My friend just brought up some hugely hot topics (gun control, abortion, and gay marriage) on her blog and I left such a long comment, I decided to just post it on here, too. I'd been planning about talking about some of these things in-depth, with links and such, but haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe I still will. But here are some of my thoughts on abortion and gay marriage based on my core values and the many articles I've read. There just aren't any hyperlinks like I would've used if I had more time.
I am pro-life. I absolutely believe in choices. I just also believe in accountability. If you know having sex can get you pregnant and you do it willingly anyway, you had your choice and made your decision and you should face the consequences. I don't mean pregnancy is a punishment, but why should a girl be able to kill her fetus because it's inconvenient? When you play Russian roulette, sometimes you get shot. Sometimes, when you have sex, you get pregnant.
I think it's ridiculous that pregnant girls are so negatively stereotyped and socially punished. Their actions have been the same as all their sexually active friends, but they ended up pregnant. It's stupid to get punished for a consequence and not a behavior. Those girls need compassion and direction and friendship.
Adoption is a wonderful thing and girls who place unplanned babies for adoption are less likely to become pregnant again. It's great for the babies, too. Neither of those things can be said for abortion. People are using it like birth control. I think that's wrong. It's just accountability avoidance.
I also don't believe abortion is a privacy issue, which is what Roe v. Wade is based on.
From a more financial point of view, it ticks me off that abortions are often paid for by the government, but when I had a DNC because of a miscarriage a couple years ago, it cost me $4000. A DNC is essentially an abortion, but without the added cost of killing the baby first. If you look into Planned Parenthood's financials, you'll see they profit hugely from the abortion business and it is money, not "women's rights" that is their primary motivation.
I think people in homosexual relationships should absolutely be able to visit each other in the hospital and be on insurance policies with each other, etc. That doesn't have anything to do with the government, though. The hospitals and insurance companies are in charge of those policies.
The government does have power over civil unions and they seem to work fine. When Melissa Etheridge was on Oprah talking about Prop 8 backlash, she said the only real difference between her civil union with her partner and legal marriage was that it made tax issues more complex for them. Um...big deal.
Marriage is a different issue from civil unions because of the legal consequences to religious groups who don't condone it. They will be persecuted and prosecuted if gay marriage is considered a civil liberty and they refuse to perform the marriages. They'll lose tax exempt status and sometimes even the right to perform traditional marriages.
Gay marriage is an issue because if something is considered a civil liberty or right, it won't be an issue to be discussed in sex ed, where parents who disagree can opt their kids out, but included in diversity classes and whatever other aspects of class a teacher chooses, without even having to inform parents what's being taught. (This happens in Massachusetts).
Gay marrage is not a civil rights issue because marriage is highly legislated already--there are age limits, blood tests in some states, and rules about how closely related you can be to your spouse. If such a socially foundational institution as marriage could be based only on sexual relationships instead of as a conduit for growing and rearing a responsible population, then it swings the door wide open legally to rights for pedophiles, incestuous relationships, bigamy and polygamy; I'm not a fan of any of those options. (Additionally, just money-wise, our states can't afford to give the married tax status to homosexual couples).
Gay marriage is an issue because if you believe in God, you should do your best to make sure the laws of the land reflect God's own laws--not because you want to force your views on others, but because it is your right as a citizen to vote for what you believe in. Many of our fundamental laws are based in the 10 Commandments and they've been working out so far. (The burden of proof for changing law should be on the people who want to change it, not the historically tested law.)What is righteous is also what is right. If most people share your beliefs and vote for them, that should be law. When the majority of the people choose wickedness, I believe it is their right, but there will be unfortunate consequences. If Prop 8 had lost the vote, I would've been sad, but respected the democratic process. If judges overturn the will of the majority of the people, I think that is wrong. It wasn't intended in our checks and balances system--judicial, executive, legislative--that anyone should have power over the people themselves. When judges take authority on themselves to do so, it reminds me of the corrupt judges from the Book of Mormon who lead the people to wickedness with their sophistry and conspiracy.
Additionally, people who believe the New Testament teaches that Christ condoned homosexuality are irresponsibly misinterpreting scripture. There is a vast difference between loving the sin and loving the sinner despite the sin.
It bothers me that some people will read this post and think I'm homophobic. I'm not. I think in general, I'm very "live and let live", but there are social and legal consequences that I find unacceptable with the advent of gay marriage. I think it's a shame that anyone who thoughtfully follows their conscience should be branded a bigot for disagreeing with someone else who may be louder. That said, I totally understand why lots of people disagree with my positions on these issues. I respect their views and I respect them.