Earlier today (it’s just before midnight for me!), the LDS Church issued a statement endorsing (kind of?) the Respect for Marriage Act. The brief statement reads:
“The doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints related to marriage between a man and a woman is well known and will remain unchanged.
We are grateful for the continuing efforts of those who work to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act includes appropriate religious freedom protections while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
We believe this approach is the way forward. As we work together to preserve the principles and practices of religious freedom together with the rights of LGBTQ individuals, much can be accomplished to heal relationships and foster greater understanding.”
In some ways, this position is unprecedented. While the LDS Church has for several years advanced its “fairness for all” approach to LGBTQ rights–endorsing anti-discrimination legislation in areas like housing and employment in exchange for religious exemptions that mean those protections don’t apply to religious institutions–it has never, until now, endorsed a law regarding same-sex marriage. For example, in a 2015 Q&A describing the Church’s support for anti-discrimination legislation in Utah, the Church clarified that the “bill [did] not support gay marriage.” Of course, well before 2015, the Church mobilized opposition to gay marriage in Hawaii and California. While the Church has acknowledged that the Supreme Court decision made marriage equality “the law of the land,” supporting federal legislation that protects same-sex marriage is a significant move. And, given Justice Thomas’s references to overturning Obergefell (the 2015 Supreme Court case that ensured protection of gay marriage), the legislation is critically needed to protect marriage equality.
In other ways, of course, it’s the same old story: the Church is taking a pragmatic step to endorse legislation so long as it contains exemptions for itself and other religious institutions (all the while reminding everyone that its doctrine has not and will never change). Since 2015, the tide of public opinion has moved in favor of gay marriage: in 2019, Pew reported that 61% of Americans favored the legalization of gay marriage (as opposed to the exact opposite ratio in 2004); in September 2022, a poll by Deseret News & Hinckley Institute of Politics reported that 72% of Utahans supported legal protections for same-sex marriage. This battle has been lost.
The Church’s move here seems particularly disingenuous: its announcement came the day after it was announced that the bill had enough votes to overcome a filibuster and pass in the Senate; it had already passed in the House in July (without comment or endorsement from the Church). I have to wonder if the Church was waiting for midterm elections before deciding to give in on this.
I don’t have much more to say on this. Just a bunch of questions that I’d like to ask the Church. But since the Church won’t answer, readers, you can take a stab:
- If we are led by prophets, seers, and revelators, then why couldn’t they have come up with this solution (religious exemptions to laws permitting gay marriage) in the late 90’s? Would have saved everyone a lot of trouble, and money, and would have truly been prophetic and innovative at the time.
- How should people who donated their time & money–for some, a lot of time and a lot of money–fighting the Prop 8 battle at the Church’s express request feel about this change? Is this actually a meaningful change from the Church’s earlier positions or, given that the Church’s doctrine opposing gay marriage hasn’t changed, is this really the same old stuff?
- Will the Church stop supporting organizations that oppose gay marriage & fight against LGBTQ rights in countries that are not favorable to gay marriage? Is the Church willing to support the rights of queer folks, including the right to marry the person of their choice, globally?
- Why do Church leaders continue to insist, as they do in this statement, that “The doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints related to marriage between a man and a woman is well known and will remain unchanged.” How do they know that future leaders won’t receive revelation to change the doctrine? How do they explain that the doctrine of marriage between a man and (several) wom[e]n has already changed?
- Will this have any impact on the statements that BYU faculty and other CES employees are allowed to make, or personal beliefs they re allowed to hold, regarding gay marriage?
- How will the Church ensure that its message of “loving gay people” but “not supporting gay marriage”–except now we support it legally but not doctrinally–won’t marginalize queer members of the Church? How is it possible to truly show love to a queer person, and allow them to feel and receive that love, if we continue to insist that they cannot date or marry people whom they are attracted to or that their marriages are not valid in God’s eyes? Can you provide an example of how one would walk this line? Does the Church support the idea that parents should not allow their children and same-sex partners to stay overnight in their home?* Is there any reason a high-ranking Church leader should avoid posting pictures with a child and a same-sex partner on social media?
- Does the Church continue to endorse its assertions in its statement “The Divine Institution of Marriage”, in which it argues (among other things) that legalizing gay marriage may “erode the social identity, gender development, and moral character of children”, and that it is “detrimental to the long-term interests of society”, or that it will “weaken the institution [of the family] over time”? Does the Church still “unequivocally affirm” that “marriage should remain the lawful union of a man and a woman”? Does it still assert that [w]here same-sex marriage becomes a recognized civil right, it inevitably conflicts with the rights of believers, and religious freedom is diminished”?
*By way of reminder, the below is how Dallin Oaks responded to a question about how to deal with a gay child who wants to visit with a partner. I hadn’t read it in a while and I honestly couldn’t believe it when I reviewed it tonight. Let me be very clear: this is disgusting, filthy, horrific, tragic, immoral, hateful advice for a parent. I know Oaks doesn’t believe in institutional apologies, but he should apologize personally for this statement and it should be removed from the Church website with all deliberate speed:
PUBLIC AFFAIRS: At what point does showing that love cross the line into inadvertently endorsing behavior? If the son says, ‘Well, if you love me, can I bring my partner to our home to visit? Can we come for holidays?’ How do you balance that against, for example, concern for other children in the home?’
ELDER OAKS: That’s a decision that needs to be made individually by the person responsible, calling upon the Lord for inspiration. I can imagine that in most circumstances the parents would say, ‘Please don’t do that. Don’t put us into that position.’ Surely if there are children in the home who would be influenced by this example, the answer would likely be that. There would also be other factors that would make that the likely answer.
I can also imagine some circumstances in which it might be possible to say, ‘Yes, come, but don’t expect to stay overnight. Don’t expect to be a lengthy house guest. Don’t expect us to take you out and introduce you to our friends, or to deal with you in a public situation that would imply our approval of your “partnership.”
I think it’s important to note that the Church endorsed a bill, not the concept of gay marriage or marriage equality. The statement made it clear that the doctrine is unchanged. The Church expressed its support for the religious exemptions in the bill, which in my view is what prompted the endorsement.
I need to look into this further but it’s my understanding that the bill does not legalize gay marriage nationwide. In the event the court overturns a prior ruling, the law binds individual states where gay marriage may be illegal to recognize marriages performed in other states.
I couldn’t find what Oaks said. Can someone fill me in?
The “unchanged” emphasis continues to baffle me. First, let’s just acknowledge that it has changed and stop trying to convince people it’s always only been “a man and a woman.” Second, if we’re in an on-going restoration, reliant on revelation, the continued clinging to certainty of preferred principles/beliefs/doctrines/cultural practices, is hindering our ability to advance.
I have written at least 3 posts (one of which is gone forever) about how I think the LDS church and newsroom use intentional ambiguity or plausible deniability to craft statements that will be interpreted in vastly differing ways by different parties, and I feel this is one of those.
I think liberal/progressive folks are more inclined to see the statement as evidence of a coming change (if not an announcement of change to date), while conservative/traditional members will point out that this isn’t a change in doctrine, etc.,
For whatever it’s worth, I think that the plausible deniability is *also* how change happens. In other words, the church can continue to insist that things never change and don’t change, but they quietly/softly de-emphasize the old statements, softly introduce new statements, and over time the needle can move without rocking the boat too much. I just don’t necessarily see whether that is happening here.
I think Andrew S is really onto something. The church traditionally uses obfuscatory rhetoric in order to do exactly what he points out; to appeal to both political sides of a polarizing issue. I’m waiting for a follow up announcement sometime later today that further emphasizes the “fact” that doctrine doesn’t change and that re-marginalizes LGBTQ people. Any time the church appears to make progress on especially issues involving LGBTQ people, there’s pushback from conservative church leaders that usually leads to some “clarifying” announcement.
Laura is right, too. While I suppose I’m slightly heartened to see any change of stance on this issue, part of the absolute ridiculousness of all of this (I mean, apart from the naked hatred and bigotry behind it) is this bizarre, untrue insistence that things never change, even around marriage. If the stakes weren’t so high, it would be absolutely laughable that the very church that championed polygamy as a higher kind of marriage (and still does, to some extent) is the one insisting most loudly that marriage between one man and one woman has always been the way it’s been. And of course, this says nothing about the (far too slowly) changing role that women play in such a marriage. If Mormons believe in “traditional” marriage, that means they believe that women are essentially property, owned and controlled by their husbands (sadly, I’m sure a solid percentage of members DO still believe this). What’s really behind this, of course, isn’t the notion of “tradition”, nor really even the notion of so-called unchanging doctrine; it’s really just bigotry and homophobia wrapped up in these increasingly untenable excuses. And as someone said in the Yahoo comments section, this is also likely a too-little, too-late response that’s designed to placate younger members who have already voted with their feet and left the church.
@s, correct, because marriage is generally a state law issue. But by saying that states must recognize marriages performed where gay marriage is legal, they’ve essentially legalized everywhere because people can get married in a state where it’s legal even if it’s not in their home state and the home state must recognize it.
I still hope that in the event Obergefell is overturned states will continue to recognize same-sex marriage as a right, either in state constitutions or legislation, but the federal law is significant.
@robin, do you mean the quote I included at the bottom? It’s here: https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/interview-oaks-wickman-same-gender-attraction
Why did they issue this statement?
That phrase “will remain unchanged” says a lot. It reveals that the brethren are not earnestly seeking for greater light and knowledge on this question. It reveals that their position is based not in allowing for the possibility that God can direct a change in course, but is instead based in their own (over)confident understanding. But it’s starting to sound like a situation of “the lady doth protest too much,” like there is an underlying worry that they will in fact have to change in the future for legal or existential reasons. Maybe that is actually the motivation for issuing this statement at all, to establish the record that if endorsing gay marriage happens it will not be because of a doctrinal change.
@your food allergy, you’ve hit on something on both counts.
First, I think you’re right that leadership is NOT seeking further revelation here. In fact, a friend of mine who is active in the lgbtq space but still active in church and has access to a lot of high church leaders was told by a GA that the brethren are not praying about this and have received their answer.
And I think you’re also right that the church continues to make these statements so they can qualify for religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws by showing this is a core piece of its belief system. Courts don’t usually examine whether a belief is sincerely held when evaluating these issues, but the church is probably being as cautious as possible to reiterate its theology on the point.
I’ll just comment on Elisa’s first question: If we are led by prophets, seers, and revelators, then why couldn’t they have come up with this solution (religious exemptions to laws permitting gay marriage) in the late 90’s? Would have saved everyone a lot of trouble, and money, and would have truly been prophetic and innovative at the time.
For me, as much as anything, this failure makes me doubt the narrative that the LDS Church is God’s only church on the Earth and that He directs it. In reality, the LDS Church is practically always decades behind the rest of society, often embarrassingly so.
What if, as Elisa posits, the church had announced in the late 90s their support for legislating gay marriage? That would have been huge. They would have been the only religion of significance endorsing that and it would have gotten a ton of publicity. It would have been bold, practically unheard of. Also, LGBQT probably would have embraced the LDS church as an ally. A completely different trajectory.
And, most of all, decades later today, non-members would be saying, “wow, the LDS church, they were really out there ahead of society on this. None of us would have imagined gay marriage getting so much support, but they could see it coming. Their leaders must really have some foresight. Hmm, maybe I’ll check them out, they seem to have something different from other religions.” Wouldn’t that be something? Sigh.
Instead, changes in the LDS Church seem to be exactly what they look like: not God’s revealed will, but elderly, Caucasian men reluctantly making changes they feel they have to for PR purposes and then implying that nothing has actually changed.
If I had cashed in my life savings to support Prop 8 in California, I would feel like a bus rodeo was just held on top of me. Elisa is correct–this is meaningful legislation. All you need to do is save up enough to travel to a blue state and you’re good anywhere in the country. (Not the same as abortion–there is no ticking clock in this case.) As a political matter, this is complete surrender on the Church’s part. Yeah, they got their religious exemption written in. But in the absence of that exemption, if any state had tried to prosecute the Church for refusing to perform a same-sex marriage (and none has in the seven years since Obergefell), the Supreme Court would have shot them down in short order–probably unanimously. The First Amendment just isn’t that fragile. Did the Church really do this to avoid a court fight that it would have won?
As an aside, it seems that because it does Zoom weddings, Utah has become the jurisdiction of record in marriages around the world, with same-sex Chinese couples getting the most media attention.
I’ll just leave this here for your consideration. In 2004 Senator John Kerry (Massachussets) said: “I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it”.
The statement’s first paragraph cannot be true given what’s said in the other two.
The “doctrine related marriage between a man and a woman” includes, as spelled out repeatedly in scripture and other church resources, that homosexual relations are “abominable” and contrary to “divine design.” The Lord commanded that Israel prohibit homosexual relations within its borders for “any of your own nation, [and] any stranger that sojourneth among you.” By legitimizing such “abominable” behavior, gay marriage contributes to “the disintegration of the family” inviting “calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets” upon our nations.
Contrast that with the second and third paragraphs of yesterday’s statement where gay marriage is described as a “right” deserving of legal protection. The Church’s role, “the way forward,” is to cooperate in preserving gay marriage alongside religious liberty.
lastlemming is right, “this is complete surrender.”
Is it complete surrender, or perhaps just a shifting of the front lines? The idea that the church would ever successfully contribute to a society-wide ban of gay marriage in a multi-faceted western democracy was always a long shot. The nature of rights is that they expand, which is what concerns many conservatives so much (see frequent whack-job references to permitting marriage and sexual relationships between species).
I agree that the First Amendment is durable enough to protect any religion’s right to not perform same-sex marriages, but the church will hedge their bets on this matter whenever they see an opportunity. A lot of headlines today are calling this announcement ‘stunning.’ I think it’s nothing of the sort. The previous battle is lost, but the war continues, and the church is taking every opportunity to establish the right to religiously recognize only those marriages they deem appropriate.
You came to the right place to get your questions answered from authoritative sources! Me! Or maybe not so authoritative. But at least not anti-Mormon.
“If we are led by prophets, seers, and revelators, then why couldn’t they have come up with this solution (religious exemptions to laws permitting gay marriage) in the late 90’s? ”
There’s a time and place aspect in pretty much all church government policies. A thing appropriate for 2020 is not probably appropriate for 1990 much less 1890. In 1990, the idea of government embracing men marrying men simply wasn’t on the table.
“How should people who donated their time & money–for some, a lot of time and a lot of money–fighting the Prop 8 battle at the Church’s express request feel about this change?”
There is no SHOULD. You will feel one way, I probably feel some other way. There is actually a relevant scripture:
[quote] In the parable, these “first” ones to be hired are said to complain because they did not receive more than those who worked fewer hours. (vss. 10-12) The householder’s reply to this complaint is in the form of a simple question: “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” (vs. 15) An important prerogative of our Heavenly Father is thus set forth, upon which the Apostle Paul enlarged. [unquote]
God can command and God can revoke. So can the church, independent of whether God actually directs it. Your choice is to accept the hire. That’s it. Join the church or not. Leave when you no longer feel it is the best place for you to be. Please! But i also encourage careful selection of path and destination. It would be like going to a big train station in Tokyo and choosing a train at random because you cannot read the signs and you haven’t chosen a destination anyway.
“Is this actually a meaningful change from the Church’s earlier positions or, given that the Church’s doctrine opposing gay marriage hasn’t changed, is this really the same old stuff? ”
It is not a meaningful change. The church embraces the law of the land where it is reasonably possible to do so while at the same time remaining committed to gospel principles and current church governance. There would be a fight if government attempted to compel a temple sealing of two men and I can see such attempts being made. Imagine compelling a baker to bake a cake for two men.
“Will the Church stop supporting organizations that oppose gay marriage & fight against LGBTQ rights in countries that are not favorable to gay marriage?”
Probably not. Where an opportunity exists to legislate morality it seems proper to take a side. In a sense this reduces free agency of people, BUT some people probably ought to not be making the choices they make (cigarettes, recreational drugs, body modifications of children) until older and wiser.
“Is the Church willing to support the rights of queer folks, including the right to marry the person of their choice, globally?”
Why do you confine this choice to PERSON? You seem to be speciesist! Theres a woman in Seattle that married a BUILDING.
RIGHTS do not exist; only belief exists. When enough people believe that a right exists, presto, it exists; but at the same time, among people that believe the right does not exist, it doesn’t. This creates conflict especially where this “right” compels behavior of others.
That’s the big difference between the United States Constitution; whose declared rights consist of limitations on government, and the Soviet Union constitution of 1936 (and all socialists everywhere) where “rights” compel performance of others to your service. And of course, compel your performance TO others whether you like it or not.
“Why do Church leaders continue to insist…”
Anyone with more than a brief executive summary overview of Doctrine and Covenants knows pretty well this is NOT EVER going to change: God created Adam and Eve, “male and female created he them” and commanded them to multiply and replenish the Earth. A few don’t, a few won’t, and a few cannot; but these exceptions do not change the rule; and the rule created family, and family created church, and the first leader of the church was a husband and father.
“Will this have any impact on the statements that BYU faculty and other CES employees are allowed to make, or personal beliefs they re allowed to hold, regarding gay marriage?”
Probably. Once you instantiate a religion into physical structures and social behaviors you enter the realm of conflict and sometimes a policy or procedure is altered or eliminated to reduce conflict in those cases where the conflict obscures the primary message or mission of preaching the gospel. No doubt if I worked at BYU as a computer programmer, and expressed approval of homosexual unions, so long as I am not committing the church to it, and it does not affect my skills or cause confusion, then it ought to be my personal business. BUT if I associate myself specifically with the univerisy or church, and then make pronouncements with implied consent or endorsement, well that’s a problem and causes confusion.
“How will the Church ensure that its message of “loving gay people” but “not supporting gay marriage”–except now we support it legally but not doctrinally–won’t marginalize queer members of the Church?”
It won’t, it cannot. People that marginalize themselves have chosen a path that is inherently at the fringe of the core messages of the gospel.
I was single for considerably longer than is normal. As such, I also felt stress and conflict because I was not on the path. It is a simple and inescapable fact that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is foremost focused on the family; immediate families, extended families, ancestors and descendants. Singles, which was me for much of my life, are at the edges of this society. That’s just the way it is. You go to a church dinner and what do people talk about? Children. Sometimes spouses, rarely your social contributions. Once you have waved your virtue signal and declared your lineage, THEN you can talk about sports scores, fishing, and any other thing you might have in common.
“How is it possible to truly show love to a queer person, and allow them to feel and receive that love, if we continue to insist that they cannot date or marry people whom they are attracted to or that their marriages are not valid in God’s eyes?”
Love is not a one-way street; you make no mention of what the homosexual should feel and do with regard to heterosexual people.
I have tremendous affection and respect for my homosexual (former) seminary teacher. He, however, made demands that I will not comply with. I will not use the word “marriage” to identify his relationship with his boyfriend. My feelings for him have not changed; I admire the man greatly and feel deep affection for him. But he’s now on a different path. I feel sadness about it; it’s basically a divorce.
“Can you provide an example of how one would walk this line?”
It is impossible. It is a bit like railroad tracks emanating from a station, but then going in different directions. Once you have chosen a path, you become more and more separated from the people that chose different paths. To be sure, you can correspond with people on the other train, but their destination is not your destination.
“Does the Church support the idea that parents should not allow their children and same-sex partners to stay overnight in their home?”
So far as I know the Prophet and Quorum of the Twelve have made no pronouncements on the topic. That’s my choice to make in my home. Insufficient information is provided in your example for me to decide. I can see circumstances where I would allow it and circumstances where I would not.
“Is there any reason a high-ranking Church leader should avoid posting pictures with a child and a same-sex partner on social media?”
I consider it unlikely that a homosexual couple would ever be appointed to a high ranking position. Doing what you suggest is a good way to cease being a high-ranking church leader.
“Does the Church continue to endorse its assertions in its statement The Divine Institution of Marriage”
I certainly hope so. God created Adam and Eve. The first commandment was to multiply and replenish the earth. It is divine. Marriage is the human social framework of reproduction.
“Does it still assert that [w]here same-sex marriage becomes a recognized civil right, it inevitably conflicts with the rights of believers, and religious freedom is diminished”?
I have no idea what “the church” asserts with regard to potential conflict but of course there will be conflict.
Example: A baker of wedding cakes in Colorado. A wedding photographer in Oregon. I am a pretty good photographer but I am just not going there (photographing a homosexual ceremony). I have chosen to not enter that profession; it is closed to me because of homosexual activism does not allow me the freedom to choose.
In some states, doctors can be compelled to perform abortions. Eventually Democrats will get their way and Christians will continue to lose freedom of choice. Choice is great when you get what you want. Not so great when someone takes yours away.
Ya’ll, I’m leaving Michael2’s comment up for now as a real-life example of the rotten fruits born by the Church’s position on gay marriage and the fact that it is a position that is fundamentally incompatible with loving and respecting queer folks.
I’m not going to substantively address it because Michael can find answers to many of those questions on his own if he cares to look. I suggest other commenters likewise decline to engage.
Also, if people feel the comment should be taken down because it’s hurtful to readers LMK and I will reconsider leaving it up.
“Let me be very clear: this is disgusting, filthy, horrific, tragic, immoral, hateful advice for a parent.”
So you want me to love you, which you interpret as I allow you to do anything you want with no regard for my sensibilities? If I have morals, that makes me disgusting, filthy, horrific, tragic, immoral? Dayum! I think there’s a beam in your eye.
But you can see that yes, there cannot be any sort of sociality between your kind and my kind IF you judge traditional morality has being that list of negatively charged words. I think we can all see who is the hater here.
Elisa, this is the value of having Michael2 in the conversation. If anyone was thinking that the mainstream church has actually changed how it messages on this issue to members, perish that thought.
You’ve chosen the wrong morals, Michael2. Yes, you are responsible to be a loving parent, even when you child ends up not meeting your expectations.
Mitt Romney just voted for the bill, Mike Lee when against the church and voted NO!
I have another question: If the Q15 has received its answer on gay marriage and that answer is the Family Proclamation, then why haven’t they put it up for a vote by the general membership and filed it right behind Official Declaration 2 in the D&C (as was done for OD2)? After all, The Family Proclamation has been out for 27 years now. I think the answer to that is that some of the Q15 (certainly Oaks) probably regret not doing this back in 1995, but they fully realize that there would be huge pushback and loss of members if they were to attempt such a move now. That said, if the Family Proclamation truly represents important eternal and unchangeable doctrine as Oaks claims it does, wouldn’t canonizing it be the right thing to do? (Just to be clear, I absolutely, positively do not want to see the Family Proclamation canonized, but I do wonder if an attempt to do so by the Q15 might backfire in such a spectacular way that it would eventually lead to the marginalization of this awful document.)
I’m sad to hear the information from Elisa’s GA about the Q15 feeling that they already have their answers to LGBTQ issues. I wonder how much of this is due to Oaks and Nelson considering the issue resolved, so none of the other apostles under them is trying to push the issue right now. If it is really Oaks and Nelson blocking things, given their ages, they will probably only be able to continue to do so for the next 5-10 years at the very most.
I wonder if there are “pragmatic” apostles who know that the Church’s stance needs to change (and are biding their time for a change at the top), but fear making changes too soon would cost the Church too many devoted members. These apostles may be closely watching what kind of fallout occurs due to this change in the Church’s stance on legalizing gay marriage, especially the reaction from the members who did give their time/money to get Prop 8 passed. If these members leave or are very vocal, these apostles may take that as a sign that the time for changing the Church’s LGBTQ policies on gay marriage within the Church has not yet arrived. On the other hand, if there isn’t a lot of fallout from the Church’s decision to stop opposing legalizing gay marriage, then these apostles may take that as a sign that the Church is ready to embrace gay marriage within the Church.
Lastly, I like the idea of leaving Michael 2’s comments here. I recently had a conversation with a friend who contended that while the Church doesn’t allow gay members to marry, Church members’ attitudes towards gay people is now generally very loving. I plan to show Michael 2’s comments to this friend as an example of how far the Church still has to go on this issue.
“the fact that it is a position that is fundamentally incompatible with loving and respecting queer folks.”
Thank you! I wish people would be honest about it. Thank you for allowing the comment at all.
I know and admire many people that I still would not bring home to stay overnight with my family. I picked up a hitch-hiker in Oregon, took him all the way to Idaho and put him up in his own motel room in Twin Falls, then the next day took him to Ogden and sent him on the next leg of his journey where ever he was going and also gave him some walking money. Nice guy, but I’m not sleeping with him (yes, sleeping, not a euphemism) or taking him home.
It isn’t binary. I can be charitable, I can love my neighbor without inviting him into my bedroom. You demand too much.
God is my judge, the only one that really matters to me. Still, I listen to other people’s complaints and take it into consideration. I would like you to do the same.
FWIW, I’m pretty sure Michael2 is the guy who admitted, in threads gone by, that he wished polygamy was still on effect and that it could include teenagers.
Also he’s the guy who thinks that saying nothing exists makes him look smart. Like it happens every time he opens his mouth.
I think we can safely ignore his bigotry and supposed wisdom. He isn’t here to engage but to sideswipe the show with his wisdom.
@bishop bill I’m so excited to be able to accuse Lee of not following the prophet.
I’m sure Lee has some constitutional argument about why the bill is bad. Pocket copy and all that.
From my perspective, the LDS PR Announcement was nothing more than “word salad”; and basically meaningless. Having been in Marketing/Public Relations all of my professional life, this is nothing more than “image spin”. I don’t think there’s much here to celebrate. Just model “Corporate” behavior.
You could take down Michael2’s comments (the old Twitter) but I prefer you leave them in place (the new Twitter). Let M2 hang (figuratively) by his own words.
@mountainclimber, I don’t know if you have the stomach for Radio Free Mormon, but he has an *excellent* episode giving the background & context of the Family Proclamation AND Oak’s very intentional efforts to transform the proclamation into revelation without following any canonization process after Hinckley died & Monson was incapacitated.
“You’ve chosen the wrong morals, Michael2. Yes, you are responsible to be a loving parent, even when you child ends up not meeting your expectations.”
I am indeed responsible to be a loving parent, but the devil is in the details.
My child started smoking at 13, sex at 14 or 15, drugs about the same age. I love her dearly. It was incredibly difficult to get her graduated from high school and launched into life. I still love her of course and hope for a phone call or visit although it will probably come from a jail or hospital. She is free to not follow my path and I am free to not follow or endorse her path.
So you see, when Elder Oaks says “it depends”, that’s the truth. Each person must decide such things individually, and it isn’t your place to judge others who make their choices for their reasons. On the other hand, exploring these issues seems good and wise regardless whether anyone changes mind over it.
@Michael2, you are not likely to see eye-to-eye with most commenters here if you compare a loving, committed same-sex relationship to smoking, teenage sex, and drugs.
I recognize that you believe they are equivalent because both are harmful. But I disagree that gay marriage is harmful to anyone. With that clear, let’s don’t go down that path. It will be fruitless.
I’m relieved to see the Church endorse this bill. A very brief look at the news shows that conservative religions are split on support; the Catholics and Southern Baptists are opposed. The article I read said the focus of their concern is for religious schools and adoption services sponsored by churches. The LDS Church got out of adoption services a few years ago. I’m sure it considered the schools question before it decided to endorse the bill.
This is a wise move. It untangles the Church from a thorny political issue. The discussion will continue to swirl around the religious doctrine. Unlike many progressives (and I love you for your optimism), I don’t believe the Church is ever going to allow gay marriage. But at least the civil rights of gays can be protected with this law. It’s a huge step for society, and I’m happy the Church isn’t going to stand in the way.
Put simply, I think the reason for their support of this bill is that it doesn’t threaten their right to discriminate, but it also helps states avoid the utter chaos of invalidating marriages and dissolving parental rights just because their conservative legislatures hate gay people and want to own the libs.
I think you’re right, they missed their chance to canonize the proclamation, and it’s probably impossible to do it now, and they the longer they put it off, the more impossible it will be come, or rather, the more damaging it will be. So they’ve settled for pushing the implicit message that the proclamation is divine revelation, it’s why if feels like every other 5th Sunday lesson is on the proclamation and the whole ‘follow the current brethren, ignore the scriptures’ message is getting pushed hard.
RMN and Oaks are (hopefully) the last of the hardliners on this, and if they’re not feeling like they can get away with canonizing the proclamation, hopefully no one ever will. Though I could see Bednar going for it and damning the consequences, should he ever end up in charge.
Loved seeing that your post was quoted by Peggy Fletcher Stack in the SLTrib. You always bring such clarity to these thorny topics. Thank you for writing! And yes, why is that horrific quote by Oaks still on the LDS website? Someone needs to send Oaks a copy of Tom Christofferson’s book “That We May Be One” so he can learn from Tom’s mother’s Christlike example of love and inclusion.
@AD, I remember reading that quote when it first came out and thinking it was not great at all, but otherwise not thinking a whole lot about it. Re-reading it now, especially with older kids, I honestly think it’s horrific, and sad, that a parent would advise that as a way to parent.
There is just no way to do the whole “love the sinner hate the sin thing.” It’s nonsensical. The lines I see people try to draw around what they will and won’t talk about or attend or celebrate with queer friends and family are really tragic. No other word for it.
I think this position actually makes it more likely that the proclamation on the family gets canonized but maybe with a few tweaks regarding spousal responsibilities and perhaps without the call on legislators to act. It will be an attempt to show that while they accept the law of the land the church’s position won’t change. I think the only thing that could stand in the way is the customs of new membership in developing countries.
One more thought on Michael 2’s comment. I’m quite confident that if Michael 2 were to recite his long diatribe against LGBTQ people from his first comment word for word in SS in my ward, there would be no repercussions. There would be people upset (my blood would be boiling), but I don’t think anything happen. No one would respond in SS, and no one would complain about it to leaders. Same if he were to post his diatribe on Facebook under his real name. In fact, we did have someone go on a big rant against LGBTQ people in SS in the last 12 months. I’m not in a position to know, but I’m not aware that that person was talked to at all afterwards.
On the other hand, I believe that if I were to utter these 7 words, “I don’t believe in the Family Proclamation”, in SS that objections would be immediately raised in SS (at a minimum, someone would raise their hand and bear their testimony of the Family Proclamation) and that someone would tattle to the bishop. I have first hand knowledge of several different people in our ward being reported to the bishop for voicing support for LGBTQ rights on Facebook. The social media police are very real in my ward. By the way, all of the people reported to the bishop for Facebook comments that I know of no longer come to Church.
It’s as if there is this line drawn by the Brethren, “gay marriage is a sin, women cannot hold the priesthood, we will not speak of Heavenly Mother, etc.”, and everyone must stay to the right of this line–speech that crosses the line to the left, as progressives would like do, is strictly verboten. However, if there’s a line off to the right that everyone must stay to the left of, it’s way, way, way out there to the right. I believe that much of what Michael 2 had to say is quite a bit to the right of what the Brethren are saying these days, yet MIchael 2 would be allowed to spout out his comments in my ward without any issues. I don’t know how much further to the right that Michael 2 would have to go before he ran into trouble (advocating conversion therapy, claiming gay people chose to be gay, advocating violence against gay people?), but I suspect he still has more safe ground to cover before he gets there. If the Church is going to work so hard to define a line that can’t be crossed on the left, it might want to better define a line that can’t be crossed on the right.
@mountain climber, astute point. And a real bummer.
@ Elisa – great post as always. I’m glad the church came out in support of this bill but it still doesn’t change much for our LDS LGBTQ community on the ground. Yes things are better but they’re not whole. If a loving God exists I don’t understand how he would make things so hard for people who are born differently. The church can make all the statements it wants about equality and acceptance but it just sounds hollow and disingenuous. And of course it’s not just the LDS church but pretty much all religions. They’re living the remnants of archaic times and thinking.
Fun theory: the church sanctioned this to get Mike Lee to sign on which DIDN’T WORK. Just a reminder that in July, all 4 Utah congresspersons and 1 in Idaho supported the act. https://wheatandtares.org/2022/07/27/mormons-respect-for-marriage-act/