I've been thinking a lot about proposition 8 since it passed last week. I've gone back and forth about it because the church I belong to and love has become the the target of frustration and anger of people I love because of proposition 8's failure to fail. I've been trying to justify both sides, and in doing so I couldn't come up with an answer, until about 2 days ago. Everyone is so riled up (rightfully and wrongfully so on both sides) over what we think is the big issue, but I think that maybe the big answer to this is really simple.

We're fighting over a word. I know this is going to throw some people for a loop, but go with me.

Marriage is just a word - one word in one language. It has traditionally been the word used to define a heterosexual union, a joining of a man and a woman as husband and wife. So why not let marriage officially be defined as that. Then we can come up with another word that is used to define a homosexual union, a joining of a man and a man as husband and husband. We could go even further and come up with new names for husband and wife in this newly coined term. It could be really fun, and if you think I'm joking, I'm absolutely not. I've been thinking of a few things: Skadoodle, Unification, Zeziz, Vieret (okay, the last two I just thought really hard about because it would be super cool if it was a completely new word - and I didn't check to see if those words really do exist - my profound apology if they do and have a super lame-o meaning). The difference in terminology would keep either side of the argument from continuing to step on one anothers constitutional toes.

Even groups who oppose same sex "marriage" support the same rights as "married" couples be given to same sex couples...Like my friend, Barack. Obama also doesn't believe in a constitutional amendment to define marriage. His position would still leave people stuck, despite what would have been his "No" vote on Prop. 8. For so long, same sex couples have been looking to the term marriage as the end all be all in regard to relationship status equality.

"Marriage" means is different to every couple who makes the choice to enter into it. To me it is sanctity, loyalty, a love that is unconditional, understanding silence, potty time is private time, letting go of certain aspects of myself to gain so much more, becoming a sort of expert on 20th century minimalist music, part of motherhood, a blessing of womanhood, a prayer together in the morning, always having a fan of my shenanigans, how I want to spend eternity. I could go on and on. The important part is that it's mine and Jake's. Our relationship belongs to us. I was "married" before our ceremony ever took place. I knew I needed to be with Jake to experience real joy - the biggest kind you can imagine. Instead of calling my union marriage, I might like to call it Orange. And it would still mean the same thing to me.

Definitions have to exist. Our world needs some sort of order, and language is how we do it. It would be easier if we could all be lumped up into a few definitions like people, brothers, sisters, etc, but the world would be far less colorful. White is not black and black is not white, and I celebrate their differences and everything in between. Let "marriage" and "skadoodle" both define a joining of two people, and let both terms carry with them equal rights. I know the term civil union exists, but we can be so way more romantic. If people in 3 states voted to officially define marriage as something between a man and a woman, then let them keep that traditional institution which is sacred to them. Let's make a new tradition. A tradition that will help us all stop being so afraid of and hateful towards one another.


  1. Okay, I have A LOT to say. Sorry.

    I have been thinking a lot about this too. I understand what you're saying, but I believe a little different. Marriage isn't just a word. It was defined by God as "a sacred institution." To me that lets me know of its importance. So important that Satan will do all he can to lessen the meaning of it.

    I stuggle so much with this because I have many gay friends from HS that I still keep in touch with. I know that for them this Prop would have been a big step. I was totally for it though. I don't feel like we as a society have the right to redefine something that God, Himself, defined long before we all even exsisted. That is why churches, not just ours, fought so hard. I feel bad that people have mistaken that for hate. They were just defending something that they believed was sacred.

    It's a tough spot you put yourself in when you try to justify both sides. I know because I was struggling the same way. I consider myself a person who does not discriminate. I felt if I were for it I would be just that, but I was looking at it the way the world was. I had to look at it the way the Lord looks at it.

    He loves all his children, ALL of them! With that said, not all of them live the way He would have them. He has said what is right and what is wrong. We are to defend the right. I feel bad that others are choosing to leave the church because we took a stand. They feel I guess that Pres. Monson is voicing his own opinion, not God's. I believe our leaders took this matter to the Lord and He told them what they were to do.

    It would be nice to make both sides happy, but I fear that is impossible. I do wish everbody would calm down too. Dustin and I were caught in the protest downtown. I have never felt the presence of such hate and evil feelings. It was not a good experience. I believe in the right o free speech, but had this Prop lost I don't think I would be picketing their sacred places.

    I don't know BrieAnn it's a tough thing especially when people you care for are on the other side. Hope I didn't offend you. I'm just voicing my thoughts and struggles. It's a confusing thing!

  2. No offense taken.

    I totally get what you're saying, but I think the actual point of what I was trying to say was missed. I hesitated when writng that marriage was "just a word" because I knew some people might be thrown off. I was an English major, so my relationship to words and language is a little different. I also know that what marriage actually is is a sacred institution. But seperate the word "marriage" from what your relationship with your spouse actually is. Pretend like it's an interchangable label. Like we could get cheesed or boated or dolled - so Prop 8 would have been about protecting families and cheese (I hope this is making sense).

    Marriage, like mother and father, is a title we hold dear. It absolutely is sacred to most who enter into it. But when it comes down to defining what a term is when no definition could do justice to what the term is actually defining (our eternal relationships) then it all comes down to technicalites in the law.

    Let "marriage" stand as the term that describes a heterosexual relationship, but in order to bring about a conclusion, a term could also be given to define a legally comitted homosexual relationship that carries with it all of the legal rights as heterosexual couples.

    This new term would allow churches to steer clear of ever feeling that their rights were discriminated against. There could churches that perform "marriages" and chrches that perform "skadoodles" and some that have no preference. Legally, everyone could have a place in society because each side would have their own defined term. I'm certain the leaders of the church knew what they were doing, and I don't disagree, but I think we can do better than just defining what marriage is to us by opening a way for others to define what their relationship is legally. I hope that clarifies it a bit.

  3. Larae,

    I am totally in agreement with you. You have put your thoughts there the way I couldn't seem to do.


    I totally understand your point but the problem that I see is no matter what terminology we use it will never work. It has been tried and civil union is the term that most people agreed upon. But the problem is that the gay community does not want another word. They feel like they are second class citizens if another term is used and I think that a lot of them having been raised in religious homes feel that the term "marriage" makes everything ok. I have gay friends and I love them to death but it doesn't mean I agree with their personal choices. But I believe Heavenly Father gave us all the right to choose and he loves us no matter what. We all make decisions he isn't happy with. But unfortunately I think that the only way people will be happy with the debate and the solution is if they are just given marriages and I don't agree with it. I am amazed that we have lived for so long with no problems with the definition of marriage but it suddenly is such a huge debate. And it is always something. A few years ago it was the legalization of partial birth abortions...and a few years before that it was something else. Something so close to people that it makes them irrational on both sides. But now they have legalized partial birth abortions and given it a clever little euphemism and people don't even recognize it for what it is anymore or how wrong it is. We can call it something different but no one will be happy.
    Sorry my post was so long as well but just wanted to share my thoughts as well. I have been told how intolerant I am for not agreeing with the side of the gay community and I don't feel that is intolerant. :-)

  4. i agree with you brie, i actually thought of the same exact thing yesterday... to come up with another word, but mhari is right, they have tried to use other words and gays do not want another word... i love larae's comments because i struggle between the two sides as well (well, I see both sides but I believe one side but don't always feel I can push that on others), but maybe I should just stand up for my side and nothing else... very tough

  5. I am so glad someone brought this up. I have been watching the news lately and all of the protests going on and I can't believe it has gotten this out of hand.

    First off, if you are going to protest somebody for something you would think you would do your homework first. When you hold a sign that says mormons have 10 wives, why can't I have one. It makes you look a little stupid. I know it is an intentional attempt to slander the church. It is just so aggravating.

    Now that said I really do feel bad for the gay community. It must be very frustrating for them to want their "familes" recognized. Mahri is right. Civil union is not enough for them. They feel they are not equal. Let's be honest, they aren't, but they knew when they chose this lifestyle they would not be "equal". It was and is a choice they make and when we make choices that are contrary to those the Lord would have us make we are unhappy.

    I am all for them being able to be entitled to their partners benefits and making legal decisions for one another, but I do not feel they should be able to get "married". Marriage is and should always be a sacred union between a husband and a wife.

    While I am very sympathetic to their cause, I don't want my children being taught in school that this is acceptable in the eyes of the Lord. Yes, God loves all of his children, but he wants them to make right choices. If you have all the benefits with the wrong choice their would be no reward in choosing right.

    Although the church may have helped organize some of the events with Prop 8. They did not go into the voting booth with every member. People had their own right to choose and that is exactly what they did. The fact that church buildings and Temples are being vandalized is outrageous. The church didn't pass the prop. The people did. That is what makes this country so great. The right to choose.

    O.K. that is my little tangent. I really can see both sides. I just don't want their rights infringing upon my own.



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