Tuesday, October 28, 2008

YES on Prop 8

The following is an opinion letter on Proposition 8 I read in the Daily Universe. I thought it was one of the best I have read, so I am including it in this post:

"This election Day, California voters will vote on Proposition 8, deciding whether gay marriage should remain legal in their state. The First Presidency has asked California residents to "do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment," yet some members of the BYU community appear confused about why our ecclesiastical leaders are taking a political position on the matter: What's wrong with equality? If gay people are allowed to marry, how does that affect anyone else?
If I only make one point in this essay, it is this: legalizing gay marriage in California is not about equal rights. That was already guaranteed. It's about changing our society's values. It's about using the apparatus of government as a tool to reprogram how the rest of us think about marriage.
Even before the California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in May 2008, gay civil unions enjoyed all the civil rights enjoyed by married couples. Proposition 8 does not take away any of those rights; it would simply ensure that the title "marriage" is reserved for heterosexual unions. It is important to maintain the distinction because there are differences between gay and heterosexual unions. When we make it our state's official position that there is no difference, we open the door to the elimination of any distinction. California schools that choose to teach comprehensive sex education - and 96% do - are required to teach respect for marriage. If Proposition 8 is defeated, the legal definition of marriage will include gay marriage. You can bet that it won't be long before gay rights groups begin demanding that schools teach gay marriage as equal to traditional marriage. The objective is to push the limits of what our society considers morally acceptable to the point that anyone who disapproves of gay marriage is considered prejudiced. It is not enough that we say, "You are legally free to do as you choose, but I believe homosexual activity is immoral." Gay rights advocates also want to remove all stigma associated with their lifestyle. They want to use shame and public opinion against those who believe that sexual relations are only acceptable within the bonds of traditional marriage.
Those against the Proposition 8 campaign have tried to distance themselves from the situation in Massachusetts, where gay marriage has been legal for 4 1/2 years, claiming that what is happening there won't happen in California. They emphasize that if Proposition 8 fails, schools won't necessarily begin teaching children acceptance of gay marriage. It did not happen immediately in Massachusetts, either, but now public schools in that state teach about homosexuality beginning in kindergarten! Courts have rules that parents have no right to object, and schools do not need to notify parents before teaching such curriculum. Opponents of Proposition 8 counter that California law allows parents to request that their children be excused from such lessons. But they know that the battle is over once the curriculum teaches homosexuality. It does not matter if a few students are excused. That will not stop the curriculum from altering the environment at our public schools. I grew up in California and remember being accused of being homophobic, because I supported traditional marriage. If Proposition 8 fails, it will be far easier to mobilize shame to silence supporters of traditional marriage. With such a public and visible victory of gay marriage, it would only be a matter of time before new legislation more aggressively punishes those who view gay marriage as morally wrong. Regardless of whether the failure of Proposition 8 would immediately lead to those results, that is the path we would be on. In the words of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, "This door's wide open now! It's gonna happen, whether you like it or not!"
The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles did not make a mistake. This is not about tolerating homosexual relationships. We already do that. It's about endorsing homosexual relationships. It's about forcing the rest of us to accept gay marriage as morally equal."

(I apologize if anything is mistyped. I could not find a copy of this letter on the Daily Universe website at this time, so I had to type it in myself. A copy may by found at some future date on their website. The letter appeared in the Monday October 27th, 2008 edition of the Daily Universe).


This election will be very pivotal in California's history, as well as our country's future. As the above letter said, it is not about equal rights. California Family Code 297.5 already ensures the equal rights of gay unions in California. I think it is naive of people to assume that this is the end of the fight, that this change in the constitution will not lead to the infringement of the rights of people who believe homosexual relations are morally wrong. It has already begun in Massachusetts. A Catholic adoption charity was forced to shut down because they would not compromise their beliefs and adopt to homosexual couples. Of course I believe in being tolerant, respectful, and kind to those whose lifestyles are different than the one I have chosen for myself. I do not consider supporting Proposition 8 as violating this belief, especially since gay couples are already legally guaranteed equal rights as married couples. My reason for supporting Proposition 8 is because I believe that legally defining marriage as anything more than traditional marriage opens the door to all kinds of legal action that will impose on the rights of many people in this nation. I believe marriage is a sacred bond, instituted by God. I believe in promoting the principles that God has given for marriage. I do not deny gays the right to live as they choose. I do resist legal measures that have no other purpose than to rewrite the morals of the nation into something that I do not agree with and will likely threaten my right to believe what I choose and my rights as a future parent.

I encourage citizens of California to vote YES on Prop 8. The LDS Church teaches that "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." Please ensure that this right is not threatened, not by eliminating gay rights (as has already been established, gay unions have the same rights of traditional married couples) but by ensuring that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.

My friend also wrote about Proposition 8. Check out her blog. For more information on Proposition 8, check out this website. For information on the LDS church's involvement on Prop 8, read this article.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Taste Terrors

You know those times, after you have had the stomach flu, food poisoning, or tasted something just downright disgusting, you are somehow reminded what it tasted like, and you start to feel nauseous? Well, maybe there is already a term for that, but I decided to call it a taste terror. At work I sometimes make this truly heinous chickpea salad. When I first saw the recipe, I though that maybe I would like it. It was a mix of garbanzo beans, carrots, jicama, with a soy dressing. Doesn't sound that bad, right? It is actually a very, very salty mixture of normally good flavors that should never have been put together. Every time I see the Chickpea salad on the order list, I have a taste terror. Last time it didn't go away for the rest of the day, and everything I ate was a little tainted. Today I was supposed to make it. I was dreading it all morning. Fortunately I ran out of time, and it got passed on to someone else. What really bothers me is that I can't even enjoy garbanzo beans anymore, and I used to really like them. The hummus and couscous salad that I make at work don't taste good anymore. It is really tragic.

What I don't understand is what person over at the Cannon Center is eating this salad and thinking: "Yummy, let's keep ordering this!"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

High School Musical 3

"Sixteen minutes...this is the last chance to get it right...may I have this dance...we want it all...the boys are back...we're all in this together...high school musical"

Some random lyrics that I remember from seeing High School Musical 3 on Saturday. Yes, I contributed to the grossing opening weekend income of the movie. Here are some highlights from the movie:

Opening scene- high school basketball game, the Wildcats are struggling to win the game. The crowd is cheering. In one moment, Vanessa Hudgens, aka Gabriela, rises out of the crowd, singing no less, and tells Zac Efron, aka Troy, that he can do it because she believes in him. His response: That's all I need, make me strong

Of the main characters, 2 received Juliard scholarships, one received early acceptance to Stanford, one was accepted to Yale (with honors, or something like that), and another was accepted to UC Berkeley.

The closing song was called "High School Musical"

A girl gave her boyfriend the cold shoulder because he assumed she would go with him to Senior Prom. To make up for this, he brought her flowers and asked her in front of the whole lunch room. All the other students thought this was really cute...Apparently I was way off by expecting to go to my boyfriend's senior prom. I could have gotten a lot more out of that deal.

A kid drove from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Palo Alto, California, and back again, in a run-down truck that had a history of breaking down and smoking across town.

Sharpay was humbled for the third time in this movie, and the audience was made to believe that she turned over a new leaf, but none of us believe it because in all three movies, her character was exactly the same.

Well, that's all today folks. Go see High School Musical 3 if you want some nice closure to the Troy and Gabriela love affair. If not, well, you may have better self esteem for not witnessing two attractive, stylish, and ridiculously talented teenagers have their happy ending.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Latest Project

This school year consists of about 10 big group projects, including handbooks, training games, and community presentations. The project I am currently working on is a health week at a local charter school (which happens to be my nephew Daniel's elementary school). We put up the bulletin board on Friday. This is what the final product looked like:It is my design. Very simple, but clean cut. I am pretty pleased with it. We had to make some compromises because not all the materials were available to us on campus. But all in all, I really like the way it turned out.

Oh, and I made it to and from the football game in one piece. Can't say the same thing for the football team, but at least they scraped by with a 34-25 win. Go Cougs.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Recent Encounter with a Scooter

For my first entry, I am going to write about the most exciting thing that has happened to me in the last month...I got hit by a motor scooter. On Saturday, October 11th I was walking to the homecoming football game, but I never made it. Here is what I remember: I was talking to my mom and following a large mass of people to the stadium. I was walking alone, since I was meeting my roommate at the game. I walked into the crosswalk, about 20 feet behind a large group of people. I think there was a car slowing down or stopped in the right lane, because there was something blocking my vision of the left lane. So I was caught a little off guard when I saw a moped heading right at me. The driver looked equally surprised. So much so that he lost control of the bike and laid it down. The scooter kept skidding along the road and knocked my feet out from under me. I have a knack for putting myself exactly where I shouldn't be, so when I tried to get out of the way of the scooter, I actually put myself even more directly in its path.

That is the last thing I remember before regaining consciousness and seeing a group of people standing over me. Everything between then and the time I got home is really fuzzy and dream-like. I remember hearing sirens and being aware of the blocked lane of traffic and rubber-neckers. I was really embarrassed that I was the one laying on the ground; I was the reason for the back-up. The EMT checked me out and released me. They offered to take me to the football game, but I elected to go home. My roommates later told me that I was repeating myself a little, and didn't always make sense. It is a weird experience to try to prove that you are coherent and can understand what is going on, but realize that you are kind of failing.

The only injuries I had were some bruises on my head, hip, and thigh. Those are mostly gone now.

The cool part of this experience is the fame that accompanied it. When people in my ward found out, I had many comments like, "That was you?" "I heard about that," and, my favorite, "I will always remember you because of that." I also made Police Beat, which was amazing. As it turns out, I was the third member of my family to make Police Beat, so I guess I was filling my role as Stovall. Anyway, here is the post: Oct. 11: A person riding a motor scooter hit a female student in the crosswalk at 450 East and 1430 North. She was on her way to the football game. The student was checked by the paramedics at the scene and released.

Okay, so I am grateful that it was a motor scooter, because if it had been a motorcycle or car, my injuries probably wouldn't have been so minor. As it was, I was lucky that I didn't get a concussion or break any bones. However, I feel like the scooter part is kind of lame, like getting hit by a bike. How hard are those to avoid? When I heard those stories, I always wonder how the bicyclist and the pedestrian were unable to miss each other. My only consolation is that the scooter was on its side, so it actually was harder to avoid.