Michael and Jenet Erickson: Same-sex marriage debate needs 'voices of hope'

Published: Sunday, Feb. 23 2014 12:51 p.m. MST

Updated: Sunday, Feb. 23 2014 12:51 p.m. MST

We wish there was space to share more of these inspiring, uplifting stories. Theirs are lives of hope and joy. For more understanding about this important issue, we recommend watching these and other videos at www.ldsvoicesofhope.org.

Some will argue that these are just “exceptions,” that most gays and lesbians will choose same-sex partners and that the law should recognize their relationships as marriages. Marriage, however, is about more than relationship choices. After being separated from his wife and pursuing gay relationships for many years, Doug Mainwaring explains his decision to put his family back together: “I returned to my wife not because of a dramatic change in my sexual orientation, but because of a dramatic change in perception of what is best for our children and for our two lives as well.”

Children need mothers and fathers, and that’s why society needs marriage. With more understanding about the diverse lives of same-sex attracted men and women, our society can learn how to recognize the equal dignity of gays and lesbians without redefining marriage to eliminate mothers and fathers.

Michael Erickson is an attorney. Jenet Erickson is a family science researcher. They live in Salt Lake City.

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