Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mormon Traditional Marriage Supporter Changes Her Mind

prop 8, gay, marriage, homosexual, homophobia, tradition, traditional, lds, mormon,
Sometimes, people amaze me. Truly amaze me.

Debi Hartman, a former leader of the Mormon opposition to same-sex marriage, has changed her mind.


Keep in mind, the LDS has no patience for those who go against the grain. She is doubtless being shunned as you read. For her to have the courage to not only change her mind, but go public with it, is really, well, amazing.

You can read the article in its entirety through the link above, and you should, but I wanted to highlight exactly what it is that changed Ms. Hartman's mind.

Asked if she believes any single religion has the right to impose its beliefs unto the constitution of a secular government, Hartmann said, "I thought that having civil unions and having marriage was the perfect answer to that question, as long as all rights are provided. I absolutely believed that up until last year when I read the California Supreme Court's ruling."

The court ruling was the turning point for Hartmann on marriage equality.

"It crushed my beliefs," explained Hartmann. "It taught me that words can be invidious. For example, if you and I had to walk into a doctor's office and they ask us to fill out a form and you have to check 'civil union' and I check 'marriage,' that's the invidious discrimination. The same rights have to be called by the same name. That's the answer to removing the religion from our laws."

She also no longer believes that same sex marriage will affect churches in any negative way. She came to this belief through a careful review of reality. Hartmann said she no longer believes the rhetoric that marriage equality will affect religious freedom. "I think Massachusetts has taught us that it doesn't," she said. "I may be naive on this, but I don't think that we've seen churches close in Massachusetts."

When asked to review the reciprocal beneficiaries law she had helped write, Ms. Hartman realized the truth of the matter. What happened was I was shocked," Hartmann said. "Now a lot had happened to me in those 10 years [since Hartmann led the LDS fight against same-sex marriage]. I had become educated and enlightened. And when I began to review the reciprocal beneficiaries law, I wasn't approaching it from an emotional standpoint or trying to defend something. I was simply approaching it. I wasn't looking to find something, I was just looking. What Hawaii's Future Today was looking for in the inclusion of benefits in the reciprocal beneficiaries law wasn't there. When I went back and looked for the outline of the bill ... what happened was in conference committee it had been gutted, rights had been stripped out of it. And then I compared it to the marriage law. That law automatically enjoins children, and spouse. Reciprocal benefits did not. That's when I realized I had hurt families."

. . .

"I did not grasp that I was supporting a bill that was not protecting and enjoining all rights and protections that all families with children should have a right to have. I was supporting a law that literally oppressed and repressed and I didn't get that," said Hartmann.


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