The best article from an LDS author on the topic of gay marriage is Homosexual “Marriage” and Civilization by science fiction writer Orson Scott Card. But it’s pretty long and you might have a short attention span so I’ll try to summarize some points from the article along with my own thoughts.
So, do Mormons hate gay people? No. If Mormons don’t hate gay people, why are they against gay marriage? Why are they forcing their religion on other people and taking away their rights? Why would they want to rob committed couples of the opportunity to legalize that commitment?
Mormons don’t hate gay people any more than they hate people who steal batteries. Mormons see the homosexual act as a sin, but they don’t hate people who sin. Mormons recognize that everyone is a sinner, and nobody has the right to say “I’m good and you’re bad” because we all fall far short of perfection. We are all “bad” if you want to look at it that way.
But there are two ways we can look at “badness”. We can either say “I’m bad, but I want to be good” or we can say “There is no such thing as being bad.” Mormons want to be good, and want to help others be good as well. Mormons believe that legalizing gay marriage is a way of saying that there is no such thing as bad and good or right and wrong, and Mormons believe that if people think something that is truly bad is accepted as being good, then that will lead to increased levels of general unhappiness. Legalizing gay marriage doesn’t change what it is. It forces society to accept it, but doesn’t make it acceptable. If California legalized stealing batteries we would all be forced to accept battery thieves, but we would all know that it’s still stealing, whether it’s legal or not.
Or would we? What message would it send to our children if we legalize stealing batteries? What if a child’s parents teach them that stealing is wrong, no matter what, but then at school they learn that stealing is usually wrong, except for batteries? In at least some cases might this not result in the child doubting the teachings of the parents? And if everyone else believes stealing batteries is ok, but my parents don’t, what else might my parents be wrong about? And what’s the difference between batteries and music CDs? Why is one ok and the other wrong? What about cars? If it’s ok to steal batteries, isn’t it ok to steal anything?
Of course legalization of the theft of batteries wouldn’t result in every child becoming a thief. But what if it negatively affected the actions of 1%, 2%, or 5% of the population? Might the actions of that small percentage be enough to negatively effect the entire population?
Likewise, the legalization of gay marriage will send a message to children that what their parents teach them at home and what they learn outside the home are at conflict. This will force them to either doubt the legitimacy of the government, or the legitimacy of their parents as authoritative figures. It puts parents at odds with the government in the education of their children.
Of course this isn’t the first time this has happened, but can you expect parents to not oppose anything? If the government wanted to legalize stealing cars would you oppose it? Of course you would. Why? Because stealing is wrong. It hurts people. Making stealing acceptable would hurt all of society. Mormons and others see legalization of gay marriage the same way. The only difference between you and them–assuming you were against Prop 8– is that they’ve drawn the line in a different place. You are willing to accept things Mormons aren’t. But we all believe discrimination is good, we just don’t always agree on what should be discriminated against. We can all agree that discriminating against negative behaviors like murder and theft is good for society (except for some real nut-jobs), and we generally agree that discriminating against inherent characteristics like gender and skin color are not good for society. But homosexuality falls into a gray zone where we’re split. Some think it is a similar issue to skin color, and others see it as a behavior, like stealing things.
The question has been decided democratically, by the vote of the people. I don’t oppose the right of those who are trying through legal means to stop Prop 8 or overturn it. I think they have every right to try as long as they don’t circumvent the laws of the state and country. If they win someday, as I’m afraid they may, I won’t react the same way they have with protests and hateful words, nor will I hate them. I’ll be disappointed and frustrated but I’ll deal with it.
While these are clearly my own opinions I believe they’re held by a majority of Mormons. In my 33 years as a member of the LDS faith I have never heard any hateful talk about gays. On the contrary I’ve heard much about love and compassion and I expect to see more of it as time goes on and Mormons come to understand the issue more thoroughly.