Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No on Prop 8, No on Prop 102

So many Mormons are publicly and actively supporting Prop 8 in California (and Prop 102 here in Arizona) that people may assume that I support these Props just by being Mormon.

I want people to know that some of us are also on the other side. I'm against Prop 8. I just wanted to state it publicly here. I urge you to give money to the No on Prop 8 campaign if you are able, even if you do not live in California. Or just put up a sign in your yard. Or just privately vote and make a difference. They can use your help.

Please also visit MormonsForMarriage to see some of the reasons I have for being against Prop 8. And to see a list of how many donations there are from Mormons to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, see this link, then look for the "Pages" sidebar and click on "Mormons for Proposition 8 Donors". The spreadsheet it pulls up tracks the money given by Mormons to push Prop 8 through. This massive donation dollar amount in support of Prop 8 is why I feel so strongly about getting some donations to the other side to even it out. See the links below to contribute to No on Prop 8.

The message below is a plea from a friend in California right now. There are useful links at the bottom if you are interested.
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Dear Friends,

In just three weeks, California voters will decide whether to change the California Constitution to single out gay and lesbian couples and eliminate their fundamental right to marry. I believe this is inconsistent with Mormon values and in this final hour I urge you to do what you can to defeat Proposition 8.

So many of us from LDS backgrounds value our own Constitutional protections and believe strongly that the Constitution should protect freedoms, not take them away. Regardless of how any one person or faith feels about marriage for same-sex couples, we know that it is wrong to use the Constitution to treat a group of people unfairly.

The truth is that passing Prop 8 would hurt gay and lesbian couples – our family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors – and devalue their relationships and their lives. Coming from Mormon backgrounds, we believe in the importance of families and want all families to be treated equally and fairly, which includes having the right to marry the person you love.

As you may already know, proponents of Prop 8 have a significant fundraising advantage and are currently blanketing the airwaves with advertisements that contain misinformation designed to scare voters into voting Yes on Prop 8. Despite what the Yes on 8 Campaign would have us believe, the vote on Prop 8 is not about what children are taught in school, whether churches will lose their tax-exempt status, or whether people of faith may define marriage however they choose. The proposition mentions none of these things. The vote is about whether the State of California should take away the right of a group of people to get married and enjoy the dignity and respect that comes with marriage. Doing this would be profoundly wrong.

I call on all people from LDS backgrounds – active members and former members alike, those in California, Utah, and across the country – to make a personal sacrifice and donate to the No on 8 Campaign. You may do so at the following URL:

http://www.actblue.com/page/mormonsagainst8

If you haven't donated yet, please do so; if you already have, please consider doing so again. And please enlist your friends and family by forwarding this message to 10 people.

For those who would like to volunteer to call undecided voters in these final weeks, please contact the No on 8 Campaign to learn how to sign up. You may volunteer at phone banks across California, or you may also phone bank remotely from your home anywhere across the country. Go to this URL to sign up:

http://www.noonprop8.com/action/phone-bank

Thank you for helping to defend the fundamental right to marry for all Californians. Contribute as much as you can today and remember to VOTE NO ON PROP 8!!

21 comments:

Lani said...

I found your links interesting and enlightening as to some of the reasons some choose to vote no on these propositions. Personally, I don't think that they are all valid arguments. I kept thinking about the Proclamation on the Family, and how it clearly defines that marriage should be between man and woman. But, I didn't see this addressed anywhere among all the other quotations.

At the same time, I have felt a uncomfortable just hearing about some of the things going on in stakes/wards in California and Arizona. Even though I think I would vote yes on either of these propositions, I know I would feel very uncomfortable hearing politics being pushed at church on Sunday. I believe that detracts from the most important reasons we are there: to renew our covenants, and to uplift and strengthen one another. I'm so sorry that you've had to deal with that.

Lani said...

I just wanted to add that I did actually go and look up both propositions, in addition to looking at your links.

Travis Butterfield said...

You know, I admire you for having the courage to do what you think is right, even though it goes against what is popular in the church. This is a very sensitive issue for a lot of people. I personally am going to vote for it. But, I can respect why other people, such as yourself, are against it. Personally, I have to admit that I don't know as much about this particular issue as I probably should. Your post has motivated me to learn more about the possible negative consequences that this vote could have. I don't think I'm going to change my mind on the issue, but I do want to be more informed about it.

Travis Butterfield said...

So, because of your blog post I have looked more into this issue. I looked at the links you provided, and I have also looked at the church's official stance. I liked this sentence: "The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference." I think if the church DID object to these rights, I would have a problem with it. I think this is ultimately a matter of definition. If gays and lesbians could have all of the same tax, medical, etc. rights that married heterosexuals enjoy - but not be defined as being "married," I wouldn't have a problem with it. I know I'm kind of sticking my neck out a bit by sharing my reasons for voting the other way on your blog. I hope you aren't offended.

p.s. if you want to know where I got that quote, it's from: http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/the-divine-institution-of-marriage

Hubers said...

Aren't you glad to live in a country where we as the people can have such strong views and actually make a difference! During this time of year, I see so many heated arguements, but when I step back, it just makes me really grateful to live in America!

k said...

Thanks for everyone being so involved! I really don't worry about the fact that I may disagree with some of you, I just want the information on BOTH sides to get out there. So I feel better doing my part without stepping on too many toes.

Also, I really appreciate the fact that I can write these things and hear from such good people as yourselves. When I get frustrated in my ward, or reading other blogs or websites where understanding DOESN'T abound, it's nice to know that I know some thoughtful Mormons that really care.

And yes, I AM grateful to live America!

tyggna said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
k said...

I'm sorry if anyone was offended by the last comment. I took care of it.

k said...

Actually, I think I'll put the comment back. I changed 2 names to nothing so that they won't get dragged into it. It's not my fault Todd wrote it, so here it is:

Well, Kendahl, the fact of the matter is that the letter urging saints to support these propositions was signed by the first presidency. It was read in church, over the pulpit, and whatever your beliefs or stance on this postion, you and all of the mormons who are openly against them cannot, under any circumstances, hope to achieve exaultation. Gods cannot allow their children to go against eternal design--they are obligated to disown them, as Lucifer found out the hard way.

Really, I don't think any political belief ought to take precedance over eternal truth. Honestly, Dani and I are seriously considering a change in our life-insurance policy, and to ask (name) and (name) to take care of our kids should anything happen to us for this reason alone. We'd rather have our children have to reconcile themselves to an unhealthy level of materialism than to open rebellion against God--and that's what this amounts to.

Dani has family members who are openly practicing homosexuals. We're not unsensitive to this issue. But when it comes down to it, the stance of God on this issue, and His opinion, which has not been subject to change in well over four thousand years on this issue, is of greater importance than even family ties.

It might just be a blog, it might just be a belief you have in passing, but in eternity, it doesn't stand, it won't stand, and those who stand by it will be washed away with it. I'd rather you reconsider your standpoint--it isn't a matter of the political issue so much as it is of truth and eternity.

k said...

I'd also like to make a few points.

The stake president said that he WAS NOT telling us which way to vote. Therefore, if I oppose a political proposition then how am I denied exaltation? Also, our bishop knows how we feel. He seems okay with it.

Ryan M said...

It's probably also worth pointing out that God decides who is saved and who isn't. And, while I'm not as animated on this issue as Kendahl is, I don't think that amending constitutions to restrict civil rights is a good idea. And, for what it's worth, I've discussed this issue with our bishop and he has told me that there is no requirement to think a certain way on this issue.

I think Todd's take on this is pretty extreme and doesn't gel with how this issue was presented to Mormons. First, the letter signed by the president was only read to Mormons in California. Most Mormons never heard it and weren't intended to hear it. This makes me think that supporting Prop 8 is not a universal commandment for all church members, much less for all people everywhere. Second, the letter does not say "you must do this or you will go to hell." It doesn't even say that you have to agree with it. It requests that members take certain actions if they can. I think that people are still free to think and act the way they want. Third, even if the church takes a moral stand, it doesn't mean that everyone has to take action to make sure that those morals are implemented or face damnation. For example, the church is also against co-habitation, adultery, and drinking, yet we don't have to push laws to ban those practices--even though mormons were once encourages to support prohibition. (Also, I think these amendments will do very little to change morals as homosexuals (thankfully) already have civil rights that make their partnerships almost the equivalent of marriage). Finally, the church has also vehemently opposed blacks getting the priesthood, the civil rights movements, interracial marriages, and even monagomous marriages in the past. These were condemned as sinful or the result of sinful people. The church leaders are not immune from making mistakes when it comes to policies and politics.

Lets give the parties on both sides of this issue a little more credit: no one is asking the church to change its own morals or even to stop teaching them to people. And the church is not requiring its members to enforce certain morals or face eternal damnation.

stephen said...

Ryan and Kendahl,

You guys are awesome and I'd let you raise my kids.

k said...

Steve,
:)

Jacque said...

Wow. This is really interesting. I have to say that I think this isn't a black and white issue. I think Heavenly Father would look down with love and say, "You're right. It isn't fair. It isn't right to deny a specific group of people a certain privelege." But perhaps His purposes are His own and we cannot understand the fullness of them. Our church has taken stances on many things in the past that were controversial and we may not even understand why those happened. I don't think they could've come out and said, "Well, we know this is unfair for some, but it's for the greater good." There's just no way that would fly.

I especially think it's difficult when it seems like everything our country stands for is called into question. When we've been taught to love all people from all backgrounds, cultures, races, religions, etc. And many have paid bitter prices fighting to preserve this ideology. I think Heavenly Father surely knows where you stand and I think the Spirit of the Law has to come into play in this case. There's no clearcut right or wrong. After all the second commandment is to love our neighbor and I think that your entire stance is based on that. Leaving all the arguments behind; all the reasons for or against; fear and morality; you love your brother and would never want to hurt him. To me, that's pretty cool.

k said...

Thanks Jacque. That's why I love you :)

Hubers said...

You know this summer when I was visiting my family, the whole family got into this huge 2 hr political argument. The funniest part is, we were all voting for the same person.;-) I guess sometimes the southerns are right, "You should never talk about politics or family...especially with family." Hope things get smoother for all of us. Sometimes I wish Nov 5th was here, and it was just all over. It's kinda the same feeling as you get right before a test and you know that your brain can absorb no more....
Good luck to all in the processes!

Brian Neesham said...

I'm now into part two of the PBS documentary on Mormons. Interesting point made yesterday that John Taylor our 3rd prophet came out and said "the only reasons Blacks survived the flood was because Satan needed representation here on the earth." Now this is a prophet of God, who I think should be held to the highest standards since he receives direct revelation. In the documentary Dallin Oaks also says that we HAVE to follow the counsel of our leaders and it's a sin not too, even if that leader is wrong. Just as Todd said. But my thought is, what if we all believed that blacks were Satan's representation? We'd all be racist because one person told us to be. There are many other things in the church's history that 99% of the people don't know because they don't teach it in Sunday School such as the Massacre in the Meadow, specifics on plural marriage, why blacks weren't allowed the priesthood, etc. So why is this issue so different? Yes, I do believe in family and I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman. What we are arguing about here in California is simply a word. Gays can't get married and us straight folk can't get domestic partnerships unless we are over 62. But for me it comes down to Agency. Why is it my responsibility to tell somebody what they can or cannot do. I understand the moral obligation for the abortion argument but if gays can have domestic partnerships what difference REALLY is it to say they are married. For one thing it would generate a hell of a lot more revenue for California so we all might live a little bit easier and our kids could actually go to schools rather than see them closing along with firehouses, police stations, parks, etc. But the bigger point is this... I've judged the church in the past, but realized it's the members who need to be siphoned through, not the doctrines per say. People like Todd say the dumbest things in a public arena and that makes others judge all of us for his beliefs even though most people aren't that closed minded. That is why 100 years later I am still asked how many wives I have. Ignorance. Imagine what place the people of the church are putting us into with their 'passion' for this initiative without knowing all the facts, without thinking for themselves, without questioning things, or without ever knowing a gay person. I believe this is going to need huge damage control in the future based off of the people's efforts.

Us Californians have been asked to give 4 hours of our time per week to knock on our neighbors door to ask them to vote yes. One of my clients is in a lesbian relationship and when it comes down to it they are probably more Christian than me and have done WAY more good for the world then I have. So for me, to ask that person to go against their lifestyle and their happiness because I am a Mormon Christian person who believes I have all the right answers is too much. I cannot believe the God I worship would look down upon that person and damn them to hell because they didn't choose to have a family with a man and have babies. But yet she is one of the nicest happiest people I have ever met. I'd rather err on the side of no exaltation for a good friendship and to not judge because somebody told me I should. Christ didn't look down at the woman at the well, or the leper, or anybody else, he loved them all even as children. I look back at history and think about all the people who judged blacks because our prophet said they were Satan's representation, or any other situation that I feel would be the direct opposite of what Christ would do based on the very teachings we try to teach others that he taught us. I just can't do that. Kendahl...I guess I'll see you in hell. No on 8!

Brian Neesham said...

I also forgot to add about my point about the people of the church. I went to a stake priesthood conference once in a BYU stake and we all got grilled about how we should be wearing white shirts because anything else is simply not following the prophet. If we wore any other shirts besides a white one (as today I wore a blue one with a blue tie) we simply were not following the prophets example and simply needed to repent. That has stood out in my mind since that day as to why we can't judge the truth or the overall gospel by the acts of the people. Sometimes we all have different interpretations, or different life experiences that lead us down certain paths. I simply don't want to be a lemming.

Shane & Nikki said...

It's very sad to hear the rational from those planning to vote yes on 8... I believe it is a disrespectful, selfish and fundamentally hateful proposition and I hope they reconsider. NO ON 8!
Kudos to Kendahl.

HW said...

K-

I must say I respectfully disagree, even though I have neighbors, friends and family members who are gay. I agree with what lani said--I can't reconcile it with what I believe to be inspired from God. Giving same-sex partners legal marriage hastens the disintegration of the family as the fundamental unit of our society and may alter my civil and religious freedoms.

I appreciate your thoughtfulness in considering this and the good heart your position comes from and didn't know if I should say anything, but have felt like I really should.

Hugs-
H.

Brian Neesham said...

Your brothers girlfriend posted this. I liked it. Kind of overkill now on your blog, but worth posting...And I quote...
1) Being gay is not natural.

And real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning, tattoos, piercings and silicon breasts.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay.

in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior.

(People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract. Lamps are next.)

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all;

Hence why women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.


5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed;

And we can't let the sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage be destroyed.


6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children.


So therefore, gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our population isn't out of control, our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.


7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children,

Since, of course, straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion.

In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America. (For the record, Jesus never once condemned homosexuality.
)

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home.

Which is exactly why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.


10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms.

Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.


**Whether or not you AGREE with gay marriage, Prop 8 takes away fundamental rights and that is simply not right. And by the way, Prop 8 has absolutely nothing to do with what children are taught in schools. Schools are not required to teach about marriage. They never have. It's just a scare tactic. Don't buy into it.