LDS Church responds to Proposition 8 Protests
It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election.
Members of the Church in California and millions of others from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation who voted for Proposition 8 exercised the most sacrosanct and individual rights in the United States — that of free expression and voting.
While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process.
The basic point being, of course, that democracy means that we don’t always get our way. Sometimes the majority of voters don’t agree with our viewpoints. In this case, a majority of Californian voters “from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation” decided that they wanted Proposition 8 to pass. If you don’t agree, that is your right, but you don’t get to harass and bully those voters for exercising their Constitutional rights.
A second point here is something I mentioned in my last post; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints did not pass Proposition 8; A majority of Californian voters, of which Church members are a small minority, passed Proposition 8.
As far as LDS involvement in passing Proposition 8 is concerned, the Church had this to say:
It is important to understand that this issue for the Church has always been about the sacred and divine institution of marriage — a union between a man and a woman.
Allegations of bigotry or persecution made against the Church were and are simply wrong. The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians. Even more, the Church does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.
As I read this, the Church basically says that it does not oppose in any form the rights that many claim as the reason for seeking marriage rights for gays — in this case, rights that are already guaranteed to all domestic partnerships in California under California Family Code section 297.5. The objection comes when that union is called marriage, which is something that churches have been very involved in defining for thousands of years.
Update: Updated my second quotation and commentary to more accurately reflect the Church’s statement.