California’s Proposition 8, from a Mormon

Proposition 8, aka the Hate Ammendment, has passed in California.

This is of interest to me for three major reasons:

  1. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a “Mormon”. I joined as a convert in 1995. The Church strongly advised its members to advocate for Prop 8, in multiple statements and broadcast video events, directly from the Elders of the Church. While this is not “revelation”, it is guidance and counsel, which should be heeded by all.
  2. I am also a man who understands that homosexuality is not a choice, and that in all secular legal respects homosexuals are a minority group in which membership is neither voluntary nor desirable. I can not in good conscience see the fundamental rights of a group of people be stripped for no reason other than that they were born a certain way.
  3. The “Yes on 8” campaign sought to win this campaign through lies, mischaracterizations, and fear-mongering. I can not in good conscience support such underhanded tactics, even were they in the name of a righteous cause.

Since the amendment passed, the LDS Church issued a press statement, stating in part: “After extensive debate between those of different persuasions, voters have chosen to amend the California State Constitution to state that marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

There was no extensive debate here. There was blatant demagoguery and manipulation of base emotions. I saw children – children – out on street corners marching with Yes on 8 signs. Did they know what they were marching for? Or were they being used as fill-in props to back up one of the more flagrant lies of the campaign (that kindergartners would be taught about homosexuality if 8 didn’t pass)? My own kids were given numerous “Yes on 8” screeds in their Halloween candy bags as they went around the neighborhoods. Do these people expect my kids to be voting?

For a campaign which preached itself as being “for the children”, there was a striking willingness to use and abuse children to gain visibility.

This was not an informational campaign. Millions of dollars – much of it cheerfully given by well-intentioned and obedient Saints – went into overpowering the voices of the fact checkers and playing on emotions. I am thoroughly disgusted by the level to which the Yes on 8 proponents stooped in order to stack the deck in their favor.

I have serious trouble squaring my deeply held beliefs over the right for all people to seek happiness and live contented lives, with the “testimonies” of so many of my fellow Saints saying that those rights should be taken away. Frankly, I am seriously questioning my faith in this Church and its teachings. I can see no way to square a belief in the Church and its leadership with the hatred it fostered and pain it has just unleashed upon the 18,000 forcibly annulled marriages and countless other children of God who were just told they have no reason to expect the same rights as their “straight” brethren.

I do not blame my fellow Saints. Perhaps were my testimony strong enough I too would have decided it was better to follow the advice of the Elders even though it was obviously hurting a minority group. I blame the Elders who promoted this hatred, and the culture of obedience which caused so many to heed their call. I know these are but men, as am I. I know that men make mistakes in judgement. The Church Elders have made poor judgment calls in the past in the absence of direct revelation, primarily on racial and miscegenation issues, and so this would not be unprecedented. So many of my fellow Saints claim they felt the confirmation of the Holy Spirit here, though; that is supposed to be the distinguisher of God’s word from men’s ideas. If I am right, and this was not Heavenly Father’s work, then this draws serious question to the ability of men to really distinguish the movements of the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps it is I who is wrong. Perhaps all homosexuals who do not deny their biological imperatives are meant to be excluded from secular society as well as blessings of the Church. I have considered this, and I have prayed for guidance in this, but I can not see it as God’s will. I fear that, if the Elders are right in their guidance and conclusions, then my soul must be lost, for I can not gain a testimony based on excluding large swathes of Heavenly Father’s children from the joys of this world. I will continue to pray for guidance on this, but so far none is apparent.

I hope and pray that a few years down the road we will be able to reconsider this decision and remove this hateful exclusionary passage from our Constitution. The trend in California is noticeably in the direction of tolerance over hatred, given that this measure passed with significantly less of a majority than the previous non-amendment version had eight years ago. Unfortunately countless souls will suffer in the meantime. I pray that they will be strong. We WILL overcome.

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8 Responses to “California’s Proposition 8, from a Mormon”

  1. Aussie Girl Says:

    I’m an Australian 19 year old girl who defines herself as a lesbian.
    Proposition 8 has distressed me significantly, I am finding it so difficult to register the fact that people are voting to stop same-sex marriage yet ignoring the fact that it is discrimination. I had much more faith in the world, but it has left me heartbroken.
    I applaud the previous post as it gives me faith that some religious citizens realise the indifference being supported in Proposition 8.
    In Australia, we are affected by every move America makes, “when America sneezes, Australia catches a cold”. Do people realise that stopping our human right to marry the one we love is wrong. It is hypocritical.

    I didn’t choose to be gay, I chose to accept it. This is who I am. Why can’t I have the same rights as my friends and family? Why should I be punished?

    I hope that the world will overcome.

  2. GERRY ENSLEY Says:

    1. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a “Mormon.” I joined as a convert many years ago.

    2. I am also a man (retired law professor) who understands that homosexuality is ENTIRELY a choice, and those claiming otherwise are simply self-deceived and/or so sexually addicted as to ignore their individual freedom to say “no” to themselves, even temporarily. (Heterosexuals may also become unfortunately sexually addicted by repeated immoral VOLUNTARY choices, but that issue is not before us in this discussion.) In all secular legal respects homosexuals are a VOLUNTARY minority group in which membership is VOLITIONAL and neither desirable for themselves nor for society. I, like you my Brother, cannot in good conscience see the fundamental rights of an INVOLUNTARY group of people be stripped for no reason other than that they were born a certain way, e.g. race, skin color, or in a certain place, e.g. national origin, etc. A person HAS NO CHOICE as to her race and/or national origin, hence becomes automatically, AT BIRTH and wholly INVOLUNTARILY, a member of a “minority” over which she has had no control whatever. That birth-born “minority” INVOLUNTARY inequality is NOT self-chosen. For this reason alone it is properly deemed a constitutional “suspect classification” ENTITLED TO “fundamental protection” and special safeguard constitutionally. Not so a person’s SELF-CHOSEN HOMOSEXUALITY. Because it is SELF-CHOSEN and WHOLLY VOLUNTARY (even if self-habituated after personally assertive self-chosen repetition) homosexuality cannot in good faith be considered “fundamental,” nor a “fundamental right,” nor deemed constitutionally “suspect.” It remains a SELF-CHOSEN minority group entitled to no more “fundamental protection” than a gourmet diner’s club. Homosexual claims to being “born that way” are fallacious, duplicitous, and fraudulent – perhaps repeated vociferously by “knowing” homosexuals who realize their constitutional claims fraudulent UNLESS they successfully persuade judges/media/populace that they truly “have no choice.” They DO have choice (free will – as do all of us), hence may not logically, nor legally, have special constitutional protection. I would remind you, my Brother, that the primary reason Satan BECAME Satan (he was not “born that way” either) was his VOLUNTARY and persistent CHOICE to oppose God during his own pre-existence with God before our earth was formed. Moses 4:3-4; 5:23.

    3. I see little evidence that the “Yes on 8” campaign sought to win this campaign through lies, mischaracterizations, and fear-mongering. However, in light of my ( #2 ) above constitutional analysis of wholly counterfeit homosexual “fundamentals,” rendering the entire claim of homosexual “constitutional protection” fraudulent, I need not (nor have I space to) discuss pro-Prop 8 events at all.

    LDS Church press statements (and fund raising) likewise were not deceptive nor misleading. They appropriately and correctly asserted the “immoral” basis of homosexual CHOICE even if not my ( #2 ) constitutional analysis above. “Immorality,” of course, presumes individual free choice.

    Your protest that it is a “right for all people to seek happiness and live contented lives” overlooks the entire problem of immorality, dishonesty, fraudulent conduct, self-deception, criminal behavior, societal destruction, impropriety, etc. wherein a person’s “happiness” may properly be circumscribed by well-intentioned and well-crafted laws to prevent e.g. drug dealers, rapists, pedophiles, etc. from
    their own “happiness” in such anti-social, violent, detrimental, etc. conduct. “Wickedness . . . never was happiness.” Alma 41:10.

    Your assertion that you are “seriously questioning my faith in this Church and its teachings. I can see no way to square a belief in the Church and its leadership with the hatred it fostered and pain it has just unleashed upon the 18,000 forcibly annulled marriages . . . ,” seems to reveal misunderstanding of God’s requirement that ALL His children (including self-chosen homosexuals) must choose to follow God’s morality, commandments, requirements, etc. in order to be deemed worthy of Heaven. Homosexual choice and conduct (in private) is not punished by secular society. By allowing them co-equal “civil union,” ”domestic partnership,” etc. BUT NOT MARRIAGE, lawful society may properly protect ancient and (if I may say) “higher” forms of marital union (marriage) EVEN IF it might desecrate their self-chosen, voluntary “minority” forms of domestic habitation. Nobody is forcing them to be homosexual. It is their own freely chosen form of union.

    Incidentally, your aforementioned “18,000″ already-“married” homosexual unions will remain fully lawful because contracted during a time (post Supreme Court decision, pre-Prop 8 passage) when homosexual “marriage” was then fully lawful.

    Church Elders have NEVER incited, advised, nor suggested “hatred” of homosexuals. Nor do I.
    God will “judge” them as He will each of us for our self-chosen conduct (good or ill). But, God aside, society may lawfully “discriminate” against self-chosen voluntary minority conduct which like homosexuality is NOT at all an involuntary “fundamental right.” Society has a general “right” to define “marriage” for heterosexuals while according homosexuals similar domestic legal benefits WITHOUT the benefit of “marriage.” Such laws do not deny homosexuals their biological choices (they are NOT “biological imperatives” – your fallacious phrase) any more than they deny heterosexuals their imaginary “rights” to polyandry, polygamy, group marriage, etc. Nor do such laws exclude homosexuals from secular society. Such governmental laws, of course, do not pertain to the “blessings of the Church” which (as a wholly VOLUNTARY social fellowship) may generally define its own rules and regulations, as may any other social group.

    Your praiseworthy sympathy for God NOT to exclude “large swathes of Heavenly Father’s children from the joys of this world” ignores that multitudes of some “joys” are specifically condemned by God Himself in well-known scriptures. There are multitudes of “joys of this world” which do not include homosexuality, my friend.

    You say, “I have prayed for guidance in this, but I can not see it as God’s will.” Keep praying, my Brother. Scripture is plainly supreme on this point. So is common sense.

    Prop 8 is NOT a “hateful exclusionary passage.” Rather, it is a fine, proper, fully moral, definition of “marriage” approved by God, secularly lawful, sanctified by ancient tradition, and utterly right-minded for modern California with its numerous, divergent, social (and sexual) experimentation – – some of it wholly destructive of societal norms, happy families, and healthy children.

    I agree with your view of “tolerance over hatred.” But such a view is somewhat naive when “tolerance” becomes enacted as “constitutional law” allowing self-chosen fraudulent minority aberrant citizens the power to sue decent, reasonable, majority citizens who seek only to protect their own form of traditional family association. Prop 8 will prevent homosexuals their ability to sue decent citizens, spread their lifestyle by threat of law, coerce majority compliance with their views, intimidate schools, families, and governments to adopt their own deviant form of life. We may properly “tolerate” (even “love”) them without voting them a right by law to coerce us into their way of life. Their entire strategy as been to use the COURTS to coerce us to do what they cannot accomplish by persuasion. They are the ones seeking coercion, not we. Prop 8 properly foils their legal strategy.

  3. Tom Dibble Says:

    Gerry –

    I respectfully disagree on your assertion that homosexuality (the ATTRACTION, not the act) is a choice. There is ample scientific evidence pointing to it being an involuntary state. Our disagreement hinges largely on this.

    “Your protest that it is a “right for all people to seek happiness and live contented lives” overlooks the entire problem of immorality, dishonesty, fraudulent conduct, self-deception, criminal behavior, societal destruction, impropriety, etc. wherein a person’s “happiness” may properly be circumscribed by well-intentioned and well-crafted laws to prevent e.g. drug dealers, rapists, pedophiles, etc. from
    their own “happiness” in such anti-social, violent, detrimental, etc. conduct. “Wickedness . . . never was happiness.” Alma 41:10.”

    Drug dealers, rapists, pedophiles, etc, are truly wicked people. I completely agree. However, they are wicked BECAUSE they destroy the lives of OTHER people.

    Your argument – that two people who are fully aware of what they are doing and fully cognizant of its effects and who are not causing any harm to those around them – is EXACTLY the argument of the late-1800 Missouri mob against the founders of the Church we know and love. The Church was not causing any harm to the townships around it, and was unjustly persecuted. In fact, the Missouri folks had a good argument that the Church was causing them harm in that the Church was actively seeking conversions in the areas around it, which is NOT the case with homosexuals today.

    “By allowing them co-equal “civil union,” ”domestic partnership,” etc. BUT NOT MARRIAGE, lawful society may properly protect ancient and (if I may say) “higher” forms of marital union (marriage) EVEN IF it might desecrate their self-chosen, voluntary “minority” forms of domestic habitation.”

    In fact, California’s Prop 8 did not rule out civil unions as a “separate but equal” path, but Florida’s Prop 2, which the Church also supported and asked its members to mobilize in support of, did. “or the substantial equivalent thereof” is the key phrase there.

    As a lawyer I am sure you are aware of the immense effort which would be required to adjust every instance of “marriage” in the law to be “marriage or civil union”. Setting up a separate but equal institution is NOT as easy as it is made out to be. Given that the Church appears wholly opposed to such, I don’t think there is any chance of that highly complex and expensive effort completing.

    “Prop 8 will prevent homosexuals their ability to sue decent citizens, spread their lifestyle by threat of law, coerce majority compliance with their views, intimidate schools, families, and governments to adopt their own deviant form of life. We may properly “tolerate” (even “love”) them without voting them a right by law to coerce us into their way of life. Their entire strategy as been to use the COURTS to coerce us to do what they cannot accomplish by persuasion. They are the ones seeking coercion, not we. Prop 8 properly foils their legal strategy.”

    You seem to imagine the hordes of homosexuals beating down your door and forcing you to be gay. This is exactly the sort of misconception which sits behind the “6 Consequences” bit of misinformation. I have known many homosexuals throughout my life, and never has one tried to “convert” me or “coerce” me. The fact is that homosexuality is documented throughout history, and NEVER have I heard of any documented case of homosexuals attempting to coerce masses of heterosexuals to their “lifestyle”.

    Consider the “6 Consequences” lies. California law does NOT force school children to be taught about all legal forms of marriage. It DOES require that “committed relationships” be discussed sometime before high school graduation, but that requirement and its consequences do not change with the passage of Prop 8 (hint: the gay couple is still committed to each other even without the marriage license). The underlying fear mongering is that “those gays” are out to preach homosexuality to your kids in school (and that message DID get out and was picked up loud and clear across the state). Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Have you been – or heard of anyone who has been – assaulted and “turned gay” by roving bands of homosexuals? I seriously doubt it. These are simply people who want a way to show their commitment to each other and not get kicked out of the hospital when visiting hours are over and not have to sue for inheritance of property after death.

  4. GERRY ENSLEY Says:

    Tom, my friend,

    I sympathize with your benevolent statement, “I respectfully disagree on your [my] assertion that homosexuality (the ATTRACTION, not the act) is a choice. There is ample scientific evidence pointing to it being an involuntary state. Our disagreement hinges largely on this.”

    Yes, it does, and so does the constitutional foundation of homosexual “invidious discrimination,” which CANNOT APPLY in the absence of such“involuntary state” (as e.g. race, skin color, national origin – ALL which attach INVOLUNTARILY at birth and remain unchanged throughout a person’s entire life without her personal choice nor her consent).

    You appear to concede that homosexual “acts” ARE a matter of a person’s CHOICE, hence may be lawfully curtailed/regulated by society’s laws (exactly as also heterosexual acts may likewise be so curtailed/regulated). But you imply that homosexual ATTRACTION is INVOLUNTARY – – a kind of irresistible temptation/allurement unable to be withstood. How, may I ask, is that purported “INVOLUNTARY ATTRACTION” different from traditional heterosexual “involuntary attraction” for the opposite sex? Heterosexual “attraction” (sexual hatred/fear of the OPPOSITE sex?) is nothing more than a natural, God-given desire to procreate (children), not purely a non-generative act of sexual pleasure, as it is in homosexuality. Granting homosexuals a new and original “constitutional right” (special constitutional protection NOT legally accorded other VOLUNTARY associations) fraudulently allows incorrect constitutional application of LEGAL COERCION against “majority rights” (democratic foundations). We need not now “create” new legal/constitutional doctrines in order to allow minority sexual selection by FORCE OF LAW to COERCE majority compliance with THEIR minority sexual preferences.

    It is truly unfortunate that some “minority” homosexuals have chosen their own much publicized suicides rather than chosen to discipline their own sexual desires. But that tragically self-chosen “minority suicide” is no warrant for allowing them LAWFUL COERCION of society’s natural, traditional heterosexual, children-producing rights. And especially is this so where state statutory law (not proper constitutional law) now allows them functional equality with heterosexuals in the private conduct of their own bedrooms. We cannot allow homosexual voluntary “minority” status (precisely “minority” because self-chosen against a “majority” which has voluntarily and properly, democratically, decided against them) to use faulty “constitutional” litigation to COERCE majority rights. This is, after all, a democracy.

    The entire purpose of USING COURTS and constantly incessant litigation in order to assert their homosexual preference BY FORCE OF LAW is a strategy of easy accomplishment. It’s simply easier by blizzard of homosexual lawsuits to find ONE JUDGE (that’s all that was necessary in California’s In re Marriage Cases (2008) 43 Cal.4th 757 [76 Cal.Rptr.3d 683, 183 P.3d 384, a 4-3 decision) which might agree with them, THEREBY FORCING MAJORITY COMPLIANCE WITH THEIR MINORITY VIEWS/PRACTICES, rather than to allow democratic persuasion (by vote, social sentiment, political conviction, etc.) which homosexuals have consistently lost (and properly so). San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was entirely correct in his joyous and FORCEFUL assessment of the California supreme court decision: “It’s [minority homosexual coercion of the majority] gonna happen, whether you like it, or not.” Yep, that’s precisely the force of law.

    But even their incessant litigation, with its attendant publicity, vociferous partisanship, public demonstration, media coverage, etc. accomplishes a homosexual persuasive strategy for general public appeal. It’s not surprising that recent homosexual response to their “loss” in Prop 8 political “warfare” has accorded them “success” in seeking “more” popular approval for their deviant lifestyle. I’m sure it will continue. Asserting fraudulent constitutional principles–even successfully in some courts (Massachusetts, Connecticut, recently California)–has sufficiently confused Americans so to “blend” the latter’s natural charitable “tolerance” for private minority deviant behavior with false constitutional conclusions (wrongfully) transmuting that beneficial “tolerance” INTO constitutional COERCION which may thereafter become FORCE OF LAW against the “tolerant” majority which “tolerated” them in the first place. We may properly “tolerate” private homosexuality WITHOUT ACCORDING THEM CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION TO COERCE MAJORITY COMPLIANCE by force of law WITH THEIR DEVIANT LIFESTYLE.

    Homosexual attraction is not “involuntary” in the constitutional sense, i.e, determined at birth, fully consistent throughout a person’s life, and leaving the individual without the ability to change it in any way (see race/national origin/etc. above, which clearly and properly DO have constitutional protection of minorities BORN into conditions they did not choose and cannot possibly change). The friendliest homosexual I’ve known officed next to mine in a Los Angeles prosecutor’s employment many years ago. He told me in confidence (hence I’ll not disclose his name) that he “enjoyed” a wild heterosexual life at Venice High School with many girls his age, until he acquired syphilis from one of his heterosexual dates. From that time onward he CHOSE to become homosexual, apparently in response to his unhappy heterosexual experience. He later became a Los Angeles judge and tragically died of AIDS when 43 years of age.

    Homosexuality is NOT “involuntary.” It is a matter of choice. A person’s consistent and repeated choice to AVOID/DISTASTE/DETEST opposite genitalia in favor of one’s own similar genitalia (for whatever reason, or no reason at all- – freedom to choose requires no “reason”) is likewise a matter of personal choice undetermined by external (nor internal, biochemical) forces. I haven’t space here to discuss biochemical, genetic, mind/brain components of homosexuality. Maybe later.

    Attorney Morris Thurston’s penchant rebuttal to the so-called (and largely correct) “Six Consequences” of the supreme court “marriages” decision was itself rebutted by Thurston’s law partner attorney Robert Crockett. You may “google” each for their respective LDS views. More later.

    Must go. Hang in there, my brother.

  5. Tom Dibble Says:

    “You appear to concede that homosexual “acts” ARE a matter of a person’s CHOICE, hence may be lawfully curtailed/regulated by society’s laws”

    I said acts are a matter of choice, correct. Just as heterosexual acts are a matter of choice. However, that does not make regulation of them a reasonable response. Heterosexual sex, as you say, is also completely voluntary. How well does lifetime celibacy work for heterosexuals? The Catholic priesthood is showing some severe consequences of curtailing individuals’ most primal instincts. And, no, most people, gay or straight, do not have the moral conviction of a Catholic priest (I grew up Catholic and knew a large number of priests, all of whom were devout and good men).

    “How, may I ask, is that purported “INVOLUNTARY ATTRACTION” different from traditional heterosexual “involuntary attraction” for the opposite sex?”

    It is not. Which is entirely my point.

    “Heterosexual “attraction” (sexual hatred/fear of the OPPOSITE sex?) is nothing more than a natural, God-given desire to procreate (children), not purely a non-generative act of sexual pleasure, as it is in homosexuality.”

    Which in turn brings up the well-worn examples of infertile couples, the elderly, and those using methods “approved” (the Rythm Method, for instance) and unapproved to avoid having children. Are they, then, effectively sodomites? Is it a sin to have sexual intercourse with your wife without the explicit aim of fathering a child?

    “It is truly unfortunate that some “minority” homosexuals have chosen their own much publicized suicides rather than chosen to discipline their own sexual desires.”

    I take from this stone thrown that you are a celibate male who has lived a full life of chastity and kept himself outside of heterosexual relationships? If not, I don’t think you are in a position to judge the discipline of someone whose choices are a life of “sinful” actions or a lifetime of depravation.

    “It’s simply easier by blizzard of homosexual lawsuits to find ONE JUDGE (that’s all that was necessary in California’s In re Marriage Cases (2008) 43 Cal.4th 757 [76 Cal.Rptr.3d 683, 183 P.3d 384, a 4-3 decision) which might agree with them, THEREBY FORCING MAJORITY COMPLIANCE WITH THEIR MINORITY VIEWS/PRACTICES”

    Now, I am not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that any old judge does not hold the weight of a California Supreme Court ruling. There’s only one CA Supreme Court, and its ruling on CA constitutional law is and always has been final. You personally may not agree with all the judges on the CA Supreme Court, but the majority view of the court is not something people can go “shopping” for.

    “transmuting that beneficial “tolerance” INTO constitutional COERCION which may thereafter become FORCE OF LAW against the “tolerant” majority which “tolerated” them in the first place. We may properly “tolerate” private homosexuality WITHOUT ACCORDING THEM CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION TO COERCE MAJORITY COMPLIANCE by force of law WITH THEIR DEVIANT LIFESTYLE.”

    You are using lots of “scare quotes”, to the point I’m not sure what you mean by “tolerance” and how that differs from just plain old tolerance.

    What are homosexuals coercing you into doing, precisely? So far as I can tell, there is no mandate for you or any heterosexual to engage in homosexual activities, complying with their “deviant lifestyle”. How, precisely, does this “deviant lifestyle” affect YOU? How are they “coercing” anything more than basic tolerance (note, without the scare quotes)?

    “Homosexual attraction is not “involuntary” in the constitutional sense, i.e, determined at birth, fully consistent throughout a person’s life, and leaving the individual without the ability to change it in any way (see race/national origin/etc. above, which clearly and properly DO have constitutional protection of minorities BORN into conditions they did not choose and cannot possibly change).”

    I was not aware that there was a constitutional definition of protected class which required genetic origin and unchangeable nature. Can you point to it, please?

    It is indeterminate if homosexual attraction is, at root, primarily genetic or primarily environmental/developmental. However, if it is environmental/developmental that is a far way from it being a simple “choice” for which punishment is the appropriate response. Protected classes of people include not only those distinguished by race or gender (clearly genetic), but also disabilities (primarily not genetic, and often with a late-life onset). There is simply no “born into it” litmus test for a protected class.

    “Homosexuality is NOT “involuntary.” It is a matter of choice. A person’s consistent and repeated choice to AVOID/DISTASTE/DETEST opposite genitalia in favor of one’s own similar genitalia (for whatever reason, or no reason at all- – freedom to choose requires no “reason”) is likewise a matter of personal choice undetermined by external (nor internal, biochemical) forces. I haven’t space here to discuss biochemical, genetic, mind/brain components of homosexuality. Maybe later.”

    Well, I look forward to it. In the meantime, I’m going to side with the scientific community on this one, which by and large points to a genetic or early developmental influence forcing homosexuality and has repeatedly debunked the “gays just think it’s cool” myth.

    For instance, studies on twins support a strong genetic link (not 100%, but the proclivity of both twins being homosexual versus one being homosexual is scientifically significant): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1845227 (also summarized at http://worldpolicy.org/projects/globalrights/sexorient/twins.html ). Specifically, note the breakdown Bailey and Pillard found in 1993: 6% of non-genetically-linked sisters of homosexual women were also gay, while 48% of identical twin sisters of homosexual women were also gay. As homosexuality in the general population is closer to around 2%, this supports a minor environmental/developmental link as well as a likely major genetic link. This is not explainable as a solely developmental issue, as we would then see a much larger percentage of adopted sisters displaying the trait.

    Other interesting bits:

    * http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&cmd=Search&Term=identical%20twins%20homosexuality%20study&itool=QuerySuggestion
    * http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2005/08/14/what_makes_people_gay/
    * http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12465295
    * http://www.libchrist.com/other/homosexual/gaygene.html
    * http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&cmd=Search&Term=homosexuality%20reorientation&itool=QuerySuggestion

    Again, the scientific evidence is VERY heavily weighted on the side of homosexuality being a trait or early-developmental condition, NOT a choice made by a reasoning individual.

    Morally, I find it absolutely repugnant to penalize an individual for something they did not choose, and could not prevent.

  6. Jesse Says:

    Gerry’s first comment is easily the best explanation I have ever heard for the Prop 8 side. Very well written. I hope you don’t mind if I circulate it to some friends and family?

  7. Dr. Lowrey Says:

    Funny you say that Jesse, since his statement #2), that “I am also a man (retired law professor) who understands that homosexuality is ENTIRELY a choice, and those claiming otherwise are simply self-deceived and/or so sexually addicted as to ignore their individual freedom to say “no” to themselves…” is so ignorant especially the implication that his status as a “retired law professor” makes his declaration that homosexuality is “ENTIRELY” a choice and that the rest of us are “self-deceived” proof enough that the rest of his response is not even worth reading!

    Gerry’s law degree did not make him a biologist and he is obviously not an expert (according to him apparently a law degree makes one an expert on all things) on human biology.

    The fact that THE LAW can be and is often used illegally to marginalize certain members of our society is just wrong, though apparently Gerry believes that his knowledge of how to twist the law to subvert the Constitution makes anything he does “right” – just because he knows how and (so far) can get away with it.

    For “the LDS Church” (or any church for that matter) to promote hate and intolerance is just plain evil.

    When Gerry says that anyone who disagrees with him is “self-deceived and/or so sexually addicted as to ignore their individual freedom” does he really expect to be taken seriously?

    Are those really the only two choices available for anyone who disagrees with Gerry?

    I would hate to be represented by any lawyer taught by him!

    I certainly do not believe he represents the position taken by the Jesus he claims to represent.

    I also do not believe he represents the Constitution of the United States of America.

    How sad that he was able to “teach law”.

    If Jesus was right that we will be judged with the same type judgment we exercise against others, it will be interesting for Gerry when his bigotry (for I cannot imagine someone as educated as a law professor being simply ignorant) comes back to attack him.

    Even IF homosexuality were “ENTIRELY a choice” as Gerry claims, so what?

    Only a “religious” argument can be used against such a choice – and such a “religious” argument cannot carry the weight of law.

    The Constitution was created to especially protect minority choices and while the Constitution does protect Mormons in their right to dis-believe in equality, it does not give them or anyone the right to make their religious views legally binding on other people.

    So what if homosexuality is a choice or not?

    We all have the right to make such a choice and have our choice respected.

    Gerry even seems to know the details of the birth of Satan!

    And, we do not live in a democracy.
    I would have thought a law professor would know that.

    Give me a break!

    The Mormons really blew it this time!

    Gerry is an insulting and intentionally evil deceiver.

    Thank goodness the lawyers on the California Supreme Court understand “the law” better than Gerry does.

    Many laws are passed and then found unconstitutional and reversed.

    Prop 8 is sure to be another of those.

  8. Some Mormons Weigh In On California Prop. 8 « Utah Mormonism Says:

    […] November 20, 2008 by Dr. Lowrey I am reposting this from Tom Dibble’s Blog. […]

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