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Conflicted

Ever since my post on Loving Day something’s been on my mind. Every single day.

It’s hard to believe that not long ago I wouldn’t have been able to marry my husband. Meaning, it would have been illegal. Because of the way we look (mostly me). I couldn’t marry who I fell in love with, because other people thought it was wrong.

But can you help who you fall in love with?

I feel a bit conflicted because religious wise, “marriage” means between a man and a woman (Well, now… But don’t get me started on this). But my heart tells me that’s not fair. And my mind wonders what’s next.

I wonder what the history books will say 50 years from now about today–If my daughter will grow up and gawk at our “primitive” way of thinking.

I wonder what I’ll say to my grandchildren when I tell them about whose side I was on.

I don’t know what else to say.

I think I just needed to get that off my chest.

I’ve been starting at the publish button for the last hour. Ok, here it goes…

PS: I wasn’t trying to spark a debate or anything, and I’m not a spokesperson for my church (DUH) . Some commenters have suggested good ideas for “solutions,” I’m just venting as I always do. Please don’t get offended by my undecided opinion.


Can you expand on what you mean by it not being fair please?

Fair/right/correct/the way it should be.

YUMMommy says:

I think a lot of us feel conflicted when it comes to that issue.

Anonymous says:

I think tolerance is sometimes both sides accepting that they may never see things the same way but still respect each other’s rights.

Feliz4life says:

That’s why it’s important to look to god for the answers and not people.

Amen on both counts.

I agree. It isn’t fair.

Celeste says:

Yes, God created marriage for and intends marriage for only 1 man/1 woman. But, does that mean that sin has not intervened and there are those that feel that it is right to view it as something else? Sin’s to blame… plain & simple. I’m not saying that oh, people who support other views on marriage are “crazy, sinful, horrible people.” No. Not at all. My main grief with this issue is that it pains me to see how quickly marriage is being tarnished – by several things. It is a sacred sacrament that God instituted. I am only 20 years old, and in my short life thus far, I’ve seen how marriage is viewed degrade so quickly. (not just when it comes to “who” can marry, but even things like living together before marriage — seems like everyone thinks that’s ok for whatever reason… ??)

I know I sound crazy conservative … because, well, I am. I just hope and pray that America will once again stand firmly on that fact that we are a nation under God and uphold the inherent morals that God gives us all from birth.

I shall quote my favorite president, Ronald Reagan: “A nation not under God is a nation gone under.”

(ah! I love Reagan — he is awesome.)

LexC says:

A very brave post and one that might not be too popular to wonder about out loud. I too feel like it’s unfair, and I’m proud that you did hit the publish button!

I say any two consenting adults of sound mind and body, regardless of color, creed, religion, gender, etc. SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO MARRY.

IMO marriage is about love, not about anything else.

It’s unfortunate that I wouldn’t have been able to marry my husband back in the Loving’s era, and its equally as unfortunate that my gay/lesbian friends aren’t able to marry now.

I won’t get into my feelings on the “religious” view of these marriages.

I think religions can take whatever stance they want to on same sex marriage. However, our government has a separation of church and state. so what a religion dictates should not have bearing on our laws.

So, I think it’s really simple. The government should get out of the marriage business altogether.

If you want a marriage, go you to your church/temple/synagog/shrine/mosque.

If you want the government to recognize your union, get a civil union. No more marriage licenses for anyone, everyone gets a civil union in the eyes of the government.

So, really, really simple- no worries about the government forcing religious organizations to do stuff, etc.

You want marriage, you go to your religious organization- and they can define it according to their tenets/beliefs. You want a legal recognition of your relationship, you go to the government- which defines it according to the protections offered to citizens in the Constitution.

Definitely an interesting thought! Don’t you love how blogging helps you get things off your chest! Hope you have a great Friday!

You all are making excellent points.

@Celeste, I totally get you because I think I’ve felt, and feel that way still about some things. I don’t believe in living together before you’re married, but I didn’t do it, and that’s me. I don’t condem others for doing what they do. I guess I feel like that’s not my place to judge.

@Dani, I see your point too.

@Momacommaphd, that’s a very good point. Make marriage a church thing, civil unions a state thing. I wonder if that would ever happen. You’d think it would solve a lot of issues. But I don’t know, we can’t be the first to think of this right? I wonder what others see as the downside.

Maria says:

I’m not brave enough to leave my opinion here, but I commend you for posting it!! <3

jennie w. says:

If God says that the definition of marriage means one man and one woman, then who am I to disagree?

However, I believe that anyone who is over 18 should be able to have a committed relationship with whomever they want.

I think it just needs to be called something different. Obviously this is really a matter of semantics. But semantics are a big deal.

Anonymous says:

Our primitive way of thinking? As if it was man that instituted marriage. Sorry, but it’s Heavenly Father’s “primitive” way of thinking. And if I’m reading Isaiah correctly, His ways are higher than our ways. I would hope that when you explain this to your grandchildren that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to admit that you sided with the Lord and His prophet when it wasn’t popular. Race is a horrible thing to compare sexuality to. Two totally different things.

This was something that was baffling to me a few years ago, but that’s why it’s important to spend some time praying and fasting to know what the LORD wants you to do and know about it. Not what the history books want you to do and know about it.

I’m sort of surprised you “went there” knowing that you have a large non-LDS audience who probably view you as a spokesperson for our church–and I hope that you will be clear that you are not.

I see comment moderation has been enabled, so I’m sure this won’t show up. But honestly, I’m not meaning to sound harsh–I’m a long time reader and good friend of yours–I’m just a little disappointed. Not that you’re struggling with this, but that you chose to post it on your blog in such an open forum.

Great post! Who is man [or the government] to tell us who we can love and marry? Who are they to try to regulate something that is so beautiful and pure and unconditional?

Oh dear, I’m not a spokes person and I think people know that. I wouldn’t say I’m struggling per say. Does wondering what the world an our views will look like 50 years from now a bad thing?

I’m not saying I agree with gay marriage but I’m not saying I disagree with it. I’m just… wondering.

And has others have said, maybe it’s a matter of making marriage strictly a church thing. Wouldn’t that solve the problem many people see?

I hate people comparing sexuality to race too. But I couldn’t help but think how people probably said the same arguments about race and religion 50 years ago. But I won’t go there because that IS something I need to pray about before openin that can of worms.

I just want to make it clear (if it wasn’t in the post) that I’m not dead set one way or another. But to some, I guess if I’m not with you I’m against you.

Erin says:

@mommacommaphd I totally agree with you.

Christian woman says:

I think the anonymous person is doing a bit much! If you have a non-LDS following, they probably wouldn’t even know what was until it was mentioned.

I’m COGIC…born and raised, but I’d have to agree with you. My belief system and how I was raised says that homosexuality is wrong, but I don’t think it’s fair to make others adhere to my beliefs, if it is not something that they want to do. What if Christianity was a less dominant religion here and we were forced to conform to the popular religious belief? That would not be right or fair. God gives us a choice to follow him. He doesn’t force it on us. If we are supposed to live a life like Christ, shouldn’t we do the same? Just my $0.02.

Karen says:

There was a time when interracial relationships were definitely considered a sin by most religions.

I guess what it comes down to is whether you believe people are born gay or choose to be. I believe they’re born that way, and they deserve the same rights as everyone else.

Megan says:

You should be able to post whatever is in your heart without worrying if you’re a spokesperson for anything.

I consider myself a Christian woman, but I believe being gay is not a choice, JUST like race is not a choice.

Elizabeth says:

Wow, you know what I’m disappointed in? So called “friends” who decide it’s in good taste and totally appropriate to call-out someone publically/anonymously regarding their thoughts on an open forum, especially when they are of your own faith. They look like a total cowardly self righteous tool using terms like “I’m sorry but…” and “if I’m reading right” and “I would hope…” as well as BOLD emphasis. It drives me crazy. If someone has something to say, they should speak it plain and clear, not hide behind phrases that give a supposed cushion of politeness.

I know I don’t have any place getting offended for you, and I know posting a mean-spirited comment like that openly would only spread the contention from the first comment, but I wanted to express how much that bugged me… you know, as your friend. I think you handled it very professionally and nonchallantly and with grace. I think you diffused and dismissed the comment nicely and respectfully.

Now, I’m going to go post a comment that’s conducive to the thread.

AmyRyb says:

I agree with mommacommaphd. If the government wants to allow unions between people of any gender, that’s fine. I think my gay friends (and family) should have the right to be legally joined to people they love. Heck, my cousin’s been in a lesbian relationship for almost as long as I’ve been married, and her partner adopted her son. However…per God’s plan (which is something only the church needs to hold to, as much as Christians would like it to extend beyond), marriage is between a man and a woman. Churches should only perform the types of ceremonies that conform to their set of beliefs. The government can do the rest.

Elizabeth says:

Oh yikes, my last comment was for your eyes only, Jen… I hoped you would read it then delete it. =P

Sorry Elizabeth! Let me know in the comment next time! Haha. You can delete it if you want, or I will once I get back to my PC 🙂 I’m on my phone at the Dr.’s office waiting to get some pee hose relief!

Jenni says:

My husband and I are inclined toward the type of policy that exists in many other countries (notably most or all of Europe). Over there, any two consenting adults can have a civil union. They get all the legal benefits that way. “Marriage” is a religious institution, and once you’re civilly/legally joined, if your church does some kind of religious ceremony then you can go do that too.
The point being–separation of church and state!! Legal rights should not be tied into (or restricted by) religious sentiment.

Wow Jenni, I love you all over again! Great point and answers exactly what I’ve been mulling over. Nice to hear it from another non-spokesperson LDSer. 😉

Anonymous says:

Dear Baby Making Machine, I seriously love your blog and I think you ARE a “spokesperson” for the church… whether or not you WANT to be, your “opinions” are taken as such by some people. One of the great things about being human is expressing your opinions, I get that! I am just a little disappointed that you decided to “question” something that has been said by the REAL spokespeople for our church… our prophet! And then to announce your opinion on a blog that is read by SO many people not of our faith. Yes you are allowed to express you opinion on YOUR blog, do what you want I guess. But I have a blog (that thousands of readers read each day) I would never leave such a sour taste in my readers mouths!

We are not trying to “bash” you by any means. We are defending the Church and it’s teachings…. with a little bit of “cushion of politeness!”

And for a minute, let ME be the “spokeperson” for our church… The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true and it’s teachings are true. The Church is perfect, the people AREN’T… and never will be! 🙂

mameelynn says:

I totally agree with the idea of civil unions separate from marriage. I have really gotten to the point where I don’t understand why anyone would get married if not for religious reasons. I think that everyone should be able to have all of the rights/tax/FMLA and whatnot that “married” couples have but when it comes down to a “marriage” I just don’t get what the big deal is. If you want to have a party or wedding then have a party. There is no law saying you can’t just have a celebration for being together. When you are already doing everything a married couple is doing(living together, having kids, buying a home and what not) then I don’t think that you really think that marriage is a requirement for that. I do and because of that I was married before I did those things but my sister has been living with her boyfriend and they have 3 kids together and are happy in their life. I’m just glad that they live in a country that see’s their relationship as a common-law and get all of the same benefits and recognition from the government and that’s just the way I think it should be.

Anonymous, first off, who is “we”? Secondly, congrats on your thousands of readers daily. That really helps your point.

Third, I don’t think your basing me and I’m not offended by why you’re saying.

Fourth, the last anonymous commented asked that I say I’m not a spokesperson for the church. Y’all need to get on the same page.

Fifth, I’m sorry but I couldn’t disagree with you more. You write as if I’m saying I’m agreeing with gay marriage and saying my religion is wrong. You are taking a few lines of my post and inserting YOUR opinions of me.

Did you take the time to read the rest of my thoughts? The thoughts of others in OUR church who agree that theres a way to have marriage be a religious recognition and not a lawful one? Or are you completely against any other kind of option?

It’s also funny how we are so quick to judge people who don’t believe marriage should be between one man and one woman NOW. Probably similar to how people judged polygamists in our church when the law was saying marriage was between just one man and one woman.

You are right about one thing. I believe in the gospel but not all of the people are correct. I can go on about things in the past that have gone wrong but I’m not about to turn a post about my innocent ponderings into something that will REALLY make people question our beliefs.

I am a strong believer in the LDS faith, despite it having a racist past (like many other churches) and despite some close-minded people who think I’m trying to speak for the church in saying gay marriage is OK. I never said that. I just wondered aloud the future solutions to this big dilemma. Do you have one Anonymous?

Anonymous says:

Thank you for responding so quickly! 🙂 May we agree to disagree!! XOXO!!

Elizabeth says:

My own thoughts on the matter are complicated as well.

I have a strong testimony in what I believe in. Part of that is belief in the plan Heavenly Father has set up for us. Biologically, psychologically, and spiritually, it makes sense to me that the kind of family that is most beneficial to raising children in is one stated in that plan (please don’t argue this point, it is an ideal to strive for as closely as possible. I know there are exceptions and I’m not going to argue about it)…. but that takes in account that I think part of why we are here on earth is to procreate and have a family… and the purpose of marriage is to have children so that means marriage should be between and man and woman….and not everyone believes in that so with that said….

What I believe should not be forced on others or restrict their actions. I agree with what others have said about it not being the government’s place to decide. When I got married, it wasn’t because I wanted a legally recognized union, it was because I loved my husband, wanted to be with him forever and wanted to start a family with him. So we participated in a ceremony through our church that united us as a couple, as per our beliefs. The little document from the governent that we had to get beforehand could mean less to me, except that certain rights and priviledges are granted to us from the government by being lawfully wedded.

I don’t think it’s fair either to withhold those legal rights and priviledges to those who are seeking to establish a monogamous relationship, no matter their race or sexual preference. The two aspects of marriage are the legal side and the emotional/spiritual/moral/whatever side. The government should deal with one and we should deal with the other.

Jenna says:

It’s a hard one, especially for LDS people. It’s something I think we need to really listen to our hearts and petition God about.

Rania says:

Ah – religion…I could write a book. I consider myself a Christian, but “Anonymous” is the epitome of the reason I steer clear of religious organizations that this attack those who do not think like themselves.

My take on the matter: There is no question – people should be allowed to marry whomever they want to marry. Interracially, varying faiths, same sex – it makes no difference. Love is the basis of a union.

If God makes no mistakes, then those who naturally fall for someone of the same sex, or different race, should be allowed to marry and have the same rights as those of heterosexual couples.

I just don’t get the hostility.

Rania says:

oops, typo in my last post, I meant:

Ah – religion…I could write a book. I consider myself a Christian, but “Anonymous” is the epitome of the reason I steer clear of religious organizations that attack those who do not think like themselves.

My take on the matter: There is no question – people should be allowed to marry whomever they want to marry. Interracially, varying faiths, same sex – it makes no difference. Love is the basis of a union.

If God makes no mistakes, then those who naturally fall for someone of the same sex, or different race, should be allowed to marry and have the same rights as those of heterosexual couples.

I just don’t get the hostility.

Elana says:

I agree with the previous commenter that G-d makes no mistakes. Being homosexual isn’t wrong, it’s just different, and I don’t think it’s right to tell someone who they can or can’t marry. You can’t force someone to fall in love with you, and you can’t force someone not to as well. Just like people of different races and religions are (now) able to marry each other, people of the same sex should be able to as well. (Although if my children marry outside of our religion I will have a heart attack, it’s not illegal.) 🙂

Anonymous says:

I think it is important to study this out, and ask God what His opinions are.

Here is a link to a very controversial yet valid policy brief I think you could read and consider. I believe if this issue was all about love, that would be one thing. But as expressed in this article, the effects go much deeper. Things to consider: the effects on children, the effects on schools, the effects on families, the effects on societies. As I read, it helped me realize why a church who rarely speaks out against policies or legislation would feel so strongly to be so bold about this one. Perhaps this issue of debate has more far-reaching effects than appear on the surface? Check out this briefing and let us know what you think!
http://www.familywatchinternational.org/fwi/documents/FWIpolicybriefeightreasonsmay2010.pdf

Here’s a strong-opinioned one on how the way marriage is defined can effect an entire society.

http://www.familywatchinternational.org/fwi/documents/FWIpolicybrieftraditionalmarriagefinal.pdf

Anonymous says:

This is something I’m sure people will be talking about for a long, long time. I know that God gives us free will. And people will choose as they wish. But if there aren’t some absolutes, then there is nothing but chaos and everyone doing as they wish.

Here is a thought provoking question:

If you feel people should be allowed to marry whomever they wish…

does that mean it is ok to marry your sister/brother/uncle/mother/father?

Where is the line drawn?

Mandy says:

I don’t usually comment (but sooo enjoy the blog and sweet photos), but I couldn’t believe some of the hatin’ going on. It’s funny to me that the critical comments are anonymous. If someone feels comfortable with their words, they can stamp their name on it (which probably wouldn’t be a big deal if they are used to addressing thousands of readers regularly anyways). If it is something that could be misinterpreted or has a negative tone that one doesn’t want to own up to publicly, it is likely best handled in private with that person directly, especially when there is a claim of being a “good friend.” Just my own opinion and not the official stance of the LDS church (since we have to clarify that apparently).

As already noted by the above response, it was blatantly clear that the post was not challenging the church’s view of gay relationships/marriage. I would think that readers of this blog, LDS or not, know that this blog is not a source of official doctrine of the church. Does a disclaimer need to be present for any entry that might be related to the canon of the church? I would hope not. If one blog post questioning how same sex relationships should be legally handled and how this issue will be interpreted historically is enough to knock someone to the opposite viewpoint, chances are they had other trains of thought going on before this post was made. A member of any church or group is a representative in their own right, but nothing was said in opposition to the doctrine that BMM follows.

This is definitely a hot button issue. If you are a person of faith, chances are that the subject of marriage is clearly defined with no wiggle room. And while I am firm in my personal beliefs on marriage from the gospel, I don’t know how far reaching those beliefs should be in the government setting. I know I would hate it if another group with opposing moral tenants restricted my life. As hinted at, people of the LDS faith should be very aware of this dynamic historically. I really like some of the comments that have been put out on how this should be handled (division of government-issued rights related to the union and then a marriage ceremony through the applicable religious organization). Each church/religion can keep and preserve their definition of marriage. The legal recognition of gay unions wouldn’t impact the practice of LDS marriage any more than the sale of alcohol prevents someone our faith practicing the Word of Wisdom. I realize this comparison is off a bit, but it’s interesting that some members of the LDS church spend a lot of time fighting the gay marriage issue but wouldn’t dream of investing as much energy fighting the legality of other things that are not doctrinal (but are more accepted socially). I understand that the anonymous comments come from a place of passion. I think that family values and Christ’s teachings should be defended and fought for – I just feel that the most meaningful and lasting battles happen through compassion and service and not in courtrooms.

Mandy says:

I don’t usually comment (but sooo enjoy the blog and sweet photos), but I couldn’t believe some of the hatin’ going on. It’s funny to me that the critical comments are anonymous. If someone feels comfortable with their words, they can stamp their name on it (which probably wouldn’t be a big deal if they are used to addressing thousands of readers regularly anyways). If it is something that could be misinterpreted or has a negative tone that one doesn’t want to own up to publicly, it is likely best handled in private with that person directly, especially when there is a claim of being a “good friend.” Just my own opinion and not the official stance of the LDS church (since we have to clarify that apparently).

As already noted by the above response, it was blatantly clear that the post was not challenging the church’s view of gay relationships/marriage. I would think that readers of this blog, LDS or not, know that this blog is not a source of official doctrine of the church. Does a disclaimer need to be present for any entry that might be related to the canon of the church? I would hope not. If one blog post questioning how same sex relationships should be legally handled and how this issue will be interpreted historically is enough to knock someone to the opposite viewpoint, chances are they had other trains of thought going on before this post was made. A member of any church or group is a representative in their own right, but nothing was said in opposition to the doctrine that BMM follows.

This is definitely a hot button issue. If you are a person of faith, chances are that the subject of marriage is clearly defined with no wiggle room. And while I am firm in my personal beliefs on marriage from the gospel, I don’t know how far reaching those beliefs should be in the government setting. I know I would hate it if another group with opposing moral tenants restricted my life. As hinted at, people of the LDS faith should be very aware of this dynamic historically. I really like some of the comments that have been put out on how this should be handled (division of government-issued rights related to the union and then a marriage ceremony through the applicable religious organization). Each church/religion can keep and preserve their definition of marriage. The legal recognition of gay unions wouldn’t impact the practice of LDS marriage any more than the sale of alcohol prevents someone our faith practicing the Word of Wisdom. I realize this comparison is off a bit, but it’s interesting that some members of the LDS church spend a lot of time fighting the gay marriage issue but wouldn’t dream of investing as much energy fighting the legality of other things that are not doctrinal (but are more accepted socially). I understand that the anonymous comments come from a place of passion. I think that family values and Christ’s teachings should be defended and fought for – I just feel that the most meaningful and lasting battles happen through compassion and service and not in courtrooms.

Mandy says:

oops… i may have submitted my comment twice by accident. 🙂 please delete the repeated one if this is the case. thanks.

melifaif says:

You really know how to get em talkin’ Jenn!!!! Wow….I’m gonna pass on this one. But for the record….I never once. For one second…ever. Never. Open up your blog and think…”oh, she is a LDS so she would think that.” I just see you as you. And there are many different sides of you that I love. And I also have common sense to realize you are NOT a spokesperson for the Church of LDS. I have been reading for a long time…and you never have claimed that.

I think Bob Dylan said it best….

“All this talk about equality. The only thing people really have in common is that they are all going to die.”

You keep on doing YOU…and Miss Anono can keep on being shady. Why hide? Come on out….you are the next contestant on….THE BIGGEST BITCH!

**What happened to the “pass on this one”…oops!** It’s cool…bring on the haters.

Anonymous says:

(“Our primitive way of thinking” anonymous–just to clarify)

First, I know you know you’re not a spokesperson for the LDS church–I just think it’s in good taste to be careful of things like this. I’ve actually always thought you’ve done a good job of this in the past, that’s why I was so surprised by this.

Second, the main thing I have a problem with in your post is the following sentence: “(Well, NOW… But don’t get me started on this)” I actually completely agree with the idea of civil unions–(as does the First Presidency of the Church, actually, just FYI.) But Heavenly Father has always been very clear on the fact that marriage will always be between a man and a woman. The Church will not change it’s stance on this, because it truly is God’s stance, not the Church’s, to begin with.

This is why race and homosexuality aren’t a good comparison. Because I agree with you, the people in the Church really DID drop the ball on the race thing many years ago. (And some people continue to.) But while it begs the question as to whether or not “the Church” will change it’s stance on gay marriage, it won’t.

But like I said (and maybe this didn’t come out clear enough), this whole thing is something I have struggled with. I have friends (in and out of our church) that struggle with homosexuality, and it really isn’t fair. It’s something I don’t have a lot of answers about–but I know that Heavenly Father is the perfect judge of character and He’ll make it all right in the end. But I do know that He has made it clear the answer isn’t for them to marry.

I don’t have a problem at all with civil unions allowing them to benefits such as insurance, making deathbed medical decisions, etc. But, as another commenter said, semantics IS important. A civil union is not a marriage, in my mind. It doesn’t have the eternal possibility to become so.

I’m not offended at all about your undecided opinion, I just think maybe your blog wasn’t the best place to post it. It was for sure going to “spark a debate.”

Anyway, I just shouldn’t have said anything at all, and for that I apologize. Carry on.

If you don’t care about gay couples having the same rights as straight couples then essentially both sides are arguing over a word. And just so you know, civil unions DON’T grant all of the same rights that marriages do. Which is maybe why marriage should remain a religious thing and perhaps the law should stay out of it. Then everyone can be happy. Gay people can get “married” in churches where it’s allowed and we can all have civil unions by law.

Also, now seeing the reaction, I stand behind my decision to share my questions. It’s obviously something not all LDS, or other Christians agree on. But I don’t disagree with our church’s stance, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.

Oh, and just so you know, my tounge and cheek statement about the “now” is regarding polygamy, not saying that our church will change it’s stance in the future about gay marriage (I don’t believe it will but who knows), just saying that we haven’t always practiced the one man/ one woman rule.

Anonymous says:

Ahhh… that makes more sense about the “now” comment being about polygamy. Thanks for clarifying. And thanks for your response.

Lots of things to think about. Have a good weekend.

Katie says:

What I like most about your blog and about you as a writer (and human being–as you come through in your writing, anyway!) is that you are thoughtful and look carefully at both sides of every issue, whether opinion related or product related or baby-raising related.

To be honest, the people who are commenting creepily about the Church of LDS make me afraid of the church. While I certainly don’t consider them spokespeople for their church, or you either, for the benefit of argument, let’s say you’re both representing your church as a whole. If that’s the case, YOU make me think the church must be a good one, full of kindness and fairmindedness, and they (anonymous commenters) make me think it must be weirdly hateful and kind of creepy pressurizing…

Anyway, I really want to thank you for your openness to dialogue, and your amazingly even-handed responses to ALL of the posters on it!

Katie says:

Also had to respond directly to this anonymous comment: “Yes you are allowed to express you opinion on YOUR blog, do what you want I guess. But I have a blog (that thousands of readers read each day) I would never leave such a sour taste in my readers mouths!”

A reader who gets a sour taste in her mouth when reading Jenn’s words on the very possibility of more acceptance and justice in the world might need to do some more soul-searching. It’s intolerance that leaves a sour taste–and intolerant is one thing that this blog is not!

You’ve since cleared up via comments what was the root of my initial question (“what do you mean by not fair?”). Because despite all the debate that this post sparked, at no point in the post did you state an actual opinion/state which “side” you were on and that’s what I was really wondering about. I wasn’t sure if the “not fair” thing was homosexuals being unable to marry or polygamy being illegal.

Natalia says:

For what it’s worth, I think it is great that you posted this. It shows that even within the church, there are differing points of view. You’re not the only one who is still grappling with the issue. I don’t know that I have a solution to the problem, I just don’t think it is fair to deny people certain governmental rights simply bc they do not follow what is considered the “norm” by society.

Natalia says:

Oh, and one more thing. It really bothers me that people constantly talk about how the “family is under attack” when referring to gay marriage. I just don’t see how having a same-sex couple in a committed relationship is going to somehow devalue the worth of my little family.

Saran says:

Anonymous said…
“I’m a long time reader and good friend of yours”
“I’m not offended at all about your undecided opinion, I just think maybe your blog wasn’t the best place to post it.”

Jenn, kuddos to you on this post.
I can only imagine what the world would be like for someone like me today, if in the 50’s and 60’s those who questioned racial discrimination kept their opinions quiet because of people like your “good friend” anonymous thinking that speaking up would leave a bad taste in folks mouths.
Reading the Anonymous comments make me want to run for the hills the next time I see the LDS guys on the bikes that visit my neighborhood – and that’s very unfortunate.

Sassy says:

I am also LDS. I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and think it a bit wrong of your anonymous friend to be so hateful. Didn’t Jesus teach us to love one another? Just my opinion.

I’d hope that no one reading this thread would make anyone “run for the hills” when seeing the missionaries 🙂 if anything I’d hope you realize everyone has their own opinions. Its not a secret that the LDS Church’s official stance is to not allow gay marriage, but I hope that wouldn’t deter anyone from inquiring more about our beliefs. We are a diverse group who all try to do our best to do what we feel is right.

Thanks for letting me discuss this with you!

Jenn

The Author says:

As a non spokesperson LDS member, I really struggled with this. I realize you are just wondering, but when it came up for vote in my state I was so torn I couldn’t vote. I feel strongly about following God’s law but I also felt that making it a law took away agency, which is why we are here. It got to the point it was really shaking me. I went way past wondering and really struggling. So I emailed my mission president, who happens to be an associate dean of religion at BYU and someone I respect and trust. He and his wife gave me a wonderful answer that calmed my struggle, quieted my fears and answered every last question I threw at them. I feel more at peace with this question than I ever have before. I was actually surprised to learn some of the church’s views on the subject that I didn’t know.

Their answer is far to long to put here, but I encourage you to find answers. In the end it made me stronger. Best of luck to you.

Tara says:

Hi, Jenn! Long time reader, first time commenter. It seems that what you’re saying is that since the LDS church has changed its doctrines before (about interracial marriage for example), who’s to say whether its current doctrines are true, or whether they might change again in a decade or two? Is that right?

If so, do you feel the same way about other LDS doctrines or just about the church’s stance on marriage?

Thanks in advance – I’m not too familiar with Mormonism, just wondering.

Jo says:

Jenn, it really warms my heart to see that even a devoted woman of faith can ask questions like these.

I’m of the belief that the government needs to work for all citizens and should never restrict civil rights based on religious beliefs. We’ve got that handy 1st Amendment in place to remind us of that. And when a government restricts marriage rights because it’s against “God’s will” — that’s so clearly unconstitutional to me that it makes my head spin to try to see it otherwise.

As a happily married (agnostic) woman of 9+ years, I would happily exchange my “marriage” for a gov’t granted “civil union” if it were really just a matter of semantics. My wedding took place in a courthouse with no clergy in sight, so that’s essentially what I have anyway — a legal document from my gov’t saying my partner and I can file our taxes together and share equal legal responsibility for our daughter.

The marriage equality law that passed in NY on Friday night falls along these lines, too. All it says is that the gov’t can issue these same contracts to pairs of whatever sex and the churches can still handle spiritual marriage as they see fit.

I know not everyone loves the idea of “civil unions” from the gov’t and “marriage” from the church, but that’s how many European countries do it and it works out beautifully. Those interested in being “married” can still walk into a church and do so; the rest of us won’t waste our time!

(Although there are plenty of religious havens for progressive/agnostic/gay folks out there, too, if they *did* want a faith-based marriage as well.)

Those who oppose this solution do so out of adherence to tradition more than anything. Although it’s just semantic, the idea of “marriage” is so deeply embedded in our culture that’s it hard to swallow otherwise.

And as far as your anonymous commenters scolding you for daring to question the church teachings (even if you only sort barely did so without commitment either way), I have a feeling these same “friends” would have stood up for the racist history of the LDS (and other) churches in that era as well. After all, it was church law then.

Do they really think things should never change?

I can see the point Momacommaphd is trying to make, but I don’t think the government should get out of marriage. What about those of us who don’t belong to a faith? Call it semantics or whatever you like, but I want to be married to my husband, not in a “civil union.” You shouldn’t have to go to church to marry.

Years from now people will look back on this part of our history and shake their heads. The arguments used against interracial marriage are the same they use against gays now. Marriage is about love and who you want to spend the rest of your life with.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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