Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Proposition Eight and Marriage

At the risk of sharing a bit too much of myself with my audience today I decided, instead of posting about the unjust story of Rumpelstiltskin, I would talk about a current issue.  That is gay rights.  First before anything else I would like you to know that I fully support gay rights.  I think that we as law abiding citizens should all share the same rights as other people.  There should be no discrimination between people in matters of employment, rearing a family, or privileges and rights offered by the government to a person.  However there is a place where I draw my line.  It is in religion.

As I mentioned in another post recently I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (in other words a Mormon).  And as many of you know in the Proposition Eight controversy many members of my church donated money to the cause of seeing Gay Marriage blocked in the state of California.  In 2010 it was overturned and then people appealed it.  And yesterday that decision was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California.  Which means it is finally truly legal for homosexuals to marry in California.  The entire issue of Proposition Eight has caused a great deal of challenges in the homes of many Mormons.  Even in my home.  My wife entirely believes that gays should have the right to marry.  I don't.

Most of the difficulty of the issue comes from the idea of whether or not marriage is a religious term or a legal term.  Because if it is meant to be a legal term then, of course gays need to have the right to marry and you cannot deny them that.  It would be a gross violation of civil rights.  And this is exactly where my wife and many people in the LGBT (or Lesbian-Gay-Bi-sexual-Transgendered) community are.  Because it is a legal term to deny them the right isn't only unconstitutional, but it sends us back to hundreds of years in our treatment of people in our nation.

I believe that marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman who are joined in a holy union before God.  It is a religious ceremony and I would prefer it to remain that way.  However because of the nature of how our country was founded and has grown, it is no longer simply a religious ceremony as I would like.  It is so riddled with political and legal rules that it cannot ever be simply a religious ceremony of the union between a man and a woman again.

Do not misunderstand me, I do not mean to say if a church decides they desire to endorse a man and man or a woman and woman relationship that it is wrong.  I am saying that I personally don't believe in that.  There is a huge difference between those two concepts.

So now with all of this legal mumbo-jumbo concerning marriage and civil unions, I find myself wondering how in the world do we make this just?  How do we make this fair?  Gays can't get married in every state, and civil unions aren't accepted universally to my knowledge either.  And because I want the world to be a place where we can accept the diversity and uniqueness of everyone in the world, I need to have a solution to this current problem.

So I decided that we should abolish the legal function of marriage and instead institute civil unions throughout all those who are currently married.  This would do several things.  It would have all the companies who have their current laws set up to help only those who are married rewrite their rules and laws for their companies in such a way that it would have to include all those who are currently in civil unions.  It would also remove marriage which is a religious term from the vocabulary of politics.  It would return the power of declaring what marriage is and is not to the individual churches and religions themselves.

Personally I wouldn't mind what I am in being known as a civil union legally and a marriage religiously.  It wouldn't change how I feel about my wife.  It wouldn't change my rights or privileges.  It wouldn't make me any less of an Iraqi veteran.  It would enable people who love each other to have legal rights to their children with their partner, to change the way people see the LGBT community in their neighborhood, and perhaps most important teach us as a nation that each of us has an individual worth and value.  That we shouldn't hate each other so much, nor should we fight against each other so much, and instead we should seek to find how we can envelop the entire human family within the bounds of respect, truth, and love.  And I now stand by the overturn of Proposition Eight, grateful that the people of California spoke for what they wanted for themselves.

I chose this as my subject because during my writing today I was writing about a young female warrior who has PTSD (or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in my story.  And it got me thinking about how sometimes people are so misunderstood and especially in that community.  Speaking of communities, perhaps I should share my goals now.

My ROW Goals for the week are now as follows:
1. Finishing a Scene of "Crimes of the Umbramancer" each day.
     I've been searching for a job lately and the same time that is dedicated to the job search is often shared with writing, so I'm behind.  I plan on catching up by this evening however though.  (For the record I got an interview coming up this Monday, which I'm super excited about.  Hopefully this will work out for the best.)
2. Comment on ten blogs in ROW80:
     I've been working hard on this goal.  I'm starting to retweet blogs of things I find important and also comment as much as possible.  I've commented on nobody's ROW80 posts for this week, but a lot of their regular blogs.  I'll take care of this tonight when I post however.
3. No more than twelve hours of video games per week.
     I haven't played anything this week at all.  I'm pretty proud of myself.
4. Bedtime between 11PM and Midnight each day so I can be up at six or seven to take advantage of the early hours to write.
     Of seven days I got about four.  Much better than last week.  But I think I still can do a lot better than that.
5. Walking at least a mile five times a week.
     I've probably gotten to this honestly about three out of five days this week.  I'm kinda bummed about that.  Being so busy with various obligations has made it difficult to find the time.  But I'm hoping this upcoming week will be better.
6. Finding a new job in the upcoming month.
    This past weekend I had a conversation with an Amir Jackson, the Founder of a Nurture the Creative Mind and perhaps I might be able to work with his organization and bring some of my talents to helping the minds and talents of local youth grow.  And as recent as this afternoon I spoke with a woman at a local Junior High about being able to work in a program at their school to help them out.  So things may be looking up in terms of jobs.  I worry only because I need to find enough employment to support my wife and I.  I am ever hopeful though.

You might also notice that I recently changed the design of my blog slightly.  I am working on branding myself and I wanted colors that represented me as well as something I could have in my twitter profile also.  I chose the topic today, because part of who I am, is about being fair and just as best as I can see how.  I might be wrong, but part of taking a stand for what you believe in is taking the chance that you could be wrong.  And I would love to hear you tell me why I'm wrong, or why I'm right, or what you liked about this.  Please comment below and I'll make certain to get back to you as soon as I can.  I sincerely enjoy responding to everyone's comments.

Here's the links to other ROW80 blogs.  Hopefully you find interesting comments there too.  Happy reading!

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