I had prepared a much lengthier response, but decided to scale it back and be less inflammatory and more direct and to the point. In that spirit, I sent what I consider to be the final response...
Your opinions are firm and I again admire the passion behind your words. I have no intentions of debating, but I do feel the need to respond to a couple of points:
Regarding “self-selection”, the Church itself has come to realize that this is not an issue of choice regarding one’s attractions. It is a choice regarding what one does with these attractions. You may want to read the Church’s pamphlet “God Loveth His Children” so that you understand these are not my words, but the Church’s.
Not wanting to presume to speak for the Church, I stated that the Church had already made statements to the fact of not being opposed to the “rights” that are being sought by the Common Ground initiatives, as they have posted in the Divine Institution of Marriage document the following:
The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.
Governor Huntsman has the same “no objection to rights” and has expressed this same commitment and support. Discrimination has occurred and these cohabitation rights will apply to heterosexuals as much as homosexuals, including brother / sister / grandparents, etc. that may benefit greatly from these initiatives.
I have not seen that homosexuals have desires to force themselves into our temples. With the 1st Amendment, religion has the right to establish their own rules, and none of these initiatives infringe on those religious rights. Canada has had legal gay marriage for several years now, and there are, I believe, seven temples in Canada, and I could be mistaken, but I am not familiar with any slippery-slope cases of gays forcing themselves through the courts to force entry into the LDS temples (not to mention those in Europe).
You may think me naïve and deceived, but I do not see them as “burglars” in my home, but as families seeking equal treatment. At this point, I guess we “agree to disagree” in our perspectives and we should go back to discussing the finer points of compost and gardening techniques.
Again, my intent was not to convince, but to let him know that there are others in his quorum and neighborhood who feel differently about his "talking points" and yet remain faithful in their testimonies of the Gospel.
I know that the bottom line is that in his eyes I have been deceived and fallen to the wrong side of this argument being sucked into "their immorality": in the last days, even the "elite will be among the deceived".
Oh well... I'm ending it here and we'll go back to our gardening - but hopefully he'll at least think twice the next time he feels inclined to spout off in priesthood meeting.
So, what do you think? How did I do as a first-time activist? (I'm begging for atta-boys as I still feel insecure in stepping out like this). I'm sure that Scot, and Alan, and Scott, among others, may be disappointed in my not being more forceful, but at least I spoke up instead of continuing to suffer from the dreaded chronic disease called BTD ("bitten tongue disorder")...