Sunday, February 8, 2009

The longest thread ever

Here's a story of how one woman's family was affected by Prop. 8. It's one of the 400 or so comments on a particularly lively Feminist Mormon Housewives post about gay marriage. The commmenter, Lorian, is a married Californian with children:

"That said, Lorian, I really do understand how [having your marriage invalidated] felt to you, and frankly, it is sad to hear your story. Putting myself in your shoes (trying to, anyway), I can understand how it must have all felt. It makes it all the harder to take a stand, but ultimately, we still each have to make choices based on what we believe is best in the long run.

I guess I hope that someday you can understand [the LDS viewpoint on gay marriage] at least a little."

I thoroughly understand your side of the coin. I simply disagree with it. I was raised with the same prejudices you were raised with. On the other hand, since you are not gay, and since you just worked, by your own admission, so hard to deprive my family of civil rights, I sincerely doubt that you DO understand how it felt to me. If you did, you could not have done the things you did.

"I didn’t make this choice as an in-your-face thing. I remember talking to someone who deliberately chose to demonstrate in a place that wouldn’t be where so many gays were. I know people were concerned about this along the way, even if it didn’t feel like it to you and others."

Um… really? That should make me feel better, that people made an effort hide their actions from me while stabbing my family in the back? Sorry, I know I’m expressing some overt anger here, and I don’t wish to cause offense on this board, but your posts display such a complete and utter lack of any real understanding of the magnitude of what was done to gay-parented families in this state last November.

YOU don’t seem to understand what YOU, personally, helped to do to MY children — MY Ruth and MY Rose. They are beautiful little seven-year-old twin girls. They knew they had two moms, but never even knew what “gay” meant until Prop 8 taught them all about it. They know that their “Mommy Honey” (that’s what they call their other mom — I’m “Elmo Mommy” for reasons which can only be understood in the mind of an 18-month-old, but it stuck) had to adopt them in front of a judge, and they know that this was unfair, and that now in California families with two moms or two dads don’t have to do that anymore. They don’t know that in other states, they still do, except, of course, those in states where the non-bio parent can’t form any legal relationship to his or her children at all.

Rose is autistic. She is the most beautiful child you can imagine, with flowing golden waves of hair and innocent blue eyes. She is an artist and has been drawing and painting the most unbelievable works of art since she was less than three years old. She perseverates, as many autistic children do. We had to stop attending church when she was 4 because she began perseverating on “the cross” and “When is mommy going to die on the cross? When am I going to die on the cross? Are they going to put me on the cross, Mommy?” If you know anything about an autistic child’s perseverations, they are intense and inescapable.

We have finally been able to begin attending church again in the past couple of months, having finally located a church in our area which accepts families with two moms. Rose has outgrown that particular perseveration, but, again like many autistic kids, is extremely concrete in her thought processes and has difficulty believing in things she cannot see or touch. Ruth, on the other hand, is receptive to God and to spiritual ideas. We have to protect her from those who would portray God as the hateful, vengeful being that Mommy Honey and I were raised to believe in.

Ruth is a brown-haired, brown-eyed beauty who loves music and singing, is a star pupil at school and has already memorized all the advanced extra-credit spelling words for her entire 2nd-grade curriculum. She swims like a fish and loves everyone. When she was three and four years old, she used to walk up to people when we were shopping at Costco and tell them things like, “Your shirt is so beautiful!” or “I love your brown hair!” Their faces would light up with pleasure. I remember one incident when we were waiting for our turn in a restroom. A very elderly lady made her way out of a stall with difficulty, leaning on a walker. Ruth turned to us and said, quite audibly, “Mommy! That woman is SO beautiful!” The woman’s face just melted into a smile of joy. I still cry when I think of that memory.

These are my children. I love them beyond all thought or reason. They are fun and loving and difficult and smart and full of energy. They push my buttons sometimes, and melt my heart ALL the time. I would give my life for them without a moment’s hesitation.

THEY, these two beautiful little children, are the people YOU harmed by helping to pass Prop 8. They are the children who desperately need ALL the rights that are given to children whose parents are allowed to be legally married — not just SOME of the rights. Not just a FEW of the rights. Not just the rights you think are “fair” for same-gender couples to have. No, they need and deserve ALL the rights that are due to them in this society.

Prop 8 did not primarily punish homosexuals (hey, that’s easy enough to justify, right? They’re flouting “God’s laws,” flouting the rules imposed by your church. That’s just wrong!) Prop 8 primarily punished the children of same-gender parents, both those here in CA who are at least left with Domestic Partnerships for their parents, but also those all over this country, who are counting on CA to do the right thing and grant full marriage rights to gays and lesbians so that gay-parented families all across this country are one step closer to being able to protect THEIR children, their little Ruths and little Roses, with ALL of the CIVIL rights of CIVIL marriage.

No, the LDS Church was not by any means the only culprit in converting this religiously-motivated prejudice into a restriction disenfranchising children in this state (and, by extension, all over this country) of their CIVIL rights. But the LDS Church certainly did their part. And I’m addressing that part here with you because you admit that you participated in this terrible, horrible injustice, motivated at least in part by your church leadership’s urging and instructions to do so.


I am not suggesting that the LDS Church change its stance on homosexuality. I’m merely raging (maybe I should cap-lock that) that it saw fit to impose that stance on people who are not LDS members, by encouraging and, in some cases, compelling its membership to support a program of blatant, bald-faced lies to pass a law disenfranchising a percentage of the population of CIVIL (caps-lock again!) rights.

It takes a long time to read through 400 comments, but for those of you with patience and way too much time on your hands, or possibly insomnia, the thread is an excellent exposition of how Mormons and those who were harmed by Prop. 8 view the situation.


ConservativeRepublican said...

Indeed. Some very interesting comments in that thread.

Lorian said...

Thanks for your comments, Mohohawaii. I'm glad my post touched a chord.