Maybe the proper response is for religious people to really begin practicing their religion. Throughout the teachings of Jesus, He intertwines the implied and explicit requirement to live a life of example. Jesus clearly teaches that our example should be in the form of tolerance for others, intolerance for sin in one’s self, and an enduring commitment to treat all like they are our brothers and sisters. To be an effective public example of Christ, we must first and foremost practice His teachings in our private lives within our own homes.
Those who decry same-sex marriage, and it should be decried, are by and large the people who form the heterosexual couples who either will marry or who are now married. And what is the divorce rate among heterosexual couples? On May 15, 2011, The Star reported that “Alabama’s divorce rate — the nation’s third-highest for men, and fourth-highest for women — would seem to be a big embarrassment for a conservative, sanctity-of-marriage state.”
I would say that our divorce rate is a big embarrassment and a signal that we as men and husbands must do more to emulate the teachings of Jesus in our home life.
Yes, we should oppose same-sex marriage through our actions at the ballot box. Yes, we should publicly advocate for the sanctity of marriage between men and women. Yes, we should write letters to our elected leaders in support of traditional marriage. But first and foremost, we men should protect the sanctity of our own marriages. If divorce among believers in Jesus were the exception instead of the rule, we would be a much louder voice for that which we say we believe in.
Righteous, Christ-like actions within our own homes will be the best defense against same-sex marriage.
Sidney C. Kooyman
Bishop, Anniston Ward
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints