I have finally seen 8: The Mormon Proposition. I've been wanting to see it since it appeared at Sundance, but I just haven't had the opportunity. So I thought I would write a couple of my thoughts about it, even though I know that a lot of you have seen it and blogged about it already.
First, I think Tyler and Spencer are absolutely adorable. I love cute gay boys, they make me happy. I think Tyler and Spencer deserve every happiness and I'm glad for them, that they took the opportunity to get married while they could. Hearing their story was such an emotional experience, but I am glad that they would share it.
Secondly, there was a lot in the film that reflected my own feelings about Proposition 8. I think that this country was founded on the belief that people should be allowed to practice their religion without interference from the government. I think this is a fundamental right. But I also think it should work the other way as well, and that government should be free from the religious interference.
I know there are arguments about what gay marriage will do to society. One of them is that gay marriage will be taught in schools to impressionable children. Okay...but what about evolution? Evolution is taught in science classes and is generally accepted as fact. Yet the Bible and many churches will teach about creation. So what do you do when your eight-year-old comes home after learning about Darwin? We were told that evolution was science's explanation, but our religion taught us to believe in creation, and that's what we accept as fact. I really don't see gay marriage as being any different from this. Be a parent and teach your children what you think are acceptable values and morals, and if you disagree with gay marriage, so be it.
I am not asking to get married in an LDS temple. I have no desire to try and pick a fight over that matter. Besides, I don't really want to pursue having the blessing of a Church that has no interest in granting it. And that's fine. Religions should have the right to dictate their rules and regulations about all aspects of their doctrine and religious practices, marriage being one of them. But if the government is willing to allow marriage to gay couples as well as straight couples, they should have the right to.
Perhaps there are those who don't share my opinion. And that's fine. This is my opinion, I will own it, and I'm also not going to fight about it.
But I've gotten a bit off track here. All in all, I found the film to be interesting. I would watch it again. I didn't really find that the film changed my opinion about the Church. Regardless of what you think about the film or the filmmaker, or religion and politics, it's difficult to deny that the Church was involved in the campaign in California. Based on their actions during Proposition 8, I already felt betrayed and hurt by the Church, so anything that was brought up or discussed during the film didn't have any more of an effect on my opinion.
Perhaps my favorite part was Tyler's mom, Linda. She is an absolutely amazing person, so supportive and so strong. You can tell that she really loves her kids, including her son-in-law, and that she would fight for them at any time, in any place. I have actually seen her before, I just didn't know it. My very first Pride in SLC, when I was still basically in the closet, Linda and her husband marched with the PFLAG group. I remember them because of the posters they were wearing around her neck. One had a picture of Tyler, and their daughter Amanda, and it read "proud of our gay kids." Now, the PFLAG group always brings tears to my eyes, but I remember that poster, and I remember them, because I remember wondering if my parents would ever even think the words "proud of my gay daughter." I still don't know if they ever will. But Linda is awesome, and I would love to shake her hand one day.
I also didn't know that David Baker was in the film, so that was a pleasant surprise, to see him in it and hear a part of his story.
But there you go, that's my reaction to the film. If you're gay and LDS, or if you're LDS and know someone who is gay, I would recommend seeing it, if for no other reason than to see a different perspective about the effects of Prop 8, and how it changed real people.