ms. Moon said...

Amen, sister. I've written several posts about the same subject, albeit in Florida, not California.

Melissa said...

I guess I must be a hippie dippie idealistic, too.

Look at that picture...looks like a happy family to me.

Angie Terrell said...

As a lesbian who has been with the same person for 12 years and is planning to have kids, thank you for your blog post and for all the positive comments. It really helps to have people openly supporting gay marriage.

mrs. hall said...

looks like a happy family to me too . .


angie, I hope you and your partner have lots and lots of beautiful children and I know they will definately be loved. . isn't that what all of us want anyway . to love and be loved. .

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1 -Who said it is ok to have a game show marrying people off? Certainly not any leader of the LdS church as I recall.

As to why it is dangerous - because marriage should be the foundation of our society. Not to say that historical treatment of marriage is great precedent, but those who hold to moral principles don't always look to what has been done to define the correct course of action.

In the last millenia of history, murder, rape, slavery, have formed the foundation of western society. Does this mean that we are prevented from pointing out human rights abuses in China?

Similarly, the abuses that marriage has been subjugated to does not disable the moral imperative to correctly define marriage.

Also - restriction of gay marriage is not a civil rights violation. Any male has the right to marry any female. Black, white, young, old, french or Californian.

Anonymous said...

Before I spoke rashly and potentially rudely, I should have taken a breath. I appreciate this blog and the point of view it takes. I enjoy reading it. I do not necessarily agree with the conclusions to be reached from the point of view, but I don't think that is necessary for any person. It is too bad that both sides of this issue conflate the position of those individuals on the other side. You are either for gays or against.

I am sorry that those who would favor gay marriage cannot understand how someone who opposes the governmental recognition of gay marriage isn't necessarily homophobic or intentionally antagonistic. Similarly, I feel sorry for those who cannot recognize the sincere nature of those who feel that gay marriage is important. I don't think we all have to agree, but we have moved beyond a dialogue into a debate.

I did find one interesting link that discusses why the state recognition of gay marriage is a deleterious thing.

Christopher Bigelow said...

Jana and readers,

Did you get a chance to read the LDS Church's very compelling press release yesterday on why they are fighting gay marriage? I'd like to see if you can rebut any of these points. Unless you read and respond to this brilliant new statement of the LDS Church's case, you really don't have much of a position, in my opinion. A personal opinion, fine, but not a real position that holds argumentative weight.

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/the-divine-institution-of-marriage

Kristen said...

To Jana, I say r-amen.

To anonymous, I say this: I vote that government have no hand in ANY kind of marriage. Government should only recognize civil unions - whether of same- or mixed-sex couples. Religious institutions can take care of marriage, however each religion decides to define that term. A couple can choose whether to have one or both (or neither) arrangement(s), as they see fit.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you object to that scenario.

I live in Massachusetts, which hasn't disappeared into a sink hole and fallen down to the depths of hell since gay marriage was legalized. And as far as I know, Mitt Romney's marriage is doing just fine.

(And just for the record, I'm straight and have no intention of ever getting married.)

Kristen said...

I read the press release. Tell me how you NOT trying to legislate your religious beliefs on others.

And tell me why your church should retain its tax-exempt status.

(And what exactly did Jesus Christ say about gay marriage, or homosexuality in general?)

jana said...

To Chris Bigelow and those who might want to engage with him:

Don't hash it out here--ok?

Chris has made his views quite clear and I have no desire to engage with him on this issue. (I know Chris IRL and know that he loves debating on this topic--believe me that it's not worth engaging in a debate because his mind is already made up. K?)

Like I said in my post--it's really sad that this is becoming such a HUGE issue when there are REAL PROBLEMS that deserve so much more attention.

jana said...

oh, and one more thing about Chris...

I'm not afraid that his (or the church's) arguments against gay marriage are somehow more ironclad than mine for it. I'm just really tired of Chris' rhetoric and don't want my blog to be a platform for his vitriol (so go hash it out at his blog if you want to).

Damaris said...

Hi, I found your blog via Dooce and realized that you are the same Jana that is on bekah's (my SIL) blogroll.

Anyway, I am an active member of the LDS church and it makes me so sad that the church is taking this position. I agree 100% with what you said. If it's any comfort to you there are active members in the church who feel the same way you do and have refused to help or give money.

EMR said...

Great post, Jana!

My brother, who is a grad student at UCI and has been inactive far longer than I (since high school) has started receiving letters from his local ward asking for his support in a "grassroots" work to get Prop 8 passed. He wrote a very polite but firm letter back that if anything, they had only solidified his desire to become actively engaged in making sure this measure does NOT pass.

I am so baffled as to why this is even an issue. You'd think the Church, with a history of clashes with the US government over acceptable marriage practices, would want to back off the issue a bit.

Tanya Sue said...

I am saddened for this issue. The members of the church do an amazing job at being able to pull together and do what their prophet tells them. I have gotten feedback that the church has it's member committed to contribute large sums of money.

Can you imagine if they that same committment to making a dent in world hunger? To making sure every child had their vacinations? With the amount of energy and money they are spending they could make an enormous impact on helping some form of human suffering.

Janelle Higbee - Pleasant Grove, UT said...

The whole Prop 8 situation breaks my heart, and even as an active, believing Mormon, I have not heard any arguments against gay marriage that make sense to me.

That said: I would like to point out that the LDS Church as an institution is committing vast resources--money, time, people, and all--to global humanitarian aid, education, and healthcare initiatives. 100% of donations to LDS Philanthropies go directly to the humanitarian aid project of the donor's choice.

A quick overview of the Church's humanitarian services program confirms extensive commitment specifically to emergency response, measles vaccinations, clean water initiatives, wheelchair distribution, vision treatment, and neonatal resuscitation training.

You can read more here:

http://tinyurl.com/5sczh6

http://tinyurl.com/5ay3pa

Please consider making a donation to LDS Humanitarian Services as a way to protest the Prop 8 fight. I will be.

http://tinyurl.com/6ohhf7

Anonymous said...

As to religious beliefs - The mere existence of a religious belief in a person should not prevent them from seeking to have that implemented in government. The separation of church and state established in the constitution is not the separation of religious belief and government. I have a sincere religious belief in the sanctity of life. This moral and religious belief includes the opposition to capital punishment. Should I not seek to oppose the death penalty because I have a religious belief, and might be "legislating my religious belief on others".

The concern, for many, is that support for gay marriage will lead to a situation where those who do feel that gay marriage is appropriate will be forced to accomodate this choice. What happens in 10 years when two men want to get married by the LDS church, and the church refuses? Will BYU lose its Federal Funding? No federal student loans? Will institute programs be banned from Universities? Seminary programs? Deductions for charitable contributions?

While not a perfect comparison, we see this with the Boy Scouts. I don't really want to address the merits, but we see that when a private organization takes a moral stand that it can have negative consequences. Boy Scouts are no longer allowed at many schools, or able to use city facilities, etc.

So its not just about whether neighbors Steve and Bob can get married, and how icky gross it is. It is about the direction our society has gone to force compliance.

I feel horrible using this standard conservative argument, but as one who generally trends liberal, I have serious concerns about the consequences this may have for the LdS church and those who have a sincere belief.

I agree that we should focus on other more important issues. There are people in this country who don't have running water, adults who cannot read. Child obesity, environmental pollution. Not to mention the problems that exist beyond our borders. Don't tell me to focus on that and not the gay marriage issue, while you focus on gay marriage. Lets all join together.

Kristen said...

It is about the direction our society has gone to force compliance.

You're really unbelievable.