July 6th, 2006

New York and Georgia Ban Same-Sex Marriage

Two state courts today banned same-sex marriage. The first was a New York Appeals Court. The second was a Georgia Supreme Court.

The Georgia news story shows that 76% of voters in that state voted in favor of the ban in 2004. Similar statistics are abundant in other states. There seems to be a disconnect between the constituents and their elected leaders in Congress on this issue. And in the wake of certain activist judges and their executive rulings, I’m glad to see some courts upholding the will of the people and existing law.

14 Responses to “New York and Georgia Ban Same-Sex Marriage”

  1. July 8, 2006 at 10:03 am #

    By your post in the role of government, how can you support a notion which intends to strip personal rights from your neighbors?

    Remember, government, above all else, defends freedom. Even if everyone else thinks B should give A his horse, doing so violates the personal freedoms of B.

    Omnipotent Doubt

  2. Connor
    July 8, 2006 at 1:09 pm #

    Our government, being a republic, is based on the notion that the power is held by the people. If Farmers A, B, and C are all opposed to re-defining marriage, then they collectively have the power to vest their government with the same power.

    In our day, since the majority of people seek to enforce this law, the government then becomes entitled to enact such power to promote the will of the majority.

    Yes, government above all else defends freedom. But touting “freedom” as some notion of being able ot do whatever you want will ultimately lead to anarchy. Certain freedoms are to be restricted and limited to prevent this from happening.

    For more on this, I recommend my friend’s blog post on the subject.

  3. July 9, 2006 at 6:53 pm #

    You’re friends blog post did nothing for this subject except that he almost convinced himself that there is social benefit to gay marriage.

    In any case, I’ll post my comment to his sight on yours as well..

    If individual religions want to define the nature of marriage within its organization, then they should do it. The Mormons already ignore any marriage outside of their temples. But when one or two religions want to impose their “moral rights” on the rest of free society, then I have a problem. More so, even when those rights are purely of cival value. When gays start picketing Temple Square demanding that they have the right to be “sealed for time and all eternaty” then I’ll happily stand by the mormons and say “You’re religion rejects you for your moral sin, and thus, your religion rejects your request for eternal happiness… So, go home.”

    Omnipotent Doubt

  4. Connor
    July 9, 2006 at 8:13 pm #

    So, if I may ask, is it your opinion that the First Presidency was out of line to issue their statements in opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage, and in requesting that the members of the Church contact their senators to make their feelings on the issue known?

  5. July 9, 2006 at 10:34 pm #

    That said, now let me follow up, back on topic of “Government Role in… Gay Marriage”:

    Seriously, You’ve ignored a blantant argument in defense of this subject made by your own [past] leader… One who talks with God daily. Let me go back and quote from your own post, what you’ve failed to reread…

    You said,
    “Indeed, the false idea that the government is the institution that affords its citizens the rights they enjoy is in complete contrast to the will and intent of the Founding Fathers of this great nation.”

    And yet you argue that the government should afford the citizens (including homosexuals) the right to deny its gay citizens the same rights of a heterosexual couple simply because of a sexual preference that does nothing to deny you your own personal right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness? Which is of these is in “complete contrast?”

    Alabama’s Constitution, which you so admired:

    “That the sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions it is usurpation and oppression.”

    Isn’t the act of granting or denying the rights of anyone, soley based on race, creed, religion, color, sex, or sexual preference deemed as usurpatist and oppressive?

    John Locke:

    “The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom.”

    Again, “not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom”. Yet you’re supporting the very notion of abolishing gay rights, restraining by preventing gay marriage, and thus denying and reducing freedoms for the gay citizens of America.

    Benson (you’re Prophet):

    “No one has the authority to grant such powers, as welfare programs, schemes for re-distributing the wealth, and activities which coerce people into acting in accordance with a prescribed code of social planning.”

    NO ONE. Social Planning = Gay rights, specifically marriage

    …continuing:

    “There is one simple test. Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish this goal? If I do have such a right, then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise on my behalf. If I do not have that right as an individual, then I cannot delegate it to government, and I cannot ask my government to perform the act for me.”

    Do you have right to deny your neighbor their right to a civil marriage with all the benefits and responsibilities associated with it? I don’t think so.

    And you, yourself said:

    “I can’t force my neighbor to share his wealth and property with me. I can’t force him to give me free money when I retire. I can’t force him to pay my medical bills. So why should the government?”

    You can’t force him not to get married either… So neither should the government.

    And my favorite of all (which you completely, hippocritically agree with…),

    Henry Grady Weaver:

    Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own… The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional ‘do-gooders’, who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others – with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.

    That last line sums this topic to a ‘T’… I don’t need to say any more.

    Omnipotent Doubt

  6. July 9, 2006 at 10:46 pm #

    “So, if I may ask, is it your opinion that the First Presidency was out of line to issue their statements in opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage, and in requesting that the members of the Church contact their senators to make their feelings on the issue known?”

    To issue a statement in opposition of legalizing same-sex marriage? No. In requesting the the member of the church contact their senators to make their feelings on the issue known? ABSOLUTELY.

    Let me again quote:

    “The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional ‘do-gooders’, who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others – with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.”

    Who here are now the “professional ‘do-gooders’? The First Presidency? The Vatican?

  7. the narrator
    July 9, 2006 at 10:46 pm #

    So, if I may ask, is it your opinion that the First Presidency was out of line to issue their statements in opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage, and in requesting that the members of the Church contact their senators to make their feelings on the issue known?

    You didn’t ask me, but I will answer: yes. You can read the letter I sent Orrin Hatch and Bennett.

  8. Connor
    July 9, 2006 at 11:03 pm #

    I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree. I don’t see the Prophet of God, His representative on the earth, as somebody who is “attempt[ing] to set [himself] up as [a god] on earth and who would ruthlessly force [his] views on all others”. I sustain him as a prophet, revere him as God’s messenger, and heed his counsel when it is given.

    Whatever the political ramifications, whatever the reaons, whatever the background, I have long ago decided that I will unequivocally do what I am asked and encouraged by the Lord’s Prophet, because I believe that such counsel is directly from God. If you do not, then it is hard to understand my faith and obedience in this matter. Far from being “blind”, it is well-informed, faithful, and loyal.

    The First Presidency message simply said “We urge our members to express themselves on this urgent matter to their elected representatives in the Senate.” That is far from saying we should contact the Senators to tell them to support same-sex marriage. The First Presidency simply asked us to “express [ourselves]”. Whether that be in agreement or not is up to us.

    Whatever my political views, whatever my beliefs in the form of proper government, I firmly believe that God’s ways are higher than our own (see Isaiah 55:9). I believe that He who inspired our Founding Fathers knows what is best for this country. I believe that same-sex marriage and other similar moral decay is in opposition to The Family: A Proclamation to the World, given of God for our day.

    So, whatever my political beliefs, I will act and vote according to what I believe to be God’s will, and my testimony of that fact. I believe in doing so, I am doing what is ultimately best for this nation and the citizens living therein. You may be opposed to that, you may issue another rebuttal of my statements on the matter, but this is what I believe.

  9. July 9, 2006 at 11:51 pm #

    Hello everyone. I recently was introduced to this blog, and have done what I could to try and digest everyone’s opinions on the matter. If I were to try and summarize a fundamental breakdown of the arguments made by all of you, it is a misunderstanding of what democracy is and the freedoms that it provides.

    It has never been the purpose of democracy to give every individual the right to live life as he chooses. The principle of democracy is to design a community where mutual benefit is derived. For that to occur safely, we are all asked to give up some of our personal rights ( which is done via legislation and laws) that will protect the freedoms which we hold valuable. So how does a democracy decide what freedoms are held valuable and which are not? The voice of the people. It is through legislation and amendments the voice of the people is made manifest. In the process, some freedoms are sacrificed in exchange for the community that we are looking for. (This is a principle taught by John Locke, by the way, the full picture of what the “end of the law” really is, Omnipotent Doubt) An example of the expression of the voice of the people happens every election year. Many of us don’t get what we want, but we stand by the voice of the people. If we were to live by some of your ideas of a democracy protecting freedoms, then both Bush and Kerry would have become president, and the United States would have divided into two camps following whichever president they preferred, after all, I should have the freedom to have the president that I want, right?

    Now, if the voice of the people speaks out in favor of same-sex marriage, then I am bound to uphold it, or attempt to change the opinions of the people. If the voice of the people stands against same-sex marriage, you are bound to uphold it, or work to change the voice of the people.

    Many of the quotes that were cited by Omnipotent Doubt are in reference to the criticism of tyrants. Tyrants are individuals who bypass the established means of democracy and attempt to enforce their own beliefs in other ways.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) are not tyrants. They are not forcing their opinions on others through force. They are encouraging their members to make their voice heard, and speak out against same-sex marriage and in favor of marriage between a man and woman. Did you ever realize that it is your job as a citizen to let your senators know how you feel about issues, since s/he is your representative? If you ask me, the Church is going through much more acceptable and traditional means than lobbyists on Capitol Hill who win the support of senators through less….well….democratic means.

    It is my job, as a citizen to defend what I feel is right and true, not to concede that everyone should be able to do what they feel. My job is to uphold the principles and the quality of life that I believe to be right, and to try and instill those same beliefs in my fellow man. (Mind you, I am not forcing them to do what I say, just trying to get them to see things the way I do).

    I hope the essence of what I have tried to say in this has come out right. Do not criticise the mormons for standing up for what they believe is right, they are doing what democracy asks them to do. Do not accuse them of tyranny, or of forcing their beliefs on you. Instead, commend them for making their voice known, and make yours known as well. But don’t be angry if at some point the voice of the people goes against what you believe, and I promise you I wont either, but that doesn’t mean I have to change my belief, or keep fighting for it, and neither do you.

  10. the narrator
    July 9, 2006 at 11:56 pm #

    The First Presidency message simply said “We urge our members to express themselves on this urgent matter to their elected representatives in the Senate.” That is far from saying we should contact the Senators to tell them to support same-sex marriage. The First Presidency simply asked us to “express [ourselves]”. Whether that be in agreement or not is up to us.

    The First Presidency deliberately crafted the letter to give themselves plausible deniability. It was pretty clear to almost everyone who read the letter that the FP wanted members to contact their senators in support of the amendment. The FP just wrote it in a way that they could deny this. I hate to say it, but that seems a bit dishonest.

    I have long ago decided that I will unequivocally do what I am asked and encouraged by the Lord’s Prophet, because I believe that such counsel is directly from God.

    I know this is a bit extreme, but if President Hinckley asked to eat your brain, would you dish it up to him?

    Presidents of the Church are not infallible, even when they think they are acting as prophets. In response to his failed revelation that Whitmer, Cowdery, Hyrum and others would be to sell BofM copyrights in Canada, JSmith said, “Some revelations come from God, some come from man, and others come from the Devil.” Prophets are not infallible.

  11. Connor
    July 10, 2006 at 7:02 am #

    Bryson,

    Thanks for your post. I agree. The only thing I would like to add is that our nation should be a republic. and not a democracy. However, a representative democracy, such as the one we have, is fairly close to a republic, and we make do with what we have in the mean time, I suppose. Thank you for your thoughts, you made an excellent summary.

    Narrator,

    That’s an, uh… interesting “extreme” you went to. To be honest, my answer would be yes, I would. I obey first, ask questions and seek confirmation later. I have a testimony of the prophet, and that he is God’s mouthpiece. I have a testimony that God will not let him lead us astray as as members of the Church. If you feel otherwise, or feel that they are being dishonest in crafting their “plausible deniability”, then I am sorry for the lack of testimony you have in these men. But I believe otherwise, and sustain them and follow them. I believe that is the safer road, rather than analyzing, critiquing, and doubting everything they say and do.

  12. the narrator
    July 10, 2006 at 8:54 am #

    To be honest, my answer would be yes, I would. I obey first, ask questions and seek confirmation later….I believe that is the safer road, rather than analyzing, critiquing, and doubting everything they say and do.

    President Joseph F. Smith –

    “We talk of obedience, but do we require any man or woman to ignorantly obey the counsels that are given? Do the First Presidency require it? No, never.”

    Elder Charles W. Penrose –

    “President Wilford Woodruff is a man of wisdom and experience, and we respect him, but we do not believe his personal views or utterances are revelations from God; and when ‘Thus saith the Lord’, comes from him, the saints investigate it: they do not shut their eyes and take it down like a pill.”

    (Printed in the Millenial Star) –

    “And none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the priesthood. We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God… would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without asking any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their minds to do wrong themselves”

    Brigham Young –

    “What a pity it would be, if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken the influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually”

    BY again –

    “How easy it would be for your leaders to lead you to destruction, unless you actually know the mind and will of the spirit yourselves”

    And again –

    “I do not wish any Latter-day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied…Suppose that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with regard to the things of the kingdom of God, but threw the whole burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, ‘If the brethren who take charge of matters are satisfied, we are,’ this is not pleasing in the sight of the Lord.”

    And again –

    “Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another’s sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be dictated to in every trifle, like a child. They cannot control themselves in the least, but James, Peter, or somebody else must control them. They never can become Gods, nor be crowned as rulers with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They never can hold sceptres of glory, majesty, and power in the celestial kingdom. Who will? Those who are valiant and inspired with the true independence of heaven, who will go forth boldly in the service of their God, leaving others to do as they please, determined to do right, though all mankind besides should take the opposite course. Will this apply to any of you? Your own hearts can answer”

    Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith –

    “President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel [see, for example, verses 9-10: ‘If the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing…the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him.’]…said the Lord had declared by the Prophet [Ezekiel], that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church — that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls — applied it to the present state [1842] of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall — that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves…”

    George Q. Cannon –

    “Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a bishop, an apostle, or a president. If you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone;”

    see http://www.lds-mormon.com/mothink.shtml

  13. Connor
    July 10, 2006 at 9:05 am #

    Excellent quotes, and I agree with them. I do not put complete, unwaivering trust in the man, but in the position and calling. I sustain these men as prophets of God. When they act under that authority, and in that calling, I believe that it is God’s will and word.

    Does that mean I don’t find out for myself if what they say or do is true and in accordance with God’s will? Of course not. I have a brain, I use it, and I pray to understand if what they are doing, and what I am being asked to do, is what is right. That is the duty and responsibility of each member of the church. Blind obedience has never been required. Just as missionaries tell their investigators to pray to find out for themselves if everything is true, so should we, as members of the church, constantly seek to understand if the direction we are taking under our leader’s inspiration is correct.

    Thanks for the quotes. Not all apply directly to an official act of church leaders, but instead more to their personal lives and opinions and such. It is my opinion that constantly questioning and being skeptical of anything our leaders do is far more destructive to your spirit than accepting everything they do in the office of their calling as God’s will. My 2¢.

  14. the narrator
    July 10, 2006 at 9:16 am #

    Does that mean I don’t find out for myself if what they say or do is true and in accordance with God’s will? Of course not. I have a brain, I use it, and I pray to understand if what they are doing, and what I am being asked to do, is what is right.

    You just barely said that you “I obey first, ask questions and seek confirmation later. ” Which is it???? If it’s the latter, than questioning and seeking confirmation after the act does very little good.

    Not all apply directly to an official act of church leaders, but instead more to their personal lives and opinions and such.

    Actually they all do. The mythic line between opinion and official act was non-existent back then.

Leave a Reply

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private.