"I'm suggesting that we debate the merits of this Initiative [Prop 8], given that it was NOT a commandment of God."
Marriage between a man and a woman is a commandment of God. Take a hard look at The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Are you suggesting that God vacillates? I think it is clear that while we fickle humans invent moral relativity and political correctness, there are still absolutes. God is absolute. While practices and rituals have changed over centuries and ages, principles have not. And never will, no matter what we mortals believe. Good is good, bad is bad, white is white, black is black, and people who choose black and then attempt to pass it off as white will always be upset and unhappy and disillusioned when the general population sees right through the guise.
Following the Prophet is the best defense we have against the confusion of moral relativism. The Prophet asked the Saints to defend marriage between a man and a woman. Seems pretty simple to me. We don't just follow the Prophet when it is convenient for us or when his mandates, commandments, and supplications align with our own thinking. We do it no matter what we believe and it is after the test of our faith that we receive confirmation of the truth. For whatever reason, this concept is harder for some to grasp than others. We see it in the scriptures all the time, people demanding that God show them a sign before they are willing to proceed with His commandments. And always the answer is the same; they are chastised for having so little faith. Yet for those who humble themselves and follow "blindly" (having God as a guide hardly makes us blind), the reward is beyond our limited comprehension.
I have digressed.
Your whole premise (in your post) that Proposition 8 is "cementing bigotry" into the California Constitution is based solely on the fact that you don't believe upholding marriage between a man and a woman is a commandment of God. But you fail to recognize the myriad social reasons for which we uphold marriage. One could debate against homosexual marriage all day and still never touch upon a religious argument. Research, experience, and history all defend the institution of marriage between one man and one woman. And all you can come back with is yet another emotional appeal, vividly ignorant of reason, "cause pain to millions of people and leave thousands of families in doubt." Yes, their pain is real, but what of their choice to pursue the lifestyle and seek special status in the face of illegality in the first place? Why are they being released from the responsibility and consequences of their actions? And why is blame for disillusionment and disappointment being projected onto the so-called "oppressors"? A little quiet introspection is in order here, I think. There is a pernicious sense of entitlement that flows through our society that has risen to such soaring heights that natural laws and Constitutional freedoms are threatened by it.
Marriage, when executed properly (let's get rid of no-fault divorce), benefits children, families, society, and government by being the most basic and wholesome springboard to the future. When marriage is undermined by senseless and selfish redefinition, that springboard falters and crumbles. In the case of homosexual marriage, children grow up in gender confusion denied, by design, access to one opposite-sex parent through which important life lessons and character traits would have been learned, and through the observation of which, future decisions of career, spouse, family, and civic involvement are heavily influenced. A mother is vitally important for different reasons than a father is vitally important, but it is amply clear that the absence of one or the other has a definite, negative development effect on children that no amount of love can compensate for. Love, T, contrary to popular belief these days, is not all you need. If love is all you need, why do we have boundaries, rules, and discipline for our children? If love is all you need, why do we have so many people divorcing even while they proclaim their mutual love for each other? I love my brother. I love my father. I love my cousin. But I cannot legally marry them (and thank goodness for that). Government regulates marriage for the benefit of society; to ensure the best possible emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual outcome for the potential posterity of the marital union. It doesn't matter that that union may be sterile or that it may end up in divorce. Just because the human execution is malfunctioning (sterility) or flawed (divorce) or even broken (abuse), does not make the divine institution flawed. Marriage is what it is and those who pretend otherwise are endangering not only themselves by exposing their tender feelings to more disappointment (marriage appropriation will not yield the acceptance they so yearn for), but our country's innocent future as well - the children.