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MARY ALICE WILLIAMS, guest anchor: California’s gay marriage law remains in legal limbo. The state’s Supreme Court judges have less than two weeks to either uphold or strike down the gay marriage ban known as Proposition 8. Prop 8 passed last Election Day, in large part because Mormon churches mobilized for it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints withstood blistering criticism from outside the faith. Now resentments are festering inside the Mormon community. Lucky Severson reports.

LUCKY SEVERSON: Dr. Pam Chan is an OB/GYN and a lifelong Mormon living in San Francisco. She found herself deeply conflicted when she got the message that her church was going all out in support of Proposition 8 banning gay marriage in California.

Pam Chan

Dr. PAM CHAN (Member, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints): There would be little announcements made here and there, announcements about how we might be able to volunteer our time to, you know, go door-to-door, to hand out flyers, to stand on street corners with signs, and these little announcements, you know, I’d hear and I’d look around and wonder, “Is everyone okay with this? Does anyone besides me see a problem with this?”

SEVERSON: Ron Packard is a lawyer, a former Mormon bishop and former mayor of Los Altos, California. He is now a councilman who supported Proposition 8 and says it’s extremely rare for the church to get involved in ballot issues.

RON PACKARD (Former Mormon Bishop): I think that they made an exception to their general policy of not getting involved because they have a core concern about the protection of families and the possible disintegration of families in modern society.

SEVERSON: The church’s official position is that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained by God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for his children. Mormons believe they are led by a modern-day prophet who receives revelations from God, and when the prophet speaks members usually follow. But with this issue Dr. Chan discovered that other active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were also strongly opposed to the church’s position on gay marriage.

Dr. CHAN: Our church is the church of Jesus Christ, first and foremost, and my understanding of the Gospel of Christ is that it’s a Gospel of love and acceptance. So it seems like a policy that’s about discrimination, which often goes hand in hand with fear and hatred, not about love and acceptance, and that for me is really troublesome.

SEVERSON: Bob Rees is a retired professor of literature at UCLA, a former Mormon bishop and a church scholar.

BOB REES (Former Mormon Bishop): In reality, this is an issue which has divided our society. It’s divided churches. It’s divided families, and some individuals are divided within themselves.

LISA FAHEY (Member, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints): So during the rallies I had some signs that said “Straight and Active Mormon for Marriage Equality” because I wanted to let people know, and I got a lot of attention for that. People came up and shook my hand and hugged me and told me, “Thank you very much.”

SEVERSON: Lisa Fahey and Kim McCall are also active Mormons, also conflicted.

Ms. FAHEY: That’s my whole point for speaking out — letting other people know that you can vote “no” or you can be for gay marriage and still be an active Mormon.

Ron Packard

Mr. PACKARD: The church has a long tradition of encouraging thinking members to not be afraid to speak up — beginning with Brigham Young. He said doesn’t want blind allegiance. He wants people to pray about it, think about it, and come to their own conclusions.

SEVERSON: In the year 2000, a majority of California voters approved a proposition stating that only a marriage between a man and a woman was valid. Eight years later, the California Supreme Court ruled that the ban on gay marriage violated the state’s constitution, and that’s when the drive began to amend the constitution with Proposition 8, and that’s when church leaders sent out a letter to its members calling on them to donate their time and money to an unequivocal moral cause. Although many churches and a majority of Californian’s supported Proposition 8, Mormons were probably the most organized and donated almost half the $19 million generated for the campaign.

Mr. REES: And I think there’s no question that the church’s involvement in this was determinative. Many people were unprepared for the effectiveness of the church in doing what it does. I think the church was probably unprepared for such a strong negative response to its involvement.

SEVERSON: The church may also have been unprepared for the number of members who opposed the church’s proclamation. Members who are still active like Laura Compton, a church organist and mother of two, who operates a Web site called Mormonsformarriage.com. She says the site still gets lots of attention and in the run-up to Proposition 8 was getting thousands of hits a day.

LAURA COMPTON (Mormonsformarriage.com): The comments that we have gotten are a lot of members who say, “Thank you so much for creating this community. I felt so alone.” A lot who said, “Because you have this site, I’m able to continue going to church.” A lot of people who have called us to repentance for what we have been doing, and a lot of outside people who’ve said, “Thank you for showing us that not all Mormons, you know, want to take away our rights to marriage.”

Ms. FAHEY: It’s been really difficult to be a member of the church during this time. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that possibly I should be excommunicated, and that’s really hurt me, because I feel like I’m really a very loving, forgiving person.

Bob Rees

Mr. REES: The most unfortunate thing for me in all of this thing that happened over Proposition 8 was the divisiveness, the acrimony. Each side began in some sense emotionally and spiritually dis-fellowshipping or excommunicating the other side.

SEVERSON: Ron Packard says the most fierce opposition has come from gay rights advocates that have rallied against the church around the nation. He’s says he on a blacklist because he supported Proposition 8.

Mr. PACKARD: There’s some people who’ve lost their jobs because they supported Proposition 8.

SEVERSON (to Mr. Packard): Really?

Mr. PACKARD: Yeah.

KIM MCCALL (Member, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints): So one of the dynamics of the church over the last hundred years is to move more and more mainstream. Okay, we looked very sort of un-American. You know, Brigham Young was opposed to the Pledge of Allegiance [Editor's Note: Mr. McCall's statement about Brigham Young is in error. Brigham Young died in 1877. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892], and we looked really outside the mainstream, and there’s been a, you know, more American than thou now we’re the most patriotic people. Okay, we weren’t very monogamous. Now we’re more monogamous than everybody else. You know, we’ve got to be. You know, we’re so worried about polygamy in our history and how odd it makes us look that maybe we need to overreact.

Mr. REES: I think there is little question that a from a public relations point of view the church has suffered over its involvement in Proposition 8, and I know of people who have had second thoughts about joining the church over this issue. I know some of our missionaries have had a difficult time finding open doors and open hearts because of this.

Mr. PACKARD: A majority of the people of the United States don’t want same-sex marriages. So for the majority we may have, instead of getting a hit we get a halo. Whenever any organization gets involved in the political process, there’s going to be some who consider it a hit and others who feel that they’re a hero.

SEVERSON: Ron Packard says the church does not discriminate against gays, that his niece and some of his friends are gay, and that the church does not have a policy of denying the sacrament to homosexual members. But Lisa Fahey says there are still members who don’t understand what it means to be gay.

Kim McCall and Lisa Fahey

Ms. FAHEY: I even had some friends say that they still think that homosexuality is a choice. I don’t think the church leadership feels that way but members — some members feel that way, wrongly of course.

SEVERSON: Bob Rees says as a bishop he counseled gay and lesbian members who felt they were not wanted in the church.

Mr. REES: We have congregations who are not inclusive of the homosexual members of their congregations. We have families in which brothers and sisters don’t speak to one another over these issues, and I as a Christian, I can’t understand that. It breaks my heart.

SEVERSON: Laura Compton says since Proposition 8 the church leadership has become more flexible, making it known that members can still be in good standing even if they oppose the church’s position.

Ms. COMPTON: This has not challenged my faith, no. My faith is independent of the morality or the politics of gay marriage. It’s deeper. My faith is in a Christ who loves everybody and wants everyone to come to him, and a God that loves the world no matter whether they are Mormon or Muslim or Jewish or Catholic, and wants all of us to be there and all of us to treat each other like we’re brothers and sisters and not like we’re them and us.

Mr. REES: The function of faith communities is to make a home a for us, and I think that many of our Latter-day Saint brothers and sisters feel homeless, because we haven’t created a home for them. But I see that changing. I think there is much more understanding.

SEVERSON: As other states take up the issue of gay marriage, Mormon church leaders this time around have not asked members to get involved. Meanwhile, the California Supreme Court is once again considering the constitutionality of the ban on gay marriage. Their decision is expected soon.

For RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY, I’m Lucky Severson in San Francisco.

In This Episode << SLIDE LEFT TO SEE ADDITIONAL SEGMENTS

Mormons and Proposition 8

Proposition 8 passed in California mainly because Mormon churches mobilized for it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints withstood blistering criticism from outside the faith. Now, resentments are festering inside the Mormon community.

  • Val

    One correction to Ms McCall’s claim about Brigham Young, and the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892, and Brigham Young died in 1877. It would have been impossible for him to been opposed to the pledge.
    Wherever she got this information from, she is badly mistaken.

  • Thomas L. Diehl

    To be right to the point, most people in our society think about equality, but dismiss the idea of sin. If we leave out the biblical idea of sin, then homosexual marriage becomes an issue of rights and equality in our society. I have been given the right by this government and by God to raise my children with the knowledge of sin that is evident in this world and in each of us (freedom of religion). If a “religious” person says that they accept the Bible, but they reject that homosexual marriage is wrong, then they actually reject the Bible. It takes courage and strength to hold on to truth, while desiring to love people. Jesus confronted people in love that would not repent of sin and acknowledge that he was doing miracles in order to show that he was the Messiah.

  • Peter Smith

    I am a former LDS Bishop, and an active member of the church. I am not conflicted, rather I am at peace with myself and my convictions. I believe that all people have a right to choose how they are going to live, and I believe we have the right to share our opinion. As a former bishop, I understand very clearly the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. To me, this defines marriage. If GLBTs choose to live together, then they should have legal rights extended to heterosexual couples, but they do not have the right to “marry” in the biblical sense. I am fine with civil unions.

  • Lempi Miller

    I was raised Mormon, and this is a very divisive issue within my family. I’m a long-time supporter of gay rights, and this proposition really shocked me. As Bishop Rees stated, the Mormon Church used to be a huge advocate of critical thinking– not supporting one political party or another. Nowadays, the majority of the membership does not think when they are asked to do something. Their following is without question. I was even told that a “No” vote equaled discrimination against the Mormon faith. This proposition unfortunately made me see how blind and foolish my fellow Mormons were. They are motivated by hate and by fear. My brother and I have decided to leave the church in protest. There is no hope for this lost, misguided religion. I now donate my former tithing money to civil liberties groups, and the food bank.

  • Stephen L. Pinel

    Could someone please tell me? When in the past has a 52% vote been able to either annul a legal marriage, or determine who is eligible to marry in the future?

  • Patty1090

    So the mormons are complaining that they are being ‘blacklisted’ over their support of prop 8 by the gays. And this is totally different from NOM and AFA (fundamentalist christian groups) that start boycotts against products, corporations (Pepsi and Ford for example), and organizations that support gay rights in any way shape or form? Sounds like sour grapes to me. If you can’t stand the political heat from supporting legislated prejudice you should stay out of politics. Someone tell me exactly how the mormons of all people can be talking about the ‘traditional’ family and make themselves a moral authority when it comes to marriage. Personal beliefs have no place in law and what happened in California was and is disgusting disgraceful. This nation is supposed to represent equality and opportunity for all, not just Christians.

  • Tracy Hall Jr

    Sister Chan: Sorry, but the scriptures don’t support your new-age “Gospel of love and acceptance!” Love? Unconditional. Acceptance? Quite conditional!

    God said to Cain, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” (Genesis 4:7). Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery, “Go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11). God said to Joseph Smith, “Say nothing but repentance unto this generation” (D&C 6:9) and “I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance (D&C 1:31). Christ saves the sinner FROM his sins, not IN his sins (Alma 11:34-37).

    Yes, the Church teaches us to love all, but it does not teach us to accept sin. The Church has a single standard of conduct for all, and those who indulge in sexual activity outside of marriage cannot expect your kind of “acceptance” for their conduct.

    The Church accepts those who wrestle with “same-gender attraction,” but it counsels them not to let sexual attraction become their defining characteristic. It discourages self-identification as “homosexual” or “gay” because to the world, these terms necessarily imply sexual activity.

    To Sister McCall: If Brigham Young opposed the pledge of allegiance (1892), then he returned from the grave to do so. You, Sister Chan, and others who deem yourselves more wise than the prophets and apostles would do well to come down from the great and spacious building and build a safe foundation upon the rock of personal revelation. Remember that the Spirit must speak both to your mind AND to your heart. Your “gospel of touchy-feely” is founded upon the sand. (1 Nephi 8, 11, 12; D&C 8:2, Matthew 7:26).

    hthalljr’gmail’com

  • dlwilkinson

    I am surprised that Religion & Ethics Newsweekly didn’t vet Lucky Severson more thoroughly. His statement that Mormons donated “almost half the $19 million generated for the campaign” is wrong by more than half. The amount generated for the support of Prop 8 is online with the California Secretary of State, sos.ca.gov, political reform. The four campaign committees receiving donations for 8 reported $41 million on their last finance report on Feb. 2nd. Just one of those four committees, Protectmarriage.com, reported over $38 million received. Lucky reported for this story from San Francisco where SFgate months ago posted a donor list for the $41 mil for 8 and the $61 mil against it. Should we believe that as much as half of his assertions are just as accurate?

  • Guillaume Cale

    Didn’t the Mormon church at one point teach that
    African Americans were inferior and could not be full members of the church? I’m pretty sure thats correct.Religon not just the Mormons but most religions use archaic texts to justify bigotry
    and discrimination, Hindu religon had the caste system, Islam still executes gays,it absolutely disgusts me that religon is used to preserve
    injustice. Religion was used to justify slavery
    and Segregation among other things. I don’t think this is any different.

  • dlwilkinson

    Forgot one thought. The transcript suggests that Lucky Severson was surprised when informed that some people had lost their jobs when it became known they had supported Prop 8. Where has he been the last fifteen weeks? The mainline newspapers, not to mention the numerous websites, have carried stories for going on four months about two prominent Mormons in the entertainment industry, one in Sacramento and the other in Los Angeles, who were forced out or who felt their authority was compromised so resigned.

  • FreedomOfInformationAct

    Finally, it’s coming to an end. The end of Prop H8!!!

    California Supreme Court to rule on Prop. 8 Tuesday
    By Josh Richman
    Oakland Tribune
    Posted: 05/22/2009 11:21:31 AM PDT
    Updated: 05/22/2009 12:16:22 PM PDT

    The California Supreme Court will issue a ruling at 10 a.m. Tuesday on whether Proposition 8, a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, will stand.
    After three hours of arguments to the court on March 5, it seemed as though the seven justices leaned against voiding the measure, but also against voiding the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed last year.
    Same-sex marriage advocates argued Proposition 8 — approved by 52.3 percent of voters in November to add to the state constitution a section saying “Only marriage between a man and woman is valid or recognized in California — was improperly placed on the ballot as an amendment with nothing more than petition signatures. They say it’s actually a revision — a sweeping change in the constitution’s core principles — which should’ve required two-thirds votes of the Legislature or a constitutional convention in order to be placed before voters.
    The State of California argued Proposition 8 was an amendment but unconstitutional because it revokes fundamental rights without a compelling government interest.
    And same-sex marriage opponents argued the measure should stand as an exercise of Californians’ inalienable, sovereign right to amend their constitution as they see fit.
    Friday’s announcement of the impending ruling touched off a flurry of news releases. Marriage Equality USA spokeswoman Molly McKay said awaiting this ruling “has been an absolutely gut wrenching experience,” as gay and lesbian couples fear not only the faltering economy but the potential stripping away of their rights. And Courage Campaign Chairman Rick Jacobs said same-sex marriage will prevail no matter how the court rules, as advocates plan to put another ballot measure before voters in 2010 or 2012 seeking to invalidate Proposition 8: “The tide is turning. Marriage equality is spreading from state to state. It is coming back to California. It’s a matter of how and when.”

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/argus/localnews/ci_12429538

  • Tracy Hall Jr

    [to the editors: The photo of Laura Compton is mistakenly captioned “Kim Mcall.” Please correct my previous submission to read “To Brother McCall: If Brigham Young . . .”]

  • Rick Schow

    O.K. so now do you stop letting your children sing “follow the Prophet”? Do you now view Prophetic statements as a buffet restaurant where you can pick and choose what suits your taste. Personally I can accept gay individuals and not shun them. I cannot throw out the Proclamation on the Family, nor can I accept gay marriage. The GLBT movement is clearly anti-family and cannot be condoned as acceptable in the LDS faith or in any other Christian faith for that matter. I fully understand that Christ loves all people but like any serious sexual or other sin the sin cannot be condoned. These philosophies of men to accept sins because Christ loves us all is Satan at work. Like Pres Obama who dances around the heinous practise of abortion. He rationalises abortion because of poverty and other such excuses which pregnant girls or women find themselves in when getting pregnant. Can we excuse the sin? Sin is still sin. Extreme left liberals are as far out to lunch as are extreme right conservatives. The point is the whole mentality that sin can be acceptable in the sight of God is an abomination and defies logic and LDS doctrine. Yes, we all are commanded to love (all) others. No argument there. We are NOT commanded to love these lifestyles or practises.

  • Mark Stoddard

    On one side: Rees, Compton, Fahey, Compton and Chan
    on the other side: Packard
    And only Packard gets his opinion challenged. What a piece of PBS crap, disguised as reporting by a former Utah low end reporter hack in Severson. And his remarks are left unchallenged that the Mormons were the most influential church in this Prop 8 stuff. No challenge of all the black churches that were very organized and very much on the same page as the Mormons.

    As to the automatic assumption that Gay is not a choice, just saying it so and ridiculing anyone who disagrees with you as a Neanderthal, just offer an ounce of proof to your position. None exists. No proof of a “gay gene.” None. Even NBC recently reported “evidence that a gay gene may be near.” In other words, there might be proof someday but none exists now. Without proof the muddled media and Gay Ghetto get away with ad hominem attacks and weak minded discussions.

    Now, that’s fair reporting… not.

  • certaincurtain

    Support for Proposition 8

    Matthew 10:34-36

    34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

    36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

  • Kurt

    It is misleading to interview six Latter-day Saints, four of whom are dissenters, and to quote the dissenters saying “lots of people” agree with them, as if this is representative of opinion within the church. Any practicing Latter-day Saint is personally acquainted with hundreds of loyal members for every dissenter on this issue. Also, according to California’s official contribution datbase (available online to any reporter who cares to do his own research) actual contributions in favor of Prop. 8 totaled $41.3 million, compared to $61.6 million against, and there is no reliable basis for any claim about how many of those contributions were made by Latter-day Saints, since the religious affiliation of contributors is not recorded.

  • Gary

    It’s amazing that Brigham Young was opposed to the Pledge of Allegiance, considering that he died 15 years before it was written. *extreme eye roll* Talk about hurting your credibility.

  • Chris

    To Mr. Packard’s point about job loss, this happened in only three instances. All of which were people who managed businesses with a very large gay clientle. The upslot of their financial support of 8 was that gay people refused to patronize the businesses any longer if these people were still managing them — in the long and great tradition of civil rights boycotts in this country. Two of these business were arts non-profits. Very prominant authors (copyright and exhibition rights holders) refused to have their work shown at these organizations, further weakening these organizations positions in a weak economy.

    All three resigned, and were not fired. They resigned because their public act made doing their job untenable.

    Political donations are a public act by law. These three people chose to make this act which associated their organizations with an extremely divisive ballot initiative that they knew would is extremely offensive to a very large segment of their customer base and business associates.

    It’s very poor judgement to do a public act that jepordizes or weakens the organization that you work for.

  • Undrea L. Draney-Woolley

    Brigham Young died on August 29, 1877. The “Pledge of Allegence” was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892, FIFTEEN years after Brigham Young died. Please tell me how he can oppose something as a dead man?

  • Mark Stoddard

    6 On one side: Rees, Compton, Fahey, McCall, Compton and Chan
    1 on the other side: Packard
    And only Packard gets his opinion challenged.

  • Eugene A. Stephens

    Most American’s did not want blacks to have equal rights at one time…if it had been left to a vote during the 1950′s or 1960′s black people would still be sitting at the back of the bus. Through years of protests, marching, campainging, and pushing the legislature and senate to vote for the right thing blacks have gained equal rights on the books. Gay people have and must do the same thing. The right thing is not always easy or acceptable by the majority.
    The right of two people to come together in a “marriage” and enjoy all it’s rights is an equal rights issue. No gay group is asking any church, synogogue, or mosque to perform or sanction gay marriage. There are mainline churches, like the Methodist and Episcopal, who will perform a marriage between two people of the same sex. The right for equality in marriage is about enjoying the legal rights afforded two people in a marriage. The institution of marriage will not crumble if two men are married to each other. The institution of marriage crumbles on an individual basis when a man or woman can’t honor the vows they took in their marriage.

  • don

    I would like to know who checked the facts in this piece. According to the LDS church’s final filed report of contributions made to the ProtectMarriage.com coalition, it made 190K of in-kind only (non-cash) contributions. A miniscule amount of the total $40 million donated in favor of Prop 8. I don’t know how you can find out the religious preferences of the rest of the donors. It seems as though the 19 million number was made up.

    Brigham Young was never against the Pledge of Allegiance as he died 15 years before Francis Bellamy even wrote it and 47 years before the US adopted it.

  • Sean Esterline

    Dr. Chan said: “Our church is the church of Jesus Christ, first and foremost, and my understanding of the Gospel of Christ is that it’s a Gospel of love and acceptance. So it seems like a policy that’s about discrimination, which often goes hand in hand with fear and hatred, not about love and acceptance, and that for me is really troublesome.”

    Please note: Jesus did NOT love and accept sin. Not once. Not EVER. Jesus loved and accepted the sinner who was repentant. THAT is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We Christians love and accept repentant sinners (like Jesus did), we proclaim that they are forgiven (like Jesus did); but we still preach against sin itself (like Jesus did).

    No matter what you may say or think, this is NOT about “fear and hatred” — this is about love and compassion. A Christian’s job is NOT to make everyone feel comfortable with their sins!)(WHATEVER those sins may be…) The first chapter of Romans calls it like it is folks; we don’t have the authority to change that by simply declaring it’s an acceptable practice now.

  • Chino Blanco

    This line from Ron Packard got a chuckle: “The [LDS] church has a long tradition of encouraging thinking members to not be afraid to speak up …”

    But, otherwise, I’m gonna forego my usual whinging and admit there’s not much to complain about here. Lisa Fahey and Laura Compton? What’s not to like? I only hope as many Mormons as possible might watch this segment and then proceed to visit MormonsforMarriage.com and leave a note there letting those folks know how much they’re appreciated.

    By the way, that’s not Kim McCall in that last photo. Looks like Laura Compton.

  • Tracy

    Thanks PBS for perpetuating the MYTH that Mormons single handedly passes prop 8. Sorry WRONG. Blacks and Hispanics DO NOT SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE EITHER. There are a LOT more hispanics in California then LDS people. Funny how PBS is getting rid of it’s channels that air Religious content, yet they certainly don’t have a problem exploiting a religion for their own anti- religion agenda. Sad sad day in America. You can GUARANTEE I won’t be watching PBS ever again, nor will my kids be watching PBS kids.

  • David Glick

    It would seem that you went out of your way to give more voice to those LDS members who are opposed to the Church’s stand on Gay marriage as opposed to those who support it. Perhaps it would have been a better discussion if the real reasons for the Church’s stance had been given by those who understand it rather than those who don’t. Kim McCall’s blathering comment best sums up the ignorance. He states that former Church leader Brigham Young was opposed to the Pledge of Allegiance. Perhaps so, though Mr. McCall would also have to be clairvoyant as Brigham Young died in 1877. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892. It is always easy to find people who will speak out against a position in anything. It is harder to find people who are actually well-informed and have made their position only after careful study of all the facts and arguments.

  • Jen

    Everyone supporting “gay marriage,” Mormon or not, has been beguiled by a couple of lies out there.

    Lie #1 – Same-sex marriage is about equality.

    The truth is that all individuals have the right to marry. You can argue that same-sex couples are not treated equally to opposite-sex couples, but all individuals are treated equally when it comes to marriage. It is OK to discriminate between different types of relationships. Our laws already do it. Not all relationships are equal. Should all types of adult relationships be endorsed as the foundation for families? Which relationship is every child entitled to? The question regarding equality we should be asking is how we can promote equality between children, in their chances for having a married mom and dad.

    Lie #2 – Marriage is a civil right.

    The truth is that “marriage” is not a civil right, but a relationship between a man and a woman.
    The civil “right” is the right to marry, or the right to enter into this legally recognized relationship. Everyone has the right to enter into a legally recognized, committed, heterosexual relationship, which is what marriage is. Our gov. happens to recognize this particular relationship. It doesn’t have too. Supporters of same-sex marriage should ask themselves why gov. should recognize marriages in the first place. Why should they recognize any family relationship for that matter?

    Lie #3 – Same-sex marriage wouldn’t affect me.

    The truth is that if gov. publicly recognized this type of relationship, giving it special status and rights, they are publicly endorsing and encouraging that relationship. Every citizen will be expected to regard that relationship as an equal foundation for the family. The concepts of marriage and family have already been taught differently to children in schools where same-sex marriage is legal. Heterosexual marriage will be taught to be equal to homosexual marriage, which means both kinds of sexual intimacy are equated and both types of parental relationships are equated. If you believe sexual intimacy between same sexes is wrong, you no longer can tell your children to save sexual intimacy until marriage. “Marriage” becomes meaningless. How are religious schools such as Brigham Young University going to deal with enforcing its Honor Code when the rule is “no sex outside of marriage?” Same-sex couples can argue that they are following the Honor Code. If BYU chooses not to recognize same-sex marriages, they will be accused of not following the laws of the land. And who knows what lawsuits will then come.

    There are other lies out there, but I encourage Mormons especially to take some time to think through this issue with an open mind to defenders of traditional marriage. Marriage has value. It provides committed moms and dads to kids. It is a relationship worth giving special rights to for the benefit of our nation’s children.

  • Jared

    The sad thing is that these members of the church don’t understand this proposition has nothing to do with discrimination… this is about protecting children. The institution of marriage and the sexuality to be used within the bounds of marriage (as God intended) was to ensure children coming into the world would be given a mother and father. Both play a vital role in the raising of children. That doesn’t mean these people shouldn’t be treated as inequals… when two men or two women can create offspring without any third party…THEN let’s call it marriage.

  • Mark

    What about all the African Americans who voted for it? Isn’t California mostly Democrats? Doesn’t President Obama oppose Same Sex Marriage?

    This seems like an attack on a religion that’s not appropriate. Please attack other people too, like Obama.

  • morian cumer

    “Since proposition 8 the church leadership has become more flexible, making it know that members can still be in good standing…”
    At no time the church leadership was inflexible. No one coerce anyone to volunteer. We received a letter asking to help “with time and means.” The ones who wanted to do either did so. The Relief Society President in my ward did not want to participate in the efforts to pass prop 8 and no one ostracized her, no leader threaten to release her or to take away her temple recommend, because she just exercised her agency, which Mormons have in high regard. Some of us were probably disappointed that as a leader she decided not to help, but we all loved her then and continue to love her now.
    The ones who participated actively in the passing of prop 8 do not hate the gay community. We only think that the California Superior Court made a big mistake redefining marriage for the State and we only wanted to restore that definition, that marriage is between a man and a woman.
    To Ms. Fahey: No one, but church leaders should talk about excommunication, the ones who did, did not understand the doctrine.

  • rbird

    I really don’t understand why everyone has to find themselves committed to the beliefs of a single group of people. What you think God’s philosophy is can be your business. However, forcing all of us to assume that position is called despotism. A great many of us have no position on gay marriage and, insofar as I am concerned, you can marry your washing machine providing you don’t make some kind of tribal ritual out of it!

  • David R. Freebairn

    Perhaps this will help the reader to understand why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been so involved in this proposition.

    PRESERVING TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE AND STRENGTHENING FAMILIES

    Proposition 8: The California Marriage Protection Amendment

    “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.”

    On Nov. 4, 2008 Californians voted on a proposed amendment to the California state constitution to define marriage “between a man and a woman.”

    The Family: A Proclamation to the World declares, in part: “Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children. Children are entitled to be born within the bonds of marriage. . . . We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. . . . We call on responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society” (for the full text visit http://www.lds.org/languages/proclamations/family/start_here_0.pdf).

    Citizens are encouraged to thoughtfully ponder the document The Divine Institution of Marriage (see http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/the-divine-institution-of-marriage) before voting on this most important moral issue.

    P.S.: See also “Why We Do Some of the Things We Do” (http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=ff1b6a4430c0c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1).

    Also note that the Church still maintains on its Web site “Same-Sex Marriage and Proposition 8″ (http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/same-sex-marriage-and-proposition-8).

  • Lee Buck

    Some would like prop 8 to be defeated so that it will open the door to allow marriage with multiple partners. Then the marriages that different beleivers had and though to be illegal wil now be legal

  • Dandini

    It would be nice if they did some honest research and gave some more honest facts.
    Mormons make up less than 2% of the entire population of California. What a HUGE voting block, minus the children.

    Every campaign committee was required to file a separate statement. The total amount contributed on both sides to Prop 8 was about $103 million. The final statements of funds FOR Prop 8 totaled $41.3 million and those funds AGAINST Prop 8 totaled $61.6 million.

    Approximately 90% of the funds FOR Prop 8 came from California residents.

    The LDS church DID NOT make any large monetary contribution supporting Prop 8. Its in-kind contributions, required by law to be reported separately in California, were for $190,000.

  • manaen

    I’d like to ask Kim McCall to explain his comment that Brigham Young was opposed to the Pledge of Allegiance, given that Francis Bellamy wrote the Pledge of Allegiance 15 years after Brigham Young died. According to Wikipedia, Brigham Young died in 1877 and Francis Bellamy wrote the Pledge in 1892.
    .
    I’d also like to ask him about his comment that we’re so worried about polygamy in our history making us look odd. I don’t worry about it at all; it was over a hundred years ago, Jacob 2:30 explains its coming and its going — I’m a *monogamous* descendant of polygamous ancestors.

  • Adam

    Where does Kim McCall get her information? McCall claims that “Brigham Young was opposed to the pledge of allegiance”??? Brigham Young died in 1877, and the pledge of allegiance was not written until 1892. Yes, Brigham Young was a prophet, but I don’t think he wasted his time prophesying that he would be against the pledge of allegiance ;-)

  • Michael Liebmann

    The church believes in free agency? How about “when the prophet has spoken, all thinking is done”? The church doesn’t get involved in politics? That’s an out and out lie. And as far as the church supporting dissension within its ranks, you should talk to the people who were told they’d lose their temple recommends if they didn’t support Proposition 8. And as far as gays in the group, parents have been telling their gay children something akin to, “Better that you should have died in childbirth rather than live gay.” These are all truths.

  • allen graff

    The Pledge of Allegiance was first written in 1892 and published September 8th of that year. Brigham Young died in 1877 so he couldn’t have been opposed to it.

  • Bot

    Let’s see, if say, 2 percent of the member of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) support homosexual marriage, should there have been 2 percent of the people interviewed? I know of only one person out of 100 in my congregation who supports homosexual marriage.

  • Defend Marriage

    Marriage reflects the natural moral and social law evidenced the world over. As the late British social anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin noted in his study of world civilizations, any society that devalued the nuclear family soon lost what he called “expansive energy,” which might best be summarized as society’s will to make things better for the next generation. In fact, no society that has loosened sexual morality outside of man-woman marriage has survived.

    Analyzing studies of cultures spanning several thousands of years on several continents, Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin found that virtually all political revolutions that brought about societal collapse were preceded by a sexual revolution in which marriage and family were devalued by the culture’s acceptance of homosexuality.

  • R Biddulph

    If Mormons believe that God ordained marriage as one of the principal reasons for us to experience life on this Earth, you can see why it is central to the Church of Jesus Christ’s theology. Very likely, most of the members who speak out in favor of homosexual marriage are not “temple-attending” members to whom the centrality of marriage to God’s plan is plainly explained.

    I haven’t found one member of the Church who has been disrespectful to homosexuals. ¿can we say the same for the homosexual community about their reaction the Mormons, Catholics, Evangelicals, Jews, and Muslims who supported Proposition 8?

  • Tim Rose

    The pledge of allegiance was written in 1892; Brigham Young died in 1877. If Brigham Young was opposed to the Pledge, he must have told you in a vision…

  • Bob Lewis

    There are some members here in Utah who have serious questions about the Church’s position regarding gays in general and gay marriage in particular, but they are a tiny minority and, in my experience, often members with gay children, struggling with that deeply emotional issue. The Church’s position is clear, but those who disagree with it are not “threatened” with excommunication or disfellowship. Your article makes it appear that differences of opinion are not tolerated in the Church, but that is simply not true. Where dissenters from official Church positions get into trouble is when they begin to aggressively assert their private views and engage in a personal campaign to challenge the Church’s leadership, as if their own opinions, to which they are entitled, carry the same weight and validity as positions taken by the Church’s Presidency, which the majority of the membership
    considers divinely inspired.

  • paul

    Sure, a mormon can vote NO on 8 but a mormon can also drink and smoke and use drugs. For those who trust in the revelation given to our church leaders trust more in their wisdom than the wisdom of the San Francisco communities. Too bad a small minority of mormons, who happen to be given center stage on this program, can’t trust more in the counsel of Salt Lake CIty.

  • Alan Hansen

    The report misses the most important point! Hard to believe no one bothered asking…but here it is:

    In Mormonism, marriage is a requirement for salvation. Denying gays the right to marry is denying them the right to live with God.

    It is impossible, therefore, for the church to conceive a policy more discriminatory than that of the denial of marriage/salvation.

  • Bill Alden

    Chan states: “My understanding of the gospel of Christ is that it’s a gospel of love and acceptance.”

    Pick up the bible, Old Testament and New, and you find SOME mention in there of “love and acceptance.” You also find talk of lots of other things: obedience, sin, rituals, war, conquest. Modern Christians, including Mormons, really seem to be embarrassed by these things. But if Dr. Chan wants to deride her church leaders for ignoring the “love and acceptance” part.

  • Greg

    Mr. Severson is such a classy reporter that he would allow a statement such as “Brigham Young was opposed to the Pledge of Allegence.” Anyone making that sort of statement should not be considered for any type of credible interview. Brigham Young was dead 15 years before the Pledge of Alegence was even written. What that says about Mr. Severson is that he will put any statement from anyone if it supports his position. Not very unbiased Mr. Severson.

  • Pearl

    I believe that members of the LDS Church who are okay with homosexual “marriage” do not actually understand the eternal nature of marriage and family. They do not understand the Lord’s gospel as He has delivered it to us through ancient and modern-day Prophets. Why would any active member of the Church ever vote for or promote a measure that would encourage God’s children to abandon the ONE COVENANT that can offer them exaltation and life with their Father again? According to our religious beliefs, marriage between one man and one woman is required to achieve the Celestial Kingdom. So while these active members of the Church have decided that their interpretation of the gospel supercedes the Lord’s commandments as revealed through His Prophets and through “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” in truth, they are relegating those who suffer from same-sex attractions to a sub-celestial eternal existence. And this in the name of love and acceptance. Yes, Ms. Compton, Christ does want “everyone to come to him,” but how can they when you and others are faciltating and promoting a union that, by it’s very opposite-sex omission, actually takes them farther away from our Heavenly Father?

    To Ms. Fahey, who has decided that all those who believe homosexuality is a choice are wrong, I would suggest she read the latest statement from the APA on the nature of homosexual origins. NO ONE can prove what causes homosexuality, though theories abound. Some say nature, some say nurture, and some say both. I believe the last, but it can’t be proved as is the case with the other two opinions as well.

    APA:

    “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles….”

    That contrasts with the APA’s statement in 1998: “There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality.”

    Interesting that they are backpedaling now, when liberal thought and homosexual marriage activists will spit upon them and sneer at them for it.

    To Severson,

    It is possible that Church leaders haven’t asked members to get involved in other states because VOTERS HAVEN’T BEEN GIVEN THE CHANCE TO GET INVOLVED IN OTHER STATES! It just so happens that California is the ONLY state in which the issue of same-sex “marriage” was put to a vote by the people. In all other states where it has been legalized, it has been pushed through by judicial fiat and sly legislatures meeting on the fly and giving no heads-up to the people that the legislation was even being discussed. It’s amazing what Tim Gill’s money can buy. Amazing.

  • Chris

    Many people try to change God’s word to fit their lifestyle, but God’s word does not change. Either follow His word or don’t, just do not try to say God meant something else when he was so clear in his damnation of homosexuality.

  • Paul

    I have selected Religion in the News section on my Yahoo home page. When I click on an article to read, it frequently brings me to this web site. However, I find the articles are very frequently slanted toward news (mostly positive) about Roman Catholic and main-line liberally oriented churches. (“liberal” here meaning theologically liberal – not holding to a high view or Plenary verbal inspiration of the Scripture) For example, you will frequently have articles about the United Presbyterian Church (UPUSA) which is one of the fastest shrinking denominations in the country, but seldom any articles – much less favorable – regarding the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) one of the fastest growing denominations. Likewise I can’t remember the last time I read an article regarding the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) or the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) all of which share a high view of Scripture with the PCA. I seldom see positive articles on the Conservative branch of the Southern Baptist denomination. They are the single largest protestant denomination with over 16 million members. There are few positive article regarding the Assemblies of God (AG) denomination with almost 3 million members. There is also a huge movement of non-denominational conservative evangelical churchs that are independent and do not show up in any denomiational statistics. Some sources suggest that this movement has grown much larger than the Southern Baptist in terms of membership.

    My question is, why do you tend to ignore or slant your positive news away from this very large block of very devout church people? Is it that you may not have an editor/reporter who is sympathetic to this section of people claiming to be “Christian.?”

  • Dandini

    Legal challenges abound. But the truth is…
    Every campaign committee was required by to file a separate statement. The total amount contributed on both sides to Prop 8 was about $103 million. The final statements of funds FOR Prop 8 totaled $41.3 million and those funds fighting AGAINST Prop 8 totaled $61.6 million.

    Approximately 90% of the funds FOR Prop 8 came from California residents.

    Mormons make up less than 2% of the entire population of California. What a HUGE voting block, minus the children. They are being TARGETED and persecuted for their beliefs.

    The LDS church participated on moral grounds, but the LDS church DID NOT make any large monetary contribution supporting Prop 8. Its in-kind contributions, required by law to be reported separately in California, were for $190,000.

  • Christina Brown

    I’m glad that you also featured some free thinking Mormons who don’t blindly follow the directives of morg. in Salt Lake City.

  • Jeff Schrade

    Brigham Young could not have taken a position on the Pledge of Alligence. He died in 1877. The Pledge was written in 1892.

  • Ronnie Bray

    The Church has, as have other Christian denominations, and other non-Christian faiths, a firm belief that marriage is a sacred institution sanctioned and approved by God in order to fulfill the commandment given to our first parent to, “Multiply and replenish the earth.”

    Some do not agree with this position, but it is an honest one, and until God speaks and sanctions non-heterosexual marriage as acceptable to Him there can be no accommodation for it.

    That is not to say that because of their sacred beliefs Mormons hate homosexuals. It is an unfortunate exaggeration that does not portray Mormons correctly.

    Latter-day Saints like other Bible believers are under divine obligation to love all people irrespective of whether they are in agreement with Biblical teachings or not.

    It may be that some Mormons, as cited in this report, are genuinely shocked to discover the position of the LDS Church in regard to sexual morality, but no one having been a member of the Church for any number of years should be surprised that Latter-day Saints and their leaders stand by what they firmly believe Almighty God has decreed, and no one familiar with the Holy Bible is likely to have been in the dark about what it says God requires and what He does not approve.

    One thing appears to have been overlooked in this debacle, and that is the right of a free people to vote any way they decide is right for them after carefully searching their consciences.

    It is a nonsense to say, “If you vote against something that I vote for you, are doing it because you hate me!” That is paranoia and replaces reasoned debate between those at opposite ends of the opinion continuum, substituting in its stead violent acts that intimidate people and damage property. It is easy to see the hatred in those that put their hands to that kind of activity.

    In a democracy no one gets all their own way all of the time, but if enough people wish to change existing laws they are free and encouraged to seek revision or change in laws with which they disagree by legal means.

    The mob mentality exhibited by people angry at Mormons [particularly] for exercising their Constitutional right and voting as directed by their consciences is anarchic, and suggests that the guiding body or bodies lack informed effective leadership to show what methods of protest are acceptable and legal, and which are not acceptable and not legal.

    The “Mormons Hate Gays” campaign is a falsehood, wrested and forged to imply that holding historical and traditional beliefs in respect of one’s faith perspective is in some unexplained way evidence of hatred to those holding opposite views.

    It ought not to be too difficult to keep our contributions honest, and it is mature to understand that not only are there different positions about any issue, but that people are free to stand on which side of the argument they choose, and that only spoiled children whose socialisation has not been effectively engaged get into bad humour and start breaking windows when they don’t get their own way.

  • pburns

    I am a member of what one of the commentors called “non-denominational conservative evangelical” faiths that adhere to the biblical teachings that specifically say that homosexual behavior is wrong and the old Testament Bible has much to say about a society that allowed it as the “norm” (Sodom and Gomorrah). I agree with many of the commentors that Jesus taught us to love ALL people, but not the sin. He told us to “live in the world, but not be of it”. Same-sex marriages are “of the world”. Too many times us Christians have not spoken up for the sake of the Gospel and have had our rights trampled on. I am proud of the Supportors of Prop.8 and commend them for speaking up and defending the Word of God and the very fabric that this Country was built from.

  • Jeremy Jensen

    Pearl,
    “Why would any active member of the Church ever vote for or promote a measure that would encourage God’s children to abandon the ONE COVENANT that can offer them exaltation and life with their Father again?”

    This makes no sense. Gay people are not interested in participating in heterosexual marriage, celestial or otherwise. Voting for gay marriage doesn’t change the number of people who would choose a temple marriage, it simply allows gay people to get married. I for one see absolutely no reason why gay people should be prohibited from being married, just as long as there are strong laws that allow churches to set their own policies regarding who they will marry or rent their facilities out to for marriage ceremonies.

  • Jeremy Jensen

    Ronnie Bray,
    “It may be that some Mormons, as cited in this report, are genuinely shocked to discover the position of the LDS Church in regard to sexual morality”
    I doubt these Mormons were unaware of the church’s teachings on homosexual behavior, but the issue of whether homosexual behavior is moral, and whether homosexual marriage should be legal are two completely separate things. I don’t see the church starting up a campaign to ban fornication or alcohol or divorce. It’s nonsensical to suggest that everything that’s immoral should be banned under the law.

  • Ed Mosche

    I am LDS, and the best approach in my view would be to create a proposition to remove the word marriage from government control, and have a civil union for everyone, gay and straight. The unions would become valid when both parties signed on the bottom line. Mormons could continue to marry in their chapels and temples, but those ceremonies would have significance in the church only.

  • David Bryce

    Ed Mosche, I too am LDS (a bishop) and the very reason that the church is against gay marriage is to avoid the situation you promote. If marriage and family is to continue as the bedrock of society, it must be promoted by society. Society has no interest in blurring lines. On what possible moral basis or otherwise should society elevate homosexual unions to the status of heterosexual unions? And don’t say equality. That’s a red herring. I say go ahead and give gay couples all of the legal rights of marriage, but society shold promote the heterosexual family in the interest of self-preservation and advancement.

  • Corey

    The reason that this topic is so heated is because there are so many levels to it. You’ve got a societal level a religious level, and a legal level. Looking at it from a societal level, I am opposed to any promotion of this particular lifestyle as normal because I believe it’s against the natural order to the continuation or our species and in opposition to the established morals of society. That said, I don’t think people should be persecuted for their lifestyle choices.

    People talk of suppression of urges and how that is bad and that it goes against ‘the way you were born’. Doesn’t a married man ever have NATURAL urges to have sex with other women he isn’t married to? Was he born that way? Is it wrong for him to shun those feelings or should he act on them and liberate himself from the shackles that man-instituted marriage pushes on him? Some people, would probably say yes, well it comes down to choice doesn’t it? I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is essential for the development of each person and especially for the nurturing of children as each parental figure by their nature brings essential psychological and physiological benefits to the family unit. This also gives children a life-long example of the natural family order.

    From a religious perspective, I view marriage and any sexual relations as only acceptable between a man and woman who are bound by marriage covenants. I see the valuable benefits in that. I don’t believe a brother should marry a sister or that an adult son should marry his father or an adult daughter should marry her mother, consenting adults or otherwise. Those are my religious beliefs that I, just as anyone else have a right to. I also believe in Christ-like love and do not see my beliefs as contradictory to it. Christ loves all of us no matter what our sins or lifestyle choices. However, you can’t justify any behavior behind love. Does Christ love two people who engage in fornication (sex outside of marriage), of course. Is that lifestyle promoted? No.

    I love my children but I do not let them engage as behavior I see as destructive. In the same way, I love people who choose that particular lifestyle just as I still love two people who have sexual relations outside of marriage. I don’t hate people who choose gay lifestyles and I am not afraid (phobic) of them. I don’t appreciate my opinions being labeled as ‘hate’ and ‘fear’, THAT is not productive to any arguement. I just do not believe that this particular lifestyle (along with others that have nothing to do with sex) are not good for society. Please don’t hate me for my opinions when I am not expressing hatred for others. I think this is a good conversation to have and welcome all opinions. Let’s talk about it.

    From a legal standpoint, I’m not quite sure what to do. Does it all boil down to sharing benefits such as health and life insurance and death benefits? That’s something we need to decide. But I think we can all come together on the fact that this is a complex issue and needs to be discussed from the appropriate perspectives. Let’s not mix a religious discussion with a legal discussion, because they are separate issues. If we want to discuss homosexual relationships on a societal level, let’s have the debate there. If we want to discuss it on a religious level, let’s have that discussion there. Ultimately, we need to also understand that we are going to have arguments in the future about Man/boy relationships, Man/animal relationships, etc. You may say that they are different because the conversation changes because it has to do with age of consent. Well, that’s where the argument will change to if there should BE an age of consent. Who are we to decide what age someone should be sexually active at? If you are appauled at Man/boy realtionships are you an ‘agist’ stuck in the ancient traditional ways? This argument goes and will go way beyond homosexual relationships, this is why marriage needs to have one definition. If you want some other arrangement of individuals, then call it something different, it’s that simple. Because marriage between a man and woman is not the same between a man and a man or woman and woman, it will never be and it cannot be for obvious reasons. Now legally it can offer similar benefits, but that’s another discussion.

  • bob

    One request: Please do not refer to yourself as a “former Mormon Bishop” or “active member”. Doing so appears to insinuate that you have a broader understanding of the Gospel, or that you have special credibility. Our Lay church teaches exactly the opposite. Your “former position” means nothing. What claiming this status really does to those of us who know our religion is reveal you as an imposter, or at least someone with no credibility as you never really understood our beliefs.

  • Michelle

    This is such a no brainer to me. As a member of the church if you understand the doctrine and the emphasis on families you can understand the strong urge from the leadership to the members to actively fight for marriage. We believe a marriage is ordained of God. And is between a man and a woman for the sole purpose to bring his children in the world. Most people understand that takes two of the opposite sex. Now our church usually never gets involved in politics unless it is something that our church is strongly opposed of. This is one of those things. End of story. Our church is based on the belief in a living prophet who speaks on behalf of God. If you really believe that, then you believe that since the prophet has spoken it God has spoken it. Can anyone really dispute God? It sounds like the problem is the faith that the prophet actually speaks for God. If you can’t believe that, then maybe this isn’t the right faith for you.

  • Boo in Boston

    Bob #61 claims that “former” Bishops of the Mormon Church should not identify themselves as such because it misleads, and, to him, it identifies the perpetrator as an “imposter.”

    Bob is free to make whatever judgments he will, but if knows his church teachings well he implies, he should know that once one is ordained a bishop, one REMAINS a bishop permanently. The “former” description suggests only that, for now, the Bishop does not have responsibility for a particular congregation.

    Incidentally, “our lay church” is a phrase I’ve never heard before and I am a current life-long member with roots dating back to the earliest days of the church.

    However, one’s former position does indeed mean something.

    Years ago I considered taking a fairly a high-level position with a church-owned corporation. Part of the vetting process included interviews with several apostles, including the current President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson. During our conversation he noted that all of the senior officers of this particular organization were “former or current Stake Presidents and Bishops.” This was particularly memorable to me because, at the time, I had not previously served in either capacity.

    Obviously, ones “former” callings means something to President Monson and other leaders of the church. And, I think they mean something to most other people on the planet. Except Bob.

  • Don

    The LDS view on Prop 8 is not logical nor is it moral. The people that are wanting to be treated equally are not being treated fairly and the LDS Curch is doing this for the publicity and converts they may gain from it. How can the sanctity of marriage be degraided when people who are gay or lesbian or even supporting it will not be allowed into the Temple anyhow to be sealed.
    People have the right to be treated fairly and with rspect. I grew up in the segregation of the old South and remember how that process of change came about. People stood on the corners carrying signs protesting integration. They now look like blithering fools.
    The LDS Church looks no less foolish and their intentions are obvious. They want the members. This is nothing more than a ploy for numbers. Nothing else comes to any organisation other than larger numbers and, …money. To attempt to put down a whole segment of society due to your incapabilities towards them is wrong. Christ forgave the guy in the cross, you would put them up there and drive the nails into their hands yourself. People can see whatyou are doin. Your members are quitting over it, your converts are dropping due to your christlike actions. anyone that would join a Church over politics…well, the church and that person deserve each other.

    Don, in Las Vegas

  • AZ Lumberjack

    I cannot believe what the Mormon Church did here. I’m from Arizona, where aside from Utah, our state founding pretty much was the Mormons, and had a huge influence. And we prospered from this.

    The problem is, that this Prop 8 has gone nationwide. People in states far away from any Mormons now know about the Mormons, or at least they think they do, and certainly have an opinion. And unlike me, who grew up in Arizona, and lived next to Mormons, the rest of the country will always remember you guys for Prop 8. When the country thinks of Mormons, they will think of Prop 8.

    That group that denied gays the right to marry because it was too much a burden on your moral conscience. I would think that since the Mormons have gone through hell in this country with discrimination and being kicked out from one place to the other, maybe they would have some sympathy for a group that was just simply wanting to marry. I guess not so.

    You guys have taken a huge step back in regards to acceptance. I live in AZ, so I know you guys are cool. The rest of the country, not so much. Most of the self proclaimed Christians in this country doesn’t even believe you’re Christians.

    Prop 8 will live with you guys for a long time. You will be known first and foremost as “that group that hates gays”. You’ll have to live with that. As you paid for it, and championed for it.

    One step forward, two steps back. No wonder your missionaries are getting the cold shoulder. People think when they open the door to Elder Right or Elder Wrong, it’s gonna be about gay marriage.

  • Twall

    I think what Kim McCall meant was that Brigham Young was opposed to the constitution on the United States. He just made a mistake

  • Rob

    Can’t you just hear echoes of the Ayatollahs and Talibans in these “we know what God wants, so we’re going to hijack the civil law to impose our beliefs on everyone else” comments? This pernicious mindset is contrary to the very essence of what America stands for: the freedom of the individual to control his or her own life without government interference, so long as no direct harm is being done to other individuals.

    It is truly pathetic that these holier-than-thou Pharisees lack the ability to see how outrageous their statements are. They expect others to receive mere pronouncements of their theology grandiosely titled as “Proclamation To The World” and such, and they naively think it will be accepted by others as a sufficient basis to adopt viciously discriminatory laws denying the most basic rights to millions of their fellow citizens. They feel free to denigrate people different from themselves with inane terms like “lifestyle choices”, always a dead giveaway of masked bigotry and prejudice. The only “lifestyle choice” involved here is that of narrow-minnded religious belief, not of sexual orientation.

    The decision of the Mormon Church to involve its members and their LD$ money heavily in the Proposition 8 campaign was cynically designed to curry favor with exactly those religious constituencies that continue to harbor serious reservations about their Church and its theology.
    (“Hey, maybe those Mormons aren’t so bad after all … and they’re just as anti-gay as we are!”)
    Unfortunately, they’ve caused enormous damage to the previously admirable reputation of their Church for intelligence and tolerance for those who believe differently than they do (“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.” Articles of Faith)

    We have no problem with the Mormons not marrying same-sex couples in their churches, just as we have no quarrel with Orthodox Jews abstaining from cheeseburgers or Jehovah’s Witnesses refusing blood transfusions. But when it comes to the equal protection of the law for all of our citizens, we don’t need religious bullies trying to force others to live in conformance to their sectarian theologies.

  • Decker

    There are a few people here who seem to have hit the nail on the head. Prop 8 is about the majority stating their beliefs. The Church (LDS) is one of many that requested help from its members to support this proposition.

    Homosexuality is against the revealed word of God through all time. No one should be stating that those attractions aren’t valid and real. Promiscuous heterosexual relationships abound as well. The Church does not condone those relationships either. As others have stated, God loves the sinner, and despises the sin. He wants all to come to Him, by their choice, on His terms.

    The Prop 8 hysteria directed against the LDS Church, both from those who purport to be LDS and those who are adamantly not, is nothing more than religious bigotry. The hate crimes instigated by those who attacked each other are contemptuous. Those hate crimes seem predominantly to be started by those opposed to the Mormons and their Constitutionally upheld right to oppose same-sex marriage.

  • Sandy Wells

    The church has stated that it simply is excercising it’s “freedom of speech”. But, as a tax exempt non-profit organization, where does “freedom of speech” for an organized relgious group end and “separation of church and state” begin?

    I’m shocked and saddened that the very liberties my great- great- great grandfathers sacrificed for here in America (the leader of the French Hugenot Party is my grandfather) are being threatened back to the days when the Catholic church WAS the law in Europe, and the Church of England was it’s only opposition.

    Is there any wonder the true Gospel was restored in a land not yet perverted by the lack of separation of church and state?

    Then why would the LDS faith, which I dearly love, and which was horrifically persecuted by early Americans for their marriage beliefs (plural marriage), and for their very religious rights (they were oftentimes driven from County to County, State to State, a hated people) ever dream of touching the Political process or of ever judging, condemning, or dividing those who have a different belief in marriage than they do?

    I only ask everyone in Utah this one question: What is the highest suicide rate in your State? Answer: It’s among gay Mormon men because the Church would rather them just “go away” than be organized and accepted. Is the Church committing murder with the sword of indifference?

    A church that has taken liberties with marriage (multiple plural marriages) will never have a right to take those same liberties from others, ever, unless they opt to marry once again, “Church and State” in a very dangerous hypocritical, polygamous union taking us all back to the days when “Bloody Mary” (I bet most Mormons don’t even know the story) actually carried out violence in order to force the Catholic prayer coda.

    And, truly, do believing members REALLY have a voice in this?! Ha!

    The Church professses to want freedom of speech but it’s members are clearly denied it and made to feel that they are not “worthy” or “believing” enough and that they are being separated as wheat and chaff for the Last Days.

    I’m shocked at how often sisters in the above documentary have been attacked on this website. I have yet to read an intelligent response from the angry “Armies of Helaman” who feel the need to defend the Churches stealth involvement in the Political process, while completely ignoring what is happening to children all over the world who would love to be adopted by a clean, trustworthy, loving gay family.

  • Jim Pinnegar

    This is my comment and not Hatchco. Let’s take this out of Judges hand and put it in the power of the people. Let the American people as a whole vote on this and let it be done with.

  • Stonewaller

    JIM PINNEGAR
    The “Founders” crafted a constitution based upon majority rule and majority rights. Under the US Constitution, the majority is not free to vote on minority rights and the minority is not free to dicatate law to the majority. Thus in the US, the
    the majority Shia in Iran would not have the freedom to tyranize the minority Sunni and the minority Sunni in Iraq would not have the freedom to tyranize the majority Shia.

  • Jeddy Tranquill

    Sexual preference…..what a joke! So go right ahead and joke around but just remember this, you have a choice and Heavenly Father will not force anyone to come back to Heaven. Ah, “free agency”, a two-edged sword. Your intellectual arguements won’t hold water on judgement day that is unless you plan on not comming, I think not.

  • http://findmesomeone.org/ Dania Amderson

    Hi – It’s great to read such topical stuff on the Web as I have been able to discover here. I agree with most of what is written here and I’ll be returning to this site again. Thanks again for publishing such great reading material!!

  • Dr. Axel Fair-Schulz

    Why would any sane person pay attention to the Mormon “Church”leaders — they are an extremely reactionary group. Well-meaning and progressive Mormons should openly oppose them.

  • http://romegaroofer.com Loan Flannigan

    Now i’m thrilled that Prop 8 has been overturned. I am definitely not gay. Nonetheless I’m close friends with people who are. I merely really don’t understand exactly what the big problem is all about homosexual folks having the identical legal rights we have now.

  • Andre

    All of the hate and propaganda on this site really makes me sad. Truth of the matter is that I was once like the majority here and believed that homosexuals should not be able to have legal marriages and that it was condemned by “God”. I was fed the lies that if gays were allowed to marry that it would destroy marriage and families. That was before I realized that organized religion is simple mind control based on fear and guilt. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I was a pastor in 3 churches over a 15 year span.

    The real truth is that families are being torn apart because people who are in love are being told they cant express it the way everyone else is. I have friends who are same sex couples who are more in love (not about simple sex) than most man-woman relationships I have seen. Yet they are not allowed to express it in marriage. To make a vow to each other of love and commitment in front of God, man and government. The truth is that by my friends Karin and Jaque getting married in Ca, it didnt make any of your marriages dissolve or crumble. What it did do is break hearts of the two and those who love them.

    Gays dont tell you that you cant worship in an LDS, Cristian, Catholic church…that is you business how you want to worship. What right do you have to tell other people who have no effect on your life what they can and cant do? I know the answer, I used to give it all the time…because God says it is wrong. And to that there is no logical response because you cant argue with faith. A person believes what he or she believes. People die for their beliefs. However, I have learned long ago that some one can be sincere, yet sincerely WRONG.

    People are people. Gay, lesbian, transgender, Bi…white, black, Asian, ect. And all people should have equality no matter who they love just was much as equality for you who choose to pray to a certain God.

    Thank you.

  • berat badan

    Any writer that takes the time to research a subject as thoroughly as you have deserves to be commended. This article is appealing and very well-written. The first two sentences encouraged me to read more.

  • jeddy tranquill

    No matter how well you articulate, perversion will always be perversion. Always!

  • Shane Ownbey

    Our society and even our own LDS membership may be confused about God’s plan for his children. He loves us and wants us to be happy, that is why we have law. If love was the answer for everything the hippies in the 70′s would have revolutionized the world.

  • Rohan Patullo

    A lot of what I wish to say has already being said. Just for the record, we believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. If this definition crumbles so does society. We have prophets who have warned us of this. I know that God has intended for man to marry woman and for woman to marry only man. Anything against this goes against the Plan of our Heavenly Father. We certainly don’t hate gays, but we can’t have even have one degree of tolerance for what they do.

  • Truth

    63% of americans support marraige equality. (as of march 3 2012)

    So this whole “most americans believe its between a man and a woman” = Untrue

    Also a challenge to anyone defending unequality in america the land of the free… especially those using thier religious freedoms to do so; just reread your own damn posts, can you really say they arent hypocritical? Didnt think so…

  • http://www.redredblue331.ca/ Odis Boonstra

    Useful info. Lucky me I found your web site by accident, and I am surprised why this accident didn’t came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

  • Ron Den Boer

    “I think no more of taking another wife than I do of buying a cow.” – Apostle
    Heber C. Kimball, The Twenty Seventh Wife, Irving Wallace, p. 101.

  • Ron Den Boer

    “We do not intend to admit to our campus any
    homosexuals. If any of you have this tendency and have not completely abandoned
    it, may I suggest that you leave the university immediately after this
    assembly…. We do not want others on this campus to be contaminated by your
    presence.” (Ernest Wilkinson, president of Brigham Young University, in a
    1965 lecture to the BYU student body, titled: “Make Honor your
    Standard.”