Monday, October 13, 2008

California's Proposition 8

"We can have tolerance without condoning. We can love someone while still maintaining and advocating our standards and ...

Unless Proposition 8 passes, California society will soon undergo a profound change in its basic understanding of marriage and family life that will affect everyone in numerous ways. Over time, greater acceptance of nontraditional marriage will be demanded of all people. This could impact the ability of any religion to teach and practice its beliefs.

Proposition 8 will not hurt gays. In California, the law provides for marriage-related benefits to be given to civil unions and domestic partnerships. Proposition 8 does not diminish these benefits.

Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt children. If gay marriage remains legal, public schools will put it on equal footing with traditional marriage. Children will likely receive “age appropriate” information about sexual relations within heterosexual and homosexual marriages.

Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt churches.The court’s decision will inevitably lead to conflicts with religious liberty and free speech rights. Society will become more and more hostile to traditional beliefs about marriage and family."
(quoted from & for more info see: http://www.preservingmarriage.org)




This is the information about Proposition 8 in California (from www.protectmarriage.com)

Proposition 8

* The Issue
"California voters passed Proposition 22 in 2000 by more than 61%, saying that a marriage in California is between a man and a woman. Earlier this year, four activist judges based in San Francisco wrongly overturned the people's vote, legalizing same-sex marriage."
* The Consequences
"The Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage did not just overturn the will of California voters; it also redefined marriage for the rest of society, without ever asking the people themselves to accept this decision. This decision has far-reaching consequences. For example, because public schools are already required to teach the role of marriage in society as part of the curriculum, schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, starting with kindergarteners. By saying that a marriage is between “any two persons” rather than between a man and a woman, the Court decision has opened the door to any kind of “marriage.” This undermines the value of marriage altogether at a time when we should be restoring marriage, not undermining it."
* The Solution
"Vote YES on Proposition 8 to overturn the outrageous Supreme Court decision and restore the definition of marriage that was approved by over 61% of voters. Proposition 8 is NOT an attack on gay couples and does not take away the rights that same-sex couples already have under California’s domestic partner law. California law already grants domestic partners all the rights that a state can grant to a married couple. Gays have a right to their private lives, but not to change the definition of marriage for everyone else."

Passing Proposition 8 protects our children and places into the Constitution the simple definition that a marriage is between a man and a woman." (see protectmarriage.com for more info)

Today, I have been studying this issue more in depth thanks to a friend. He was against Proposition 8 and sent me an email with comments such as:
"I’ll see you at the next rally making it illegal for unwed couples to live together and the rally to bring back prohibition. I’ve got a few more "right choices" that we can impose on the masses as well (I just hope they don’t impose any of “their” right choices on me – I heard a glass of red wine a day is healthy, “they” should impose a law requiring us all to drink a glass of red wine)".
"For me, a state's constitution is not the place for discrimination and I see this as discrimination. why this stance? Why not advocate a law against drinking, it’s a moral issue, or a law against pre-marital sex (no more moral than gay marriage). It doesn’t add up more than prejudice against gay people."

They are very good questions and how do you answer that?

We had a proposition similar to this on in Oregon in 2003 (Proposition 36). So we have been familiar with this issue for several years. We live in an area that has loose moral standards. I see everyday what influences occur by not following the God-given principles through the prophet. Entire societies and peoples have been wiped away through disobedience to moral and eternal laws.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has chosen to become involved, along with many other churches, organizations, and individuals, in defending the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman because it is a compelling moral issue of profound importance to our religion and to the future of our society.

A broad-based coalition of churches and other organizations placed the proposed amendment on the ballot. The Church will participate with this coalition in seeking its passage. Local Church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause.

The church has asked us: “We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.”

Marriage is sacred, ordained of God from before the foundation of the world. Marriage is NOT primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. While governments did not invent marriage, throughout the ages governments of all types have recognized and affirmed marriage as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself.”

This has been the definition of marriage from the beginning of time, not just the definition for members of the church.

In California , the law provides for marriage-related benefits to be given to civil unions and domestic partnerships. Proposition 8 does not diminish these benefits.
Proposition 8 does not prevent gays from doing anything, or it does not "impose" our beliefs or our “right choices” on them (“the masses”). We are not forcing anyone to "not live together", to “drink a glass of red wine’, or to do the “right” thing. Individuals and Society have tolerated and accepting private, consensual sexual behavior between adults. Civil unions and domestic partnerships in California have all of the same rights and benefits of those that are married.

Advocates of same-sex marriage seek to change the definition of marriage, they are trying to force us or “impose on us” to accept their beliefs and their redefinition of marriage to what they want it to be. If proposition 8 does not pass – the gays and lesbians and same sex marriage advocates will be "imposing" their views on us – the Christians, (the other masses).
So if you believe that we shouldn’t be "imposed" or forced to accept anyone's "right choices" (or beliefs), then ask yourself this question: "Is it OK for same sex marriage advocates to force me or 'impose on me' and other Christians 'masses' to accept their 'right choice' which is their redefinition of marriage that it is NOT a divine institution between a man and woman anymore?” Apparently advocates of same-sex marriage believe that it is OK for them to redefine marriage and to force us to accept their new definition and point of view. This issue isn't about rights and benefits for gays and lesbians- it is about forcing us to accept their redefinition of marriage.

Why is the church taking a stance on this moral issue?

Why are our church and other churches taking this stance for the proposition?

The church hasn’t advocated for a law against drinking, pre-marital sex or other moral issues so why this? Well, they aren’t advocating for a law to keep gay people from living together or from doing what they want or taking their agency away. They want the law to protect the traditional definition of “marriage” – so that fundamental truth is not changed. One of the sole purposes of the church is the exaltation of the individual through marriage and the family. By destroying what marriage means this would help unravel the fabric of human life which is the family. The church doesn’t want to discriminate or legislate what people decide to do with their lives, it doesn’t want a law to prevent civil unions, it merely wants to protect and defend traditional marriage.
i.e. This is a made up story to illustrate what I am talking about…if lesbians and gays wanted to change a few verses in the bible – the bible says that the homosexual lifestyle is a sin (Gen. 19: 5 , Lev. 20: 13, Lev. 18: 22, Deut. 23: 17, Isa. 3: 9, 1 Cor. 6: 9, 1 Tim. 1: 10, etc. ). So let’s say they feel discriminated against because they are being told they are sinners for a natural tendency they have. Let's say they believe in Christ and want to go to Churches like the rest of us and worship and not feel like they are sinners – because they are actually good, kind, and loving people like the rest of us. So they decide they want to these very few verses of the bible changed for everyone, so that their lifestyle won’t be viewed as a sin. We as a church and other churches would advocate for a law that would say you can’t change the bible. The church wouldn’t advocate for a law to tell them how to live or tell them they couldn’t go to church. The church would say you can live how you want to live (that’s your agency) – but you can’t change the fundamental truths in the bible for all of us to fit your purposes. I think that is what the church is doing with marriage - they don’t want the fundamental truths or what marriage stands for changed.

So in supporting this amendment I am not advocating hate for those who choose to stay in and live this lifestyle – I recognize that it is a natural tendency. I don’t understand the struggles they go through. I’m not judging them or discriminate against them, or telling them they have to do what I think is right. I just want the values of traditional marriage to be upheld not changed.

(quotes below taken from the The Divine Institution of Marriage)
"The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility towards homosexual men and women. Protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not affect Church members’ Christian obligations of love, kindness and humanity toward all people."

"The Church does not condone abusive treatment of others and encourages its members to treat all people with respect. However, speaking out against practices with which the Church disagrees on moral grounds – including same-sex marriage – does not constitute abuse or the frequently misused term “hate speech.” We can express genuine love and friendship for the homosexual family member or friend without accepting the practice of homosexuality or any re-definition of marriage."

"Legalizing same-sex marriage will affect a wide spectrum of government activities and policies. Once a state government declares that same-sex unions are a civil right, those governments almost certainly will enforce a wide variety of other policies intended to ensure that there is no discrimination against same-sex couples. This may well place “church and state on a collision course.”

“Other advocates of same-sex marriage are suggesting that tax exemptions and benefits be withdrawn from any religious organization that does not embrace same-sex unions. [17] Public accommodation laws are already being used as leverage in an attempt to force religious organizations to allow marriage celebrations or receptions in religious facilities that are otherwise open to the public. Accrediting organizations in some instances are asserting pressure on religious schools and universities to provide married housing for same-sex couples. Student religious organizations are being told by some universities that they may lose their campus recognition and benefits if they exclude same-sex couples from club membership.”

“Thus, if same-sex marriage becomes a recognized civil right, there will be substantial conflicts with religious freedom. And in some important areas, religious freedom may be diminished.”

“Possible restrictions on religious freedom are not the only societal implications of legalizing same-sex marriage. Perhaps the most common argument that proponents of same-sex marriage make is that it is essentially harmless and will not affect the institution of traditional heterosexual marriage in any way. “It won’t affect you, so why should you care?’ is the common refrain. While it may be true that allowing single-sex unions will not immediately and directly affect all existing marriages, the real question is how it will affect society as a whole over time, including the rising generation and future generations. The experience of the few European countries that already have legalized same-sex marriage suggests that any dilution of the traditional definition of marriage will further erode the already weakened stability of marriages and family generally. Adopting same-sex marriage compromises the traditional concept of marriage, with harmful consequences for society.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints official resource for New Media, Opinion Leaders and the Public has published a document which these quotes were taken from that is the best resource for answers on this question. It is "The Divine Institution of Marriage". ( http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/the-divine-institution-of-marriage )

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have to correct a poster that mentioned, he as a Christian has to accept the gay beliefs. My friend being gay isn't a "belief" or a "choice" I'm a Christian, and I have a gay son. He's 21 he told me some years back that he prayed to be "changed" and then he prayed for our acceptance and give him unconditional love. My Christian friend I tell you no one has the right to take God away from anyone. I don't believe you're doing God's work by taking him away from our gay loved ones. Jesus said, love your neighbor as yourself. I'm voting Republican and voting no on 8. Thank you! I also pray God would bless more Christians with gay children and maybe then we'll have better understanding.

Gaylynne Coates said...

My sources in responding to this comment are:
(http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/the-divine-institution-of-marriage and http://patriotpost.us/papers/03-32.asp) Please read these articles for more information on why churches are taking this stand for proposition 8.

"Marriage is sacred, ordained of God from before the foundation of the world. Marriage is not primarily a contract between a man and a woman to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. While governments did not invent marriage, throughout the ages governments of all types have recognized and affirmed marriage as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself.” This has been the definition of marriage since the beginning of time.

"Simply put, homosexuality threatens the Churches and our culture because it threatens the natural order of the family. Though less than three percent of the population self-identify as homosexual ("gay" or "lesbian" in common parlance), the pernicious advancement of homosexuality is very well funded, coordinated and executed."

"The primary cultural agenda of the nation's largest homosexual advocacy groups is to promote it as being on par with heterosexuality. They advance this agenda through legal challenges, and two primary methods of childhood indoctrination -- education and entertainment. This aggressive confrontation with the timeless Judeo-Christian foundation for the family and society is both well-funded and well-organized."

In 2004, the Massachusetts legislature became the first state governing body to institute legal status for same-sex marriage and bar "discrimination" on the basis of sexual orientation.

"As much as one may wish to live and let live," Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon wrote during Massachusetts' same-sex marriage debate, "the experience in other countries reveals that once these arrangements become law, there will be no live-and-let-live policy for those who differ. Proponents use the language of openness, tolerance, and diversity, yet one foreseeable effect of their success will be to usher in an era of intolerance and discrimination. Every person and every religion that disagrees will be labeled as bigoted and openly discriminated against. The ax will fall most heavily on religious persons and groups that don't go along. Religious institutions will be hit with lawsuits if they refuse to compromise their principles."

To that end, in 2006, Catholic Charities of Boston closed its adoption services rather than be forced to place children with homosexuals, which the Catholic Church considers "gravely immoral." That prompted one advocacy group, the so-called "Human Rights Campaign" to proclaim "Boston Catholic Charities puts ugly political agenda before child welfare," which, of course, is a projection of the HRC's mission. Consistent with Professor Glendon's warning, the Catholic Charities case is the tip of the iceberg.

"Legalizing same-sex marriage will affect a wide spectrum of government activities and policies. Once a state government declares that same-sex unions are a civil right, those governments almost certainly will enforce a wide variety of other policies intended to ensure that there is no discrimination against same-sex couples. This may well place “church and state on a collision course.”

“Other advocates of same-sex marriage are suggesting that tax exemptions and benefits be withdrawn from any religious organization that does not embrace same-sex unions."

"Thus, if same-sex marriage becomes a recognized civil right, there will be substantial conflicts with religious freedom. And in some important areas, religious freedom may be diminished."

"Disagreement with homosexual advocates' social and legal agendas has no correlation with one's capacity to love or have compassion for others. Nor is such dissent necessarily related to judgment, which is God's alone. Rather, it is about discerning between right and wrong and obedience to objective truth, rather than conforming to a code of subjective relativism popularly justified under the contemporary aegis of "tolerance, diversity and inclusion."

"The Church does not condone abusive treatment of others and encourages its members to treat all people with respect. However, speaking out against practices with which the Church disagrees on moral grounds – including same-sex marriage – does not constitute abuse or the frequently misused term “hate speech.” We can express genuine love and friendship for the homosexual family member or friend without accepting the practice of homosexuality or any re-definition of marriage."

"Tolerance as a gospel principle means love and forgiveness of one another, not “tolerating” transgression. In today’s secular world, the idea of tolerance has come to mean something entirely different. Instead of love, it has come to mean condone – acceptance of wrongful behavior as the price of friendship. Jesus taught that we love and care for one another without condoning transgression. But today’s politically palatable definition insists that unless one accepts the sin he does not tolerate the sinner. Tolerance obviously requires a non-contentious manner of relating toward one another’s differences. But tolerance does not require abandoning one’s standards or one’s opinions on political or public policy choices. Tolerance is a way of reacting to diversity, not a command to insulate it from examination. The Church does not condone abusive treatment of others and encourages its members to treat all people with respect."

"The issue within the Christian Church is not one of Church unity, traditions or politics. Homosexual advocacy in the Church has become a primary catalyst for challenging Scriptural authority -- the relevance of God's word as received through Holy Scripture, the historic foundation of the Christian Church and Western society."

"To discern right from wrong, Christians turn to Scripture as the first resource of our faith, and the foundation on which the tenets of reason and tradition reside. Though the legal status of "homosexual behavior" and "same-sex marriage" is being debated within the context of government legislatures and courts, the objective truth concerning such behavior was established by Scripture many centuries ago. Therefore, no institutional body of Christians should seek to normalize homosexuality or any other sexual aberration. Doing so projects the message that such aberrations are acceptable in God's eyes and consistent with His creation. This projection is not only iconoclastic but deceitful in that it suggests overt sinful behavior is to be upheld and honored."
"Homosexuality is unanimously condemned by the foundational teachings of all world religions, and those teachings are the basis for societal norms worldwide." We are taught having homosexual tendencies is not a sin, the acting out on those tendencies and choosing that lifestyle is the sin The bible clearly says that the homosexual lifestyle is a sin (Gen. 19: 5 , Lev. 20: 13, Lev. 18: 22, Deut. 23: 17, Isa. 3: 9, 1 Cor. 6: 9, 1 Tim. 1: 10,etc.). Thus, breaking through religious barriers is high on the homosexual normalization agenda.

"It is sometimes difficult to stand in defense of God's Word and plan for His people. Christians, however, must remain defiant in the face of errant teaching, and we must know that we have been called to do so in His name. 'Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers'." (Psalm 1:1)

As I stated in the blog: In California , the law provides for marriage-related benefits to be given to civil unions and domestic partnerships. Proposition 8 does not diminish these benefits. Proposition 8 is not about gay rights or benefits, as they have these. This proposition does not prevent gays from doing anything, or it does not "impose" our beliefs or our “right choices” on them. We are not forcing anyone to "not live together", or to do the “right” thing. Individuals and Society have tolerated and accepting private, consensual sexual behavior between adults. Civil unions and domestic partnerships in California have all of the same rights and benefits of those that are married.

Advocates of same-sex marriage seek to change the definition of marriage, they are trying to force us or “impose on us” to accept their beliefs, their choice, or their “way of life” and their redefinition of marriage to what they want it to be. If proposition 8 does not pass – the gays and lesbians and same-sex marriage advocates will be "imposing" on us to change our churches, to change what is being taught in our schools to our children, and to change our way life… to conform to the lifestyle they have ‘chosen’ to live. (Even if you’re born with the tendencies, it still is a choice you make to live the lifestyle. See http://www.portlandfellowship.com/ ). There are many organizations out there like Portland Fellowship whose belief is that there is freedom from homosexuality and it comes through a person... the Lord Jesus Christ. Their programs were inspired by men and women who have experienced freedom from homosexual desire and behavior through the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. Their ministry has helped hundreds of men and women find biblical resolution to their homosexuality and has ministered to their families, friends, and church leaders. Homosexual advocacy groups would have you believe there is no way to change so just accept it and change God's word.
Will churches be allowed to use the Bible anymore if this proposition passes as the Bible teaches against homosexuality or will all Bibles be required to be edited because they are discriminatory?
We are not taking God away from any loved one. God is there for everyone and no one can remove God from one's life except himself.
We are all given weakness in life. We choose to act on them. If someone chooses to act on a weakness and go against God's word, we can't change the fundamental truths in the bible in order to conform or fit their lifestyle. If my son were gay, I would feel the same. I would still love my son, but I couldn't change God's truth. God’s truth can not be changed. We can't change God's word to suit our purposes. We can love the person, not the sin.
Advocates for same-sex marriage wish to breaking through religious barriers and promote this lifestyle. In supporting this amendment I am not advocating hate for those who choose to stay in and live this lifestyle – I recognize that it is a natural tendency. I don’t understand the struggles they go through. I’m not judging them or discriminate against them, or telling them they have to do what I think is right. I just want the values of traditional marriage to be upheld not changed. God tells us to love all but to stand for the truth and be strong in the faith even if it isn't the popular thing to do.
"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity." 1 Corinthinians 16: 13-14