Sunday, January 12, 2014

Kim's Words - Same Sex Marriage, Society, Church & State

I have had a zillion emotions and thoughts running through me for several weeks now. There was the exciting law that was passed that allowed gay marriage in Utah. I can't adequately express my tender feelings regarding that topic. I will use these few words: surprise, relief, looking forward to my own marriage, hope, and love. There were the few stays that were denied, which again brought positive emotions. Then there was the Governor of Utah who has decided to take value away from the 1,000+ marriages that were performed in the few short days that it was lawful. That brought anger, embarrassment for Utah, sadness, and doubt. But then the Attorney General decided that these same beautiful marriages will be recognized on a federal level. I immediately felt that the hope had returned and that THIS IN ON, Utah!! My hope has returned and I fully believe that Utah is heading in the right direction, even though there will inevitably be roadblocks along the way. Forward progress is great! No matter what the Governor of Utah determined, there were marriages and families that were united under law and the joy and relief that was created because of it cannot be removed. Those marriages and families will not be torn a part! Forward progress will continue to happen; I trust it entirely.

I wanted to share Kim's thoughts on all of it, since she beautifully expresses what I (and many others) feel so deeply, but aren't necessarily capable of putting in writing ourselves. Kim will be my wife some day, legally in Utah, and I couldn't be more appreciative of her and the way she continually listens to and heeds the spirit. I will share the link below, and also her post in its entirety. Go Kim!!

"I have purposely hidden from social media the last few days.  I'm so tired, physically and otherwise.  Once again a divisive statement from a church I have loved.  I see loved ones liking it and standing behind it, likely having no clue what it's saying to me, thousands like me, not to mention other non-ideal households.  I see others tearing it apart, using many comments with which I agree.  On one side, loved ones will use this as a "See?  You are wrong. You are a sinner. You are destroying the family, not to mention the fabric of society.  Get back in line so I can accept you again."  On the other, loved ones will use this as a "See?  The church is on the wrong side here. They're hurtful. They're exclusionary. They don't accept you."  

I want it all to stop already.  You'll never accept me as long as you see my love as a sin.  You'll never see me without a trace of pity as long as you think the love you share with your partner is better than the love I share with mine.  I'll never let you into my heart as long as those stand.  But it's not going to change, especially when the church we love sends out messages you get to stand behind as some sort of banner giving permission to see me as a part of something so evil as to threaten your marriage, your religion, and good citizenship. 

Just stop.  Stop thinking you get to judge me for anything.  Stop assuming you have the right to know what God wants for me.  Stop wasting so much energy on my love life.  There are far more important things to be concerned with.  Like how to truly connect with another human being, even if you disagree on what love is.  And honestly, if I want to sin, who are you to make it a public issue?  I don't know that we'll come to a safe place in this.  I know you feel marriage is threatened.  I get that.  But that doesn't mean I'm okay with you threatening mine.  So let's find another cause here.  Something we can fight together. 

Kiwi Mormon said it well.  

But of all of the political issues that the Brethren could have gotten their knickers in a twist over,  why same-sex marriage?  Why not condemn the unholy alliance between public and private interests?  Why not address the problems with skyrocketing poverty and inequality?  Why not be in indignation over human rights abuses?  Or here’s a good one, why not issue a statement on the abuse and exploitations of girls and women?  I just don’t think same-sex marriage is worthy of moral outrage.  Its not exploitative, its not cruel, it doesn’t create poverty, its not a precursor for war, excessive corporatism, or exploitative economics, its not mean, its not intolerant, its not sexist, its not abusive, its not a social disease and it won’t steal your car or hold you at knife point.   Heck, it doesn’t even deny the existence of God.   Its simply the legal formalization of a monogamous relationship of choice.  And lets face it, its  going to happen anyway because  its a nonsense to assume that we can completely turn off our sexual orientation, and thus who we end up loving.

You want to see what's really destroying marriage and family?  Would you like to know what's really going to destroy society?  Spend a few days - even 2 will do - in my job.  See the elderly and mentally/physically disabled with bruises and scratches from abuse.  See them with bed sores, skin and bones, and filthy from neglect.  See the effects on their self esteem when they are molested or raped. See how they manage when their life savings or even their homes are taken from them.  Do you realize who is doing this abusing?  Their families.  The very families you say gay people are threatening.  Every day I see this terrible reality and every day people see me and my potential marriage as the real threat.  It sickens me.

I have photos that would make your heart break.  Bring tears to your eyes.  Make you feel rage and want to scream out "how could this happen!?"  And if I put those photos next to the latest gay couple to get married, would you be equally outraged?  Disgusted?  Seriously.  Stop wasting so much concern and fear on something that is destined to bring people joy, union, permanency, and love.  Make sweeping statements about the demise of society about ills that are truly hurting us as a whole.   

Go on and make your marriage sacred.  Make your family good citizens.   Teach correct principles.  Just leave me out of the equation.  Honestly.  Does that even make sense?  And in the spare time you'll have once you stop trying so hard to keep me from making my union sacred, my family good citizens, and teaching correct principles, try volunteering for causes that are truly tearing apart families, marriages, and society.  

Finally, to the church who says "all visitors are welcome", just know you're doing a really bad job in making us feel like that's true.  If your goal is to bring us in to feel the love of God, feel the spirit, and know the blessings of the gospel, this isn't the route to take.  As for me, on this Sabbath day, I'm going to do what draws me close to the Lord, what makes me feel close to Him, what helps me recognize His goodness in my life. Today, that's not happening in a pew."

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