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|Ambivalence in California|
May. 21st, 2008 at 1:29 pm
There was a recent post at Times and Seasons about the California gay marriage decision, and like the discussions of Pres. Beck’s “Women Who Know” talk 2 conferences ago, this conversation about gay marriage was lamentable in that it often degenerated into a back-and-forth of Who’s on the Lord’s side, Who?
I would submit that there are several reasons why some of us are not happy with gay marriage and the Church’s approach to it.Â Blake and others in the Times and Seasons discussion decry the California Supreme Court’s “creation ex nihilo” of a right to gay marriage, but what is our insistence on monogamous heterosexual marriage, if not a system created “ex nihilo?”
Absent a constitutional amendment, I think the California Supreme Court made the right ruling, even if I don’t like it and I dread its consequences.Â To get a FMA or even a state-level amendment ratified would require a serious commitment to a reeducation of people’s moral sensibilities.Â For a scriptural example, when you’re worried about laws being corrupted, turn to Helaman Chapter 5:
Nephi abandoned his hopes to solve a moral crisis through amicus briefs, and we would do well to emulate his approach.Â There is no substitute for engaging people and giving them moral teachings (maybe this could be done through an interfaith special in a prime time TV slot), and this should not be done in an election year or, as in 2006, the effort would be dismissed as the Republican Party throwing red meat to its base.
Many of us are in the strange position of accepting the Church’s teachings on gay marriage as a matter of religious belief, but also “obeying, honoring, and sustaining” the court’s ruling absent a constitutional definition of marriage.Â I don’t see the people of California — or America, for that matter — supporting this constitutional amendment without first receiving the moral teachings that inform it, and then having the opportunity to govern themselves at the ballot box.