Hypocrisy and gay marriage

According to local pastor Wiley Drake, the 5.8 earthquake that hit Southern California on Tuesday was not just one of those typical seismic events that take place with some regularity in these parts, but it was "Another queer quake trying to get California's attention." Apparently, the Lord is mad about the legalization of gay marriage in the state. He can't be that mad, given that the quake didn't cause any death or much destruction, but Rev. Drake offers a warning: "We had better listen. 5.8 this time what is next!?"

Drake is something of a caricature of a religious right figure, so it's not fair to depict his crude opposition to gay marriage as typical of that found in Orange County's conservative evangelical communities, but ultimately most opponents of gay marriage rely on their Scriptural interpretations to justify it. Foes of gay marriage are backing a November initiative, Prop. 8, which would insert these words in the state constitution: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California."

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Is Jesus pleased?

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I support same-sex marriages.

Even though I don't understand homosexuals, I support their rights as human beings. God created them, just as he did everyone else, but he endowed them with different feelings of attraction and intimacy.

All humans, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation, deserve the same protection and rights under the law.

Married heterosexual couples are protected in issues of joint ownership, government or workplace benefits, and making life and death decisions for a spouse, and it is discriminatory to judge a person unworthy of these same rights simply because of who they are.

Being different should never be the core issue when determining if someone is worthy of being treated as an equal child of God. Jesus taught us to love one another, to bear one another's burdens, to visit the sick, the poor and the fatherless. Never has he charged us to reject anyone.

When we tell someone they are unworthy of the same human rights and protections we enjoy simply because they live and act differently than we do, I wonder if Jesus is pleased with how we are handling this issue.

Carlyle Potter
St. George, Utah
By Permission

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Feeling the spirit of political rules

By Derek Price
With Permission

When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently announced it would jump into California politics by supporting a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, many Mormons - including myself - were appalled.

Some members were upset that their tithing donations would be used to support a political agenda with which they disagree. Others were disappointed to see the church once again veer from its hollow claim of "political neutrality." And some found it laughable that the LDS church, which was founded by people with famously liberal marriage arrangements, is now taking a "one man, one woman" stance.

Isn't that a little ironic?

Really, though, this isn't just an issue about Mormons, gays and the California Constitution. Aside from the unpleasant thought of individual religious groups trying to force their doctrine upon all people through the enactment of civil law, there's another reason churches should stay out of politics.

It's all about the money.

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Googling Gay Marriage: Putting a Fork in Prop 8

A recent post over at Pam's House Blend notes the sudden departure of one of the more "interesting" voices from the Yes on 8 side of the Prop 8 battle:

"I no longer feel comfortable being allied with the people running the Prop. 8 campaign ... I have made a tentative decision not to publicize the disturbing information that caused me to end my promotion of man-woman marriage in the United States. But there is very little that I know about those subjects that a journalist, blogger, or activist cannot find out through diligent googling ..."
      -- former proprietor of the disturbing blog "Gays Defend Marriage," David Benkof to Truth Wins Out's Wayne Besen, July 14

A journalist, blogger or activist I may not be, but a googler?  Pardon me, but as Harvey Lime might say ... googling is my forte.

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AM Alert: California Prop. 8 down by nine

Proposition 8, the hot-button measure to engrave a ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution, is trailing by nine points, according to a new Field Poll.

More than two-thirds of GOP poll respondents (68 percent) said they would vote for the ban, while 63 percent of Democrats said they would vote "no."

Independents sided with the "no" side even more than Democrats (66 percent).

The Sacramento Bee

Chino Blanco

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