Many of you know that I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have eight children and for years I’ve been going back and forth with one of my sons over gay marriage. We’ve never actually argued about it, but there have been some spirited discussions for sure. I guess our circumstances are unusual. I’m a bit of a Jill (Jack) Mormon. A ‘Jack Mormon’ is someone who is a member of the Church that believes in and supports the Church, but for whatever reason, doesn’t attend very much (or at all). I have health issues that make it difficult for me to go. My son, Mark, is 23-years-old, has a mild form of autism called Asperger’s Syndrome, he’s a member of the Church and he’s gay. Our talks would involve me defending gay marriage and Mark disagreeing with it, and that’s shocked more than a few people. My son’s reasoning has changed, but his current issue with gay marriage is the government. He says, “It’s not that homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to be together, it’s the government having anything to do with the very definition of marriage.”
Recently, I read a story about a family in Iowa who might have to close their wedding venue after refusing to hold a gay wedding at their establishment. After telling the couple that they couldn’t agree to the wedding because of their religious beliefs, all hell broke loose. The couple started getting vicious hate mail and threatening phone calls, some promising it wouldn’t stop until they shutdown. Here in Oregon, a bakery refused to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding. They will sell to anyone, but draw the line at providing wedding cakes for same-sex weddings. The community was outraged. Portland/Gresham is a liberal, pro-gay town and they weren’t having it. It caused such a ruckus that the Oregon Attorney General opened an investigation. There’s also the Chick-fil-A story from last year that got so much media attention and several more similar cases.
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