Love, Marriage, and Religion

I’m really going out on a limb here. I’m deathly afraid to actually post this publicly, on my blog, for the whole world (agreers and disagreers, but especially the ever frightful Internet trolls) to see. But, I’m going to word this as carefully as I can since I am still sorting through these feelings myself, so please bear with me… (some of this was written originally on Friday on my Instagram) Also, this is super long…

On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled homosexual marriage legal. They declared that states have to recognize these marriages. I understand the reasonings why: marriage is an outward symbol of the deep, caring love that two people have for each other and their strong desire to spend the rest of their lives with each other. I do love the way that Justice Kennedy worded the importance of marriage: 
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies
the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice,
and family. In forming a marital union, two people become
something greater than once they were. As some of
the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage
embodies a love that may endure even past death. It
would misunderstand these men and women to say they
disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do
respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its
fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned
to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s
oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the
eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
I think that he understood the depth of marriage–that two become one in true love and intimacy. I believe that most homosexual couples feel this way about each other. I’ve heard of life partners–if that isn’t a sign of devotion than I don’t know what is! I’ve seen it, too! I’ve been a big fan of Neil Patrick Harris ever since a college roommate showed me “Doctor Horrible.” Then, when my husband got me into How I Met Your Mother, I loved him even more! Even though I hated the character of Barney (a sex-addicted play boy), I think it’s kind of funny and ironic that Harris, who is gay, plays that character, and his character’s half-brother is the gay one! But, I follow Harris on Instagram, and I’ve seen the devotion he has for his husband and their two adopted children. I know that what they have is true love and they are amazing fathers to their children. I’ve also always believed that homosexual couples should receive the same economical and governmental equality as everyone else having to do with taxes, housing, hospital, wills, military, and government positions, etc. I think it is as inexcusable as racism to keep these rights from them just because they are homosexuals who want marriage.
However, I’m still unsure on how I feel about the decision the Supreme Court gave. It was 5-4, so it was very close, which means even the Supreme Court had it’s doubts and was pretty divided. And, that is how I feel–divided against myself because I do want to see equality and love, but I also have certain religious beliefs that I adhere to with my entire heart and soul!
I believe that marriage is one of the oldest, most sacred institutions in human history. I believe that it was set up by God the Father, not by man, not by society, and not by government. Government regulates marriage for purpose of census, taxes, etc. But I believe that marriage is a religious institution, not a societal one. I honestly don’t believe it has “evolved” as the leading opinion of SCOTUS says it has. I believe that it is part of God’s Plan. I also believe that there is eternal marriage if performed by the right authority: by being sealed in an LDS temple. I have been sealed to my eternal companion & death will not part us. I believe that this is the way to the highest degree of glory after the Resurrection.
Now, being Mormon, I also believe that we have prophets on Earth today, and they God speaks to us through them. In 1995, the President of the LDS Church (the prophet) and his presidency (advisers) created a document called “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” They believed that this document would soon be needed to strengthen our testimonies in God’s Plan. The first two paragraphs read:
“WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”
Now, as to whether or not I believe all cases of homosexuality is psychological/born with it, or that it is purely choice, I don’t know. I do know that there were a few girls in my high school who started dating other girls because it was the cool thing to do–that’s a fad. But, I do know people, including Mormons, who have had these feelings their entire life. Again, I don’t know. It’s not up to me to judge or determine that. It’s up to me to love them. They are people after all, just like you and me. They are still Christ’s children and He still loves them the same. Now, whether or not we can compare today’s society to Sodom and Gomorrah, again, I have no right or authority to compare. And I won’t. I have no right or authority to say that because of the SCOTUS decision, we will end up like them. Because do I believe that? No, I don’t. Do I believe being homosexual and acting on it is a sin and they are sinners? I mostly do, but it’s not up to me to declare that.
“Whatever wounds and breaks the family wounds and breaks the world. Whatever lifts and saves the family lifts and saves the world.” Families are the fundamental bedrock of society. Do I think homosexual couples can be a good family and raise loving children? Sure I do. But, do I think it is the right setup? I’m unsure of my feelings. It doesn’t necessarily feel right to me.
But, boo on those “Christians” who threaten to divorce because of this. Boo on those “Christian” ministers that threatened to set themselves on fire because of this. That is dumb & radical. I am happy homosexuals will be able to find their happily ever after, just as I have in my husband.
I won’t infringe on them if they won’t infringe on my belief of sacred, eternal marriage between a man and a woman. But, that is honestly what I am afraid of…not of the homosexuals condemning me for my beliefs or discriminating against me. No. But there is a small “What if” in the back of my brain of the government making laws to protect the homosexual marriages at the expense of religious beliefs against it. I’m afraid of our society (which has already shown hints and traits) of ending up how Ray Bradbury predicted in Fahrenheit 451. We have already seen evidence of this in the 1880s and 1890s in the Territory of Utah. Utah was settled by Mormon pioneers who left the states due to extreme prejudice and discrimination due to their believes compared to other Christians. But, they wanted to be part of the USA and tried many times (over 10 times) to become a state. But, the main reason they were denied statehood was because of the religious belief of polygamy. Mormons weren’t forcing Mormons nor Non-Mormons to participate in this. They just wanted to be left alone to do what they believed (just like the homosexual community today). But, the government didn’t like that idea, so they created numerous laws, such as the Morril Anti-Bigamy Law (which restricted the amount of $$ a church could own in a US territory), the Edmunds Act (which imprisoned polygamists with a fine and restricted them from political office and voting), and the Edmunds-Tucer Act (which denied women and polygamists the right to vote and the government could confiscate private church-owned property). I am a little afraid of history repeating itself, because we are humans and we are ignorant and arrogant and call those who don’t agree with us bigots. SCOTUS and the IRS have already sent out warnings that if churches don’t accept this new legal ruling, they will have tax punishments, and other negative consequences. I know SCOTUS says that they can legalize homosexual marriage under the protection of the 14th Amendment, but don’t forget or overlook the 1st Amendment–“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Freedom of religion, not from religion. 
In a perfect ideal world, if I were in charge, and my husband agrees, I’d completely separate religion and government in terms of marriage. Now, church ministers have governmental authority to legally and lawfully wed couples. What if this changed. What if you were wed by your church the way your church believes, but then had to get your marriage license legalized and official in front of a judge? That way, those who don’t believe what the churches believe, or who aren’t as what churches believe (such as homosexual couples), they can easily get a legal, non-religious marriage as elaborate or plain as they wished. But, those who do believe a certain way can have their religious ceremony, but then just get an addition–a 5 minute “ceremony” in front of a judge to be legal and lawful. I know it’d be more hoops to jump through for those whose religions’ doctrines don’t accept gay marriage, but it’s the only thing I can think of without having the government force ministers to do homosexual marriages in sacred ordinances against their religion.
Again, sorry for the long post. I just needed to write down my thoughts and feelings. 
In conclusion:
I am very happy that homosexuals can finally have peace, marry their true love, and have all the equal economical and governmental rights as straight couples do. I have homosexual friends that I love dearly because they are good people and are Children of God just like everyone else. My LDS Church believes that marriage was instituted of God for a glorious plan and is just between a man and a woman. I do not want homosexuals and their supporters to be discriminated against, but I also don’t want those who don’t believe in homosexual marriage to be punished or called bigots for their own beliefs, which the Constitution grants us freedom of. We should all just be happy for each other, and live as God wants us: to love one another as we love Him. 

*** I understand that not all my readers may have the same opinions as I do. I am keeping the comments open for this post, but I do so wearily. I do not want to start hate wars. If there is a comment that is not respectful towards the homosexual community OR towards differing religious beliefs, it will be deleted. Thank you for your tolerance of me and everyone else.


{Check out this lovely lady}

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • I agree with you on all of this. I'm happy they have the same rights as well, but we share the same fears. I commend you for bravely (very bravely) sharing your views.

  • My thoughts get jumbled. The problems start arising when the government starts trying to tell religions the HAVE to marry gays. Like you stated before. If they start doing that, yes taking away our rights to free religion, which is one of the main points to this free country.

    The other thing I get a little erked about is that people say "Christ loves me the way I am." Mom- not quite. Christ loves them, yes. But Christ and Heavenly Father hate the sin. Therefore they don't love them the way they a re if they are acting upon that sin. They love them, and I love my gay friends too, but they want them to change their ways. I'm not perfect, I sin, but its something I work on daily.

    There's a reason God put a man and a women on earth. None of us would be here if he had put to men here first. I don't care if gays pay joint taxes, I don't care what kind of housing they live in, how much they get paid, or where they work. That's not what I care about.
    What I care about is that God has clearly told us that marriage is between man and women. And that's what I have to stand for, because I believe in God and Christ. I know that makes me look like a gigantic jerk, and people may be offended by that. But what if I'm offended by people calling me rude things and saying what I believe is wrong? I have my rights too. And it's when people start to take those away from me that I get mad.

    Let the gays marry if they wish, but let me have my own beliefs too. That's my right.

  • Kari Koehler

    You attributed a quote to Justice Scalia, though I believe it should be attributed to Justice Kennedy (no biggie, just don't want internet trolls coming and harping on you for it). I think you wrote an eloquent post trying to explain your split opinions and how it affects your faith. Thank you for doing so. But I think the media (as they tend to do) is drumming up a lot of fear. Religious institutions are not going to be forced to accept/perform same sex ceremonies. They can't be. How could the government do that without blatantly infringing on First Amendment rights? (Plus, as an aside, why would someone want to get married in a church that doesn't accept them? Why would they try to force someone to perform a very important ceremony if they don't want to, especially if they can easily find someone that will do so? This is the fear mongering that is happening) This ruling will affect state laws and government regulations. That's it. So don't believe the hype that people with religious convictions are going to have to push aside their beliefs for this. If you don't agree, you can scream about it until your blue in the face- and while I would disagree with someone like that, I'd defend their right to say it because the First Amendment is a very important thing. I despise Westboro Baptist Church and the KKK- but we are lucky to live in a country where their rights are just as protected. And it should be mentioned that while same sex marriage is now legal, there are still multiple states where people who identify as LGBTQ can be discriminated against in the workplace, when trying to find housing and many other things because their states will not pass laws that include sexual orientation under non discrimination policies. I am posting with my actual name, in hopes that if others comment on your post, we use our real names and keep it civil.

  • Kari, thank you for catching me on that quote!
    I agree with you and the "why would someone want to be married in a church that doesn't accept them." I asked my husband that and he said, "maybe because of spite because of how they feel they've been treated".
    I should've been more clear and saying that I'm not "afraid" of economic and governmental backlash on religions, but it's more of a "what if" anxious thought in the back of my mind…not the forefront of my mind.
    I agree with you on the Westboro Baptist Church and the KKK–they can believe whatever they want…AS LONG AS THEY DON'T ACT UPON discriminatory believes or hate crimes.
    I agree that I think that all states SHOULD allow gay couples to have equal opportunity with jobs, housing, adoption, etc.
    Thank you so much for your comment and for keeping it civil!

  • I found you over on The Peony Project and I posted right after you. I had to laugh because I saw the topic and that it was a long post…but I love reading different view points:). I have not blogged on this issue yet so kudos to you. It is a hard one!

  • Thank you Summer! I'll make sure to check your post out!

  • I'm on the same page as you. I think it's great that my gay friends can be happy, but I still hold to my beliefs about family and marriage with all my heart… and I have the same misgivings about how religious liberty will be affected. We'll see how things unfold.
    On a different note, I love NPH. I'm always excited to see what Halloween costumes he and his family come up with each year, they're the best! Aaaaaaand I totally got to be the music director for a production of Doctor Horrible last year. It was awesome.

  • melissa sarno

    Thanks Tayler, for this well thought-out post, which I appreciate reading. I love having thoughtful discussions and I respect people's opinions. I don't always understand why anyone would begrudge another the right to marry the person of their choosing, regardless of sex, (as long as they are two consenting adults) but, I get it, your church does not recognize same-sex marriages. But our states (and now our government) do. So you have the right to marry how you choose, I married under a totally separate faith, and now others can through a separate contractual agreement, not through your church. It all feels really great to me!

  • He and his family are definitely the CUTEST! And a perfect example as to what Justice Kennedy was talking about.

  • I'm glad for them, too.I'm just not glad for the sad bigotry on both sides and I'm afraid of what will happen down the line.