Do Mormons hate gays?


We went walking the precincts again today in support of proposition 8. The turnout was pretty good. We probably had two or three times the number of people show up today as we did two weeks ago. As can be expected on a Saturday morning in Camarillo, nobody was home in about half the houses we visited. They were probably out at a soccer game with their family.

Of those we spoke with, about half had not heard of the proposition and did not seem to mind learning a little about it. That’s all we’re trying to do at this point – inform voters about the proposed state constitutional amendment. The other half who had heard about it were in favor and said they would probably vote yes or were “open” and had not yet decided.

I personally did not encounter anyone on the streets that I visited who was opposed to the amendment. Again, I think that’s a reflection of the demographics of this sleepy little town, a bedroom community with a lot of small high tech businesses. The mixture of registered voters was equally Republican and Democrat with a few “other” in the mix.

Poll numbers don’t seem right

I noted that the most recent poll numbers from the Public Policy Institute of California don’t reflect my experience in walking the precincts. They cite only 40% as being in favor of the amendment and 52% opposed. Although the Public Policy Institute is located in San Francisco, they claim that the survey was conducted statewide, by telephone, between August 12th and 19th.

The wording of the proposed amendment was recently changed by the State Attorney General to read that a yes vote means that you are eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry. I don’t see it that way. When we walk the precincts we present the yes vote as being in favor of restoring the traditional definition of marriage as being only between a man and a woman.

In 2000, 61% of the people in California voted that marriage is defined as only between a man and a woman. The ruling was overturned earlier this year by four judges. To me, the right of same sex couples to marry was not granted by the people of the state, but by four judges. So if the amendment is defeated this time, we will then know the will of the majority of the people.

Only Mormons walking the precincts

I keep reading that others in the coalition are supposed to be joining us as we go walking door to door but from what I have seen, it is only the Mormons who are actively participating in this part of the campaign. I guess that’s because we have a lot of experience in going door to door. But the turnout today included a lot of couples and individuals who had never been missionaries.

When I returned home from the morning’s activities my son was visiting and saw the materials I had been handing out. He said, “So you’ve been out trying to take away the rights of the gays?” Trying to set the record straight I said, “No, just trying to let the people know about the issue so they can vote on it. We want to restore the legal definition of marriage in California.”

He didn’t buy it. He said, “Why do you Mormons hate the gays?” I restrained my desire to defend what we are doing and let it slide while the conversation went to other subjects. As he was leaving I asked, “Do people think that Mormons hate gays?” He replied, “You guys have a big problem in this area and have had for a long time.” That gave me something to think about.

Perception is reality

Now our son knows that his parents don’t hate gays. Carol and I have both worked with people who identify themselves as homosexual. We don’t shun them. We don’t avoid them. And we are grateful that he is accepting of gay people as well. His point was that the LDS church in general has a problem in being perceived as less than accepting of gays and their lifestyle.

He is right. This is a problem. It is especially a problem with young people his age. From what I can tell, the majority of people in our society under thirty are not opposed to the gay lifestyle or same-sex marriage. As I thought about my experience in walking the precincts today, I realized that most everyone I spoke with was older than thirty and most were in support of proposition 8.

So the fact that it is mainly members of the LDS Church that are out knocking on doors telling our neighbors to vote yes on proposition 8 could be perceived in the way he described. It is not true, or at least I have never seen it in my own experience in the church. I have read accounts of LDS parents rejecting their children who are gay but I hope those are few and far between.

Do Mormons hate gays?

At President Hinckley’s funeral the Westboro Baptist church came and picketed with signs that read, “Mormons love gays,” and worse. If you know anything about the people of the Westboro Baptist church of Kansas you know they feel that everybody in America loves gays. They are especially active in claiming that dead American soldiers in Iraq are a result of this love.

“When asked what President Hinckley had done that enabled homosexuals, one woman said it was because the leader of the LDS Church preached that God loves all his children, including the gay ones. That’s it? God loves all his children, and that makes us a gay church? She emphatically nodded an increasingly smaller head.” That quote is from Robert Kirby, beloved LDS humorist.

Here’s what President Hinckley said: “Our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. It is expected that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct.”

God-given rules of conduct

And there is the point of my essay today. We do not hate gays. I affirm what President Hinckley taught. We love them as sons and daughters of God. It is the part about rules of conduct that many young people seem to miss. It has been my experience that most young people don’t like rules of conduct. It just seems to go against their basic principles to have such rules.

I’m not sure why some do not believe that God has a right to set the rules for our conduct in this life. Perhaps it’s because they do not believe in God, or at least say that they don’t. Rules of conduct are important to me. I have written previously that I believe in government and that we can and should legislate morality. Of course, whose idea of morality do we legislate?

To me, that’s the real problem that we face in our society today. In our conversation today my son pointed out that there were so many other things to spend our energy on besides this gay marriage thing. I disagree. I think this is one of the most important issues facing our state, our nation and our world today. Following God-given rules of conduct will bring great blessings.

Summary and conclusion

No, Mormons do not hate gays. You may argue otherwise and many of you have as I have written about this subject in the past. I expect I will hear from you again with contrary points of view. You may be right. Some Mormons probably do hate gays. That’s unfortunate. I’m a Mormon and I don’t hate gays, or at least I don’t think I do. I try not to hate anybody.

Hate is not becoming of a Christian. Hate does not come from God. It comes from the devil. We have been accused of acting for the devil because we are involved in advocating proposition 8. I do not feel that way. I am following the counsel of a prophet to give this proposition my best effort. My time and my money are precious to me but I give them to follow a prophet.

I believe I will be blessed for following a prophet. I don’t always know how. Was it difficult for me to go walking in my neighborhood today talking to people about proposition 8? Yes, it was. Will I be blessed for my efforts? Yes, I know I will be. Please don’t accuse Mormons of hating gays. That’s not true. We focus on teaching doctrine and behavior that will bring happiness to all people.

28 Responses

  1. LDS leaders have made a number of statements, of course, suggesting that they love gays and lesbians. Well, not exactly. They say they love those who “refer to themselves as gays or lesbians,” or “so-called gays or lesbains.” Ultimately, LDS leaders continue to suggest that gays and lesbians do not exist, and that only “people with homosexual problems” exist (as stated by Oaks and Hinckley). How can LDS “love” anyone who they claim doesn’t exist? I don’t know.The old saying, “I can’t hear what you’re saying, because your example is speaking so much louder,” applies here. It is one thing for LDS members to say that they “love” gays and lesbians (although they “don’t exist”). These words ring hollow, however, when the same LDS members are spending and stumping to prevent gays and lesbians to enjoy the same civil rights that heterosexuals do. Your son is observant and courageous. One doesn’t have to go to the extremes of Westboro Baptist Church to be seen as hating gays and lesbians. When a person treats others in a hateful manner, his or her professed “love” is no more than a personal effort to rationalize behavior that they know, deep down, is anything but love.

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  2. Tim:I am glad that you take on these tough issues, and that you speak about them in a forthright manner.My LDS background has taught me to love ALL people and to avoid prejudices. I do NOT hate people just because I reject their lifestyle. If a differing lifestyle were proper grounds for hate, then we would spend all our time hating.Some of my most valued co-workers are gays and lesbians. They have my highest respect.The Church teaches the sacred bond between a man and a woman, as emphasized in the temple. The world at large has almost trivialized marriage — divorce is routine; living together is now a new age standard.The fact is that societal views of marriage matter, because they impact people’s behavior.We LDS may be conservative in our standards, but we are liberal in our loving. Hate and the inability to forgive could easily top the list of any sins we could generate.One issue that needs to be better addressed by all of society is that teenagers with same-sex attractions are at risk for suicide. There is no better ingredient for dealing with this issue than for family members and Church members to dispense their love and support.The challenge is: How can the LDS establish high standards for sexual conduct, while at the same time recognizing that MANY people will not meet those standards?Again, love is the primary answer. On this dimension we ALL can improve — until our words NO LONGER ring hollow.

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  3. I am a black woman married to a white man. If I knew that organized groups or random individuals were going around trying to overturn Loving v. The State of Virginia, I would have to be an idiot to think they were doing it because they loved me! One of the reasons I chose to leave the Church is that I refused to do the bidding of misguided nonegenarians who were operating under early 20th century norms and biases. Your son is exactly right. Taking away the right of a gay couple to marry is a hateful act, no matter what kind of spin you want to put on it.

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  4. Churches or religions are about drawing lines. Religions were welcomed at protests against the arms race. Now Christians are drawing another line. The world is being dishonest when it says we “hate” something when we disagree with it. If Christians don’t stand now against something, when do they? I’ve read about the churches in Europe, they eventually wind up standing for nothing. Young people look at churches in Europe as museums, and some don’t even seem to understand what the Christian message is when it is told them. A living religion can’t just speak out on a matter when its agreeable to everybody. Marriage between a man and a woman are the best ways their children will learn about the roles of husband, father, wife, mother, and being a man or women. They will know their choices. Yes, it doesn’t always work, and sometimes it has to work with one parent. But if we don’t stand for traditional families, then the time may come when the purpose of the family is lost to society. A fear I have is that a ruling for homosexual marriage will lead to a total “open source” redefinition of the family. And We must stand up now, and say something now, in a way that explains it simply. The purpose of the family should not be allowed to become another relic.

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  5. We have started a blog specifically to defend traditional marriage in California and to promote the passage of the constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot this November that retains marriage as between a man and a woman.Please join us at http://calmarriagedefense.blogspot.com/.

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  6. Nick,Thank you for visiting my blog. I have read many of your comments on this subject over the years on other blogs and am honored that you have shared your thoughts as a response to my essay on a most difficult subject, but one about which I do most sincerely seek greater understanding. I think you can help me in that quest.Putting aside our differences which neither of us will probably ever change, namely that I have never experienced and probably never will experience feelings of same-sex attraction, and that you are an openly gay man who embraces your homosexuality, please let me ask you just this one question.What would you have us change that would help to remove this stigma to which my son referred and you confirmed – that Mormons are perceived as being hateful to gays? Not all Mormons feel as I do that we should embrace the invitation from the First Presidency to give of our time and means to promoting the passage of this proposition.This season of our efforts to ensure the passage of the proposed constitutional amendment will pass but we will still be at odds as to the acceptance of those who practice homosexual behavior in our church. Yes, I see your point that some of the Brethren are clearly cautious in stating that the identification of self as gay is not something with which they are comfortable.So let’s look forward to the time when the stumping and blogging and speaking and writing about proposition 8 is over. Either it has or it hasn’t passed. You will still be openly gay and most members of the church will still feel that those who participate in homosexual behavior should not be accepted as members or should be cut off if they are participating in same-sex marriage.I do not see a time when the church will allow or admit into the church those who have married their domestic partners. Is there no hope for ever overcoming this perception that we hate gays because we will not allow those who practice homosexuality into the church? Mind you, I’m not talking about those who are gay and have decided, as painful as it is, to abstain from the practice.What can we change that will put away this painful stigma and this perception that we hate gays? I have shared in my essay that I do not hate gays and I mean that sincerely. I do not hate you Nick. I do not understand you but I do not hate you. But I just can’t see any way that the prophet is ever going to say, “It’s OK, Nick. You can be married to your domestic partner and be welcome in our church just like anyone else.”Do you agree that such a scene will probably never be played out? You may and, in fact, you will find that acceptance in other churches, more and more as time goes on. But I think we can both agree that an openly gay man, practicing homosexual relations with his domestic partner, or spouse, as now allowed in California, can never be a fully accepted member of the Mormon church in the full sense of the word – with priesthood and temple blessings as equal as any other.So do you think that there is any hope of reconciliation if neither party is willing to change? Of course I don’t speak for the Brethren but I think the position of the church on this issue is clear and is not going to change. I recognize that this puts you and countless others like you in a very difficult position. I know you have thought about this and have had to deal with this for a long time. What to do? Will we always be perceived as hating gays?

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  7. Track Mormon contributions to Prop 8 at http://mormonsfor8.com/

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  8. Tim,If I may, I’d like to try to shed some light here.Overall, I agree with you. I think it is incorrect to say that LDS people in general hate gay people, although there are undoubtedtly some who do. However, I believe it is accurate to say that in general we do not love gay people as neighbors, either. Most gay people I know don’t expect to ever be welcomed into sacrament meeting. But they would like to be invited over for dinner, be included in the invitations for the block party, etc. Another reason gay people might feel uncomfortable among active Mormons is because we continue to tolerate disgraceful epithets among us. I’ve worked with the YM organization for 20 years in wards all over the West and Midwest, and the common slang terms for homosexuals are employed dreisively and frequently. I was out with the missionaries last week and even heard one of the elders use an offensive term for gays. We can do much better in that area.Another problem is that in the prop 8 effort, we have chose to ally ourselves with people who are just a baby step removed from Westboro Baptist Church. Some of the outfits in the Protect Marriage coalition are seriously scary. We really can’t blame people when they associate us with the crazies when we have chosen to associate with them ourselves.Finally, you can find a post in the bloggernacle right now which argues that the advice to hate the sin but live the sinner really is just a cliche, and we shold make exceptions. So, when outsiders see this kind of stuff, we really can’t blame them for thinking we aren’t serious when we claim to not hate gays.

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  9. And by the way, Tim, I just want to thank you and say that I am proud of you for representing what you believe in a positive and constructive manner.

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  10. Thanks for the great report.I went on a mission in the mid 1980s, and had some discussions with others my age on this issue. I don’t know if the other missionaries “hated” gays or not, but they came pretty close…there was a distinct lack of charity and understanding. These were really great people in most respects, but they reflected what they had been taught.Since then I perceive a big change in attitudes. But I think that is mostly because of the influence of “the world,” along with generational change. The church leaders have actually done very little to effect this change, in my view. They haven’t really called people to repentance for their homophobia. And even today I hear unkind and inappropriate remarks on the issue, especially from older people. So the perception that Mormons “hate” gays is not entirely unfounded, but I think it’s changing.I am not surprised that it is mostly Mormons leading this effort. I think that Mormons are giving the lion’s share of the money, too; check out this website, and look at your area, and I’ll bet you’ll find that the vast majority of the donors are Mormons.http://mormonsfor8.com/Signed, Interested Party

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  11. I am a Mormon and I face homosexual desires, but I do not wear the label ‘gay.’ It is not at all what defines me, nor do I want it to be.I love those that call themselves ‘gay,’ and I can understand what a difficult plight it is for them. It can be lonely, isolating, and often sad. I frequently pray for the Lord to provide some way out…for all of us. I know He has a plan, and for now I am waiting and watching.You might think that I would be ambivalent about proposition 8, but I am strongly in support. The Church is acting very prudently in waking America up to the fact that the basic unit of society is threatened. Legal marriage along with tax breaks and other benefits are not given to a man and a woman because they love each other or because they share a home. The government has always promoted families over singles because families are where rising generations are trained. Good people, generally speaking, are good because they had a good father and a good mother. I believe God has made it clear that this is the optimal recipe for successful societies.

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  12. I don’t think that Mormons hate gay people, but Mormons do display an egregious lack of respect for gay people. It is difficult to believe that they hold “free agency” in such high regard when they are actively working to restrict the free agency of others. Why do they care if we get married or not? Oh yes – gay people are a threat to the family unit. Right, yes of course! How silly of me to forget this obvious truth. So when Mr. Johnson beat the tar out of his son last night (HIS FAMILY) that must have been the fault of that anonymous tax-paying gay couple down the street. And when Mr. Jones cheated on his wife last year and ruined his marriage (HIS FAMILY) – well that was clearly the evil work of that random lesbian at the grocery store. Be serious silly Mormons – if your family is falling apart you have only YOURSELVES to blame and whats more – you know it. And if your family is not falling apart thats great – but you should STILL stop persecuting me. So I challange Mormons to actually put some faith in their own beliefs for a change – a faith in “free agency.” But for the mormons to actively try to restrict the free choice of others sounds a lot like Lucifer’s plan.

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  13. Are Mormon’s just upset that since they can’t practice polygamy, nobody should be able to have an unconventional view of marriage? Yes. MORMONS DO PRACTICE POLYGAMY. More accurately, polygyny. Yes, the LDS church does practice polygyny. What happens every time a man who was sealed in the temple who becomes a widower and remarries in the temple? Another case of polygamy. Polygamy is a belief of the mormons. Albeit unpopular even among Mormons. Mormons do hate gay people. Mormons wish to eradicate out who people are and erase their very essence. I would agree with much of what Nick Literski has said, the church doesn’t even want to admit that gay people exist. There is so little Christian about the Mormon church: from the affected performances to “non-members” to the “chosen people” exceptionalism, this is a church that is ultimately about control while whitewashing it’s image (making JESUS CHRIST bigger on church signs) while ignoring an extremely racist past (with no explanation or apology (apparently God wanted it this way)), an extremely misogynistic, homophobic, misanthropic, patriarchal and with an agenda of sinister hegemony. I grew up mormon, served a full-time mission, was engaged to be married while at BYU, etc. etc., and nothing has made me happier than leaving the mormon church. It is a subcultural neurolinguistic programming factory (“say it’s true until you believe it”) that eliminates humanity from humans, and that is its ultimate shame, and what they are attempting to do here in the state of California.

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  14. Those who oppose eqaulity for gay people never say they hate them. It’s always about God’s dictums and so forth. But for the gay man or woman (let alone our children), the experience is one of being hated. When someone (in the case of Prop 8 an entire church headquartered in another state) hammers away to strip a right that should not be up for a vote in the first place (not only do I not want to vote on your rights, even if given the chance, I would refuse to), the inescapable feeling is that you hate us and all the rationalization on your part does not change my experience of being hated. Mormons, of course, know this feeling well, being discriminated against by other faiths. What matters is not that you believe you don’t hate me, but that your actions present to me as hateful. Prop 8 eliminates a right, there is no getting around that whether you are able to see it that way or not. Take responsibility for the essence of your behavior. If I beat you with a stick because God told me to, it would still be me beating you, not God.

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  15. Mademark: I think I can understand your point of view, however the right you refer to was not given by the people. We live in a democracy. As a people we vote on laws by which we will abide. This one just happens to define marriage. Gay marriage is not a right granted by the people of this state. If you lived by yourself or on some desert island you wold not need permission to marry whomever you wish.But in our society, the people got together and agreed on what we would and would not allow. We call those laws. We did not agree that the definition of marriage would include same-sex marriage. So we are not taking away your right because we never gave it to you. Four judges decided that a law we previously voted on was not sufficient. That’s why this constitutional amendment is necessary in California.

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  16. Tim, while I can appreciate your view point, it is antithetical to a demoratic republic in which the final decision is imparted to a court. The purpose of a Supreme Court, either state or the United States, is to determine the validity of a law as it pertains to the (state) constitution. In this case, the California Supreme Court decided that the initiative voted on in 2002 violates the state constitution. That is their job. Would you feel differently if the decision had been unanimous? Or, according to your logic, if a majority of Californians decideed to reinsitutute segregration (assuming the US Sepreme Court had not invalidated it) it should therefore be law? What you propose is called tyranny, whether by a sovereign or by the mob.

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  17. I would add, having read the superb ‘The Killer Angels’, that the Confederacy was as deeply Christian as it is now. Robert E. Lee and to a one the southern slaveholders believed slave holding was supported by scripture. Of course they are correct – the scriptures, remain unchanged and quite supportive of slave holding. Yet we as a society have moved beyond that and find it abhorent. So, too, we will one day find the withholding of citizens’ rights from gay people just as offensive. It may take longer than refusing to eat shell fish, but it is coming. Thank you Spain and Canada and more civlized nations.

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  18. Hi mademark:California Justice Carol A. Corrigan wrote “I, and this court, must acknowledge that a majority of Californians hold a different view and have explicitly said so by their vote. This court can overrule a vote of the people only if the Constitution compels us to do so. Here, the Constitution does not.”That’s why the vote to amend the constitution is required. In effect, the justices invited the people of California to make the constitution clearer. We are in the process of doing so by this vote. I’m no lawyer but I’m not sure I agree with your statement that the final decision is imparted to a court.I think we actually agree that the court is to interpret the Constitution of the State of California, which is somewhat unique in that it is frequently amended, much more than the U.S. Constitution. Once the state constitution has been clarified by this vote, the court will have no choice but to abide by what has been put into place by the people.

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  19. Oh, and back to the original premise of the essay, on answering the question, “Do Mormons hate gays,” I quote from Wikipedia on bigotry: “A bigot is a person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his or her own, and bigotry is the corresponding state of mind. 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.”I have written previously about the way the word tolerate has been twisted to mean something that was not originally intended. I hope that leaving my blog open to comments from those who differ from me that I am providing some evidence of tolerance. I appreciate differing opinions. I have come to accept that many people identify themselves as different from my very heterosexual bias. I like to think that I am tolerant of the gay lifestyle, but I confess that I am struggling there.Yes, my religious upbringing and my faith in a God who condemns homosexuality, or at least commands that we not participate in homosexual behavior has given me a bit of a trial of my faith. One the one hand we are taught and believe that we are to love all men. On the other hand, we are taught that homosexual behavior is a sin and that the Lord does not look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.I don’t know why so many among the apostates have come out against the phrase, “love the sinner but hate the sin” as being hypocritical. I don’t see it that way and believe that it is a scripturally correct interpretation of the way the Lord sees us as we deal with sin in our fellow man in this life. I vote the way I do because I believe that homosexuality is a sin. I do not believe that we as a society should allow marriage, which was ordained by God, to be redefined to accommodate a sinful practice.

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  20. I live in Arizona and we also have a proposition regarding the definition of marriage. It is interesting to me that I can be labeled as hating gays, (I don’t, i have a gay cousin who i love and treat no differently than my other cousins), as a bigot (I’m not, I feel that I have a right to my beliefs) or even a racist (I’m not sure how to respond to this one) because I believe differently than people who are gay or lesbian. I have had to replace my Yes on 102 sign in my front yard multiple time because it has been stolen or defaced. This only supports my main concern with legalizing same sex marriage. Namely that it is simply a tool to force acceptance of the gay and lesbian lifestyle. I don’t hate homosexuals but I don’t accept their lifestyle either in the sense that I teach my children that it’s wrong and contrary to our religious beliefs. I forsee that “acceptance” and “tolerance” will be a one way street only and I will not support anything that potentially will restrict my freedom of religion. So, I won’t support same sex marriage. To label me on the basis of what I believe and the lifestyle that I live sounds just like what gays and lesbians accuse me of doing to them. No?

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  21. This is clearly a situation of the “son teaching his father.” Can you take off your blinders long enough to see this? Your son has clearly taken a higher road. He understands the damage his father is doing in support of Prop. 8.And you wonder why people think Mormons hate gays. Your son gets it. Ask him.

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  22. Hi anonymous,You don’t me or my son well enough to add an intelligent comment on our private discussions about how some of the world sees Mormons because of this issue. My son is simply reflecting what he reads from the sources where he gets his news and from where he forms his opinions – his friends at work.He was helping me to understand what some of his friends have been saying and what he reads in the online forums that he frequents. You don’t know what my son believes so let’s leave him out of this. Oh, never mind, I’m the one who brought him up so I guess he is germane to the dialog.I think my son is typical of a small percentage of the younger generation who see nothing wrong with gay sex or same-sex marriage. As I have noted in previous essays, he is not a believer in the Mormon faith and has not participated in our church for over ten years.I’ll take my blinders off for a minute and tell you that yes, I can see the damage this can do to those who do not want to lose the right that they won through the courts to find some legitimacy for their sin. Gay sex is not love, or at least not the kind of love that God intended for his children to enjoy in this life.So if proposition 8 wins, it will do tremendous damage and will be a huge setback to those who have fought for equality, as they like to call it. So I can see why so many seem desperate in the acts they are committing that are actually damaging their cause. When they accuse Mormons of hate by etching things in their cars, ripping up signs, and otherwise abusing proponents of Yes on 8, they are the ones who are showing intolerance and hate.Take a look at what some tolerant people did in this essay over at Messenger and Advocate. Now take a look at what some nice loving people did to this man’s car in this article at the Alliance Defense fund. Sure make me want to see things from their side – NOT!My conclusion is that some people think that Mormons hate gays because we have been so involved in supporting this Yes on 8 campaign at the request of the leaders of our church. Of course, we are not the only ones, but most Mormons go all out when their leaders ask them to do something. Don’t take it personally guys. Let’s wait and see what the results of the election brings.Hey, aren’t the final polls supposed to be out today or tomorrow on this issue? Last I checked the numbers were up in the 60’s for the Yes side. Marriage has never been regarded as a universal human or civil right. Loving and living with anyone one wants to live with are basic human rights. But marriage is actually a privilege that society bestows on whom it chooses.

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  23. All I know, as a gay man, that ANY legislation relating to religion to LDS, will be met with a fierce opposition. From zoning to taxes, LDS has made a stand against gay people, and we will defend ourselves against the hate. I do not agree with your lifestyle, but wouldn’t work to eliminate your rights….until now.SHAME ON YOU!!!!

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  24. Hi Troy,I’m not familiar with how the LDS church has been involved in zoning or tax legislation. Do you have any examples you can provide? Marriage is not a right. It is a God-given privilege that is recognized by society in law. The people of the State of California simply made it clear that the definition of marriage is what it was always intended to be – between a man and a woman.Shame on me for what? For standing up for morality and for following a prophet? I feel no shame for that. I am glad that there are still enough good people left in the State of California that understand morality and who value time-honored standards and principles that have blessed nations for centuries. Our society is based on the family.Future generations deserve the strength that comes from having a father and mother married and faithful to each other. No gay relationship can produce children naturally. Gay couples already have all the rights of a straight couple in California as if they were married – it’s the law. We just felt strongly that it is not right to redefine marriage as anything other than between a man and a woman. So do a majority of the people in California today.

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  25. Gee whiz..Why would anyone think that Mormons hate Gays?1) Scapegoating Gay people for any problems with straight marriages while simultaneously marrying dead people in your temples and celebrating polygamists like Brigham Young and Joseph Smith2) Kicking Gay people out of BYU 3) Refusing to treat divorce with the same hate and exclusion you reserve for Gays. Ya see… Divorce affects straight people, well just ignore that one. Well reserve the full measure of exclusion for GaysCalifornia is full of Gay ex-Mormons will universally hideous stories of their upbringing. Electroshock torture is one.Prop 8, a Mormon Amendment designed to abuse Gays, is simply a continuation of hatred of Gays by Mormons.Don’t whine as you get about 2 percent of the hatred you’ve spewed back at us. When Gays enjoy full civil rights, then we can talk.By the way, you don’t have any Gay friends. They all know you want to HURT their families. Trust me, there are people I have to be civil to, but I know they HATE me in that election booth (where it matters MORE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE) They may be civil, but all Gays KNOW what you are and that your number one objective is to demean abuse degrade and DESTROY their families.

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  26. So does the Mormon church advocate no marriage for barren couples or the elderly? No. The reason is that their ‘defense of marriage’ is not rooted in child raising, but in pure hatred of Gays.I’m not talking about in your temples. I’m talking about in PUBLIC POLICY for non-Mormons.

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  27. The weirdest element to all of this is that when mormons insist they don’t hate gay people, I think they genuinely believe that. But thats not comforting to the person being hated. In fact, its down right infuriating. The members of the Third Reich didn’t think they were haters either. They genuinely believed they were doing the “right” thing by stuffing Jews into ovens. In any case, please stop trying to tell me that mormons have gay friends – whom they “love, respect and admire.” Wake up – they gay community is outraged by the mormons. No self-respecting gay person would be friends with someone who actively works to restrict our civil liberties. (by the way, just because gay marriage is not legal doesn’t mean thats the way is SHOULD be. It used to be legal to kill a mormon in the state of Missouri – you obviously don’t agree with THAT law, do you?) Dissent = freedom.To “anonymous” in AZ – I can’t believe you’re surprised that your “yes on 102″ signs were stolen or vandalized. Would you blame Rosa Parks if she stole/destroyed signs saying “yes on Blacks-in-the-back-of-the-bus”?You ARE right about one thing – you DO have the right to your opinion, but don’t expect people to see it as anything short of unadulterated bigotry. The KKK ALSO has rights – but they’re still the KKK.Also, this fight is NOT about religion. Mormons are free to hate gay marriage all they want. But gay marriage is a question of CIVIL freedoms, not religious. And don’t try to say that this country was founded on Christian principles – it wasn’t. Almost all of the founding fathers were Deists. (look it up if you need help with the definition) Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin were both out and proud atheists. Abe Lincoln spoke out openly on the dangers of Christianity. They establisted the separation of Church and state for a REASON. It was partly to protect freedom of religion, but it was MAINLY to protect people FROM religion. And it looks like now is the time when people need to be protected from the MORMON Religion.

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  28. Here is what I do not understand…why in the WORLD is marriage a governmental institution if it is a religious covenant? If we are going to call the rights that two people get under the law when they sign a piece of paper as a couple “marriage,” then all CITIZENS should receive these RIGHTS under the LAW. It is unconstitutional otherwise. If a church does not agree with gay people, then they should not allow them to marry in their church or participate. The actual CEREMONY is a convenant, but the piece of paper under LAW are rights. Now I do not think the government SHOULD be involved in marriage; everyone should get civil unions or better yet, everyone should get the same rights for being born PERIOD. Let marriage be a religious institution…but if the government still wants to call it marriage, then that’s what it’s called and everyone should get the same rights. It won’t affect your ceremony. Not to mention, people are already living as postmodern families, and it is not ruining the “traditional family.” Not to mention, we did not always live as “traditional families.” The nuclear family is a fairly new concept historically–not to mention, people did not used to marry for LOVE. It was all about economics, which explains why the government is involved in marriage at all. Here is deal, let people have their rights. According to Mormonism and many Christian religions, we are given free agency. When you force people under YOUR will, then you interfering with God’s plan. How is this not OBVIOUS? When Jesus kept company with prostitutes, he did not say…I am going to make a law to keep you from sinning or you are not allowed the same rights because you are sinning…or you are going to corrupt the order of society with your sinning… No, he taught and led by example and when ASKED, he told them to sin no more and they will be forgiven. If we are to follow Christ’s example, then the Church should have NOTHING to do with Prop 8. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE NOT ONLY PROTECTS “SINNERS” IT PROTECTS ALL RELIGIONS FROM GOVERNMENTAL INTERFERENCE AND GIVES THEM THE FREEDOM TO WORSHIP AS THEY CHOOSE, WHICH IS IN LINE WITH THE FREE AGENCY GIVEN TO PEOPLE UNDER GOD. NOT TO MENTION, “JUDGE NOT, LESS YE BE JUDGED.” Let it go…seriously, society is not held together by the family…it’s held together by capitalism. Do you really think the CEO’s and politicians that are expected to get financial support and cater to their rich lobbyists honestly care about morality when doing business?! It is not to say that we should not stive to better our government or help others, but this world will not be perfect until Christ comes… Worry about YOUR salvation, your morality, and your family… That is what COUNTS. That is how you will be JUDGED. You do not have to support gay marriage, but you do not have to vote against it. You also do not have to allow it in your Church. But you are to allow other people their free agency so they can make the genuine choices for which they will be judged by God, not YOU.

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