Some days I wonder why I continue to write this blog. I'm not even sure how many people read it anymore or if anything I write is of particular interest to anyone. When I began this blog six years ago, I was trying to sort through all sorts of emotions and come to terms with who I am. Now that I've done that and found someone who makes me happy in a life that's more joyous than not, I wonder what do I have to say.
It's not that what I have to say isn't important or worthy of being said. I just sometimes wonder how many people are even listening or if they are impacted by anything I have to write. I began this blog as a way of sorting through a lot of conflicting emotions. Now that I've done that, what am I really using it for? It's just become sort of an online journal. Why then do I need to share my inner-most thoughts with a group of people who are mostly strangers when I can I just write in my own journal?
Sometime I feel like if I'm going to continue blogging, I should refocus what I want to say, but I'm not entirely sure what I feel I need to say in an online forum anymore.
Maybe I'm just having an off day. After all, I've threatened to quit blogging before, and obviously I haven't. And I suppose I do get satisfaction from voicing my thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
Anyway, today I thought I'd share some feelings about various things I've been exposed to lately. The first is the amazing stuff that's happening in Washington state right now with gay marriage. I've said before in this blog that I think gay marriage is an inevitable "rolling stone", and it's going to happen whether you want it to or not. Where you decide to stand as far as the history of gay marriage is up to you, but eventually it's going to be country-wide as far as I'm concerned.
I'm so proud of the governor of Washington and the legislators who had the courage to pass the bill that will enable same-sex couples in Washington to marry. I was particularly moved by this Republican, who I'm sure many of you are aware of:
Maureen Walsh claims she's not very eloquent, but I think she articulates exactly what the issue of gay marriage issue is really about. I admire her courage and the courage of those who voted for this bill to enable a disenfranchised minority to gain another foothold toward equal rights.
I was also excited and thrilled to hear that the appeals court in California declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
Of course, we probably still have a ways to go before gay marriage in California resumes, but this is a step in the right direction, and if this goes to the Supreme Court, who knows, maybe gay marriage will become a federally recognized institution? Again, I think it's inevitable, whether one year from now, 20 years from now, or 100 years from now.
Of course, the LDS Church came out with their own statement on the matter, which I'm sure most of you are familiar with and which, of course, was not a surprise. It said:
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regrets today’s decision. California voters have twice determined in a general election that marriage should be recognized as only between a man and a woman. We have always had that view. Courts should not alter that definition, especially when the people of California have spoken so clearly on the subject.
"Millions of voters in California sent a message that traditional marriage is crucial to society. They expressed their desire, through the democratic process, to keep traditional marriage as the bedrock of society, as it has been for generations.
"We recognize that this decision represents a continuation of what has been a vigorous public debate over the rights of the people to define and protect the fundamental institution of marriage. There is no doubt that today’s ruling will intensify the debate in this country. We urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion."
Other bloggers have written about their issues with this statement, such as the fact that the LDS Church has not always believed in marriage just being between "a man and a woman". For many years and even as far as the afterlife goes, the LDS Church has held the position of marriage being between a man and more than one woman, so there's that.
Bloggers have also pointed out that although church leaders stress that "millions of voters in California sent a message that traditional marriage is crucial to society," they fail to mention the millions of voters that were not against gay marriage. Remember, the vote came down to 52.24% for Prop. 8 and 47.74% against it. That's 7,001,084 to 6,401,482: a difference of only 599,602 votes, so it's not like it was an overwhelming majority, and even if it had been, would that make it right. Years ago a majority thought there was nothing wrong with keeping fellow human beings as slaves or that women shouldn't have equal rights as men or that interracial couples shouldn't marry or that people with a different colored skin were inferior. Did that make those things right?
I do appreciate the LDS Church's final statement: "We urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion." I think that's good advice.
Look. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the LDS Church has every right to defend what it believes in, and I respect people's right to believe that gay marriage or homosexual relationships are morally wrong. But I have just as much a right to believe what I believe, which is that there is nothing wrong with being gay and that gay marriage can lead to good things.
I certainly don't think gay marriage is going to be the downfall of society, as some naysayers insist. And please, to tell me that gay marriage somehow threatens the institution of marriage is absurd. It seems straight folk are already doing a pretty good job of wrecking their own marriages without any help from me and my partner.
People can fight for what they believe is right, but I shall do the same. I fail to see the sin in same-sex relationships. So many of the gay people I know are so much happier in their relationships and with themselves than they were when they were trying to abide by the wishes of their religions, Mormon or not. I know I, for one, am so much happier and well-adjusted and at peace with my life and with who I am than I was when I was trying to fit into the box of Mormon dogma that I never quite fit into as far as this issue is concerned. Jonah has helped me be a better person, and I truly feel our lives and relationship have been blessed. I feel we are both better people having found one another, and I know the love I have for him is real and good. I cannot find a rational reason why it isn't. That's what I believe. If others believe differently, that is their prerogative, but I think they will find themselves on the wrong side of history. If I'm wrong, I'll eat my words, but that's how I feel.
Which brings me to another thing I want to comment on: this whole Ellen Degeneres / JC Penney / One Million Moms brouhaha.
I think Ellen herself sums it up best:
I love Ellen. I remember when I was so tightly bound in the closet and she bravely came out on the famous so-called "Puppy" episode of her TV show, "Ellen" and even more bravely came out in real life. The scene at the airport (which begins at 1:20) was so moving and funny, and I remember watching the show in secret and crying because I so yearned to do what she was doing in the episode: speaking her truth.
Although it didn't prompt me to come out right away (that took another 9 years), it was a pivotal moment for me. I've always had such admiration and respect for Ellen Degeneres. She is one celebrity I wish I were friends with.
I remember when her series was canceled and she was blackballed for a time, and look at her now: married, well-loved, successful, popular, influential. It really has gotten better. I love her not because she is gay, but because she is filled with laughter and joy and does such kind things for others. She is a good person. She just radiates it.
I love her last statement in the video from her talk show: "...I want to be clear. And here are the values I stand for. I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you'd want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values. That's what I stand for. I also believe in dance."
That so embodies what I believe. All the naysayers talk about gay marriage or homosexuality being contrary to traditional values. The values I believe in are kindness, compassion, love, doing unto others as you would have them to do you, serving and caring for your fellow man, integrity. Aren't those traditional values? So many of the values I don't agree with such as hypocrisy, judging, vilifying, hating, fearing, oppressing, etc. are often found in those who claim to be the most religious or Christian. I don't think that embodies Christianity at all. Those same attributes are found in the Pharisees of old, whom Christ told to repent.
There are many wonderful people and values to be found in organized religion. I owe some of my best values to my Mormon heritage. And I know many of the people in the LDS Church who disagree with homosexuality and gay marriage are only defending what they believe is right and what the prophets have told them and what they believe God has commanded. I can certainly respect that. I really can. But I think they are wrong.
The prophets and apostles are only doing what God has commanded of them, you say. They cannot lead the church and its members astray. But are they not also fallible men, capable of making mistakes? Cannot they be mistaken on this issue? Is there not perhaps more that may be revealed on this matter?
One can read words of apostles and future prophets on other matters, such as race issues, to see that they can be. Read Mark E. Petersen's 1954 BYU address or Delbert Stapley's 1964 letter to George Romney (Mitt's dad) or Brigham Young's statement "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110.) or Ezra Taft Benson's comments about the civil rights movement.
I do not point these out to vilify or criticize these men. They were a product of their time. But they were wrong. History has shown they were wrong. If the LDS Church were to make such statements today, they would be blasted out of the water and it would go contrary to what they currently teach. So cannot the LDS Church's views on the homosexual issue also change and evolve?
Look at the LDS Church in Joseph Smith's time and the LDS Church today, and tell me they are exactly the same. Tell me it hasn't evolved with the times. One only has to read its history to know that it has. I'm not saying the LDS Church will ever change as far as this issue is concerned. I'm not even saying I'm right and they're wrong. Who knows? Maybe I and all the other homosexuals in the world have been deceived and the LDS Church really is right in what it teaches about homosexuality. But my personal experience leads me to believe that the LDS Church is currently on the wrong side of history as far as this issue is concerned. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.