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Your Right Hand is My Left Hand: The LDS Church and the Prop 8 Campaign

Trial analysis

by Brian Leubitz

For about half an hour, Boutrous and Pugno were arguing about the admissibility, and then the names of people, in a document from a Mr. Jansson The interesting part of this is just how these two organizations became two sides of the same coin for about six months in 2008.

Going over all these documents, we learned that over 20,000 Mormons were out door-knocking on the final few weekends. We learned that Mr. Jansson was playing a dual role, both as a leader within the Mormon hierarchy as well as in the protectmarriage.com executive board. We learned that Mormon/LDS Church leaders were powerful in the structure throughout the campaign. Of course, that was no real surprise.

Take the case of Gary Lawrence. He ran a consulting firm that did much of the polling for the Prop 8 campaign, and that role was widely acknowledged. That wasn’t the focus today, but rather the focus was Lawrence’s role of coordinating the entire Mormon effort within Orange County. Here you have a public consultant who is then running the Mormon programs while trying to hide one of these two roles. The line where the LDS Church stopped and the ProtectMarriage.com campaign began was so fuzzy as to subsume the distinction.

Of course, campaigns are often fueled by independent interest groups. It is not surprising to see a leader of an organization take leave to lead a campaign. Groups wrangle and cajole volunteers. Yet, rarely do you get word from a prophet ordering volunteers to show up. And rarely do you see a religious organization so completely subsume a campaign. Yet, the orders came in from on high, and that’s the way it was going to be.

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105 Comments

  • 1. fiona64  |  January 20, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Yep. The key word here is "calling." In the Mormon church, that's tantamount to a direct order. Callings are to be graciously accepted, according to church doctrine. My mother got chewed out by the Relief Society president when she tried to decline her 'calling' to play the piano at weekly meetings (she has horrible stage fright). Some woman in the church found out she could play the piano and suddenly she was "called" to do so publicly whether she wanted to or not.
    http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon383.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calling_%28religious

  • 2. Jane  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:48 am

    The whole Mormon thing is too weird for words.

  • 3. David Kimble  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:23 am

    And this from the Church that once practiced polygamy and felt "persecuted" for the beliefs.

  • 4. Kat  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:54 am

    That is unfortunate that this woman was unkind to your mother. I've declined callings before, and have had no problems.

    The people who extend callings are only human, and they sometimes don't act tactfully.

    While you should graciously accept a calling, if you are able to do so, because it will bring benefits to you, you are free to decline if that is what you choose.

    A person who was better able to handle extending a calling might have been able to work with your mom to overcome her stage-fright, or maybe the point of the calling wasn't actually for your mom, but for the woman who obviously has trouble dealing with people.

  • 5. Kathleen  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Kat, you are so full of crap. You know damn good and well that turning down a calling is the same as telling God 'NO'. Stop "lying for the lord" here in front of the world. (something this entire trial against the Mormons is about! You lie through your teeth for anything the church wants from you).

    Yes , for thos interested,, this is the bottom line with Mormonism. They will lie to make you want to be part of them, and then tell you the dirtier parts in secret after you've been pulled in.

    This entire trial better show, once and for all, the deceipt of Mormons. Kat here would protect her Profit and actually tell you her Profit didn't ask her to donate money to fight Prop 8.

    They are good people at heart, they don't even understand that lying is the first principal of their religion. Keep the sercrets above ALL costs! That is their first article of faith…

    They

  • 6. fiona64  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Or, Kat, she could have just accepted it when my mother said "No thank you" instead of badgering her. My mother is now playing the piano once a week for Relief Society, in abject misery, because this woman wouldn't leave her alone and she's too nice to tell her to f–k off.

  • 7. Abbie  |  January 20, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Disturbing.

  • 8. David Kimble  |  January 20, 2010 at 7:55 am

    They weren't just going to door-to-door, where I live they obtained a listed of registered voters and then began a calling campaign – all organized under the auspicies of the Mormon Church. It is interesting to note, they were specifically directed, "DO NO IDENTIFY YOURSELVES, AS MEMBERS OF ANY DENOMINATION, BUT RATHER, AS
    'CONCERNED CITIZENS.'

  • 9. Linda  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:03 am

    maybe they werent supposed to identify their organization- but the white shirts, black slacks, and ties when they knocked on my door was a big hint.

  • 10. David Kimble  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:17 am

    chuckles! Yeah, that's maybe why they resorted to a calling campaign, where I live.

  • 11. Michael  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:45 am

    That's how Mormons do things where they don't want their hands caught in the cookie jar: they lie.

  • 12. Jacob  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I'm just starting to follow the case closely now. I know I may be putting the cart in front of the horse, but could someone tell me what/where precedents this case would set, if decided in either way? Thanks and good luck!

  • 13. Ben  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Jacob, there are so many permutations that there's not just a "win-or-lose" couple of scenarios.

    Let's look at just a couple (and all these assume that the case is finally heard and decided by the SCOTUS):
    1. They could rule that Prop 8 is a legitimate voicing of the people's voice and is in line with the federal Constitution. That gays (I use this term as inclusively as possible to include lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and questioning) are not a suspect class, and limiting marriage to one man, one woman is a legitimate government aim. This would create a huge precedent against gays, and would probably set us back at least 20 years. This is the worst case scenario.

    2. They could rule that Prop 8 stands, but explicitly refuse to rule on any of the other issues of the case. Basically, it would be as if the case never happened. Prop 8 would stand, and no useful precedent would be set.

    3. They could rule that they cannot overturn the voice of the majority, but that gays are in fact a suspect class and as such future legislation will have to be much more tailored to not discriminate. While still a loss per se, but definitely a step in the right direction.

    4. They could rule narrowly that Prop 8 is not allowed under the federal Constitution, but explicitly refuse to rule on any other issues. This would mean that Prop 8 doesn't stand, but the case can't really be used as a precedent, and gays still aren't a suspect class.

    5. They could rule that there is no rational basis for Prop 8 or discrimination against gays broadly. Makes gays a suspect class. Not only can gays in CA get married, but creates a huge precedent for the rest of the US as well. Probably the best case scenario.

  • 14. Nelson G  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Are you referring to Mark Jansson, the guy whosent a certified letter this week asking companies to withdraw their support of No On 8 and instead give to YesOn8, or else?

  • 15. fiona64  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I believe that is the person to whom they are referring, yes.

  • 16. Daniel L  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Isn't it a bit self-defeating to object to documents linking protectmarriage.com with the LDS church by saying that while protectmarriage has these files, it is only because that person is a mormon… seems odd to me, though legally it's probably a good move

    It's also interesting to hear in court that the Latter Day Saints wanted to not take the lead and preserve plausible deniability and distance

  • 17. Nelson G  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Are you referring to Mark Jansson, the guy whosent a certified letter asking companies to withdraw their support of No On 8 and instead give to YesOn8, or else?

  • 18. RAL  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Try this:

    Peruse the donor list over at http://mormonsfor8.com/

    Check the complete list of donors over $1000 and compare them (by date) against the late June time-line when a certain letter was read over the pulpit in every CA Mormon Sacrament meeting. There are very few, if ANY, donations (by individuals who turned out to be Mormon) before that time. Its really breath-taking to see. Once the letter was read the Church was essentially able to shovel money into the Yes on 8 campaign.

    Mormons like to say, but these were individual donors who were just concerned citizens. Well, yes, but if they were so concerned, and simply acting all on their own, there was nothing preventing them from donating BEFORE the letter was read (like Andrew Pugno, see below) — but they didn't.

    Hey, Mormons are effective, you can't fault them for that

    Lead Counsel's donation:
    ANDREW PUGNO – $35,000.00 4/28/200

  • 19. RAL  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Lead Counsel’s donation:
    ANDREW PUGNO – $35,000.00 4/28/2008

  • 20. fiona64  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:16 am

    As I mentioned in another thread, tithing records were used to tell members how much they were to donate. Just two of the many sources out there for this.

    http://www.nine-moons.com/2008/08/07/the-my-girl-
    http://mormoninquiry.typepad.com/mormon_inquiry/2

  • 21. michael  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Don't they have to disclose all earnings to make sure that the church gets the right cut every month??

  • 22. michael  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Ahh I am sick to my stomach about this crap. But they are stone cold busted…………………………..Finally!

  • 23. David  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Concealing pertinent documents in a political campaign because they came from a church…and they say we want "special rights"?

  • 24. Scot  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Umm, the blog post above is not completely accurate, and reflects only the opinions of the blogger.

    I am LDS, and do support same-sex marriage, but some of the information above is inaccurate. But should I bother to point the inaccuracies? I speak from experience where I've been defending the LDS Church all these years, with misinformation being passed around.

  • 25. Ben  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Scott,
    Whatever inaccuracies may be (and since you refuse to actually refute anything, I have no idea what they are), so long as one of them is NOT the fundamental fact that the Church leadership used the channels and functionaries of the Church to raise LOTS of money and organize LOTS of people for the Prop 8 campaign, the basic point remains. How you can continue giving your hard-earned money to an organization like the LDS church is beyond me, but then again, that's none of my business.

  • 26. Scot  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Your basic point would be accurate, for the most part.

    But as for my money – I have a very good reason to keep supporting the LDS Church, but you would be correct that it's no one's business. 🙂

  • 27. James Sweet  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Scot, as Ben said, you can't just be like, "That's inaccurate! Neener neener!"

    How is it inaccurate, and why did the document read in court today seem to support everything that was said?

    News flash: The Mormon church lies to its members. Even after you leave the church it may take you years to fully understand just how much you were duped. Took me the better part of a decade… and there's probably still issues on which I am duped and just don't even realize it.

  • 28. Scot  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

    James – here I am, a new person to this comment board, and you respond by "Neener neener"? I thought we were all about trying to live the Golden Rule and all that? I try to do so myself, for one thing.

    Anyway – I haven't seen the document yet, but in any case, I've been on the Internet for a long time now that defending the LDS Church is a thankless task when people don't reciprocate in kind or appreciate the information I've given them. Which is why I'm reluctant to point out the inaccuracies – it's pointless to do so, I feel.

    And no, the Church does not lie to its members – I've known some of the leaders for many years, and they're among the most honest people you could hope to meet. It's not about lying, I think – rather, it's about them not understanding the consequences of their actions.

  • 29. Aaron  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:22 am

    scott,

    please, just tell us what is inaccurate….if it helps us understand the siutaiton better, that would be good. it's not helpful to just say there are inaccuracies without acutally explaining. fair minds want to know.

  • 30. David Kimble  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:34 am

    With all due respect, I warned the membership here in California, where I live, but they chose to ignore my warnings.

  • 31. David from Sandy UT  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:42 am

    The fundamental, indisputable message here is that the LDS organization (I refuse to use the terms 'LDS' and 'church' in the same phrase) and LDS leaders directed LDS members to HURT CHILDREN because of a simple English-language word. LDS leaders have stated that they have 'no objection' to civil unions (except in Utah where Amendment 3 prohibits GLBTQ individuals from seeking redress through the normal legislative process). These individuals strongly object to the distribution of secular, government-issued pieces of paper using the simple, English-language word 'marriage' to members of the GLBTQ community.

    That word already has multiple meanings. No intelligent adult will be confused by using the same word to describe secular, government-granted benefits and protections or to describe a religious ceremony and any religious beliefs associated with that ceremony. Right now, today, no one is confused about the word 'marriage' when applied to a huge, expensive, religious ceremony vs. a simple, secular ceremony performed for individuals with no particular religious belief. Both couples enjoy the exact same secular, government-granted benefits and protections. Except for the individuals themselves (and maybe close friends and family), no one really cares where or how the ceremony was performed.

    Bottom Line: LDS leaders instructed LDS members to hurt children because of a word! Shame! Shame! Shame!

    David
    Sandy UT

  • 32. Kat  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:01 am

    You'll have to amend your statement to include pretty much ALL religions, not just the LDS, since the word marriage denotes a religious ceremony, and most religions' doctrine so not support homosexuality.

    The government should never have been involved in 'marriage' in the first place, as the marriage ceremony is a religious rite, and we have a separation of church and state.

    The government should have only been involved in 'civil unions' all along, and then we would not be having such an issue.

    Bottom line: Separation of Church and State.

  • 33. fiona64  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    @kat: Marriage in no way implies a religious ceremony. My husband and I were married out-of-doors by a justice of the peace. And guess what? We're just as married as anyone who was married in any church. Marriage is a legal contract.

    Don't worry; your church will still be able to discriminate in whom it chooses to marry. That will not change. I'm fine with that. I'm fine with any church picking and choosing to whom it provides liturgical rites. But we are talking about CIVIL law here, and your church turned time, people and money toward forcing its religious beliefs into civil law by fearmongering and bigotry.

    Period.

  • 34. michael  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Separation of church and state? Really….. did you even read the testimony? Did you read about them even trying to deny that they were messages from church leaders? Or did read them just try to squash them? How is that a separation exactly ? When the Church gets involved in State then the State needs to get involved in the Church!

    You kids stuck your fingers in the flames honey and you got burned.

  • 35. James Sweet  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Of course, that was no real surprise.

    Yes, but as they said in their very own documents, up until now they had plausible deniability. Now? Busted.

    Not that it will make a huge difference, but I can finally stop saying, "Many people — including myself — believe ProtectMarriage is a front organization for the Mormon church…" Now I can just say it: "ProtectMarriage is a front organization for LD$, Inc. End of sentence."

  • 36. Slade  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Reading the last trial part was completely mortifying for me. All in the name of hate. I am completely disgusted and disturbed.

  • 37. Richard  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:55 am

    So, for all intents and purposes, the hierarchy of the LDS "church" completely and totally ignored the separation of church and state. Guess they will do the same thing when they try to get polygamy legalized here. Which causes me to wonder when the capital of the United States is going to move from Washington, DC, to Salt Lake City. Whoever finds this out, please let my husband and I know so that we can leave the country.

  • 38. Nikki  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:12 am

    "Which causes me to wonder when the capital of the United States is going to move from Washington, DC, to Salt Lake City."

    That would be a good question for Harry Reid. He, if anyone, would know…

  • 39. Mykelb  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Apparently, you all need to review the U.S. Constitution since it requires the capital to be in DC. Duh

  • 40. Eric  |  January 21, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Actually, while they do believe the control of world affairs will pass to them, it will not be to Salt Lake it goes, but to New Jerusalem (located for your convenience in Jackson County Missouri) after the second coming of Christ. Supposedly shortly before Armageddon and the end of times, the Mormon Prophet will call all Mormons to leave where they are and travel to there.

  • 41. Matthew S.  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:02 am

    How can the LDS Church get away with this?? I'm absolutely BAFFLED at how a church– any church– can continue to use the pulpit to direct people politically. Their tax-exempt status should be revoked without delay. If they want to be a political entity then they should have to pay taxes like anyone else. It's beyond infuriating.

  • 42. Nikki  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Let's not forget about the Roman Catholic Church. They are just as much at fault as the Mormons…perhaps even more so, since it was the RCC–specifically San Francisco's Archbishop Niederauer–who engineered the unholy alliance with the Mormons in the first place.

  • 43. Mykelb  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I agree that all churches should be taxed on everything except for money directly spent on charity given to the public.

  • 44. Derrick  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Niederauer had a very strong relationship with SLC because he was the bishop in Salt Lake before heading over to San Francisco. Catholics are to blame, but only for encouraging the Mormons. Catholic leadership knows that it does not have its members as programmed as the Mormons, and were willing to use the Mormons to ahcieve their own designs.

  • 45. John  |  January 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Nikki

    The mormons would like you to think that Niederauer contacted them and asked them to help with Prop 8, and the catholics willingly took a bullet for the mormons on that point. But back in Hawaii in the mid 90's the mormons did some polling and found that people would respond better to catholics fighting against gay marriage than they would mormons, so they contacted the catholics to set up a joint organization, with a director from both the catholic and the mormon church, but with the catholic church taking the lead (ironically, the lady who was called to head the mormon side of the leadership just last year testified FOR gay marriage in hawaii, having spent a lot of time really investigating the claims made by the church in the 90's and finding them lacking).

  • 46. Kat  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:44 am

    The LDS church does not use the pulpit to direct people politically. The whole Prop 8 thing was some individuals in California, who happened to be Mormon, pushing their own personal agenda. It was not endorsed by the Church. In Chicago, where I live, we were told from the pulpit that it is NOT the church's position to influence anyone on political matters.

    We are told every election that the church does not endorse any political candidate (not even Mitt Romney during the '08 campaign got an endorsement of the Church), but that we are to use our intelligence and our conscience and vote accordingly.

    I, and a lot of other LDS members here, are all for same-sex unions.

  • 47. Jeffret  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Well, it's true that the LDS church doesn't use the pulpit directly in things like this. That was brought to light in the trial today. They try to do it in a sneaky, off-handed way, instead. Publicly they say that their position is not to influence anyone on political matters. That's for plausible deniability. Privately, behind the scenes is quite a different matter.

    As someone who was privately called into the bishop's office, with other adult members, and asked to donate in the lead-up to Prop 22, I can assure you that the church does use its leaders to push an anti-gay agenda. It does involve itself in politics, just not over the pulpit.

    Being a member in Chicago, all you get to see is the public side of it, not what actually happens.

  • 48. Sheryl Carver  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Clearly you haven't read all of this afternoon's proceedings, Kat. Look at today's Part III:

    S: Reads document from Jansen who says since first Presidency of LDS church wrote letter, what will be our role? “As you know from the First Presidency this campaign is entirely under the direction of the priesthood…”

    I know it can be hard to admit to yourself that the beings you've trusted have, in fact, lied to you, but it's better than living with your head in the sand.

  • 49. fiona64  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Kat wrote: The LDS church does not use the pulpit to direct people politically … (Prop 8) was not endorsed by the Church.

    Perhaps, Kat, you can explain the special comment during the October 21, 2008, Fireside telling people to "go viral" on the message to pass Prop 8 among other things. Unfortunately, the link is now dead or I would share the text with you. This was part of the church's official position on the matter.

  • 50. John  |  January 20, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Kat wrote: The LDS church does not use the pulpit to direct people politcally.

    Sorry, Kat, but you can see it for yourself on the church's own website in their newsroom section. They post the letter that was sent out to be read to every congregation in CA on June 29, 2008. Here's the link:
    http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentar

    The church absolutely WILL direct the members politically whenever they feel like it. They try for neutrality with regards to candidates, but on any political issue they'll take a stand if it suits them. Maybe you're too young to remember the church's involvement in the ERA campaign, but I clearly remember it.

  • 51. Amy  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Let's do it!! Strip them of their comfy tax-exempt status, let them live like the commoners.

  • 52. Matt Lawrence  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Sigh… It always saddens me to read about my father in this light…. Does it really surprise anyone that one of the main Mormon provocators has a gay son? It gives new meaning to having an axe to grind… Having problems coming to terms with son's sexuality? Let's expend huge amounts of time and resources relegating son and people like him to secondary status! I love my father, but I wonder how he thinks about me sometimes…

  • 53. fiona64  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Wow, Matt.

    Just, wow.

    Words fail me. I am so sorry.

  • 54. Mykelb  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Be thankful and happy that you are a grown man and have a Constitutional right to be who and what you want to be. Forget your father. I wrote off my family long ago with no real loss and a great deal of gain financially, psychologically, emotionally and in most every way that makes my life good.

  • 55. michael  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Matt,
    No it is a not surprise me at all. It is sad the length that some people will go when they have had the opportunity to watch the truth raised right in front of them!

  • 56. Patrick Regan  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    I'm sorry. I can't imagine what it is like to be in your situation.

  • 57. BR  |  January 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Matt,
    This is Brent. I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this from your Dad. Your Mom treated me horribly when I came over to visit Vic–all because I brought my first boyfriend over, not realizing their policy. I'll never forget the look on your face as we left–when you asked us to come back again. I felt so bad for you being stuck there as as teenager still. I found out from Krisitn that you were gay, and I felt guilty for not opening up to you. We were all at the table one time eating and your Dad was boasting right in front of you that Elder Maxwell had written a letter and thanked him for his involvement in Prop 22. I was keeping it to myself, trying so hard to 'overcome' it at the time. I remember looking over at you while he went on and on, and how your head was hanging. I wanted to reach across and tell you that you weren't alone at that table–and how sorry I was that your Dad was so heartless. I felt guilty for not having the courage to come out to you and I worried about you. I'm so glad to see your comment on here. I'm glad to see that you are hanging in there. If you ever want to talk, or need a friend, please find me on Facebook. I'm in LA.

  • 58. Molly  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Before Prop 8 I was disaffected but was able to try to salvage what I could from my Mormon heritage. Now all I feel is shame when people find out I was raised Mormon. Bigotry is part and parcel of the doctrine. Women, minorities, and homosexuals are viewed as fundamentally unequal.

  • 59. Hun  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Molly I'm sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction regarding your heritage.

    But I think you are misrepresenting the doctrine of "Mormonism"

    Definition of bigotry from Wikipedia:

    "A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.

    The correct use of the term requires the elements of obstinacy, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing devotion."

    Please explain how the doctrine taught in the mormon church includes bigotry to women, minorities, and homosexuals?

    I can see how some might think it includes obstinacy and irrationality, but where is the animosity in the doctrine?

  • 60. fiona64  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Oh dear me. Should I really re-post the document that talks about how African-American men were denied full priesthood rights (full membership) in the church until 1978, when the IRS came knocking on the door? That's explicit animosity.

    Or shall I discuss how women are not permitted positions of church leadership but, in fact, are to obtain their "glory' through their husbands and having children (whether they want them or not)? That's implicit animosity.

    And really, must we outline Prop 8 and Prop 22 and the church's involvement therein to point out the animosity toward gay men and lesbians? And please, spare me the church's "official pamphlet" on the matter; it is one of the most hate-filled things I've ever read. I will post a link if anyone is interested.

  • 61. Derrick  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:59 am

    "A person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions."–That defines Mormons pretty well.

    Mormons absolutely refuse to see the racist teachings of their religion, especially before 1978. Most people from other religions that also discriminated against blacks, are willing to admit their past mistakes and move on. But not the Mormons, they adamantly defend their beliefs as "inspired" and will never admit that their religion has made mistakes. Do you get any more "intolerantly devoted to [your] own opinions?"

  • 62. Susan R Barnes  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Please post the pamphlet Fiona. I'm interested.

  • 63. David from Sandy UT  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:53 am

    >> Definition of bigotry from Wikipedia:
    >> “A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.
    >> "The correct use of the term requires the elements of obstinacy, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing devotion.”
    >> Please explain how the doctrine taught in the mormon church includes bigotry to women, minorities, and homosexuals?

    There is a HUGE difference between official doctrine and actual practice. It's called paying lip service to Christian principles like "love one another" and The Golden Rule while acting like a slime sucking bigot to people who are not members of your special club.

    "Doctrine" is not the problem. It's bigotry at every level of Utah society that stinks worse than a fresh pile of porcine excrement.

    David
    Sandy UT

  • 64. Tylie  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Well Lady, your ignorance answered your question!

  • 65. fiona64  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    For Susan R. Barnes: http://www.lds.org/topics/pdf/GodLovethHisChildre

    Warning: this pamphlet may be triggering for some people.

  • 66. michael  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Have we been invaded by the Mormon Deny Squad or what???

  • 67. Ben  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Molly,

    Those of us raised Southern Baptist know EXACTLY how you feel…

  • 68. Kat  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Tell that to all the Hispanic people living here who have two full wards, and high priests and bishops, to the African people in my ward (some of whom have leadership positions), and to the Hispanic and African Elders, Seventies and Apostles.

  • 69. fiona64  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Mmmhmm. How many of them were around before 1978?

  • 70. Kim  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:42 am

    The inequality drove me from the LDS church years ago, but this Prop 8 stuff has been newly painful. Though my immediate family actually protested Prop 8 in SLC, my extended family gave $ to it.

    I wanted to also re-emphasize the point about a "calling". These people were working as "volunteers", but were under the impression that their "heavenly father" specifically wanted them to be doing that work and that it was a religious responsibility. They were not acting as citizens, but as Mormons. The coordination is breathtaking — and heartbreaking.

    I just wish this trial would get more media attention. This is some explosive stuff! And the logic is so clear — too bad that's not all that matters for the outcome.

  • 71. David Kimble  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Kim, you are exactly correct in your analysis and who's to blame for this debacle – I point to the leadership in the church, who, first denied any involvement in the Prop8 passage and then came back with a dollar figure, that was too low, in the end, I don't know how much money they actually contributed to the campaign. The point is they did and I am an ex-communicated member of the Church. I agree with some parts of their doctrine, but the more I hold it up the light of day, the less I can believe it.

    I have made the comment several other places on this blog that I completed 2 years mission for the church and upon returning home, I could not continue to live a lie, so I went to my "Branch President" – his answer was to pray about it, which I did. Yet, when I returned and told him the answer I received, he said, "You got the wrong answer." I was 23 years old and had spent my life believing a lie and I finally decided the lie was not wroth my sanity and left the church.
    It was several nights later, I would receive midnight callers dressed with "sheets over their heads" – they were verbally abusive, since they called me "faggot" I did recognize, at least one my attackers, because of a very distinctive class ring he wore.
    Most of the membership, I have discussed Prop8 with, just don't seem to grasp the "Separation of Church and State" clause. They feel perfectly justified in their under-handed attempts to deceive the public.
    By the way, I live with my mother, who is now 88 years – I am her caregiver- old and oddly, she doesn't get it either.(I thought age was supposed to equate with wisdom). I am disgusted with their attempts to hide the truth about their invovlement in the campaign. I remember the day, my mother attended a meeting held on "Church property", yet not inside the Church it'self – feeling they had skirted the intent of the law.
    Yet, one day, I went to Church with her and witnessed the Ward engaging in political talk, I got up and l walked-out the church. I will never return to another Mormon Church, as long as I live.
    Whatever God they believe is not the God of Love and Mercy that I believe in.

  • 72. Kat  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Good to know there's just as much hate outside of any church as there is inside it.

  • 73. marmot  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:47 am

    'nother LDS casualty here. Mormons have extra books of scripture. Two of them, The Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price are explicitly racist.

    The Book of Mormon teaches that the bad people (the Lamanites) are "cursed with a skin of darkness." To be black is to be cursed, at the very least.

    Sample verse: "[F]or this people shall be scattered, and shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us, yea, even that which hath been among the Lamanites, and this because of their unbelief and idolatry." [Mormon 5:15.]

    The Pearl of Great Price explicitly associates being black with the curse of Cain.
    "And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them" (Moses, 7.:22).

    For those non-biblical scholars out there, here's the curse of Cain, straight from Genesis.
    "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth." (Gen. 4:10–12)

    Mormons explicitly denied salvation to Blacks, or to anyone that had even a hint of black blood. There were people who combed genealogical records (of which the church has a vast amount) to figure out who was in and who should be thrown out.

    Man, this comment is getting long. Black people were denied salvation because salvation requires going to the temple, and black people were forbidden from going to the temple until 1978.

    Now, the church in 1978 didn't apologize, they didn't say they were wrong, they just lifted the ban. As there is no reason for the ban-lifting many mormons still believe that Blacks are just not as good as white people, specifically, that they were less valiant in the preexistence. That's pretty inside baseball, but let's just say it's bad. The Mormon Church issued a proclamation in 1949 (? could have ben 1947) stating just that–that black people deserved their lesser status. This proclamation has never been repudiated.

    Sigh. Now that racism has gone out of fashion, they're frisking around their next target–Gays.

  • 74. Tylie  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:55 am

    The reason they lifted the ban was because they were threatened with loosing tax exemption status. well, They need to lose it now. I just see a racist political party! Give the "KKK" tax exempt status, they deserve it just as much!

  • 75. Tylie  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:49 am

    These Mormons are no different than the Tali-ban. They believe god will reward them for hurting even killing those who think differently than they. Telephones/suicide bombers, you decide. Research Mormon Blood Atonement.

  • 76. marmot  |  January 20, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    OK, Kat, where are we, the presumed haters, wrong in what we've posted?

  • 77. Bob  |  January 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Well at least there is diisclosure, I live in Canada, in my dialogue with The Lutheran Church Canada, When questioned about their use of hatred, they took refuge in the fact that so does The Roman Catholic Church,
    The most unusual of all joining of forces, considering the history of these relidgions.

  • 78. Linda  |  January 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Does 'the Moral Majority' ring any bells? In the mid-eighties, if I remember correctly. That's when politics unapologetically entered the sanctuaries. Since then political idealogies have been touted like points of doctrine. It's about time this was exposed. I just wish there was a more public witness to all this.

    I went through my own disillusionment with my (conservative, evangelical) Christian 'faith' not long ago. It's an awful feeling to realize you've been duped. Denial is the first instinct. But after a while you start to really look at the facts, and the truth is right there staring you in the face. Lies and Manipulation….that's all it is. Religion is a powerful tool to control society. And it's hard to combat, because people within it's clutches have relinquished their right to free thought.

  • 79. michael  |  January 20, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    yes close your mind and open your wallets!

  • 80. Bob  |  January 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    we have an opportunity here for more disclosure, it means each one of us standing up in our local faith communities and families of origin, which many of us have left in order to come out.
    we can return there and stand up for ourselves, we have the opportunity to hold religious beliefs accountable, beliefs can't stand up to knowledge and dialogue, that's where we can make change happen. hold the churches accountable,
    Imagine religions as opposite as Mormon and Catholic, or Lutheran and Catholic , joining forces to express hatred. That's whats happening here.

  • 81. An Explosive Afternoon: L&hellip  |  January 20, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    […] has more here on the tangled web between officials on the campaign and the LDS […]

  • 82. Steve  |  January 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    It does seem clear from the pseudo-transcript that the LDS organization has violated the terms of the Internal Revenue Code, by spending significant amounts of time and money on a political issue. Further, they did it in a sneaky and underhanded way, specifically designed to hide their efforts.

    It seems clear to me that the LDS tax exemption should be revoked. But, that is a side issue, not the primary issue at hand. Instead of getting distracted on that issue, it should be handled later as a separate concern. If there is a gay tax attorney out there reading this, who is more than mildly irritated at the LDS, he/she might want to file an appropriate complaint with the IRS.

    In the context of this case, the heavy involvement by LDS and other churches contribute to a showing that: G&L are politically powerless; religious animus and discrimination continue to be directed at G&L; and that P8 was motivated by religious animus and discrimination. Those are specific points that are called out in precedent cases to establish a "suspect class" and trigger "strict scrutiny".

  • 83. Charlie  |  January 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Actually, it is perfectly OK for a tax-exempt organization to advocate for a ballot proposition or on other public policy issues. What is forbidden is to campaign for a particular candidate for public office or on behalf of a political party.

  • 84. David from Sandy UT  |  January 21, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Unfortunately, here in Utardia—The Pretty Hate State (a.k.a. Utah), many members of the LDS organization sincerely believe that marriage equality is immoral (yes, please understand that these individuals believe that giving equal rights to the GLBTQ community is directly in conflict with God's Will) and will cause the downfall of society as we know it. In my never-humble opinion, these individuals have been brainwashed with a kind of bigotry that is far worse than the racist bigotry of the Old Segregationist South. (Why worse? In 2010, we should know better than to use "God" and "tradition" to justify hurting our fellow citizens!) This point of view reflects the ignorance, prejudice, and bigotry of a "Utah Mormon" and is related (but only indirectly) to official LDS doctrine that homosexual acts are a really, really bad sin.

    Another point of view that you must understand is the wide-spread (but "unofficial") belief that, "When our leaders have spoken, the thinking has been done." (This statement was made several years ago in an official LDS publication.) Questioning instruction from LDS leaders is seen as absolute proof that the questioner is headed directly to Hell, do not pass Go!, do not collect $200. The (so-called) Prophet directed LDS members to support the Prop. 8 campaign. (And of course they did.)

    I recall reading on the Nauvoo discussion forum how one LDS member was so proud that her congregation had exceeded the quotas for money and volunteer-time established by the so-called priesthood leaders. Quotas? Quotas!

    Logic, ethics, rational thought, etc., have absolutely NO impact on many members of the LDS organization. They sincerely believe that God does not want members of the GLBTQ community to have the same secular, government-granted benefits and protections that they themselves now enjoy. (On the other hand, and completely inconsistent with "reality" here in Utardia, LDS leaders have said that they have "no objection" to limited, shall we say, second-class, protections for the GLBTQ community.) They explain away (or completely ignore) widely held beliefs like The Golden Rule. Bottom line: We are dealing with an organization that pays lip service to "love one another" yet tolerates and sometimes encourages people like Chris Buttars (LDS Bishop, UT State Senator, former leader of an organization that used psychological and physical abuse to try to change the sexual orientation of teenagers, etc., etc., etc.).

    Members of the marriage-equality faction see LDS actions as religious animus. Unfortunately, LDS members see their behavior as "doing God's Will."

    Zounds! I hate this state.

  • 85. Eric  |  January 21, 2010 at 4:24 am

    To Kat and the others trying to defend the Mormon Church, I am qualified I think to speak on the matter of the Mormons and gays. I grew up Mormon in Utah, New Mexico, and Nevada. I went on a mission to South Africa, I was Deacon, Teacher, Priest, Elder. I was involved in the leadership of my Quorum. My father was second then first councilor in the Bishopric. I am gay. I was kicked off my mission having not actually done anything except my companion read my journal and my admiting to myself there I was gay. I was send home to Utah and the church paid to have me sent to therapist to have the gay cured from me. I participated in <a>, the Mormon Repairitive Therapy group. I felt the shame of trying to participate in a ward where everyone knew I was sent home from my mission early, and why. I promise you, until you live through being a gay mormon from the inside, you have no concept of the depth of suffering seemingly well intentioned actions can have on those you bear no "animosity" to. I was finally getting over my mormon issues, finally getting to a place where I didn't shudder everytime I drove past a mormon church or temple… and then, here in California where I fled from Utah after barely surviving what the church did to me in Utah, here where a loving Aunt took me in and helped me become a real person. They came here and paid unbeliveable sums of money to make sure that I can not marry the man I love, for my own good.

  • 86. Justin  |  January 21, 2010 at 6:12 am

    I'm beginning to think we should fight crazy with crazy. Perhaps start the "Traditional Marriage Defense Fund” we could have a website up and collecting donations in minutes. Thoughts?

    Gay marriage opponents often cite tradition as a reason to keep marriage being between one man and one Woman. I have come to the realization that I totally agree them and that we should support traditional marriage and push for a return to traditional family values. As a male I would love to see the return of absolute patriarchal rule, polygamy, and the use of women as currency, and political pawns. Women also really don’t need to vote or worry about such silly things as property ownership or contracts. Men are more suited to manage these things what with their ability to better control their emotions. Surely, women would agree, this will leave females more time to enjoy their favorite things such as cooking, decorating, and raising children. We must also dispense with the whole idea of interracial marriages, yet another disastrous liberal experiment. It is necessary for the survival of our species that bloodlines be kept pure. We must also think of the children, fore surely the abhorrent product of such a union will have no place in civilized society.

  • 87. fiona64  |  January 21, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Don't forget to criminalize contraception, and make discussing it the equivalent of distributing pornography. While we're at it, let's bring back the Chinese Exclusion Act.

    Yep, that's the kind of "tradition" that the Family Values Crowd(TM) are really talking about … disgusting.

  • 88. Paul  |  January 21, 2010 at 10:17 am

    What happened to separation of church and state? States and the government are not suppose to become involved in religion and religion is not suppose to become involved in our government.
    Our country is suppose to be for the people, by the people and about the people. Sometimes things are not suppose to be about the majority, but the protection of the rights and freedoms of the minorities, regardless of what the majority of people want. Our government is suppose to protect and pass laws that protect all of us.
    This marriage thing has gotten out of hand, this is not about being able to be married in some religion or in the eyes of God, but granting people the rights and privileges of being together.
    I am a gay man and wish to be able to have all the same and fair and equal treatment for me and my partner that a married man and woman have. I grew up in Utah, my mom's side of the family is mormon, they tried to get me to go to church, but it just wasn't me. I despise the mormon church more than anything. They are a cult.

    Love knows no bounds or limits. In the eyes of God, we are all his children.

  • 89. For families  |  January 21, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    1999: The late President Hinckley: I have time to discuss one other question: "Why does the Church become involved in issues that come before the legislature and the electorate?"

    I hasten to add that we deal only with those legislative matters which are of a strictly moral nature or which directly affect the welfare of the Church. We have opposed gambling and liquor and will continue to do so. We regard it as not only our right but our duty to oppose those forces which we feel undermine the moral fiber of society. Much of our effort, a very great deal of it, is in association with others whose interests are similar. We have worked with Jewish groups, Catholics, Muslims, Protestants, and those of no particular religious affiliation, in coalitions formed to advocate positions on vital moral issues. Such is currently the case in California, where Latter-day Saints are working as part of a coalition to safeguard traditional marriage from forces in our society which are attempting to redefine that sacred institution. God-sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman has been the basis of civilization for thousands of years. There is no justification to redefine what marriage is. Such is not our right, and those who try will find themselves answerable to God.

    Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.

    Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married.

    I commend those of our membership who have voluntarily joined with other like-minded people to defend the sanctity of traditional marriage. As part of a coalition that embraces those of other faiths, you are giving substantially of your means. The money being raised in California has been donated to the coalition by individual members of the Church. You are contributing your time and talents in a cause that in some quarters may not be politically correct but which nevertheless lies at the heart of the Lord's eternal plan for His children, just as those of many other churches are doing. This is a united effort.

    I think that is all I need to say on that and the other matters on which I have commented. I have tried to explain why we do some of the things that we do. I hope I have been helpful.

  • 90. For families  |  January 21, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    This was not "an order" from on high. I plea to exercise first ammendment rights of speech and exercise of religious freedom.
    http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232

    I have time to discuss one other question: "Why does the Church become involved in issues that come before the legislature and the electorate?"

    I hasten to add that we deal only with those legislative matters which are of a strictly moral nature or which directly affect the welfare of the Church. We have opposed gambling and liquor and will continue to do so. We regard it as not only our right but our duty to oppose those forces which we feel undermine the moral fiber of society. Much of our effort, a very great deal of it, is in association with others whose interests are similar. We have worked with Jewish groups, Catholics, Muslims, Protestants, and those of no particular religious affiliation, in coalitions formed to advocate positions on vital moral issues. Such is currently the case in California, where Latter-day Saints are working as part of a coalition to safeguard traditional marriage from forces in our society which are attempting to redefine that sacred institution. God-sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman has been the basis of civilization for thousands of years. There is no justification to redefine what marriage is. Such is not our right, and those who try will find themselves answerable to God.

    Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.

    Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married.

    I commend those of our membership who have voluntarily joined with other like-minded people to defend the sanctity of traditional marriage. As part of a coalition that embraces those of other faiths, you are giving substantially of your means. The money being raised in California has been donated to the coalition by individual members of the Church. You are contributing your time and talents in a cause that in some quarters may not be politically correct but which nevertheless lies at the heart of the Lord's eternal plan for His children, just as those of many other churches are doing. This is a united effort.

    I think that is all I need to say on that and the other matters on which I have commented. I have tried to explain why we do some of the things that we do. I hope I have been helpful.

  • 91. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Spam, spam, spam, spam …

  • 92. Tylie  |  January 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Lame!

  • 93. Bob  |  January 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    A Church in Calgary Alberta Canada, has just had it's tax exempt status revolked, for taking a stand on political issues suchas , abortion, homosexuality,

  • 94. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Do you have a link?

  • 95. BR  |  January 21, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I knew Gary Lawrence and grew up with his kids, hanging out in his home. What makes his sad life even more deplorable is that his son Matt is gay. I haven't had contact with their family in the years since I came out after my LDS mission, but I hope Matt is still alive and well. Too many of my LDS friends have either committed or attempted suicide because of the cruelty and ignorance of the LDS Church's teachings and treatment over the years. I am myself among these. If you are ensared in the LDS Church: free yourself and free your mind from this cult. Don't believe their threats and fearmongering. They are liars, lovers of tall-tails, who make promises they simply cannot back up because they do not and never will speak for God, no matter how mislead and 'well-intentioned' they may be.

  • 96. michael  |  January 21, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    BR,
    Matt has a comment on this site somewhere. He said it was sad too.

  • 97. BR  |  January 21, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Thanks Michael, I saw Matt's comment after posting my own comments here. I've thought of him many times and wondered how he was doing. I felt so bad that I was not 'out' back then. I wanted to let him know he wasn't alone. So I was relieved to know that he's alive. The way his father would carry on and boast about his role in Prop 22 right in front of Matt made me sick to my stomach. I don't know how I could have endured that. My family situation was hard enough. But if they were actively campaigning against my civil right to civil marriage I would not be able to stand it. I feel bad for Matt. I know these are his parents and how that feels. Hey loves them, and wants to have them in his life. I'm the same way, and I struggle with my own LDS family and their unChrist-like treatment of me. But if these people are going to attack my liberty and my pursuit of happiness–if they are going to attack my freedom of religion and impose their particular beliefs on me in a Constitutional amendment–suggesting that they are the only ones fit to raise children–then I'm sorry but they fully deserve to be called out on their horrible marriage, their hypocrisy and lousy parenting. Gary Lawrence is the last person on earth who should be talking about what a great husband and father he is. His marriage to his wife was sexless he is put more energy and focus into persecuting his own flesh and blood–and taking away his son's equal rights, rather than doing the basic duty of a parent and standing up for him. It's akin to Strom Thurmon's active support for segregation against blacks, while he was funneling money to his own secret black love child. It's Newt Gingrich persecuting Bill Clinton on the House floor, while simultaneously carrying on his long-term adulturous affair in his own life. It's hypocrisy. Jesus never said a word about homosexuals. But he did decry hypocrites. He taught, "Whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone" and "pull the beam from your own eye before you go picking splinters out of others' eyes". If Gary Lawrence wants to promote and strengthen marriage, if Gary Lawrence is worried about children being raised properly, he needs to start with his own children. If he is worried about marriage he should start by having sex with his wife and not rejecting her because of her weight. If this is about protecting the 'institution of marriage' where is his push for a Constitutional amendment against divorce. Mormons have a divorce rate of 50% like everyone else. Why don't they work on their own marriages and stop trying to keep us from having them? Why don't they start working on their relationships with their gay children? What kind of a shitty, spineless, shameful man works against the civil rights of his own child?

  • 98. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:49 am

    BR, I'm glad you are still here. I saw your earlier comment to Matt; I hope that he is still reading.

    Your voice is vital to this discussion.

  • 99. BR  |  January 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    One last thing: Gary Lawrence's daughter Kristin was my friend. She revealed to me how much despair she felt because of her Mother's deep depression. Gary refused to ever have sex with his wife because she was too overweight. She would go to Costco and buy tons of food and cook for us all the time. She just got bigger and bigger. When I mistakenly came over the the house one time with my first boyfriend, someone I had been dating for a year and who had moved with me from Utah home to California, she found out about it from her daughter. I came over to see an ex girlfriend who was living at their house, and she opened the door only a crack and told me "I don't know if I can let you in–you brought that whatever you call it into our home." This was someone I had referred to growing up as my Mom #2. I told her, "It's called a boyfriend–you know like the boys your daughters bring home. You have a gay son, how can you not know this?" She replied "Well you don't have to ACT ON IT!" (This is the usual cop-out canned response that all Mormons say to anyone who feels that they are not cut out for the life of a gay celibate Mormon monk.) Suddenly a feeling came over me of indignation, and I believe of spiritual discernment. God or the Universe spoke through me in a way that was not like me: I stood up for myself and called Mrs. Lawrence out on her marital misery: "You're just jealous of anyone being in a loving relationship and having sex with that person." I was so shocked by this incident: when I brought over my boyfriend, I told him to keep things on the down low, because I knew this family didn't know yet that I was gay. But I didn't know they had a policy of not letting their gay son Matt bring any of his gay friends into their home. I thought if anything, they would be more educated about it and less judgmental. The fact is, these people are NOT kind or loving toward gay people. The fact is they won't even let gay people in their house. Jesus taught "If you do it to the least of these my brethren you do it to me." That includes, according to Jesus, people who are in prison. But at the Lawrence's house, somehow their 'righteousness' has lead to their policy that there is "No room at the inn" for the least of these.

  • 100. Forthebibletoldmeso  |  January 22, 2010 at 2:00 am

    forfamilies, I applaud you. Homosexuality is NOT a matter of civil rights. It IS a matter of morality. Just because someone lives a particular lifestyle, that does NOT make it right or legal, period.

  • 101. Tylie  |  January 22, 2010 at 2:42 am

    stop pushing your "morality" around on people. Your false judgments are based in prejudice, and you think that gives you a license to throw your pushy hate around. Stop it! Just stop it!

  • 102. fiona64  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:00 am

    I find it immoral to forcibly convert people to a different religion after their death — most especially if those people were Holocaust victims or survivors.

    I find it immoral to tell people that they have to wear a particular type of underwear in order to be "godly."

    I find it immoral to tell women that they are good for nothing but childbearing.

    And yet your right to practice your religion is viewed as a civil right.

    Despite what you and your church want to think, no one chooses to be gay or lesbian. It is not a lifestyle, it is a LIFE.

  • 103. Bob  |  January 22, 2010 at 2:38 am

    Hey, Fiona, the link re the Church in Canada, that lost it's tax exempt status is Lifesitenews.com, it's a religious right based news group.
    but just to read the headline, is somewhat encouraging

  • 104. fiona64  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:01 am

    Thanks, Bob!

  • 105. Mormon church wanted ‘p&hellip  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

    […] and the ProtectMarriage.com campaign began was so fuzzy as to subsume the distinction,” Brian Leubitz wrote at Prop 8 Trial […]

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