Marriage has gone down in history this week with the legalization of same-sex marriages throughout the nation. The past few days I’ve been thinking about two things: 1) We are all human and we all have rights, despite our sexual orientation or religious beliefs. 2) How this is an opportune moment for us to increase our appreciation for marriage in general (traditional or non-traditional).
Recognizing the responsibilities
Marriage is a big deal to me. I study it every day. I research it on a regular basis. I teach about it. It surrounds my every day actions, thoughts and feelings because I have a marriage myself. I honor that marriage and hold it as a very sacred responsibility. As I have studied marriage, as well as experienced it myself, I have learned that in most aspects of marriage, same-sex couples actually aren’t much different than heterosexual couples. However, I have also learned that there are situations that will come up in LGBTQ marriages that will be more challenging than a traditional marriage. They will also face different parenting hurdles, and their kids will face different challenges. For those reasons, I do think the most ideal family is one headed by a man and a woman, husband and wife.
But there’s another side of that: husbands and wives still need to create a healthy and loving environment between each other and their children in order for it to actually be ideal. With this new law, I just think it’s important for all of us to recognize that whatever way we choose to build a family, we need to recognize the responsibilities that come with that title and hold them with extreme care and commitment.
Appreciation for my own marriage
I’ve thought many times about how difficult it might feel to be LGBTQ having love for someone but be limited on the extent to which they could show it. But now they have that choice and that right (as I think they should). This whole long process has made me appreciate how I was able to marry Trevor without having to question our eligibility. Some people might say that this new decision degrades the marriage between a husband and wife – that this lessens how special it is, but through realizing I may have taken that eligibility for granted, my marriage feels even more special to me.
I had the choice to let this event better my awareness and my marriage, but others have made choices to let it affect them negatively. For example, the Australian couple saying that they will divorce if same-sex marriage is legalized… Why would you do that to your own marriage? Yeah, it might make a statement to people, but the only people that is directly hurting is you, your wife, your kids, and the rest of your family!
People can be in such defense for traditional marriage, but sadly, there are many traditional marriages who don’t fully honor this title they’ve been able to have. So many people cheat, live separated, or have abuse in their relationship. All marriages might have the same legalized grouping but no one’s marriage is the same. So I feel that the only marriage I can truly defend is my own. If I am so passionate about marriage and my own marriage, why would I want to forfeit that? For those people who are against the decision that was made this week, you can choose to let it affect you negatively like this couple did, or let it bring you and your spouse closer.
Not everyone is going to share the same beliefs
I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is one that is in line with God’s plan. Though I do feel legal rights should be given to LGBTQs wanting to marry and have the same benefits that traditional marriages have, I don’t believe that this kind of lifestyle is in line with God’s plan. Many people don’t agree with that and it is what it is. Not everyone is going to share the same beliefs, and not every law that is passed within state or country is going to satisfy everyone’s beliefs. As long as those laws don’t affect how I carry my own marriage, I’m not going to fill my heart with unkindness and hate. The only people we can change are ourselves, so I choose to focus on my own marriage - cultivating it further, abiding by the promises I have made both legally, morally, and religiously.
Same-sex marriage hasn’t changed my own marriage, it has just increased my appreciation for it and the sanctity of which I hold it in.
If you’re wondering what the Latter-Day Saint church’s stances are on marriage feel free to look here.