The biggest disappointment to me in the 2008 Elections is the passage of California's Prop 8 (and those in Arizona and Florida). I expected the propositions in Florida and Arizona to pass but not California's. I mean, California is the liberal bastion of the West and ALWAYS bucks the political norm. They kick out their Governor every few years and elect MOVIE STARS for hell's sake! There was absolutely NO WAY, in my mind, that Prop 8 would pass. I became a viral campaigner by constantly posting things on Facebook, Twitter and a couple of blog posts here as to why Prop 8 should fail. I figured it was the least I could do since I couldn't physically go there and canvass or donate money. And today, I vow that my disappointment will be turned into action. I will fight alongside my GLBT friends and family until the fight is over.
I've had a few friends ask me why this issue means so much to me since I'm not gay myself and the only (and best) thing I can honestly come up with is this: It's not fair that I can get married to a man I love while my gay friends can not. You see, I can find any man off the street, take him down to the Clerk's office, and obtain a marriage license. But my gay friends who have been in a monogamous, committed relationship for YEARS can't. They live as married couples; a few even went to California to get married but because they love someone of the same gender, their relationship isn't recognized by the government as "valid." This completely breaks my heart and I don't want my daughter to live in a world where true equality does not exist.
I haven't written overtly personal posts on this blog because that is what my private blog is for. But this issue has made me realize why I am involved and why I care about politics the way I do. And I want the whole world to know my feelings. That is why, today, Saturday, November 8, 2008, I officially submitted my resignation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (hereinafter referred to the Mormon Church or the Church).
I stopped believing in the Church when I was 12 years old. A big deal, as was recently pointed out to me. But as a dutiful daughter, I continued to go until I turned 18 when I left home. I briefly returned a few years later when I became pregnant but only to placate my mother. Now, almost 20 years later, I am ready to make a complete break.
When my friends started resigning from the Church a few years ago and encouraged me to do the same, I honestly didn't see much point. I mean, I didn't attend services anymore (with the occasionally baby blessing/baptism) and no longer believed ANYTHING they taught. I figured, why resign? The church's stance on Prop 8 helped solidify to me why I absolutely had to resign. You see, when the church talks about XXX million members, they were counting me in that number. So a church of XXX million members (including me) was supportive of Prop 8. I've seen what the church's teachings have done to my gay friends. I've seen them destroy families and preach hypocrisy. It is time for me to say no more being counted. While I don't believe the church's involvement is the sole reason Prop 8 passed, they certainly had a large hand in it. Below is the resignation letter I sent.
This letter is my formal resignation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it is effective immediately. I hereby withdraw my consent to being treated as a member and I withdraw my consent to being subject to church rules, policies, beliefs and 'discipline'. As I am no longer a member, I want my name permanently and completely removed from the membership rolls of the church.
My resignation should be processed immediately, without any 'waiting periods'. I am not going to be dissuaded and I am not going to change my mind. Also, I expect this matter to be handled promptly, with respect and with full confidentiality.
My decision to resign from the church began 20 years ago with the deciding factor being the church’s position on families. While the church teaches “Families Are Forever,” I have observed nothing but continual assaults on my family. It began when I saw the way local church leaders treated my parents when I was 12-years-old; it was so mean-spirited, we began going to another ward and my father turned inactive. At this time, I began to question my belief in all the teachings of the church, and not just those on compassion and loving thy neighbor.
The next experience occurred when I became an unwed mother at 21. The whispers behind my back (and in front of me) as well as ostracizing by church members only confirmed what I had learned on my own: that any family that did not conform to “Church Standards” was sub-par and not a real family.
However, the act by the church that has caused me to finally officially submit my resignation occurred this year when church leaders felt the need to attack people I consider to be my current family. The church’s long-held stance on gay marriage reached a disgusting level this year with the vocal and active support for the passage of California’s Proposition 8. The Jesus Christ I believe in loves all His Children, regardless of who they are—black or white, gay or straight, single or married. I can no longer tolerate having my name on the records of a church I find detestable in their proactive pursuits to take away rights from a group of people I love and support. You will never know the anguish and heartache these “teachings” have had on members of my family and I no longer want my name on your records.
After today, the only contact I want from the church is a single letter of confirmation to let me know that I am no longer listed as a member of the church.
A lot of this is formal stuff required for all church resignation letters. If you would like to learn more or would also like to resign from the church, visit www.mormonnomore.com.
The movement for complete equality for all citizens is the civil rights movement of my generation. I plan to be there every step of the way--protesting, letter writing, blogging, speaking out, and "turning the hearts of the father to the children." (I have no idea if I quoted that scripture correctly as I've never actually read them. Please tell me if it's right).
I hope you'll join me.