[Cross-posted at mkcohen.com]
This morning I read Spud1's diary about how the Mormon Church is up to their usual tricks (this time in Maine) of backing anti-gay rights groups while publicly distancing themselves from such contributions.
I got curious about something: given their obvious aversion to publicity in this area, I wondered how the Mormon Church itself portrays its views on gay rights. So instead of consulting an anti-Mormon web site, I went straight to the source, the official LDS web site to see what they have to say about their position gay rights. Here's what I found...
The first thing you'll notice is that (surprise!) it's not easy to find any material on this site about gay rights, gay marriage, etc. I looked under the "Home and Family" and "Marriage, Family and Individual Counseling" subject areas but found no relevant content. Next I tried a site search on the term "gay" and found a short article titled "Homosexuality" in their alphabetical index of "Gospel Topics".
So, without further ado, here's an annotated copy of the Mormon Church's official policy on homosexuality:
People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians.
The "those who consider themselves" clause is a way of not so subtly denying the existence and identity of some 5-10% of our population.
My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God.
Which is why they want to deny them the same basic rights everyone else enjoys.
They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times.
Yup, they do have certain inclinations. The inclination to live their lives they way they choose free of harassment and discrimination. The inclination to fall in love and marry the person of their choosing. The inclination to have a family of their own. You can call these inclinations but I call them basic human rights.
If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are" (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1998, 71).
In other words, "it's our way or the highway". I would actually have much less of a problem with them if that was their real position. If they, as a private group, choose to discourage or disallow free choice amongst their own members, I wouldn't agree with it but that's their choice. But the truth is that by actively supporting anti-gay groups and legislation they go way beyond the position stated above - they've set out to curtail the rights of free people everywhere, all around this country, whether they belong to the Mormon Church or not.
I happen to be a straight guy but I've been around long enough to know that when one group's rights are denied, we all suffer. It's time to stand up not just for gay people but for people everywhere and show groups like the Mormon Church that they cannot say one thing publicly and then privately try to force their religious views on all Americans. If you agree, whether you're straight or gay, take a stand. Make your voice heard. Let people know how you feel. Progress is made when enough people care strongly enough to do something about it.