It’s time for the Mormons to endorse ENDA

I’ve always been skeptical of the Mormons, in part based on the details of their faith, but mostly because on their visceral hatred of gays.  Nonetheless, the Mormons could wipe the slate clean by endorsing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill to outlaw anti-gay and anti-trans job discrimination at the federal level.

As a Christian who comes from a branch of Christianity that’s been around for two thousand years, I’ve always been somewhat suspicious of the new kids on the block who only discovered their faith in the past few centuries.  (Not that I fully believe that any faith has the keys to the Kingdom, as it were.)

But when I discovered that the Mormons were viciously anti-gay, with an almost evangelical fervor to their anti-gay advocacy – with a penchant for flaunting their homophobia – my opinion of the Church of Latter Day Saints headed decidedly south.

The Mormons have spent 20 years and millions of dollars bashing gays

Mormons

Mormons via Shutterstock

For the past twenty years, the Mormons have spent tens of millions of dollars, in state after state, trying to impose their anti-gay zealotry on states far outside of their native Utah.  It started in Nebraska and Alaska way back in the 1990s.  But most famously, the Mormons made their mark in California, the Mormons are given single-handed credit for making Proposition 8, the repeal of gay marriage in that state, possible in 2008.

So it’s understandable why gay Americans, and our allies, even putting aside the Christianity argument, have a problem with Mormons.  Quite simply: We have a problem with Mormons because they have a problem with us.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Mormon alliance with the far-right was wrong from the beginning

I never understood why the Mormons chose, so long ago, to throw their hat in the religious right ring of hate.  The Mormon leadership, for whatever reason, felt that saddling up to the religious right was the best way to guarantee their inclusion, and acceptance, in American society at large.  I’d argue that it was the worst decision they ever made. And I suspect they’ve begun to realize the same.

The Mormons aren’t unlike the Jews, in many ways.  They’re a small religious minority with a history of being oppressed, who then oppress back, often proactively, in an understandable, albeit heavy-handed, effort to guarantee they’re continued existence.  But unlike America’s Jews, most of whom have sided with liberalism, the Mormons went Republican, and even worse, evangelical.

And here’s the problem.  When you’re a minority that makes your bed with a political party, and a religious movement, that has serious problems accepting minorities, you’re never going to be welcome, ever.  Yes, the Republicans and the evangelicals will be happy to use Mormon money to push their anti-plural goals, but when push comes to shove, they don’t like you, they don’t respect you, and they’re waiting for the day to send you back to where you belong, which isn’t at their side.

The Jewish analogy again is relevant.  Evangelicals LOVE Jews and Israel.  But not because they actually love Jews and Israel.  The only reason evangelicals are such fans of Jews and Israel is because evangelicals need Jews and Israel… to die… in order for Christ to come back in the Second Coming.

That’s right, Christ will return and two-thirds of the world’s Jews will go up in flames.  That’s what the Bible says.  And evangelicals know that if the Arabs, or whomever, are permitted to push the Jews into the proverbially sea, and if it happens too soon, then there will be no Israel left that can then be destroyed (again) in order to usher the comeback of the Lord.

So, evangelicals quite literally love Jews to death. And the Mormons aren’t far behind.

Evangelicals will never accept Mormons as equals, liberals will

Mormon

Mormon via Shutterstock

The Republican/evangelical embrace of the Mormons isn’t any prettier.  Let’s face it: Who do you think has a bigger problem accepting Mormonism as legit: evangelical Republicans or liberals?  Evangelicals don’t even accept Catholics as legit – they think Catholics worship Satan and that the Virgin Mary is a “whore.”  And that’s a quote.  So if they think Catholics aren’t Christians, what do you think evangelicals really think about Mormons?

Liberals on the other hand, while not terribly religious, don’t terribly care if you are.  To be liberal is to embrace diversity, be it black, white, straight, gay, male, female, Latino, Jewish, or whatever. I think the Mormons made a huge tactical mistake hitching their wagon to a load of intolerant bigots who, in the end, don’t like the Mormons any more than they like gays or blacks. 

It’s time for the Mormons to endorse ENDA

So back to ENDA.  The Mormons could take a huge step towards burying the hatchet – or more accurately, removing the hatchet from the backs of gays – by publicly endorsing a federal ENDA.

It’s not like there isn’t a precedent.  GOP Senator Orrin Hatch, who is a Mormon from Utah, just yesterday voted for ENDA in a vote before a key Senate committee.  Hatch’s conservative and Mormon credentials are unquestioned.  And he provides other Mormons, in Congress and in Salt Lake City, with the necessary cover to publicly endorse ENDA.

And the Mormons haven’t already begun to inch in this direction.  Soon after Prop 8 was passed, the anti-Mormon backlash began.  It was so fast and so furious that it quickly became apparent to the Mormon leadership that Prop 8 had become a “PR fiasco” for them.  In the ensuing years, the Mormons even launched a $6 million ad campaign to try to rectify the damage.  To no avail.

In part, the PR offensive didn’t work because the Mormons simply refused to let up on the hate.  In 2009, the Mormons joined a push to kill civil unions in Illinois. In 2012, the Mormons joined the religious right in funding hate in Africa. And in 2013, the Mormons signed on to a viciously anti-gay religious right brief to the Supreme Court supporting Prop 8. It’s difficult to be forgiven when the sinner continues the sin.

But there have been some signs of hope.  Mormon-founded Marriott corporation now supports the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  The Mormons also stayed quiet when the Boy Scouts announced their decision to permit gay scouts.  Many thought the Mormons might break with the Boy Scouts over the decision, yet the Mormons did not, thus showing their tacit approval of the new pro-gay policy.

And finally, and most importantly, the Mormons endorsed a Salt Lake City gay and transgender non-discrimination ordinance that was, in essence, a mini-ENDA for Salt Lake City.  If it’s good enough for Salt Lake City – and ideologically compatible with LDS doctrine – then why isn’t it good enough for America?

What the Mormons have found over the past few years is that being pro-equality is not inimical to their faith.  On the contrary.  As numerous religions have already come to realize, if Jesus was anything, it wasn’t intolerant.

It’s not going to be easy for the Mormons to move away from the dark-side of Christianity and American politics.  Change never is.  But you’d think a people who are historically used to being stepped on would understand the dilemma posed by pro-actively stepping on others. It’s far more Christian to make common cause with the downtrodden, than to join their oppressors.

It’s time for the church of Latter Day Saints do the Christian thing and endorse ENDA.


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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277 Responses to “It’s time for the Mormons to endorse ENDA”

  1. NedFlaherty says:

    Daniel Ortner:

    Anti-miscegenation laws outlaw marriage between races; one-man-one-woman marriage laws outlaw marriage between same genders. Both outlaw marriage on a basis that is unconstitutional because it is driven purely by animus and fills no government purpose.

    You wrote — incorrectly — that “No one is suggesting laws criminalizing gay unions.” That is incorrect. Anti-gay hobbyists and lobbyists still propose criminalization of LGBT people, both in America and abroad.

    Your observation that “There are no laws stopping a gay couple from living together, loving each other, and getting recognition in a church that acknowledges gay unions” is true, but it is wholly irrelevant to this discussion.

    The problems that remain are: (a) inability of same-gender couples to obtain a marriage license in all 52 American jurisdictions (50 states + District of Columbia + Commonwealth of Puerto Rico); and (b) inability of same-gender couples to freely transfer their marriage license and marriage status among all 52 jurisdictions the same way that every other married couple does. Only 14 states issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples, and only 14 states respect such licenses issued by other states. Gross inequality still exists nationwide.

    You assume — incorrectly — that same-gender couples can marry in a church, and then “have a civil union with every single right that a straight married couple would have.” You’re wrong. They can’t. The federal government issues 1,138 marriage-related rights/responsibilities, none of which are available to anyone in a civil union or in a domestic partnership; those rights are available only to a couple with a full, legal marriage.

    You assume — incorrectly — that “one can oppose gay marriage and not be anti-gay or homophobic.” That’s untrue. Everyone who opposes equal human rights for LGBT individuals, couples, and their children is anti-LGBT, and everyone who is anti-LGBT is expressing a phobia (irrational fear). It was already proven in multiple state and federal court cases that there is no harm to anyone caused by the marriage of an LGBT couple, so any fear of that is irrational.

    Your argument that “marriage between a man and a women (sic) is special” is a religious superstition, but has no basis in scientific fact, because (a) both same-gender couples and mixed-gender couples often have no children; and (b) both same-gender couples and mixed-gender couples also have and raise children via prior marriage, fertilization, surrogacy, foster care, and/or adoption. Every valid, peer-reviewed, scientific study comparing the results of child-rearing between same-gender and mixed-gender couples have found no statistical difference.

    Multiple court cases have proven that banning same-gender marriage has no societal or governmental benefit, and that allowing same-gender marriage benefits society and government in the same ways as mixed-gender marriage.

    Neither you nor anyone else is allowed to argue in a court of law that your deity did something, or anything (including creating or defining marriage), because neither you nor anyone else has any proof that your deity did anything, or that your deity had a specific motive, or that your deity even exists.

    All your assumptions about “special-ness” and “enshrining/defending” are merely immature expressions of nationalism, religiosity, ethnocentricity, and hetero-supremacy. Those are not valid legal bases on which to argue anything. If “special-ness” were a valid legal concept, then same-gender couples also could claim oodles of unique “special-ness” themselves. But it’s not even a legitimate legal point, and so no LGBT attorney ever makes the mistake of trying to argue it.

  2. Daniel Ortner says:

    Ned

    You make some valid points, but I think your comparison between gay marriage
    and interracial marriage is especially overblown… Loving v Virginia was a case striking down a law that criminalizes marriage between people of different races.
    The couple involved faced jailed time just for living together and loving each other. That is absolutely wrong. That is also far from the case for gay couples. No one is suggesting laws criminalizing gay unions. There are no laws stopping a gay couple from living together, loving each other, and getting recognition in a church that acknowledges gay unions. In a state that today has civil unions, since DOMA is no longer around, a gay couple could ‘marry’ in a church and have a civil union with every single right that a straight married couple would have. That’s why one can oppose gay marriage and not be anti-gay or homophobic…

    What it ultimately is about is how society defines and prioritizes marriage. Marriage between a man and a women is special and therefore deserves special protection and recognition. It is a bond that society needs to ensure stability, and that the next generation is raised in stable loving homes. It is also what god has defined as the ideal. What many are fighting for is for society to continue to acknowledge that there is something special about marriage. It’s not about denying rights, but about enshrining something truly special and defending it.

  3. NedFlaherty says:

    To the anonymous LindaSDF:

    You write — incorrectly — that “marriage is a religious thing, not a legal thing.”

    You are wrong. On both counts.

    A wedding is a religious ceremony. A marriage conveys a legal status. That legal status has changed in every century since it was first invented. Marriage wasn’t created by any deity; it is a man-made classification used by governments for political and social purposes.

    Civil unions and domestic partnerships were already proven, in state and federal courts, to be 2nd-class status, i.e., back-of-the-bus, “separate-but-equal” citizenship, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in multiple cases, from 1950 through 1967.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that legally married couples, same-gender or mixed-gender, are all entitled to the same federal marriage-related benefits. Civil unions and domestic partnerships deprive couples of all federal marriage-related benefits, and thus are unconstitutional because they serve no public purpose.

    Consequently: civil union and domestic partnership will be discontinued as unconstitutional, and full marriage equality will gradually extend to every American state. Mormons, Catholics, and others who prefer theocracies will have to either accept everyone else’s religious liberty, or else move to a theocratic nation like Iran, and take their chances there.

  4. NedFlaherty says:

    To the anonymous Foozlefop:
    Yes, BeccaM has a wife.
    Her wife is probably also her best friend, but first and foremost, they are both each others’ wives.
    Because they are spouses.
    Because California and U.S. law both defined them as such.
    Because state and federal lawsuits both defined them as such.
    Because our common cultures adopted the definitions that they are just as married as any other couple, and to each other, and as wives.
    Because that’s how a democratic republic works.
    If you reject all that, then take your faith-based superstitions and move to a theocracy like Iran, where one religion is the law, and everyone outside it is an outlaw.

  5. NedFlaherty says:

    To the anonymous Foozlefop:
    Yes, tithing money did support Proposition 8. At the campaign’s peak ferociousness, nearly 100 full-time Mormon church employees were working on the campaign in LDS offices. Their regular salaries, as always, were funded with tithed dollars. The Proposition 8 donations all went into California to pay for local campaign expenses.
    So, yes, every Mormon tither, even if he didn’t realize it, supported California’s Proposition 8, as well as equivalent campaigns in many other states.
    And you’re still supporting such oppression today.

  6. NedFlaherty says:

    To the anonymous Xanderoth:

    You make the same mistake with Mormons that you probably also make with Roman Catholics: failing to realize that the clergy and the church-goers are two vastly different groups.

    Perhaps Mormon temple-goers, like Roman Catholic church-goers, are gradually beginning to acknowledge the human rights to which all LGBT people, couples, and families are entitled. But Mormon clergy, like Roman Catholic clergy, remain as bigoted, uneducated, unscientific, undemocratic, inhumane, and stuck in the Bronze Age as ever.

    Both clergy groups view LGBT people as defective, doomed, demonic, incurable sinners.

    It’s centuries of faith-based bigotry that cause LGBT people to have no more patience left. How many centuries would you be willing to wait for the same human rights that everyone else takes for granted?

  7. NedFlaherty says:

    Anonymous Jim:

    You write — incorrectly — that “Mormons do not have a visceral hatred of gays” and that “Mormons are not viciously anti-gay.”

    You’re wrong. They do have that hatred, and they are that anti-gay.

    The hatred was memorialized in church documents, which are now public records, over the last 2 decades of Mormon campaigns created to oppress LGBT people, couples, and families worldwide. The simplest example is the Mormon bigotry which says that one-man-one-woman couples are holy, but lesbian, gay, and bisexual couples are profane, and all of society has to bow to Mormon doctrine, which the church writes into civil constitutions affecting all of society (not just Mormons). That is hatred, and it is both visceral and vicious.

    You write — again incorrectly — that “Boy Scouts do not have a new pro-gay policy.” You are wrong. They do. In May 2013, the BSA voted to stop expelling boys who admit that they are (or might be) gay or bisexual. The previous policy expelled all such boys instantly, without any opportunity for appeal. The new pro-gay policy takes effect in January 2014.

  8. NedFlaherty says:

    Anonymous George:

    You write — incorrectly — that “The Mormon Church is not opposed to gay rights.” Actually, the church is deeply opposed. It spent decades and tens of millions of dollars oppressing non-Mormon people everywhere, lobbying government to ensure that gay rights would be constitutionally prohibited forever. The Mormon church is the essense of opposition to human rights, especially of non-Mormons.

    You write — incorrectly — that “A heterosexual couple is uniquely different than a same sex couple” and “the Church wants to preserve the perception of that uniqueness.” Ethnic backgrounds also are “different” but banning interracial marriage for everybody so that Mormons can “preserve unique racial purity” is nothing but bigotry, prejudice, intolerance, and unconstitutional meddling in other people’s religions.

    Mormons have the right to believe every religious superstition that they desire. But they do not have any right to install their faith-based superstitions into the civil constitutions that govern all society. In other words: Mormons cannot implement a theocracy like Iran in a pluralistic republic like America.

  9. NedFlaherty says:

    Daniel Ortner, you are incorrect, on every point.

    Opposing the human right to same-gender civil marriage for all people of all other religions is most definitely homophobia, and it is certainly vitriol.

    Mormons can believe and suffer under whatever religious superstitions they desire; however, imposing those superstitions upon people of other faiths, and upon people of no faith, via constitutional amendments, is nothing but the vilest form of prejudice.

    Mormons may hold each themselves and each other to whatever lunatic “standards of sexual purity” they like; however, holding non-Mormons to Mormon standards is as backward and uncivilized as the original Bronze Age. Mormon political policies are no different than Iranian theocratic dictatorships.

    Mormon “religious liberty” does not extend to denying all other citizens their own religious liberties. The U.S. Constitution does not permit any person or group to write their religious superstitions into civil laws using the excuse of “religious liberty.”

    Hint: Opposing other people’s same-gender civil marriage is just as homophobic as opposing interracial marriage is racist. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on both. Each time, it ruled against Mormon theocracy.

  10. Daniel Ortner says:

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not anti-gay. Indeed, you mentioned several examples of how the Church has taken a stance in favor of gay rights such as endorsing the Salt Lake City Ordinance. Likewise, the Church supported the Boy Scouts move to welcoming gay scouts and has always had in place a similar policy allowing gays to participate and be involved in the Church on the condition of conformity to the Law of Chastity (No sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man and a woman). Everyone is held to the same standard of sexual purity.

    The Church took a strong stance on Proposition 8 and will continue to speak out in favor of religious liberty and protection of the God given standard of marriage. That will not change. However, opposing gay marriage does not equal homophobia or vitriol.

  11. Mark_in_MN says:

    Why pit them against one another? I see no reason to do that.

  12. lindasdf says:

    And everyone knows that the ones who want tolerance are allowed to be intolerant of the ones they want tolerance from.

  13. lindasdf says:

    Sorry, but the IRS won’t do that, since any charity can endorse issues, they just can’t endorse individual candidates.
    The mall was built by the business part of the church, and it DOES pay taxes.

  14. lindasdf says:

    No, the church does NOT hold that man is higher spiritually than women. And it’s not the man who guarantees his wife a place in heaven, it’s Jesus Christ who does that.
    Paul said in the Bible, that man is not without the woman nor is the woman without the man. Men need women to make babies, for one thing. If there were no women, man would die out. Likewise, if there were no men, women would die out.

  15. lindasdf says:

    Do you follow the creeds, or the Bible?

  16. lindasdf says:

    I guess it depends on your definition of CHRISTianity. I always thought that CHRISTianity was being a follower of Jesus CHRIST. Silly me! I forgot that trinity thing, which, BTW, is not in the Bible, but in the creeds, which are not scripture and are not Biblical.
    Maybe we are not Christian like you are, but we ARE Christian.

  17. BeccaM says:

    It’s too bad you’re so narrow-minded and bigoted, not to mention denying the reality in a dozen states and a whole bunch of countries.

  18. lindasdf says:

    Interesting. Someone had way too much time on their hands to come up with this story.

  19. lindasdf says:

    That video is disgusting. No one in their right mind would ever believe that way.

    But Ed Decker, the mastermind behind this piece of filth, would like the idea of “endless Celestial Sex” because he’s mad at the church since they ex’d him for adultery.

  20. lindasdf says:

    Just FYI, it’s MormOn, not MormAn.

  21. lindasdf says:

    The policy of plural marriage did not end so that Utah could become a state, it ended so that the US government would not end up destroying the church.

  22. lindasdf says:

    Actually, I think what’s gonna have to happen is, that civil unions and marriages are going to have to separate, in that marriage is a religious thing, not a legal thing. Because it would help others besides same sex couples. There are older people who want to get married, but would lose a good chunk of government income if they do, but they don’t want to “live in sin” as far as their church is concerned. So, they get married in church, in the eyes of God, but not in the eyes of Uncle Sam.
    There are enough others who don’t agree with SSMarriage, not just Mormons.

  23. lindasdf says:

    OK, I forgot to put that marriage is between a man and a woman. Not man and man or woman and woman. My bad.

  24. Augustus says:

    Maybe you are afraid of government forcing your church to perform a gay wedding. That won’t happen. It’s rare but some churches don’t allow interracial marriage. More commonly a church won’t allow an interfaith marriage. This is legal and anti-discrimination laws aren’t held to apply here. If your church doesn’t like homosexuality it doesn’t need to officiate gay weddings. That doesn’t make it your business to stop gay people from getting civil marriage contracts.

  25. Augustus says:

    If your opinion about whether or not a marriage is sanctified in the eyes of God is tied to its recognition or lack thereof of a secular regime you are a very confused person.

    That being said there are lots of people like that, but do you really want people respecting the “traditional definition of marriage” only because they are easily persuaded and don’t think for themselves? That’s not genuine.
    Government doesn’t never has and never will run culture. Governments run by fanatics try time and time again but culture creates and recreates itself by the daily interactions of the people in it. The only people who base their recognition or non-recognition of the validity of a spiritual marriage (which unlike civil, government-recognized marriage is completely legal and no you can’t make it illegal because you’d go against freedom of religion) on whether or not the government offers a civil contract and benefits are people who aren’t very intelligent and don’t think for themselves.
    Governments must adapt themselves to the culture, not the other way around. Stalin and Mao both tried to use government to determine cultural things with disastrous results.

  26. George says:

    I agree that prejudice is a bad thing.

    The Mormon Church supported an equal rights housing bill in Utah that prohibited discrimination based on sexual preference. Senator Orin Hatch, a Mormon, voted to approve the ENDA bill in the Senate committee. I am sure Senator Harry Reid, a Mormon, will support it. The Mormon Church has never opposed the rights for same sex couples to enjoy the legal rights that married heterosexual couples enjoy. The Mormon Church supports the Boy Scouts policy of not denying gay scouts membership.

    The Mormon Church is not opposed to gay rights. A heterosexual couple is uniquely different than a same sex couple, and the Church wants to preserve the perception of that uniqueness for the spiritual benefit of heterosexual couples and their children. Why do we not have the right to promote the preservation of the traditional definition of marriage while not denying same sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples? What else are gays trying to accomplish?

  27. BeccaM says:

    It is discriminatory because you want YOUR church policy to constrain the CIVIL law for the rest of us who don’t belong to your church.

  28. BeccaM says:

    I am married to my wife, yet you would require me to divorce her and either be celibate or marry a man.

    Don’t be disingenuous as to what LDS official policy is regarding us gay people.

  29. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Institutionalizing it doesn’t make it any less bigoted or discriminatory.

  30. lindasdf says:

    However, those opposed to prop 8 raised somewhere between $3 to $6 million MORE than those who were for prop 8. Where did THAT money go?

  31. lindasdf says:

    And yet, they didn’t have to if they didn’t want to.

  32. lindasdf says:

    Or if they are a Mormon-phobe.

  33. lindasdf says:

    It’s not bigotry or discrimination, if you don’t belong to our church. If you want to belong, you have to decide what’s more important.

  34. lindasdf says:

    Celibacy is not contrary to anything we teach. If you are not married, you are celibate. If you are married, you are entirely faithful to your spouse.

  35. lindasdf says:

    It’s not cold and passionless. It’s just a matter of putting one’s priorities in the right place.

  36. lindasdf says:

    I’m not arguing is’a validity, I’m saying it’s something one must observe IF one wants to be in our church.

  37. emjayay says:

    That’s all Old Testament stuff. Jesus was about replacing it with something more modern. Not that that stops Teavangelicals from quoting little selected passages to justify whatever they think, while ignoring all the other stuff.

  38. emjayay says:

    I’m not sure but I think the Trinity thing was controversial in the early days at least in the literalness Catholics see it. On the other hand, Jesus never discussed imaginary planets where you go when you die or Jews in North America.

  39. emjayay says:

    When anyone gets to name-calling obviously the game is over.

  40. emjayay says:

    Before that they had an extremely well timed revelation from God repudiating their polygamy policy just in time for Utah to become a state. Had to change to an Indian name, but still…

  41. emjayay says:

    They get the rest of their money by selling leftover magic golden plates.

  42. emjayay says:

    I replied to this commenter before but as the comments become more unhinged I’m beginning to see it’s pointless. Oh well, tides of history and all that.

  43. emjayay says:

    Which has never and will never happen.

  44. emjayay says:

    Well, that’s certainly pathetic and delusional. Being attracted to other humans is I assume great for straight people and “obsessed with one’s self” for gay people and “It is self indulgent worshipping of their own self.” Makes sense.

  45. emjayay says:

    Particularly if you are Boy Scout age. Or Cub Scout.

  46. silas1898 says:

    That little fact never seems to sink in with these nuts.

  47. silas1898 says:

    The “Law of Chastity” is more fiction from the Jewish Book of Fairy Tales.

  48. lindasdf says:

    I don’t know. I would assume it was on a troop by troop basis. Some more able to see past the “gay” label than others. But that’s just my humble opinion.

  49. Sweetie says:

    Wow… That’s a sad excuse for a rebuttal.

  50. Sweetie says:

    So, we’ve now shifted from making evangelical’s Christianity the foundational definition to “traditional” Christianity. Yawn. There is nothing “wobbly” or “incoherent”.

    Christanity. Look at the word. Christ + anity. There is nothing there about the Trinity, or evangelicals, or anything else. The word is what it is.

    This is just like your inability to move beyond the contextual history of the words heterosexual and homosexual. The morphological construction of words is what actually matters if you want to get to base, foundational, definitions. Context is fuzzy and changes.

  51. Sweetie says:

    Tolerance and acceptance are forms of bigotry. Refer to the Riddle Scale.

  52. sane37 says:

    Funny.

    Especially since all gay people are born of heterosexual relationships.

  53. sane37 says:

    The same arguments were used to outlaw my parents’ marriage because they were different “races”.

    It is about equality.

    It is about allowing two consenting adults to enter into a marriage contract together, for equal protection and for equal access to benefits in the eyes of the law.

  54. Julien Pierre says:

    The ads run by the anti-gay side were vile, odious, and slanderous.

  55. BeccaM says:

    You’re ‘stoked’? No, you’re an ignorant, bigoted asshole.

  56. BeccaM says:

    Buzz off, Troll.

  57. foozlefop says:

    A garment bottom is in no way shaped like a thong and hence therefore cannot be in a “bunch,” you dunce!

  58. foozlefop says:

    It’s Kolob, you dunce!

  59. foozlefop says:

    you can be in a sexual relationship! Please have at it! Personally, I am stoked that the LGBT community can’t reproduce. It’s natural eugenics at work!

  60. foozlefop says:

    News flash: you don’t have a wife, you have a best friend who happens to be female, and you live together. This does not in any way constitute a wife by definition nor culturally either. Don’t try to put your square peg into a round hole. No one has stopping from being with the one you love, you just what to whine, and are looking for justification for your actions.

  61. foozlefop says:

    None of the tithing money went into prop 8. Why don’t you get the facts right, Kent! All tithes go toward the church’s humanitarian efforts.

  62. foozlefop says:

    No, it is an agenda for acceptance from society and an acceptance of the church, so they can somehow square their behavior as being justified. The want the “okay” to be a pervert from society. If the LGBT community can somehow get everyone on their side, they reason maybe they could feel better about their self indulgent choices. They could make this whole movement about civil right, but no….. they choose to use marriage as their whipping boy because the issue is really much deeper than equality. It is about society telling them everything is going to be alright. They seek justification and by hijacking marriage they hope to achieve their end.

  63. foozlefop says:

    Exactly, who the hell gives a shit about acceptance or tolerance from the LGBT community. A bunch of narcissistic whiners making marriage about playtime in the dungeon. I have never once met a truly happy homosexual person, not one! What they need is therapy. It isn’t so much a choice about sex as it is a decision to live your life obsessed with one’s self. It is self indulgent worshipping of their own self. I agree the Mormons should endorse ENDA and civil unions, but what they want being marriage is clearly not what they deserve because a homosexual union is not a heterosexual union no matter how you want to deny it.

  64. BeccaM says:

    And it’s funny, isn’t it, how what we’re supposed to ‘tolerate’ is their desire to deny us equality, dignity, respect, and civil rights.

  65. BeccaM says:

    She’s actually spouting the official LDS policy. It’s apparently semi-okay to have same-sex attractions, but ideally one is supposed to set that aside, get hetero-married anyway and pop out a litter of kids. And if we can’t manage that, they want us to be alone and utterly without passion and romantic love in our lives.

    In a way, she’s also being somewhat disingenuous, because according to LDS ‘laws’, celibacy itself is considered contrary to their teachings.

    http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Celibacy

    The suggestion we have the choice to be celibate and without a partner or spouse is fairly new and controversial even among the Mormon faithful.

  66. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Yes, you can, but you would be missing one of the best parts of being gay. Yes, there are other parts Linda.

  67. BeccaM says:

    Apparently Linda doesn’t comprehend the difference between sexual orientation and sexual activity.

  68. zorbear says:

    Absolutely! Just because JC is a clown, it doesn’t nesc. follow that he’s a CIRCUS clown…
    :-|

  69. karmanot says:

    The Bible

  70. karmanot says:

    Isn’t cherry picking forbidden in the Mormon Church until marriage to a child?

  71. karmanot says:

    “So, evangelicals get to define Christianity for everyone?” No, only for evangelicals. Typically, you conflate wobbly ideas into an incoherent conclusion. “as long as Christ has a central role.” Wrong again. Traditional Christianity is based on the Trinity. Those sects and cults that claim otherwise are in heresy. The Ringling Circus could claim Jesus as a central performer in its clown act and that would not make it Christianity.

  72. karmanot says:

    ROTFL

  73. karmanot says:

    Those cheeks have fallen and can’t get up. The chaps have moved on.

  74. karmanot says:

    The first and last time I turned the other cheek I was violated by a man of god.

  75. karmanot says:

    lol!

  76. karmanot says:

    “the law of chastity.” There’s a major human downer for ya. Cold, passionless, religious, WOW, that’s a sure draw to the Kolob Cult.

  77. karmanot says:

    Bingo!

  78. karmanot says:

    When I was a boy scout I specialized in ropes and knots, so I could have more fun with my boyfriend.

  79. karmanot says:

    You can be gay and celibate.

  80. karmanot says:

    Waaaaaaa Waaaaaaa

  81. BeccaM says:

    I know, dear. It -is- amazing sometimes though when someone swings by here who clearly has no idea they’re a homophobe.

  82. zorbear says:

    Hmmm…how about a compromise? You’ll agree to marry an opposite sex partner and keep a lover in the closet, if they’ll agree to marry a same sex partner and keep a lover on the side?

    And you know me better than to think I’m in any way any kind of serious…
    :-|

  83. BeccaM says:

    Well, that, and to be fair, they actually do want to believe they’re reasonable, compassionate-minded believers.

    Unfortunately, what it’s meant is they stake out positions that exact genuine harm to others, and then try to claim it’s no real harm at all, that they’re just exercising their own religious freedom — by denying freedoms to others, including non-Mormons.

    It’s a feature common to just about every fundamentalist and/or evangelical faith: The desire to impose one’s own moral standards on others, regardless how archaic or discriminatory they might be.

  84. BeccaM says:

    I know. They don’t even think they’re being anti-gay when they’re promoting anti-gay ideas and policies, and also spout ridiculous BS like that the Scouts haven’t discriminated against gay kids.

    Gullible — and ignorant. As well as willfully blind to the harm they’ve been deliberately engaging in.

  85. BeccaM says:

    Which is an anti-gay policy, because you won’t allow us lesbians and gays to be in a sexual relationship of any kind unless we marry an opposite sex partner.

    That isn’t equal rights or a reasonable accommodation. It’s bigotry and discrimination.

  86. BeccaM says:

    Goodness, the silliness just continues.

    Listen: We do not give a flying rat’s ass about marrying in any church bigoted enough to disapprove of gay people. How about this instead: Us suing because the marriages we performed in OUR churches — Quaker, Unitarian, Jewish Temple — are being denied CIVIL legal recognition. What about OUR First Amendment rights? Hmm?

    You really need some new talking points, because your old ones are crusty and pointless.

  87. BeccaM says:

    Freedom of association and the right to form our own families is another fundamental human right.

    And wow. You think that ‘Pro-gay’ = ‘having sexual relations’? Honey, I have news for you: They were kicking out any boy scout if they merely SAID they were gay.

    Also, last I checked, there was no actual boyscout policy that said they couldn’t go on dates or have a girlfriend.

  88. phillipcsmith says:

    Good members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not, nor should they ever, hate those who have homoerotic attraction feelings. They are our brothers and sisters and deserve our love and compassion. The issue is and will likely always be homosexual behavior. Please consult Mormonsandgays.org for an accurate treatment of our position.

  89. cole3244 says:

    lol!

  90. Mark_in_MN says:

    Yeah, keep commenting. Your disinterest in any actual content to thought, your reliance on mere caricature, and your ignorance becomes clearer and clearer.

  91. Badgerite says:

    Yes, but even celibate gays were excluded previously from being members. Yes?

  92. cole3244 says:

    this coming from a believer who looks to the sky for salvation.

  93. kenthomes says:

    You mean Nuttiness!

  94. kenthomes says:

    Mormons will make up any reason in the book to justify their unjustified beliefs. Life is just too scary for them outside of the “hive”!

  95. kenthomes says:

    What can you expect from people who believe the crap they believe in? Gullible does not even begin to describe!

  96. kenthomes says:

    Screw the Mormons!! I am sick of this cult. My family and I hardly talk because they are brainwashed religious zealots, who, unfortunately seem to prefer their “church” over family!

  97. kenthomes says:

    I am an ex- Mormon…don’t feed me that bullshit. Mormons were told during “sacrament meeting” to do all they could to push Prop 8. My aunt and sister told me their bishop requested this of them. I know how the Mormon church operates. Sheesh!

  98. kenthomes says:

    Says the conservatives when they lose the argument!

  99. kenthomes says:

    Being a Mormon and paying tithing which goes towards oppressing gay people does make you a bigot!

  100. kenthomes says:

    Being intolerant of intolerance is not intolerance dip sh%t! You are the ones who have been persecuting us – not the other way around. Please do not try and act like you are the afflicted one! History tells otherwise!

  101. Stev84 says:

    It wasn’t just the money either. The whole Prop 8 campaign was orchestrated by top Mormons in Salt Lake City. Besides extorting and coercing their members to donate, they coordinated the entire effort on the ground.

    Also, most signature gatherers at the beginning were Mormons.

  102. sane37 says:

    There no pro-ssm movement. There is a movement to prevent marriage equality, and a movement to promote marriage equality.
    It is about equality.

  103. lindasdf says:

    The LDS church has no problem with anyone who observes the law of chastity.

  104. lindasdf says:

    The pro-ssm lobby had $3-6mil MORE than the pro prop 8 people had.

  105. lindasdf says:

    Does that mean that when some gay couple tries to sue a church to perform/tolerate SSM, you will make sure that we still have our First Amendment rights.

  106. lindasdf says:

    just because we don’t support ssm, does NOT mean we hate gays. i would think most Mormons would support anything that would say, homosexual people should not have the basic rights as everyone else, to food, clothing, shelter, and jobs.

    The boy scouts do not have a pro-gay policy. ALL boy scouts are expected to be celibate.

  107. BeccaM says:

    I think the term “liar” is more fitting.

  108. BeccaM says:

    $20-25m dollars poured into California’s Prop 8 campaign, hundreds of Mormon door-to-door canvassers, and a letter from your own leader, Thomas Monson, directed at all Mormons worldwide, calling upon them to donate to pass Prop 8, says differently.

    Oh, and by the way, the Boy Scouts do have a new pro-gay policy. One which they say will prevent them from kicking out boys and young men (under 18) who happen to be gay. We’ll see how that works out in reality, and you’re partially right: It isn’t pro-gay enough to be 100% on the side of equality and justice, not when scout leaders are kicked out.

    Meanwhile, Jim, I think you need to attend to the beam in your own eye with respect to lying about what actually happened.

  109. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    No, Wikipedia is a convenient way to prove to someone that there are established definitions that someone can’t change just because they like to argue. I only took a part of one sentence to prove that there are established definitions.

    You really aren’t worth the time. You set your mind on something and refuse to even think about what others are saying to you. You might show up a lot around here, but you are a troll.

  110. Jim says:

    Mr. Aravosis, Please stop lying. Mormons do not have a visceral hatred of gays, are not viciously anti-gay, and do not have a penchant for flaunting ‘our’ homophobia. Further, mormon leadership did not saddle up to the religious right to guarantee inclusion and acceptance. Also, the boy scouts do not have a new pro-gay policy.

    Your blog is loaded with inaccuracy and falsehood. Shame on you.

  111. Naja pallida says:

    Sorry, but there is no equivalence between bigotry and being intolerant of bigotry. Whipping out the victim card the second you start to realize that you’re on the wrong side of history, again, doesn’t excuse anything. What, should we just sigh and be patient with Mormons, like hanging out with my 97 year old grandma when she utters something about “colored people”?

  112. Naja pallida says:

    Don’t turn cheeks? Aww… there was no need to retire your assless chaps. :)

  113. BrandySpears says:

    Let me know when you learn how to use Google.

  114. BrandySpears says:

    Reading the Bible in English is still blasphemous in some circles. It used to be a death sentence. Mormons are Christians.

  115. Mark_in_MN says:

    Lol!

    All faith is not blind. From your comment directly above, and the one before it (amongst others), its clear that you, however, have something that’s keeping you ignorant of reality. You are more concerned with stereotypes dominated by the conservative Evangelical and fundamentalist Christian than the reality of many people’s faith, religion, and lives.

    And if this is your response to the question of what connection with pedophilia and the faith that it needs rethinking by everyone, then you are using a veneer of being about reason rather than faith while making an unreasoned and prejudicial comment, trying to mask your own ignorance of knowledge that might let you make just such a connection, or are just lazily spouting something blindly with little or no effort to reason about it.

  116. Sweetie says:

    lol… Wikipedia is now the evidence one needs to prove religious beliefs?

    hahahahahaha

  117. Sweetie says:

    So, evangelicals get to define Christianity for everyone? That’s rich.

    The simple fact is that Christianity is whatever someone wants to call it, as long as Christ has a central role.

  118. Sweetie says:

    According to the critique video about Mormonism, devotion to the family is quite complicated by an alleged desire to have the Mormon equivalent of thousands of virgins in the afterlife: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q6brMrFw0E

    I don’t know to what degree the video is accurate.

  119. Sweetie says:

    “Treated like human beings? Is that what you said little Miss Voice of a Generation? Just how do you think adults act with other adults? Do you think it’s all just a game of doubles tennis?

    When teenagers complain that they want to be treated like human beings, it’s usually because they are being treated like human beings.”

    — Veronica Sawyer’s mother

    (The real point, of course, is that one does not earn respect by being disrespectful. At no point is it respectful to deny someone’s full humanity, as heterosexists do by being heterosexist.)