The latest from Church headquarters has me sputtering. It's a justification for the Church's involvement in the proposed California constitutional amendment that would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in that state.
There's some good news and bad news here.
I guess the good news, as mentioned in the bloggernacle, is that the Church seems open to domestic partnership laws that give gay couples similar legal rights as heterosexual couples. That's real progress.
It's also interesting to note that the Church now uses phrases like "homosexual men and women" and "homosexual family member or friend." It's easy to forget that just a few short years ago, the Church went to great lengths to insist that while there might be homosexual acts there are no homosexual persons. That little rhetorical gambit has been quietly dropped. (Apology accepted.)
That's pretty much the good news. Well, maybe not. In a way, it's good thing that the Church now gives specific (secular) arguments to bolster its case, as these may be judged on their merits by members of the Church and others. Judge for yourself.
One thing to note is how important gender is in the Church's argument. It makes me wonder if the point is more about shoring up against further erosion of the gender divide than it is about erasing gay families. (Note to Church: you need to read the literature on intersexuality, the phenomenon of people born with ambiguous gender who cannot be classified as either male or female. This phenomenon pretty much refutes the gender-is-eternal argument.)
There is some new material in the Church's latest bulletin, such as language that indicates that the Church does not expect all members to line up on the same side as the Church on this issue. I'll leave it to the bloggernacle's busy Kremlinologists to dissect the fine points.