Leadership of the Mormon Church have issued a terse yet official statement in response to yesterday's Supreme Court announcement that effectively expands same-sex marriage into eleven more states, including Utah.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has spent millions of dollars fighting same-sex marriage. A New York Times article in 2008 attributes the passage of California's Prop 8 to the Mormon Church. "Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage," the Times wrote, quoting one LDS leader who bragged about the extent of involvement the Mormons had on the "success" of getting Prop 8 passed.
"We've spoken out on other issues, we've spoken out on abortion, we've spoken out on those other kinds of things," said Michael R. Otterson, the managing director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormons are formally called, in Salt Lake City. "But we don't get involved to the degree we did on this."
One strategist from Protect Marriage, the group behind Prop 8, told the Times, "Mormons made up 80 percent to 90 percent of the early volunteers who walked door-to-door in election precincts."
In the end, Protect Marriage estimates, as much as half of the nearly $40 million raised on behalf of the measure was contributed by Mormons.
Fred Karger, an LGBT activist and former Republican presidential candidate who has actively sued NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, the day after a federal judge struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage last year asked, "Will Mormon Church Keep Funding NOM?"
I wonder if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) will keep funneling millions and millions of dollars to Brain Brown and his National Organization for Marriage (NOM) after their huge loss in Utah yesterday? Will the LDS Church keep throwing good money after bad?
The Mormon Church ran and its members funded every anti-gay marriage vote in over 30 states since 1998. Take a look at these secret Mormon Church documents courtesy of Mother Jones Magazine.
The history of the Mormon Church's involvement in same-sex marriage is no secret, so the fact that yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals filed -- asking the nation's highest arbiter to resolve the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage -- must have greatly pained LDS leaders.
And yesterday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a terse, polite, and public but specific response.
"The succession of federal court decisions in recent months, culminating in today's announcement by the Supreme Court, will have no effect on the doctrinal position or practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is that only marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God," Mormon leaders announced. "In prizing freedom of conscience and Constitutional guarantees of the free exercise of religion, we will continue to teach that standard and uphold it in our religious practices."
"Nevertheless, respectful coexistence is possible with those with differing values. As far as the civil law is concerned, the courts have spoken. Church leaders will continue to encourage our people to be persons of good will toward all, rejecting persecution of any kind based on race, ethnicity, religious belief or non-belief, and differences in sexual orientation."
Privately, perhaps, is another matter.
Image: The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Photo via Wikimedia.
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