Like an old friend or even a lover you have taken a break from, but with whom you must have some unfinished business – that’s how I feel about Proposition 8. The majority voter-backed constitutional amendment declares that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. The majority of the money that funded the ads and the campaign came from Mormons, though Mormons are less than two percent of the state’s population. The church’s influence in the political process (members didn’t donate in force until their leaders strongly urged them to) was the final straw for me. I resigned from the Mormon church. I blogged about it. I did my part – for a while – and let go and moved on. I changed my blog (from A Series of Small Failures to I Am Blossoming) and shifted my energy to focus on yoga and other aspects of life, more in the present and less hanging onto the past.
Yet here we are, going on two years later, and California, my home state, is still torn about whether to legalize same-sex marriage. Yesterday’s closing arguments in the trial in San Francisco kept me riveted as people live- tweeted and blogged. Perfect timing, as I had a chance to watch 8: The Mormon Proposition last night. And I’m interviewing Reed Cowan, one of the filmmakers, tonight.
I may have set this issue aside for a while, but I still care. And Proposition 8 is still in effect. (Closing your eyes and pretending something’s not there doesn’t make it go away!) Yesterday, the attorney defending the proposition, Charles Cooper, proposed undoing the 18,000 marriages that took place in the brief window when same sex marriage was legal in California. That includes the marriage of one of my best friends. I want to do whatever I can to move this emotionally-charged conversation forward. Yet I live in Salt Lake City. Most of my immediate family are Mormons. Many of the people I work with (and like and respect) are Mormons.
As I was wondering whether I should just keep my mouth shut, I saw this post on Facebook. It’s from the Dalai Lama:
“If you develop a pure and sincere motivation, if you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness, compassion, and respect, then you can carry on any kind of work, in any field, and function more effectively.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this question: What do you care enough about to fight for? Honestly, this is somewhat of a crusade. But I want to address it with kindness, compassion, and respect. After all, the heart of this issue is really love and family.
Have you seen The Mormon Proposition? Do you want to? If you could talk to the filmmakers, what would you want to know? I would love to get questions from both sides – from those who support same-sex marriage and those who don’t, from Mormons and non-Mormons.
This issue isn’t going away. Based on the closing arguments yesterday, I think the court will overturn Prop. 8. And it will get appealed to the supreme court.