I don't remember all the details, because it was a long time ago. There was a proposition proposed (as propositions tend to be) that we should define marriage in California as only being between a man and a woman. The potential ramifications of the proposition failing were a big enough concern that all the members of the LDS Church were not only encouraged to vote yes on it, but to help in the campaign to promote it. This is huge, because, despite the fact that it really does sometimes seem like Mormons are required to vote Republican, our church leaders never (except for this time) tell us how to vote. The proposition passed with a 61% vote.
Just recently, the California Supreme Court overturned the... I don't know the political terms, but they said the proposition was unconstitutional and overturned it. So now, in 2008, we have a new proposition, proposing that we make a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. And church members have been asked to help with the campaign again. And that's why we've been a little bit more stressed out than usual these past two weeks, despite Oreo being fine and work not being too too crazy.
So now there are some things I want to explain about what the LDS Church, including us, believes. First of all, we don't hate homosexuals. We believe that we are all children of God, and that He loves all of us unconditionally, and we should love everyone, too. One of our church leaders addresses this in more detail in this article, and probably does it better than I could. But the main point is, while we do think that homosexual behavior is a sin, we don't reject people because of it. (Or we're not supposed to anyway; just because a church believes something doesn't necessarily mean all its members follow it.) I'm sure just about anybody can relate to the idea of having a friend who does things that they don't agree with--it's not like you're going to cut off all relationships with somebody because you don't like the shade they like to dye their hair. Or something; we're not always the best at coming up with analogies.
But anyway, it's true that we believe that homosexual behavior is wrong. A big part of that is that we believe in being chaste--we believe that sex should only happen between a married couple. But we believe that marriage is more than just two people committing themselves to each other and only each other for the rest of their lives--it's for building families. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about why families have to have a mother and a father, instead of two of one or the other. It would be so much easier to explain if everybody was Taoist. Well, assuming I'm understanding what I know about Taoism correctly.
According to our world religions teacher at BYU, Taoism believes that there is opposition to everything--yin and yang. While a lot of stories simplify it as yin being evil and yang being good, really neither one is good or bad--just opposite. The true evil is when yin and yang are out of balance. So if, as I seem to remember hearing once from some book a teacher read to my class in elementary school, man is yang and woman is yin, you would need one of each to form a harmonious, balanced relationship. Tadah! End of story.
But we're not all Taoist. I do think, though, that while we've done a pretty bad job of figuring out what makes men and women different (other than certain body parts and hormones), they really do balance each other out, and that kids really would benefit the most if they had a father and a mother. Of course, just letting a man and woman get married is not going to guarantee a perfect life for a child by any stretch of the imagination. We would be among the first to admit that even a man and a woman together can make pretty lousy parents, and we're pretty fed up with all the stories we've heard from all kinds of places about parents being stupid. So basically, there are no guarantees that a kid is going to grow up in the ideal environment, and we know that. That being the case, it's difficult to say why we believe that a child needs one of each kind of parent, but it's just a personal belief of mine that part of what makes a family awesome is that they have that bond of being born to those parents, and sharing those genes. It's hard to explain; that's just how I feel about it.
As for what we as a church believe about families, feel free to click this link to get more details.
Today I'm thankful for my sisters, getting to watch The Chipmunk Adventure last night, getting to go to a place that resembled Pizza Planet from Toy Story (why do we always end up playing DDR when we're already exhausted from something else?), getting to play DDR last night, and getting a big dinner when we needed lots of energy replenishment.