Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Current hot topics

Currently, two topics seem to dominate the news - gun control and gay marriage.  I thought it would be beneficial to at least my own family to express my thoughts on one of these.

I've listened carefully to both sides of the marriage debate.  I try to be open minded and non judgmental.  Each of us is free to choose our own path in life, and it's not my right or business to try and force my values and ideals onto others.  I have several family members who are openly homosexual, and I don't love or care for them any differently than I do other family members.

That said, I fully agree with and support my church leaders Proclamation to the World (  Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and that's pretty much it.  I don't see much point in arguing the point further.

Given that, I do see how those who would prefer a same sex union could feel discriminated against, in particular with health care, inheritance, taxes and other issues.  For that, I don't take issue with recognizing their relationship legally, allowing them those rights typically reserved for a married couple.

As I write this, though, I start to wonder if that is enough?  I married my wife because I love her, not that I wanted some sort of legal status.  And is prohibiting gay marriage some sort of religious discrimination?

Then I wonder, if we did allow for gay marriage, does that put us on a slippery slope that would then allow for other marriages, such as polygamy?  I feel strongly that polygamy is wrong, on many levels.  I guess that's for another entry.

Do we revert back to that old saying, "You have to stand for something or you'll fall for anything."?  Does it weaken our society to redefine marriage?

I think it's important to not get caught up in individual cases.  I'm sure there are gay couples who are in a wonderful, loving relationship and are wonderful parents, just as there are traditional couples who are just like that.  And I'm sure there are examples of abuse, infidelity and bad parenting on both sides as well.

It's an interesting debate.  Even in this entry, I started off feeling 100 percent one way, and now I'm feeling a bit undecided.  I believe 100 percent marriage should be between a man and a woman, and I also believe that redefining it to be something else will in the long term be a detriment to our society.   But in that statement, I used the word "believe".  Is denying gay marriage an infringement on those who "believe" something else?

I think about the woman who brought one particular case to the Supreme Court.  I don't recall the details, but I believe she was in a relationship with another woman for decades.  That lady passed away, and the other lady was left with hefty inheritance taxes and other issues.  That just doesn't feel right to me.

And what about the difference between a civil and a religious marriage?  This issue just seems to spiderweb the more you think about it.

My beliefs are set, but I'll continue to ponder the legal nature of this issue.

And I didn't even delve into whether this belongs at a federal or state level.  I'm not sure I like the idea of the federal government getting into the business of making moral decisions for us.  Then it gets back into whether this is a civil rights issue or not.