Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Defending Proposition 8

While the LDS Church supported the passage of California State Amendment Proposition 8, the following is not necessarily LDS Doctrine.

First off, I do not support the government interfering with the decisions of 2 consenting adults so long as those decisions do not negatively affect a 3rd party. Along those lines, I have no problem with recognizing same-sex civil unions. And, while I do not agree with this lifestyle choice, I believe that same-sex unions should provide those unionized every civil, medical, legal, and tax right, and privilege that traditional marriage provides-- except one. This one exception involves biological children as the 3rd party whose rights are often overlooked and ignored. It is this one exception that differentiates traditional marriage from civil unions.

In 2000, the people of California passed a state law by ballot proposition 22 to preserve traditional marriage. In 2008, the California Supreme Court declared that Proposition 22 was unconstitutional and overturned it in favor of same-sex marriage. Later in 2008, traditional marriage was voted for and defended a second time by the citizens of California. However, this time, the law protecting traditional marriage was made an official State Constitutional amendment (Proposition 8). The Supreme Court of California has had a much more difficult time attacking this constitutional amendment since they only interpret the Constitution (Law of the People) and have sworn to defend it even if they don't like part of it.

However, the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution requires equal protection and treatment by the law for each citizen. The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution also contains the Due Process clause which has been interpreted to mean that States cannot pass a law that denies any citizen life, liberty, or property without due process. So, enemies of Prop 8 are wanting to use the "equal treatment" clause to destroy Traditional marriage. However so far, the federal government has considered the issue of traditional marriage to be an issue for the States to decide.

You cannot defend traditional marriage, if you do not define traditional marriage correctly. Traditional Marriage is not just about man and woman living together. You don't need to be married to do that. Traditional marriage is about producing and raising biological children with a both a father and a mother who provide proper roll modeling and a proper environment for a child's psycho-social development. Traditional marriage is about preserving the right of children to be born into a family with both a mother and a father. Traditional marriage is about the right to produce and raise biological children (adoption is debatable).

This focus on the rights of producing and raising biological children and the rights of children is what sets Traditional Marriage apart from Civil Unions. Civil Unions can enjoy tax benefits, inheritance benefits, hospital decision making, etc, etc. The only thing that differentiates one from the other HERE and ETERNALLY is the right to produce and raising biological children. (I believe the difference between eternal civil union and eternal marriage in the next life will be the right to nurture spirit children)

But much water has flown under the bridge with respect to rampant illegitimacy, gamete donors, surrogate mothers and advanced fertility. This may be a losing battle. It is easy for enemies of traditional marriage to compare and defend same-sex marriage with other failures and weaknesses in our society.

So far, it seems that the defense of Traditional marriage have avoided talking about the right to produce biological children, because this would lead to a discussions on other issues. Instead, most proponents try to defend Traditional marriage by fear-mongering that governments could deny Church tax-exempt status or prevent Church authorization to perform traditional marriage if they did not also perform same-sex marriages. However, the US government cannot currently dictate to private organizations who they must and must not include. Therefore, I am of the opinion that these fear arguments are distractions from the real issues, and potentially do harm to the cause.

In case you were on Mars yesterday, Prince William (Son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana) married Kate Middleton. The bride wore a beautiful wedding dress whose designer happened to be homosexual and who tragically committed suicide. The political statement I believe was an attempt to shine light on the mismatch between the homosexual lifestyle and our traditional Judeo-Christian values. This mismatch in some cases, can result in strong negative feelings. If those negative feelings are internalized, a deep depression can result. On the other hand, if those negative feelings are directed outward, then a person may become resentful of the part of their cultural values that alienates them or at least become very politically motivated to change those cultural values. Judeo-Christians have difficulty in changing traditional values because we believe those values were given to us by God.

No comments: