Friday, December 12, 2008

A long time coming...

With all the hype over California’s Proposition 8, and all the hoopla surrounding the after-effects, I decided to take a little break from my blog. I needed to clear my head and ensure that when I finally did sit down to write this piece, that I was doing so with a straight head. Sometimes, I get a little emotional over this issue.

First of all, I need to say that I get it. I understand why the church voices its doctrine in the way that it does. I don’t disagree with the LDS church or its decision to get involved in the Yes on 8 campaign. I understand that to the LDS church and its members, marriage is not just something that exists in this life, but is something that echoes the structure of the eternities. Families are how God gets things done, and marriage and children are the highest, most sacred rite; the closest to Godhood one can get in this life.

I also understand why the LGBT community is so upset over the time and money the LDS church spent fighting what they believe is (and what California ruled was) a civil right to legal marriage.

Gaining a clear understanding of this issue is difficult without the facts, and FACTS have been a bit hard to come by in this case. I feel FACTS have been skewed by both sides of the argument. Unfortunately, most of the evidence I have uncovered does seem to place some blame on the Yes on 8 campaign (notice, I DID NOT SAY the LDS Church), and I do very much feel that the Yes on 8 campaign was run with more dirt and malice than the No on 8 campaign was. I think this is why the LGBT, including myself, is so upset over this issue, and has chosen to place blame with the LDS church.

The fact is: The LDS church, or to put it more correctly, its members, financed more than half of the Yes on 8 campaign, which was full of lies and misconceptions. I received a copy of a letter sent by the Yes on 8 campaign to a businessman who had donated to the No on 8 campaign that was so awful and sickening, that to me, it bordered on blackmail. It wasn’t worded kindly, it wasn’t respectful. This letter told this business that if they did not donate equally to the Yes on 8 campaign, then the Yes on 8 campaign would post the name of this business, and advertise it as being against traditional family values.

The letter had four signatures. One was the chairman of the Yes on 8 campaign, one was a lawyer, one was a Catholic representative, and the other? LDS.

I will do my best to contact the LDS man on this letter in hopes of discovering his reasons for allowing his name to be used. After I let my bishop read this letter, even he was appalled. He told me that there must be a reason, something I was missing, something that only the LDS side of the argument could answer, as to why the LDS church would allow its name to be used in a strong-arm argument. I was assured that this was not the church’s way... although I do believe the current evidence dictates otherwise.

I hope I am mistaken, but even if I am, there will be few others within the LGBT community with more sympathy than I, and fewer still who are willing to seek for answers. If anyone knows any specifics, I would be very happy to discuss them. In fact, I’m salivating for the chance to discuss it with someone who worked closely with the Yes on 8 campaign, because for the life of me, I cannot understand why a church that I believe to be led by God himself would resort to using lies and falsehoods in a dirty campaign. Did the Yes on 8 campaign really think they were telling the truth? They had to know they were being deceptive, right? If God himself is against gay civil marriage, then there must be a better way to reach people than to spread the lie that schools would have to teach children about gay marriage, or that churches could lose their tax exempt status for not performing such marriages if a law were to pass that would require the state or federal government to recognize (legally) such unions. And let’s not forget about those “Six consequences of Gay Marriage” pamphlets that got distributed (written by Glen Greener and Gary Lawrence, two members of the LDS church), that were all refuted by a still-in-good-standing BYU professor (if his arguments weren’t legit, wouldn’t he have been fired like the other BYU professor who supported gay marriage?)

I don’t know how much the ACTUAL church donated to the Yes on 8 campaign, but I am sure that there is now an investigation as to why phone trees, ad production, actors, and website fees weren’t reported. I highly doubt that these funds came from the tithing funds of the church (the legality of such would be questionable), but I would like to know from where it came.

So if anyone might know of someone I can talk to in order to get these questions answered, I’d appreciate an email to Everything said in that discussion will remain confidential. I just need to know... for me.

My personal views of this subject will be discussed further... eventually.

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