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Mormons for Marriage concerned about possible church involvement in Washington state

Timothy Kincaid

February 17th, 2012

After the black eye that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints received in the days and months following the passage of Proposition 8, I thought that they would do everything they could to avoid controversy or assume an anti-gay visible presence in the future.

Ever aware of how they have been perceived, the Mormons have for decades worked towards a public image as “good honest friendly neighbor” and suddenly finding themselves known to half the population as “the meanie who takes away rights” left them flailing and in confusion as how to respond. And what with a decent chance of having a Mormon in the White House, I seriously doubted that they would take any stance that could reflect negatively on anyone.

But I may be wrong.

Mormons for Marriage, an organization of faithful who support inclusion of gay people in civil marriage law, are reporting that opponents of the law are meeting with Mormon leadership.

Less than 24 hours after personally filing Referendum 74 with the Washington state attorney general’s office, Joseph Backholm of the Family Policy Institute of Washington and John Paulton of Focus on the Family met with “Mormon Church Leaders” in Washington. A staffer at the Family Policy Institute initially disclosed the meeting by phone, the meeting was later confirmed directly by Joseph Backholm.

It isn’t known what was requested, promised or denied. However, in California we learned that a request from the Prophet will get Mormon volunteers in the streets, making calls, giving money. Let’s keep an eye on this development.

Comments

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Larry
February 17th, 2012 | LINK

It seems to me the other news out of Washington State today could have an impact on the success of a new petition drive. Will the threat of public disclosure (whosigned.org) have a cooling effect on voters who might not want their names made public?

TominDC
February 17th, 2012 | LINK

@Larry

I find the way you phrase your question troubling. There is no new “threat” of public disclosure because those lists of names/signatures were always supposed to be available to the public.

I have no doubt that lots of people didn’t know that, and that some people would probably not sign controversial petitions if they knew of it. But it’s not a new thing. And people who sign their names onto documents have no excuse for not finding out exactly what they’ve committed themselves to.

Steve
February 18th, 2012 | LINK

“request from the Prophet” is putting it mildly. An order from the so-called ‘Prophet’ conman is like the word of god for them and disobeying it can have very serious consequences in some circles

Theo
February 18th, 2012 | LINK

As gay marriage is now likely to be on the ballot in 5 states, it will be very interesting to see if the LDS wades back in to the fight.

We do know that they opted not to make any significant moves in Maine and Washington in 2009. Also, they did not mobilize their members for legislative lobbying in NY, WA, NJ, or MD. As far as I know, they have not been a presence in the MN or NC fights so far.

So if I had to guess, I’d say that they will stay out or perhaps just issue statements supportive of the anti-gay efforts.

cowboy
February 18th, 2012 | LINK

It’ll take years for the homosexual community to not think of Mormons as big ‘meanies’; even when the Mormons say they’re not for any sort of discrimination towards LGBT folk.

It’s too late. The Mormons have been branded.

Fergie
February 18th, 2012 | LINK

I think it also depends on where they have a density of LDS Church members (Idaho, Nevada, California, etc. )or extraordinary political influence (Hawaii, Utah, Arizona etc.)

The LDS takeaway from the Prop 8 fiasco wasn’t to stay out of anti-gay politics, it was just to do it more quietly, stay out of the media glare, and not get caught.

If Romney loses in the fall election after all of the LDS efforts to cultivate his image/campaign/fundraising , they won’t have to hide their true intentions from the media spotlight anymore. THEN, I think they will come out with guns blazing on anti-gay initiatives.

Right now they are letting the Catholics do the heavy lifting in public (but you can still find a constant stream of religious liberty/anti-gay editorials and talking points across all of their LDS-Centric media platforms).

Soren456
February 18th, 2012 | LINK

I don’t know of another church that has painted itself so irreversibly and distinctly into a corner as have the Mormons on homosexuality and, by extension, marriage equality.

They have literally no means to reverse themselves. There’s not even wiggle room in their positions. To the best of my (incomplete) knowledge, only a “revelation” from God can change their stance.

What this means, of course, is that they will continue to do as we have seen them doing, more subtly and more secretly, but always with the same intention: to kill any option of marriage for gay people.

They are not our friends.

Steve
February 18th, 2012 | LINK

They just need a divine revelation from their “prophet” (who after all speaks with the voice of god) and everything could change. They had the same dogmatic positions on blacks and blacks in the priesthood. Then they suddenly changed and everyone had to follow the party line. It’s a cult that is able to enforce complete obedience in areas where they dominate the social and public life.

Of course it’s not going to happen anytime soon

jerry
February 21st, 2012 | LINK

A revelation by the Profit will make a difference. When he has found a way to make acceptance of gays pad his bank accounts and the accounts of the other big kahunas of the cult, we will be welcomed like the prodigal son.

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