Mormons Battling Nontraditional Marriage

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has a history of notoriety and dissent over the issue of … Continued

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has a history of notoriety and dissent over the issue of nontraditional marriage, now finds itself engaged in battle over nontraditional marriage. This time, the issue isn’t polygamy in Utah. It’s same-sex marriage in California, where Mormons represent about 2 percent of the population (but about 40 percent of donations for Proposition 8).

“The LDS Church’s campaign to pass Proposition 8 represents its most vigorous and widespread political involvement since the late 1970s, when it helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. It even departs from earlier efforts on behalf of traditional marriage, in which members felt more free to decide their level of involvement,” writes Peggy Stack, religion writer for the Salt Lake City Tribune.

LDS leaders are encouraging (some say demanding) congregational leaders to speak against gay marriage and to solicit volunteers and donations to support Prop 8, which would amend the state constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex marriage and define marriage as a legal union “between a man and a woman.” To their credit, LDS leaders are aware of the irony.

In a frank and fascinating discussion of the issue, Elder Dallin H. Oaks was asked about the irony of LDS activism against gay marriage “when in the minds of so many people in the United States and around the world the Church is known for once supporting a very untraditional marriage arrangement — that is, polygamy?”

“I see irony in that if one views it without the belief that we affirm in divine revelation,” Oaks said. “The 19th century Mormons, including some of my ancestors, were not eager to practice plural marriage. They followed the example of Brigham Young, who expressed his profound negative feelings when he first had this principle revealed to him. The Mormons of the 19th century who practiced plural marriage, male and female, did so because they felt it was a duty put upon them by God . . . In short, if you start with the assumption of continuing revelation, on which this Church is founded, then you can understand that there is no irony in this.”

“Continuing revelation” is the belief (by Mormons, Quakers, Pentecostals and many others) that the Old and New Testaments are not the last words from God, that God continues to reveal divine commands or principles to us. According to the LDS website: “While the prophet of God receives revelation and inspiration to guide the Church as a whole, revelation flows at every level, including to the leaders of congregations and to individual families and members.”

I wonder if that applies to homosexual members? That would be ironic.

About

  • jjmormon

    As a Mormon, I thought I would comment on this issue and maybe clarify some of our beliefs. To those outside of the church it may seem ironic that Mormons (who at one time taught and practice polygamy considered by some to be a “non-traditional” form of marriage) could be so adamantly opposed to another form of non-traditional marriage–same-sex marriage. When one fully understands the doctrine of the church, there is no such irony. We believe that a central part of God’s plan for all of His children is the doctrine of eternal families. Since the beginning of time, we believe that marriage has always been (and therefore always should be) between a man and a woman. In Genesis 1:24 (KJV) it reads, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” God created man and woman to be together. We further believe that the power of procreation is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind and as such should be respected and “be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, 1995, available at On the church website, there is a description of the church’s position towards polygamy. It states, “The standard doctrine of the Church is monogamy, as it always has been, as indicated in the Book of Mormon (Jacob chapter 2): ‘Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none. … For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.’ In other words, the standard of the Lord’s people is monogamy unless the Lord reveals otherwise.” Ultimately, our beliefs hinge upon whether God has again spoken to man through a living prophet. We believe that these and other principles of God’s eternal plan were lost or distorted after the death of Christ’s apostles. For a time there was much confusion on the earth as evidenced by the many different interpretations of the Bible. In 1820, God again spoke directly to mankind when he called Joseph Smith to be a prophet.

  • rsca123

    Latter-day Saints believe in continuing revelation from God. God continues to give guidance for people living in these times, just as he gave revelation specific to the needs and issues of those living in Old Testament days or New Testament days.While polygamy was practiced for a short period of time by a small part of Latter-day Saints, polygamy was practiced in the Bible at times as well (consider King Solomon and David). Both when the Latter-day Saints practiced it and when it was practiced in Old Testament days, it was limited to the few and only allowed as dictated by God. It is also very different from same-sex marriage in that it preserves the male-female relationship.Churches have the right to encourage policies they feel are best for society. It should not be condemned for a person to support their beliefs or follow church leaders they have voluntarily chosen to follow. If a person does not believe the doctrines of a certain religion, no one will force him or her to practice it or to follow the leaders of that church.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    jjmormonYou put a good spin on it, but your homophobia, and that of your church, is just mean-spirited bigotry, plain and simple. You use and exploit your religious belief to justify your own personal prejudices, in the NAME of God. Your religion hypocritically promotes family and family values, when in reality, it destroys families and ruins lives.

  • lavdad2

    The Mormon “Church” has sent a letter to organizations and corporations that donated financially to support “NO on 8″. The letter threatens retaliation and exposure if those organizations and corporations refuse to donate a like amount to “Yes on 8″.

  • rsca123

    Latter-day Saints believe in continuing revelation from God. God continues to give guidance for people living in these times, just as he gave revelation specific to the needs and issues of those living in Old Testament days or New Testament days.While polygamy was practiced for a short period of time by a small part of Latter-day Saints, polygamy was practiced in the Bible at times as well (consider King Solomon and David). Both when the Latter-day Saints practiced it and when it was practiced in Old Testament days, it was limited to the few and only allowed as dictated by God. It is also very different from same-sex marriage in that it preserves the male-female relationship.Churches have the right to encourage policies they feel are best for society. It should not be condemned for a person to support their beliefs or follow church leaders they have voluntarily chosen to follow. If a person does not believe the doctrines of a certain religion, no one will force him or her to practice it or to follow the leaders of that church.

  • Intellectual

    I do not know much about Mormons at all. But from what I read here it sounds like Mormonism(?) is a sick perversion of Christianity that is more like a cult than an actual religion. What religion thinks it is ok to marry several underage girls to men, and to not allow people to observe their religion because of the color of their skin. How can they have the nerve to put Jesus Christ into their theology. Thank goodness this pseudo-religion isn’t widely observed. I am not one to be prejudiced against someone’s religion but this does not sound like a real religion. Most religions do not change their beliefs every 50 years or so. Wow! I’m sure there are Mormons out there who are on the right path but the dark history of that religion cast a ominous cloud over its followers and makes me question its validity.

  • EnemyOfTheState

    I don’t really have a dog in this fight, being neither gay nor religious, but I do believe in equal rights for all citizens.

  • rtaylor3

    It’s so breathtakingly rich for a cult that used to practice polygamy and marriage to young girls (and still would were it not prohibited by law) to now advocate for ‘traditional’ marriage.I’m guessing they weren’t really in favor of others imposing opposing religious views by force of law – for them to do the same thing now is so entirely hypocritical.

  • FactChecker1

    Until 1978, the Mormon Church taught that anyone with black skin was cursed. Under political pressure, then LDS President Kimball claimed God had removed the curse. Now black MEN can be priests. The treatment of women is still 19th Century. They’ll change and it won’t be God who will force them to.

  • paris1969

    The Mormons have been oppressed throughout their history … so the lesson they have learned is to oppress other people? Not good.

  • HenryDrummond

    I believe the problem is that the Mormon Church is convinced they are going to receive the same type of criticism they received when until 1978 a “revelation” prohibited African-Americans from being married in Mormons Temples or holding the Mormon Priesthood. The Church was subjected to protests and found that schools would not schedule athletic events with Church owned Brigham Young University because this position was so offensive.I strongly suspect they are going to cause the very thing they are trying to avoid. Their heavy handed attempt to use the pulpit for political purposes is much more likely to anger people than sway them.

  • anjos

    For starters, people who view polygamy as “nontraditional” marriage are working from an extremely narrow, western-centric view of history. I’m no fan of polygamy, but equating polygamy to homosexual marriage is an extreme oversimplification of the issue. From a traditional standpoint, polygamous marriage has been accepted practice by cultures around the world for thousands of years. Homosexual marriage has never enjoyed this level of traditional status. Equating the two on grounds of traditional vs. nontraditional is simply not accurate.

  • bastanow

    I cannot believe the vitriol spewed out by bigots here. I can see plainly there is no irony in the LDS position; homosexulaity is an ugly, unnatural, and debasing practice that should be fought against, and stamped out, with every ounce of decency our nation may have left (if there is any decency left, judging by comments posted here). No good ever came such a disgusting practice as homosexuality (I would shoot my dog if it engaged in such demented behavior). On the other hand, polygamy, while not the social norm, at least fits into the realm of reasonable and natural. The real irony is that some debased dullards readily accept homosexulaity as acceptable, while shunning the practice of polygamy. What warped, unintelligent losers.

  • ricklinguist

    It saddens me that people can be so horribly mistaken about innocent and moral gay people, about love, and, indeed, about God. There is evil in the world, and that evil is pretty easy to recognize. Hurting innocent people is evil. Not wanting them to share in the same rights and protections as you is evil. And notmaking an effort to hear their truth as they’ve experienced it is, alas, the greatest evil of all.Gay people are neither better nor worse than any other group of innocents. They grow up, realize they have a trait that has social stigma attached to it. Some hide the truth, others come to accept it.Demonizing innocent gay people is no more justified than demonizing ANY innocent people. There is no justification and no principle for animus against innocent gay people. None.Gay people fall in love, and it is the duty of society to ensure that they are included in their society’s institutions, including the institution of marriage. To do less is to harm the innocent. And that is something all good people must fight against.

  • sarahabc

    Pitiful for a church to unite in hate. My father left this church as a young man in Utah because he felt it discriminated against women and blacks. That was in the 1950′s. I fail to see how they have grown in that time.

  • carlaclaws

    “I would shoot my dog if it engaged in such demented behavior”Is it possible that you are overreacting? If your male dog mounted another male dog, which vets see as normal behavior to establish the alpha dog as well as sex play, you’d really think this justifies shooting it?~ I pray you never have a gay child!Homosexuality is, roughly, as common in other species as it is in people. How do you reconcile this behavior in animals, who have little choice (or plants, who have NO choice in sex partners) with your insistence that it is unnatural?

  • fuquafalcon

    Not all Mormons agree with these warped priorities. Jesus taught that we will be judged by how we treat the poor, and whether we seek mercy as sinners, not whether we lobby for governmental policies based on our own religious views. And our doctrine is not that our leaders are infallible, but rather that we are each responsible for seeking our own inspiration and for our own choices. Fellow Latter-day Saints: give to humanitarian aid organizations that save lives, and skip the lobbying! Show your individual courage!

  • maggots

    bastanow Author Profile Page:I cannot believe the vitriol spewed out by bigots here. I can see plainly there is no irony in the LDS position; homosexulaity is an ugly, unnatural, blah, blah, blah….###############################################How do you plan to stamp out homosexuality. Put gay people in concentration camps like Hitler did?

  • azdesert

    It saddens me to see so much contention over this topic, on both sides of the issue. There are a few quality posts here, but mostly these messages are less than uplifting. We should expect more of ourselves.The LDS Church believes in the importance of the traditional family, and traditional family values. Just as the gay community has every right to fight for their agenda, the LDS Church, Catholic Church, and every other church, should enjoy those same rights. Many churches and organizations throughout California are supporting Prop 8. I find it puzzling that so many people believe Mormons are responsible. They are organized and active in this campaign. Since when is that out of bounds in an election?Personally, I am delighted this issue has made it to the ballot. Some years ago, California legislators passed a law defining marriage as one man and one woman. Recently, the judicial system overturned that legislation as unconstitutional. Both the legislative and judicial groups involved are very small subsets of California citizens. An issue as important as this to society should be defined by society, or the residents of the community involved. In this case, California. There should be (and certainly is) lively debate. Both supporters and opponents should do all they can to persuade others to their point of view. The voters of California will decide whether marriage is between one man and one woman, or defined another way. That is appropriate. It is the way the system should work. The citizens should define societal norms.So let’s all stop Mormon bashing and gay bashing. It certainly does nothing to further the cause of one side or the other. Neither side is a stranger to verbal or physical abuse.

  • davecohen

    Hahahaha, “continuing revelation”, also known as making it up as we go! It’s like 5 year olds in the schoolyard deciding the games rules by who’s biggest or who’s winning. How can any rational adult submit to this leadership as a source of life-rules? I don’t mean to imply that it is any different from any other religion that has morphed in their interpretations over the years but this is such a blatant excuse for the leadership to decide based on their own whims, that it is absolutely laughable.

  • aspartamerocks

    Janmin you are a wonderful mother. People like you make me feel better about living in this country and this world!

  • slandry

    First, I am not an apologist for Mormons. I find their beliefs ridiculous and can’t imagine any rational adult believing the things they do. And just to set the record straight, to suggest that Mormons practiced polygamy because “they were worried about all being killed by mobs in the mid-1800′s” is simply incorrect. Mormons practiced polygamy for the reasons stated in the article – they were told it was their god’s revealed wisdom by Joseph Smith (and Brigham Young). Joseph Smith had this “revealed” to him, which I read as a tragically common male response to being granted absolute power to dictate moral absolutes. The vast majority of Mormons were (and are still) aghast at the idea.

  • peck3

    The Mormon church is strong in Arizona, with many Mormon 19th-century pioneers having settled in the north and eastern part of the state. As a nonMormon, I respect the church as I would any church. I do not agree with the church’s injecting itself into Arizona politics and laws. The Yes on 102 initiative in Arizona is an effort to forbid those people who love each other and are of the same sex from entering into marriage.

  • ThishowIseeit

    The battle against same-sex marriage has been lost about ten years ago, for good; but it didn’t have to; all was need, was for the Congress to pass a law making civil union at the same level as marriage: changing all the form – including tax form,hospital admission form and charts, instead of asking: are you married? to ask are you in a civil union or married. The law should have been federal and above any state law. Then, there was no reasons for the gays to complain. But then President Clinton did not see what was coming. Also all he had on his mind was which of his friends to pardon.

  • berrios1

    AZDESERT, do you want the population of California to have a lively debate on the equality of blacks and whites? On whether a black person can marry a white person? What if the majority decided blacks were not equal to whites? Equal treatment under the law cannot be the subject of popular vote. The majority will too often deny the minority their equal treatment. This country rightly relies on our courts to insure that that does not happen. That’s what the CA State (and other state) Supreme Court did. And rightly so.

  • Catken1

    “The citizens should define societal norms.”When Loving vs. Virginia was decided, most citizens in this country, and the vast majority in many states, were opposed to interracial marriage. Should they have been able to override other peoples’ marriages on those grounds?The majority of Americans are not Mormons. Should we have the right to veto Mormons’ rights to live as they please, have their marriages recognized, raise their children, etc., on the grounds that some non-Mormons find their lifestyle “nontraditional” and “wrong”? There are rights guaranteed to citizens that even the majority may not take away – and the right to choose one’s own consenting adult spouse is one of those rights, as the Court decided in Loving vs. VA. (Nonconsenting adults, nonadults and nonhumans may not participate in ANY contract, as they are not competent to do so, so legalizing interracial and gay marriages does not in fact require legalizing pedophilia or bestiality.)

  • Alex511

    As a gay person who is happily MARRIED since June 28, I would hope that the mormons would work more to resolve family issues than try to break up marriages. It’s truly sad to see the yes on prop 8 sheeple out there screaming that “oh, our kids will have to learn about gay marriage in school” if it fails, when nothing could be further from the truth.Please, vote NO on Prop 8. NOBODY should be discriminated against.

  • coloradodog

    Mormons have “continuing revelations” to spend hundreds of thousand dollars supporting anti-gay referendums in California, Alaska, Hawaii and other states in spite of their dishonest claim they don’t get involved in politics and their fraudulent claim to the tax free status of a religion.Although they use poor Jesus’ name in the official nomenclature of their Church they betrayed the love and inclusion of Christ by brutally electro-shocking their gays to “cure” them at BYU and by Bishopric referral to a Dr. Robert Card in Salt Lake City who used to practice this barbaric torture using an electronic penis arousal sensor and homosexual and hetrosexual pornography electro-shocking the incorrect arousal response according to the pornography shown. They violated Federal and State laws using this procedure on minors as young as 15.Of course “THE CHURCH” does not even comment on any of this and its members dismiss these atrocities simply as lies by non-Mormons. Oaks is complicit in these moral and legal crimes and should be in prison with the Catholic Bishops and Cardinal who also looked the other way and protected pedophile priests.

  • RationalThought1

    The Mormon effort to deny marriage equality to same-sex couples is the epitome of hypocrisy. The Mormon church is a cult founded by a man with 34 wives, several of whom were as young as 14. The Mormons still “marry” multiple wives to men after they are dead.This group of religious extremists have NO moral basis to criticize the marriages of anyone else.

  • Goldmund52hotmailcom

    The purpose of marriage for Mormons is to procreate. It’s sort of like L Ron Hubbard’s idea of giving flesh to spirits who are waiting in line to be born.Well, without being obvious, gay people cannot bring any little babies to earth through their procreate. No matter how much my partner and I try we just can’t get that baby. So it’s no surprise to me that Mormons wouldn’t even think about accepting same sex “marriage”. That would be silly, to them. Fine by me. They just can’t have sex for fun and health. They have to make it worth something. No wonder there are so many “on the down low” Mormons. That’s the only fun they ever have.

  • mcdooley

    ELDER OAKS: “In short, if you start with the assumption of continuing revelation, on which this Church is founded, then you can understand that there is no irony in this.”In other words, as has apparently been true for African-American membership and for polygamy in the LDS, they have a God who every 50 years or so says, “Hey, remember that divine truth I gave you earlier? New plan.” And, of course, there’s no irony detected from the faithful, since it’s understood that God’s plan is a constantly moving target.What a pox on humanity is organized religion.

  • spidermean2

    Nukes are invented so the event of Sodom can be repeated. Why can’t these people see the danger which is about to engulf them?

  • Dnlien

    Why are people so concerned about what adults do with their genetilia? Why should some people be ostracized because their genetilia responds to differently than others? I am referring to consenting adults — not pedophiles or beastiality. People who love each other should not have to get their neighbors approval to express themselves as they desire in the privacy of their own home. The anti-gay movement is absurd and weakens our society.

  • bruce18

    I’m sure God’s revelation and inspiraton “flows” to homosexuals. However, its not really ironic. The more interesting question is how we receive and act on that revelation. Are we open to the message and allow ourselves to be moved by it? And perhaps more importantly, do we conform our behaviors to it? “Being Homosexual” is different than homosexual behavior.

  • sannhet

    Agreed. This is the height of hypocrisy. Oaks’ inability to see irony is evidence of a rigid mind. However, his emphasis on revelation leaves open the possibility that the long-suffering Mormons, whom God forced to practice polygamy against their good judgment and wishes, will be similarly forced (through revelation) to accept gay marriage when the political climate turns. That may take awhile though, just as it did for Blacks to get the Mormon priesthood.

  • kallieh

    One really should be asking- isn’t this a violation of the church/state divide? By getting this involved publically in political matters the church should be stripped of their tax-exempt status.

  • kjohnson3

    When Mr. Oaks points to “the assumption of continuing [divine] revelation,” he is showing us the simple mechanism that has enabled the Mormon church to evade, sidestep, and even accept the laws it can’t influence with cold, hard cash.It’s brilliant, really. Here’s how it works. The church follows the teachings currently in place, but when an insurmountable legal, social, or cultural issue threatens to imperil the church’s authority, then the sitting prophet conveniently has a divine revelation, which allows the church to abandon the threatened tenet and walk away unscathed.A fine example (of many that exist) is the issue of civil rights. For most of its history, the Mormon church did not recognize black people as worthy of membership in the church. However, when the no-blacks policy became a rallying point for anti-Mormon protests and church’s image began to suffer, the prophet had a sudden revelation from God telling him that black people should be recruited and brought into the church. And so they were.A bit further back in history, when plural marriage in defiance of U.S. law threatened to bring down the church as a whole, the top guys huddled and — you guessed it! — they got a revelation from God telling them to abandon the practice. That earned them their statehood!Indeed, no observant Mormon ever has to take blame socially, culturally, or legally for any major breach of law or social ethics. They can just say that God used to require a particular practice or belief but that now He doesn’t (“and the prophet told us so.”)Basically, the Mormon hierarchy gets to shape and reshape church theology to respond legally, politically, or socially in a never-ending campaign to assure the faithful that their church fathers are infallible.In short, Mormons get to have their cake, eat it, and then say that God told them to switch over to pie, so now they’ll be eating only pie.

  • catherine3

    I deeply resent the Mormons crossing state lines to try to influence something that is none of their business. Gay marriage has NO EFFECT on their marriages or those of any other straight people. I sincerely hope that Californians reject this meddling and do the right thing and vote AGAINST proposition 8.

  • pgf9

    Thank God for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s one of the few churches that has moral clarity –and puts its money where its mouth is — on the serious issue of same-gender marriage.The homosexual agenda isn’t just “equal rights”. It’s about promulgating the homosexual lifestyle as normal and appropriate. It is not!

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    AzdesertThe Mormon-bashing is not going to stop until their gay-bashing stops.If you are going to throw bombs on other people, then why act so shocked when bombs are thrown back at you?This is hypocritical.

  • Alex511

    fr spidermean2:>Nukes are invented so the event of Sodom can be repeated. Why can’t these people see the danger which is about to engulf them?Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed NOT because of homosexuality, but because of inhospitality to strangers. See the excellent documentary “For The Bible Tells Me So” for a good explanation.

  • nt006

    Why is it that there is such a focus on the “separation of church and state”, being the church playing a lesser role in the nation? In addition, what of the first amendment: “Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise thereof”? Don’t get me wrong, the courts has lean heavily on ” no law respecting an establishment of religion”; why are they not both weighed equally? You see, many of you who claim that homosexuality is a life style… Is not religion who preaches Christlike attributes; is that not a life style?And for those who claim that any religion who participates or supports against this issue of gay marriage, treating those like a witch hunt: “TAKE THEIR TAX STATUS AWAY!”; what about an additional taxing on those who proclaim to be homosexual? Which, many see it as a “secular religion life style”? Is that fair?

  • janmin

    As a former Mormon and the mother of a gay son, I can only thank God that my husband and I found our way out of this cult before our son’s self worth could be damaged by its teachings. There is nothing like raising a child who is homosexual to teach you it is not a choice. It is who these people are. I would not change a thing about my son, nor his wonderful partner. Their devotion to each other only enriches the lives of everyone who knows and loves them.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Ocsurfer said:”The real issue is gay marriage will deny people freedom of speech since they can be sued (or jailed) as being “hateful” for opposing gay marriage on moral grounds (which has already happened in Canada and Sweden), churches or other organizations will be sued for not performing same-sex marriages. Charities organizations like Catholic Charities have already shut down in Massachusetts. Gay marriage will be taught in public school as early as the first grade without parental consent. And the list goes on and on.”These are all lies! Are they lies in the name of Jesus Christ? Did Jesus teach his followers to lie? That sure is news to me. What Christianity do you practice, where you are required to lie?Ocsurfer, if you cannot win your argument without such flamboyant lies, then please just shut up!

  • Dieterman

    What a pathetic and wayward spirituality, concentrating as it does on the most mundane – sex – and they always do in the end. All the while claiming it’s liberals who have sex on the brain. Of course that’s not what we’re actually talking about with gay marriage. We’re talking about two people of the same sex falling in love and hoping to spend their lives together and hoping they might live under a government that quits making that seem like a terrible menace to society by excluding them. But no matter – the religious right reduces everything to sex and diminishes ALL human relationships in the process. The same people who are so horrified by evolution because it connects us organically with animal life reduce us in the end to the most animal level (not to insult animals, which are also capable of love – horrors!). Glad I’m not one of their sad lot.

  • tville23

    Lamb Cannon- I wish I would have served my mission where you are from. I would have loved to taken a shot from you. Honestly, my bet is that you are an impressive 5-9 maybe 135 lbs and you wear a wife beater to work each day mowing lawns at your apartment complex. Am I right? My guess is that 90% of mormon missionaries would drop you on your own front steps!!

  • tville23

    You people honestly all kill me. You are all so learned. What did you get n MBA from your local junior college, or online? Lets put two and two together. Ever done a jigsaw puzzle? Well do it with humans and let me know your results. Being gay is ridiculous and yes it effects everyone because I will have to explain to my children why Bill and Bob are kissing each other instead of kissing Jane and Sue. Gay people are just so starved for attention. Next thing we know people are going to want to make killing legal. Oh, wait, it was legal about thirty years ago to kill a mormon in missouri.

  • tville23

    Being gay is a fad and it will come and go.

  • NYPocho

    I guess Mormons can’t stand the idea of entire galaxies and solar systems populated by gay families. Mormon opposition to gay marriage is driven by their belief that once you die — and if you’ve been good — you’ll get your own planet and become a celestial kingdom. The whole thing is weird and frankly nutty. I still remember Mormon missionaries in those stupid white shirts, black ties and their “elder ID badges” showing up every now then trying to hype the notion that brown-skinned folks, i.e., Native Americans and Polynesians were descended from “Israelites.” It is a laughable, ludicrous and cranky notion. DNA evidence clearly points to an Asian origin for Native Americans and Polynesians — so what does the Mormon Church do — at first it ignored the evidence and now it is trying to make up the most bizarre explanations for this simple and incontrovertible fact. The reality is that this simple fact, Asian origin of Native Americans, completely and thoroughly demolishes the foundation of Mormonism. Their belief system is a tad nutty — relying on the Flood, Noah etc. and reflects its 19th century origins in the burned over district. After all — Joseph Smith and all of the Mormon Apostles and Elders did not have access to DNA evidence — and apparently God was too busy to let them know something different. A ton of wacky stuff was invented throughout the Burned Over District — Mormonism — the Rapture –Spiritualism as in Fox Sisters, Millerites — all strange quirky emanations from Upstate NY! It is sad however that they have decided to project their strangeness on the rest of us.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    paulc2It’s called “minding your own business;” look it up. The point is, everyone understands that sex is one of the biggest things in life. Do you think you are a genius because you have figured this out? But it is for each person to work out for themselves, and for each family to work out. It is not your business to “control” other people’s sex lives. If you think that it is your right, then you are a little nutty.

  • AllAmericanGirl

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a Mormon).1) It is not the LDS church that marries young girls into polygamous relationships. The people still involved in polygamy are break-offs who left the church because they wanted to practice polygamy, against the teaching of the LDS Church.Polygamy, when it was practiced by the LDS church, was a way to provide for widows and care for women who would otherwise have been without a man to support them. It was not something that was sought after by serious members of the church.2) In response to a comment made about LDS marriage ceremonies: I was married in an LDS temple and have attended numerous wedding ceremonies in various LDS temples, I have never heard anything about “gutting with an ox horn”. That is absolutely untrue. (I’m not even sure where anyone would find oxen these days, if it were true.):)The ceremonies we have emphasize the partnership of husband and wife, the importance of family and the relationship between the couple and God. They are beautiful, loving and peaceful ceremonies. 3)I don’t mind if someone wants to be homosexual or if they think they are and can’t help it. I don’t think that means we need to say it is normal or healthy or that we need to teach school children that it is just another way of life. I am proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am happy that my church and many of its members have taken a stand for traditional families and against activist judges. I am happy to see that we have been joined in our efforts by numerous other religious people and people who are of no particular faith.There is no animosity here. We are simply protecting our own rights. We aren’t beating anyone up; we aren’t keying cars because people have “No on 8″ signs in their yards; we’re not trying to run people down with our cars because they believe differently than we do; we’re not egging people’s homes; we’re not blocking people’s access to their places of worship or their favorite hang-out because we disagree with them. That is what some of the people on the other side of this debate are doing.We are voicing our opinion in a peaceful way, exactly as is our right, guaranteed by the Constitution.Maybe some of you should give that angle a try. :)

  • ocsurfer

    Danielinthelionsden, Lies? Here’s the chilling effects that has already happened when gay marriage is sanctioned• First graders in San Francisco took a surprise field trip to City Hall to attend the marriage of their lesbian teacher without parental consent • Catholic Charities in Boston was forced to stop providing adoption services because it refused to place children with same-sex couples.• When the Parker family objected to having their child forced to read King and King, a cartoon book about same-sex marriage, school officials actually had the father, David Parker, arrested. The Parkers, joined by the Wirthlins, spent more than a quarter of a million dollars in legal fees and they still lost. School officials say they have to teach same-sex marriage to elementary kids because it’s the law.• Broadcasters and others in Canada, where same-sex marriage is legal, have been charged as criminals for criticizing same-sex behavior.• Scott Brockie, a Canadian printer was fined $5,000 for refusing to print letterhead for a homosexual advocacy group. • Canadian pastor Stephen Boisson was charged with a “hate crime” for speaking out against the indoctrination of children in the public schools regarding homosexuality. • Chris Kempling, a professor at British Columbia College of Teachers, was suspended from his job for writing letters to his local newspaper expressing his opinion about the promotion of homosexuality in the public schools. • Britain’s Civil Partnership law has been used as an excuse for police investigations of individuals who dare to speak against same-sex activity. • Swedish pastor Ake Green was arrested, convicted and sentenced to a month in jail for preaching a sermon against homosexual behavior.

  • canyaeatit

    this is the craziest comment section i have ever seen anywhere….you know what Mark Twain said about Mormon polygamy? He disdained the Mormon men for it….until he saw the women (which were apparently very unattractive). After that he held the men in high esteem.haha. were early Mormons polygamists only dutifully? probably not in many cases. but i was once a mormon and i can tell you they are genuine about this. my own mother said if it came back, she would accept it dutifully but not happily.are mormons backwards when it comes to homosexuals? yeah. in 30 years, will they view things differently? i’m pretty sure it will become a non-issue as they figure out that gay is not a threat to anyone straight.are they misguided that gay marriage will bring about the collapse of traditional marriage? absolutely. they should focus on measures that discourage divorce if they want to protect traditional marriage.

  • canyaeatit

    one other comment on how “silly” mormon theology is…people: ALL RELIGIONS ARE “SILLY” TO NON-BELIEVERS!

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    OcsurferYou are a dirty liar. I have absolutley no doubt that every single case you cited may have a grain of truth, but is essentially a lie. You are a liar. I would not advise nor reccoment anyone to be a Mormon, if all Mormons lie like you do. You are a sorry representative for your church to concoct and then spread such obvious and rediculous lies. If you want to teach your children to hate gay people, then go right ahead, who is stopping you? But just beware, that one of your very own children may already be born with the gay gene.Your church is engaged in a campagin to erradicate gay people. But you are in a war that you cannot win.

  • ocsurfer

    Who said anything about “hate”? Erradicate gays? Isn’t that a bit over the top?Just because I support civil unions and not gay marriage doesn’t make me “hate” gays, intolerant, or a bigot.All my points have been sourced and reported by the mainstream news media. I suppose in your mind the San Francisco Chronicle is “full of lies”.

  • homer4

    The Mormons and other conservative Christian groups are also funding the anti-gay marriage amendment in Arizona. Meanwhile in northern Arizona we have Mormon sects, disallowed by the mainstream church, in which elderly men are busy marrying as many teenage girls as they can get their hands on. The main Mormon church looks the other way and does little to stop this situation.Really, my opinion of the LDS church could not be any lower after being subjected to their advertisements indicating homosexuals are not members of traditional families. That would certainly surprise my mother.

  • Garak

    tville23 : I have to explain to my children where fanatics like you come from. I explain to them that you’re the American version of Islamic suicide bombers. Hate for your religion inevitably leads to killing for your religion. They very, very Christian Fuhrer showed how this works with his Final Solution, the culmination of 2000 years of christian anti-semitism. Regardless of whether Prop 8 passes, it’s time for payback to the Mormons.

  • home4rent

    One would think that since the Mormons were, at one time, a poster child for discrimination, that they would openly support civil rights of all people??? Guess being persecuted didn’t teach them tolerance for those who are different from them.

  • rwbiles1

    I support the position that marriage is, and should be between one man and one woman. Since God made it that way in Genesis, I think He does too.

  • HillMan

    “I support the position that marriage is, and should be between one man and one woman. Since God made it that way in Genesis, I think He does too.”There are so many problems with that statement.First, marriage predates Christianity by thousands of years.Second, “Biblical marriage” should apply to Christians only. There are millions of nonChristians in the US.Third, “Biblical marriage” is nothing like what we have today. Polygamy was very common in the Bible. As was marrying for money,social position, or family security. The concept of marriage for love is a modern construct. In fact, the Bible actually approves of forced marriage of underage girls (a VERY common practice in Biblical times). It even condones incestuous polygamy – Jacob was blessed by God after hemarried sisters (Lea and Rachel). And even worse, he was tricked into a loveless marriage with Lea even though he actually loved Rachel. And, uh, did I mention they were sisters?Is that really what you think our modern model for marriage should be?

  • HillMan

    “Gay people are just so starved for attention. Next thing we know people are going to want to make killing legal.”Ah, I can feel the Christian love just oozing from every letter of your post.Nice job representing Christ.

  • HillMan

    “Nukes are invented so the event of Sodom can be repeated.”Nukes were created to punish the sin of inhospitability and attempted rape? Those were the sins of Sodom.And I’m wondering – were the Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki all gay?

  • HillMan

    Is this the same Mormon Church that refused to admit blacks for decades, and up until very recently refused to allow blacks to be part of the hierarchy?And now they want to enforce second-class citizenry on gays.Talk about your Middle America elitism….And, really, would Jesus spend millions fighting gay marriage, while millions of kids in Africa are dying of easily preventable diseases, for lack of funding?If your priority is fighting gay marriage over saving innocent kids from death, what does that say about your Christianity?

  • rjpindc

    What happened to a separation of church and state? Can someone please explain what gives anyone the right to impose their beliefs and values on others? Can someone please explain why it should be possible to legalize discrimination? Can someone please explain why, as a gay man who was born in this country, and pays taxes, are there those who consistently wish to relegate me to “second-class” citizen status? Finally, to paraphrase Harvey Fierstein: “Try and imagine the world the other way around. Imagine every book, every magazine, every tv show, every movie, [every religion, politicians] was telling you you should be homosexual.” How would you feel?

  • ebleas

    “I support the position that marriage is, and should be between one man and one woman. Since God made it that way in Genesis, I think He does too. “The problem with this view is that not everyone believes in your God, or in any God at all. Churches, being private institutions, are free to deny martial ceremonies to people who do not follow their teachings. But what right does the state have to do the same?

  • Jetsam

    rsca123, your logic is flawed. You say “Churches have the right to encourage policies they feel are best for society… If a person does not believe the doctrines of a certain religion, no one will force him or her to practice it or to follow the leaders of that church.”If churches support laws, then you remove the ability for people to choose their religious doctrines. You have just forced a doctrine upon them by propping up a law. If the religion pushes government toward a law based on their religion, then you have forced all citizens under that government to follow a law based on something they don’t believe. Laws should be based on freedom for all to do what they believe is right. Government shouldn’t be basing laws on any religious ideology because it then subjugates those members of society who hold different ideologies.

  • Xanthippas

    Opposition to gay marriage is premised on nothing but homophobia. I don’t care if you are opposed to gay marriage and happen to think otherwise; as there is no principled argument for gay marriage, your beliefs cannot possibly rest on any other foundation but fear and discrimination. And political movements against gay marriage are led and dominated by Christian moralists who seek to impose on others their own particular beliefs and who prattle on incessantly about the “danger” gay marriage presents to traditional families, while ignoring subjects like adultery and divorce, likely because that would expose the staggering hypocrisy of Christians whose primary commandment appears to be “For me, but not for thee.”

  • Alex511

    fr tville23:>…Being gay is ridiculous and yes it effects everyone because I will have to explain to my children why Bill and Bob are kissing each other instead of kissing Jane and Sue. Gay people are just so starved for attention…I don’t know where you got THAT stuff, because it certainly is not true. So you would call Michelangelo, Walt Whitman, Tchaikovsky, Peter the Great, Alexander the Great, King James I, President James Buchanan, Leonard Bernstein, Sir John Gielgud, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas “ridiculous”? Would you say it to their face? All of the above were gay or lesbian.

  • gogmu012

    As a former Mormon, I am so glad that I got out when I did. My mother told me of her temple marriage ceremony where she had to affirm her husband’s right to “GUT HER WITH AN OXEN HORN” if she attempted to leave him or “The Church”, or divulged the information. Sorry for outing you mom.Mormonism is a cult with a lot of members.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    ocsurferYou are able to cite all of these urban legends about how gay people persecute straight people and force straight people to participate in a gay “life style.” But instead of citing all of these illitict and untrue urban legends, why don’t you cite your own personal experience or that of your own friends and family? Tell us all of your own personal experiences about how you have suffered at the hand so gay people perseuting straight people.Gay people don’t pick on straight people; they get picked on by straight people. What makes syou better than other people, you stuck up snob?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Gay people exist abundantly. Everybody knows one; everybody is related to one. Failure to recognize and accommodate their existence is a striking dysfunction in the world today, and especially within Christianity, and in this particular case, Mormonism. This dysfunction needs to be addressed. There are millions of gay people in the world. In the past they have been mute. Now, more and more of them are finding a voice. Now, when a gay person is slighted, there is a good chance that he will speak up. Merely speaking up for oneself is the “problem.” And it is a “problem” that will not go away.

  • ebleas

    “Being gay is ridiculous and yes it effects everyone because I will have to explain to my children why Bill and Bob are kissing each other…”How about this for an explanation? They are two humans beings who happen to love and care for each other, and are displaying their love and devotion to each other through the act of kissing. It’s really up to you to explain why this bothers you to such a tremendous degree that you feel the need to explain it any differently than if they were instead kissing Jane and Sue.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Over-thinking sex and sexuality, and enforcing a cold repression of sexuality is the ruination of many lives and of many families. Some people are born with a more sensual nature than others. To cast all such people automatically as sinful is, in my opinion, a sin. And some people are born with a more reserved nature than others. To encourage them to even deeper and deeper coldness with regards to sex and sexuality damages them psychologically, and removes from their grasp any chance for a happy life.Sexuality is more complex than than the geriatric Mormon Politburo will acknowledge. Because a believing Mormon has found an easy way does not mean that he is better or more disciplined or more chaste than people who have a greater struggle. It is easy for people who have an easy time to condemn others whose way is not so easy. It is like the rich condemning the poor because they are poor.I consider the Mormon and in a more general sense, the “Christian” point of view to be shallow, insensitive, and inhumane. It is flawed thinking that the human body is sinful and that sex and sexuality are innately sinful. Isn’t that really the great divide in America today and even in all the world? Isn’t this difference of opinion on sexuality what makes some people modern, and others “old-fashioned?” Isn’t that what all this fighting is about among all the many religions and secular people? That there is one group of people seeking to contain sexuality in themselves and in others, and another group of people who want to live and experience the lives that we set upon this earth to live?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    It is my belief that human sexuality is very complex, and not well understood by anyone today, nor in the days when the Bible was written. Therefore, I am giving my opinions based on my experiences and observations. One thing that I have observed is that, for the most part, when Christians think of gay people, all they think about is the logistics of sex and sexual positions, making assumptions about individuals, which they could have no way of knowing, but can only imagine and suppose, and from this, they make all their judgments. I think this is a little simple minded, and is the reason why people who give it more consideration find Christianity to be so off-putting.Being gay is a whole collection of traits, which are integrated into the personality, so that it is a major defining quality of the personality. Therefore, the gay orientation cannot be “eradicated” without drastically altering, changing, and damaging the personality. Even if you had the power to make this alteration in another person’s personality, I would not think that it could be done in love. Same sex attraction is only one among the collection of traits that gay people have. The actual logistics of sexual positions and sex acts varies from person to person, and you cannot know what any single person does in private, gay or straight, unless they tell you.Would you ask? If you would not ask your own relatives and neighbors about the physical details of their sex lives, why then would you ask, or even wonder about a gay person’s sex life? In all cases, it would be equally none of your business. Even to suggest that you do not approve, and to suggest that they pretend to be “normal” is not your business. And also, another thing to think about, who are gay people? People seem to have the feeling that there is an organization of gay people with an “agenda” and that you do not know any gay people, although perhaps, you may have met one or two along the way.But that is a false and wrong assumption. Gay people are a part of life and always have been, They are everywhere, in all countries, in all cities, in every state, and even in little towns and villages. If you get out of the house at all, you encounter many gay people every day of your life. When you walk through a mall, eat in a restaurant, fly in a plane, even in your Bible study group, and sitting in church, there are gay people around you. So, again, it is a little rude to discuss them, in their own presence, as though they are strange reptilian things with scales and horns. They are just people.

  • Catken1

    “Being gay is ridiculous and yes it effects everyone because I will have to explain to my children why Bill and Bob are kissing each other instead of kissing Jane and Sue.”By your standards, anyone who finds your personal life offensive is allowed to take away your rights because they don’t want to have to explain your actions to their children. Is this right and just?Sorry, but this is America. You are not entitled to bar other people from living their lives as they please because you don’t want to have to explain their behavior to your children. Your children are living in a free country. They will, eventually, have to deal with the fact that not everyone is just like them, and indeed that some people do things of which their parents disapprove. That’s just life.I have to explain to my kid that there are people in the world nasty enough to want to attack other people’s happy families and make their kids’ lives less secure, simply because they don’t approve of someone else’s choice of spouse. I have to explain to my kid that there are people in the world who believe that he, and his parents, and many good people that he loves, fully deserve to burn in a lake of fire for eternity, for no reason other than that they don’t follow one or another particular religious faith. You having to explain to your kid that some people fall in love in ways you disapprove of seems comparatively minor, really.

  • ocsurfer

    For those outside of California may not realize, civil unions granting the same rights as marriage to gay couples was already legal in California, and the Mormon Church does NOT object to civil unions. So no one’s “rights” are or were being taken away.The real issue is gay marriage will deny people freedom of speech since they can be sued (or jailed) as being “hateful” for opposing gay marriage on moral grounds (which has already happened in Canada and Sweden), churches or other organizations will be sued for not performing same-sex marriages. Charities organizations like Catholic Charities have already shut down in Massachusetts. Gay marriage will be taught in public school as early as the first grade without parental consent. And the list goes on and on. Churches have the right under IRS code to speak out on a moral issue (like opposition to gay marriage) just as long they are not endorsing a political candidate. So Yes On 8!For those interested in learning more about the Mormon Church, go to http://www.mormon.org or http://www.fairlds.org

  • ebleas

    “Isn’t that really the great divide in America today and even in all the world? Isn’t this difference of opinion on sexuality what makes some people modern, and others “old-fashioned?” Isn’t that what all this fighting is about among all the many religions and secular people? That there is one group of people seeking to contain sexuality in themselves and in others, and another group of people who want to live and experience the lives that we set upon this earth to live?”The short answer to your question is “Yes”. More and more we see the assaults on the free expression of sexuality in our nation. You see it in the push for abstinence programs, which attempt to repress a natural bodily function in our younger population. You see it in the abortion debate when people place all responsibility on the woman when they cry that any woman who is not ready to have a child should not have sex. You see it in the prostitution debate that paints sex as an immoral and deviant behavior and attempts to deny the right of a woman to use her body as she pleases. It’s perhaps ironic and a little sad that all the hard work of the woman’s liberation movement in the 60’s and 70’s to free women of the negative stigma attached to sex is now being undone by nearly a decade of rule under the new conservative movement. Sad indeed.

  • carlaclaws

    ocsurfer wrote: “The real issue is gay marriage will deny people freedom of speech since they can be sued (or jailed) as being “hateful” for opposing gay marriage on moral grounds (which has already happened in Canada and Sweden), churches or other organizations will be sued for not performing same-sex marriages.”No one will be jailed, or sued, for opposing gay marriage. They will (and should) be jailed for threatening speech, which is already illegal.Churches that oppose gay marriages will be free to refuse to perform them.The real issue is your homophobia and inability to have compassion and empathy for people who aren’t like you.

  • rsca123

    Jetsam, thanks for your comment. Let me clarify what I meant. Just like any non-profit organization, a church has the right to promote policiees they feel are best for society. People in (and out) of that church have the right to choose whether they will support that policy. If enough people agree with a certain policy, it will pass; if not, it will fail. Essentially, if enough people are in support of the same policy–and it so happepns to be supported by a church as well–then just as with any law, it is passed by majority rule. Thus, at the end of the day, it is still the choice of the people to decide.

  • _kt_

    Lots of polygamy in the Bible. No same-sex marriage, though.

  • _kt_

    Hey, when did the mainstream Judeo-Christian world give up polygamy, anyway, and why? Anyone know of an accurate summary of the history of this?

  • cannon1

    1. I am not sure what constitutes an “offensive comment,” but it seems that many of the comments on this topic are offensive. There is really no need to be insulting. Mormons are not homophobic. There are a number of statements and actions by leaders of the Church that show a sensitivity to gay issues.2. The issue for Mormons is not about being anti-gay, but pro marriage. And it is not just a Mormon issue. Recently Robert George, a Catholic, noted that “There is a reason that all cultures treat marriage as a matter of public concern and even recognize it in law and regulate it. The family is the fundamental unit of society. Governments rely on families to produce something that governments need–but, on their own, they could not possibly produce: upright, decent people who make honest, law-abiding, public spirited citizens. And marriage is the indispensable foundation of the family. Although all marriages in all cultures have their imperfections, children flourish in an environment where they benefit from the love and care of both mother and father, and from the committed and exclusive love of their parents for each other.”

  • John_Chas_Webb

    In the U.S. (civil law) ‘marriage’ is a contract. A special contract, but a contract none-the-less. Our freedom to enter into contracts is guaranteed by the constitution (contract clause and equal protection clause). The legal issue is: ‘Is it proper, under our Constitution to create a ’2nd class citizenship’ (fewer constitutional rights) based upon a citizen’s sexual preference’? Something like, ‘O.K., you are a citizen but because of your genetic disposition, regarding sexual preference, you do not have all of the rights of adult heterosexuals and you are a 2nd class citizen. You can obtain full constitutional protections and rights once you change your sexual preference’. I mentioned “genetic disposition” because it seems likely that DNA research is going to discover a ‘sexual preference genetic indicator’. No species has been found in which homosexual behaviour has not been shown to exist, with the exception of species that never have sex at all, such as sea urchins, aphis and Republicans. Not to mention that the Western versions of ‘God’ Our national lesson is one of ‘tolerance’. Otherwise, America, as a ‘divine experiment’, is failing. .

  • lsg750

    The reason so many non-Mormons, especially blacks and other minorities, voted with Mormons on this issue is because of one simple truth: they didn’t see this as a “civil rights” issue but as a moral issue.

  • lsg750

    Many saw a threat to their religious beliefs and practices with the legalization of gay marriage. By attacking religions now you’re only proving to them that their fears may have been justified.

  • kjohnson3

    “There is no animosity here. We are simply protecting our own rights.”Allamericangirl:What rights, exactly, are you protecting? The right to live in a world without gay married people?Your “rights” are in no way threatened by gay marriages. Your personal feelings may be affected, but there is no actual “right” being violated.

  • bakerdev

    I am surprised that no one has taken the assertion that marriage is for procreation to its logical conclusion. (Wait, this is a dispute about religion should I should not be so surprised!) Anyway, if marriage is only for procreation then we should certainly prohibit it among the elderly. Perhaps those who are already married before becoming too old to procreate can be “grand-fathered in” so to speak but we should not allow new marriages among the older folks … or at least not older women since we know guys are still fertile for a while. And we should probably do a test when going for a marriage license as we do now (in some places) for diseases. If one of the intendeds is sterile then we should not allow the union and, in fact, we should consider marking the individual in some way so as to head off any other potential suitors from making the same terrible mistake. Similarly, when couples already wed are not having children we should test them and if one is sterile then we could break them up or we could provide the necessary services so that they can also fulfill their childbearing destiny. In fact, maybe the last would be best: we could even do it ritualistically with the participation of the barren spouse in a way that would make it clear that the service provider is subservient. If this doesn’t make you think “Margaret Atwood” then you haven’t been reading enough! Or we could maybe say that marriage is for two people who want to combine their lives and share a destiny and that the state’s interest is in overseeing the fulfillment of the legal aspects of the contract.

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