Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Which U.S. President Will Legally Support Same-Sex Marriage?



by Pete Codella (bio)

Pres. Obama signs the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
This post may be unpopular and controversial, and I’m okay with that.

With the U.S. presidential election of 2012 and New York State’s recent foray into the same-sex marriage business, we’re hearing more frequently from supporters and opponents of the issue. (On June 24, New York became the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. See this CNN article.)

I have many friends on the supporting side of same-sex marriage and like I told one of them recently, as long as the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints advocates marriage only between a man and a woman, that will also be my position.

You may hear of similar marriage positions from Catholics following the Pope, Baptists following their ministers or others following their spiritual leaders.

I realize some of you may think, and choose to comment, that following in faith is weak, even foolish. I disagree. I believe the LDS Church president, currently Thomas Monson, is the Lord’s mouthpiece just like Moses once was, and I choose to support him.

Having said that, I suspect the issue of same-sex marriage will be the tipping point — as already witnessed by Proposition 8 in California — for antagonism against the LDS Church and its members, leading to unpopularity in society. (If you’re interested, you can see what Apostles Dallin Oaks and David Bednar had to say in these videos about same-sex marriage in regard to Proposition 8, circa 2009 and 2008 respectively.)

I believe same-sex marriage is a moral issue, not a civil rights issue.

Ask me about same-sex partners being given powers of attorney or the ability to make healthcare decisions for each other. I'm fine with that.

I'm not fine with co-opting marriage, much like the Biblical rainbow symbol has been co-opted by the LGBT community.

I also believe it’s only a matter of time before the majority of U.S. citizens support same-sex unions. President Obama, our country’s 44th president, says his views on the subject are evolving. You can read about that in The New York Times’ June 18 article: Obama’s Views on Gay Marriage ‘Evolving.’

In February, Pres. Obama’s administration withdrew its support of the federal 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (reporting by The New York Times). Last December the current administration repealed the U.S. military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy (see this CNN article).

It will be a Democratic Party president who will legalize same-sex marriage in the U.S. I’ll even venture to say it’ll be our 44th president when he’s re-elected.

I live in Utah so it doesn’t matter which president I personally vote for. But I do vote. Any political pollster will tell you that the state’s electorate will always vote for the Republican Party’s nominee, at least for the foreseeable future.

I will not support a politician in favor of same-sex marriage, regardless of party affiliation.

Mormons, like it or not, we’re going to have to get used to the idea of teaching our children about same-sex marriage and why the LDS Church doesn't support it, similar to how we teach them about abstaining from coffee, tea, alcohol and illicit drugs.

We’re going to have to accept the reality that civil marriages will be performed before temple marriages because our country will not accept temple marriages that “discriminate” against same-sex marriage. It could, and may happen.

The two-step marriage approach is already the norm for LDS Church members living in some European and South American countries (see this June 9 Salt Lake Tribune article).

As Jesus Christ taught, we are to love our brothers and sisters.

Standing in support of 'traditional' marriage does not diminish love for our neighbors any more than giving Moses the Ten Commandments for the children of Israel diminishes God’s love for His children, then and now.

You can make the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage complicated. In my view, because of my religion, it’s not. Besides, if same-sex marriage was the norm, the God-given powers of procreation would be for naught. We wouldn't even be here to have this discussion.

In closing, I want to say how much I agree with my friend Jeannie and what she wrote about New York's new law this week on her blog: Let's Do Better. Indeed.

Image: AP Photo - Pablo Martinez Monsivais

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