Outside the Church, most of their peers were against Proposition 8; inexperienced in marriage and child-rearing, they saw no harm in gay marriage.While I can understand some of the frustration of the gay community over society's desire to protect traditional marriage and not change the definition of the term, I hope the frustration will not translate into intolerance for those who hold more traditional views and have concerns about the impact of changing the nature of marriage. I can also understand the frustration felt over the role of Latter-day Saints and other groups in actively standing for their beliefs in supporting Proposition 8. What saddens me is the assumption from some of the anti-8 activists that anyone supporting Prop. 8 must inherently be a hateful bigot. There are legitmate arguments that can be made on both sides of the debate, and legitimate reasons for differences. To transmute those differences into bigotry toward the alleged bigots is a sad abandonment of civic responsibility.
So when our Latter-day Saint singles heeded the call of the church's leaders to take part in the defense of marriage, they, more than any other group of Saints, were swimming upstream.
They worked hard. They took risks. And many of them paid a price that is heavy indeed.
Many of them lost dear friends -- sometimes with bitter, angry recriminations from people they had once been close to.
It seems ironic that these young Mormons were open-minded enough to be friends with people whose lives were so different from their own; but their friends, in the name of tolerance, could not remain friends with Mormons who merely stood up for their faith.
If the situation had been reversed, if Prop. 8 had failed, these LDS young people would not have rejected their friends who voted to repudiate the meaning of marriage. And if they had, would they not have been condemned as bigots, for being unable to tolerate someone else voting his conscience?
I have been more fortunate. All my gay friends who might have repudiated me for supporting Prop. 8 had already condemned me long ago for standing by a Christ-centered, prophet-led church. The gay friends who remained at the time of the vote already knew my views, and our relationship continues.
(Not that I lack for hate mail and death threats from the "tolerant," mind you. It just didn't come from my friends.)
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