First, this is a personal liberty issue and has to do with the most important personal decision that any human makes. I believe that, as Americans, our freedoms come from God and not government, and include the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What could be more important to the pursuit of happiness than the right to choose your spouse without asking a Washington politician for permission? If there is one belief that unifies most Alaskans – our true north – it is less government and more freedom. We don’t want the government in our pockets or our bedrooms; we certainly don’t need it in our families.
Secondly, civil marriage also touches the foundation of our national culture: safe, healthy families and robust community life. In so many ways, sound families are the foundation of our society. Any efforts or opportunity to expand the civil bonds and rights to anyone that wants to build a stable, happy household should be promoted.
Thirdly, by focusing on civil marriage -- but also reserving to religious institutions the right to define marriage as they see fit -- this approach respects religious liberty by stopping at the church door. As a Catholic, I see marriage as a valued sacrament that exists exclusively between a man and a woman. Other faiths and belief systems feel differently about this issue – and they have every right to. Churches must be allowed to define marriage and conduct ceremonies according to their rules, but the government should not tell people who they have a right to marry through a civil ceremony.
Of course, the track record already shows that wherever gay marriage has been adopted, religious rights are not always being respected. In Washington State, the Attorney General is suing a florist for committing the "crime" of refusing to supply flowers for a homosexual "wedding" in that state under the guise of "anti-discrimination" and "tolerance". This is why Alaska Family Action (formerly the Alaska Family Council) has expressed public opposition to Sen. Murkowski's volte-face, First, AFA President Jim Minnery sounded the alarm during an interview on KTUU Channel 2, reminding people that as recently as 2011, Murkowski supported a federal definition of marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman. He also noted that gay marriage is contrary to Murkowski's Roman Catholic faith, and asked what other core values she is willing to sacrifice upon the altar of public opinion.
But on June 21st, Minnery addressed this issue in far more detail on the AFA website. Most importantly, Minnery suggests that the legalization of gay marriage will set up a new era of intolerance, where anyone who dissents from the new legal definition will be subject to harassment and discrimination. Minnery adds that if Murkowski gets her way, our children in schools will be taught that homosexual marriage is the norm, and dissent from this position -- by teachers, administrators, or students -- will be punished. It has already happened in states like Massachusetts that legalized homosexual marriage. He concludes that states that have legalized homosexual marriage have not so much expanded the definition by including same-sex couples, but instead have completely reinvented marriage by turning it into a "genderless" institution of any two persons. If DOMA is overturned and gay marriage becomes nationally recognized, what's to stop plural marriage advocates from suing to get legal recognition for their marriage?
This is why President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve warned Latter-day Saints and others against the "tolerance trap" during the 183rd Annual LDS General Conference in April 2013. Here's the money shot:
Tolerance is a virtue, but like all virtues, when exaggerated, it transforms itself into a vice. We need to be careful of the “tolerance trap” so that we are not swallowed up in it. The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate legalized acts of immorality does not reduce the serious spiritual consequence that is the result of the violation of God’s law of chastity.
All are born with the Light of Christ, a guiding influence which permits each person to recognize right from wrong. What we do with that light and how we respond to those promptings to live righteously is part of the test of mortality.
Just because the LDS Church decided to support the new Boy Scout position of allowing boys who have a homosexual orientation to join so long as they don't act on it doesn't mean the LDS Church has retired from the culture wars. They simply have chosen to transfer their fight to a different front.
What happens is that advocates of "tolerance" transform tolerance into intolerance. It is not natural for conflicting values to peacefully coexist; one cannot serve both good and evil simultaneously. Thus one must ascend above the other. See THIS VIDEO from the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance and get an understanding of the direction "tolerance" is moving in our country. While homosexuality, being an emotional disability, cannot be described as evil, the promotion of homosexuality and the enshrinement of homosexuals as a protected class is evil for it completely inverts traditional values.