Monday, November 27, 2006

Should Have Seen it Coming

It seems that in all the hub-bub and, in the case of a few Massachusetts judges, conspiracy surrounding same-sex marriage laws, someone forgot that these same couples might just be like many hetero-sexual couples in more than one respect. They’ll want to get divorced, too.

It turns out that a lesbian couple that got married in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, has filed for divorce in Rhode Island. There are no laws dealing with same-sex marriage in Rhode Island and so the judge assigned to the case isn’t even sure he has jurisdiction over the matter.

Hmmm . . .

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Trying a Religious Leader

The trial of accused polygamist Warren Jeffs is underway. The actual charge he's facing is being an accessory to the rape of a child. He was said to have forced a 14 year old girl into marriage and sex with her first cousin. What blows my mind is that it took six years for us to get to this point. Now that young woman is 20 years old.

This is going to be an interesting, and difficult, case to try. The young woman in question testified at a hearing that Jeffs, the leader of a Mormon Fundamentalist sect, was considered to be "God on Earth." He was their religious leader, their prophet. In her testimony she said, "I was very scared to say no to them because that was unheard of. You never defied or questioned what they told you to do, or they told you that God told you to do."

What makes it hard for me is my own faith, and my views of our justice system. I'm a card-carrying member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In other words, I'm a Mormon. My own church's history includes a time when polygamy was practiced. Not along the lines of arranged marriages, as the offshoot fundamentalists groups are doing, but polygamy none the less. The fact the leaders of his radical group are offshoots of my own church is just disturbing to me. Not that I'm questioning my own faith, just that these people could dare claim to have anything to do with the modern LDS church and its teachings. They don't, no matter what they may claim.

You see, I don't have a problem with arranged marriage, or polygamy, on principle. As long as all parties are happy, consenting adults, fully aware of what the ramification will be; go for it. But not like this. Not a forced in-bred marriage with child brides. Not a society where men control all and woman are treated as chattel. It's unconscionable. It's wrong. It's evil to the "nth" degree. Heck, it goes against so many of the scriptures this group claims to believe in it's amazing.

And yet I believe there is a prophet on earth. I don't believe he's God. I don't even believe he's perfect. But when he speaks as the prophet and leader of my church, I tend to listen. I understand the social and religious pressure that kind of power can hold. When someone abuses that trust, as I believe Warren Jeffs has done, how do we hold them accountable?

With regards to Jeffs, I want to know how we can prosecute this guy to the full extent of the law, find justice for this poor young woman (and others like her, I'm sure), and still respect the sanctity and rights of a people to practice their religion, even if we think they're weird? The first amendment cannot be ignored.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Voting Results

This is soooo disappointing. As for the election results, nationally, I got what I (grudgingly) wanted. At the state and county level? One person I voted for got in. That’s it. Out of a half dozen positions or so, only one.

It sucks to be me.

Let it be known that for the next two years you can’t blame anything that goes wrong in Utah on me. I didn’t vote for it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tooele Vote

This upcoming election has been really strange for me. It’s a pretty important one for my city and county. I can’t think of a year when so many important local positions have been up for grabs. From state and national senate and house seats, to the local county commissioner, I’ve got a lot of votes to cast this year.

The real strangeness has come in trying to decide who to vote for. From the bulk mail and billboards and such, each one of these guys (and girls) have certain views that have been potential “deal breakers” for me. I was really up in arms.

Finally, there was a debate for the local level leaders. If you’re in Tooele County, you may find it useful. I know I did. After viewing it, and weighing the pros and cons of each candidate and incumbent, I find myself voting (once again) across partly lines. I’ve never had it be split so evenly between the Democrats and the Republicans before, but there you go.

No. I’m not going to tell you who I’m voting for. You’ll have to figure that out for yourself.

Better yet, figure it out for yourself, and then go vote.

I’m voting early this year. Whether you do it early, or on November 7, just go do it. It’s your right, privilege, and duty as an American citizen. Why wouldn’t you want to exercise your rights?

What’s that? You don’t want to vote because you don’t like any of them? I used to use that excuse, too. Mostly when I was too lazy to look up the issues, and take the time to figure out where each candidate stood.

Stop make excuses and just do it.