Where Exactly Do You Stand on Same Gender Marriage?
I am opposed to redefining marriage as anything other than the union of a man and a woman together for the purpose of forming a family and raising children. Statistically, logically, and ethically, it provides the best groundwork for raising well-adjusted, productive children who can step up and take their place in the world.
Isn’t that a Harsh Stand?
I suppose it is. For those who, for whatever reason, don’t “fit” the traditional model, being denied things that you desperately want hurts. I know, because I have lived celibate without a husband for the past 15 years. There have been nights when I’ve slept on the sofa because I didn’t want to face an empty, lonely bed. I have spent many hours on my knees in tears begging to understand why I have been denied blessings God has freely given to others. I had to learn to live a rich, full life in a society that is drenched in sexuality — without feeling deprived by my choice to remain celibate. It’s tough, but it can be done!
I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be taunted or physically attacked because I am single and haven’t remarried, but I have endured experiences where I have been left out, overlooked, and looked down upon because I am divorced and single. I have been in the presence of people who want to see me as mentally or morally inferior because of these events, and I have even met attitudes that I am totally to blame for my divorce and the toll it has taken on my children. Interestingly, I have experienced these attitudes more often from the people who are supposed to be closest to me and love me the most. So, I have some empathy (but not a full understanding) of what it feels like to be pushed to the fringe of social groups (my society) because I can’t conform to their norm.
In the end, it is survivable. What has helped me is a strong faith in God and good friends who have looked beyond my life circumstances to see that I am more than my marital status. These friends feel free to include me, without making me feel like a “third wheel.”
But What Does All that have to do with Homosexuality and Same Gender Marriage?
It means that, while I believe that we don’t know exactly what “causes” homosexual feelings and desires in individuals, the sex drive is controllable and can be channeled. It’s work, but it builds character. Just as in my case, I wouldn’t justify changing the norms of my church or my social circles because I don’t fit. I see too much benefit to my friends and loved ones who fit and live those norms.
On the other hand, I think there is a huge burden on those of us who tend toward societal norms to not just be kind and understanding, but aware of our biases — those biases cause mountains of unintended hurt.
- We need, as a society, to stop making such a big deal out of sex and sexuality. Just as I am more than my marital status, we are all more than our sexual preferences. To define each other solely on one small part of who we are is ignorant and harsh.
- We need to take time to examine unconscious messages we are sending. It is very easy to “accidentally” send the message that I’m right, so that makes you wrong. Most people don’t even know they do it. It’s kind of like the well-meaning woman at church who tells you every Sunday that she’s praying that God will let you get married. Without meaning too, she’s sending the message that I must be broken or inferior because I’m single. I doubt that’s really what she means, but the unspoken message is still lying there.
- We also need to be strong enough to be unpopular. I started this series of posts because those who support same-gender marriage found it very easy to call me a bigot and intolerant. (Those were the nice words.) To me, that is simply reveres labeling and “doing unto others what you think has been done unto you.” My scriptures clearly teach that there is a better way than “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” However, not everyone is going to live by my standards, and there will be those who are so emotionally caught up on the other side that they feel attacked because someone voices disagreement with their cause. So be it. Calling me a H8tr doesn’t make it so.
Now that I have concluded this series, I have put together a page on my site that brings all of the posts together and makes them easier to find.
I call it my “Manifesto on Marriage and Sexuality.”
Thanks for reading!