Taking the Heat for Marriage

Miss California Carrie Prejean interview


Equality means that any man and woman who wants to marry can do so. Any other combinations are going to have to find something else to call it, since “marriage” is already taken. Marriage was defined and created by God. It’s not up for human redefinition.


Miss California recently got caught up in a heated controversy about marriage when answering an interview question during the Miss USA pageant. I’m not a big fan of beauty pageants, but I’m now a big fan of Carrie Prejean who stood up for marriage!

One judge, an openly gay celebrity, asked Miss California the question of whether she believes “same-sex” marriage should be available in every state. She responded that she did not. She said, “In my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”

Way to go Carrie! And way to go to Carrie’s parents as well for teaching her about the sacredness of marriage, and helping her develop the character and integrity to stand up for it.

Many believe her answer cost her the Miss USA crown. That’s an incredibly sad reflection on what we’ve become in America. That marriage is even a controversial issue means we’ve already traveled way too far down this road.

As a marriage strengthening advocate, I’m all for supporting those who are willing to take the heat for the divine institution of marriage. The knives are out in full force against Miss California, Carrie Prejean, and they are always extremely vocal.

Hopefully those of us who believe in marriage have now found our voice and the courage to stand with Carrie and others like her. Carrie Prejean does not stand alone. Many others like me are in full support of her courageous comments.

It’s getting to seem that the only response Christians or conservatives ever get in our society is the Left’s plea to “Shut Up!” I hope we never will. (Check out this great video illustration of the Left’s “Shut Up” approach.)

There is a way to satisfy our competing beliefs about marriage. I was particularly impressed by the wisdom of a gay individual that posted the following comment on one of the news story blogs. He wrote:

I’m gay… and I do not believe there should be any outrage over her comments regarding gay marriage. The pageant judge asked what she thought. She is entitled to her opinion. Just as those who want gay marriage are entitled to theirs. Too much gets put on this topic. Too many in the gay community are hung on this redefinition of marriage. Tell me again why a religious institution has to redefine itself because you feel entitled to its rewards? Civil unions carry the same legal weight and are more than sufficient for those of us needing the legal aspects of our relationships satisfied.

In reading many of the other comments, equality seems to be the buzzword used by those who seek to redefine the institution of marriage. Equality is certainly getting skewered in this context.

Equality means that any man and woman who wants to marry can do so. Any other combinations are going to have to find something else to call it, since “marriage” is already taken.

Marriage was defined and created by God. It’s not up for human redefinition.

For more on this story:

Miss California, Carrie Prejean, video clips:

Click here to read the full version of this article:

Taking the Heat for Marriage, Mormon Times

Taking the Heat for Marriage—Miss California and the Rest of Us, Meridian Magazine

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  • Simply Sweet Marriage April 21, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Kudos to Carrie Prejean!

    Taking a stand for marriage can cost a person popularity, money, endorsements, among many other things…but no one can take away your opinion, and your values.

  • Loren April 26, 2009 at 8:01 am


    I am sad to see that have jumped on the bandwagon against equality for all americans. I am very sad to see that you have taken this route, and to think I worked with you at BYU and supported you through that time and also when you trained us at WordPerfect. This is not what God wants of us. God loves his children, and never would want any of them to be treated as anything less than equal. Why aren’t you going back to advocating that interracial marriage is not of god, that’s what Mormons thought before 1978, let alone saw them as lesser humans. You need to truly pray to God and let him enlighten you that hate and discrimination are not part of Christ’s message to His children. Pray for your own understanding. As I have loved you, love one another.

    I am very sad to say that I know you now, and that I at one time supported you. You owe me one, and you have failed me.

    • Laura M. Brotherson April 27, 2009 at 8:49 am


      It’s great to hear from you. What a blast from the past! I’m sorry that this article “Taking the Heat for Marriage” has offended you. I guess I’m a little surprised that you would be surprised that I would be standing up for God’s definition of marriage. The only bandwagon that’s come along of late is the notion of “same-sex marriage.” It’s true the Lord reveals new doctrine from time to time (like Black members receiving the priesthood), but until He does make changes I’m going to be standing by what God’s design for marriage is.

      I feel bad that society has lead those with same-sex attraction down a path of celebrating SSA/homosexuality rather than continuing to encourage them to overcome it. I’ve read a lot of the professional literature on this issue and I can’t see where the etiology/development of SSA is any different than the etiology of pedophilia or any other sexual deviance except that political correctness came into play.

      We all struggle with difficult things about ourselves that seem impossible to overcome, but the compassionate thing is to encourage and support people to overcome these things not tell people to give in to it and live out one’s temptations. We’ve here to overcome these things. That’s part of our mortal journey. How long will it be until society demands that we embrace pedophilia or bestiality as well? I’d be interested in knowing what you think the difference is? I’m always interested in learning on this subject.

      As a Christian and as a marriage educator and advocate I simply won’t be succumbing to the politically correct philosophies of the world anytime that I can foresee. (Their philosophy is for Christians and conservatives to simply “shut up” about their beliefs. That’s not going to happen.)

      Our society is doing a grave disservice to those with SSA. My heart aches for them. I have many good friends and others who deal with this. Most of them are doing just what any single man or woman has to do their life–live a good and wholesome life regardless of the temptations or challenges they face. We all have to do that.

      I assume you have a personal interest in people embracing the notion of same-sex marriage. I’m sorry if I cause you any additional pain. As long as Christians continue to be Christians then same-sex marriage will never be accepted. A distorted notion of “equality” does not trump God’s word. I hope it’s okay that we simply disagree on this vital issue.

      I hope you are well. I wish only the very best for you. I know God loves every one of us regardless of our weaknesses and thorns of the flesh. God doesn’t condemn our “thorns of the flesh.” He’s only concerned about what we do with them.

      • Loren April 27, 2009 at 9:19 am

        Today I am sadly at the funeral of yet another married gay man who tried to not be gay. He killed himself. It is so tragic to see lives destroyed because society, and Mormons, demand that people conform to their standards. I cannot believe this is what Heavenly Father wants for his children. This is not what god has revealed to me. I guess we don’t have the same god. Mine is a loving god.

        • Laura M. Brotherson April 27, 2009 at 11:24 am

          I’m very sorry to hear about your friend. I know there are many people who struggle with despair in their lives. I wish there were easier answers to the pain we all seem to experience from life. God is a loving God and wants us to be happy. That’s why He created a Plan of Happiness. Living that standard is not always easy for any of us being imperfect mortal beings. Sometimes I wish it were easier. I don’t know how to resolve the many heavy struggles we face from life. I know many people who have a variety of addictions that often feel hopeless of ever conquering these feelings. Do you give up and throw in the towel and give in to these feelings and temptations or not? Everyone has to answer that for themselves. It’s not a simple thing.

          I just know that marriage is the foundation of a civil society, and that it is THE vital institution for the healthy rearing of the next generation. I can’t stand idly by and let it get redefined to something that has damaging consequences to our society and to the rearing of our children toward healthy living.

          I have a close friend who chose to give in to the path suggested by society of giving in to the feelings he experiences. He now finds himself HIV positive and addicted to drugs. He is definitely not happy. Only God knows what all one has gone through to get to the place they current are at. I think of the prophet Joseph Smith’s wife, Emma, who endured so much in her life and ultimately chose not to remain with the Church and follow the Saints to Utah. Will there be special extenuating circumstances in her life that will be considered in the judgment? I believe so. We all have special circumstances I think.

          If the homosexual community were content to live their lifestyle (like cohabitating couples) without demanding the special status of “marriage” then I think they would have a lot less heartache. Those who believe in the sacred institution of marriage and in it’s special status as the best way to raise healthy and well adjusted children are not going to allow marriage to be redefined. If gays need the stamp of approval of “marriage” on their lifestyle choices they will always have a conflict on their hands.

          People can always love others without having the same beliefs. I don’t think less of you for your choices and beliefs. I’m sure you have good reasons for believing as you do. I hope you will afford me the same respect.

          Please be well. Please know I consider you still a friend. I’m sorry that my beliefs cause you pain.

          • Loren April 27, 2009 at 7:47 am

            I had this big long thing written to you, but I don’t see the point of sharing all those pearls of my experience when they won’t be appreciated. I am sorry for your friend, though he does not represent the majority of gay people. That would be like me judging all mormons based on knowing you.

            Being gay it not a choice, it is how God created me. I spent 14 long years trying to cope with this, once I realized it. I thought a mission would “cure” me, I thought going to BYU would help. It did not change who God made me to be. I found that I can be happy be accepting myself as I am. It has nothing to do with giving in to any temptations, because I didn’t give in to any during those years. The only thing I did was get out of the LDS cult and realize they had lied to me all my life. I am now a much happier, content person having left that belief system. You will not appreciate that, but that’s ok, you are content with your beliefs.

            I have afforded you the respect you mentioned. I realize you have an influence on people by your writings and workshops and public appearances. You are spreading that opinion around, and when it comes to gay people, it is a false one. I am sure you are perfectly right when it comes to talking about straight marriage, but you are dead wrong when it comes to gay people. That’s the part that worries me. As long as you leave us out of your conversation, I totally respect what you are doing. Don’t try to hurt me by giving false information to the public so they discriminate against me more. I suffered enough growing up a mormon outside utah, and a military child. I know what it means to be teased, beaten up, or made fun of for your faith. That same thing is now being done by mormons to me. (oppressed becoming oppressors) I would just hope you have more love of Christ and leave us out of your teachings, stick to what you know by first hand experience. Your friend is not our ambassador. I am happy, I am not him.

          • Laura M. Brotherson April 28, 2009 at 8:55 am

            I really hope you will feel free to share your thoughts and opinions here. It’s difficult enough to find those who are willing to have an intelligent conversation on this subject even if we disagree on some things. I am very interested in learning all that I can about homosexuality (though it’s certainly not my focus in life) since it often comes up in the work that I do and will be doing throughout my life. I’m also currently in graduate school as well, and I’m usually the lone conservative, so I regularly have to endure the mudslinging of conservative/Christian beliefs. I think they’d all like me to just shut up as well, but that probably won’t be happening.

            I know I don’t know everything about homosexuality, and never proclaim that I do, but I’ve at least tried to learn about it and continue to do so. Surely you can understand the situation for me where I see the need to defend the sanctity of marriage.

            According to the studies I’ve read (that are rarely from a conservative/ Christian perspective) homosexuality is part nature and part nurture. I imagine it feels like it is more and more “nature only” as time goes on. I suspect God knows full well who will see themselves as gay during their mortal lives. I also believe in the power of change and the power of suggestion and the power of events that may occur while a child’s identity is still forming. That’s why I’m concerned about this foregone conclusion gay activists present that if you even remotely think you’re gay then you are and that you must embrace it.

            Natural human development for boys and girls go through a period of same-sex curiosity, so when society is out there blaring this message about homosexuality you have an unhealthy influence on a child during a very vulnerable time, especially when there are often other factors in their lives at play as well. This may have nothing to do with your development, I’m just going off of what I read in the professional/ empirical literature mostly by those who are pro-homosexual.

            I am glad you have found happiness. I do not judge your choices. I haven’t been there. I have no clue what you’ve been through and what you came to this earth with. I can appreciate why you may have left the Church and maybe even see it as evil. You’re dealing with imperfect people who may not respond well to something foreign to them. That’s why I’m trying to understand this a bit better.

            I only know what I do know. I do not condemn you or your lifestyle. I just don’t want it promoted (I guess just like you don’t want what I am saying promoted.) I think it’s horrible if anyone abuses or bullies or teases or beats up on anyone else for any reason. That is always wrong! No decent person would even condone that. (I’m sure you are aware of what gay-activists have done to peaceful LDS temple-attending patrons in California?…though I know there are always examples of so-called Christians acting uncivilly as well!)

            You can rest assured that I will rarely be speaking out about homosexuals unless they are trying to redefine marriage, then I will certainly be speaking up. There are way more voices on your side (especially with the help of Hollywood and the heavily liberal media) than there are on the side of marriage. It is precisely because of my love of Jesus Christ and His Gospel that I even speak up on this topic at all, as it inevitably brings about a load of hate mail. It’s not that fun, but it’s the current cost of standing up for marriage.

            BTW, I do not hold my friend up as an example of all homosexuals, but I do know that he represents a large percentage of the gay population according to the research. That’s wonderful if you do not fit that mold.

            I really appreciate your willingness to even have this conversation with me as I’m sure it is exasperating to you. I hope I learn a little more about this subject every time I have a chance to interact with someone civilly. My best to you.

    • Morguerat April 28, 2009 at 8:52 am

      I think it’s supremely unfair to paint someone who disagrees with a lifestyle as hateful or discriminatory. My love for my GLBT friends has nothing to do with their sexuality, and everything to do with them as people. If they didn’t ever tell me, I wouldn’t ever know, and I certainly don’t think less of them for their opinions. However the converse is not true, and when discussing it with those with SSA I always preface it with this: http://www.pvponline.com/2008/12/03/good-night/

      And ask, does it go the other way. If I said I don’t, would it change the way you treat me? And why is that hypocrisy acceptable?

  • Morguerat April 28, 2009 at 8:42 am

    to Loren *hugs*

    We all have challenges, not all of us will be able to address them in this life. We are expected to do the best we can, and rely on Him when we have done all we can. What this means to each person is different, and only they and HF can answer it. There is nothing in the Gospel that would stop an openly gay member from being a Bishop or Stake President, or any other office in the church as long as they obey the counsel to not give in to those urges. Married or not(to a man/woman/hermaphrodite/etc).

    However, that doesn’t mean the church, taking instruction from the Throne, should compromise, or change what it said in the Proclamation on the Family. Marriage is a divine institution between a man and a woman. Gender is an essential part of individual spirits and was before we were, before we were organized from the intelligences that were.

    Regarding Gay Marriage, should NAMBLA then be given more slack? They “can’t help their attraction to young boys.” How about countries like Iran or Saudi Arabia, where 9 is considered an appropriate marriage age for girls (Ayatollah Khomieni said a girl should not have her first blood {period} in her parents home, she should be married off before then). In Saudi Arabia 5 years old is not unknown as a legal marriage age.

    Is that an abomination? Will it be in 30 years when muslim immigration and higher birthrates put them into the ethno-religious majority, and they can vote to enshrine it? (and most demographic studies suggest that will be the latest it will happen, likely sooner)

    Marriage, as a legal institution has existed for several centuries. As a religious institution, however, it has existed in every culture, since the dawn of humanity, as a heterosexual coupling. Under certain circumstances, in different cultures there have been more than one person of the same gender attached to one person, under revelation from Heaven however, they haven’t been homosexual relationships with a “straight” thrown into the mix.

    Looking at it from a purely anthropological point of view, acceptance and prevalence of SSA is a sign of decadence and decline of a civilization. It may very well be a natural off switch to human reproduction, a biological population control once we reach a level where we no longer need to aggressively expand. But, as with Greece, Rome, China, India, the Middle East a century ago, the various central and South American cultures, as SSA gained in prominence and acceptance, other cultures who hadn’t reached a population control plateau moved in and toppled them, and things reset after the wars and a dark age following it. Certainly not the only factor, and I wouldn’t say the fall is a sign of divine wrath, but it is a symptom of a larger disease.

  • Patrick Ward May 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Same-sex marriage has become such a hot-button issue. The institution of marriage has become very beleagured, but the gay activists are not the threat. The threat to the institution of marriage is the culture of low commitment and self-interest over fidelity.

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