Brandon Sanderson Follow-up

Brandon Sanderson posted an update yesterday to his blog post on Dumbledore and homosexuality, talking about how his views have evolved since then. Given the still-ongoing discussion from my post on Monday, it seems only fair to direct people to that update.

“I now believe that the best way to approach this is to push for ALL
state unions to be civil unions. I believe we should establish what the
state grants a union—whether it be straight or gay—and apply those
rights universally to all.”

I’ve been e-mailing Sanderson a bit on this. I still don’t agree with him on everything (big shock, I know), but I think I’ve got a better idea where he’s coming from re: religion and homosexuality.

One of my realizations is that I feel like I’m having two distinct arguments. One is the legal aspect. I don’t know if what he proposes re: the separation of civil unions from religious marriage would work. I’m a very strong believer in separation of church and state, and from that perspective, I’m all for dividing up the legal and faith-based aspects of marriage/partnership.

I’m mistrustful, though. Organized religion in general doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to keeping out of government. Which brings me to the religious aspect. Sanderson says:

“I cannot be deaf to the pleas of gay couples who want important things, such as hospital visitation rights, shared insurance, and custody rights. At the same time, I accept and sustain the leaders of the LDS church. I believe that a prophet of God has said that widespread legislation to approve gay marriage will bring pain and suffering to all involved. I trust those whom I have accepted as my spiritual leaders.”

I strongly disagree with the idea of a God who condemns or approves of love and marriage based only on the sex or gender of the parties involved. I appreciate that Sanderson is trying to listen, and that his views have evolved. But the belief that homosexuality is sinful is not one I can accept, and it’s not something I’m willing to negotiate or compromise on.

(Counting down to, “That means you’re just as close-minded as you say others are!” comments in 3 … 2 … 1 …)

I trust that Sanderson as an individual would never deliberately hurt or harm someone for their sexual preference. But despite what Christ and other religious leaders taught, humanity in general has an ugly history of throwing far too many stones at the sinners.

I would encourage those discussing Sanderson’s views check out his full update instead of just the snippets I quote here. He’s working to find an answer that will both respect the teachings of his church and also provide equal rights and protections to same-sex couples.

I appreciate that struggle, but I don’t know if such an answer exists.