Tuesday's presidential election was momentous and cause for celebration, but some ballot initiatives on the state level were not as momentous and brought with them cause for sadness and concern.
In particular, California's Proposition 8--a proposition that "eliminates right of same-sex couples to marry"--passed 52/48 in the Golden State on Tuesday. For those who haven't been paying attention, this means California voters have outlawed the right of gays and lesbians to marry. It is a revision (note: not an amendment) to the state's constitution that, for the first time in American history, reverses the rights of a subset of the population.
The passage of Prop 8 was heavily, loudly, and visibly supported by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Other evangelical, Catholic, and right-oriented family groups participated and supported this proposition as well with dollars and canvassing, but none were as heavily engaged and invested as the Mormons who supplied more than 40% of the $75 million that was spent on this campaign.
The result has been divisive within and without the Church. Families with gay sons and lesbian daughters feel betrayed by their church and its leaders. Members who support marriage for Mormons regardless of orientation have been disparaged by members who support marriage as between one man and one woman only. (And I'm sure some of the same has gone on in the other direction, but for the purposes of this entry, I don't care.) Some members who support(ed) Prop 8 have been strident and adamant that those who support gay marriage or who are gay and want to marry are going straight to hell.
Now, the Church and many of its Prop 8 supporting members are decrying the media backlash and civil protests taking place in Los Angeles, Oakland, and Salt Lake City against their involvement in and bankrolling of this initiative. The Church goes out of its way to state it is neutral when it comes to politics, but then involves itself in politics only to then cry foul when others call them out for engaging in politics. Which is it, brothers and sisters? 'Cause you can't have it both ways.
My point in this is, if you're a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and you support Prop 8 and you feel it's necessary to cry on my shoulder about how unfair the media is being to the Church, don't. I don't want your emails sent in utter disbelief. I don't want your phone calls expressing indignation. I don't want your newspaper clippings or your YouTube videos. I don't want any of it because it all boils down to three things for me: fear, inequality, and unchristlike behavior have no place in my life.
Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." Jesus said, "As I have loved you, love one another." Jesus said, "Render unto Ceasar, that which is Ceasar's and unto God, that which is God's." You have rendered unto Ceasar. You have made your bed and now you must lie in it. If the consequence is a lack of appreciation and understanding from your brothers and sisters who love, just as you love, then so be it.
I'm done with compassion and forgiveness when it comes to building bridges of understanding between gay and lesbian Mormons and their straight families. I'm done with graciously accomodating your lives and your opinions in my home in an effort to make a place at the table. I'm done with living in silence in an effort not to upset your world. I've accepted your ways and your opinions and your feelings and now, I'm done.
Just wanted to put you on notice, you will find no sympathy here.