When I was in elementary school, a student and her family sued the Boy Scouts of America for discrimination. That's because this student was a girl. I remember even as fourth graders we all thought it was so ridiculous. Why fight an entire organization just because you don't like the rules? We called it a "crybaby" thing to do. I kept wondering, if you don't like the way a club works, why don't you find another organization whose rules and activities you do like, or better yet, why don't you start a new one instead?
Now, 20 years later, my views are much the same. Some may see many flaws with this rationale, but I stand by it. While I do believe that there are many injustices that are in need of fighting, I believe we should pick our fights wisely. That's because if we tear apart every organization or belief that someone finds fault with, we won't be left with anything. Everything will be brought down to the lowest common denominator. When that happens, everything loses its identity, its value, and its ability to enrich our lives.
When the issue of marriage equality first came to focus several years ago, I understood the battle to be largely about same-sex couples fighting to claim legal rights for things like health insurance and benefits and the like. I think there's a lot of merit to that, but here's the thing: Instead of attacking marriage and trying to re-shape it to fit these desired parameters, why don't we lobby insurance companies or employers, for example, to change their policies regarding next of kin?
I realize this is oversimplifying the issue, but I think this example shines a light on how the battle has been blown to astronomical proportions when the solution seems a lot simpler and much more fair. My point is, why is the entire institution of marriage under fire instead of the narrow policies that are directly responsible for the claims of discrimination?
I could end the post there, because I think my point has been made, but I would like to explain a few of the reasons why I believe in traditional marriage between a man and a woman. There are too many to get into great detail, and most of them deal with things of a spiritual nature. The short of it is, I believe we as humans are made to join as husband and wife, plain and simple. I believe in a divine being with a divine plan, and families with a father, mother and children are crucial to this plan of human progression. I believe that men and women have unique talents and natures that make them divinely suited to fill their roles as either mothers or fathers, husbands or wives. I believe that when individuals work to achieve their own divine potential and strive to fill these roles to the best of their abilities, that's when our destinies are realized and we as individuals and families are fulfilled. I believe this to be true because I have felt its impact in my own life countless times, and when I do my best to fulfill my duties as a wife and mother, I am more happy, proud and fulfilled than I ever have been.
I realize that many traditional families are falling apart. Parents are not upholding their responsibilities, and families are suffering because of it. I agree that a same-sex couple raising a child with love is doing that child a far greater service than a mother and father who neglect or abuse their own children; however, I don't see this as enough reason to tear apart the institution of marriage. Instead, I believe that when someone or something is struggling or falling apart, everyone benefits more from working together to build that person or entity up rather than fighting about its future and tearing it apart.
In 1995 the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wrote a document called "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." We have two beautiful framed copies of this proclamation in our home, and I have read it often and pondered its message. I believe it to be very wise counsel and a reminder of our true purpose here on earth. It fully encompasses my beliefs on this issue, so I hope you will take the time to read it before judging my statements and opinions.
At the end of the day, no matter what the issue to be debated, this is what I truly believe: that we are all entitled to our opinions and beliefs, and true discrimination lies in changing someone's deepest-felt beliefs just because someone else doesn't like them. Either way, what I believe will not change, no matter how loud the other side may be screaming in my ear. This is what I believe, and I am at peace with it and proud to proclaim it.