Mormons for Equality Statement on SCOTUS Decisions re: DOMA, Prop 8
STATEMENT FROM MORMONS FOR EQUALITY ON MARRIAGE DECISIONS BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT
“These decisions align with our Mormon faith… it is unjust for a particular set of religious beliefs to be used to deny civil rights to others”
We heartily applaud the decision of the US Supreme Court to strike down Section 3 of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. This is a victory for hundreds of thousands of families across the country and in California, including many Mormons, who have sought to marry the same-sex partners they love and care for their children.
The LDS Church has been heavily involved in fighting civil marriage equality since 1994, however growing numbers of Mormons are standing up in respectful disagreement with this political position for the same reason that the Court has found: that discriminating against certain families is wrong. “As Mormons for Equality, we are thrilled that the Supreme Court has agreed with us that all families deserve equal protection under the laws”, said Spencer W. Clark, Executive Director of Mormons for Equality. “These decisions align with our Mormon faith, as recorded in modern scripture, in that we believe it is unjust for a particular set of religious beliefs to be used to deny civil rights to others.” (See Doctrine & Covenants, Section 134).
The decision on Proposition 8 is a particular relief to the many Mormons who fought for its passage but have since changed their minds, such as Wendy and Tom Montgomery, of Bakersfield, CA, who were recently featured in a short film entitled “Families are Forever”, discussing their regret at working to pass the 2008 ballot measure after their son came out as gay last year. (See “Mormon Mom Who Fought for Prop 8, Now Fights for Gay Son,” http://abcnews.go.com/Health/mormon-mom-fought-prop-fights-gay-son/story?id=19451081#.UcrlOti2bAn) “Christ’s most basic commandments were ‘love god’ and’ love your neighbor,’” Wendy said. The Montgomerys are just one manifestation of a larger shift happening within the Mormon faith towards greater acceptance of LGBT individuals, and which we hope will be continued with today’s rulings from the Supreme Court.
“In the wake of Prop 8, I’ve witnessed a remarkable change of heart in many people inside the Mormon community, and I believe this is also reflected in the hearts of the larger population.” said Mitch Mayne, a gay Mormon who serves as a leader in his LDS Ward in San Francisco. “Prop 8 was difficult, divisive and painful for LGBT individuals and for many traditional Mormon families alike. But out of it has grown the changes we see today–and I have to believe that it’s all happening exactly the way it’s supposed to.”
While applauding the Court’s rulings, we yet recognize that many of our fellow Mormons will be sincerely disappointed, particularly those who earnestly sacrificed time and money to support Proposition 8. We remember them in our prayers and recognize our shared faith and concern for the wellbeing of families. Without condemnation, we invite all our Mormon brothers and sisters to get to know some of the gay and lesbian couples and their families whose relationships and well-being will be improved as a result of these rulings. Several stories can be found through the Faces of Affirmation project at http://www.affirmation.org/faces/.
We trust and pray that any fears will soon be assuaged as they see, as has been the experience of other states and countries that have recognized same-sex marriage over last 12 years, that marriage equality is a boon, not a threat, to families and society.
Mormons for Equality is a network of Mormons who support full legal equality for LGBT individuals and their families. www.MormonsForEquality.org; www.facebook.com/MormonsForEquality