The Sovereign Mind

Free thought on politics and real life

Posts Tagged ‘proposition 8

Old News: LDS Church Doesn’t Hate Gays

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Salt Lake City Temple

The LDS (Mormon) Church recently shocked almost everyone (except for Mormons) when they announced that they would support a Salt Lake City ordinance protecting housing and employment rights for homosexuals. After last year’s battle over Proposition 8 in California, some in the media are calling this a “huge change” and indicative of the church wanting to get Mitt Romney elected.

Let me be clear: As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I support my church’s position on the matter. However, I wouldn’t necessarily be disappointed if this did really represent a change. But the truth is that this is not a change from any previous policy, and the fact that so many think it is indicates the success of the smear campaign that has been waged on the church since its involvement in Proposition 8.

At the time that the church was involved in Proposition 8, it issued a statement which included this:

The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility towards homosexual men and women. Protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not affect Church members’ Christian obligations of love, kindness and humanity toward all people.

In 1999, the late President of the church, Gordon B. Hinckley, said this to all the members of the church during its bi-yearly conference:

We believe that defending this sacred institution [of marriage] by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out. Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians.

Any opposition to gay rights expressed by the church has always been targeted specifically at gay marriage, not other protections. This has not changed. What has changed is that apparently some, swayed in some measure by the attempts to paint Mormons as the poster-children for bigotry, assumed these statements were just lip service. But they now are finding out that the church actually meant what it said. This comes as no surprise to most Mormons who were paying attention to the counsel of their church leaders.

I have to give credit to Andrew Sullivan. Although he has not been kind to the LDS Church in the past, he respects its (perceived changed) position:

They have made a distinction – and it is an admirable, intellectually honest distinction – between respecting the equal rights of other citizens in core civil respects, while insisting – with total justification – on the integrity of one’s own religious doctrines, and on a religious institution’s right to discriminate in any way with respect to its own rites and traditions….

And what I have long observed among Mormons – unlike some other denominations – is also an American decency that tends to win out in the end. I’ve never met a nasty Mormon. They put many Christians to shame in their practice of their faith and the civility and sincerity with which they live their lives. And this decision in Salt Lake City – not an easy or inevitable one – to make a clear distinction between civil marriage and other civil protections is one worthy of respect.

Gee thanks, Andrew.


When Protests Go To Far

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I’m working on a post on the gay marriage debate, trying to look at both sides objectively without regard to rhetoric. It is a very difficult issue with heated opinions on both sides, so I want to make sure I express myself well and have thought through my arguments well, which is why it’s not ready yet.

But, one thing I am ready to say: the protests against the passage of Proposition 8 have gone too far. I respect their right to protest, and have tried to give them the benefit of the doubt that most of them are peaceful. However, videos I’ve seen lately are hard to ignore. See this video and decide for yourself:

Written by Mike

November 12, 2008 at 10:34 pm

Posted in society

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What’s Next in the Gay Marriage Debate?

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With the passage of Proposition 8 in California, it is now against the state’s constitution for gay couples to marry. But does anyone really think this is the end of the issue?

The passage is just the latest of many similar state constitutional amendments passed around the nation. However the fight in California was perhaps the most important fight thus far, since it happened after gay marriage was legalized there.

So what’s next? The amendment is being challenged in court, but from what I understand that is a long-shot. The only viable course of action left for gay marriage activists is to bring their case to the United States Supreme Court. I fully expect a case to be brought before the court soon. My guess is it will happen shortly after Obama appoints a justice, which many believe he will have the opportunity to do. The case could be the most controversial since Roe vs. Wade prohibited states from banning abortion. Ironically, it could be the passage of Proposition 8 that hastens that outcome. reports:

To the gay community, California – not Massachusetts – will push the national agenda for same-sex marriage, said Kerry Eleveld, political editor of The Advocate, a gay-oriented national publication. It was California, she noted, that struck down a ban on interracial marriage 60 years ago, paving the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to agree two decades later.

But, some have a word of caution:

Other lawsuits could follow, but gay rights groups have called on supporters not to file cases in federal court. They fear that a loss at the U.S. Supreme Court could set back the marriage movement decades.

“We think it is early to go into federal court and ask federal courts to say we have a federal right to marry,” Pizer said.

By “too early” I assume they mean they want to wait for some turnover on the court.

The only thing that would trump the U.S. Supreme Court decision would a national constitutional amendment, which is off the table due the fact that Democrats are now in charge.

In that case, the best that defenders of traditional marriage can hope for is that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule that states are within their rights to restrict gay marriage. That would allow some states to allow gay marriage and some to restrict it. But honestly, my prediction is that the U.S. Supreme court would hand down a decision analogous to Roe vs. Wade, and gay marriage will be legal everywhere much as abortion is.

So for those on either side of this issue, get ready for a wild ride. This is only the beginning.

Please note I’ve left my own opinion on the issue out of this for now. This is just my prediction, like it or not. If I’m right, they’ll be plenty of attention paid on a national level and plenty more discussion to be had.

Written by Mike

November 5, 2008 at 7:30 pm