I have an LDS friend here in Cincinnati who is very outspoken about his beliefs regarding gay marriage. He sends out mass emails on the subject, attends rallies that support the traditional family structure, and writes blogs about the subject matter. He was even interviewed at one of the rallies he attended, and he told the journalist that he had a gay brother but he was still fighting against gay marriage. The gay brother found out about the interview, got mad, and, needless to say, stopped talking to my friend.
Meanwhile, I myself find myself occasionally getting into arguments with my parents. For example, they donate considerable amounts of money to a conservative Christian group that refuses to hire Mormons because they don't fit the group's definition of Christian. I should have probably just brought up that fact and then let it go (although even bringing it up made my mother raving mad). But I was a bit surprised that my parents defended this bigoted group, so I kept arguing with my mother about it.
I think many of us are involved in things that can cause conflict within the family. Where do we draw the line on our involvement? Do we go all-out and get into full-blown arguments and attend rallies that directly attack our family members? In other words, do we put our causes, often good causes, and place them ahead of our family relationships? If we want to have strong family relationships, we need to make those relationships a priority.
My mom's family sets a good example. Two of her siblings are not active in the LDS church. One is what I'd call a fundamentalist Christian (not sure of the denomination). The other went inactive--although I hear he's attending church now. Despite the differences in belief, the family is still close-knit. It hasn't torn the family apart like it could have. And that, I believe, is a good thing. Family is, after all, more important than causes.