The Same Rights as Me

This post is the third in a series.  Please scroll down to see the previous two posts.

Guest post by Ruby -

I'm happy to say that I support and applaud President Obama's acceptance of gay marriage. Getting here has been a journey for me. I struggled greatly during the Prop 8 backlash (even though I am not a California resident,) and I have discussed this topic at length with friends and fellow members of the church. Here is how I've broken it down and what I hope other members of the church will consider when they think about gay marriage:

Will it hurt me if two people who love each other want to get married?  No.

Will my life change in anyway if two people who love each other want to get married?  No.

Will my rights be taken away or infringed upon if two people who love each other want to get married?  No.

I came to this logic after comparing the marriage debate with the Word of Wisdom. Many members of the church follow the Word of Wisdom by abstaining from alcohol, coffee, tobacco and other harmful substances. (Please note that I said many members live this way and not all.)  Most people who are not of our faith do not choose to live this way, but we don't see Mormons standing outside Starbuck's condemning everyone with a coffee cup in their hand.
As Mormons, we understand that traditional (opposite sex) marriage is a lifestyle that we accept and embrace (and love) and that these are principals that we choose for our individual lives. I have also chosen to marry someone of my opposite sex; this is a lifestyle and a way of living that I have chosen for my life, and I shouldn't assume that everyone else will choose the same.

I used the words choice, chosen and choose a lot in this last paragraph because an important principal that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in is agency. Everyone should have the right to choose how they live, who they love, what they do, what they believe, etc. (Article of Faith #11: We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may.)

As for me and my personal life, I will teach my children, my Sunday School class, and those who are interested in learning about the LDS church that I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. I will also express my gratitude for the Word of Wisdom and the blessings it has brought to my life. I will also explain that there are people who are not members of our church who don't believe the same things we do, and that's their right. As a person who believes in Jesus Christ and the love that he has for each individual, I feel it is my responsibility to also love everyone and to expect that everyone is granted the same rights as me. It is not my responsibility to strip individuals of their rights or tell them how awful they are.

Go President Obama for standing up for the rights for all our brothers and sisters.

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