Legal battles are looming in the drive to define what is a family and what unions are allowed to be called marriage. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' stance on this issue is unequivocal, and it can be found here.
It states in part:
"The California Supreme Court recently ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in California. Recognizing the importance of marriage to society, the Church accepted an invitation to participate in ProtectMarriage, a coalition of churches, organizations, and individuals sponsoring a November ballot measure, Proposition 8, that would amend the California state constitution to ensure that only a marriage between a man and a woman would be legally recognized. (Information about the coalition can be found at ProtectMarriage.com.
On June 20, 2008, the First Presidency of the Church distributed a letter about “Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families,” announcing the Church’s participation with the coalition. The letter, which was read in Latter-day Saints’ church services in California, asked that Church members “do all [they] can to support the proposed constitutional amendment.”
Members of the Church in Arizona and Florida will also be voting on constitutional amendments regarding marriage in their states, where coalitions similar to California’s are now being formed.
The focus of the Church’s involvement is specifically same-sex marriage and its consequences. The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.
The Church has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality: intimate relations are proper only between a husband and a wife united in the bonds of matrimony.
The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility towards homosexual men and women. Protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not affect Church members’ Christian obligations of love, kindness and humanity toward all people."
Please take the time to read the entire article. If you do it will become evident that the church's stance is not anti-gay, as some might claim, but rather it is pro-family. It cites several examples of the benefits to having both a father and a mother in the home. It discusses the alarming rate of homes where children are raised by a single parent.
David Blankenhorn in Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem states: "The United States is becoming an increasingly fatherless society. A generation ago, an American child could reasonably expect to grow up with his or her father. Today, an American child can reasonably expect not to. Fatherlessness is now approaching a rough parity with fatherhood as a defining feature of American childhood.
This astonishing fact is reflected in many statistics, but here are the two most important. Tonight, about 40 percent of American children will go to sleep in homes in which their fathers do not live. Before they reach the age of eighteen, more than half of our nation's children are likely to spend at least a significant portion of their childhood living apart from their fathers. Never before in this country have so many children been voluntarily abandoned by their fathers. Never before have so many children grown up without knowing what it means to have a father.
Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation. It is the leading cause of declining child well-being in our society. It is also the engine driving our most urgent social problems, from crime to adolescent pregnancy to child sexual abuse to domestic violence against women. Yet, despite its scale and social consequences, fatherlessness is a problem that is frequently ignored or denied. Especially within our elite discourse, it remains largely a problem with no name."
David Popenoe In his book, Life Without Fathers, states: "The decline of fatherhood is one of the most basic, unexpected and extraordinary trends of our time. Its dimensions can be captured in a single statistic: In just three decades, between 1960 and 1990, the percentage of children living apart from their biological fathers more than doubled, from 17 percent to 36 percent. By the turn of the century, nearly 50 percent of American children may be going to sleep each evening without being able to say good night to their dads.
No one predicted this trend; few researchers or government agencies have monitored it; and it is not widely discussed, even today. But the decline of fatherhood is a major force behind many of the most disturbing problems that plague American society: crime; premature sexuality and out-of-wedlock births to teenagers; deteriorating educational achievement; depression, substance abuse and alienation among adolescents; and the growing number of women and children in poverty."
As the definition of marriage changes and is trivialized, the sanctity of human life decreases.
According to Wikipedia, the current population in the United States is 305,275,000. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 45,000,000 legal abortions were performed between 1973 and 2005. That number is an eye popping 15% of the total population.
NPR reports that in recent court battles between religious and same sex groups, that religions are losing. Some of the examples they cited include:
"Adoption services: Catholic Charities in Massachusetts refused to place children with same-sex couples as required by Massachusetts law. After a legislative struggle — during which the Senate president said he could not support a bill "condoning discrimination" — Catholic Charities pulled out of the adoption business in 2006.
Medical services: A Christian gynecologist at North Coast Women's Care Medical Group in Vista, Calif., refused to give his patient in vitro fertilization treatment because she is in a lesbian relationship, and he claimed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. (The doctor referred the patient to his partner, who agreed to do the treatment.) The woman sued under the state's civil rights act. The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in May 2008, and legal experts believe that the woman's right to medical treatment will trump the doctor's religious beliefs. One justice suggested that the doctors take up a different line of business.
Wedding facilities: Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association of New Jersey, a Methodist organization, refused to rent its boardwalk pavilion to a lesbian couple for their civil union ceremony. The couple filed a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. The division ruled that the boardwalk property was open for public use, therefore the Methodist group could not discriminate against gay couples using it. In the interim, the state's Department of Environmental Protection revoked a portion of the association's tax benefits. The case is ongoing."
Tell me, what happens when a gay couple decides that they want to be married inside of an LDS chapel, or temple? At the moment, I can't see how such a thing would be allowed. However, legal precedent is being made with frightening forward looking possibilities.
Heavenly Father loves all of his children regardless of the choices they make in life. However, He has given us commandments, that if we follow, will bless our lives.
His commandments are designed and intended to increase our joy and peace.
One of the greatest gifts we have been given on earth are families. As we continue to confuse what defines a family or a marriage, we reject the blessings He wants to give us.
What can we do?
Go to ProtectMarriage.com and sign up.
If you live in California, vote in favor of Prop 8 and encourage others to do likewise.
Arizona and Florida have similar ballot issues this fall. If you live there, vote in favor of them.
Write letters to your governmental legislators telling them that you support the definition of marriage being defined as a union between one man and one woman.
Donate of your means and times to support the ballot initiatives.