Michael and Jenet Erickson: Rally for marriage, but treat all people with respect
In writing this, we are conscious that others see Amendment 3 much differently. We know that for many it reminds them of insults and injuries, of fear and rejection, of intolerance and prejudice. While we affirm that being for marriage does not mean being against anyone, we can appreciate why some would doubt our sincerity or mistrust support for Amendment 3. Mindful of our own shortcomings, we acknowledge that people of good faith have “passed by on the other side,” as did the priest and the Levite, without taking sufficient time to understand same-sex attraction or to listen to the experiences of gays and lesbians. We are grateful for resources such as www.mormonsandgays.org and www.ldsvoicesofhope.org. They illuminate realities too little understood. Speaking for ourselves, these resources have revealed the “beam” in our own eyes when we have sought to cast the “mote” out of other’s eyes.
At the same time, we also invite opponents of Amendment 3 to walk in our shoes and to understand our genuine concerns for family, children, and religious liberty. Differences will remain, but all voices should be heard. Though we have very different beliefs about the meaning of marriage, we are equally entitled to advocate for our beliefs in shaping public policy. We trust that the “better angels of our nature” will yet find a way to recognize the dignity owed all individuals while preserving the meaning of marriage as between a man and a woman.
Michael Erickson is an attorney. Jenet Erickson is family science researcher. They live in Salt Lake City.
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