Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I've got something to say

I cozied up with the latest installment of Boston Legal on the DVR this morning, only to find my home state of Utah being ridiculed. Since I lived in California for several years, I am adept at defending our strange, but beautiful state. In fact moving away from Utah only taught me to love it more. I am so happy to be back, and I wouldn't want to live any other place.

So I thought- yes! I have something to say on that blog thingy. I can tell people about what a wonderful place this is to live. But then I remembered the day that NPR told me that my fellow community members have sent millions of dollars to California in order to suppress basic human rights. In fact $19 million dollars have been donated by members of the LDS faith to take away some people's civil right to be considered EQUAL under the laws of our country. That is about 40% of the total funding for Proposition 8, a ballot measure in California that would once again make gay marriage illegal.

It was not very long ago that America had laws which took away the civil rights of its citizens based on their skin color, or their gender. I remember learning about slavery, Jim Crowe, and women's fight for sufferage, and wondering how moral people stood by and did nothing. I believe that in the not too distant future we will look back on our country's effort to punish yet another group of people for being different with the same shame we feel for Jim Crowe laws, but here I stand doing nothing.

So it turns out, I don't have anything nice to say about Utah today. I don't mean to disparriage every member of the LDS faith. In my experience they are kind people, who are genuinely concerned for well-being of others. In every group there are those who take their beleifs to the extreme. However, for a group of people who were once persecuted unfairly by the government, one would think they would pause to think a little more deeply in this instance.

3 comments:

Natalie said...

Cheers.

Maren said...

As an active LDS church member, I have to agree. The LDS church's official website put out a press release explaining their position on this issue. I read it. Although I could understand their reasoning, I was not convinced.

Always before an election, for as long as I can remember, the first presidency of my church has had a letter read over the podium to every congregation participating in said election.

The letter always says the same thing: to study the candidates and issues, and to prayerfully select the candidates that will best uphold your idea of good government and hold to your standards.

They have never chosen a side before or gotten involved in an issue like this. I am a bit horrified that they would throw so many resources at an effort to take away the civil rights of people of this country.

In their defense, they don't see the right to marry as a civil right. You and I may disagree with that, but if you want to understand their point of view and where they're coming from, check out www.lds.org and look under news. It helped assuage a bit of my anger, though as I said before, it still left me unconvinced.

Lissa said...

I do understand their point of view that marriage is not a civil right, but a religious matter. However, we have too many laws (tax, property, insurance benefits, etc.) based on marital status for that argument to be sound.

This is why civil unions with all the rights and benefits now given to married couples should be legal. I consider my marriage to be a civil union since I was married by a Federal Judge and not by a religious representative. We should make everyone apply for a civil union in the eyes of the government. Then if others are so inclined they can also make a religious union in the eyes of their church. They should be separate.

I am relieved that my post did not upset you, Maren. It would be a shame to reconnect after all this time and then scare you away with my crazy politics ;)