This is published by permission from an acquaintance of mine who is LDS.
Proposition 8 deeply troubles me and what Californian, Idahoan, and single adult Latter-day Saints are being asked to do about it deeply offends my religious beliefs as a Latter-day Saint. What I feel about gay marriage is a big part of that and a big part of my religious beliefs as a Mormon.
First, my baptismal covenants are, as stated in Mosiah 18, “to mourn with those that mourn, to comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as a witness of God in all times, and in all things, and in all places.” Prop 8 and the rhetoric surrounding it partially bothers me for that reason. I have a lot of friends who grew up LDS and are gay and their stories are TRAGIC. Horrible. It is disgusting how they have been treated, how they treated themselves when they were struggling with how their felt, and the people who treated them like that are not without blemish, despite them thinking they were just encouraging righteousness and protect the family by trying to “save” my gay friends from themselves. It’s reprehensible and I believe they will be held accountable. I think that since Mormons have covenanted to comfort those that stand in need of comfort that that should be our #1 goal. A lot of the rhetoric surrounding prop 8 communicates to my gay friends that they are fundamentally wrong, that they should repent, and that they’re not the same as we are, and ergo shouldn’t have the same rights that straight people have. Ugh.
So I always knew I was an economic liberal, and I became a social liberal when I started realizing that equality and choice were important as a measly freshman at BYU. I started thinking about my political and religious beliefs, evaluated why I thought them, and when I got to gay marriage I couldn’t find any way around it. In order to all be created equally with the same unalienable rights and privileges (dec. of independence.) and that we’re even equal before God in terms of what the doctrine says, there was inequality when it came to sexual preference. I realized back then that there were tax breaks, health care rights, hospital visitation rights, property rights, etc. that are being denied to people just because of their sexual preference. Wrong.
LDS doctrine is all about equality: “D&C 78:5-6 “That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things. For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;” and what my government says about equality in the constitution and declaration of independence means what’s happening is wrong.
The arguments for prop 8 and against gay marriage in general are: