With the recent court decision upholding Proposition 8 in California, I tackled the gay marriage issue this week. Because of the resulting backlash against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when the item was originally voted on, here in Utah it’s a local issue.
How do I personally feel about gay marriage? I’m still working it out. In the meantime, if I was put in a voting booth and had to decide right now if I think government should recognize a same-sex union as legally, socially, and morally equal to monogamous heterosexual marriage, I couldn’t do it. However, I do think homosexual partnerships deserve most of the rights they’re asking for; but the only reason I can think of that they won’t accept civil unions instead of full-fledged Marriage is that they’re not really as concerned about the legal rights as they purport to be, but want everyone to tell them that what they’re doing is normal, moral, and acceptable. America isn’t ready for that yet, I’m sorry.
And what is the loudest response to my position? “You just hate gay people. You’re a homophobe.” Really? Well, all that says is that a) you don’t know what the word homophobe means, and b) you have no interest in understanding how or why I came to have the views I do, but you demand the same from me. I don’t have reason to believe that the majority of homosexuals act this way, just the most vocal ones.
Two of the most awesome guys I know (one an articulate Iraq War vet, the other a former Mormon missionary I served with in Guatemala and Belize) are unapologetic homosexuals, and my friendship with them is not conditional on their sexual activities, as I’m sure my devout Mormonism isn’t something for which they would ever cast me aside. I know I’m totally doing the “some of my best friends are gay” thing, but sorry, they are. We can agree to disagree on the legality and morality of gay marriage without resorting to accusing the other of hatred. And I don’t think the issue, nationally, will ever be resolved peacefully until everyone else puts down their politics and looks the other side in the eye and talks to them for five minutes.
I am not a hater, I am not an ignoramus, and I am not a member of the Taliban because I disagree with you on a moral/social issue. Put down your “Prop H8” sign and come let’s talk ’bout it.