Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Most Happy People - The Queen's 2008 Christmas Message

While I am not from Great Britain, I was really touched with the sentiments of Queen Elizabeth II's Annual Christmas speech. A lot has been posted recently about "being happy" and "how to be happy" and while Mosiah already gives the formula for true happiness, it was nice to hear it stated from someone else.



Full text of the Queen's message

December 25th, 2008

THE full text of the Queen's Christmas Day message:

"Christmas is a time for celebration, but this year it is a more somber occasion for many. Some of those things which could have been taken for granted suddenly seem less certain and, naturally, give rise to feelings of insecurity.

"People are touched by events which have their roots far across the world. Whether it is the global economy or violence in a distant land, the effects can be keenly felt at home. Once again, many of our service men and women are serving on operations in common cause to bring peace and security to troubled places.

"In this ninetieth year since the end of the First World War, the last survivors recently commemorated the service and enormous sacrifice of their own generation. Their successors in theatres such as Iraq and Afghanistan are still to be found in harm's way in the service of others. For their loved ones, the worry will never cease until they are safely home.

"In such times as these we can all learn some lessons from the past. We might begin to see things in a new perspective. And certainly, we begin to ask ourselves where it is that we can find lasting happiness.

"Over the years, those who have seemed to me to be the most happy, contented and fulfilled have always been the people who have lived the most outgoing and unselfish lives; the kind of people who are generous with their talents or their time. There are those who use their prosperity or good fortune for the benefit of others whether they number among the great philanthropists or are people who, with whatever they have, simply have a desire to help those less fortunate than themselves.

"What they offer comes in the form of what can easily be recognized as service to the nation or service to the wider community. As often as not, however, their unselfishness is a simply-taken-for-granted part of the life of their family or neighborhood.

"They tend to have some sense that life itself is full of blessings and is a precious gift for which we should be thankful. When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.

"I think we have a huge amount to learn from individuals such as these. And what I believe many of us share with them is a source of strength and peace of mind in our own families. Indeed, Prince Philip and I can reflect on the blessing, comfort and support we have gained from our own family in this special year for our son, The Prince of Wales.

"As parents and grandparents, we feel great pride in seeing our family make their own unique contributions to society. Through his charities, The Prince of Wales has worked to support young people and other causes for the benefit of the wider community, and now his sons are following in his footsteps.

"At Christmas, we feel very fortunate to have our family around us. But for many of you, this Christmas will mean separation from loved ones and perhaps reflection on the memories of those no longer with us.

"I hope that, like me, you will be comforted by the example of Jesus of Nazareth who, often in circumstances of great adversity, managed to live an outgoing, unselfish and sacrificial life. Countless millions of people around the world continue to celebrate his birthday at Christmas, inspired by his teaching. He makes it clear that genuine human happiness and satisfaction lie more in giving than receiving; more in serving than in being served.

"We can surely be grateful that, two thousand years after the birth of Jesus, so many of us are able to draw inspiration from his life and message, and to find in him a source of strength and courage. I hope that the Christmas message will encourage and sustain you, too, now and in the coming year.

"I wish you all a very happy Christmas."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How To Be Miserable -

Daily, constantly, we choose by our desires, our thoughts, and our actions whether we want to be blessed or cursed, happy or miserable. ~Ezra Taft Benson

1. Believe That Things Will Never Change
* Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change. ~Norman Vincent Peale
* Tough times never last, but tough people do! ~Robert Schuller

2. Think About Your Problems
* Everyone can be discontented if he ignores his blessings and looks only at his burdens. ~Thomas S. Monson

3. Worry About Things You Can't Control
* He who worries about calamities suffers them twice over. ~Og Mandino

4. Complain About Your Blessings or compare them against things you have sacrificed.
* I complained because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet. ~Sign in a shoe shop

5. Think About Yourself
* Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves: the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

6. Put Yourself Down (and/or Compare Yourself To Others "Better Off")
* Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win... ~William Shakespeare

7. Hold Onto Grudges, Don't forgive, Don't give people chances to change
* There is no peace in the nursing of a grudge. There is no happiness in living for the day when you can "get even." ~Gordon B. Hinckley

8. Put Deadlines On Your Happiness (i.e. "I won't be happy until __________ happens.")
* Happiness is a decision, not a destination. It's and attitude, not an event! ~John Bytheway

9. Always Want More
* Remember that in the end, surely God will be looking only for clean hands, not full ones. ~Jeffrey R. Holland

10. Postpone Prayer
* Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. ~ Matthew 7:7

11. Recycle Regrets
* The past is behind; learn from it. The future is ahead; prepare for it. The present is here; live in it! ~Thomas S. Monson

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Proposed Boycott and Finding Friends in the Darnest Places

Okay this is kinda funny. And I warn you its a little on the edgy side.

Today I got an e-mail from a friend who asked me about the local effects of the proposed boycott of those businesses and individuals who supported Prop 8 in my community. I told him honestly I didn't anticipate to much of a backlash as I'm from a pretty conservative area. He asked me if I had seen the local list. This guy isn't LDS and he's out and all that. I said no, so he sent me a link.

Against my better judgment, I was directed to a classified weblist, you can figure out which one it was, it belongs to Criag. The link was listed under man for man in my area. The post was "Prop 8."

I read the list. It had the names, home addresses and phone numbers as well as businesses owned by my former stake president, various counsilers, lots of friends, people from the neighboring stakes and such. Bishops, regular members and people who I would never have guessed would have contributed. The donations ranged from a couple $5,000 ones to $200. Then I saw it. My best friends mom who is also a pretty good friend of mine was there.

This was a moment I couldn't resist. I quickly called her. She owns a car lot. She had made a contribution, I figured she had as I almost broke my neck helping her hang a big sign on her lot.

The conversation went like this.

"Hay, do you know your name is on a gay men's hook-up site?" There was silence. Then "What???" I started to laugh. A coworker who is also LDS and who was reading the list, also started to laugh. "Yeah, on (this list that belongs to Craig that I won't name) your name and address and phone number is listed under men seeking men.

"What are you talking about?" I told her to check her e-mail. She did and a few seconds later she started to laugh and then she must have clicked out of that post and on to an other and I'm only assuming the next post had a picture, because she suddenly said "YUCK!" and then said she logged off.

Two seconds later she came over to my office. Her lot is across the street and my coworker and I were laughing. "Oh my heck, I can't wait to tell your husband about the sites I find you on," said. She counters with, "Why were you on that site." Then we both started to laugh. "So I'm on the DIShonrable List huh?" she joked. There was a link on the post to a larger list that bore that title with more names.

Then it occurred to both of us. And this would be really, really funny if it wasn't really, really disturbing. "You know this is probably the only time in history that the names, addresses and phone numbers of the stake president and bishop will ever be listed on a gay hook-up site." LOL! Then we laughed some more.

I realize that this is an invasion of privacy, I also understand that its public info that you can get from the Sec of States office. She told me that for a few minutes she was outraged. Then she figured what the heck, she was doing what she felt was right, she was following the Prophets urging and if this is one of the dirty tricks the adversary wants to play so be it. In all reality it's pretty darn funny.

Monday, November 17, 2008

For the Record: The Church and the IRS

The First Amendment guarantees (1) the free exercise religion, and (2) the right of free speech. In its limited political involvement on moral issues, the Church acts within the protection of the First Amendment.

Under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, tax-exempt organizations such at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are allowed to be involved in political issues and maintain their tax exemption as long as (1) their involvement is not a substantial part of their total activities, and (2) they do not participate or intervene in political campaigns on behalf of or in oppositions to any candidate for public office.

The Church clearly meets the requirements for tax-exempt organizations. Its involvement with political issues is rare and does not involve a significant fraction of its total activities and assets when one considers the substantial resources committed by the church to missionary work, temple and meeting house building and maintenance, family history, education, etc. Further, the Church maintains strict neutrality regarding political candidates.

This should lay to rest any assertions that the Church's efforts in support of traditional marriage are in violation of the IRS Tax Code.

Friday, November 14, 2008

First Presidency Urges Respect, Civility in Public Discourse

SALT LAKE CITY - Five months ago, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a letter to members of the Church in California, encouraging them to join the millions of other Californians from many religious denominations, ethnic groups and political persuasions in a broad coalition to defend marriage as it has been defined for millennia.

During the election campaign, both sides of the argument on Proposition 8 had ample opportunities to express their viewpoint. The result was conclusively in favor of traditional marriage. More than 40 states in the United States have now voted to protect traditional marriage, either directly or through their elected representatives.

Today the First Presidency issued this statement about the democratic process:

Since the people of California voted to reaffirm the sanctity of traditional marriage between a man and a woman on November 4, 2008, places of worship have been targeted by opponents of Proposition 8 with demonstrations and, in some cases, vandalism. People of faith have been intimidated for simply exercising their democratic rights. These are not actions that are worthy of the democratic ideals of our nation. The end of a free and fair election should not be the beginning of a hostile response in America.

The Church is keenly aware of the differences of opinion on this difficult and sensitive matter. The reasons for this principled stand in defense of marriage have already been articulated elsewhere. However, some of what we have seen since Californians voted to pass Proposition 8 has been deeply disappointing.

Attacks on churches and intimidation of people of faith have no place in civil discourse over controversial issues. People of faith have a democratic right to express their views in the public square without fear of reprisal. Efforts to force citizens out of public discussion should be deplored by people of goodwill everywhere.

We call upon those who have honest disagreements on this issue to urge restraint upon the extreme actions of a few that are further polarizing our communities and urge them to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other.

THIS IS NOT PART OF THE STATEMENT FROM THE FIRST PRESIDENCY BUT IT IS GOOD ADVICE:

As all of you know, the protests from the No on 8 side will continue this weekend.

We have been counseled not to hold counter-demonstrations. The other side will be looking for confrontations and if they get them, guess how the attending media will spin villains and victims?

Stay away from the demonstrations and let the police handle things. Especially encourage our most passionate supporters to stay at home. The more the other side demonstrates, the more their temper tantrums help us.

Let's not do anything that detracts from their visual stupidity.

Keep things in perspective: We can paint over graffiti on our buildings and we can plant new flowers on our temple grounds, but it's more difficult to repair a reputation that has been tarnished because some member loses his temper.

Be patient and kind. Turn the other cheek. This too shall pass.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mormons and Prop 8: The facts

Mormons make up less than 2 percent of the population of California. There are approximately 800,000 LDS out of a total population of approximately 34 million. Mormon voters were less than 5% of the yes vote. If one estimates that 250,000 LDS are registered voters (the rest being children), then LDS voters made up 4.6 percent of the Yes vote and 2.4 percent of the total Proposition 8 vote.

The No on 8 campaign raised more money than the Yes on 8 campaign. Unofficial estimates put No on 8 at $38 million and Yes on 8 at $32 million, making it the most expensive non-presidential election in the country.

Advertising messages for the Yes on 8 campaign are based on case law and real-life situations. The No on 8 supporters have insisted that the Yes on 8 messaging is based on lies. Every Yes on 8 claim is supported.

African Americans overwhelmingly supported Yes on 8. Exit polls show that 70 percent of Black voters chose Yes on 8. This was interesting because the majority of these voters voted for President-elect Obama. No on 8 supporters had assumed that Obama voters would vote No on 8.

The majority of Latino voters voted Yes on 8. Exit polls show that the majority of Latinos supported Yes on 8 and cited religious beliefs (assumed to be primarily Catholic).

The Yes on 8 coalition was a broad spectrum of religious organizations. Catholics, Evangelicals, Protestants, Orthodox Jews, Muslims - all supported Yes on 8. It is estimated that there are 10 million Catholics and 10 million Protestants in California. Mormons were a tiny fraction of the population represented by Yes on 8 coalition members.

Not all Mormons voted in favor of Proposition 8. Our faith accords that each person be allowed to choose for him or her self. Church leaders have asked members to treat other members with "civility, respect and love," despite their differing views.

The Church did not violate the principal of separation of church and state. This principle is derived from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ."

The phrase "separation of church and state," which does not appear in the Constitution itself, is generally traced to an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, although it has since been quoted in several opinions handed down by the United States Supreme Court in recent years. The LDS Church is under no obligation to refrain from participating in the political process, to the extent permitted by law. U.S. election law is very clear that churches may not endorse candidates, but may support issues. The Church has always been very careful on this matter and occasionally (not often) chooses to support causes that it feels to be of a moral nature.

Supporters of Proposition 8 did exactly what the Constitution provides for all citizens: they exercised their First Amendment rights to speak out on an issue that concerned them, make contributions to a cause that they support, and then vote in the regular electoral process.

This has been done in an open, fair, and civil way. Opponents of 8 have accused supporters of being bigots, liars, and worse.

The fact is, we simply did what Americans do - we spoke up, we campaigned, and we voted.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Protesters, Prop 8 and comments

...I guess you're refusing to apologize for being a bigot. It is hateful and wrong. Mormons should know better, and we will make it painful until they do. I'm planning on protesting a lot. And making t-shirts with the garment symbols on them....

This was left as a comment on my last blog.

Another reader felt that while it's unfair to judge all gay people by the acts of a few stereotypical ones, its okay to judge all Mormons for the acts of one Utah resident who burned a flag of a neighbor who supported Obama. We don't know if that person is LDS. We are assuming this because they are from Utah. And even so apparently this is representative of ALL Mormons. He also goes on to talk about how the church should change its doctrines to make life easier for those who can't follow the commandments. I guess the concept here is if we water down and make the commandments easier then more people will follow them and be happy. Feeling happy is apparently more important then actually being happy. Of course he uses the emotional loaded word suicide which of course makes anyone who comments about this sound heartless.

My statement to the first comment is this. Go right ahead and do it. I don't care. Do you really think its going to further your cause or make Mormons feel sorry for you and change their minds?

At this point both sides have their extremes. The real issue here is that these protests are going to polarize the middle. The people who may feel that "okay its wrong but they have rights" when they begin to feel attacked when they see their sacred symbols attacked or they see their LDS neighbors who they know aren't bigots maligned, they are going to act. They are feeling pushed.

This bothers me personally because it will only lead to further stereotyping on both sides. This will lead to further conflict. And those of us in the middle will end up losing on both ends.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Be Not Ashamed: Some post Prop 8 thoughts

I have stayed silent for a few days now after the election for a number of reasons.

BUT I am now going to speak up for those of us who feel that our active support of Prop 8 equates to hate or intolerance at worst or blindly following the Prophet at best. I haven't really heard of much gloating from members of my ward or stake. Yes they are happy because the did work hard. But I don't think it can even be defined as gloating.

For those of us who feel that the Proclamation to the World is an inspired declaration, for those of us in CA who worked on this, happiness over the passage of Prop 8 feels like we have done what the Prophet has asked to try to stem the things that would bring to pass the things that prophets past and present have warned against. At least for now its a relief.

I do object to those who say that we shouldn't be well pleased with the results. Those who jump to this statement need to remember that participating in this hasn't been easy for any of us. For many of us this victory is representative of countless hours of work involving: knocking on doors, calling people, talking to people, placing signs etc. For those of us who struggle with Same Gender Attraction this was especially hard.

Those of us who struggle understand what our brothers and sisters who may choose not to live according to the gospel plan feel. But I want to make an observation. I am fairly sure that when Nephi and company found out that the city had been conquered and enslaved after they packed up and left, that they didn't gloat about their choice to follow God's "urging" to leave. I'm pretty sure that when Noah and his family brought up the gangplank on the ark amidst the jeering of their friends only to have to listen to them begging and pleading to let them in when the floods started. I'm sure they didn't stand on the deck of the ship saying "I told you so, too bad."

I'm sure they felt bad and they cried because of the choices of their beloved friends and neighbors who choose to use their agency in a way that was in opposition to what they had been urged to do. They loved them and felt bad that their choices had separated them from God. I'm sure they mourned them the same way we mourned the loss of a 1/3 of our brothers and sisters as a result of them following Satan in the war in heaven. But feeling bad about that didn't keep us from going forward with our choice to follow our Heavenly Father.

I'm not going to argue here rather choosing to follow the Prophet's call to action over this issue represented following the Prophet or not. The First Presidency in a letter and two apostles in a broadcast issues a clear call. But that is up to the individual, but what I am saying is that for those of us who did, we have nothing to apologize for. We did what we felt was right and we should never be ashamed of that. That doesn't mean we need to gloat over it. But we can walk away knowing that we did what we set out to do. For those who attended the broadcast as Elder Ballard and Elder Cook stressed we were engaged in the Lord's work. Those were his words, not mine.

When my bishop asked me to serve as our wards Zip Code Coordinator I admit that I had to struggle with it. On one hand it was something I knew I could do. I've had experience organizing past involvement in local, state and national campaigns. I love doing it. I could do this. Then he told me that he understands I struggle and that was the main reason he wanted my help because he felt that I could help with this and have the correct understanding of why we are doing this. I prayed about this and felt that it was the right thing to do.

The first thing I did was order enough copies of "The Lord Loveth His Children" and everyone of my volunteers received one when they came on board. I will say that none of my organizational meetings were homophobic, I will say that at least in none of the priesthood meetings I attended were stupid things said and if they were they were shot down by the majority. This was a fantastic opportunity to teach correct principles. From day one I made sure everyone involved knew what this was about and what it wasn't about.

I have lost friends over this. I've had longtime friends tell me that I was hateful, intolerant, ignorant and homophobic. I've been called sick. I've had people remove me from Myspace and Facebook. I've had friends send me letters and text messages telling me to never talk to them again. Within my own family my little brother is currently not speaking to my dad. I've had my faith, my church and my beliefs challenged. I have several good friends who were so emotionally disturbed by protesters at the Oakland Temple that they came home in tears. Yes, I've had my yard signs stolen, and my car keyed over my bumper sticker. Ironicly these are all the actions of so called tolerant people. As I write this I am watching a broadcast on the news about riots in front of the LA Temple and plans for a similar protest on Temple Square.

Yes we need to be more loving and more understanding. But we don't have to be ashamed of it. We don't have to apologize for what we believe in order to make those who choose to sin feel more loved or accepted. We don't have to accept the sin in order to love the sinner. I don't have to go to gay clubs to show my gay friends that I accept them as people. I don't have to attend gay pride parades to demonstrate that I accept their choices. I don't have to have an online presence on gay.com or connextions to show that while I don't choose to engage in the lifestyle, I am okay with those who do. I don't have to surround myself with immorality in order to prove that I'm tolerant.

Standing for something means taking a stand and this sometimes means having to walk away from things that would influence me to make bad choices. Being tolerant never means having to put myself in spiritually hazardous situations.

I refuse to apologize for standing up for what I think is right. I refuse to apologize for making the difficult choice to follow the Prophet. I refuse to apologize for my faith and my beliefs. I am not ashamed nor do I feel that I need to hide it. If 5,000 people can rally and riot in front of the LA Temple, climb all over the walls, engage in inappropriate and publicly sexual behavior in order to "punish" by shocking Mormons on their own terf. Perhaps those who are good friends with these people should tell them that they need to also question their actions.

Tolerance goes two ways. I can accept if my friends feel a need to live their lives in a way that goes against what I believe. BUT I also expect them to accept my beliefs and accept my opinions as well. Real tolerance goes both ways. I think thats a concept that has been forgotten in this whole deal.

I want to leave a few thoughts here.

* This evening I saw a news broadcast that put all the blame on the passage of this on the shoulders of the Mormon Church. One guy is urged all gay people to not stay at Marriot Hotels. Another was saying how they need to do everything they can to discredit Mitt Romney so as to cripple his chances to run for president. One guy was saying that they should get the list of names off the mormonsforprop8 site and blacklist businesses and shame them out of their elected offices and whatnot. Apparently the 2.5 percent of the Mormon Church population about 750,000 are the ones to blame here. To be honest I only wish for our missionary efforts we were this influential.

* Remember that while we worked on a broad based, grass roots organization, many of those who worked along side us have no use for Mormons in general. We are still a cult. We had a huge bus rally in my area that was planned at the Baptist Church. At first the Church wasn't even contacted to participated. We seemed to have been viewed as a necessary evil in the end when we received an invite. Oddly about 75 percent of the large crowd of 700 people were LDS.

* With the election of Obama, this nations seems to have thrown out the conservative view point. Other races indicate that the influence of the Religious Right is decreasing. Yet Prop 8 in CA, Prop 207 in AZ, Measure 2 in FL and a similar measure in AR all passed. For the record 7 in 10 black males voted for Prop 8 in CA. This is something to think about.

* There was a lot of attacks on the church for using so called scare tactics and half truths. A lot of which translated into "I don't like the facts presented and refuse to accept them." But at the eleventh hour a commercial depicting two Mormon Elders invading a home was aired and the same people who cried foul about the Yes on 8's tactics are now seeing justifications for this new ad. Either that or they claimed that it wasn't really part of what the mainstream No on 8 crowd agreed on.

* One final observation. Did anyone notice just how not gay or at least non-sterotypical the lesbian couple looked in that ad. To be honest the two Mormon Elders appeared more gay looking then the couple. This brings up a point. In any of the ads for No on 8 how much homosexuality was depicted? None. It was all about civil rights and texts and attacks on the facts used by the Yes on 8 side. The clear and simple fact was that the No on 8 people knew that to publicly own their cause would present an image problem. They knew that pictures same gender affection by in large makes people uncomfortable. While most people want to think of themselves as tolerant, they also don't want to see things that make them feel uncomfortable. Judging by the votes in CA, FL, AR, and AZ this seems to ring true.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Church Responds to Same-Sex

SALT LAKE CITY - Since Proposition 8 was placed on the ballot in June of this year, the citizens of California have considered the arguments for and against same-sex marriage. After extensive debate between those of different persuasions, voters have chosen to amend the California State Constitution to state that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Voters in Arizona and Florida took the same course and amended their constitutions to establish that marriage will continue to be between a man and a woman.

Such an emotionally charged issue concerning the most personal and cherished aspects of life — family, identity, intimacy and equality — stirs fervent and deep feelings.

Most likely, the election results for these constitutional amendments will not mean an end to the debate over same-sex marriage in this country.

We hope that now and in the future all parties involved in this issue will be well informed and act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different position. No one on any side of the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to erroneous information.

It is important to understand that this issue for the Church has always been about the sacred and divine institution of marriage — a union between a man and a woman.

Allegations of bigotry or persecution made against the Church were and are simply wrong. The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians. Even more, the Church does not object to rights for same-sex couples 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 traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.

Some, however, have mistakenly asserted that churches should not ever be involved in politics when moral issues are involved. In fact, churches and religious organizations are well within their constitutional rights to speak out and be engaged in the many moral and ethical problems facing society. While the Church does not endorse candidates or platforms, it does reserve the right to speak out on important issues.

Before it accepted the invitation to join broad-based coalitions for the amendments, the Church knew that some of its members would choose not to support its position. Voting choices by Latter-day Saints, like all other people, are influenced by their own unique experiences and circumstances. As we move forward from the election, Church members need to be understanding and accepting of each other and work together for a better society.

Even though the democratic process can be demanding and difficult, Latter-day Saints are profoundly grateful for and respect the ideals of a true democracy.

The Church expresses deep appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the many Latter-day Saints and others who supported the coalitions in efforts regarding these amendments.

Monday, November 3, 2008

No on 8 ad shows Mormon Missionaries as home invaders



File this under can they sink any lower?

After months of accusing the Yes on 8 people of using "so called scare tactics" it looks like our tolerant friends have shown their true colors. This ad will appear in CA in the Morning.

It is true that the Church has joined a broad-based coalition in defense of traditional marriage. Church spokesman Scott Trotter said in response to this hateful attack "While we feel this is important to all of society, we have always emphasized that respect be given to those who feel differently on this issue. It is unfortunate that some who oppose this proposition have not given the Church this same courtesy."

I hope that you will join us today and show that we won't stand for this kind of stuff in California. We will send a message that judges can't overturn our votes. Please Vote YES on Prop 8.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Thurston Paper: Mischaracterized in 'No on 8' Press Release

LDS Lawyer's Commentary Mischaracterized in 'No on 8' Press Release

ORANGE COUNTY- A press release dated October 19 from a public relations firm representing 'No on 8' is inaccurate and misleading," says Morris A. Thurston, an LDS lawyer who was erroneously cited as having "debunked" new California Prop 8 ads.

More than a month ago, Thurston wrote a commentary on a document titled "Six Consequences ... if Prop 8 Fails." That document, unsigned and anonymous, had not been approved by the LDS Church, although it was being circulated by some local church members. "It contained certain misstatements about the consequences of Prop 8's failure," Thurston said, "so I wrote my commentary to correct these errors. To the best of my knowledge, the church has since discouraged its members from using anonymous documents such as this. It has never been posted on the official LDS Church website."

"The 'No on 8' press release is inaccurate in a number of respects," said Thurston.

"First, the release implies that I have 'debunked' a new television ad recently released by the Prop 8 campaign and that my commentary 'clearly states the Prop. 8 ads are based entirely on claims that are not true.' This is incorrect. I have never contended that all claims in television ads released by Prop 8 supporters are untrue or misleading and I have not seen the new ad.

"Second, the release says that I have 'confirmed that Prop 8 has nothing to do with education.' This is also untrue. My commentary merely stated what the Los Angeles Times confirmed in its editorial published today -- that Prop 8 will not require teachers to promote gay marriage or to make any value judgment regarding the morality of same-sex marriage compared to traditional marriage.

"Third, the release links my commentary to a claim that 'the Mormon Church has asked its members to fund a campaign based on these lies.' I have never contended that the LDS Church or its leaders have lied in this campaign. In fact, I took pains to point out that the church had not authored or approved the 'Six Consequences' document that my commentary discussed.

"Finally, the release refers to me as a 'professor at BYU Law School.' I am not a full professor, as the release implies, but an 'adjunct' (or part-time) professor. An early draft of my commentary listed my adjunct professorship among my qualifications, but I subsequently removed that reference from the authorized version of the commentary. The 'No on 8' campaign has posted an unauthorized early draft. I want to emphasize that I removed the reference to my BYU Law School affiliation on my own volition and that I have not been asked by the LDS Church or the Law School to do so. I removed it because I considered it irrelevant. What I teach at BYU Law School has nothing to do with equal rights, religious freedom or California education law. In writing my commentary I was doing so as a lawyer who has spent considerable time researching the issues, not as a law professor.

"The primary reason I wrote my commentary was to help keep the campaign honest. I am an active member of the LDS Church and a strong supporter of equal rights for gays and lesbians. It is regrettable that the 'No on 8' campaign has issued a release that mischaracterizes my commentary and my views. I assume that the mistakes were inadvertent and that steps will promptly be taken to remove the website posting."
SOURCE Morris A. Thurston

Stoning Mormons for standing up for their values


Large crowds of Anti-Prop 8 demonstrators have been protesting outside of The Oakland CA Temple and other CA temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the past few weeks.

Stoning Mormons for standing up for their values by funding Prop. 8
Dennis Wyatt
Managing Editor
Mantica Bulletin


The scariest thing about Proposition 8 isn't what passage or failure to pass the measure will do. It is the unrelenting attack on Mormons for having the courage to not just espouse their beliefs and values but to put their money where their principles are.

Mormons - unlike Catholics and others who are contributing to the campaign to pass Proposition 8 on Tuesday's California ballot - are getting the Full Monty.

One such effort is the web site Mormonsfor8.com ran by those opposing Proposition 8 who are against the concept of marriage being strictly between a man and a woman. The site lists the name and hometown of every Mormon who has contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign.

The site is used by the Daily Kos - it definitely isn't a conservative blog - as part of a campaign to look into the personal lives of those Mormons backing the measure. It has led to incidents such in San Jose where the Sundstrom family that exercised their right to donate to the campaign had two women parked in front of their home in a SUV that had "bigots live here" painted on the windshield.

In the early going, those adamantly opposed to Proposition 8 attacked all religious groups that had contributed money including the Catholic Church. But as the election draws closer, they are showing their true bias and denouncing only Mormons.

Anti-Prop. 8 groups have taken to calling for the denouncing of the church for supporting a measure that basically reflects their values. Gee, is anyone denouncing the opponents of Prop. 8 who fund that campaign for their actions reflecting their values?

There have been efforts afoot to have the IRS delve into the church's tax status.

The Mormons haven't crossed the line. Even so, separation of church and state in the context of this nation's founding wasn't to prevent churches from being active in politics but to keep the state from creating a church such as Henry VIII did when he created the Church of England because the Pope wouldn't change the tenets of the Catholic faith to fit his decrees.

Its not a good idea to have a government in control of secular and spiritual thoughts unless, of course, you loved the old USSR model. The only way those two can work in concert is to suppress the idea of individual freedoms. And when you're doing that, you can't just take away the right of religious freedom to make it work.

Even so, it's a free country. Those who oppose Proposition 8 are free to harass and do what they want as long as they don't cross the line. The goal of their campaign, obviously, is to make people fearful of expressing their views and doing so in the public arena that counts - elections.

Lecturing the Mormon Church, though, about the importance of the separation of church and state is like lecturing Jews about the dangers of totalitarian regimes.

The Mormons are historically the most persecuted religion in the United States.

What brought down the wrath of Congress to pass a law going after the Mormons? Yes, polygamy was part of it but when push came to shove it was the entire faith that irked the powers that be.

The Mormons had been chased from New York and Illinois.

The church's Relief Society - long before it was the fashion -campaigned for women's rights. In 1870, Utah became the first state to give women the right to vote. The Mormon faith blossomed with one important caveat - not all Mormons by far were polygamists.

Congress in 1882 passed the Edmunds Act to outlaw cohabitation with more than one woman. President Arthur sent federal agents to Utah. In clear violation of the U.S. constitutional law forbidding de facto laws, all Mormons who practiced polygamy were disenfranchised, stripped of the right to vote and many jailed. Idaho in 1885 put in effect a loyalty oath requiring all residents to swear they opposed polygamy or any organization that taught it in order to vote to effectively disenfranchise all Mormons even if they didn't practice polygamy.

Congress in 1887 passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act to break up the Mormon Church and seize all of its property. It required loyalty oaths from local officials, which kept even Mormons not practicing polygamy from holding office, and gave the government the say in what textbooks could be allowed in classrooms.

Many thousands of Mormons were imprisoned.

Congress sent the U.S. Army to attack the Mormons. Why? Because 140 non-Mormon settlers - many who had abused local Indians - were massacred by the Indians at Mountain Meadows. Newspapers urged the government to invade Utah on the false assumption the Mormons were behind the attack.

Yes, the Mormon Church excommunicates gays.

Mormons in the 19th century - and by many today - aren't cut slack for their faith and are painted with a wide brush. The church has never advocated the stoning of gays. And under Proposition 8, they are expressing their belief marriage is between a man and a woman. It is the church's right as to the status of the openly gay in their own church. It's call free association. It's called freedom of religion

Branding Mormons for the practice of polygamy that was abandoned over a hundred years ago by all but a handful of fringe former church members who believe they're the true Mormons makes them an easy target in the mind of some.

It is no different, however, than those who bash gays on old premises and prejudices.

Unless the highest court in this land or Congress itself makes it clear that it isn't the case, the issue of defining a marriage is a right reserved to the states.

Bashing the Mormons for doing what is clearly legal within the framework of the laws of this land - campaigning to protect a marriage as they define it - is just plain wrong.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Summer is Nigh, following the Prophet

The following is a quote attributed to Elder Neal A. Maxwell. It was sent to me from a Stake President in Southern California. It's funny how these things work. Given current events I've been spending a lot of time studying this topic and I prayed for something that bridged the gap between what I feeling and what I was finding in reading and praying. These kind of spiritual nuggets of gold seem to come up only when you are searching for them and they come in the most unexpected way. Anyways I wanted to share this with the group.

"Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life."

"This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions.

"Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened .... Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself. Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves,'summer is nigh.' Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat."

Monday, October 27, 2008

How we're tolerant people AND voting yes on Prop 8

This pretty much sums up how I feel on this issue. Its a hard one, but one I've carefully pondered and have thought out. Please watch this video before you make your decision on election day.

SURPRISE - PROP 8 SUPPORTS FREEDOM

PROP 8 RESEARCH – EFFECTS OF GAY MARRIAGE IN CANADA AND MASSACHUSETTS

SURPRISE - PROP 8 SUPPORTS FREEDOM - THE BATTLE FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH

By William Clayton | JD/MBA Candidate
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Yale Law School

For most Americans, freedom is the paramount value. Preferring to live and let live, Americans naturally tend to oppose Proposition 8 believing that it restricts freedom. But a careful study of what has happened to freedom in countries and states where gay marriage has been legalized strongly supports exactly the opposite conclusion.

Laws frequently have unforeseen consequences. Such is the case with gay marriage. A study of the effects of the judicial imposition of gay marriage on the people of Canada and Massachusetts provides a clear picture of how it is destroying freedom of speech and threatens our very democratic way of life. Surprisingly, passage of Proposition 8 will actually strengthen our freedoms. Please don’t vote before taking time to carefully consider the following information to assist you in making up you mind about Proposition 8. Those who truly love freedom cannot afford to make a quick emotional decision about Proposition 8.

Most gays, particularly those who want to marry, are respectful of others views, but the activist Gay Lobby, that is driving the legal battles, has a very different agenda. A study of the world wide consequences of legalization of gay marriage, with particular attention to Canada and Massachusetts, clearly demonstrates that the agenda of the activist Gay Lobby is not granting homosexuals the legal rights associated with marriage but harnessing the power of the state to transform society into their image and suppressing all opposing views. The legal record shows that, given the opportunity they will force their views upon everyone else, including and especially young children. Their objective, as clearly seen in the legal actions taken and the instructional materials being used in the elementary schools, is not tolerance but celebration of homosexuality and “gay pride” while teaching that opposing views are mean spirited and hateful bigotry. And their attack extents beyond government supported institutions to private and home schools as they seek to deny parents the right to control the moral teaching of their children.

Society has rightfully removed the teaching of religion from the public schools, but the Gay Lobby seeks to use the courts to force the teaching of a new religion in the schools, the “religion” of gay activism. It is a religion of intolerance that has subjected those who voiced differing beliefs to ridicule, termination of employment, and even civil and criminal action for “hate” speech. To the Gay Lobby, separation of church and state means keeping the views of religions that disagree with their life style out of schools and government, while demanding that those same schools and government use tax payer dollars to teach their “religion” to young children and deny religious adoption agencies the right to direct children into homes with both a mother and a father. If left unchecked, their attack on freedom of speech will lead to the destruction of democracy in the name of tolerance.

Failure to pass Proposition 8 will give the Gay Lobby a potent legal weapon that will be wielded in California as it has been in Canada and Massachusetts . It will be used to promote the transformation of society and the suppression of freedom of speech. If this statement seems absurd, you owe it to yourself and your children and grandchildren who will have to live in the country you create with your vote to study this material carefully before voting.

GAYS ALREADY HAVE ALL RIGHTS OF MARRIED COUPLES UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW

Passage of Proposition 8 does not deny gays any rights under California state law. The Domestic Partners Act has already granted to gays all the rights of heterosexual spouses under state law. This Act, originally passed in 1999 and modified and expanded in subsequent years, culminated in the California Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003, states its intent “to secure to eligible couples . . . the full range of legal rights, protections and benefits, as well as all of the responsibilities, obligations, and duties to each other, to their children, to third parties and to the State, as the laws of California extend to and impose upon spouses.” The final draft, under Family Code Section 297.5, provides that: “Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.” And in Koebke v. Bermuda Heights Country Club, the California Supreme Court concluded, “a chief goal of the Domestic Partner Act is to equalize the status of registered domestic partners and married couples.” Consequently, gays already have all the rights and responsibilities of heterosexual couples under State law. Although there are some federal tax limitations based on the definition of spouses, those will no doubt be changed by the federal government in the near future without the need of redefining marriage.

NOT ABOUT EQUAL RIGHTS

So, if it is not about equal rights, what is it about? Why are the gay activists so focused on acquiring the word “marriage”? A look at what has happened in the states and countries that have bestowed that simple word on Domestic Partners is instructive. As so often happens, an apparently simple change in the law can have far reaching and unintended consequences. At least the consequences are unintended for those who unknowingly vote in favor of what seems like a simple question of granting others the right to live their lives the way they want.

A review of the consequences of the judicial imposition of “gay marriage” on the citizens of Massachusetts and the track record of government action in Canada show that, although the argument in favor of gay marriage is couched in terms of tolerance and freedom, the consequence of permitting gay marriage has been the exact opposite.

CANADIAN EXPERIENCE

In Canada, the granting gays the right to marry is being used as an excuse for an all out assault on free speech and religious freedom, attacking any with opposing views as bigots engaged in “hate” speech. The shocking depth of this attack is chronicled by Hans C. Clausen, former Editor in Chief of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, in his 66 page report published March 1, 2005 : (highlights added)

The "privilege of speech" in a "pleasantly authoritarian country": how Canada 's judiciary allowed laws proscribing discourse critical of homosexuality to trump free speech and religious liberty.

http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-6559580_ITM

In this scholarly report, the Author examines Canada 's extensive legal regime prohibiting speech critical of homosexuality, illustrating how the Canadian judiciary's zeal for promoting the social acceptance of homosexuality has greatly diminished fundamental legal protections for open discourse and religious liberty. The introduction begins,

Giving credence to Alexis de Tocqueville's argument that in democratic societies the love of equality is greater than the love of freedomis a recently emerging trend among Western nations to legally proscribe speech critical of homosexuality. Such laws, in various forms, now exist in a large and growing minority of countries in Europe and North America . The goal of these laws is much grander than preventing discrimination against homosexuals; rather, the objective is seemingly to promote the social acceptance of gay and lesbian lifestyles.These laws provide for civil remedies and in some instances even criminal sanctions for speech considered offensive or degrading to homosexuals, and constitutional-rights objections to them--on the basis of speech and religious liberty guarantees--have been largely unavailing. Thus, achieving the social equality of homosexuals--conceived in sweeping terms--has, in many Western countries, outstripped legal protections for speech and religious freedoms.

Among other examples, Mr. Clausen describes the discipline of a Canadian teacher, Chris Kempling, who acted privately to address legitimate concerns about material he was being forced to distribute to his students.

Kempling, a public high school teacher and counselor, was initially suspended from his job for five months without pay (15) by the province's educational accreditation board for writing letters to the editor (16)--printed in the local newspaper, (17) but never introduced into any public school or classroom (18)--that argued, on the basis of scientific and scholarly research, (19) that homosexual relationships are unstable and gay sex risky. (20) He also criticized what he viewed as the pro-gay stance of the public education system. (21)

Kempling started writing his letters after being asked by presenters at a government-sponsored workshop to distribute copies of a gay-and-lesbian newspaper--which included advertisements for gay bathhouses, pornographic personal ads, and information about joining casual-sex and masturbation clubs--to students at his school. (22) He initially complained directly to his union and to the Minister of Education, but his complaints were ignored. (23) "When I realized that no one in authority was prepared to take any action, I decided to educate myself, and start writing directly to the public, to make parents aware of what was being proposed for their children," Kempling said. (24)

When the accreditation board learned of Kempling's letters, it launched a full inquiry: a government investigator was dispatched to Kempling's small town and was soon speaking with community leaders and Kempling's supervisors and colleagues. (25) Not long thereafter, Kempling--a thirteen-year employee of the public school system with an exemplary record (26)--found himself suspended and lacking support from his peers, his bosses, his union, (27) and even the B.C. Civil Liberties Union. (28) Although no evidence existed that Kempling's letters caused any disturbance or controversy at his school (29)--nor did any students or parents complain of Kempling's letters or job performance (30)--the B.C. Supreme Court upheld the accreditation board's decision to suspend Kempling for writing his letters, stating that "the appellant's discriminatory expression is of low value ... [and] is incompatible with the search for truth." (31)

After describing Kempling's suspension from his teaching position for publicly expressing his views on homosexuality, Clausen then mentions several other countries that have criminalized remarks critical of homosexuality: New Zealand , South Africa , Netherlands and Denmark . In 2004, the Canadian Parliament passed C-250, sponsored by gay legislator Svend Robinson. The legislation added "sexual orientation" to the list of protected minority categories in Canadian law. Because of this new law, religious leaders are fearful of speaking out against homosexuality and, notes Clausen, "Academicians also seem to be feeling the effect: some university professors are scared that the law will threaten free inquiry in the classroom and in their own publications." In one legal case, a Canadian court justified its suppression of free speech because it claimed that criticism of gays impacted an individual's sense of "self-worth and acceptance." The court also listed "self- fulfillment," "self-autonomy," and "self-development," as reasons to suppress free speech in favor of gays. Clausen points out that this argument is seriously flawed because it favors the speech rights of one group over another. The court also claimed that criticism of homosexuality damaged the "dignity" of gays.

Clausen ends his discussion by observing that hate speech laws that suppress criticism of homosexuality, if taken to their logical conclusion, would "require the abolition of democracy itself" and "It reflects a deep lack of faith in citizens' ability to distinguish truth from error, faults the 'marketplace of ideas' as inadequate and even dangerous, and claims that the coercive force of government-in the form of hate speech laws-is the solution."

Anyone who truly wants to understand where we will be headed in California if Proposition 8 fails should spend some time reviewing this careful analysis that traces the development of the legal prohibition of free speech in Canada .

Attack on Private and Home Schools

In March 7, 2007 - Gay activist groups in Ontario urged the Provincial Ministry of Education to exert more control over private and home schools to fight against the alleged effects of homophobia, objecting to religious schools teaching “only their own values.” An article in Ottawa 's Capital Xtra written by Tony Lovink, who describes himself as a gay Christian school teacher, claimed that "All private schools tend to be at least implicitly homophobic. And I would say all religiously formed independent schools are definitely homophobia.”

The Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario says it is concerned that the provincial ministry of education was failing to exert "more control" over the curriculum used by private religious schools. The coalition also objects to private schools hiring teachers based upon the school's own qualification requirements.

In October 2006, the Quebec government ordered private Christian schools to begin teaching sex education in compliance with the provincial curriculum. Schools failing to implement these materials were threatened with closure.

In British Columbia , gay activists Murray Corren and Peter Corren were granted power over the provincial school curriculum as part of a lawsuit settlement. The settlement also introduced a policy prohibiting parents from removing their children from the classroom when gay-affirmative materials were being taught.

Seek to Shut Down Pro-Family Websites

Gay activists have demanded that the Federal Human Rights Commissions shut down three pro-family web sites run by Craig Chandler, a Canadian conservative and talk-radio host.

MASSACHUSETTS EXPERIENCE

You might want to believe that things will be different in the United States , where we are supposedly protected by freedom of religion, but nothing could be further from the truth. The experience in Massachusetts since the courts granted gays the right to marry has been an unrelenting attack on freedom of speech and religion that appears to be accelerating, taking lessons from Canada about how to use the courts to destroy any opposition to the teaching of their “life style” to young children.

Training Video – Teaching Gay Pride in Schools

A primary objective of the Gay Lobby’s agenda is the indoctrination of young children, starting in kindergarten with the idea that being gay is wonderful and free. You may say this is just reactionary fear mongering but unfortunately it is true. The following training video for teachers shows what you can expect in our California elementary schools if gay marriage is allowed to stand and possibly even if it isn’t. It was created by Women's Educational Media, which states that, "Waiting to teach children to accept differences of all kinds until middle school or high school is too late…." In one segment, teachers discuss teaching homosexuality to children even if parent's have moral objections to it, concluding that it had to be taught regardless of parental objections. If you do nothing else to educate yourself about this issue, by all means view this training video and ask yourself if this is what you want happening in the earliest grades in our schools. In particular, notice the attitudes being instilled in young minds that any opposition to gay marriage or homosexuality is “mean” and “hateful” and the use of peer pressure to enforce that prejudice. Excerpts of this training video can be found at:

http://www.massresistance.org/media/video/brainwashing.html

Legal Actions Against Parents

The Massachusetts courts have also held that the schools have no requirement to notify parents when teaching about homosexuality even in Kindergarten.

In April 2008, David Parker, father of a kindergarten student at Estabrook Elementary School, in Lexington, Mass. spent a night in jail and was charged with criminal trespassing after refusing to leave a scheduled meeting with of´Čücials at the school unless they provided parental notice of such lessons and gave him the option of pulling his child out of those classes.

The legal rights of parents to opt their children out of “gay pride” education has been smashed by the Massachusetts courts. U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf dismissed a civil rights lawsuit brought by David Parker, ordering that it is reasonable;indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality. Wolf essentially adopted the reasoning in a brief submitted by a number of homosexual-advocacy groups, who said "the rights of religious freedom and parental control over the upbringing of children … would undermine teaching and learning…"

Attack on Religious Adoption Agencies

Not satisfied with using the power of the state to force the teaching of their views and the ridiculing of opposing views in the schools, gay activists efforts have forced the Catholic Charities of Boston , begun in 1903, to cease its adoption services rather then comply with state law requiring placement of children with homosexual couples.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/03/11/catholic_charities_stuns_state_ends_adoptions/

TOLERANCE – NOT THE OBJECTIVE OF THE GAY LOBBY

Most people would like to let others live their lives as they please in the name of tolerance in the hope that their own freedom would be equally respected. As a result most Americans oppose the state interfering with what out to be personal decisions including whom one chooses to marry. But an analysis of the activist Gay Lobby’s legal agenda world wide indicates that their objective is not mutual tolerance but use of the power of state to force their views upon everyone else.

Many gays are tolerant and respectful of others views, but their legal activists are pursuing a very different course. Most gays, especially those who want to marry, simply want to be allowed the freedom to pursue their lives as they think best and that opportunity has been provided them through the Domestic Partners Act. Unfortunately, the Gay Lobby is not satisfied with tolerance of their alternate life style. While decrying “hate” speech, they are teaching it to young impressionable children in the schools, teaching them that anyone who believes that homosexuality is wrong is an ignorant bigot.

The Gay Lobby wants to silence all disagreement and attempts to do so by twisting words and terms. Christians are called hypocrites. Those with traditional morals or religious beliefs are called homophobic. Disagreement is called hate. Honest opponents are called bigots, hypocrites and “forces of darkness.” Teaching homosexuality to young children is called “preparing them to become engaged and productive citizens.”

From the actual history of the legally enforced implementation of “gay rights” in the schools and courts, it is clear that the objective of the Gay Lobby is not equality under the law but the reshaping of society into their own image. It is not teaching children tolerance of the gay lifestyle but teaching them to celebrate homosexuality and “gay pride” and the eradication of traditional values in the process. They use the law and the courts to threaten and harass anyone who disagrees with their views and to shut down freedom of speech and to deny parents the right to control the moral teaching of their children. Their onslaught against our most basic and essential freedom of speech must be stopped or it will lead to the destruction of democracy in the name of tolerance. Tolerance is a double-edged sword. It needs to cut both ways. The Gay Lobby’s view of tolerance is one sided, using the force of law to promote their views while exercising that same force to limit the freedom of those who disagree with them.

Granting gays the right to the word “marriage” gives the Gay Lobby a powerful weapon that they will wield in their fight to transform society as they have in Canada and Massachusetts . Proposition 8 does not deny gays any legal rights provided to married couples under California law, but it will slow down the activist Gay Lobby’s assault on our most basic freedoms of speech and religion.

For this reason, it is imperative that Proposition 8 be passed in order to deny these activists one of their most effective weapons with which to bludgeon our freedom of speech and religion, denying freedom of conscience and religion to all who disagree with their views.

Passage of Proposition 8 simply confirms that all people are free to exercise their freedom of speech, expression and religion; tolerance for all will continue to be taught in California schools; same-sex domestic partnerships will continue to provide all of the rights and benefits extended to married spouses; and, “marriage” will continue to be defined as it always has: a legal relationship between a man and a woman.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't Lose Heart! We Arn't Standing Alone!


My Stake President sent this to me today with this note attached.

Putting a sign in your yard may make you a target but not like this.

"Sticks and stones my break my bones, but arrows will never hit me."

ONWARD! On to victory, President Y.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My new blog rules

Okay people, here's the deal. I have been more then liberal and more then patient with the comments that I've allowed to be posted on my blog.

I have endured outright attacks on my faith and religion. I've allowed way to personal insults. I have been compared to Muslim extremists. I have had people come right out and tell me how much they disrespect me and what a closed minded bigot I am. I've been called a sheep who blindly follows. I've been called ignorant and hateful.

I've been told my church is false, my prophet false and my opinions out and out wrong.

Wow, talk about showing real tolerance and acceptance for someone that you disagree with.

The irony of this situation is that if I was to go on some of the blogs of the people who are so quick to attack me an my opinion and spout the stuff they are saying about me, I would either be deleted or blocked. There is no way that anyone of these so called liberal and freethinkers would allow me the sort of space that I've allowed them. Over and over again. I wonder what would happen if I went to your blogs and started posting links to LDS Church websites and such? I'll tell you what would happen. The lack of respect would be overwhelming. I've provided my critics with more space for them to spread their distorted and blatantly anti-mormon opinions then they would ever afford me.

If I was to say even half of the things I've allowed here but against your point of view you would jump to the up and scream hate speech but some how its okay for you to mock my faith, my beliefs and my opinions. You think its okay to defend your point of view as the correct one, but if I have the nerve to claim the same privalage you say that I'm a tool of an evil and repressive organization. That's hypocrisy clear and simple.

I don't mind if you disagree with me, and yes if you want to post a thoughtful response cool, we may not come to a consensus but we can still agree to disagree. But if you are going to call me a tool or some other name. If you are going to mock me or tell me how little you think of me. Please go somewhere else until you can practice the tolerance that you preach.

That is going to stop. I don't mind someone disagreeing with me, but there is a need for people to be civil.

I'm sure that some people will jump to their guns and say "You are trying to take away my rights so I will say anything I want." Well okay. Turn that around. Now that you've done that don't ever accuse anyone of hate speech. If your going to mock my church and my values which is your opinion, don't get mad at me when I tell you that in my opinion you are living or promoting a wicked lifestyle. If you don't like the way I vote, let me remind you that you have just as much a right to vote also.

I refuse to apologize for my beliefs or my testimony. I also refuse to continue to be a platform for you to twist the truth and do exactly the type of things you are accusing me of. If you can't be civil or at least attempt to be polite I would rather not hear what you have to say and you won't find your comment posted here.

Just a scare tactic? The evidence speaks for itself

The battleground for Proposition 8 now centers around the indoctrination of children.

Opponents of Proposition 8 know children will be taught about homosexuality in the classroom and they're scared this issue will help pass Proposition 8.

We have all the evidence we need that taking over the classroom is the real goal:

Last week Californians were shocked to learn the California Teacher's Association-the state's largest teachers organization-had donated over one million dollars to the No on Proposition 8 campaign. With this donation, the CTA sided with the most radical anti-family forces.

Even after the public outrage over the CTA's million-dollar donation, they still gave more money against our families and our values with another donation days later.

Just this week the No on Proposition 8 campaign began airing a television ad featuring California's Superintendant of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. Abusing the power and trust vested in him by the people of California, Superintendent O'Connell has the audacity to deceive voters about homosexuality being taught in the classroom.

How does he respond to a class of first graders being taken to a same-sex marriage ceremony in San Francisco?

Yesterday, a school in Hayward is holding a gay "Coming Out Day" for kindergartners.

And how can he explain the following email we received this week from the mother of a five-year-old girl in Southern California?

"Pray for me. I've just started this battle. Ashley brought home a book from Kindergarten that says 'All Families are different--- Some families have 2 mommies and some families have 2 daddies.' I went and talked to the teacher and she knew what was in the book and was ok with it. She said she'd ask the principal what the policy is. I will not let it go. I just hope the school sides with me."

This is exactly what we can expect in every school is we don't pass Proposition 8. The CTA is committed to indoctrinating our children with "values" contrary to our own and Superintendent O'Connell is now their willing accomplice.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This is how low it gets - Superstars comments

After weeks of online debate over Prop 8, and both sides having their reason for why or why not the other side is using scare tactics, lies, and misrepresentations to further their cause. I posted the following which for me is the main reason. Of course I was instantly attacked by people who accused me of not praying for a spiritual confirmation. Which for the record I have and received. I was attacked for being a closed minded sheep. Well okay, then I will say in my defense that I know who my shepherd is and I will gladly follow him. Here is what I wrote.

But the final bottom line here is this. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I sustain the Prophet. When the Prophet speaks as the Prophet then I know that following him is what the Lord wants me to do. I need to put aside my own doubts and fears and have faith in him who God speaks through. Even if you toss out all the other reasons to support Prop 8. That is the single, most important reason. Because the Lord has asked me to. That's as clear a request as I can give.

We can't let our own feelings and emotions, wants and desires cloud what is clearly stated by the Lords Prophet. I don't call that blind faith, I call that faith.


Today this in response "Superstar" whomever he or she is sent me the following.

Just a little word substitution to show you how religious belief can get in the way of rights of the people:

"I sustain [Allah]. When [Allah] speaks as [Allah] then I know that following him is what [Allah] wants me to do. I need to put aside my own doubts and fears and have faith in him whom [Allah] speaks through. Even if you toss out all the other reasons to support [death to all Americans]. That is the single, most important reason. Because [Allah] has asked me to. That's as clear a request as I can give.

We can't let our own feelings and emotions, wants and desires cloud what is clearly stated by [Allah]. I don't call that blind faith, I call that faith."


He or she then added:

How is this any different from Proposition 8 and your fervent beliefs?

Okay first I've been very liberal about posting comments to my blogs, even if they disagree with my opinions, but I think this one is a little over the top.

First of all you are making an assumption that I am blindly following the Prophet. Secondly you are comparing all Latter-day Saints who do show their faithfulness to those who would resort to acts of violence to further their cause. Finally you are also now lumping all followers of Allah into one group of radical extremist that do this sort of thing. In all of the above your statements are as closed minded and bigoted as anything you've accuse me of being.

If you are a faithful member of the LDS Church part of that is sustaining the Prophet as Prophet, Seer and Revalator. When the Prophet issues a call to action, acting in his sacred calling as a the prophet, it is doing so under the direction of the Lord. Yes we should pray about it, but we also need to realize that having our own opinions about something doesn't count as spiritual confirmation that the Prophet is wrong. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed with our own emotions and not see the whole eternal picture. Sometimes Satan will use our emotions and desire to be right to cloud our spiritual receptions.

Now to answer your questions. Those who are choosing to use their agency to follow the Prophet and support Prop 8 are nothing like those few Muslim extremist that make up only a small portion of those that follow the Prophet Mahamad. For one thing we have a LIVING prophet. Secondly nowhere in the Koran does it state that they are to kill infindals being American and no one is advocating killing gay people. These are the misguided teachings that the extremists are holding to. Those who vote yes are exercising their democratic freedom to vote on an issue. You have the same right. No one is forcing it on people. If you don't like it or disagree with it vote no on it. Apparently you don't believe this because 8 years ago when the state did vote yes on Prop 22, four judges overturned the peoples vote so now we are voting again on it.

Superstar, I don't know who you are. You don't have a blog, you don't have an identity. You are anonymous. Yet you spout your opinions using the safety of other people blogs carefully hidden. I posted your comment and wrote this blog to show just how low some of those who oppose this will go with the name callings and accusations. This is insulting. Comparing those who are faithful members of the church to those who kill people to follow their beliefs goes beyond the bounds of good taste and into the absurd, irrational and insulting.

In closing it really makes me think twice of anything else you may have to say knowing that you will sink to that level.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Tolerant" opponents show true colors

Thousands of traditional marriage supporters have been victimized by the so-called "tolerant" opponents.

Reports are pouring in from across the state of voters' Yes on Proposition 8 signs being vandalized or stolen. Yes on Proposition 8 staff members' homes have also been targeted for vandalism and theft. There have also been reports of volunteers having been physically attacked.

"Destroying and stealing personal property-this is tolerance?" questioned Karen England, with Yes on Proposition 8. "What are opponents so scared of that they are attempting to intimidate and silence us?

"Opponents of Proposition 8 claim that we have nothing to fear about government-mandated same-sex marriage; it won't impact our freedom of speech or religion. How can we believe them when they're stealing our freedom of speech from our own front lawns?

"This is the type of intimidation and true intolerance we can expect without Proposition 8. This should be a wake-up call for every voter concerned about our precious First Amendment freedoms. That's what Yes on Proposition 8 is all about-saving our freedoms."

CA Teachers Union ignites Class war over Prop 8

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, the California Teacher's Association (CTA) has no intention of masking its agenda on marriage. The 340,000-member organization -- long considered a powerful branch of the radical Left -- took a risky step yesterday by donating a million dollars to defeat Proposition 8. The gift, which is now the largest contribution by any institutional donor to the ballot issue, raises the stakes in an already tense battle for parents' rights.

The CTA's own members, whose dues are fueling this opposition, are fuming. Many, like Randy Peart, (who is LDS) are questioning what same-sex "marriage" has to do with education. "It bothers me [that they're] spend[ing] my money on something I'm morally opposed to," she said. "Why not put that money into classrooms, into making a better place for these kids?" But according to CTA President David Sanchez, "...[I]t's a civil rights issue." And he's right. This is a civil rights issue -- for children who deserve to be raised by a mother and father.

The donation, CTA's second, should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who doesn't believe that schools are becoming dangerous incubators for the homosexual cause. If the union will stoop to using its dues to promote the homosexual agenda, then you can bet it will have no reservations about using its classrooms. Just last week, a San Francisco administrator took first graders on a field trip to their teacher's lesbian "wedding." How's that for indoctrination?

If California schools are promoting "teachable moments" like this for five- and six-year-olds, imagine what the middle and high school curriculum will look like! This is much more than a battle for marriage. It's a last stand for education and parents' rights. The CTA's million dollars will go a long way to undermining the truth. California families need your help! Log on to www.protectmarriage.com and educate yourself about the issues at stake in this fight.

- From Tony Parkins of the Family Research Center

On a personal level my mom is a teacher and so is my bishop and stake president. All three are forced to be members of the CTA. Unless the opt out their dues are used for this. Even if they do opt out, their numbers are counted in the figures that support this. Lets be fair, its one thing to belong to something that fights for something you oppose, when this happens you can walk away. Its another when because of your profession you are forced to join something that stands against what you believe in. How is this freedom?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Call to Action

I don't think it can be said any more clear then these two videos.





Here is what the Prophet has asked us to do:

The following letter was sent from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29 June 2008:

Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families

In March 2000 California voters overwhelmingly approved a state law providing that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The California Supreme Court recently reversed this vote of the people. On November 4, 2 008, Californians will vote on a proposed amendment to the California state constitution that will now restore the March 2000 definition of marriage approved by the voters.

The Church’s teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children. Children are entitled to be born within this bond of marriage.

A broad-based coalition of churches and other organizations placed the proposed amendment on the ballot. The Church will participate with this coalition in seeking its passage. Local Church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause.

We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.

What really happened in Massachusetts

A few people have commented about the story mentioned in my previous blog about the parents who objected to what was being taught there kids. Here is their story.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/oct/08100812.html

Prop. 8 in Plain English

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lies and scare tactics? I don't think so

Yesterday's campaign finance report from the No on Proposition 8 campaign is startling.

The California Teacher's Association donated $1 million to the campaign. This is in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars already pumped in to the campaign by the CTA in the last few months.

Opponents of Proposition 8 claim that it's all lies when we warn that your children will be indoctrinated about same-sex marriage and homosexuality. They claim that you'll be able to opt your child out of class when same-sex marriage is taught or discussed. But we know that the judiciary is actively promoting the homosexual agenda by their overturning Proposition 22 this year. And case law shows that parents are losing their rights as well.

Last week the US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of a father in Massachusetts who tried to opt his kindergarten child out of a classroom discussion about homosexuality. A lower court ruled that parents had no right to be notified when such discussions take place, nor will the children be allowed to opt out of the class.

If this is happening in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, it will happen in California.

With the help of the powerful CTA the homosexual agenda will be pushed in every classroom. Parents will be helpless to protect their children-because the government and judiciary have banned them from doing so!

These are not lies, or scare tactics-this is the truth because it's already happening.

Something both candidates can agree on

Two Apostles Speak about Prop. 8

Segments from a broadcast to Californian Church members addressing the Church’s doctrine of marriage and the Protect Marriage Coalition.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Alma 30: Yes, even Korihor had a right to preach, BUT ...

Ironicly several people have tried to use a scripture in Alma to try to prove that the Church is wrong in encourging it's memebers to support Prop 8. Alma:30 (7-11)

7 Now there was no law against man’s belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds.
8 For thus saith the scripture: Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve.
9 Now if a man desired to serve God, it was his privilege; or rather, if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve him; but if he did not believe in him there was no law to punish him.
10 But if he murdered he was punished unto death; and if he robbed he was also punished; and if he stole he was also punished; and if he committed adultery he was also punished; yea, for all this wickedness they were punished.
11 For there was a law that men should be judged according to their crimes. Nevertheless, there was no law against a man’s belief; therefore, a man was punished only for the crimes which he had done; therefore all men were on equal grounds.

Okay this all sounds good. BUT the thing here is that this scripture is outlying the rights of Korihor (an anti-christ)who was preaching that there was no God and that people who followed commandments were foolish.

"18 And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms—telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof."

What this scripture says is that, yes, Korihor had every right in the world to preach what he wanted to and believe what he wanted to even if it was wrong. But that didn't mean that if man followed him that while they may not be judged on Earth for their actions, they still faced the wrath of God. Look at what happened to him.

What more if you follow this scripture to the conclusion you find that the church was doing exactly what the church is doing today in preaching against such spiritual deadly doctrine. The fate of Korihor for example is enough evidence of why we shouldn't question God.

I really don't think that anyone who has a testimony in the restored gospel would want to use this an example for justifying anything they do judging from what happened next.

Interestingly enough there was a law and punishment for adultery. I doubt you want to get into a discussion over that.

I would challenge anyone to read the rest of the chapter to see what happens next. Those who oppose Prop 8 are good at accusing the church of using half truths and such to scare you into voting. I think its ironic that they would use this scripture, taken out of contaxt, about a man who is doing exactly the same thing as a lot of those who would have us go against the council of the living prophets is doing today. And of course I'm sure once they read this they will then start to complain that I'm intolarant. Its the same one note tune.

What it comes down to is pretty simple. Let's put ourselves in the feet of those who were asked to board the ark. To follow Moses into the wilderness, to follow Lehi and his family, to leave Sodom and Gomorrah. All those people had a choice to follow the Prophet or not. Those who did, while it may have been rough were blessed. Those who didn't had no promise of blessings or protection and eventually paid for their disobedience. This is the same today. I don't know how to be anymore clear other then to say that the Prophet of God has asked us to act. It's now up to us to gather the strength to follow.

Legal background on Prop 8 and consequences

I have attached three things to this post. The first is a memo in response to several documents circulating that claim to argue against information sent to LDS Church leaders about the Consequences if Prop 8 fails. The second is the actual response with links and supplemental research material on the topic, the third is a copy of the actual "Six Consequences" memo. I hope this info is helpful. All three are from the source and aren't from second hand sources. There is also a wealth of info at the newsroom at LDS.org and www.protectmarriage.com.

As a side, don't go to yeson8.com seeking info in favor of the measure, its been purchased by the NO group and is used to direct traffic there way. This is a really honest move. In addition we just received word that a group has been organized to remove signs from peoples yards. There is a website were you are supposed to turn in your Mormon Friends as being LDS is their name is listed as a contributor. Talk about and exercise in tolerance.

______________________________

By now probably most of you seen a document circulating that attempts to refute the Six Consequences piece we are using to describe what could happen should Prop 8 fail. This anti Prop 8 document comes in different forms and supposedly from different sources. One apparent source is from LDS members who are opposed to Prop 8 because they believe the LDS Church is wrong. Another apparent source is from LDS members who claim to be in favor of Prop 8 but “believe” the Six Consequences are erroneous and not well grounded in the law.

Whatever the source the purpose is the same---to undercut YES on Prop 8 arguments and specifically the Six Consequences.

The Six Consequences literature we have been circulating has its origin and roots in the document found on the official LDS website. This document is entitled “The Divine Institution of Marriage.” What the opposition has been circulating attempts to undercut the legal concerns the Church expresses. Lest there be any misunderstanding, the Church’s legal concerns ( Six Consequences literature) have been vetted at the highest level and have taken into consideration the best legal advice possible.

The piece I have attached above, authored by William C. Duncan, spells out the legal opinions and precedents that undergird the Six Consequences literature. As you see fit please feel free to circulate the Duncan document.
_____________________

Most people are rightfully leery of buying something just because the seller touts his or her personal religious activity. In California, right now, there are groups working to defeat Proposition 8, the proposed constitutional amendment that would protect the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Part of their sales pitch is their religious identity.

They feel the need to advertise this because their own church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has officially announced its support for the common-sense measure that would reverse the actions of a bare majority of the California Supreme Court that ruled in May that a hitherto unknown and still unwritten provision of that state’s constitution required that marriage be redefined to include same-sex couples.

Most recently, an attorney and a group calling itself “Mormons for Marriage” have been attacking the idea that redefining marriage in California creates possible negative ramifications for religious liberty in this state. They have attempted to refute an anonymous document that lists some of these potential ramifications. They say the document misconstrues legal precedents and that, actually, there is no reason to worry that churches and religious believers will be harmed in any way if California redefines marriage.

Anyone can read the LDS Church’s official statement on the issue, “The Divine Institution of Marriage,” published on August 13, 2008 and available on the Church’s website [link: http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/the-divine-institution-of-marriage] for a careful and persuasive examination of this question that concludes that the redefinition of marriage does bode ill for religious liberty. Interestingly, one of the attacks cites to the Church statement to argue that the debate over marriage should be civil (a point on which all hopefully agree) but does not note this section.

In addition, eminent religious liberty scholars who have a variety of opinions on the subject of same-sex marriage all agree that a conflict between the state and religious organizations and believers is an inevitable result of redefining marriage [link: http://www.amazon.com/Same-Sex-Marriage-Religious-Liberty-Conflicts/dp/074256326]. How that conflict will work out may be a matter of debate but its existence is widely understood to be a given.

The California Supreme Court itself has made it abundantly clear that it does not think the Federal or State Constitutions provide a religious exemption to laws mandating identical treatment of same-sex couples or gay and lesbian individuals. In a recent, unanimous, opinion to this effect, the court said a doctor could not invoke his religious beliefs in a lawsuit brought against him because he did not provide an artificial insemination procedure to a woman in a same-sex couple. See North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group v. San Diego Superior Court, 81 Cal. Rptr. 3d 708 (Cal. 2008). [link: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S142892.PDF] In its opinion, the court said that even under the legal standard most protective of religious liberty the doctor would lose because the state had a compelling interest in requiring identical treatment of homosexuals. One judge wrote a separate opinion agreeing with the result and identifying the court’s
same-sex marriage decision as the authority for the proposition that every law must treat same-sex and opposite-sex couples exactly the same. Ibid. at 722 (opinion of Justice Baxter).

Since many churches’ religious beliefs do not allow them to provide employment, public accommodations, adoption services and other benefits to same-sex couples, it is not very hard to see that the court’s ruling sets up a serious quandary for believers.

Those who are now arguing that “all is well” for religious liberty say that it is not the redefinition of marriage that has caused these changes. In one way they are right, but their argument is also very misleading. It is true that states which have not redefined marriage have significantly interfered with religious liberty in advancing the cause of gay rights. They have relied on state statutes enacted by legislatures. These statutes, though, could be amended to make exceptions for religious groups. When the court redefines marriage, however, it makes the issue a constitutional matter and the court interpretation will trump any statutory exemption and might, as the California Supreme Court ruled, even outweigh other constitutional rights like religious freedom.

This is what the U.S. Supreme Court held in a famous case brought to remove the tax exemption of a religious college, Bob Jones University, which at the time forbade interracial dating. The government argued successfully in that case that the university should have its tax exemption revoked because the government’s policy of ending racial discrimination outweighed any other consideration. See Bob Jones University v. U.S., 461 U.S. 574 (1983) [link: http://supreme.justia.com/us/461/574/case.html]

It is common sense to most of us that racial discrimination is wrong and that a belief in marriage as the union of a man and a woman is a different matter. When the California Supreme Court ruled that marriage had to be redefined, however, they turned the issue of marriage into a civil rights issue and gave official government endorsement to the idea that those who believe in husband/wife marriage are bigots. The Bob Jones case and many other laws teach us that the law does not tolerate those it considers to be bigots.

Proposition 8 would overrule the California Supreme Court’s holding about marriage and allow those who believe in marriage to continue that belief without the official stigma of being considered bigots.

The marriage decision will have effects beyond religious liberty. One of the most obvious is that it requires schools to teach students of every age that there is no difference between marriage between a husband and wife and between same-sex couples. California law now requires that students in public schools from kindergarten on must be taught about “Family health and child development, including the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.” California Education Code 51890 [link: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=edc&group=51001-52000&file=51890-51891] Now that marriage has been officially redefined, any discussion of marriage must include discussions of same-sex marriage. Another provision of the law forbids discrimination in any school program on the basis of “sexual orientation” which reinforces this policy. California Education Code 200 [link:
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacodes/edc/200-201.html]

This is not a hypothetical concern. In Massachusetts, the only other state to redefine marriage, this exact situation has arisen. Parents who objected to pro-gay curriculum at their children’s elementary school lost their lawsuit seeking an injunction to exempt their children from the material, in part because a federal court said the public schools “have an interest in promoting tolerance, including for the children (and parents) of gay marriages.” See Parker v. Hurley, 514 F.3d 87 (1st Cir. 2008). [link: http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/07-1528-01A.pdf]

There are other religious liberty concerns as well. In Canada, where marriage has been redefined, a Knights of Columbus hall in British Columbia was fined for canceling a reception for a same-sex couple’s wedding. See Chymyshyn v. Knights of Columbus, 2005 BCHRT 544 (2005). [link: http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/decisions/2005/pdf/Smith_and_Chymyshyn_v_Knights_of_Columbus_and_others_2005_BCHRT_544.pdf] The list could go on.

These concerns do not exhaust the potential harms to which Proposition 8 would respond.

When the California Supreme Court redefined marriage, they did so not only for the small group who might benefit from the change but for every citizen of the State of California. This change means that the law of California now strongly endorses three ideas: men and women are essentially interchangeable, children do not need a mother and father and those who disagree are bigots.

In reality, every healthy human society, across time and cultures, has had some kind of marriage institution to encourage those who might create children to take responsibility for those children and for each other. Marriage is fundamentally about children’s needs, not adult desires.

Our society owes children the opportunity, whenever possible, to know and develop a meaningful bond with their own mother and father. Marriage between a man and a woman is the best way to provide this opportunity.

California law now creates intentionally motherless or fatherless families where children will not experience the unique contributions of at least one of their parents.

Decades of social science research has effectively demonstrated that the best arrangement for children’s well being is to be raised by their own mother and father who are married to each other. Even married couples that do not have children promote society’s concern for children by providing an example to those that do and, by observing their marriage vows, preventing the creation of other motherless or fatherless homes.

Proposition 8 is not about taking people’s rights away. It is a simple way to protect marriage. It is also the last chance California voters may have to get their say on this matter.

William Duncan is the director of the Marriage Law Foundation. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Protect Marriage campaign in California or of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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Six Consequences the Coalition Has Identified If Proposition 8 Fails

1. Children in public schools will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is just as good as traditional marriage. The California Education Code already requires that health education classes instruct children about marriage. (§51890)

Therefore, unless Proposition 8 passes, children will be taught that marriage is between any two adults regardless of gender. There will be serious clashes between the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.

2. Churches may be sued over their tax exempt status if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings open to the public. Ask whether your pastor, priest, minister, bishop, or rabbi is ready to perform such marriages in your chapels and sanctuaries.

3. Religious adoption agencies will be challenged by government agencies to give up their long-held right to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father. Catholic Charities in Boston already closed its doors in Massachusetts because courts legalized same-sex marriage there.

4. Religions that sponsor private schools with married student housing may be required to provide housing for same-sex couples, even if counter to church doctrine, or risk lawsuits over tax exemptions and related benefits.

5. Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages may be sued for hate speech and risk government fines. It already happened in Canada, a country that legalized gay marriage. A recent California court held that municipal employees may not say: “traditional marriage,” or “family values” because, after the same-sex marriage case, it is “hate speech.”

6. It will cost you money. This change in the definition of marriage will bring a cascade of lawsuits, including some already lost (e.g., photographers cannot now refuse to photograph gay marriages, doctors cannot now refuse to perform artificial insemination of gays even given other willing doctors). Even if courts eventually find in favor of a defender of traditional marriage (highly improbable given today’s activist judges), think of the money – your money – that will be spent on such legal battles.