I just attended a rally for marriage, and a friend of mine wanted to understand more about why I don't believe in same sex marriage. I decided to write my explanation here so that I can fully explain.
Before I get to the explanation, I feel the need to talk about some mechanics of debate. One very common tool of debate is to attack the character of the opposing person. So there are many who, in an effort to avoid real conversation, call me a hater, or a bigot. By attacking my character, they think they can easily dismiss my beliefs. So if you read hateful comments in the comment section of this post, just know that those are people who have no other argument, so are relying on name calling and character assassination instead of actual debate.
To understand my view of marriage, I must first discuss what marriage is. Some might say that marriage is the union of two people who love each other. It is not. Two people can love each other without getting married. Some might say it is two loving people who make a commitment to each other. It is not that either. Two loving people can be committed to each other without being married. Some would say that it is a legal institution that allows people to share benefits. It is not that either. Many States allow LGBT couples the legal right to the benefits provided by their partner's employment without having to be married. So what is marriage? I submit that marriage, at it's very inception, was a religious ceremony, instituted by God. Marriage is more than just an agreement between two people. In the beginning, it involved making a sacred covenant between man, woman, and God. A covenant is a binding agreement between man and God, and in this case, between two people. It is a sacred, religious ceremony. The Bible gives instruction about what marriage should be like. " For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." (Eph. 5:31) "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Matt. 19:6) This union, was the very foundation of the family. To say that marriage is between two men, or between two women, is to redefine marriage as it was originally instituted.
What does it mean to "redefine" a word? It means to disregard the original meaning, and give it a new definition. Because marriage has been known throughout the world and throughout time as the union, and covenant between a man and a woman, to now change that definition is to change the original meaning of the word. This is what I'm fighting against.
When I lived in California, Proposition 8 was developed to formally define marriage as being between one man and one woman. I campaigned to support proposition 8, and as part of that support I canvassed neighborhoods, and made telephone calls to voters. In the end, the State of California, by a margin of 52.3 percent, voted against same sex marriage. The majority spoke, and the definition of marriage was preserved. But the United States supreme court stepped in and called the vote unconstitutional. But was it? Isn't it society that determines these kind of issues? This is a country "of the people, for the people, and by the people". Why was our vote stolen away? Why did our vote have no weight?
So some would say, "Why do you care? It doesn't affect your marriage." It may not affect my own marriage, but redefining marriage does have a trickle down effect on society. I particularly like this quote I read on the "Mormon Women Stand" Facebook page. It is by Elder Boyd K. Packer from the quorum of the twelve apostles of our church: "One cannot degrade marriage without tarnishing other words as well, such words as boy, girl, manhood, womanhood, husband, wife, father, mother, baby children, family, home." When you blur the lines of marriage, you also blur the lines of gender. As it is, we see those in the media spotlight who are deciding to surgically change their gender. There are those who would like to believe that there is no difference in the genders. From an evolutionary stand point, such a society is doomed for destruction.
And what about the children of same sex marriages? Yes, they are loved, no doubt about that. But I believe that children have a right to be raised in a home with a father and a mother. Children do not have a voice in our society, so they cannot choose to which family they will be adopted. Shouldn't society preserve their right to be raised in a home with a father and mother? Love is a wonderful thing in a home, but it is not the only need. Children need the role model of a father and mother. There are those who have lost a spouse or divorced, who do not have that option. God bless them! The do the best they can. But even they would tell you that it is difficult to do without a spouse of the opposite gender. I have read two separate articles recently of people who were children of same sex marriages. Both people said that they missed having a parent who was the opposite gender from their same sex parents. Isn't this a God given right? Shouldn't we protect this right of children? Some would say, "Isn't it better for a child to be adopted by a same gender couple than remain parentless?" I can tell you that there are MANY people waiting to adopt who are heterosexual couples. Perhaps we could address the issue of the difficulty of adoption instead of saying, "Any parent is better than no parent". Shouldn't we aim for the ideal?
For me, it's not about "hating" people for their sexual orientation, but is about trying to preserve the very foundation of our society; the family. It's about preserving the meaning of marriage. It's about preserving what God intended.