June 28, 2015

A Gay Mormon's Thoughts on Gay Marriage

I shared the following words on my personal Facebook page. I want to share it here as well.

"I am not some great orator or a leader whose opinion is sought after. I am but 1 in billions of voices in a world far bigger than me or you. But I know that to some, who I care deeply for, I am the only Mormon they know. To others, I am the only gay they know. Thus, I feel compelled to share my thoughts. Not to persuade or compel but to help expand understanding. Please read this in its entirety. You will disagree with some of what I say, and agree with some. This is ok. This is good. To expose yourself to differing views can only bring about good. I apologize in advance, as this might be very, very long.

1- The expression of my love, the same—yes, same—emotions my straight friends feel toward their spouse, is the same I will feel to the future man of my choosing. Despite what others believe, the connection, the awe, the wonder a man and a woman feel toward each other, is the same when two men or two women fall in love. Thus, to be told my love is different, not worthy of the same legal standing as others, is unfair and wrong. Legalizing gay marriage is a correction in flawed judicial logic.

2- America’s political system is not based on courts writing or rewriting law. Only 3 states in America passed gay marriage by a popular vote. 9 others (including D.C.) passed gay marriage through the state legislator. All others were done through the courts. This is turning the American government set up by the constitution, on its head. This is not how I wanted this the be done. I wanted this done by the voice of the people, not through the courts. A robust public conversation might have taken longer but it would have been done the proper way.

3- I am proud to be proud of my support for gay marriage. I know it is the right thing. I am excited! I support gay marriage. I hope one day to partake of this ceremony that is now offered to me. I also support the right of churches to not perform these ceremonies. I support private business' right to refuse service to a gay ceremony. When government or society comes to punish those who oppose gay marriage, I will stand to defend their right. To do otherwise is an affront to a belief in equality. Likewise, to not defend the right of gay marriage is a similar affront to equality.

4- My belief on gay marriage puts me on opposite sides of my church. Notice I say “my" church. I still identify as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon). In this topic, I am at odds with the hierarchy of my church. I stand in dissidence with many of my fellow brothers and sisters in the gospel.

In an ideal world, this does not change anything. My relationships and right to worship in my church should not be challenged. However, in reality, this is not the case. I have a wonderful bishop, good friends and a loving family. I know many of them do not agree with me, but I know there is still boundless amounts of love, understanding and friendship. I believe we can still worship together despite our differences. I hope they feel the same way towards me.

5- I also believe that in an ideal world, government has no place in marriage. I believe the less government is involved in my life, the better I and everyone else will be. The government has become an intrusive force in all aspects of life and is stifling a true, pure pursuit of happiness in America. In my dreams, the government would not be seen or heard from throughout the majority of my life. This is not our reality. However, were it to be, there would be no need to even post this. Government would be out of my life and yours and we would be allowed to live to the dictates of our own conscience."

The response has been overwhelming supporting and loving. There have been a few extended family members who have disagreed on their own Facebook walls and then there are those who have not commented or liked. This is ok. I expect this and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

I am most grateful for my siblings who have contacted me and expressed their love for me. Their love is not bound with conditions or expectations. For this, I am grateful.