Thursday, August 30, 2012

“That, my dear, is the sound of a paradigm shifting without a clutch.”

title credit to Karen R. from here

I have a complicated history with this subject and I am still not sure how to describe where I am now... but that has never stopped me from trying, has it?

Marriage Equality.

I was on the wrong side of the issue in regards to Prop 8 in 2008, even though I was not in California, I still blogged my support of "traditional marriage" on this here blog.  And it was a slow process of compassion and stepping out of my paradigm in other areas that helped me realize how narrow minded I was back then.

When I read Health at Every Size (and it changed my entire outlook) I was bulldozed by the vast amount of research that had gone it to it. I was amazed that Linda Bacon had worked against the grain to reveal what the research was saying about "fat" even when it benefited no one's pockets.

I loved her story of confronting one professor when the government task force lowered the threshold for what was considered 'obesity'. She said they got it wrong. Her professor said do your research and see what you would come up with. She DID, and realized that if we are even going to use the flawed BMI that the definition of 'obesity' needs to be raised not lowered.  A small group of government officials all with some connection to the diet industry made millions of Americans 'obese' overnight.

Linda has gone on to show through thorough research (not backed by any diet company) that healthy behaviours NOT weight loss are what matter.  And you know what touched me the most as I have watched her work, seen her be absolutely harassed by peers, ignored by professional organizations, treated as Galileo did when he said the world was round, and lambasted in comments...

she is not fat.

She is not technically part of the group that she is doing so much to help. She admits to having 'thin privilege' and she recognizes that her message would be even tougher for opponents to swallow if she herself was fat.
She has still taken on this issue and is one of the most compassionate individuals to a demographic that she is not a part of.

Then I read her bio and learned she is gay and has a son with her partner.  How come she is so understanding of my life and I was against her lifestyle? It made me think.

How could marriage equality hurt me?

it can't.

Every argument that I have heard against it doesn't hold water:

Fighting gay marriage does not "protect the constitution"
Supporting gay marriage does not condone incest or pedophilia.
It does not threaten your religion or practice thereof.

I agree with Stossel on marriage:

"When did states setting the terms of exchange become an expression of right to contract? The only rights-based approach would be states to stop setting the rules of marriage at all. Sadly we just get a stronger but fairer state."
I wish the state would get out of the marriage business. Marriage should be a private contract. Legal issues that marriage raises --like inheritance, alimony, visitation rights in hospitals -- can be handled through voluntary contracts between consenting adults. from here

I think for those staunchly opposed a few thoughts come to my mind:

- Have you been close to someone in your life who is gay?  Do you realize the struggles they are up against?
-Do you realize that being gay is NOT a choice. BYU professor on Biological Origin of Homosexuality
- In Maslow's Hierarchy of needs Love is third on the list of essentials for life! Asking celibacy of those who are gay or that they have relationships with those they are not attracted to is very damaging to the human psyche.

And I became embarrassed how vehemently my church fights to deny marriage rights to others.

Interesting since we spent the early part of our church history trying to fight the government to practice marriage the way we thought was right.

I think our rhetoric is damaging and unnecessary. If our idea of the plan of salvation hinges on free agency then we need to stop fighting to take agency away from others. I am so saddened by the sheer volume of resources that went into Prop 8 by our church. Phone banks, money, time etc. I know some church members here in Texas donated LARGE sums of money.

And don't even get me started on Boy Scouts.  It is just wrong. If a willing man wants to teach my son valuable life skills I don't care one iota if he is gay.  And kicking out boys themselves from scouting because they identify as gay? so wrong. And sad.

I hope I live to see the hysteria subside. Marriage rights to become equal and hopefully even full open arms from the Church to gay individuals.

I am a trained Occupational Therapist, I was taught to expect a spectrum in ALL areas of human identity and behavior - from reading, walking, gross motor skills, etc. Why was I so judgemental for so long that sexual identity would be any different? I am fat and I'm not sure why. That is very hard for people to grasp - they want to blame my behaviors right off the bat. I don't know why some people are gay. But you know what - its ok. I am ok being fat - they are ok being gay.

"In the latter half of the 20th century these frames were challenged by gay rights and fat rights advocates. Within these movements, the words “gay” and “fat” had similar purposes. They were intended to depathologize what medicine called “homosexuality” and “obesity,” by asserting that different sexual orientations and body sizes were both inevitable and largely unalterable, and that being gay or fat was not a disease.

Over the past few decades, gay rights activists have had great success challenging what 50 years ago was the standard medical view that “homosexuality” constituted a disease. By contrast, fat rights activists still deal with a public health establishment that continues to reflect and replicate profound cultural prejudices when it advocates ineffective cures for an imaginary illness....
The extent to which either one’s sexual orientation or one’s weight are chosen states is minimal. With rare exceptions, people cannot intentionally alter either their sexual orientation or their weight in a long-term way. Given all this, to label same-sex orientation or higher than average body weight as diseases stigmatizes those who are so labeled to no purpose, other than to express disapproval of deviance from social norms to which the stigmatized cannot adhere." -Paul Campos
From a great article here: Anti-obesity the new homophobia

I don't know what this means for eternity. I have stopped being so sure of knowing any of that. But I know two men or two women being happy together doesn't bother me one bit.

Now one man with his 55 wives? that... yeah that kind of stings.

If you are still with me and will go a little further, this blog says it all much better than I could here

How to be a sort of traditional Mormon defending non-traditional marriage


 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1John 4:7

** This blog post makes mention of my health at every size aka HAES journey ... that started here and I can't very well leave this without once again recommending the book - everyone should read it but especially if you identify with ever having "struggled with your weight" Its on amazon here!


Tony said...

I'm with ya! :)

Christine Marie said...

This is fantastic! Thank you, Janie. It's so encouraging to hear other people talk about this. I really like what you wrote and how you wrote it.

Also, I LOVE the healthy at any size aspect to your blog. I'm excited to continue reading about your journey

Elise said...

This is a difficult issue. For those of us who have gay loved ones, we continue to love them and envelop them in our families, and I believe the Church encourages us to do that. I think the marriage issue is primarily about temple marriage. Many times the Church has been appealed to to hold gay weddings in temples. And after cases like this (which was just upheld in July), I think the Church is concerned about its own rights--about being able to determine worthiness for temple marriages and temple attendees in general.

Janette Church said...

First, I just wanna say that I share your compassion for gay couples. It does not hurt me one bit if they marry. I don't care if they marry. I think they deserve the same tax exemptions as I enjoy. I have a very liberal 'to each their own' attitude on most social issues, including abortion. Either they're right or wrong, but I am not the almighty judge. I'll do what I know is right in my heart and reap the consequences when I meet my Maker.

However, the reason the church fought so hard on Prop 8 was because of the things it would impose if it had failed. Most importantly, the church could have lost its tax exempt status if they publicly opposed same-sex marriage or refused to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their temples. This is a problem. The church's position on same-sex marriage isn't its own. It is the same position given in scripture and this is The Church of Jesus Christ. In order for the church to change position on this, the prophet would need to receive revelation from Heavenly Father that He now accepts and condones gay marriage, regardless of what His scriptures say. This will probably never happen.

There were 6 consequences if the vote failed. You can read them here: and here:

That is why the church fought so hard. However, you gotta remember that the church members make up 2% of the population in California. So, pinning the vote on them is a hard thing to do.

Given the reason for the fight, I accept the church's role in the outcome. However, me personally as an individual contributing to society, I believe they deserve to be married; I just also believe that religions who, following scripture and believe otherwise, also have the right to deny those ceremonies in their buildings.

You wanna have a vote on same-sex civil ceremonies or same-sex ceremonies performed in pro same-sex marriage churches, sign me up. But, I'll never get behind any group forcing their practices/beliefs on my own. Our first right is freedom of religion. And that is what the church was fighting for in 2008.