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Archive for Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mormons throw support behind gay-rights cause

November 12, 2009

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It looked like a stunning reversal: the same church that helped defeat gay marriage in California standing with gay-rights activists on an anti-discrimination law in its own backyard.

On Tuesday night, after a series of clandestine meetings between local gay-rights backers and Mormons in Salt Lake City, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would support proposed city laws that would prohibit discrimination against gays in housing and employment.

The ordinances passed and history was made: It marked the first time the Salt Lake City-based church had supported gay-rights legislation.

The Mormon church — which continues to suffer a backlash over its support last year of Proposition 8, the measure banning gay marriage in California — emphasized that its latest position in no way contradicts its teachings on homosexuality.

But the action is one of the strongest signs yet that even conservative religious groups that oppose same-sex marriage might be willing to support legal protections for gays that fall short of that.

At the same time, the church’s position has angered some of its conservative allies on social issues, prompted questions about whether public relations is its real motivation, and put the church on the spot over how far it will go on similar legislation on the state and federal level.

“This is a very good public relations response that has the additional benefit of actually representing the way the current church leadership thinks,” said Armand Mauss, a retired professor at Washington State University and scholar of Mormonism.

Some of the church’s conservative allies in the gay marriage battles, however, call it a setback. The two new ordinances make it illegal to fire or evict someone for being gay, bisexual or transgender.

Such legislation robs employers and landlords of their rights and gives legal ammunition to judges sympathetic to gay marriage, said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the conservative Family Research Council.

“It’s disappointing and I’m fearful that it reflects in part a reaction to the attacks they came under after Proposition 8 — an effort to bend over backwards to exhibit tolerance toward homosexuals in some way,” Sprigg said.

Michael Otterson, director of public affairs for the Mormon church, said Wednesday that church leaders were able to support the ordinance because it doesn’t carve out special rights for gays.

Supporting “basic civil values,” Otterson said, does not compromise the church’s religious belief that homosexuality is a sin and that same-sex marriage poses a threat to traditional marriage.

“There are going to be gay advocates who don’t think we’ve gone nearly far enough, and people very conservative who think we’ve gone too far,” Otterson said. “The vast majority of people are between those polar extremes and we think that’s going to resonate with people on the basis of fair-mindedness.”

The position is not a reversal, Otterson said. In August 2008 the church issued a statement saying it supports gay rights related to hospitalization, medical care, employment, housing or probate as long as they “do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.”

Comments

Stuart Evans 5 years, 1 month ago

while I have to give props to a religion that actually updates its belief system occasionally; It's still a made up religion with no real basis just like the rest.

grammaddy 5 years, 1 month ago

Define "traditional family" and "constitutional rights of churches".

remember_username 5 years, 1 month ago

AreUNormal - "a made up religion with no real basis just like the rest". That's one of the funniest statements I've read on this website! Thanks.

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

We shall see if this actually stops the protests by Gay and Lesbian groups...

I think this clearly shows most people and religions who do not support same-sex marriage don't hate gays or believe they should be unfairly discriminated against.

kmat 5 years, 1 month ago

Satirical (Anonymous) says…

We shall see if this actually stops the protests by Gay and Lesbian groups…

I think this clearly shows most people and religions who do not support same-sex marriage don't hate gays or believe they should be unfairly discriminated against


Except the Mormon church excommunicates any members that are gay. Just a bunch of hypocrits, like most religious nuts..

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

How is it not discrimination to prohibit gay and lesbian couples from marrying?

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 1 month ago

jafs,

Because homosexual "marriage" is not marriage.

pace 5 years, 1 month ago

Oh, by the way, homosexual marriage is marriage. Any marriage whose value is based on discrimination against other persons is not true marriage. Freedom based on discrimination is not freedom. Facts.

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

Kmat… “Except the Mormon church excommunicates any members that are gay.”

Do you have any evidence to support your bogus claim?

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

Machiavelli_mania “No one believes this bullhockey. They practically entirely funded the campaign against gay marriage in California. I don't believe this for one minute. Not one.”

What don’t you believe? That “the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would support proposed city laws that would prohibit discrimination against gays in housing and employment?” If so, is every major news organization reporting false facts?

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

Pace… “Freedom based on discrimination is not freedom.”

Don’t you know that all laws discriminate? Anytime you define anything you discriminate. The question isn’t “discrimination,” the question is about “unfair discrimination.”

Clearly the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) believe it is unfair to discriminate against gays and lesbians in matters “related to hospitalization, medical care, employment, housing or probate.” How is that bad? Shouldn’t you chalk that up as a win? That is the real story.

Sigmund 5 years, 1 month ago

Who cares? Mormons, gays, gay Mormons, gay Mormon Landlords? Mormon support for a city ordinance prohibiting housing discrimination is hardly full throated support of nationwide gay marriage which has been soundly defeated everywhere (not just Salt Lake City) where it has been put to a vote.

Sigmund 5 years, 1 month ago

smitty (Anonymous) says… "Does the mormon church still excommunicate their lesbians and gays?"

Are Muslims still beheading gays and lesbians?

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 1 month ago

pace,

When put to a vote by the states, traditional marriage has gone 31-0. Heck, with three more states, we could be guaranteed a federal constitutional amendment protecting one-man, one-woman.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 1 month ago

marriage is a religious commitment between two people. the government should have no involvement in that relationship. And any religion that doesn't like homosexuals should be entitled to not marry those folks. and in fact if a certain religion looks down on gay people, why would you want to belong?

If you truly love someone, then by all means live your life with them. who cares if the government or a made up control mechanism like religion says it's ok.

9070811 5 years, 1 month ago

Like I've said before...

"We were married and recognized as life partners in our Episcopalian church."

or/and/also

"We are recognized as life partners by the government as a civil union."

Choose any combination of the two based on your values; or none at all. Some view them as necessary to signify commitment. Others do not deem either as necessary to signify a committed relationship between life partners.

Churches should have the right to not marry two individuals based upon its religious values. Unitarian Universalists perform marriages in their church and I believe some Episcopalian churches do as well. Let me know if I'm wrong. I'm typing on my phone and don't want to look it up :)

The gov't should recognize heterosexual and homosexual unions for the sake of children they may be raising, hospital rights, social security, and other legal processes.

The gov't should have probably never become involved in the idea of "marriage." But because of complex, advanced society we now live in there is a need for legal protection of that mentioned above. Many people would say that the government should not be mediator in disputes about children/hospital rights etc, but what other entity can hold legal jurisdiction to make sure that custody agreements are being adhered to?

That said, I also feel that insurance companies should be required to accept homosexual unions for the same reasons lying under health services and hospital rights. I can, though, see the argument with this one. Considering that insurance companies are private and entitled (at this point) to exclusivity of accepted persons.

pace 5 years, 1 month ago

Since there are legally married homosexuals in this country does that mean I am not married. Stupid reasoning Just saying the masses voted or that I feel this way does not mean the reasoning is not stupid. The courts decided a tomato is a vegetable not a fruit. Lala land laws endanger marriage and family more than the couple down the street being able to knot the noose.

9070811 5 years, 1 month ago

I apologize for not actually commenting on the article!

I think they just want to be able to follow God's wish that people take care of other people. A protection order of some kind.

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

Pace...

So you aren't going to respond to my previous post?

kmat 5 years, 1 month ago

So Sat, are you mormon? You sure are protecting these freaks in your posts. And yes, I said freaks. Actually, idiotic freaks is better. All churches are cults, but these guys take the cake.

9070811 5 years, 1 month ago

Mormons, or at least the ones I am friends with, are the nicest most polite individuals I have yet to meet in my life. This particular family is always so generous, kind and giving. To label them as freaks is to judge their character. Perhaps you just feel their religion is freakish.

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

Kmat…

No surprise. Anecdotal evidence from gays that they were excommunicated because they were gay. Nice to see you can still google, but can’t read.

Perhaps you missed the bold header in your ABCNews link which stated: “Celibacy or Excommunication.” And the part on page 2 that said, “‘Excommunication would really be the last resort. Excommunication occurs only if someone were violating the commandments, the laws, the practices, the procedures of the church and would openly persist in that after some months or years of working with them to try to get them to see that living life differently would be the best thing for them,’ he said.”

Don’t most churches excommunicate if you violate their rules over and over? It’s not being gay the gets them excommunicated, it’s violating the rules of not having sex outside of marriage. This rule applies to gays and straights equally. Claiming “the Mormon church excommunicates any members that are gay,” is like saying they excommunicate any member because they are single (unmarried).

This is from another of your posts: “written in 1998 by church president Gordon B. Hinckley. ‘People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians,’ the statement says. ‘My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God.-They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. 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.’”

Here is the official position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons).

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=9c672f2324d98010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=bbd508f54922d010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

I am more inclined to believe an official statement from the church regarding its practices rather than anecdotal evidence from people with an axe to grind.

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

kmat... “So Sat, are you mormon? You sure are protecting these freaks in your posts.”

Why would I reveal personal information about myself to distract from the arguments? Also, nice to see persecution is alive and doing just fine. Odd that those demanding tolerance and acceptance do not offer the same…

maxcrabb 5 years, 1 month ago

I've met nice people, mean people, understanding people, stubborn people, all sorts of people.

Now substitute that with pretty much every ethnic/religious/racial group and it's still true.

People are people are people.

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

Smitty… “I believe her main agenda was to point out the sexism ingrained in the Mormon church.”

Did she point out how Utah was the second state (technically they were a territory at the time) in the U.S. to give women the right to vote? Crazy Mormons giving women a vote, what will be next!?!?

kmat 5 years, 1 month ago

Let's see - Smith said he found special gold plates written by ancient American prophets and was guided to these plates by an angel that guarded them. No one else was allowed to see the plates and only he could translate them. People who witnessed the event said he just dictated the book of Mormon. He also supposedly translated the book of Abraham, which has been proven to be bogus. That's just the start.

Magic underwear - that should be enough. Mormons believe wearing underwear with some sacred symbols will prevent them from becoming physically harmed, and they believe lots of stories about people surviving accidents because of it. Mormon's are told they HAVE to pay a full tithe to be allowed to the highest levels of heaven. Kolob - look it up. Coffee is evil. Chocolate is evil. Hot drinks are evil. Wine is evil (but, we worship Jesus and all those wine drinkers). If you were a good person, your spirit goes to spirit paradise. If your bad it goes to spirit prison. Anything their current prophet (prez of the church) says is considered official cannon. They think Jesus was in America. They think God had actual sex with Mary They believe ALL other religions are of the Devil Secret passwords and handshakes are needed to get into heaven. They believe that you can find out the name of everyone who has been born on the planet and then baptize them even though they are dead. The Garden of Eden was in MO.

I know two people that have left the Mormon church. Actually, they were brainwashed by the families and when they grew up and realized how absolutely ridiculous the beliefs were, they left the religion.

In my opionion, you believe what some freak says he translated from hidden golden plates protected by an angel, and he tells you to marry and breed with many people (that's how you get to heaven), you have to pay to get into heaven, you have to wear special underwear, etc..... you're and idiot.

kmat 5 years, 1 month ago

Sap - Yep, I'd tell anyone that believes a bunch of hogwash the same.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Satirical,

If you're not allowed to have sex outside marriage, and gay/lesbian folks can't marry, then it follows they can't ever have sex.

Not saying Mormons can't make up whatever rules they like (and can get people to follow), but it's an obvious problem for a gay Mormon.

Allowing gays/lesbians to marry wouldn't "carve out any special rights for gays", btw, it would simply allow them the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Not doing so is clearly discriminatory.

And, I agree, one solution would be to simply remove any/all secular benefits to marriage and allow churches to do what they wish with the issue.

But, right now, being married brings with it a host of secular benefits (tax, legal, etc.).

kmat 5 years, 1 month ago

Some people like facts. Others are happy just being told what to do and believe this and that, even though there is no proof to back any of it up. That's why it's called faith. The things people have faith in kill me. Religion is corrupt. I don't think it's wrong to believe in a god, but religion and churches (temples, etc...) just brainwash people. That's how you end up with people like Roeder that murder in the name of god or radical Islamics that blow themselves and others up in the name of god.

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

Kmat…

Wow! Did you make all that stuff up on the spot or did you get that from a website that is anti-Mormon? I won’t respond to every statement, just the really crazy ones.

“No one else was allowed to see the plates and only he could translate them.” – kmat

False. 11 others say the plates and recorded their account.

“People who witnessed the event said he just dictated the book of Mormon.” – kmat

Do you have any evidence to support this?

“He also supposedly translated the book of Abraham, which has been proven to be bogus.”

Proven by whom? You?

“*Magic underwear - that should be enough. Mormons believe wearing underwear with some sacred symbols will prevent them from becoming physically harmed, and they believe lots of stories about people surviving accidents because of it.” - kmat

False. Please go to the LDS website and see if you can find any reference to “magic underwear.” Mormons do wear religious garments under their clothing. Do you persecute other Christians for wearing crosses, or Muslims for wearing veils. Simply because some Mormons believe they have been physically protected by their garments and some Christians believe a cross has physically protected them, doesn’t mean it is taught by their religion.

“*Mormon's are told they HAVE to pay a full tithe to be allowed to the highest levels of heaven.” - kmat

Are you saying that there is a religion out there that believes you have to obey God’s commandments to go to Heaven? Stop the presses!!

“*They think God had actual sex with Mary” – kmat

False. Do you have any evidence to support this?

“*They believe ALL other religions are of the Devil” – kmat

False. Do you have any evidence to support this?

“*They believe that you can find out the name of everyone who has been born on the planet and then baptize them even though they are dead.” – kmat

Mormons believe in proxy baptism for the dead, which is mentioned in the Bible.

“Actually, they were brainwashed by the families and when they grew up and realized how absolutely ridiculous the beliefs were, they left the religion.” – kmat

So says just about anyone who stops believing in the religion they were brought up in. It’s a parents job to “brainwash” their children : )

“In my opionion, you believe what some freak…” – kmat

Again, showing your compassion and tolerance for others. I think you revealing far more about yourself than Mormons.

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

Smitty… “Now, what did any of this have to do with Sonia Johnson being excommunicated for misogynistic(feminist activism) reasons?”

It has to do with the claim that “sexism (is) ingrained in the Mormon church.” and that the Mormon church is misogynistic. (That was the point of your post, remember?) Utah being one of the first states to grant women the right to vote and the Mormon church being sexist is contradictory.

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

Smitty…

You can believe whatever you want. Personally I like to view things from an objective perspective and not wholeheartedly embrace anecdotal evidence from one individual who has an ax to grind regarding an entire religion’s treatment of an entire gender.

You could probably try talking to a few women who are currently members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints if you really wanted to find out whether Mormon’s were currently misogynist. But you probably won’t since that might upset your preconceived notion on the topic.

kmat 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes, BS is more than just an everyday idiot. And from his postings, I believe is a brain washed mormon.

I have learned what I posted from my ex-mormon friends and from the studying of Mormon's in many college courses on religion I took. All of my statements can be backed up by speaking to those who have been in the church and with some googling.

I personally don't give a rats ass what crazy ass religion anyone believes in. I don't like religious people shoving their beliefs down everyone's throats, which is what Mormons and most other religions do. Mormons don't want their church members to marry the same sex. FINE! But don't impose your bs beliefs on those that believe differently.

No one else was allowed to see the plates and only he could translate them.” – kmat

False. 11 others say the plates and recorded their account.

Prove it.


You backed up the underwear thing in your own post


“He also supposedly translated the book of Abraham, which has been proven to be bogus.”

Proven by whom? You?

NO - by Egyptian scholars. He translated an Egyptian document falsely. Look it up, idiot.


“*Mormon's are told they HAVE to pay a full tithe to be allowed to the highest levels of heaven.” - kmat

Are you saying that there is a religion out there that believes you have to obey God’s commandments to go to Heaven? Stop the presses!!

Big difference between paying to get into heaven and obeying commandments.


“*They think God had actual sex with Mary” – kmat

False. Do you have any evidence to support this? ––––– “*They believe ALL other religions are of the Devil” – kmat

False. Do you have any evidence to support this?

Ex members of the church have verified these are told to them in the church.


But, you are a good little Mormon so how dare I tell you what others in church tell.

It's nice to live in a safe little brainwashed world. Enjoy it.

kmat 5 years, 1 month ago

BlessedSap (Anonymous) says…

Kmat is just mad because no one was interested in seeing her magic underwear and a Mormon wouldn’t be interested in her even as a 5th wife.


See, you are such a good person, aren't you? Insulting others. You chastice posters for doing exactly what you do.

but you are correct, a Mormon wouldn't be interested in me. But because I'd make him cry when I told him he was a brainwashed idiot like yourself and I only bang non-believers. and the Mormon underwear don't fit well on those of us with smokin' racks. Not enough support.

If you were a good follower of God, you would know that: "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.". Why can't you follow what your own god teaches you?

Kathy Getto 5 years, 1 month ago

Sap - you really should connect with your inner fish.

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

Kmat…

With all you cursing and name calling, you are again showing you true bigoted colors. Odd you criticize others for being bigots when you are one as well. Wait, that makes you a hypocrite too, doesn’t it? So really, you are worse than those you despise.

“Mormons don't want their church members to marry the same sex. FINE! But don't impose your bs beliefs on those that believe differently.” - kmat

So you are also objecting at them supporting laws which would prohibit discrimination against gays in housing and employment?

“Prove it” - kmat

Testimony of three witnesses http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/thrwtnss

Testimony of eight witnesses http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/eghtwtns


“You backed up the underwear thing in your own post” - kmat

Correct, Mormons do wear underwear, but it is not “magic” or give them superman like powers to jump tall buildings in a single bound.

“NO - by Egyptian scholars. He translated an Egyptian document falsely. Look it up, idiot.” - kmat

You are the one making the claim. You have to back it up. Afraid that the internet site you got all this junk from is less than reputable?

“Big difference between paying to get into heaven and obeying commandments.” - kmat

Mormons, like many faiths, believe paying tithing is a commandment. Mormons, like other faiths, believe one must obey God’s commandment to get to heaven. This is not “paying to get into heaven.” Glad you see the difference.

“Ex members of the church have verified these are told to them in the church.” - kmat

Sure, I believe you….you don’t need any evidence since you claim a few former Mormons with an ax to grind said something which you couldn’t have misunderstood.

“But, you are a good little Mormon so how dare I tell you what others in church tell.” - kmat

If I were a Mormon, as you claim, wouldn’t a be a better source of information on what that religion teaches than you or what you allege other former members have said?

“It's nice to live in a safe little brainwashed world.” - kmat

You said it, not me. Have a good evening.

kmat 5 years, 1 month ago

BlessedSap (Anonymous) says…

I am trying to understand why you hate the religion so much, that kind of hatred usually comes form a person rejected by the religion.


I studied a lot of ancient history. I understand how these religions came into being. I also believe in science, which for many conflicts with religion. I've never been rejected by religion - I REJECTED RELIGION. I think a lot more people would reject religion if they studied ancient history and science. Those that believe the fairy tales have been declining for centuries because of science.

kmat 5 years, 1 month ago

Satirical (Anonymous) says…

Kmat…

With all you cursing and name calling, you are again showing you true bigoted colors. Odd you criticize others for being bigots when you are one as well. Wait, that makes you a hypocrite too, doesn’t it? So really, you are worse than those you despise.


Yes, I am bigoted towards religious zealots that believe that all must live according to their beliefs. If believers would just believe and not force their crap on everyone else, wouldn't have a problem with it. I have no ill feelings towards anyone of faith, as long as thier faith is their own. The problem with so many of you is you think your beliefs are the way and everyone must follow those beliefs.

And when religious zealots on here are praising people like Roeder, I stand up against you.

kmat 5 years, 1 month ago

“NO - by Egyptian scholars. He translated an Egyptian document falsely. Look it up, idiot.” - kmat

You are the one making the claim. You have to back it up. Afraid that the internet site you got all this junk from is less than reputable?


The last I'm dealing with you. You're too lazy to google this basic thing.

There are many sites which will explain it to you. Smith didn't know how to read hyroglyphs, but was magically able to translate them from some scrolls. Yeah, right. Just like his translations of the magical, protected by an angel golden disks.

M. Theodule Deveria, a French Egyptologist inspected the copies of the original images on the papyri. He concluded that they were typical Egyptian funerary documents. He was able to decipher the name of the priest who authored the work, and of some Egyptian gods. He "dismissed Joseph's explanations as rambling nonsense. His comments first appeared in French in a two-volume work by Jules Remy entitled Voyage au Pays des Mormons (Paris, 1860)."

http://www.religioustolerance.org/lds_bkab.htm

In 1912, Reverend Franklin S. Spalding sent copies of the three Facsimiles from the Book of Abraham to some of the world's leading scholars of Egyptology. All eight of the scholars that responded were unanimous in their condemnation of Joseph's translations as being incorrect. For example, Dr. Arthur Mace, Assistant Curator for the Department of Egyptian Art of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York explained:

"The Book of Abraham, it is hardly necessary to say, is a pure fabrication.

http://trialsofascension.net/mormon/abraham.html

MyName 5 years, 1 month ago

The real question is "what is the difference between LDS and Scientology?" And the answer is that they've matured past their cooky beginnings and have become as mainstream as many other religions and denominations.

Of course, it's easier to say this if you're agnostic and don't have your own hokey religious beliefs you have to defend (even if it means cutting down another group's beliefs).

And I think that this is another step towards the day where we have mainstream America on one side, and the Phelps clan on the other. So not a bad move, IMO.

ivalueamerica 5 years, 1 month ago

Hmm,

The LDS were told they would not be a state unless they ban Polygamy and suddenly the church changed its mind

Brigham Young was told it would be banned from the NCAA unless they integrated, and their college would also loose most federal funding and grants..suddenly non-whites were deemed worthy of God.

Now the are suffering from boycots and pickets and lo and behold.

Interesting history, dontcha think?

gambillpride 5 years, 1 month ago

Hi all, New to Lawrence. Have been greatly entertained the past few months, I decided to add my two cents.

I almost joined the mormon church back in the 80's. Went through all the classes, gave up most my heathen lifestyle, but they wouldn't let me. I could not stop smoking for 9 days. So they said I wasn't acceptable. Funny though, My roommate, a devoted mormon all her life, ended up preganant from an affair with a married man and had an abortion.

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