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Scot Facer Proctor
Thursday, January 30 2014

Standing for Marriage in Utah: A Very Personal Night

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I wasn’t sure I was in the right place. Oh, for sure I knew where Utah’s capitol building was, I just really didn’t know if I should be there. The whole evening presented a real dilemma for me. Don’t be concerned about my convictions; I have no question that supporting traditional marriage and the right for every child to have a mother and a father, of course, is the right thing. It’s just that my own daughter had been in labor all day and I knew that any minute our newest granddaughter would arrive. My heart was so torn. Texting can only slightly assuage the pain of not being there at the arrival of a new little one from the pre-mortal world.

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I arrived at 4:58 pm knowing that the opposition was to gather on the south steps to say what they had to say against traditional marriage. My heart was so tender. I guess it’s because our little one was so close and she was soon to arrive in a world with shouting voices—voices that opposed the very institution that was welcoming her into this world. I felt a lump growing in my throat as I listened to the cries of people who sincerely feel they have the right to redefine the institution of marriage between a man and a woman. I felt so sorry for them and felt a wave of love for their pain at the same time.

Marriage 0003 I walked into the capitol and saw quite a scene. There were 800 chairs set up and all of them empty except one. In that seat was a young boy who had come with his family to stand for marriage. He was reading the paper that was on his chair reminding all to act with civility and respect for one another. Again, it was a tender scene. It was now 5:30 pm and all I could think about was my daughter Rachel in labor at the hospital.

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At this point I wondered if people would show up. Will the citizens of Utah stop being so silent on this most critical issue of our times? I think we have a tendency as members of The Church of Jesus Christ to be nice, respectful and courteous to all around us, even when marriage is on the line. Civility is certainly a key, but it is not practiced, for the most part, on the side of the opposition.

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This reminded me of being a student at BYU in the 70’s and going to my first football game. I had been raised in Missouri where we went to the Mizzou football games (University of Missouri at Columbia) and they were LOUD. I jumped to my feet at Cougar Stadium those first few plays and started yelling with enthusiasm and support for my team. People turned around and gave me “the look” like I was out of line to be so boisterous. I soon learned to reverently clap if the Cougs made a first down and rise and shout when others stood first. I don’t think we can afford to be so reserved on the issue that is before us now.

Marriage 0001 A little girl caught my attention with a sign that said she needed both her parents. My mind went to the hospital. Oh, how this little girl that was coming to our family needs her Mommy and her Daddy! I know this is the “Gold Standard” having this intact, traditional family of a father and a mother, but it is truly what we have to strive for to save our civilization. 

Marriage 0004 Mary Summerhays stood up to give everyone some guidelines. “This is a free speech gathering and everyone can have their say but we ask that you be respectful of each other.” We have come to know Mary as a woman of great drive and passion, a woman who is not unlike Captain Moroni of old who raised the Title of Liberty in his day. 

Marriage 0011 “And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together…” (Alma 46:21). So, it was at the Utah Capitol rotunda on Tuesday night, the people came running together to the tune or more than 1,500 strong. The opposition garnered perhaps 400.

RachelBaby Minutes before the event started I got the text I was waiting for. Rachel had given birth to a healthy girl, Taya Maurine Tomsick, 6 lbs. 6 ounces, 19 inches long, healthy and strong and beautiful. Her husband, Jeremy, sent me the picture of mother and daughter. I welled up with tears. Taya was born at 6:49 pm. Before the event officially started at 7:00 pm, I took my phone to Mary and other organizers (all who knew why Maurine wasn’t there with me) and said, “This is what it’s all about,” holding the picture up that had just come through. I could hardly contain my emotions for joy that was overflowing at this point. 

Marriage 0006 The VFW men carried the flag through the midst of the-now-very-swollen audience. They were men of honor and patriotism. The entire audience stood to honor our nation’s flag and to recite the pledge of allegiance. We sang the national anthem together and had a prayer. What an appropriate way to start a rally to stand for marriage. 

Marriage 0008 Mary Summerhays opened the event reminding us that every speaker this night “will affirm to us that marriage means a mother and a father for every child,” and that “we can show the world that Utah can be for marriage without being against anyone.” Radio talk show host Rod Arquette was emcee for the evening and did a marvelous job.

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Rod praised the large audience by saying: “You are the silent majority and you have said to yourself , ‘enough is enough and I will lend my voice and my presence to stand up for what we believe in,’ and that is traditional marriage.”

Marriage 0012 Wayne L. Niederhauser, President of the Utah State Senate , emphatically said, “We have a jurisdictional issue here. For over 100 years as a state and for over 200 years plus as a country the jurisdiction to decide marriage issues has been in the state.  In 2004 the people of this state spoke out and we enacted Amendment 3. And I support the voice of the people.” 

With each speaker the crowd became more and more excited and passionate.


28 Comments

  1. You have the support of many in Oregon who are and will be going through the exact same thing. Thank you for setting the example for us.
  2. First of all, please let me get this out of the way so I can get on to what’s really important. In the fifth paragraph, the word “’70s” is misspelled. Please fix it! :-) Now that that’s out of the way…. I’ve never lived in Utah (besides a couple of months in the MTC), but I applaud what you’re doing not only for your state, but for the nation. The ruling against marriage is a cog—a large cog, but a cog nonetheless—in a power play for the minds and hearts of our children and our society, and it will take all we have to protect our nation from the ridiculous Orwellian Newspeak, expressly forbidden (but recently ignored) by the Supreme Court of the United States. Thank you for your service to God, family, and country. We need more people like you.
  3. beautifully done!
  4. Beautifully put, Scot. With all my heart I support the thoughts and feelings you expressed in words and pictures. Congratulations once again, happy grandpa. Truth will prevail -- forever!
  5. Beautiful, Scot. I so wish we could have been there. You know how strongly we feel about the issue. Thank you for writing about and leading out in the cause. I still have the image of Eliza on the VA marriage amendment brochure. A mom and dad in hand.
  6. Thank you for the report and photos, Scot, and for missing such a special occasion to be there. In spirit, I joined the 1500 from up here in Idaho. Wish I could have been there. I applaud all those who are willing to defend traditional marriage.
  7. As people in my own ward and own family have taunted many of us who stand for traditional marriage, it has been difficult not having an avenue where I could stand up for my beliefs. Thank you for the opportunity to be united with so many others! I just knew that if I didn't attend I would always regret not being counted among those who would make a difference--hopefully! I appreciate the Meridian articles and all that is being done to support a healthier society. Utah can't afford to sit still and watch on the sidelines.
  8. Scot, Thank You for another excellent article. Congratulations to you and your family. The baby is absolutely beautiful. You are so right that family is what it is all about. It saddens me how far away from the family we have gotten and are still traveling in the wrong direction. This SSM issue is huge and will impact our families for the remainder of our days. What I don’t understand is good active recommend holding members that support SSM. I just don’t get it.
  9. Thank you, Scot, for that heartfelt report on an issue that is uppermost in many hearts in Utah and the whole of the United States of America. I give thanks every day that I am a daughter of parents who have a pioneer heritage and strong beliefs and values. I am grateful to be a daughter of such a family. And, oh yes...congratulations on the birth of another great spirit, your granddaughter. She is a noble spirit and has been prepared before she came to join and win the fight here on earth.
  10. Thanks for going and reporting, Scott. Thanks for the pictures. I feel buttressed by it all.
  11. As a gay man myself, I think this article misses one huge factor: No one is against traditional marriage. I was born and raised by the most traditional family imaginable. I love the idea of having two loving, supportive parents to raise me. And that is most often done with the traditional mother and father. But that being said, what about me? Do I get the chance to affirm my love to another person in the eyes of the law? There are hundreds of thousands of kids in foster homes or orphanages. Chances are me and the person I love will have the time and money-- couldn't we give our talents to care for a child who otherwise would have nothing?
  12. Great article and presentation. Thank you.
  13. Superb article.... so well expressed. Praise be to all who attended this rally in support of traditional marriage. May the state of Utah continue in this just cause and be the sustentational influence for other states to do likewise.
  14. This is a wonderful weave of imagery and thought, family love and social conscience. Thank you for being there and blessings on the new arrival.
  15. I went to the rally and it was awesome. Now in response to Browne. Please do some research and read first hand accounts of children that have been raised by loving & caring same-sex parents. Listen with an open heart to their pain and anguish. That is why a gay man spoke at the rally against same-sex marriage because of the harm to children. That is why I am for traditional marriage. Studies have proven that children do best in a home with two biological parents. I am not against you for being gay. I believe there is room for all of us.
  16. Loved your comments Scott. Congratulations to your daughter and her husband on the arrival of their daughter and to you and Maurine as new Grandparents. I appreciated your Stand on Marriage and I enjoyed your report on the evening and all the pictures.
  17. Thank you for this coverage. Although I don't live in Utah, I was born and raised there and have watched this issue with concern and sadness. I'm pleased to see the great support for this cause. Individual state rights should rule, and I hope Utah eventually prevails, as well as all other states where the citizens do not wish to recognize SSM. @ Browne: I do believe SS couples already have the legal right to adopt children as well as all other couples' legal rights.
  18. Well done! There is hope.
  19. Thank you for the report!! So glad that people were willing to stand for marriage between a man and a woman!
  20. Thankyou Scott. Congratulations! What a beautiful occassion for your family! I was at the meeting the evening at the Capital, and we sang The Star Spangled Banner, (which was amazing with so many voices echoing through the rotunda!) My heart ached for a simpler time when values seemed so clear because society still taught and enforced them. Society no longer teaches those values. Thank you for not being silent. It was an inspiring night! I too felt sad for those who demonstrated for SSM,demanding to be treated equally, yet not acting in an equal manner. One more point...I've observed over the past several years, that in SSM's one person has a more masculine roll and one person has a more feminine roll. I guess you really can't defy Gods natural law of opposites no matter how hard one may try! Thankyou again!
  21. To Barbara .....please do your research and read first hand accounts of children raise by one father and one mother, even two fathers and two mothers and listen to their pain and anguish. Please listen with an open heart and not compare parenting for same sex couples to those of a man and woman when so many strait couples end in divorce and cheating...and correct me if I am wrong but Utah has a high number in that. All families will have issues and issues in different areas. Their is no prof that having two dads will cause you anymore pain and anquish then having a mother and father.
  22. Barbara, your advice to Browne to look at research about children with gay parents feels one sided. I know many kids that profess their lpve for their fathers or mothers. If you are going to tell us to research how children are negatively affected by same-sex parents then research the other sides to, aka, poitive reactions from children towards gay parents, and negative affects of "traditional" families. There are all kinds of parents in the world and you cant just base all your research off of biased findings. I say marriage equality for all, because this "fight" isnt about religion, its about love and the right to show it and not be afraid.
  23. Browne, All americans, including gays, are free to live and to love as they choose. Even in the state of Utah many churches will bless your union. Gays already do adopt those children that you describe. Gay marriage does end Man Woman marriage, by making men and women optional participants; this denies a child's biological right to have both a mother and father. As one gay man said "Children are going to be born for the purpose of being deprived of a parent of one gender or the other, and I just see that as wrong." http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/03/9432/ It's misleading to suggest that Homosexuals Marriages would only adopt children in orphanages, while heterosexual marriages can create children through in vitro fertilization, and own the more in "demand children." Would you be satisfied with that version of equality? Gay marriage makes children into a commodity, by saying Marriage is about adults sexual needs rather than about providing homes for the children that might be created by sex.
  24. Great article, Scott on this important issue. I wish I could be there standing with you and all the others. Thanks for going and supporting traditional marriage.
  25. Thank you for sharing this. I wanted to be there, but I was standing for marriage by being home with my husband and family, taking care of their needs. Thanks for your sacrifice in being there, missing your grandchild's birth.
  26. That is my boy!
  27. May God bless all of those brave enough to speak the truth boldly, but with love, especially when it is not "politically correct." As one who fought this same battle in California, it was so disheartening to have the voice of the people overturned. We must continue to declare that God instituted the holy order of marriage between a man and a woman. And we must preserve State's rights, as well.
  28. Thank you for this touching piece. I wish I could have been there. Please don't give up fighting for what is right as defined by God.

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