In the Middle: Rainbows and Fences
Rainbows are incredible, you know? They are this amazing thing that combines water and sunlight to create the perfect, ultimate spectrum of color. If you ever just sit and look at one, you’ll see that there are the simple colors (red, purple, yellow), but also infinite gradations of colors within colors.
It’s no wonder God gave them to us to show his promise to keep the world safe from danger. And it is no wonder that it was reapportioned by the LGBT community to represent the vast myriad of sexualities that can be found in the world.
I have a confession. I’m a Mormon, and I don’t hate gay people.
But, I don’t know if I support them, either.
Gay marriage is one of the sticky points of The Church that I have a hard time with. As someone who has been around theater people my whole life, I have a certain…Gay-tardedness that I was just brought up with. Let’s face it, I’m probably a little gender-confused myself. I’m not exactly the girly-girl type. There is a reason why I always played the boy when I was playing pretend with my little friends. I really, REALLY wanted to be a boy.
Still, I have chosen to be a heterosexual Mormon lady with an awesome husband. So, I kind of see both sides of this issue.
For those who might not know, Mormons don’t hate gay people. Still, there are certainly some unpleasant feelings between the groups. For example, there has been a long-standing battle between gay activists groups like Affirmation, Mormons for Equality and Mormons Building Bridges and the leadership of the church. Every so often, these groups get up enough courage to ask the Prophet and Twelve if they can please come back and be like other Mormons. Every time, the leadership kindly tells them to stop calling.
Now, before I lose you completely, I am not taking sides on this issue. Therein lies the issue.
I wish I could be like all the “cool kids” who are on Twitter and Facebook today, at the judgement of the Supreme Court over Proposition 8 in California (known as the Mormon Proposition on Wikipedia). I wish I could throw up my hands with joy. Instead, I just want to throw up with confusion.
I love my gay friends, but I love my church. What am I supposed to do?
I am in the age-old Mormon conundrum cycle. I believe what the Prophet says, and yet my heart is having a hard time towing the party line. I totally believe The Church is true, and yet, there are people in my own church out there who are trying to make it illegal for people of the same sex to get married to each other. It seems pretty crappy.
The Prophet says that marriage is “between a man a woman.” Didn’t a prophet also say that marriage was between a man and a woman, and a woman, and a woman…
It feels like the Mormon definition of marriage has become very…solid. But, this is not the historical root of our religious beliefs.
Yes, the bible says in Leviticus 20:13 that, “If a man lays with another man, as with a woman, he should be stoned.” It ALSO says “People who have flat noses, or are blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God.” (Leviticus 21:17-18) Are we really relying on Leviticus alone to tell us that Gay marriage is bad?
Well, of course not. We have continuing revelation to tell us that it is wrong. And yet…
Willow 1 says: Any marriage outside of the temple is not valid for eternity without a temple sealing, even between a man and a woman. It is only a legal statute being fulfilled, and therefore permissible by The Church, so you can still be a member if you are only legally married.
Willow 2 says: Gay marriage being legal fulfills that element of The Church’s rules, but it is still not approved by God, as has been revealed to modern-day prophets.
Willow 1 says: Just because a person is married to a person of the same sex doesn’t change how The Church feels about the union. It is not valid and binding, just as an unsealed marriage is not valid and binding after this life. So why do we care? If a same-sex marriage basically can’t last after this life (just like a heterosexual one can’t with out a sealing), why deny them the right to express love like everyone else?
Willow 2 says: Except THE PROPHET SAID NO!!
I wish I could be happy or sad. I wish I could be on one side or the other, but I am too confused. Choosing means that either I turn my back on the hopes and dreams of people that I love and respect, or turning my back on the thing that has made my life most meaningful.
Most of all, I wish there was an “AND” somewhere. I remember playing the Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods.” She sings a song after she cheats on her husband. The sentiment is something like: “When you get what you’re not supposed to have for a moment, in addition to what you already have, it makes you more grateful that you can go back to what you had before (without the little extra). But, it would be even better if you could have both at the same time.”
I get it. You really can’t have both at the same time. In this instance, I will need to jump the fence. At this point, I just don’t which way to jump.
Until then, I will continue to see rainbows the way my daughter does: as a perfect moment when light shines through the rain. I certainly hope the light comes out soon.