They told me that it was a gosh darn shame that Prop 8 and the policy make gay people feel sad, which certainly was the furthest thing from their intention! You see it’s not that they hate gays, they just love family values so much, and the Divine Institution Of Marriage is so crucial that other things must be sacrificed, even when those sacrifices are painful and unfortunate. That’s what they told me. They told me during Prop 8 that they knew that California law already granted all rights and privileges to domestic partnerships that were granted to marriage, so they were really just fighting over a word, a symbol–the word marriage. But they told me that symbols are important, that what symbols the government symbolically holds up matter so much that we need to prioritize that even over the lives of our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters. Because should even the tiniest tarnish come to the image of the sanctity of the institution of marriage, all of society would collapse. So you know it’s just awful what the gays are experiencing but you see their hands were tied. That’s what they told me.
They told me women couldn’t be ordained to the priesthood, not because they hate women but because The Family is just that important. They told me I was wrong to be in grad school, they told me I was wrong to have a career when I had children at home. They told me this over casseroles in their homes, in bishop’s offices during recommend interviews, in sermons from the pulpit in stake conference. They told me that it’s not that they didn’t value strong women–no! It’s not that they relished the collateral damage of my career talent wasting, women’s voices being silenced, girls’ sense of worth being eroded, half the congregation’s ideas not contributing to the kingdom as much as they should. Of course they didn’t want any of that. It’s not that they didn’t want me, a woman, to have power, it’s just that they wanted me at home more. Because Family Values are simply that important.
They told me that when forced to make a choice between two competing priorities, gosh darn it, the moral character associated with The Family wins every time. No exceptions.
And then we had an election where they could choose between giving a woman power, or electing to the head of our nation–both in terms of raw power and symbolic importance–a man who embodies every wicked lack of moral character and anti-family-value you can imagine. And they chose to use their votes to keep a woman out of power.
I get it, that particular women had very different policy priorities from them, and they had some significant concerns. But I’m remembering what they said about choosing between competing priorities, and no exceptions.
So really, it was just that they hated me all along. That’s how I feel. And I don’t believe them anymore.