Mormon Politicians Should Support Same-Sex Marriages

With a vote coming down in the Nevada Legislature on SJR13 which would replace the ban on same-sex marriage with a provision mandating their allowance, there have been some stories floating about that Senator Mo Denis and Senator Justin Jones, both Mormon Democrats, have some misgivings. Jon Ralston posted this morning with more detail here.

UPDATE 5:30PM: Both Senators, Mo Denis and Justin Jones, voted yes today to add language that would exempt religious organizations and pastors from performing or recognizing same-sex marriages. While that is already a given with the First Amendment, it probably comforts some people who might have misgivings about the law. The bill will be up for a final vote on the Senate Floor on Monday, before it goes to the Assembly.

I happen to be a progressive Mormon myself, so let me set the record straight about why Mormons should support marriage equality.

First, does the Mormon Church believe that marriage is between a man and a woman?  Well it does now anyway. If you remember, it used to be a man and multiple women, but that’s beside the point. If you look at canon and statements made by Church leadership in terms of what Mormons should practice, then the answer is yes.

That said, I don’t recall canon or Church leaders anywhere or anytime telling politicians how they should make law. In fact the canon (Article of Faith 12) expressly states:

“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

I strongly believe that the moral principles of the LDS faith strongly support the principles in the Constitution; namely that the law shouldn’t treat an entire class of people as second class citizens. To that end, the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is clear:

“no state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It clearly demands that our government grant all citizens equal treatment under the law. When we aren’t talking about a “protected class” of people, like racial minorities and women where strict scrutiny will apply, the Court simply applies what they call a “rational basis” scrutiny. In other words, a law that treats one person differently than another can only be upheld if it has a rational basis. One could argue that gay people should be a protected class since they have a significant history of discrimination against them. Still, even without the strict scrutiny, I challenge anyone to give me a RATIONAL reason why a gay couple shouldn’t be allowed to marry… and better yet why they can be treated differently than anyone else.

Let’s also consider that gay people aren’t going to stop being gay people. They are going to live with each other, be a part of families, have jobs, and live their lives like anyone else. Not allowing them to marry is just denying them a right the rest of us enjoy. It’s not gay prevention.

Let’s be clear: Allowing civil marriages between gay couples in no way obligates the LDS Church to accept or perform said marriages. These are absolutely separate things. The First Amendment protects their right not to perform said marriage.

Thankfully there are plenty of Mormons who agree with me like Republican Jon Huntsman:

“All Americans should be treated equally by the law, whether they marry in a church, another religious institution, or a town hall. This does not mean that any religious group would be forced by the state to recognize relationships that run counter to their conscience. Civil equality is compatible with, and indeed promotes, freedom of conscience.”

Mitt Romney also made the case that the Mormon faith doesn’t direct its members about how the law should be, even when it comes to abortions:

“The church does not say that a member of our church has to be opposed to allowing choice in our society and therefore there are Mormon Democrats,”

Romney goes on to make the point that the Mormon Church is opposed to sex outside of marriage, but does not pursue law to enforce that on others. Watch the whole video below. Mitt Romney makes my whole argument for me from 9 minutes on:

It’s important that Mormons be able to make the distinction between the law and their personal convictions. Just like the law doesn’t have to reflect the Word of Wisdom, or even prohibit adultery, it doesn’t need to reflect the Church’s current views on heterosexual marriage.

Today more Mormons know and make friendships with gay people, and are learning that they aren’t a threat to the family unit or anything else for that matter. Indeed, they are members of many of many Mormon families. The fear will reside as understanding grows. In time, I believe the Mormon culture may even embrace gay culture, at least as much as it does any other culture.

For now, let’s just try to uphold the law and the Constitution and protect marriage equality for all.

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  • Mormon Politicians Should Support Same-Sex Marriages – The Nevada View | GAYFRIENDSCHAT.com
    April 19, 2013, 5:07 pm

    […] The Nevada View […]

    REPLY
  • Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui
    April 19, 2013, 7:16 pm

    Same-sex marriage disregards the natural order of procreatory responsibility, not only confusing the natural disposition of parental authority; but undermining the legal principle that children have a right to a relationship with their biological parents, depriving a child access to their biological parent’s genetic, cultural and social heritage, not for extraordinary circumstances, but as a matter of routine. Same-sex marriage amounts to institutionalized adultery through a hostile takeover of civil society by the State. Children will no longer be entitled to their biological parents, as the transitory wants of same-sex adults will have taken precedence over a child’s best interest.

    Children are not pets one purchases from rescue shelters(adoption clinics) and puppy mills(insemination and surrogacy). Children are human beings endowed with a natural desire to be procreated from an engendered act of love between a husband and a wife. Same-sex marriage is adulterous by nature and thereby destructive to not only children, but to our civilization.

    Here are two truths regarding marriage: (1) A man creating a family with another man is not equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.

    Same-sex marriage proponents demand “Marriage Equality”, yet, in return, they offer less-than-equal protection of the child’s happiness than can be afforded through the presence of both biological parents.

    Same-sex proponents profess that it is love which gives the right to join the institution of marriage, yet, in doing so, they selfishly violate the principle loving objective of this noble institution; to protect a child’s Natural Right to be raised by both biological parents.

    Same-sex marriage is not justice in the eyes of a child. Same-sex marriage is an abuse of power, a tyrannical subversion of the fundamental principles of marriage and the duties which it enjoins; contrary to the nature and state of man, same-sex marriage is merely the unwarranted whims of an ignorant and selfish generation whose conduct is nothing less that an embarrassment to the dignity of mankind.

    In fine, same-sex marriage is an unnatural extravagance which the supporters most ignorantly claim to be a “right”.

    “No one has a right to do that which, if everybody did it, would destroy society.” —Immanuel Kant

    REPLY
    • Harrystamper@Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui
      April 19, 2013, 11:30 pm

      An inspired reply. Every word the truth, very thoughtful….You should write more regarding important subjects.

      REPLY
    • Robert Cronk@Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui
      April 20, 2013, 9:56 am

      That’s exactly what I was going to say! People need to be able to argue in favor of these truths logically and you’ve done a good job. Everyone currently has the exact same right to marry someone of the opposite sex and raise the children that they create. Marriage is about children and giving them the best possible environment to thrive in. That environment is with their biological parents.

      Again, traditional marriage is about children. Children are best raised by their biological parents. Children raised by both of their biological parents have the best opportunity for happiness and success in this life. Children raised by both of their biological parents are more likely to be beneficial to society. Therefore government should support, reward, and promote such families. Supporting any other form of family structure is therefore bad for children and detrimental to society in general.

      See http://www.baylorisr.org/wp-content/uploads/Regnerus.pdf for a study about 8 different kinds of family types including straight, gay, divorced, etc. and how each of those types affect children on 40 different dimensions. It’s quite obvious from the study and from common sense that the above statements about traditional marriage are true.

      I believe government should stay out of things as much as possible, but children and the fabric of society should be supported and promoted in the best way possible for society to be able to continue.

      REPLY
      • Justin McAffee@Robert Cronk
        April 22, 2013, 3:09 pm

        Right… sort of like the 14th Amendment should protect one white man and one white woman… OR one black man and one black woman from marrying?

        FYI, most children are at least impart raised by someone who is not their biological parent. Families come in all shapes and sizes. You are basically condemning all families that don’t meet your little criteria. Shameful.

        REPLY
        • Robert Cronk@Justin McAffee
          April 23, 2013, 9:54 am

          It appears to me that you didn’t understand my post. As evidence of that, your black/white comment misses the point completely. People can love each other without being married – but that doesn’t benefit society like a traditional family does. It’s not my “little criteria”, it’s a scientific study that states facts about family models and the effects each type has on children and on society as a whole. Did you read the study? Let’s discuss facts instead of resorting to ad hominim attacks, ok?

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          • Justin McAffee@Robert Cronk
            April 24, 2013, 11:54 am

            Robert, the overwhelming majority of research says just the opposite. This is one study in a thousand. But just for the sake of argument, let’s say traditional families are ideal (note: I totally disagree). A ban on same-sex marriage will not change the fact that there are families of all kind, and that there are going to continue to be families of all types, shapes, and sizes.

            What types of families are ideal doesn’t even seem to me to establish what types of marriages we allow. Again, I’m sure a mixed couple that got married wouldn’t have been an ideal family in the 1950s or 60s.

            Face it, you are against it because you think God told you it’s evil.

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          • Justin McAffee@Robert Cronk
            April 24, 2013, 11:56 am

            Also note that if unmarried couples have families, those probably are less ideal the married couples. So logically, encouraging marriage of same-sex couples will create a better outcome for families in general.

            REPLY
          • Justin McAffee@Robert Cronk
            April 24, 2013, 12:10 pm

            One more point… has it occurred to you that the types of stigmas that society places on single women, or gay couples, has a negative impact on their “social, emotional, and relational outcome variables”? That not allowing gay couples to marry has a negative impact on their children?

            If one really cares about children, this should be a very serious consideration.

            REPLY
          • Robert Cronk@Robert Cronk
            April 24, 2013, 10:32 pm

            Justin – please read the study. In addition to reporting its own findings, it also addresses the methodology flaws in several popular studies that say family type doesn’t matter. Many of those studies include only a handful of self-selected children and the studies themselves say that they aren’t therefore applicable to a more generalized population. Until you read the study I posted and acknowledge its findings, we won’t be able to move any farther in this discussion.

            Have you read the study?

            If you reward and support the family type that gives the best outcome, you get more of that family type. It’s as simple as that.

            REPLY
          • Justin McAffee@Robert Cronk
            April 26, 2013, 12:06 pm

            When you punish any family type, you get less out of it… it’s that simple.

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          • Justin McAffee@Robert Cronk
            April 26, 2013, 12:38 pm

            And I will read the study. In fact I will write something about what I find there. But again, regardless of what it found to be better, how do you justify punishing and harming other families just because they aren’t “the best.” What is this, fascism?

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          • Robert Cronk@Robert Cronk
            April 27, 2013, 2:55 pm

            Let me know what you think of the study. We’re not punishing anyone. We’re rewarding people who are making choices that are the most beneficial to society and to children. If you reward something, you get more of it. And if the thing you’re rewarding is the best situation for children and society, then both children and society are benefitted.

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    • Justin McAffee@Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui
      April 22, 2013, 3:15 pm

      Are you trying to sound smart and sophisticated while justifying your attempt to treat an entire group of people as second class citizens? Not all people can procreate. Not all want to. Those people still have the right to love.

      BTW, most states allow gay couples to adopt already. And they do a fantastic job of raising children. And you should be ashamed of hating on families you think are gross or immoral because they don’t conform to your biblical mold. They are still real life families. Shame on you people.

      REPLY
  • Jason Allred
    April 19, 2013, 9:30 pm

    Actually, it is incorrect to say that Mormons believe that marriage was between a man and multiple women. What Mormons did practice was “plural marriage” or multiple marriages, each between one man and one woman. So, for Mormons, marriage has always been the same: one man and one woman. What changed was eliminating multiple, simultaneous marriages. To claim that Mormons practiced marriage between one man and multiple women incorrectly implies a sort of group marriage.

    REPLY
    • Harrystamper@Jason Allred
      April 19, 2013, 11:34 pm

      Not exactly true either…the first wife reigns supreme…each subsequent wife was sealed to the husband and the first wife…they are extensions of the first marriage similar to Sarah offering Hagar to Abraham. Also the first wife must consent to each subsequent marriage for the church to authorize.

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      • Megan@Harrystamper
        April 20, 2013, 7:36 am

        That’s not accurate. No where is there mentioned a hierarchy of wives. And just because Sarah gave her permission for Hagar doesn’t mean that was always the case. Do you think Emma signed onto all of Joseph’s plural wives?

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    • Justin McAffee@Jason Allred
      April 22, 2013, 3:06 pm

      An amazing spin on that one. Well, it should be legal than.

      REPLY
  • Harrystamper
    April 19, 2013, 11:43 pm

    The author of this article is very naive. His underlying agenda is to rally support for homosexual marriage. He thinks his article will gain support among Mormons, especially young Mormons who may be swayed. His arguments represent half truths and is evil in itself. He cannot be an honest person…..he’s an agent of Lucifer attempting to sway 1/3 of those who might listen.

    REPLY
  • Tom Johnson
    April 20, 2013, 5:26 am

    There are 17 scriptures as I count them that condemn homosexual conduct in the Bible (ten in the Old Testament and seven in the New Testament). This is the reason why “Mormons” (who believe in the Bible) and other Bible-believing Christians do not accept homosexual behavior. Nevertheless, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does acknowledge the reality of same-sex attraction; they just expect those who have those feelings not to engage in homosexual conduct.

    REPLY
    • Julia@Tom Johnson
      April 20, 2013, 6:31 am

      The church has a right to expect its members to choose a life of celibacy if they want to stay in worthy standing; it does not have that right to expect non members to follow that religious belief.

      REPLY
    • Justin McAffee@Tom Johnson
      April 22, 2013, 3:06 pm

      The Bible also says if a woman is raped and becomes pregnant, the rapist must pay her father some money and then marry her. Thanks for your contribution.

      REPLY

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