The Mormon Church and Proposition 8

The hypocrisy and dishonesty of the Mormon Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) in supporting the gay marriage ban (Proposition 8) in California in November 2008 may have culminated in illegal use of its tax-exempt status to influence legislation.

The Mormon Church, Polygamy, and Interracial Marriages

Mormons know better than most that marriage is NOT traditionally defined as "one man and one woman," as they claim over and over again in arguments and political advertisements. Polygamy, a definition of marriage that means "one man and many women," was standard practice among Mormons until 1890, when the church officially disallowed the practice and began to excommunicate members who clung to the practice after the US government criminalized polygamy, disincorporated the Mormon Church, and began to seize church property.

This disavowal led to schisms within the church, including the breakaway of the group calling themselves the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), who continue to practice polygamy and have been in the news lately due to the recent discovery of widespread child abuse and forced marriages between barely pubescent girls and middle-aged men.

The Mormon Church has also been a proponent of the definition of marriage as "one man and one woman of the same race." Though it never officially outlawed interracial marriage, the Mormon Church has a long history of discouraging them, dating back at least to Brigham Young, who stated "If the White man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain (those with dark skin), the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." Though interracial marriages have gained greater acceptance since a 1978 revelation that also granted blacks, for the first time, the right to become priests or have a temple marriage, they are still commonly discouraged within the Mormon community.

Mormons and Proposition 8

Mormons managed a remarkable feat of propaganda in the weeks leading up to November 4, 2008.

Early in the campaign, support for California's Proposition 8 trailed by 17 points in polls. Mormons poured money into the state, raising at least $10 million (possibly closer to $20 million) dollars in support of the so-called "Protect Marriage" campaign. With just 2% of the population of California, Mormons donated 40-80% of the funds in support of Proposition 8, many from out-of-state.

In two separate letters sent out by church leaders in May, they urged LDS members to donate to the campaign. One of the letters, which gave names and addresses for checks to be sent, urged church leaders to contact wealthy Mormons first, and specified that "no undue pressure of any type should be applied" to gain donations, but church leaders should explain to members that "this is a moral issue." Despite leaders' request not to use "undue pressure," some Mormons were told that their immortal souls would be in danger if they did not donate.

The money was used to fund an extraordinarily dishonest campaign that included attempts to blackmail businesses that donated money in opposition to Proposition 8.

When the depth of LDS involvement in the campaign became better known, the Mormons cut and run in the face of media scrutiny, shutting down Utah call centers they were using to call Californians about the measure. However, their lies and propaganda succeeded in passing the measure by a narrow margin.

San Francisco Supervisor Mark Leno has called on the IRS to investigate whether the church violated its tax-exempt status through its activities, stating:

"All Americans get to take part in the political process. Churches and other... charitable organizations get to speak their minds and advocate a position. But to take an active role in raising money, that means that these individuals are collecting salaries from an organization which exists off of tax-deductible contributions, and on church time and letterhead (they) are raising money to weigh in on a political ballot measure. ... I think that crosses the line."

IRS law states:

Section 501(c)(3) describes corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literacy, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in section (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

The Mormon Church has faced religious persecution for much of its existence. Many of its members know what it feels like to be hated and discriminated against. Yet it still chose to spread hate, intolerance, and discrimination, to literally write them into the California Constitution, even to the extent of using intimidation, threats, and outright lies in a campaign that very likely violated US tax law, as well as US values of freedom, tolerance, and civil rights.

What's Your Opinion on Proposition 8?

Do you agree with me? Disagree?

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Keith Olbermann on Proposition 8, Hitting the Nail on the Head

UPDATE - January 7, 2008

Much has been made of the supposed strong support (over 70% according to one poll) among the African American and Hispanic communities for Proposition 8. Unfortunately for these arguments, new studies of voting data have recently shown that party affiliation, political ideology, religious affiliation, and age were the primary factors driving the pro-Proposition 8 vote. When these were factored out, support for Proposition 8 among minorities was no higher than among whites. In fact support for Proposition 8 was higher among white, Asian, and Hispanic churchgoers than among African American churchgoers.

For more, check out Driving Factors of Prop 8 Vote.

Support Religious Freedom, Support Gay Marriage

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Comments 114 comments

Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Thanks for another informative and interesting hub, kerryg. I didn't realize Prop 8 had passed... what a shame. We had a similar proposal that passed in Arizona to ban gay marriages, and I was disgusted by the campaign literature we received in the mail, acting as if this was to protect the sanctity of marriage, when it was clearly designed to keep gay people from enjoying the same constitutional rights as the rest of us.

I saw this quote in our heavily conservative newspaper (the AZ republic) and it made me sick: "Prop. 102's victory shows that a simple and timeless value like marriage unites people of all ethnic, religious and political backgrounds," said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which lobbied heavily to get lawmakers to refer the matter to the ballot.

All people except the gays, of course.

The Mormon religion never ceases to amaze me. I know of several decent, intelligent human beings who are Mormon, and I do believe their hearts are in the right place, but their scripture and practices distrurb me because they seem to breed intolerance for anyone outside of the practice. I suppose that's nothing new as far as religion goes, though.

Great hub!

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

It isn't a sure thing that it passed, as there are still a few ballots to be counted, but it looks very likely that it will. :(

Mormons remind me of Catholics and fundamentalist Protestants, in that they're basically good people, but far more deliberately exclusionary than the lower-key Protestant churches I was raised in, and I think you see the results in all three churches' support of this hateful law. I suppose I can understand the appeal of being one of the Chosen Ones, but it doesn't jibe very well for me with what Jesus actually taught.

Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

I couldn't agree more--I'm reading a great book called "To Be of Use: The Seven Seeds of Meaningful Work," and it was written by Dave Smith, the son of a fundamentalist minister. One day, he recognized the hypocrisy of the Christian church and he walked out during a service and never went back. He draws a distinction between religion today and traditional values, which I found rather poignant:

"The original wisdom of the great religions was humanistic in its values and goals: teaching the betterment of humanity and placing our values and well-being above all other considerations -- above the culture, above politics, above economics, above church, above the state. Jesus was not out to build a world religion; he was living, practicing, and teaching values of freedom from the cruelty and bondage to any human-made religious system or set of orthodox rules. He loathed materialism, raged against hypocrisy, and cursed the smug religious professionals who twisted basic values into a self-serving system of do's and don'ts -- those who loved telling everyone what they were doing wrong, even while cozying up to the corrupt, oppressive, occupying Roman political powers. He disdained the religious and political establishment of his time, calling the Pharisees 'liars' and 'hypocrites.' So he introduced a more truthful, egalitarian value system based on traditional wisdom...Jesus, representing the sacred spark within, lived for and taught values of meaning" (Smith, 2005, pp. 30-31).

"Do unto others as you would have done unto you" is so beautiful in its simplicity. It's a shame that people have moved so far away from messages of love and tolerance in their desire to be "the chosen people" and somehow gain a foothold on heaven.

somelikeitscott profile image

somelikeitscott 8 years ago from Las Vegas

Thanks for the very informative hub and I know I'm not alone in hoping that if there was indeed wrongdoing that the Mormonians will get what's coming to them.

I also think it's kind of funny that those of us on the side of us gays getting married are starting to sound a bit like our opponents, "Some of my best friends are Mormon." "I knew a Catholic once that was really a good person." Upon learning I was Jewish, a friend of mine's father pulled out a business card and said, "Hey, this guy's Jewish - do you know him?"

We have to laugh, right?

vitaeb profile image

vitaeb 8 years ago from Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

I never could understand these moralists who feel they have the right to meddle with other peoples morals. Don't they have enough to do? I suspect that Proposition 8 may become a Supreme Court issue. Let's hope so.

Netters profile image

Netters 8 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

What makes them think they are better than anyone else? Geez!

Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Yeah, that's a good point, somelikeitscott -- I could probably tone down the anti-religious sentiment a bit. :) We're all in this together. Thanks for the laugh!

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 8 years ago from washington

There have always been, in every age of the church, those who have been opposed to the principles of virtue, who have loved the gain of this present world, followed the principles of unrightousness, and have been enemies of truth. Those who have associated with us and made the greatest professions of friendship, have frequently been our greatest enemies and our most determined foes; if they became unpopular, if their interests or dignity was touched, or if they were detected in their iniquity, they were always the first to raise the hand of persicution, to culminate and vilify their brethren and to seek the downfall and destruction of their friends.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Onusonus, the Mormon Church has certainly turned its back on the LGBT members of its church and communities with its support for this measure.

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 8 years ago from washington


kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual, also sometimes abbreviated GLBT.

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 8 years ago from washington

There is welcoming room in the LDS Church for those who identify as GLBT. a book called Mormons and Homosexuality can help in a unifying process if it's author Dr. Byrd can be given the benefit of the doubt and his book allowed to be a springboard for discussion rather than simply the latest stimulus for debate. (Actually, debate is OK; it's the animosity that gets out of control.) It deserves a read and it shouldn't be discounted just because some will view it as being written by the opposition

t.keeley profile image

t.keeley 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

Good hub. This isn't a legal issue, it's a moral one best determined by each individual church.

Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Exactly. Which makes it all the more criminal in my mind that the LDS would reach into "our" state to legislate morality of people who aren't even in their church! I do hope they are able to turn this around in court AND find the Mormons in violation of their tax-exempt status. Although not sure what kind of censure that would engender. Let them ban gay marriage in Utah if they must. But leave our constitution alone, dammit!

celestial08 profile image

celestial08 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

please don't say anything bad against the mormons....

Lifewithpurpose 8 years ago

ok i understand your frustration with the fact that prop 8 did not pass. I value any viewpoint even if it disagrees with my own. That being said, Mormons were not the majority of people who passed this bill. Yes, they put a TON of money into the campaign for it. That i will definitely acknowledge. However, it was a combination of many religions and the people who follow them that led to this proposition being passed. This is a moral issue that people on both sides of the fence feel very strongly about. Almost every person I have talked to who voted yes on 8 has absolutely no problem granting homosexuals more rights as a couple. They also completely empathise with people who feel strongly that prop 8 should not have passed. They see your side and understand it. Now people are comparing this to the civil rights movement of African Americans and i would say for the most part that is completely unfair. What people who voted no on prop 8 need to understand is that to most religious people God and the Bible are at the core of who they are as a person. It completely shapes and nurtures their values and beliefs. So its not that they want to suppress homosexuals, its that it goes against their very nature to do something that is explicitly shown as wrong to them in the Bible. So whether you agree with them or not you need to respect the fact that in order for them follow their religion they have an obligation to oppose same sex marriage.

Adam 8 years ago

The Mormon church overwhelmingly funded/supported prop 8 and the language "marriage between one man and one woman."

between one man and ONE woman

hey alanis... now isn't THAT ironic??? these people that have multiple wives want one man and one woman to be law... so, CA, it is time to start enforcing!

AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 8 years ago from England

As I said elsewhere, the consequences of Proposition 8 would have infringed upon the rights of others and struck at the very core of society - the traditional family. This action was not about violating anyone's rights. It was about proteting rights.

The unkind and false accusations made about religious individuals and organizations has shown a spirit in the once liberty-loving Christian nation of the USA that is hard to believe. Tolerance is an attitude regardless of what our beliefs may be.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

Adam, in fairness, the Mormon Church has repudiated polygamy,and the groups that still practice it have been excommunicated from the main Mormon Church, even though they follow many mainstream Mormon beliefs in other ways and consider themselves to be the "true" Mormons.

AngloSaxon, before Proposition 8 passed, gays and lesbians had the right to marry the people they love. Now they don't. You want to explain to me how that doesn't violate their rights?

And while you're at it, explain to me how letting them marry the people they love violates yours. By California law, you have the right to recuse your child from any school lessons about health or family matters that you disagree with on moral or religious grounds. By United States law, your church cannot be forced to perform marriages for people it doesn't want to marry, nor can it be denied funding or tax-exempt status for doing so. So exactly which of your rights are being violated by allowing two consenting adults who love each other to marry?

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 8 years ago from washington

I can certainly respect those (even in my own immediate family!) who oppose Prop 8 or Amendment 2 on those grounds. However, this is not a matter of violating the constitution, this is a matter of changing it, and the government has the right to place reasonable restrictions on whom one may marry. For example, what sane person would advocate repeal of laws prohibiting marriage to underage people? I’m sure that pedophiles would appreciate not being charged with statutory rape. I am also sure that the state has a valid interest in banning incest. Who wants to saddle taxpayers with DNA-based maladies that come with that practice?

While reasonable people may differ on what is an acceptable boundary on minimum age or close family relations in marriage, the principle, I think, stands. That line may be fuzzy, but it exists, and some reasonable line must be drawn.

More clear, I believe, is the line marking restrictions against same-sex marriage (though I admit that the line fuzzes when dealing with hermaphrodites and transsexuals). The corellation between homosexual acts and sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS is perhaps as significant as the corellation between incest and mental and physical defects. To say that the state has the right to ban transfats to promote public health, but not certain sexual activities seems like a disconnect.

Nor is this a matter of denying equal rights, in my view. Laws banning sex with near-relations, underage children, and, those of the same gender are applied equally against everyone. Now, if there was a law banning homosexuals from owning property or inheritance rights, then I would object. I have a homosexual near-relation, and to assert that, say, President Thomas Monson can will his property to his beloved wife, but my near-relative cannot will his property to his beloved companion is to say that President Monson has a right that is denied to others. THAT would be a denial of equal rights, and I suspect that even all of the Brethren would object–loudly.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

Onusonus, your arguments are complete straw men. NOBODY, that I am aware of, connected to the gay marriage movement is arguing that the right of marriage be extended (or returned, in the case of California) to anyone but two consenting adults.

As for the issue of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, don't you think if the government wants to discourage the spread of STDs, it should be PROMOTING gay marriage? Marriage does, after all, legally bind you in a monogamous relationship. Of course, heterosexual couples cheat and it's safe to assume that gays would too, but it's also safe to assume that allowing gay marriage would discourage, not encourage promiscuity and transmission of STDS among homosexuals just as it does among the straight community.

Finally, although gays have the right to will their property to their beloved partner, in many cases it remains difficult for them to get joint insurance coverage, to guarantee visitation rights in hospitals should one partner become ill, and to acquire joint rights of a parent over a child, should they have a child together through a surrogate or artificial insemenation. These are basic rights that are being denied to many members of the gay community because of their inability to gain the legal protection of marriage, and this is one of the primary reasons that I, as a straight married woman with a homosexual "near-relation" and many friends, strongly support the right of gays and lesbians to marry. It really IS an equal rights issue.

AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 8 years ago from England

There is a multimedia site at which has some videos of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaking about Proposition 8. If you scroll down you'll see a section with some comments by leaders of the Church. It's just two videos and both are quite short.

I think, among other things, they explain well the consequences of marriage being redefined and why my previous comments stand.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

I watched the Bednar one and would like to point out that I already answered his points about school curricula and freedom of religion in my original answer to your comment: "By California law, you have the right to recuse your child from any school lessons about health or family matters that you disagree with on moral or religious grounds. By United States law, your church cannot be forced to perform marriages for people it doesn't want to marry, nor can it be denied funding or tax-exempt status for doing so."

I also linked an article in the hub in which a Mormon scholar admits that the advertising claims that the measure would affect teaching or schools are "untrue" and "misleading," and that nothing in Prop. 8 would affect California schools:{7EBD7D67-2DD6-4C94-A022-A35839FA36AA}&dist=hppr

I also responded to his "slippery slope" argument and "it doesn't change their rights" arguments in my response to onusonus. As well, again, as my original answer to you. Gays had the right to marry the people they love. Now they don't. That means they have fewer rights than before, there is no getting around it.

As for his point about freedom of speech, nothing in the Constitution guarantees freedom from dissent. If gay marriage becomes legal, it will not remove his ability to say that he believes marriage should be exclusively the right of one man and one woman, just as the fact that it hasn't does not remove my right to say his views are hateful and bigoted.

osirisadvocate 8 years ago

I don't see why Mormons are being singled out. There are certainly not enough Mormons in California to pass the proposition alone, so they are not the only people who are responsible for the proposition being passed. Why are they not being singled out as well? Catholics, Protestants? Anyone who thinks that the Mormons are solely responsible for the proposition is a hater and hasn't thought things through clearly. The very thing that the homosexual community, as well as many other groups, claim to be fighting against (hate mongering etc.) is being commited by them against Mormons and others like that. Imagine if the the reverse had happened, and Mormons and other similar people (some Catholics and Protestants) had started saying the things about gays as people are saying about the Mormons now. They would be labled as haters and reviled by all. Think about that.

Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 8 years ago from washington

There are other groups who supported proposition 8, Republican presidential nominee and U.S. Senator John McCain released a statement of support for the proposed constitutional amendment. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich released a video in support. Both characterized the court ruling as being against the will of the people. Other notable supporters include Republican State Senator Tom McClintockand 20 other Republican State Senators and Assemblymembers.

Religious organizations that supported Proposition 8 include the Roman Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, a group of Evangelical Christians led by Jim Garlow and Miles McPherson, American Family Association, Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, California's largest, also endorsed the measure. The Bishops of the California Catholic Conference released a statement supporting the proposition. The Grossmont Union High School District in San Diego County, California publicly voted on a resolution endorsing Proposition 8. The Governing Board voted 4-0 to endorse the amendment of the California State Constitution.The Asian Heritage Coalition held a rally in support of Proposition 8 in downtown San Diego on October 19, 2008.

So please give credit where credit is due, it's not something foreign to the Church to be slandered and vilified by our neighbors. I think that the church wouldn't be a true church if it didn't stand up for what is right in the sight of God, and the powers of the advesary wouldn't try to combine against it.

"Every time they persecute and try to overcome this people, they elevate us, weaken their own hands, and strengthen the hands and arms of this people. And every time they undertake to lessen our number, they increase it." -Brigham Young.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

Osirisadvocate, as I stated in the hub, Mormons, who make up about 2% of the population of California, contributed a minimum of 40% of the funding for the pro-Prop. 8 campaign. Many estimates place the number at closer to 80%.

Mormons certainly are not solely responsible, but they played a role far disportionate to their numbers.

I think people are also feeling especially betrayed by them because they expected greater understanding from a church with a history of "alternative" marriage practices and persecution. Not necessarily acceptence, you understand, but not active sabotage of the sort the Mormon Church proceeded to unleash either.

For the same reason, there is a lot of frustration with the black community, which voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposition, right now. Marriages between blacks and white were illegal in California within living memory, which makes the betrayal feel that much more acute. The black community, however, is not tax exempt and had little to do with the funding of the misleading and often outright dishonest ad campaign responsible for turning a 17% deficit of support for Prop. 8 into a 4% victory.

livetotry profile image

livetotry 8 years ago from NYC

Thanks for speaking out about this.

It was such a sad thing to read, that in spite of the historic vistory of Barack Obama on November 4th, that we still have so very far to go to obtain equal rights for all in this country.

I have been talking about this to my co-workers whenever I can. We all must speak up, and keep talking about this, until we can truly live up to the claim "liberty and justice for all"

AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 8 years ago from England

I hope, one day, that people will see that supporters of Proposition 8 did indeed stand up for liberty and justice for ALL.

And thanks, Osiris, for your common-sense comments. Stepping back and being reasonable is a trait that is becoming far less common in today's society.

nivram 8 years ago

Hope this site is for people with the real heart... As Christian, I hope this idea of mine would inspire love and understanding to people who really love peace. People already judged by exercising their rights of suffrage . Yes on proposition 8 prevailed. I hope everybody understand that democracy gaves favor to majority. Why single out the Mormons church??? I think other churches also embraced that same Christian principle that Marriage is for opposite sex, male and female, blessed by God to be as one and be united. Eversince, God punished the perverters. I hope everyone is familiar with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament.

I dont want to be persuaded by those who want to build hate with the Mormons. I have a great respect on many of the Mormons because I found them to be nice...They may be cult as what others judged them... Maybe it is because they are faithful, maybe because their faith is unique and different.

I am from southeast asia. I am an avid observer of America. America indeed is now changing... Even your laws and even your citizens. I am afraid someday other nations will laughed at you. America...breeder of homosexual and Lesbians.

As a man... real man... I will stand on my ground. - That marriage is for real man and real woman. I hope legislatures in America will think of other word to replace the sacred word "marriage" if they want to legalized the bonding of same sex. Give them freedom to exercise love on their own way but do not defile things that are sacred.

Kelley Eidem profile image

Kelley Eidem 8 years ago from Panama City, FL

The African American turnout in CA was much higher than the Mormon turnout. AA's opposed gay marriage by a 70 to 30 margin.

Maybe you should take your protest to "the hood." How about a hub on that? 

Or is this just bash a religion day? World Net Daily has a link to a video of a small, elderly women with a cross being attacked by big heavy thugs. It looks like tolerance is in short supply while the hypocrisy is overflowing.

The best to you.

Mrs. W profile image

Mrs. W 8 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Ok, I'm probably going to get daggers thrown at me for what I'm about to say but that is the beauty of free speech. I think everyone needs to get off the back of the Mormons. I say this because bottom line it was the voters of Cali that made the choice to go against Prop 8. Yes, the Mormons gave up a ton of money but so did folks who had no connection to the church or any church for that matter. The bottom line is that the votes were overwhelming against Prop 8....the people of Cali made that choice.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

Kelley Eidem, it's pretty clear that one of the main reasons No on 8 lost is because it did do an extraordinarily poor job of reaching out to the black and Latino communities. However, it's also clear that Mormons (with the help of Catholics and conservative Protestants) provided the bulk of funding for the dishonest ad campaign that contributed to swaying many black and Latino voters in favor of denying homosexuals the same rights blacks and Latinos themselves were denied within living memory in California.

I've heard of a few cases of homosexual couples "jumping the broom" - maybe actions like this will help drive home to the minority community the full injustice of their support for Prop. 8.

Also, just for future reference, you should never, ever quote World Net Daily at a liberal. It is the equivalent, in credibility terms, of quoting, say, Michael Moore at a conservative.

Shain 8 years ago

Every argument I have heard in favor of Proposition 8 has been based on religious tenets. It has been argued that same sex marriage violates the moral imperatives of those various sects.

What both the proponents and the opposition have forgotten is that marriage was and always has been is a civil contract. The marriage exists only by authority of the State. All the rights and obligations appurtenant to marriage are governed by the law of our political institutions. There may be some dispute over just what the concept of the separation of church and state means, but our history establishes that the intrusion of religous belief in our public life leads to most unpleasant results.

Religious institutions became involved in marriage only as a matter of the those institutions' quest for social authority (another subject entirely). The participation of religious institutions in marriage is limited to their respective rites, the ceremonies we call weddings, by which each sect imposes its unique rules on its participants.

No civil institution should be governed by religious beliefs and motives.


Chris  8 years ago

Taking people's rights away is wrong. End of story. What does this open up the door to? What's next? The minute a large organization receiving the benefits of my taxes (yes, we all help carry the load of these churches simply because they don't carry their own) wants its voice to be heard and overwhelmingly funds campaigns of misinformation to effect laws that affect other peoples RIGHTS in society who don't wear magic underwear or eat transubstantiated wafers like they do, is the moment its rights as a tax-free organization should be revoked.

Moral arguments don't work with these people and surely arguments of reason and compassion or even regard for fellow humans don't, but I guarantee as soon as MONEY becomes an issue, I'm sure these bigots and misinformed people will take notice.

America was not designed to be a theocracy and it certainly shouldn't be. It's time we take the country away from the charlatans who pretend to be moral and would have you believe they actually care about people. There are benefits to religious organizations, but there are very bad things that arise as well from blind faith in leaders who don't have your best interests at heart.

Anyone who votes against civil liberties should leave the country because you don't belong here. You don't represent the red, white, and blue. You are bad for this country. People like you threaten the very foundation on which this country is built. In a word: freedom. Do you know the meaning of the word? Seriously, do you?

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

I find it sad that the LDS Church and other religious institutions, which pretend to care about a lot of moral issues, ONLY funded and supported a ballot measure to take away *civil* rights from a minority, and based their opposition to equality with *religious* arguments. To me, it smacks of politics, of the LDS Church trying to establish legitimacy among the other Christian churches that have long called the LDS a cult. It is certainly not a moral matter, or otherwise they'd take a strong stand on the ballot measures having to do with abortion.

I had to laugh when AngloSaxon said that Prop 8 proponents are fighting for equality and liberty for all. What alternate form of reality is he living in?

Great hub, kerryg, and well-reasoned arguments and comments.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

Thanks, livelonger.

I, too, suspect the LDS Church may have chosen this particular battle in a bid to gain legitimacy in the eyes of conservative Protestants, many of whom consider them to be a cult, and if this is the case, it makes the LDS leaders as cynical as they are hypocritical.

Did you see Signorile's conversation with a Mormon Prop. 8 supporter the other day? He pwned her completely, and raised a point a lot of these "well, the majority decided this and those activist judges shouldn't go against the majority" people seem to miss completely: if the majority can take away the rights of one minority and get away with it, then what will stop them from taking away yours? With the Mormon Church's continued minority status and history of persecution, I really would have expected them to be more aware of the risk they were taking in promoting this attitude.

Kelley Eidem profile image

Kelley Eidem 8 years ago from Panama City, FL


Here is what I said, "World Net Daily has a LINK to a VIDEO of a small, elderly woman with a cross being attacked by big heavy thugs." [caps added]

In other words, you could go see for yourself with your own eyes what transpired. Facts are facts and evidence is evidence regardless whether you like World Net Daily or not.

Let me tell you could "reach out" to the black community until your hair turn gray regarding gay marriage. It ain't going to happen.

I suggest the crowds that went after the woman on the video go down to South Central and present their case to the Black churches there because they are the ones who defeated your pet project. Once again AA's voted 70 to 30 against gay marriage, so go there and protest, and rough up their elderly women.

wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

I don't usually get involved in conversations like these, but I think that the remarks made here reflect an enormous amount of anger and the Mormons seem to be the scapegoats for it. Kerryg, I respect your wish to see Gay Marriage normalized within society. But there are reasons beyond blatant hatred or prejudice that might produce votes that don't agree with your opinions.

By calling Mormons and the Mormon Church haters and bigots aren't you doing the same thing as someone who characterizes gays as being immoral and nasty?

My perception of this issue, which was also on the ballot as Prop 102 in Arizona did not support a BAN on Gay Marriage but simply attempted to DEFINE marriage a certain way within the state constitution. This definition still allows room for recognizing UNIONS between gay couples, but preserves the traditional definition of marriage too. Most Mormons I know do not wish harm on gay and lesbian couples and would like to live and let live. I personally think they deserve the same social services opportunities as other families.

I don't live in California so I didn't see that ads you refer to. And I don't live in Utah so I don't know about call centers there.

What IS at stake in the Mormon church is its practice of temple marriage and Mormon or any other religion's ability to practice what they believe. If the state legislates marriage as being between two men or two women, then the LDS Church could also lose its ability to practice its freedom of religion in performing marriages between only one man and one woman within a temple setting. Gay activitists have already attempted to force religious bodies to perform unions when they were clearly not in line with the tenets of those religions, and the Mormon church does not want to perform gay temple marriages. By defining marriage as being between a man and a woman, they can continue to do what they have always done in the temple.


kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

Kelley Eidem, actually, it seems to depend a bit on what exit polls you look at. One turned up the 70% figure, but others have suggested it was more like 47%-40% in favor, and gay marriage is more accepted by youth of almost any demographic you could name, so I do think it's safe to say that those of you who oppose equal rights for gays and lesbians are on the wrong side of history here. It's just a matter of time.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

wannabwestern, thanks for your comment.

I am admittedly not gay, but I would consider it an acceptable compromise if gays could be granted civil unions that shared the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples, and churches who did wish to perform gay marriages could be allowed to do so in religious ceremonies even if the legal status remained a civil union. Unfortunately, civil unions, as they are currently practiced, do not grant the same legal rights as marriage in any state where they are practiced, in part because they are not granted federal recognition and therefore often apply only to the state where the union took place:

Furthermore, the argument that the religious freedom of Mormons could be threatened by gay marriage is simply not true. The US Constitution protects churches from being forced to marry people they do not want to marry, or from losing their tax-exempt status on account of such refusal. Mormons, Catholics, and Protestants alike routinely employ this right of refusal with heterosexual couples, and bringing homosexual couples into the picture will not change that. I'm not saying some homosexual couples won't try - as Whoopi Goldberg said on The View the other day in response to this very question - "there are dumbasses in the gay community just like there are dumbasses in the straight community," but the US Supreme Court has upheld the right of private and religious organizations such as churches to discriminate against whomever they want on grounds (primarily) of freedom of association.

wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

When I heard the argument in favor of Prop 102, the examples I heard were judges in Massachusetts where Gay Unions have been legalized (and remember the Governor there is Mormon Mitt Romney, BTW) have made recent decisions based on their interpretation of the law that favored the rights of the gay couples to be married over the rights of the churches to practice their beliefs.

Unfortunately I am too ill-informed to give you a better reference than "some judges", but the explanation i heard was cogent enough to sway my thinking and my vote at the time, and presented by an attorney who cited examples in Jewish and Protestant places of worship that had been required to perform gay marriage or lose their tax-exempt status.

I agree with your compromise position (no pun intended) in favor of civil rights for gays, though.

This is a fascinating example of democracy at work and the system of checks and balances at play. The tug and pull between religious and secular thinking and people's wish to live together and yet think in very different ways is as old as the constitution.

Shain 8 years ago

Nothing in the decision of the California Supreme Court, nothing any court decison of any other state, and nothing in Proposition 8 required a church to perform a wedding or any other ritual that was contrary to that organization's belief system. The Constitutiions of the US and the State of California forbid such governmental control over a church.

We have carefully protected religious organizations from control by the state. The only exceptions are found in the occasions when the religious rite is so outragous as to constitute peril to the public or persons perculiarly at risk. Those exceptions have been excercised with great caution and the courts have generally found invalid legislatiive acts tht attempt to do do.

Is it not reasonable for religious organizations to offer the secular community the same immunities? Why must the rest of society conform to their beliefs? In that regard, it was not so very long ago that the LDS held persons of color to be unworthy of priesthood and endorsed polygamy. And not so long ago that many christian sects found no fault in slavery, and more recently condoned segregation. Were not those religious tenents that might be imposed on us but for some belated degree of enlightenment?

Next observe that the proponents have yet to demonatrate what harm comes from allowing persons of the same sex to marry. The proponents can only say that it offends their religious beliefs. Beliefs are, by their very nature, irrational.

Finally, please note that the concept of "majority rules" is tempered constitutionally by the greater concept of protection of the rights of the minority. So many laws have been struck down on the basis that the majority, by pleblisite or by legislative action,has denied the minority the equally guarenteed to each of us.

This is not a matter of "tradition". Slavery, the denial of the vote to women, the poll tax, separate by equal were all quite traditional. As our society matures we recognize bigotry for what it is. The passage of Proposition 8 is the result of the biases of those who have not yet matured.


nwunderlich profile image

nwunderlich 8 years ago from Sacramento

OK - here's the thing. All the laws in society are based on moral views. Hence it is wrong to murder someone - for any reason but self-defense. If you think that's not a Judeo-Christian law, then you are misguided.

Please stop bashing the Mormon church. They didn't break the law. They advocated on an issue - not a candidate - which they are allowed to do. Churches guide the moral well-being of their parishoners. It is what they do. Why is it wrong?

You have to draw a line in the sand somewhere - and this was the line in the sand. The reason Prop. 8 passed was that the Obama supporters came out for him, and then stayed to vote on Prop. 8. Not the Mormons. 5.5 million people voted for this - there aren't anywhere near that amount of Mormons in CA.

So you don't like it...I don't like that Prop. 187 was over-ruled, but I have to live by it because the majority of people voted to over-turn it. The results are the results. You have to live with that in a democratic society. If you lost, you have to try again and find a way to make your case better. It's a democracy. sometimes the result isn't what you want, but you have to live with it.

wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

When I was in college I read a book called The Rites of Assent: Transformations in the Symbolic Construction by Sacvan Berkovitch. It was a semester-long study of American Society and what comprises our national ethos. I think everyone should read that book and The American Religion by Harold Bloom. We spent an enormous amount of time discussing what consensus means.

Shain, I agree with your point about the need for the concept of "majority rules" to be tempered by protection of the rights of the minority. I have already stated that I think gays should have the right to have legalized UNIONS. But many religious people wish to do this in a way that preserves their own definition of marriage. That's why I think people are interested in making a distinction between legal unions and marriage.

I respect what you are trying to say, but it also seems to me that you are saying what I believe is merely outdated and unevolved and that we cannot agree because as a person who practices any religion, I am irrational. To agree with you requires me to completely ditch my religious ideas because you say they no longer fit. I respectfully can't agree with that.

To quote the immortal words of the Sicilian in the movie The Princess Bride,

Clearly I cannot choose the cup in front of me...and clearly I cannot choose the cup in front of you.

So we are at an impasse. Best wishes to you.

But now I have a non-bloggy hub to write. :) And ifyou want to comment again, please have the last word. I don't mind.

Shain 8 years ago

I must not have been clear in my statement. I object to "religious people" defining the civil and secular society in which I live. "Religious people' live by a subjectivity of choice. They find that which is comfortable and adhere to that "faith" so long as it meets their needs. Citing an observer of our culture many years ago, he commented that the United States has 400 religions and one sauce, Ketchup. Which religion shall we choose to define our rights and duties?

I give you the following. A group "religious people" are convinced that blacks are inferior. Do not deny it, many "religious people" remain of that view. Can we allow this view define our society? Do you not agree that this view is fully irrational? Can you not concede that matter of faith are not based on fact but on blind belief?

Now that you desire our society to be governed by "religious people", which group will you chose? The sincerely "religious people" who accept same sex unions as marriage, or the group that holds homosexuality to be a choice and sin, or the group that condems the teaching of science, the theory of evolution specifically, to be contrary to "God's Word", or the group that holds Christ's word to be one of love and unqualified inclusion? How many other variations of belief are there?

Help me out here. Which "religious people" do we accept to guide us and to define our rights?

It is only through a civil society, separate from the enormous disparty,and inconsistencies, contradictions, and absurbities of relgious opinion, that we can each and every one of us can define the meaing of our lives.This is what the founders had in mind. It is such a society that we strive to perfect. Proposition 8 was a step back from that progress.


Lifewithpurpose 8 years ago

Christ's message was one of love but not of unqualified inclusion. True Jesus did love everyone but that does not mean he agreed with them or accepted their actions. Your hypothetical point comparing if Christians were to take away rights from African Americans to Christians voting against marriage for homosexuals is something i completely disagree with. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that discriminating against any race is ok. Therefore if religious institutions started advocating for the taking away of the rights of any race it would not be supported by the Bible. It would be an individual choice that would obviously be frowned upon by almost everyone. However, it is CLEARLY stated in the Bible that God does not tolerate homosexuality and that marriage is meant for a woman and a man. So to say that these Christians are misled is unfair because their beliefs on this this issue are backed 100 percent by their religion. For these people religion defines the meaning of their lives. I find it ironic that people are fighting so hard for the rights of homosexuals to marry and at the same time are persecuting Christians for executing their rights as Americans to vote on an issue the way they feel is best.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

The fact that murder is illegal is because just about everyone believes it is wrong (not just Mormons or other pro-Prop 8 "coalition" members). The fact that most, if not all, religions prohibit murder is incidental. The fact that the US has a "Judeo-Christian" majority is incidental. The fact that Christianity is "right" about murder does not give it a free hand to determine the rectitude of all laws.

The majority can vote on laws according to the referendum process of California. But it can not create laws that go against the Consitution (well, technically, they can, but they can be challenged in court and judged unconstitutional and rendered invalid). The Constitution is the supreme document that guarantees minority rights and protects them from the "tyranny of the majority" - hence the Equal Protection Clause.

Would it be fair for a referendum to go before voters to prevent Mormons from getting married (using, as the excuse, that they have a history of polygamy and intermarriage, and both of these are not approved of by the majority)? Would you want the 98% majority of California to vote by ballot on the rights of the 2% minority Mormons? The answer is so obvious that it's laughable (even though, I'm sure, there are plenty of evangelical Christians that would *love* to be able to).

wltrallen2 profile image

wltrallen2 8 years ago from San Diego, CA

I'm not going to rehesh everything that has been said in these comments. But, I did see an awesome button yesterday that totally references livelonger's point. It said, "Okay, now...let ME vote on YOUR marriage." :)

Shain 8 years ago

I know that this is somewhat repetitive, but the argument that the bible, or god's word, or the tenents of a religious group prohibit same sex marriage and the enforcement those arguments through our civil government are offensive to the standards by which we govern ourselves.

Livelonger, a concede your right to decline to marry contrary to your conscience and your right to associate religiously with those of the same views. How does your conviction justify imposition of those rules on society in general?


livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

Shain - I was making a rhetorical point. I do want to marry, I am not religious but have no problem with religious people congregating, and I don't seek to make my personal views the law of the land. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your question?

hamandaj profile image

hamandaj 8 years ago from California/Idaho

Get your facts straight before you go critcizing people please?

Isn't this what our nation was founded on? Letting people make the decision for themselves rather than having a few people scream and scream and tell them what they have to do? I'm a member of the Mormon church, and I also support gay marriage. I just don't understand why all this hate has to come down on us. We all made a decision, we made up our own minds. The church doesn't control us....we're people, just like you. And there were other issues behind proposition 8 besides gay marriage. And just as someone said there is only 2% Mormon population.....that's nothing compared to the other hundreds of thousands of people in California, how would the mormon population have been the entire reason it passed? Doesn't seem logical to me. So I'm not trying to bash any one ore anything. I am just asking a few questions that i don't understand. Why does it have to be us? The Catholic church has spoken out against Prop 8, why aren't you bashing Catholics? Is it because there are too many of them? Is it because they are generally accepted by society? Why? That's all I want to know. Why us?

Kcal 8 years ago

Alright, Lets talk about this. If you are ingnorant to believe that members of the LDS church still believe in plural marriage on this earth.. then you are ingnorant to believe such a small ... MINORITY... population could have effected the polls. Yes, LDS members were urged to vote for proposition 8 -- so what? Many other religions.. consisting of a HIGHER population in california were also urged. So because the LDS made it public means that they are the ones to take the blame?? That in no way makes any sense... Look at the population statistics. It would be interesting to see how many ACTIVE LDS members there are in California Vs. the gay/lesbian population in California.

This IS a religious country.. whether it be Christian/Muslim/Budhist.. etc. Deal with it and stop discrimating against LDS members... YOU ARE THE ONE THAT IS A HYPOCRITE.

bloodluster profile image

bloodluster 8 years ago

I if two people who love each other who gives a F*** who they marry even if they are lez, gay, bi, purple gray of green who cares let people marry who they want

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

hamandaj and Kcal, as I stated in the hub and in comments, the issue with the Mormons specifically is that they make up 2% of the population of California, yet contributed 40-80% of the funding for the extremely misleading ad campaign that turned a 17% deficit of support for Prop 8 into a 4% victory.

Apparently many Mormons (and Catholics, and fundamentalist Protestants) failed to read the part of the Bible that prohibits lying.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

hamandaj: You shouldn't take attacks on the LDS church personally. There is a difference between individual Mormons, some of whom vote their own conscience, and the LDS church, which has waged a cynical campaign against marriage equality for 11 years, as a strategy to attract more church members and gain legitimacy among evangelical and mainline Christian churches.

If you voted your own conscience and your own interpretation of church teachings and support marriage equality, I applaud you, no matter what your religious affiliation is.

Steve McCormick profile image

Steve McCormick 8 years ago from San Angelo, Texas

So let me get this straight, I have the right to free speech as long as I agree with you?

You do know that the Constitution of the United States of America says,"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", now did the IRS prohibit the free exercise of religion? Did the IRS crossover the wall seperating church and state by making this law? I think so.

I hope I have not broken any laws by excerising my right to free speech right by not agreeing with you.

rachaelc profile image

rachaelc 8 years ago from Austin

I get it. The mormon church somewhat illegally spent tax-free money to fund political ads. It doesn't matter that they are Prop 8 ads. It's unethical and what they did was wrong. Very wrong. And anti-discrimination is always wrong. But two wrongs do not make a right. Trying to strip them of their 510 status is also discrimination. There is a better way to resolve this. We just need to take a deep breath and figure it out.

Steph 8 years ago

I really appreciated your hub. I'm a member of the church who lives in Wisconsin, that passed a similar law two years ago. I had no IDEA the church was so deeply involved until near the end of the campaign and I am APPALED. I know some of my fellow members might say I'm weak of faith for letting this question the leaders but... Jesus taught acceptance not exclusion.

I'm sad to know the church I'd thought could be my spiritual home is fostering this kind of intolerance, bigotry and ignorance. None of which are the Christ-like qualities we're supposed to strive for.

Ultimately thanks for a well thought out hub with REFERANCES. I appreciate it.

AEvans profile image

AEvans 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I always suspected they did something shady, and thank you for bringing it to the light the LDS church needs to be ashamed of themselves I used to respect there church and I am not mormon I do however have mormon friends but this has put the icing on the cake for me.

royalblkrose profile image

royalblkrose 8 years ago from florida

I'm not too thrilled with the info on the Mormon Church, but then, I pray for them anyhow... my question is... would you want your kids to be teaught about same sex relationships in school or at home? In every state where same sex marriage is legal, there is a marked change in the school curriculum, and the parents usually don't find out until after the kids come home and tell them!

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

royalblkrose, I personally would have no problem at all with my daughter learning about same sex relationships in school provided it is in age-appropriate ways. She has at least one homosexual relative, so chances are she'll learn earlier than most what that means. (Currently she is not yet 2, so it hasn't come up!)

However, my personal openness is irrelevent to Prop 8. California has laws protecting parents' right to excuse their children from sex and family education lessons they disagree with. Even a Mormon scholar has admitted that the ads claiming Prop 8 would affect schools were misleading and untrue:{7EBD7D67-2DD6-4C94-A022-A35839FA36AA}&dist=hppr

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

Can someone explain some parents' fear of children knowing that gay people (and their relationships) exist? Do they believe that knowing about homosexuals will transform their children into homosexuals? Do they hope that, in the case the children *are* gay, maintaining a veil of shame will prevent them from coming out and bringing shame into the family? I really don't get it.

Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Livelonger, that is an excellent question. I know I for one cannot answer it, as that is not how I feel. I have my own issues with some of the positions of my "official" church, the Catholic Church. However, there are congregations where gays are welcomed and participate as lectors, etc.

I would really like to hear from someone who does fear/worry about their (or other people's) children learning about homosexuality. It's not contagious, for goodness sake!

Lifewithpurpose 8 years ago

their fear is about homosexual marriage being taught as equal and acceptable to their children. Whether you agree with their position or not to answer your question that is where they are coming from. They feel it would compromise teaching their children that homosexuality from their prospective is wrong if it is being taught as ok and commonplace in school. Not saying that instituting gay marriage would or wouldnt do that. Just clarifying why some people don't want it taught in schools to their children.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

livelonger, Lifewithpurpose is correct. I don't agree with the viewpoint of people who object to homosexuality being treated as normal in schools, but I do understand it.

The ones who really baffle me are the ones who are all "but what would I tell my kids!?!" about seeing two guys holding hands on the street. You tell them some men like women and some men like other men, that's what you tell them. How is this difficult? If you really think it's necessary you can even add that men who like other men are sick perverts who are going to hell! I mean, I would think these people would WELCOME the opportunity to brainwash their kids a little more.

(Before someone else brings it up, notice I said "holding hands" and not "kissing." I don't want to see more than a quick hug or peck on the lips from ANYONE on the street, gay or straight, unless you are actually in Paris. Peeps need to get a room.)

Kate Downs profile image

Kate Downs 8 years ago from New England

Wow... I am an educated individual who keeps up with the news. I have been confused by how Prop 8 could possibly have passed. The information this thoughtproviking, well researched article provides has made it all a lot clearer. Thanks for keeping me informed!

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

Well said, MM, and that makes sense, Life & kerryg.

I read this fascinating article last night in the New Yorker (from a couple of weeks ago), called "Red Sex, Blue Sex" about how contrasting attitudes between evangelical Christians and just about everyone else are. Unsurprisingly, the rates of teenage pregnancy and divorce were considerably higher, and the age of first-time sex was lower, among evangelicals:

A fascinating read.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

livelonger, I saw that article when it was published, but thanks for linking it here. It really is a fascinating look at differing perceptions of sex, but more importantly, I think, at the different moral values that lead to them. In particular, although I married younger (21) than a lot of people of my class and education level, the article nailed my teenage attitude (and the attitude of most of my good friends) towards sex in its discussion of the "new middle class morality." We were more conservative in our actual behavior than many of the conservatives! Personally, I think it's because we were raised to value ourselves as full human beings, not embodiments of some old-fashioned ideal of "chastity". A teenage pregnancy or STD would really have screwed up the futures we saw for ourselves, so we just didn't risk it until we were really serious about somebody, and well on our way to realizing those futures.

tony0724 profile image

tony0724 8 years ago from san diego calif

I was wonderin seeing that 70% of the African American community voted yes on 8 why are they not protesting In Compton and South Central ? I guess members of a congregation are not supposed to have a point of view.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

tony0724, I have already answered your question repeatedly in comments.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

kerryg: I think your upbringing and values completely exemplify what the article discusses. In fact, the author makes a point of suggesting that "blue staters" not allowing "red staters" to frame them as having poor family values and a lack of respect for marriage, because their records are actually better.

Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Tony0724, there is a difference between members of a congregation and individual voters voting their own personal beliefs and the official entity of the congregation (e.g., the church) not only dictating how its members should vote, but also spending substantial amounts of money to influence citizens' votes.

The issue is not that Mormons believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. That's a religious argument and within the walls of their churches they are perfectly legal in espousing that and anything else they want to espouse. The problem is that the Mormon church violated its nonprofit status by funding advertising (false, misleading advertising in fact) for the Yes on 8 campaign.

dr brown 8 years ago

I will once and for all end this reprobate argument which asserts that gay people should have the right to marry and and raise children as does a '' heterosexual couple'. If gay people believe that they have the ''legal right'' to be ''married'', as does the '' traditional heterosexual couple'', than what would happen if millions of boys of of '' legal age',' say 15 years old , marched in the streets of Sanfransisco with signs ,and with their ''ACLU LAWYERS''at their sides , fiercely demanding the right to marry their fathers, and then to legally adopt their brothers and sisters that they and their newly incestually based wed father/ spouse already has custody of . Oh, and how about a 32 year old gay mother who wants to marry her 16 year old daughter . Why should ''incest '' be illegal. I am opposed to any form of marriage except heterosexual marriage between non family member.

Gay marriage opens the door to incestial marriage. If our society, our country, our new system of values and morality believes that two gay consenting adults have the right to legally take the ''SACRED VOWS of marriage'' . what would prevent two consenting adults of '' LEGAL AGE'', that ''LOVE'' each other to marry even if its a 16 year old gale male marrying his 40 year old gay father.

All it would take is a Supreme Court, to vote that two concenting adults of legal age may be ''married'' regardless of their familiar circumstances.

HETEROSEXUAL people beware. Those that stand for gay marriage stand against traditional marriage. Just take a look at the value system of the ''American man love boy association'' , a group of homosexual men that want the right to have sexual relations with young boys.

Now im sure that gay people will say that they dont believe in incestual marriage.

And gays can argue that incestual relationships can be heterosexual.

However legalizing any form of non heterosexual marriage opens the door to all forms of non traditional marriage between consenting adults. Woody Allen,american actor, director , writer, married his own adopted daughter.

What if WOODY ALLEN lived in Sanfransisco, and he wanted to marry his adopted SON, or his own daughte, or his father, or his mother, or his own son of legal age.

IF gay marriage becomes legal what would prevent the legalization of heterosexual or homosexual incestual marriage? NOTHING.

INCEST will soon be legal in America. JUST as gay marriage will be legal. Just as abortion is legal.

The values of JUDEO CHRISTIANIATY have long ago been replaced by the values of the ''NEW AGE''. For 40 years , a generation, NEW AGE PSYCHOLOGY has been inculcated into minds of our society . The churches, schools, and jewish temples have completely destroyed the religion of their forefathers by teaching the satanic values of secular humanism in the guise of this ''medicine'' called ''psychology. Pastors and Rabbis have for 40 years preached ''If it makes you feel good do it. ''IF you are in a TOXIC marriage get divorced, pastors say you must raise your self esteem, be successful.





kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

Dr. Brown, bestiality does not involve consenting adults.

Incest could, but from a purely practical standpoint, ignoring religious arguments for the moment, the state has good reasons for forbidding incestuous marriages because of the high probability of birth defects. In contrast (again, from a practical standpoint), the state has good reason to ENCOURAGE homosexual marriages, because marriage discourages promiscuity, and therefore the spread of STDs.

Homosexual marriage is not and will never be a "slippery slope." They used that argument against interracial marriages back in the day, and blacks/hispanics/asians/etc. being allowed to marry whites has yet to result in anybody marrying their sheep, last I checked. Or their sisters.

shain 8 years ago

Has there ever been such a idiot as dr brown and such ignorance as his rant reveals?

Fenix 8 years ago

hey man,

the fact we practiced polygamy should strengthen our stance against gay marriage, not make us hypocrites. We obeyed the law of the land and we complied and forsake it.

The stupid gay movement has nothing on us. They screamed and whined like the little pansies they are agaisnt prop. 22 and they didn't want to comply. Why don't they just comply to the voice of the people? Minority rights are so un-democratic. They only care about THEIR cause, and THEIR rights, and about poeple, smiliar to THEM.

The LDS church is da best yall

OregonMormon 8 years ago

I'm a faithful Mormon, who would have voted in favor of 8, had I lived in California. The whys and wherefores of my beliefs can be debated and I might even be wrong, but that's not the core of the debate here. The core of this debate is the political process.

I am not in favor of hate speach in either direction, but I am in favor of the right of every American to speak their mind in the forms of free speech, financial contributions and the Vote. To opponents of 8, I say go for it - appeal this thing all the way to the CA supreme court. That's how the system works. If the court finds that the election was improper or that it requires further legislative action to be installed, then there ya go. It's the political process in action.

What I disagree with is the notion that all parties - EXCEPT Mormons - should be allowed to speak, contribute and vote their mind and conscience. That it was somehow unfair for Mormons to take action as free Americans.

To our GLBT friends I say:

- Did you feel a moral obligation to stand up for your GBLT community and culture as you view it? Yep, we're right there with ya - just on the opposing side.

- Did you look deep into your heart and pocketbook to decide how committed you were to your cause? Yep - we're still right there with ya.

-Were you naive enough to think that this issue would stop right at the borders of California or did you solicit help from your GBLT brothers and sisters accross the country? Yet again, we're with you step for step.

I even applaud Mark Leno's call for the IRS to investigate whether the Church acted properly as a tax exempt organization. I am quite sure the leaders of the Mormon Church will never waver from their moral position, but they are nothing if not committed to doing things properly within the law. If they acted improperly they will change procedures in the future. Just don't expect them to become wall flowers and please do not expect them ... or me to mute our voices.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

OregonMormon: I don't think anyone is accusing individual Mormons of anything different from anyone else who supported Prop 8. The issue has been with the leadership of the LDS church, who, for seemingly political reasons, violated their non-profit charter and heavily weighed in on a political issue (which you point to in your last paragraph).

It might strike some people as odd why Mormons would single out this issue to press on so strongly, but, again, that hasn't been the complaint, which has been with the LDS's leadership.

OregonMormon 8 years ago

Legit point, but are you 100% sure they violated their charter? I am frankly not 100% sure either way. My first impression is that they are on safe ground, since they supported a cause - not a candidate, but I'm not educated on these points, so I'll be interested to see how it all shakes out.

As to your question re. focusing on this cause and not other moral causes, whenever and wherever abortion, assisted suicide or other moral issues make their way onto state ballots, you can be sure the Church will again - as it has in the past - make its voice heard.

Shain 8 years ago

You people really don't get it. Nobody cares if your religion prohibits same sex marriage. No one care what your religion tells you about gays. No one cares what you feel or what you want to believe. You are entitled to hold those positions and to guide your lives accordingly.

But, how can you abide a religion that compels you to use governmental power to impose your views on the rest of society? Does not your vote for Proposition 8, a scheme that establishes religious principles in our civil government, also stand for the right to enact into law other religious views that would govern your participation in our society?

Marriage is a civil institution. There is no place for anyone's religious views in the law the governs that institution.


livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

OregonMormon: That's my opinion (about the LDS violating its charter), but I agree with you, the courts will figure that out. And, please, the LDS did not get involved in any other ballot measure for the past 10 years about abortion, assisted suicide, etc. and there have been *plenty*. This singular heavy intervention on marriage equality was a cynical attempt to galvanize support for the church, and to put it in good graces with right-wing evangelical Christian churches. All politics.

I agree with you, Shain. There is a lot of deliberate obfuscation of the civil vs religious marriage issue. Again, for politics.

elizabeth 8 years ago

Kerryg you are stating that the mormon church did the funding when actually it was the members who donated and as far as I am concerned that is our American right to donate to a cause that we believe in. As far as I am aware the actual "mormon church" did no such funding. If you look at the list of mormons that donated (the list that was unfairly distributed) it clearly indicated that individuals donated, not the church. Your hub appears to be providing incorrect information.

All the best to you.

Shain 8 years ago

Do members of the LDS really believe that they have the right to impose their religious views on society generally? If so, doesn't that belief arise from the teaching of the church? And does not the church encourage its adherents to act in accordance with the church's teaching?

How then do the contributions of individual members of the church differ in any regard from a contribution by the church itself?

Accordingly, the church has made a contribution to a political cause and should no long have protection of the laws that give it special status as a religious organization.

This imposition of religious values on our secular civic society may be only a passing fad. After all, the christian churchs once held that slavery and ownership of human beings was moral, that segregration was required by the bible, that women were inferiors. LDS approved, even required, polygamy and saw African-Americans as less than worthy. Most of those idiocities have been overcome by a society that is less inclined to reliquish control to someone needful of authority. Homophobia may be next.

It just may be that the churchs will follow their own dictate that man was made in the image of God and that this image includes homosexuals. Until that time we must resist the bigotry of the unthinking sheep of the churchs.


Lifewithpurpose 8 years ago

Shain, your calling these people hateful but i see just as much hate coming from you towards the church. No one is going to take your thoughtful arguement seriously if you end it with "the bigotry of the unthinking sheep of the church". In response to your question, to say that because members of a church contributed it means the church as a whole did. That would be like members of AA deciding individually they wanted to support the prohibition of alcohol. Their money is coming from themselves for a cause they care deeply about.

Shain 8 years ago

I have no hate for the church. I have a great distain for those who blindly follow directions without critical analysis.


Shain 8 years ago

The cause they care about is the prevention of equal rights to our fellow citizens. How can anyone tolerate that and how can anyone call that other than bigotry?


Lifewithpurpose 8 years ago

first of all you are assuming that christians do not have any mind of their own. I am sure there are some that voted yes just because the church said so but most christians that i have talked to have a passionate and well thought out reason for voting how they did. Right, wrong, or different most (not all) voted because of their own personal beliefs. Second, let me give you the definition of bigot "Bigot is often used as a pejorative term against a person who is obstinately devoted to prejudices even when these views are challenged or proven to be false or not universally applicable or acceptable." Most christians believe that homosexuals should have equal rights and have voted to increase those rights a few elections ago on a proposition for civil unions. True there are some that are prejudice but to lump everyone in a church with the minority isn't fair. Most christians do not want to restrict their rights, they just do not want marriage to be redefined. Whether you agree or not, all they did was exercise their rights as americans to vote and support what they believe in.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

LFP: Do you think if Obama and the Congress were to move to provide for federal recognition for civil unions across the country, granting same-sex couples equal rights to heterosexual married couples, that most Christians would support that? Would there be a substantial fight against that?

Lifewithpurpose 8 years ago

I honestly believe that most christians would thorougly support that. As i said almost every single one i have talked to voted for a proposition a few years ago that gave rights to homosexuals in civil unions. I have also asked them the same exact question you just posed and they said, "I will vote for any bill that gives homosexuals more rights as a couple, i just do not want to change what the title marriage means to me and the history of the church."

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

Lifewithpurpose, unfortunately for that argument, in the aftermath of Florida's successful gay marriage ban, gay marriage opponents immediately began to push for a pre-emptive ban on same-sex domestic partnership benefits.

There are certainly individuals (Christian, Mormon, and otherwise) who want to do the right thing by same-sex couples, and I pray that they will see through such a transparent attempt at discrimination, but as the "Florida Family Association" has just proved, the leadership of the anti-gay marriage movement cares much more about duping people out of their money by spreading hate and fear than it does about the "sanctitity of marriage."

Lifewithpurpose 8 years ago

I read the article... and that is unfortunate. I was talking specifically for christians though. He was asking if as a whole they would support more rights for homosexual couples. There will always be hateful groups like the one in florida. As with any societal issue there are extreme people on both sides.

Shain 8 years ago

Thank you for the definition of "bigot". That is exactly what I wanted to say.

And, just as an afterthought, if it isn't religious belief that compells a vote against same sex marriage, just what objective evidence establishes that the extention of a civil marriage to all persons would be of such harm to society?


Lifewithpurpose 8 years ago

I never said it wasn't religious belief that compelled some people to vote against it. It is clearly stated in the Bible how christians should feel about homosexuality. The insinuation was that church leaders were pushing members to feel a certain way. If that was done it does not mean christians blindly followed their advice. They see it as a harm to society that if homosexual marriage were taught to be the same as heterosexual marriage in schools, it would be really really hard for them to teach their children otherwise. Also, they see homosexuality as a sin. So that is why they felt so strongly about voting for it. They do not want to suppress their rights but they want to still feel like there is some difference between the two. For christians marriage has always been about starting a family. They feel that A. obviously homosexuals can't procreate. B. they feel its wrong to have 2 women or 2 men raise a child. Whether you agree with it or not its just their viewpoint.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

Lifewithpurpose, the Florida Family Association IS Christian. It is "devoted to educating citizens on what they can do to defend, protect and promote traditional Biblical values."

Lifewithpurpose 8 years ago

well that may be true but nowhere in that article did it say that. But as i said before, there are extremes on both sides of the fence. Just because one group of christians goes too far it doesnt mean that the majority agree. I would assume the same from those against prop 8. I would not lump all of the hateful things that the extreme of that movement has done with the rest of the people that voted no on 8.

Shain 8 years ago

"Whether you agree with it you not it's just their viewpoint." But by golly, you will abide by it.


livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

LWP: The problem is that the majority of people on the Yes side were perfectly comfortable curtailing *other people's rights*, to the point of writing it into the Constitution. I am absolutely sure not a single one of them would have consented to limiting their own rights, in any way, shape or form. So, you can easily argue that voting for Prop 8 puts you in the extreme when it comes to typical American understandings of personal liberty and equal rights.

Lifewithpurpose 8 years ago

i can't see how that would put them in the extreme considering that every state that had a prop about banning gay marriage passed. That would make it the norm not the extreme.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

LWP: Would the people who voted to deny women the right to vote a hundred years ago be considered the norm or the extreme? If you suggest the former, and I can understand the reasoning, then that would suggest the majority of society, the norm, was wrong. This is why decisions like this are best left to judges who can interpret the Constitution in the spirit it was written, not within the context of prevailing prejudices of the day.

Lifewithpurpose 8 years ago

Well since i did not live back then i would just be assuming. I would think though that if it was an equal poll taken from men, women, and all races it might not have been the norm. I do no know though. Assuming it was the norm however we live in a democracy. It is a government ran by the people. So unfortunately if an overwhelming majority have prejudices that will probably show in legislation. If the supreme court views something as unconstitutional though then the legislation can be over ruled. We will just have to see how homosexual marriage plays out if it goes all the way to the supreme court.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

I agree that we're a democracy, but we're a constitutional democracy, more specifically. In contrast to direct-democracy or popular-democracy, constitutional democracies ensure and protect citizens' rights through a constitution. It is the reason we don't have "mob rule."

I understand that there should be reasonable scope to what rights are covered. I think that supreme court judges, who weigh the prevailing public sentiment against the obligations set forth in the constitution, are better equipped to make judgments regarding minority rights than a simple voting majority. If history is any indication, the supreme courts have been ahead of simple majority opinion time and time again.

But you're right, at this point we will just wait and see.

AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 8 years ago from England

FAIR, and LDS Apologetic organization (again, not official) has published a full account on the issue of Proposition 8 and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints involvement therewith.

kerryg profile image

kerryg 8 years ago from USA Author

AngloSaxon, that account continues to make some of the same misleading claims the LDS church and other Prop 8 proponents have been making all along.

Most frustratingly, the claim that California domestic partnerships provide the same rights and responsibilities as marriage. Although California's domestic partnership law is one of the most generous with regard to granting state-provided rights to couples in domestic partnerships, the fact remains that those state-provided rights are limited to California and do not transfer to any other state, as marital rights automatically do, and that rights and responsibilities granted at the federal level (which outnumber state-granted rights by a margin of about 2-1) are still denied to domestic partners.

Proposition 8 DID, therefore, take away rights of same sex couples. You can claim it didn't from now 'til Doomsday, but repeating it won't make it any truer.

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I don't see why it's anyone else's business what a couple do, so long as that couple is made up of 2 consenting adults. It doesn't for a second impinge on anyone else's rights.

iantoPF profile image

iantoPF 7 years ago from Sunny California

I read the Hub and all the comments with a great deal of interest. Kudos to kerryG for raising a very important issue for our times.

In the interests of transparency let me say I am heterosexual, women get me excited very easily while men do not at all, I am married with two sons. Both appear straight but it's early days.

My view on marriage is that it is a sacred commitment between consenting adults. The only part of that to concern the wider community, ie the law, is the words "Consenting adults" Be they straight, gay, polygamous or a group. It is no one's concern. If no one is coerced it is no one's business.

Two points I would make for those who take the contrary view;

a) For the Christians of all faiths, your protestations of accepting democratic results are somewhat duplicitous. 2,000 years ago a majority cried "Crucify him" do you favor that democrtic decision?

b) Those who oppose marriage other than between a man and a woman, do you have anything other than Hebrew mythology to support your arguments?

Finally, as I began by acknowledging KeryG's article. I feel constrained to point out on her behalf that this is an article about Mormon involvement. I do not see it as Mormon bashing. I'm sure that another excellent Hub could be written on Catholic or any other organizations involvement. Please don't cover arguments by going on a tangent.

K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California

Way to wake up the crowd KeryG!

As for the many strong and passionate responses to your work, it pleases me that this discussion can take place and that all are free to speak as to what their heart may be feeling.

It is my position that I am not the power chosen to judge, deny or save mankind. These are things left to a higher power of your choosing. Those of you who cast such a distain for the topic and begin swinging the swords of righteous anger, Unless you're sporting crucifixion scars, casting the stones of judgement may be far outside your job description all together...just sayin'.

You are my hero KeryG for bring this to the righteous people!

~Always choose love~


Melvin 6 years ago

Hi, I want to inform that Gay marriage and Prop 8 has never consented to me. I did not know what it is going on? I am shocked and amazed with the disruptive and chaotic and riot strikes of Gay Marriage and Prop 8. I did not know why are they doing this? Long time ago, they did not fight altogether. I want to find out what is going on to make sure? Well, it is not my business to ask and I do not want to be nosy. Sorry, If I am nosy, but I am curious about it.



proton66 profile image

proton66 5 years ago from Southern California

Everybody claims to have a right on this and that! So, do I have a right to murder someone? Do I have the right to steal? Do I have the right to practice polygamy? Oh no! It's against the law. Do I have the right to marry my sister? No! It's against the law! Do I have the right to marry my boyfriend if I am a male? Yes!! America is great! Talk about hypocrisy.

So, why not love our neighbor as ourselves to include the LGBT. If there is a genetic defect somewhere, show no hate. Best thing to do is wait for Jesus to return and then He will sort things out because we are all a bunch of confused individuals.

Thatguypk profile image

Thatguypk 5 years ago

Hi. I'm not American, and have little contact with members of the Mormon church. I am not Christian, Jew, Muslim or any other religious denomination. I am a humanist. I am not gay. I am hetrosexual. And now that I've stated my credentials, I will give my honest opinion of the above arguments.

For Christ's sake, or Buddha's sake, or Allah's sake, or whatever deity you worship.... cop on, and grow up! Two homosexual men (or women) wishing to marry and commit themselves to each other in the loving (and legally recognised) relationship of marriage is something that should not only be embraced, but encouraged. It is not a relationship that is in any way detrimental or threatening to any other member of the community. It will not increase the number of homosexuals on the planet, and it will not put anyone else life at risk.

Assuming they are consenting adults, the only arguments against such marriages, are religious, based on spurious myths and beliefs that have no foundation in factual evidence, and that have been interpreted in a thousand different ways by a thousand different individuals. Religious beliefs are just that. BELIEFS! And not one of us has a right to force our individual belief down the throat of anyone else.

Drawing comparisons to legitimizing homosexual marriage and kiddy-fiddling or incest or beastiality are ludicrous. Whether hetrosexual or homosexual, we have an obligation to protect children from sexual predators. Do the pricks who condemn homosexual relationships think that Hetrosexual paedophiles are more likeable than homosexual paedophiles? Having sex with animals is nothing to do with the argument, as it doesn't involve 2 consenting adults, and as humanitarians we should feel it our duty as a society to protect dumb animals from dumber human-beings who find such activities acceptable.

Incest has nothing to do with this argument either, and is being used by some here to divert attention away from the real issue. It may well be a problem that needs to be addressed as a separate issue, but to compare it in any way to the question of homosexual marriage is like suggesting that because some white people like black people is likely to lead to a grown in obesity!!! The facts are COMPLETELY UNRELATED!!

On the issue of our children being taught about same sex marriages, what the hell is wrong with that? If you think such relationships are wrong, you can offer that opinion during the course of the education, provided you express it as an opinion and not as a fact. But what is wrong with teaching about love???? We teach about Hitler... is that preferable to teaching about love? Should we omit references to Mary Magdalene from Bible studies because she was a hooker? Should we omit God, who wiped out mankind, who killed babies, who condemned millions to Hell, and claimed that it was all done in the NAME of Love? How do you rationalise THAT to your children?

Perhaps there's a chance that the next generations will grow up as decent human beings, with respect for everyone, if we stop stigmatising people whose only 'sin' is that they LOVE, and want to have the right to express that love.

As for Mormons.... they are no different than any other religious institution in believing that their ways are the 'right' way, so I can condemn them no more nor less than the Catholic church, the Baptists or Muslims or Believers in the Divine One-legged Ostrich God. (I'm sure there must be such a belief system somewhere!)

You all need to grow up and recognise that the world is full of thousands of different 'beliefs', most of which have no more validity than any other. All we can do, as human beings, is to be respectful of others, peaceful and placid in the execution of our chosen beliefs, and gentle in our treatment of our fellow human beings.

Is that too much to ask?

mabmiles profile image

mabmiles 5 years ago

Interesting hub about religion. Thanks for the post.

sjane 5 years ago

Why didn't anyone speak up when the government was banning plural marriage?

sjane 5 years ago

They may not be in opposition now, if others had stood up for them in history. Or they themselves had taken upon themselves to stand up for their rights. They were probably unable to do so at that time. The real issue is not gay-marriage for them. They seem to be practicing a boycott. The best laws and equality would be to allow all types of marriage. And if people truly cared about each other, they can be with each other without a piece of paper. But in our society marriage has become an important social and legal institution. Yet, the institution of marriage is falling apart because humans seem to be serial monogamists. What about the option of 2 year marriage licenses? Would marriage be as important without benefits? Will those religions and societies that practice plural marriage: bigamy, polygamy, polyandry, instead of fighting gay marriage, take up proposition to overturn ban on plural marriage? That would be the real freedom of choice. Then even one man could marry 4 men.

34rrfaerfjesk 3 years ago

I believe no one has the right to choose good or evil. We are obliged to do good. Because it is God's will. It is a obligation for all of us to do only good. In the Bible says: Your body is not for fornication, but made for Christ. No one is ordained for fornication. Everyone of us is ordained for eternal chastity. Okay. The Bible says that polygamy is sin. Proposition 8 is unvalid by the truth of the Bible. No man is responsible for their own actions. Each is responsible for their sins. Each man will respond to God for the actions they do.

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