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Joe Cannon: Mormons are entitled to defend their freedom of religion

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  • Bootlegger
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:12 a.m.

    Just so long as I get every bit as much right to defend mine. And to sell them beer while I'm at it. I love freedom.

  • Plurality
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:21 a.m.

    I read the talk and I thought Elder Oakes definitely landed some of his punches.

    We as a Americans enjoy a number of rights enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    But what happens in a pluralistic society when one constitutional right is pitted against another?

    His point, as I understood it, is that freedom of religion is losing too many of those fights.

    I get that there's a pecking order. But I don't understand why freedom of religion seems to be moving ever further down that order.

  • Of Course
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:26 a.m.

    Of course members of the LDS Church can defend their faith. It would be ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

    However, the LDS Church and it's members need to own their own behavior and accept criticism for their poor behavior. Descriminating against a group of Americans is horrible behavior and deserves criticism. It is ridiculous to claim persecution for being criticized for persecuting others.

    In America, all men are created equal. Working to prevent that is un-American.

  • WELL SAID!
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:26 a.m.

    AMEN !!!!!

  • jzdigs
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:28 a.m.

    So why are the persecuted now using religious freedom to discriminate and persecute?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:36 a.m.

    You are absolutely entitled to defend your religion and beliefs. But, when the church enters the political fray, you need to deal with criticism more effectively than simply playing the persecution card all the time.

    If the church can't deal with criticism of its stance on Prop 8, then perhaps they shouldn't have weighed in to begin with.

  • Mike
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:36 a.m.

    Mr Cannon, in this case it's very apparent that Mr Oaks and the Mormon church feel that they're being denied the religious freedom to discriminate against homosexuals. Period. A history lesson on Mormon persecution does nothing to extend the discussion. Just where were you really planning to go with this argument?

  • Barry Nay
    Oct. 18, 2009 1:34 a.m.

    Well said, Joe.

  • Juergen
    Oct. 18, 2009 1:53 a.m.

    The right to believe that marriage is an act of spirituality and faith, is the right to believe of every christian church and not only a part of the believes of the LDS Church. To speak up against forces to regulate believes by inforcing a law for that, is the right and duty of any leader of a church. Living in an country witch has a long history of religios depression, Germany, I am happy that under the controll of the US Goverment at the end of WWII Germany West got the rights of freedom including religion freedom. It would be sad, if the US would lose this rights just by putting up some so called modern rights. By the way Germany has put out a law for legal Partnerships to guarantee the legal rights for persons witch are not ablee to meet the criteria of a legal marrige. This law regulates the rights of inheritance and support of same sex couples. We have given legal rights to them and have respeced the religios rights of the churches. too. By a good exemple of the old USA.

  • Support
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:11 a.m.

    I support the message from Mr. Oaks - he is correct. I do not beleive at all that the LDS Church is discriminating gays, or anyone else for that matter. Mormons have a right to vote how they feel, just like anyone else does.

  • Correction
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:17 a.m.

    I am sure we are all aware of the strong feelings on both sides of the gay marriage issue. I would dare say it affects most of our lives directly, or with someone we know. This discussion has unfortunately turned a little too heated at times, and accusations tossed a little too freely. The above references accusing the LDS church as discriminative or exercising "poor behavior" are simply not true. The LDS church has never discriminated against anyone who is homosexual. These comments are unfounded. Since when does standing up for "traditional" marriage warrant "poor behavior?" The Church stepped into this discussion to defend marriage between a man and a woman. They have never come out as discriminating against homosexuals. In fact, the opposite is true-we as a human family should love one another and treat our differences with respect and kindness. It is interesting how the LDS Church's stance has been reframed as "discrimination" or in other discussions, "hate" by those who disagree with their stance. Please help me find a talk given or article written by an LDS church leader promoting such behavior that is not taken out of context.

  • Study it well
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:18 a.m.

    If you study Elder oaks discourse - the whole thing - you will understand that it's more than just a comment about proposition 8. I have been in situations where I have been ridiculed and threatened because I don't "drink or smoke" like everyone else. Is that religious freedom? Look deeper into what the constitution is, and you will find that there is a rising trend to attack people for their religious beleifs if they don't do like "everyone else."

  • Bill
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:19 a.m.

    This has nothing to do with discrimination at all. Same-sex marriage is a moral issue and has nothing to do with civil rights. Unfortunately, the opposition deems it otherwise which it is not. We believe that marriage of a man and woman is ordained of God and nothing that man does will change that.

    Some say that the Church will someday allow this but that is probably thinking that the Church is just like any other Christian religion and will break under pressure. That just isn't true. The act of homosexuality is a grievious sin in the sight of God and that has not changed. Regardless of the numerous comments to the contrary, Jesus Christ would love the sinner but would hate the sin itself. No unclean thing can enter into the presence of God. The great thing is that Jesus Christ died for each one of us, giving us the power of repentance for our sins. Every individual that has walked or will walk on the Earth will sin except the Son of God, Jesus Christ. His is the perfect atonement. Prophets of God have stated that the act of homosexuality is a choice.

  • Right to Marry
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:34 a.m.

    Those of you who view marriage by homosexuals as a "right." Many people cannot marry:

    Siblings cannot marry.
    A parent cannot marry their child.
    First cousins cannot marry in most states.
    An aunt or uncle cannot marry their nephew or niece

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 3:16 a.m.

    Defend all you want. Think people are going to stop laughing at your 'religion'?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 3:25 a.m.

    yip

  • GWB
    Oct. 18, 2009 4:34 a.m.

    Mr. Cannon, you forgot to mention that it was a Mormon girls that also ended the practice of prayers at school before football games and other activities.

    We often hear that religion is under attack because prayer is not allowed in school, but it was an LDS girl and a catholic student that brought the practice to an end.

    After being denied the right to say the prayer at their Texas high school football game because they were not of the prevailing religion, the mormon and catholic kids sued and won all the way to the supreme court.

    Now I hear that people from these same religions are using their religion to deny rights to other individuals.

    Does that strike anyone as Ironic?

    How about commenting on that Mr. Cannon, that minority religions attacked the religious freedom of the baptists to paray at their football games?

  • SLC visitor
    Oct. 18, 2009 4:43 a.m.

    After watching Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration at Legacy Theatre this past week, I saw past persecutions of the LDS in a different light than I used to. While I don't condone what was done to those early members, I now wonder what they had done which may have contributed to provoking attacks. I repeat, I DON'T condone the violent actions done to the LDS pioneers. But I no longer think it occurred in a vacuum. I've now seen firsthand how the LDS push their morals on others. Choose carefully what you do unto others; indeed it will be returned to you.

  • Dr of Psychology
    Oct. 18, 2009 4:52 a.m.

    The entire homosexual argument is based on spurious research that has low validity. There is very little honest DNA evidence to support their claims, and I've yet to meet a homosexual who has undergone DNA testing. Therefore, all arguments that spawn from such a broken foundation are questionable at best, including proclamations of "rights." When people allow themselves to be suckered by a relativistic argument their vision becomes clouded. The "gay marriage" argument is not about equality, it is about foisting justification for maladaptive coping choices. Thus it has been a slippery slope designed to depathologize that will sweep with it opposition to other maladaptive behaviors. At this foundational level true liberty, which depends on self-discipline, is under attack. Oaks was absolutely correct.

  • CP
    Oct. 18, 2009 5:01 a.m.

    I totally agree with Elder Oaks. And members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have every right to defend our religion. Back in the 1800's the government didn't allow the earlier members that right, why do you think the Mormon Pioneers came to Utah?? So they can have those precious rights without anyone infringing on them. And now when we defend them here in Utah (a state which the LDS settled) from those who once again want to take them away..but we will continue to stand for what we KNOW is right.

  • RI Reader
    Oct. 18, 2009 5:16 a.m.

    Comment to "Of Course":

    I agree that if we are going to take action against a society seeking to add to their "rights" - whatever that means ... then we (the Mormons) need to realize the society we oppose will fight back!

    But the issue of the talk was using violent or illegal tactics to fight back, and how that endangers freedom of religion for all.

    I think Elder Oaks was very clearly saying that the illegal "tactics" - destruction of property, slander, etc... are the issue, so he was encouraging members not to be swayed from the defense of their "right to marriage" by this kind of violence.

    The talk also pointed out that anyone saying there is a "religious test" (e.g., Mormons can't be Republican candidates because they are not Christians) is equally in violation of the constitution and a danger to religious freedom.

    Why isn't anyone jumping on THAT comment? Why has this whole conversation gone to the "gay marriage" issue?

    Narrow minds always find narrow arguments. Some of you narrow minds need to get a hobby other than writing to the DN blogs and criticizing the Mormons.

  • Henilieta
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:03 a.m.

    People seem to forget that with Prop 8 it was not just the Mormon church that was involved, there were other religion, Catholics,Baptist Church and other religions were also part of it, but it seem like the Mormon Church were not affraid to stand up for there religious freedom and the other religions were hiding behind them,and for me as an American we are discriminating the Mormon Church for there religious freedom. If we do our homework about the history of this church we will know that this is one church that is not affraid to DEAL WITH CRITICISM AND THEY WILL GIVE UP THERE LIFE FOR WHAT THEY STAND FOR AND BELIEVE IN THERE HEART THAT IT IS TRUE.

  • Homosexuality Is Sin
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:43 a.m.

    It is not "discrimination" to speak out against sin. Homosexuality is not a lifestyle but rather disobedience to the natural order of creation and rebellion against God's will. To equate sin to things such as race, gender, nationality, etc. is simply to buy into the subtle lies of the adversary. You might as well begin saying they should not discriminate against fornicators, adulterers, and pedophiles also.

  • But
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:44 a.m.

    Then why are the mormons infringing on my religious beliefs? My God created homosexuals on purpose and has no issue with love and marriage of homosexuals to one another.

  • Moss in Wash
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:58 a.m.

    Great article. This why I love reading the Deseret News. My son and I will continue fighting for freedom in the United States Army.

  • Geneva
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:02 a.m.

    I don't know what my thoughts on Joe's column are. I never got past the split infinitive in the last paragraph on page 1: "Without meaning to merely dredge up...."

  • Joe Somebody
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:10 a.m.

    Churches were drawn into the political arena when homosexuals successfully politicized their moral issues and sought to bring the state's power to bear in order to force acceptance of their behavior.

    The LDS church and every other church that is standing up for the institution of marriage and traditional societal mores did not start this fight. That was the work of homosexual activists and their social engineer enablers.

  • Todd
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:16 a.m.

    Mormons aren't opposing a people, they are fighting against a behavior! They aren't vandalizing the gay and lesbian headquarters or mailing death threats to gay people. They are fighting for families and trying to protect marriage as a religious practice, a practice that should be determined by religious standards not social.

    The gay and lesbian movement doesn't want to be married, they want to destroy religion.

  • Adam
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:33 a.m.

    Um...the Church has never and to my knowledge will never persecute the LGBT community. Of course, they may think they are being persecuted because the Church supports marriage as between a man and a woman. But, the whole point is that the Church should not be knocked into submission by the media or the government because of its religious positions. And it is silly that the ones who are calling for free thinking wish to silence the Church on important issues, especially when the Church uses the same democratic and representative process that everyone else uses.

  • MAC
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:38 a.m.

    Involving in politics to defend marriage and morals is the right thing to do.

  • David
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:42 a.m.

    In Mormons' eyes, voting 'yes' on a proposition is not persecution of individuals, but a defense of a moral tradition and a granted exercise of democracy. If anyone disagrees, then they are stating that the right to exercise democracy can be discriminatory, in which case it's up to the state or federal governments to prevent such exercise. You can't say Mormons are discriminatory of gays because of their vote to define marriage in a traditional way. Marriage is not an indiscriminate right. Critics should respect that exercise of democracy. Mormons only made up 2-3% of the Proposition 8 vote. Where is the criticism for the other 49-50% of California who voted the same way? Where is the state and federal prohibition of such an exercise of democracy because it's somehow discriminatory?

  • Laurels
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:43 a.m.

    Well said, Mr. Cannon.

    The talk by Elder Oaks was well thought out and articulated. He succinctly identified the core issues that have caused conflict and the forces that are attacking religious freedom in general.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:49 a.m.

    You can defend your religion but please quit the persecution whining. Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from criticism.

  • To jzdigs
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:52 a.m.

    The Mormons of the 19th century never asked the government to recognize polygamy. Huge difference.

  • to the critics
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:57 a.m.

    When has the LDS Church said that we're fighting the political rights of gays and lesbians? When have we stepped in and said that it should be illegal to practice that lifestyle? As I remember, the only thing the church stepped in on is the definition of marriage. Since when was marriage itself a political issue? The LDS Church has not stepped in to oppose civil rights for all people or to criminalize the practice itself. Yet, those who are for it constantly chime in with harsh and insensitive comments towards those who are religious because of their weaknesses and flaws. Go ahead and ask any member of the LDS Church if they think they are perfect and I guarantee the answer will be, "No." You see, those who practice religion, for the most part, do not think of themselves as better or more holy, but in need "of a physician" just as everyone else. However, some battles are worth fighting and when the 15 men who we feel are called of God to be prophets ask us to defend the definition of marriage we have the right to believe and follow, despite the hatred and criticism received.

  • Shaun McC
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:58 a.m.

    Using false logic is not a justifiable way to win an argument. While the LDS Church and members thereof need to be aware and thoughtful in the ways they enter into the political realm, it is in no way discrimination to uphold public policies that they believe support that which is right. That is in fact their responsibility as people of conscience. Choosing to believe or state that anyone who disagrees with you is discriminating against you is simply a ploy to demonize and marginalize that person instead of entering into civil discussion where enlightenment and solutions might be found.

    Those who support Prop.8 generally believe that historically and theologically, marriage is to be between man and woman. They may or may not have bigotry against homosexuals. Most I know do not. Those against think they are being denied something. Civil unions grant the same rights but don't change the meaning of the word marriage. To change that meaning requires a reason and a view by the majority that it is a positive move. That has not happened. Using lies about the opposition is not a morally sound way to win the argument. Find another way.

  • Entitlement
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:07 a.m.

    Just as Mormon are entitled to defend their faith they are entitled to critism. It's a double edged sword.

  • wow
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:15 a.m.

    I have noticed that critics of the LDS Church are usually so convinced of their moral superiority that they seldom see their own paradigm and just how mush they behave in the ways they claim to abhorr. It is ironic that many feel they have the right to perpetrate because they are victims.
    I am homosexual and I am often disappointed at how mypoic and hypocritical those who claim to speak for me behave. I expect to be treated fairly, but I also see the dysfunction in the gay community and the lack of tolerance for other viewpoints (and therefore short change the quest for truth)

    Now there will be multiple posts that say I can not really be homosexual because I dont follow the dogma of gay fundamentalism. I have no right to exist. Which is exactly why I fear gay zealots more than I do religous ones.

  • doc
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:26 a.m.

    Elder Oaks was not complaining about criticism (i.e., words) against the church. The persecution he warns about is when LDS people are targeted and lose a job because of their religious beliefs, are threatened with bodily harm and property damage, etc. The church has thrived in spite of 150 years of verbal assault. It's going beyond verbal assault that is problem.

  • Tom
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:27 a.m.

    Mike,Anonymous and jzdig: God's commandments, whether promulgated via the Ten Commandments, in the Bible or in the Book of Mormon are His Gospel. We love everyone but retain the right to speak out in support of the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. This is a fundamental religious value. If you want to obfuscate the matter, you're attempts will resound as hollow and transparent to those who love the Lord and follow His Prophet and Apostles.

  • sbc
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:36 a.m.

    1) The Church did not make homesexuallity political. We, and God, have always taught that is not in line with His guidelines. This has been a moral issuse since Gen.1:1 and even before then. You are the ones that made it political so we have to use political ways to defend God's doctrine.
    2) A wise man said once said "a society that allows anything soon will lose everything". There has to be a stop somewhere. When it comes to follow God's doctrine, I will fight to keep the laws in line to the last. I don't hate, I fear God more than I fear man. Persecuting me and terrible it will soon get, HIs doctrine will prevail at the end.
    3) Have any of you looked at what Elder Oaks said about Gay's? We may be the only Church that preaches, if you remain celibate and keep the commandments, you will be with Him again. Other's say you are dammed. We don't.

  • Homosexual "rights"
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:38 a.m.

    Why do homosexuals get to redefine marriage for everyone? Why does their "right" to redefine marriage trump religious freedom? Lawsuits have been filed and won across the country against religious people who did not want to support homosexual actions - and the religious defendants lost. In spite of their religious rights being in the First Amendment to the Constitution, and homosexual rights being nowhere in that document. We have freedom of association (which includes the right NOT to associate), freedom of religion, freedom of speech, etc. - and these rights are all being trampled on by homosexuals and activist judges. From a photographer who didn't want to do a gay wedding, to a church who didn't want to rent their facility, to infertility doctors, to adoption agencies in Massachusetts and California (google When Gay Rights and Religious Liberties Clash - NPR article). It's not like there aren't plenty of other providers - religious objectors are in the MINORITY. But that's not good enough for homosexuals, we must all march in lockstep and affirm the rightness of their position, or we are religious bigots. Well, morality isn't up for debate in my house.

  • Indiana
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:47 a.m.

    Oh ye of so little faith and knowledge.

    It is redundant of me to try to teach you that Prop 8 is not about persecuting anyone. It is about standing up for God, truth and righteousness. Most of the letters above mine reek with self pity by a group of individuals who do NOT desire to keep God's commandments and want everyone else in the world to justify them and say it really doesn't matter. Well, it does matter. We are told that we must defend truth and righteousness. Those to whom I speak do not understand that very vital principle. Prop 8 was not about butting into the political world, but just that, defending God and HIS statutes. It is not me you dislike, it is God and that dislike extends to me when I stand up for God, truth and righteousness.

    Way to go Joe Cannon. This is another great letter written by someone willing to take the punches he knew would come by a group who want God to follow them instead of humbling themselves and following God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

    I make no apologies.

  • What would Jesus do?
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:49 a.m.

    While I agree with Mr. Oaks that no voter should ever feel intimidated, I think he is missing the greater point. The LDS leaders asked their members to vote to limit the rights of another group, therefore limiting the religious freedom of others.

    My brother is gay and I strongly believe he should be able to get married to his partner. That is my religious belief. No one was asking the LDS church to accept gay marriage during the Prop 8 discussion. How would marriage equality affect the Mormon church in California? Answer: It wouldn't.

    Does anyone else see the irony?

  • Darin
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:49 a.m.

    Dear Editor Cannon,

    Let's be honest. What you and Oaks are really defending is the "freedom" to discriminate. If this is an attack on "religious freedom" (as you call it), I can't say I sympathize.

  • Other side of the coin
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:55 a.m.

    The constitution also allows freedom FROM religion, but I don't see Mr. Oaks encouraging the LDS church to stop forcing their beliefs on me.

  • JJD
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:04 a.m.

    Wow, a bunch of ignoramuses here. The LDS Church has every right to declare their beliefs on political agendas. We have to live in this world and therefore it's only reasonable that we take part in what happens.

    The LDS Church is NOT discriminating against homosexuals. Are you kidding me?! The Church has stated time and again that they are fully accepting of homosexuals, though they do not want them to be practicing ones. What the LDS Church is discriminating against is the behavior. It's a judgment against that which they believe to be a sin. Everyone has to judge in the same way, according to their beliefs. And that's their God-given right to do so.

    The Church does not subject homosexuals to any form of hostility of ill-treatment. Their stance was made against the proponents of those who would change the definition of marriage. But everyone who bashes the Church for this IS persecuting it.

    We ain't whining. Elder Oaks simply stated that religion is being pushed aside for increasingly popular worldly agendas. We live in a godless, amoral country though so it's not surprise.

  • What?
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:10 a.m.

    The gay and lesbian supporters who claim that the LDS church was seeking to limit civil liberties , with their support of prop 8 never read the churches official statement about the proposition. The LDS church was seeking to defend marriage. Read the official statement. Just because I think that being a doctor is my right - and a school won't give me a diploma because I don't want to enroll - is not a violation of my rights. Marriage is religious institution - Doctors are a medical institution.

  • California
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:11 a.m.

    As a Californian, I was very dismayed to see that the media gave all the attention to the homosexuals and none to those of us that want to protect the family. They showed all the demonstrations and hatred towards the Mormons. But I think it back-fired: people saw that the LDS church didn't demonstrate poor behavior or poor sportsmanship and if the vote were to happen again today, Prop 8 would win by an even larger margin. We have voted TWICE on this measure and the losers will not give up. Again, the will of the people has a hard time getting recognized in our state. THAT is what it is all about. So those of you whining about Elder Oaks' talk need to back off.

  • Yes, but ...
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:11 a.m.

    ... we have the right to defend what's just and reasonable, despite what people in authority try to pass off as such. Sometimes political entities try to pass themselves off something other, but their words and actions speak louder than words.

  • TO CORRECTION 2:17 a.m
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:28 a.m.

    Very well said.
    I agree fully with MR.Cannon and you.

  • Ted
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:34 a.m.

    To Anonymous at 3:16:

    You remind me of a scripture that says, "Fools mock but they shall mourn." Laugh all you want. Less informed people have laughed at the truth for centuries. Ridicule has never changed the truth nor will it for as long as the world stands. Your time would be better spent if you aimed your venom elsewhere.

  • Shannon
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:36 a.m.

    You can laugh at our religion all you want to. That won't change anything. We will stand up for what's right. We live in a world now where morality means nothing. To us, it means everything though. You can yell and scream and insult all you want. We know what is true and what our responsibility is. Elder Oaks made a beautiful stand. Like President Monson once said, Shot Ducks Flutter. So keep on fluttering. It will never change what is right to something that is wrong, or what is wrong, to something that is right.

  • Henry Drummond
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:43 a.m.

    I respect both Joe Cannon and especially Dallin Oaks. I did read the speech in its entirety. Certainly violence and job discrimination against people because of their religious affiliations should be condemned by all. They are valid complaints. Much of the speech however was directed toward the waning influence of religion and the disappearance of the deference that used to be accorded religious leaders. I think equating popularity with persecution is not valid.

    Keep in mind that Mormons for decades have gone door to door telling people that their baptisms are not valid and that their church is not "true." Have you ever thought of this as a form of religious persecution? More likely than not you feel you are just expressing your beliefs. Maybe those who criticize you are doing the same.

    While I am not Mormon, I think the Church has a great deal to offer. Maybe its time to respond to criticism by using it as an opportunity to express your beliefs clearly rather than doing what Joe has done here which is to equate what is happening today with the mobs of 150 years ago.

  • To Mike
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:44 a.m.

    Re: "the Mormon church feel that they're being denied the religious freedom to discriminate against homosexuals. Period."

    Yeah, and . . . ?

    That is certainly one freedom you would apparently deny Mormons.

    Why?

    If our God requires that we discriminate against homosexuals -- at least to the extent of preaching against the vice by which they choose to identify themselves -- why is that any more hateful to you than, say Catholics preaching against abortion, or Muslims preaching against forgetting to pray 5 times a day?

    The Church has been clear in advocating that civil rights be extended to all.

    But that's not good enough for you.

    You want the power to try and change God's doctrine and to order us to preach that homosexuality is OK by God.

    That's the concern Elder Oaks and almost all of us share.

    Too bad it seems to have been lost on you.

  • Paranoia
    Oct. 18, 2009 10:05 a.m.

    Of course we have a right, and I would add a responsibility, to actively participate in defending our freedoms. But, to a group already imbued with a persecuted mentality, steeped in a political environment of tea parties and discrimination, maybe this could have been said at a different time and in a different way.

  • Faith
    Oct. 18, 2009 10:20 a.m.

    Good comments Todd! ? The LDS church has really come under attack and I wonder why so many feel sooooo threatened? Is it because they have the TRUTH? Good will prevail over evil in case some of you anti's haven't read the Hold Bible!

  • sbc
    Oct. 18, 2009 10:35 a.m.

    Not sure why my first comment wasn't publish because it didn't violate any of the monitoring rules. So that's life.

    Anyway to BUT: My question to you is who is your God? My God is the God of the Old/New Testament, Book of Mormon, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price. Nowhere, in any of these scriptures, does it say it is okay for Homosexuals to marry, nowhere. It does say it is God's will to have a man and a women to marry in multiple scriptures.

    Now about God creating the Homosexauls. Each of us are born with something that doesn't fit with God's plan. We all have something inside us that we need to either control or overcome. Elder Oaks addressed this in the PBS interview about just having to be celibat if you are gay.
    One last question I want you to ponder having to do with God creating Homosexuals. Would you agree that God created everything? Think about it.

  • Oaks missed mark
    Oct. 18, 2009 10:42 a.m.

    Oaks' talk, whether intentionally or ignorantly, mistakenly equated the decline in approval ratings of religion, for a decline in religious freedom. By all means, defend your Constitutional rights to practice your religion, but that doesn't include being a victim when people want nothing to do with your religion.

  • MrH
    Oct. 18, 2009 10:47 a.m.

    I think he and others tend to see an attack on religion when there is little or none. There is more freedom of religion in America now than in any time in its history. I think white, male, Christianity is occupying a smaller and smaller slice of that pie... and this is sometimes seen as an attack by those who are losing ground.

  • Can't handle the critics?
    Oct. 18, 2009 10:54 a.m.

    I think the LDS church is handling the critics very well.

    They aren't apologizing for their stance. They haven't backed down from their actions.

    As long as marriage remains to be defined within the political arena then religions and/or other groups have a right to speak out for what they believe.

    When the legality of and union of "marriage" is finally revoked from the government and we are all civilly united then married outside of government then you can define it however you want.

    It seems as if within the Christian religions there are multiple Jesus' (so say the anti-LDS street preachers). So I guess there can be differing opinions on marriage as long as that's taken out of government and remains a religious debate.

    My point. Remove marriage from the government and all is fixed. We can just move on an bicker within religions.

  • Relax
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:01 a.m.

    Nothing brings up more straw man arguments and intentional exaggerations of what other people have said than religion and politics. We could actually have a decent discussion here if most of us could calm down and actually LISTEN to what the other side is saying. The problem is, many of you guys are far beyond listening. Change for the better is not going to happen ANY time soon until people can humble themselves a bit, open your ears, and address the arguments that are ACTUALLY being made - not the ones you'd like to think are being made so that you can raise a fuss about it.

  • It's about behavior
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:11 a.m.

    Love the sinner, hate the sin.

  • Oliver
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:11 a.m.

    To: Homosexual "rights"

    Another question: Why does it bother you how marriage is defined? Does it make yours any less special? It is very presumptuous to say that morality is only taught in your house. If morality to you only means that gays can't marry and that they are a conspiratory bunch, than it seems your kind of morality is simply a synonym for bigotry.

    You deny homosexuals not a "right", but a right!

  • FaithNoMo
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:15 a.m.

    You are right Mr. Canon,
    You are free to try to protect your religion. And we are free to point out how silly and hypocritical you are. You should really go back and look at what past Prophets have said.
    So protect your beliefs and act like your rights are being taken for being looked down on for taking others rights away.
    You're still wrong! Wrote he said was stupid. If he is really talking to God, God sure dropped the ball on that one. Or maybe it’s all part of God’s plan to trick everyone.

  • Supporter
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:43 a.m.

    I am a strong supporter of all that Elder Oaks treated on this subject. I have this to say to those who desire to detract - "The dogs will bark, but the caravan moves on".

  • @8:47
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:45 a.m.

    Every religion ever created on earth has one thing in common with each other. They are all based on theory. Period, the end of story. In order for judgements made against anyone, or group of people based on scripture (any, and of any religion) you would have to prove that it was the word of God, and not the word of some human claiming to understand Gods thinking.
    There is no proof of any religion being true and never has been. Its all faith based.
    Taking rights, or limiting the rights of any American based on faith is a tragic way to run a religion in this day and age. It was bad enough back when we burned witch's and stoned women to death.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:47 a.m.

    Mormons *ARE* entitled to defend their lifestyle, they just don’t understand that Gay’s are entitled to defend their lifestyle as well. Mormons tend to want the cake and to eat it too. They want to be able to preach their religious intolerance... but also want the Gays to sit down and shut up about it when they do. Mormons can’t have it both ways….

  • VBfriend
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:48 a.m.

    Mr Cannon and the Deseret News: This subject was so clearly debated on your boards this past week both sides clearly stated their positions. I understand your need to bring readers to your paper. However, bringing out this response to open the debate again with all the contention and hard feelings on the Lords day is shameful.

  • Re: GWB
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:48 a.m.

    It sounds to me as though those LDS and Catholic kids were sueing for the right to participate in, and occasionally offer, those prayers, not that they were sueing to end those prayers altogether. Unfortunately, sometimes actions have unintended consequences, but that doesn't mean that the original action was tainted.

  • kelly miller
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:58 a.m.

    In defense of all that's holy
    Which has been fought for so nobly
    We speak up at this season
    For our right to religious freedom

    Let all the churches now stand
    And unify with faith at hand
    Honorably with brotherhood
    To promote God's laws and all that's good

  • Re: What would Jesus do?
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:04 p.m.

    The Bible makes it clear what Jesus would do. He would comfort and love your brother, and He would tell him to go and sin no more.

    Loving somebody is not the same thing as actively supporting them in every single thing they do. Christ loved sinners just as much as He loved those who tried desperately to do His will. But He never, ever condoned sin. He never said that it was okay that they sinned. He never said that they didn't have to change their ways. He always, always said the opposite. He told them that if they loved Him in return for the love He gave them, they would give up their sinful behavior and try to keep His commandments.

  • re: Paranoia | 10:05 a.m.
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:08 p.m.

    "Of course we have a right, and I would add a responsibility, to actively participate in defending our freedoms. But, to a group already imbued with a persecuted mentality, steeped in a political environment of tea parties and discrimination, maybe this could have been said at a different time and in a different way."

    Why? Whats the problem with tea parties and what discrimiantion are you talking about?

  • Amazing
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:09 p.m.

    I find it amazing that the LDS Church and many of it's members practice descrimination against gay Americans and then deny it. It's like the kid who gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar- "Mom, I didn't do it! It's unfair that you are yelling at me!". All the while he has a big, fat chocolate chip cookie in his hand.

    All men are created equal.

  • GWB
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:37 p.m.

    "Dr of Psychology" you say "The entire homosexual argument is based on spurious research that has low validity."

    OK, did you read the twin study in "The British Journal of Psychiatry 148: 421-425 (1986)" which states as a conclusion "this suggests that male homosexuality may be associated with a complex interaction, in which genes play some part."

    How about "Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Nov;157(11):1843-6", which stated "Biometrical twin modeling suggested that sexual orientation was substantially influenced by genetic factors."

    If you think twin studies have "low validity" for mapping geneitc traits then it is uncertain how you could have earned a doctorate degree.

    Please do some more reading before using your advanced degree to argue against something you disagree with on a religious basis.

  • Eye in the news
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:45 p.m.

    The LDS church is powerful economically and politically speaking. Who is after us? and do they, institutions or group of people, have the same power like the LDS church? I bellieve the LDS church and some part of our members are too political specially with conservative extremist points of view. Remember Mr Cannon about the separation of churhc and state? It is in our constitution. I do not think like you and so you have the same right. Most of the LDS church members bellieve on what our savior Jesus said "Love your neigbor as your self" so stop judging people for their believes and behaviors. You do not represent most of the the LDS church members believes. So stop talking like you are and stop spreding fear like we are being persecuted.

  • Thomas
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:48 p.m.

    Dr. Laura predicted that if, the homosexual community were allowed to marry then that would open the door to others, i.e. pedophiles, to push for their rights. Don't think it is happening? Just look at those who are defending Polanski

  • a grown up conversation...
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:51 p.m.

    The LDS church's defense of traditional marriage as defined by Judeo-Christian civilizations for thousands of years cannot reasonable construed as being discriminatory against homosexuals. If so, then it is also discriminatory of anyone engaging in other forms of sexual behavior (polyamory, bestiality, to name a few). This is a debate about a legal definition, and those who resort to name calling are avoiding a grown-up conversation about the matter. Those who oppose the traditional definition of marriage need to answer two questions:

    1) How would you define marriage?
    2) Why should the state regulate and grant special privileges to those who enter into a marriage thus defined?

    Proponents of traditional marriage have answers to both questions. The answer to the first question is well known. The answer to the second: Because governments cannot produce good, moral people on their own. Yet government, and society depends on such people to function. Two parent families have been shown to be more likely to produce such people. The family is founded on marriage. Therefore, government has an interest in supporting traditional marriage.

    Can any proponents of gay marriage answer these two questions??

  • Kevin
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:54 p.m.

    @Mike | 12:36 a.m. Oct. 18, 2009

    I agree with Mike. I was left scratching my head at the end.

    Joe,

    Insomuch that Mr. Oaks was referring to Prop. 8, notwithstanding the rest of his talk, the Mormons need to realize ganging up on homosexuals at the ballot box has zero to do with religious freedom. Letting gays marry, or do anything for that matter, is separable. It may make it harder for you to preach to people and your children that homosexuality is immoral. That's just too bad. But that's not infringing on religious liberty.

    Think how the Mormon lobbying for Prop. 8 infringed on the religion of my ancestry, the Quakers. Many Quaker meetings marry gays. Those religious marriages are discriminated against. And the Mormons are the ones trampling on religious liberty.

  • Re: Kelly Miller
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:57 p.m.

    The mormon church has alienated or offended nearly every other faith that no one will stand with you. The mythical mormon god will stand on his own. Now if you are talking Christians we will unite, but you will not be invited to that party.

  • Can dish it, but can't take it
    Oct. 18, 2009 12:59 p.m.

    Historically, the Mormons have often been on the wrong side of certain issues, always claiming moral superiority, then crying persecution! when called to the mat.

    Utah will be the last state to hold out against gay marriage, but that's ok. With Mormons of the opinion that being gay is a choice, and that legalizing gay marriage is equal to making it legal to marry your pet or your sister, what gay person would want to live there?

  • Cora
    Oct. 18, 2009 1:08 p.m.

    In defense of all that is decent and noble
    Which has been fought for womens rights and Blacks
    We speak up at this season
    For everyones right to full constitutional rights

    Let all humans now stand
    And unify with logic, reason and kindness
    Honorably with simple human brotherhood
    To promote equality and decency, and all thats good

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 18, 2009 1:11 p.m.

    Mike: being a homosexual has nothing to do with religion or freedom for that matter.

  • Big difference
    Oct. 18, 2009 1:26 p.m.

    in defining discrimination, as I read these comments. The establishment clause in the Constitution will allow LDS temple marriages to be limited to man and woman. So, sorry gays, not much luck here, because then the govt would, in effect, be establishing a new LDS church. As I recall from Prop 8, that was one of the intended outcomes, that a church would be violating discrimination laws IF, for example, LDS or other churches said, "Man and Woman ONLY." Gays can't go to the mat with legal arguments that are against the constitution on basic freedoms. Access to a behavior or a legal group (school, business, community) is open, and unencumbered, free of discrimination. Membership in a religious group, unfettered by such rules is determined by the group, not the govt. That's why the priesthood issue was not a civil rights issue.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 1:28 p.m.

    Why is it that Mormons are only for their own civil rights? Isn't that hypocritical?

  • Freedom w/o fear
    Oct. 18, 2009 1:41 p.m.

    S.L. Tribune quoted people who were taking Oak's words completely out of context apparently to stir up hatred. Freedom of religious is not a popular right at this time. National media and politicians has oppressed it in the name of other more popular, "trendy" causes.Mormons do not hate gays. Mormons should be allowed to freely express their opinion on their views of sexual intimacy outside of marriage and the roles of men and women in society without fearing intimidation and violence.

  • But where would it stop???
    Oct. 18, 2009 1:48 p.m.

    First, Gay marriage, then a legal battle to be sealed in the LDS temples as husband and husband or wife and wife. The Church will be accused of discriminating against them again. Not only is there a threat to the covenant of marrige but to the sacredness of the belief of eternal marriage and eternal families based around a man and a woman. No matter how hard they try to find consolation in their proposed gay rights to marry, it will never fill the void of a real family ordained of God, whether LDS or not....Never.

    Then there will something else

  • Ship of Fools
    Oct. 18, 2009 1:57 p.m.

    Mormons are entitled to defend their freedom of religion and make fools of themselves as well. There is no prejudgeces when fools stand up for there freedom. Please mormons give everyone else the same right which you truly run into the gorund and to not fully appreciate.

  • What hypocracy
    Oct. 18, 2009 1:59 p.m.

    Freedom of religion in Utah is like freedom of religion in Afghanistan.
    I have watched as my wife is ridiculed at work because she is not of the LDS faith. She is harassed because she drinks coffee. She is harassed because we'll do things on Sunday even though we attend church regularly, just not the Mormon church. She is the least paid even though she works harder (she has to to keep her job) and others less experienced and hired after her are paid more. She has been denied time off to attend our kids functions when others have been given time off to attend church meetings. She regrets accepting this job. She's been on interview that have been cut short after accepting a cup of coffee during the interview.
    Our son, who started as a QB on a championship team in a very competitive league in Texas sits on the sideline because the kid that goes to the same ward of the coach.
    Is this the Christianity you guys are fighting for?
    I have explained to them that this is a small example of what was like to be black in the 60's.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:00 p.m.

    The caravan, as always, moves on to an ever dissipating mirage. Oaks stated that religious speech and actions deserves more constitutional protection than other speech and actions. The brethren are in my opinion making a desperate move to inoculate the faithful to a coming storm from the California investigative authorities. Just my humble opinion of course but food for thought regardless.

  • Food for thought.
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:00 p.m.

    Let's start a petition forbidding obese people from eating out at fast food restaurants? They claim that their weight issues aren't their fault. They have a genetic condition that makes them susceptible to obesity. It doesn't matter, they shouldn't have the privilege to eat where the healthier neighbors eat.

    It's not that we hate obese people--we love them. We just hate obesity. Does this sound familiar?

  • GWB
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:03 p.m.

    to Re: GWB, you said "It sounds to me as though those LDS and Catholic kids were sueing for the right to participate."

    Sounds just like what gays are doing, trying to participate.

  • Carlos Rey
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:07 p.m.

    It's all about hypocracy ... we all have it, and yet we only see it in others. Three points ...

    1. It should be noted that the majority of pro-gay posters are willing to defend their comments with their anonymity.

    2. It is also worth noting that those who suggest that gay marriage is a right, continue to believe that the exercise of their right to disagree are somehow oppressing them. Really? Is it that, or is it simply that you are frustrated that more don't share your views? We live in a republic where each of us have a right to express our feelings. The religious will say that you are duped by your lifestyle, and you suggest they are duped by their leaders. In the end, the choices of the majority will rule in our society.

    3. One last thought for those supporting gay marriage, maybe you could take a queue from the LDS church ... the church recognizes the law of the land regarding plural marriage, and respects it. In fact, anyone caught practicing plural marriage is excommunicated. The discussion is over, the law is written, let's turn down the rhetoric, and follow the law.

  • Cats
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    Marriage is NOT a right. It is a privilege. That is why one has to get a license in order to marry. One must meet certain qualifications. One must not marry a sibling. One must not marry a child. One must not marry an animal. One must not marry a parent, etc., etc.

    Marriage is between a man and a woman who are of legal age. A homosexual relationship will NEVER be a marriage no matter how many laws are passed definining it otherwise. A horse will never be a cat. Even if we pass a law saying otherwise a horse will always be a horse and a cat will always be a cat. A HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WILL NEVER BE A MARRIAGE.

    Elder Oaks and Joe Cannon are right. Religious liberty is in serious danger in this country.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:29 p.m.

    Mormons have the same right to defend their religion as Scientology does.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:30 p.m.

    He specifically said that religion speech must have be accorded GREATER freedom than speech of the non-religious.

    And he said that random people who were denied equal protection under California's laws and who engaged in acts of retribution (painting walls, protesting and identifying people who denied their civil rights) were equivalent to people who bombed Black churches, murdered Black children, turned fire hoses and vicious dogs on people working for civil rights for Black people.

    And he attempted to create animus and suspicion of those outside the LDS who hold a mirror up to the church's political activities.

    He was intellectually dishonest and, as a moral leader, irresponsible. As for Prop H8, there will continue to be fallout. I guess the year of discord the Authorities set into motion with their letter rallying organized oppositiont to Prop H8 hasn't been enough for him and he's looking forward to losing more members and more regard for the church.

  • @Oliver 11:11am
    Oct. 18, 2009 2:53 p.m.

    Curious how you ignored the rest of my comment, showing exactly how redefining marriage affects religious people. I don't want my children taught in school that homosexual marriage is equal to heterosexual marriage. I don't want religious adoption agencies to be forced to place adoptive children with gay parents, depriving them of either a mother or a father contrary to their beliefs. I don't want people to be forced to approve by their actions of homosexuality, whether they provide services or products for weddings, infertility treatment, or any other item related to the creation of families.

    Gay marriage is unnecessary to society. Marriage exists from the beginning to protect the rights of women and children. No society cares about feelings - only actions. There is no inherent inequality in a gay relationship, where one partner bears children and the other does not. No children can come of such a relationship at all, unless they are raising the children of others. In which case, however messed up the situation, the children are or should be protected by our laws with access to their birth parents.

    Morality in my house - virtue, chastity, honesty, integrity - all that "old-fashioned" stuff...

  • oh yeah
    Oct. 18, 2009 3:02 p.m.

    new phrase, please don't be naughty, it takes a joyful sound to make the world go round, protected by society, protected by my dignity, i search for reality, ...hiding from reality in your words of hipocrasy...above you ...above..you!!

  • Y
    Oct. 18, 2009 3:04 p.m.

    when you are 7 million out of 300 million in the USA and 14 million out of 7 billion worldwide, I can see how the LDS would have a chip on their shoulder since they are virtually unknown/nonexistent/unheard to most everyone especially outside the USA except in UT

  • Attn: Kelly Miller @ 11:58
    Oct. 18, 2009 3:12 p.m.

    Quoting Kelly:
    :::::
    Let all the churches now stand
    And unify with faith at hand
    Honorably with brotherhood
    To promote God's laws and all that's good
    :::::

    So... all churches have the same interpretation of "God's laws," do they?

    Does it occur to you that your "in defense of all that's holy" ditty could just as easily be spoken by fundamentalist Muslims?

    The whole point of this controversy is that bigotry against gays is motivated by irrational religious beliefs, and that the world's religions themselves can't even agree on what constitutes "God's laws."

    How very convenient to insist that _your_ religion possesses the "one true" view of what a deity would want, and of course all those _other_ religions have got it wrong - right?

    The dangerous consequences of such a belief is why we keep religion out of politics and civil law in this nation, and that's why civil-minded citizens take strong exception to a religion's active intrusion into what should be a purely civil matter.

    You're welcome to your particular religious beliefs, but please don't demand that I make them my own.

  • Sara
    Oct. 18, 2009 3:28 p.m.

    As I recall a few decades ago, a bunch of Deity hating, moral trashing people were trying to make marriage obsolete. They said that they did not need a "piece of paper" to prove their love. They tried to make marriage into something cheap. Now this same type of people are fighting to be allowed to be married. Ironic? I don't think so. They failed to cheapen marriage and so are now trying to degrade it.

  • Virgil
    Oct. 18, 2009 3:32 p.m.

    I will really be glad when these weekend censors go home and the fair and rational ones come on duty and allow comments besides "I know the church is true"or "I hope all Mormons burn"..Maybe it is just me but the comments seem to be much more stimulating on weekdays:and with that comes sharp-witted, rousing debate...All we seem to have today are church apologists or people who dislike the church...I certainly would like some comment on this weekend censor thing..Maybe it is just me, but some of my friends have noticed the same thing..

  • Kudos to Elder Oaks
    Oct. 18, 2009 3:35 p.m.

    Pleased to see officials of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stand up for their civil rights in this fashion. In doing so they defend not only their own rights, but the rights of all people of all faiths. That is something that is very important to remember.

    My favorite part of the speech is where Elder Oaks points out that in declaring a “violation of their civil rights” so violently and destructively, proponents of Prop 8 violated those same civil rights of the people the aimed their protests towards. Americans will always disagree, but we must do so civilly. Freedom is only free if it applies equally to all. We learned that the hard way through the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement — it’s in the Declaration of Independence for crying out loud!

  • Thanks Elder Oaks
    Oct. 18, 2009 3:41 p.m.

    This is much bigger than just a question of whether or not society should be more tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle. Over past years we have seen unrelenting pressure from advocates of that lifestyle to accept as normal what is not normal, and to characterize those who disagree as narrow-minded, bigoted and unreasonable. Such advocates are quick to demand freedom of speech and thought for themselves, but equally quick to criticize those with a different view and, if possible, to silence them by applying labels like “homophobic.” In at least one country where homosexual activists have won major concessions, we have even seen a church pastor threatened with prison for preaching from the pulpit that homosexual behavior is sinful. Given these trends, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must take a stand on doctrine and principle. This is more than a social issue – ultimately it may be a test of our most basic religious freedoms to teach what we know our Father in Heaven wants us to teach.

  • Re: SLC Visitor 4:43
    Oct. 18, 2009 3:45 p.m.

    You didn't explain just what it was that you saw in the movie to show how LDS push their morals on others.

    If it was something you saw in the film then you should certainly acknowledge that you watched it in the church's theater on church property to which you were not forced in any way to enter.

    It would be nice to know what that pushing is, just as it would be nice to know what all the fuss is over keeping rights away from the group others are mentioning here.

    Since when does one get to decide they want others to grant them a special right and then pound them until it is done except by unkind dominion?

    Ancient Saying: It is easier to catch a fly with honey unless you are a mad rhino.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 18, 2009 3:59 p.m.

    Well, so much for being a "news" organization. This is a PR Company for the church and nothing more. Of the 15 or 20 comments I made not one made the grade. Really impressive. But then, anyone who pays attention knows that honest debate has never been a strong point of those connectected with Mormonism.

  • being Mormon is a choice
    Oct. 18, 2009 4:02 p.m.

    Poor Mormons, just remember your religion is a choice. So if you cannot handle the fact that the world hates you and finds that your religious behavior is just wrong and immoral. You can always find a new religion after all I don’t know of one religion (business) that wouldn’t take your money.

  • CB
    Oct. 18, 2009 4:03 p.m.

    Hear! Hear!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 4:27 p.m.

    Re Todd
    "The gay and lesbian movement doesn't want to be married, they want to destroy religion."

    That comment is about the stupidest comment I think I have ever read on line. It’s time you pull your head out of your butt. And remember your Mormon religion is a choice.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 4:30 p.m.

    There is a difference in defending the faith and spreading hatred and lies. I believe the LDS faith has so much disdain for those all things not mormon that they cannot even tell the difference. We pray for you all.

  • jackhp
    Oct. 18, 2009 4:46 p.m.

    Can anyone tell me why the religious freedom of Mormons matters more than the religious freedom of gay people? Why do same-sex marriages consecrated by other religions not deserve the same legal recognition as marriages consecrated by the LDS Church?

    Anyone?

  • We will all
    Oct. 18, 2009 5:07 p.m.

    be rewarded in the end for the stances we take. Thank you Elder Oaks for the warning. May we all be more vigilent.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 5:10 p.m.

    Can dish it, but can't take it: I don'tsee Utah ever legalization gay marriage. So those gays who are married won;t be legally married if they live in utah because you have to follow Utahs laws

  • Funny
    Oct. 18, 2009 5:19 p.m.

    Isn't it? Funny that we all discriminate in one way or another. Its just that its not "kosher" to discriminate against a "protected" class. Just like its impossible to not communicate its just as impossible to not discriminate. Prove it you ask? OK... Take a person from Sandy and tell him to walk down the Watts Section of LA at midnight by himself. He will discriminate. Take 5 "whites" and put them in a room of all blacks and watch them congregate by them selves. Reverse the roles and it works the same way. There are many other examples of ways that we discriminate. We do it the way we buy our food, our cars and our homes. We discriminate in everything for our own safety and well being. Why should any church be any different?

  • Mike Richards
    Oct. 18, 2009 5:19 p.m.

    @ jackhp,

    Let's look at Amendment 1 of the Constitution:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    "Religious" freedom means that there is a "religion". If the gay community makes the effort to organize a religion, and acknowledges before God and man that they represent God, then perhaps you might have a point, but remember there are eternal consequences for taking the name of God in vain. Until then, you're trying to say that a "belief" is the same as a "religion". Sorry, but that doesn't work.

  • jackhp
    Oct. 18, 2009 5:24 p.m.

    "Pleased to see officials of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stand up for their civil rights in this fashion. In doing so they defend not only their own rights, but the rights of all people of all faiths."

    This is absolutely untrue. If Elder Oaks was so concerned about religious freedom he would support equal legal recognition for same-sex marriages performed by religions other than his own. Otherwise, he's nothing but a two-bit hypocrite.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 5:26 p.m.

    The DNEWS needs an overhall. The articles and comments are embarrassing.

  • Utahn
    Oct. 18, 2009 5:30 p.m.

    Oaks is not enormously qualified to address religious liberties issues.

    He is enormously qualified to win cases.

    That is what lawyers do.

  • lol
    Oct. 18, 2009 5:58 p.m.

    In Utah atheist ARE not entitled to defend their rights.

  • @Thanks Elder Oaks
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:09 p.m.

    FYI Canada has laws against hate SPEECH. The U.S. does not, as it would be a violation of the Constitution.

    The main people who undermined religion are those who brought religion into politics and who sought to use religion to gain power. I'd like Elder Oaks to speak about that.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:22 p.m.

    Mormons are all about taking the rights away from non-members. How does it feel when the show is on the other foot? Mormons are hyprocrites.

  • To Y
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:28 p.m.

    "when you are 7 million out of 300 million in the USA and 14 million out of 7 billion worldwide, I can see how the LDS would have a chip on their shoulder since they are virtually unknown/nonexistent/unheard to most everyone especially outside the USA except in UT"

    The majority of members of the LDS church live outside of the United States, and most definitely outside of Utah. We have large groups of members in South America, Africa, the Phillippines, and Australia/New Zealand. We're making strong headway in the former Soviet Union, in Asia, and we still have continual - though not large - gains in Europe. So what, exactly, is your point?

  • ANTI R-U
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:43 p.m.

    I agree that all hate crimes against nonmembers and people who have left the church needs to STOP! Quit pinning names and calling others names continuously who do not agree with you. I believe this is a public newspaper? I don't see any place written or said where nonmembers, less active members cannot post a comment. There is a broadminded world out there outside your 4 walls-believe it or not.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:44 p.m.

    Thomas Jefferson said "And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors."

    --Hopefully we will in fact see the day when century old fables do not influence our decision making.

  • Fear
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:49 p.m.

    There's a big difference between those who live promiscuous lives and those who live monogamous lives.
    Promiscuity exists among heterosexuals and homosexuals. Promiscuity results in abortions, unplanned pregnancies, single parent families and disease.

    I don't get why we fear people who want to form a family and live monogamous lives.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:52 p.m.

    "I don't want my children taught in school that homosexual marriage is equal to heterosexual marriage."

    I don't recall either my childre or myself being taught "in school" about what defined marriage at all. This is what an educated person would call a Strawman Argument -- you have set up a non-issue so you can knock it down and call it a victory.

  • jackhp
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:54 p.m.

    Mike Richards,
    Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to your comment. I've submitted three responses now and none have been posted. Let me try . . . again.

    Mike,
    You are ignorant if you don't realize that there are many, many religions already consecrating same-sex marriages in the name of "God". So, Mike, rather than avoiding the question, maybe you could answer this one: Do you support religious freedom AND equality under the law? Or are you just another hypocrite who thinks religious freedom is only for himself?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:02 p.m.

    Mormons can defend anything they want but that won't change the fact that the rest of the country has seen that the church entered the political arena to deny equal civil rights to gay Americans. This also brings up discussions and they are learning that the church did the same thing to try to repress Blacks and women.

    So defend to your hearts content. But when you speak falsehoods like that the reaction to the church's funding the passage of Prop H8 is equal to the civil and physical violence of the 60s Civil Rights Era you only erode your own credibility. And, don't look now, but it's eroding among Mormons as well as non-Mormons.

  • re: of course
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:05 p.m.

    It's a moral issue. The church has a right and a charge to speak out on moral issues and encourage their members to do the same. To ignore the moral decay going on in America is to concede to narrow minded individuals that there is no such thing as morals or values, and that whatever a man does is no crime. America is on a slippery slope it is choosing to ignore, and the values of those that made this country great - belief in God, or higher power, adherence to laws - both secular and religous - are being replaced by complacency, sin, and self-justification, and is just contributing to this eventual eroding of our society.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:05 p.m.

    "The majority of members of the LDS church live outside of the United States, and most definitely outside of Utah. We have large groups of members in South America, Africa, the Phillippines, and Australia/New Zealand. We're making strong headway in the former Soviet Union, in Asia, and we still have continual - though not large - gains in Europe. So what, exactly, is your point?"


    I take it you're not following the retention rates in those countries or the fact that one temple has already closed.

  • Dr. Shades
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:10 p.m.

    Cannon is dead wrong throughout his article.

    Mormons weren't kicked out of New York; Joseph moved the headquarters to Ohio voluntarily because of the larger Mormon community there. Mormons weren't kicked out of Ohio; Joseph and Sidney fled to escape their creditors after the Kirtland Bank failed. The Mormons were kicked out of Missouri only after they burned down the town of Gallatin, stole the farmers' livestock and household items, and opened fire on a state militia.

    Plus, the Army never "occupied" Utah. As a U.S. Territory, U.S. troops had every right to be there. No one claims the Navy is "occupying" Florida just because they have a base in Pensacola.

    Not only that, but George Q. Cannon's thoughts on religious freedom are a joke. If free excercise were allowed, then we'd have to allow certain immigrant African tribesmen to practice human sacrifice here in America. Is that what he, and Oaks, want?

    Last of all, why is he crying "persecution" over plural marriage being shut down, when the Mormon church itself shut down gay marriage?

  • Eyes in the news
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:44 p.m.

    I am LDS but before being LDS I am a christian. I fallow Jesus and Jesus never asked me to judge and hate my neighbor. I am a member but that does not mean that I fallow everything with out my personal judgment. I don't fallow not man neither institutions I fallow Jesus. Religion should teach us love and acceptance for every human being no matter what believes they have neither their behavior. Jesus is love and every human being is a child of good. Stop spreading hate that is not Jesus. I am a child of god and so is every one.

  • Lisa May
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:00 p.m.

    The persecuted became the persecutors. So now we're supposed to feel bad for them because they consider the "right" to discriminate against others and harm them part of their "religious freedom"? I think not. Mormons are free to practice their religion as they see fit. Eradicating the civil rights of others has nothing to do with the practice of their religion. Two people getting married to one another has absolutely nothing to do with the religious practices of Mormons or any other group, and people need to stop pretending it does.

  • too many miss point
    Oct. 18, 2009 8:12 p.m.

    As one who lives far from Utah and many members of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, it is interesting to note how so many people on this site are ridiculing the author of the article or Elder Oaks. What they fail to realize is that religous liberty is being eroded away from ALL faiths. I live in the Bible Belt and many Baptists and other religions in the area are constantly discussing openly how their rights are being violated and that when they open their mouths at the pulpit and their parishers abide their precepts that they are becoming targets for ridicule and derision. They feel that their rights to speak openly about such matters as abortion, gay rights, death penalty, marriage, and hate crimes against them are being muzzled. Elder Oaks address is in support of all religions and their basic rights to exist and expound the doctrine that they believe is right under God and the doctrine that they preach. Sad that so many here do not realize that they are shuting their own mouths by ridiculing the very people who are trying to keep their freedoms alive.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:06 p.m.

    @Rebeckah - Umm, curriculum for public schools in both Massachusetts and California mandates homosexual content down to kindergarten, with no opportunity to opt out or be informed in advance. No, when I was a child there was no such thing. And most states don't YET have such curriculum, but it's coming if people don't stand up for their rights.

    Freedom of religion, speech and association are all civil rights. Marriage is NOT a civil right. Many posters have pointed this out, including me. You have to get a license, you have to meet the requirements, many combinations of people are forbidden to marry. The only reason the state gets involved at all is to protect the rights of women (who bear children) and their children, and ensure that fathers have rights/responsiblity to their children. No government gives a hoot who loves who, or about affirming somebody's feelings.

    "But homosexuals have children too!" Yes, children who have at least one parent outside that relationship, whose rights to their children, and their childrens' rights to them, ought to be protected. Otherwise you are denying that child the right to a mother or father.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:08 p.m.

    Oh how I hope I'm still alive the day Gay Marriage is legalized in Utah. You can't stop the beat.

  • re: Of Course | 12:26 a.m.
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:29 p.m.


    "However, the LDS Church and it's members need to own their own behavior and accept criticism for their poor behavior."

    AND gay fundamentalists who vandalize, bully, get people fired, lie, distort, stage manage martydom and vilify anyone who disagrees also need to accept criticism for their poor behaviour (it is hard to convince people you are a civil rights group while behaving anything but civil)

  • @9:06
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:42 p.m.

    "Freedom of religion, speech and association are all civil rights. Marriage is NOT a civil right. Many posters have pointed this out, including me. You have to get a license, you have to meet the requirements, "

    This is a faulty argument. You have to have a license and meet requirements to have a religion. You have to register to vote. You have to meet requirements to own a gun. You have to meet certain requirements for free speech. Just because something has requirements doesn't mean something isn't a right. If you believe otherwise, you may as well just tear up the Constitution you believe to be so divinely inspired.

  • @Anonymous 9:06
    Oct. 18, 2009 9:50 p.m.

    YOU ARE WRONG.

    I don't know where you get your information from but it is absolutely WRONG.

    Here in CA there is NO mandate for homosexual content. Absolutely not. As in most school districts, health classes have a unit on sex education. It is an opt out program. Homosexuality was not discussed in any way, shape or form. It was essentially they same program my older children received in schools on the East Coast.

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 18, 2009 10:02 p.m.

    Anonymous: AGAIN the church did not fund anything to do with Prop. Church members did but the church itself did not. oh and btw no temple has been closed

  • FED-UP!!!!!!!
    Oct. 18, 2009 10:04 p.m.

    Gay marriage is WRONG! but fighting with each other is also WRONG! Picking on and condemning people who are GAY OR NOT GAY, NOR MORMON, OR FIGHTING WITH THE NO LONGER ACTIVE LDS is also WRONG! To continue this chaos, fighting and putting others down who don't believe the same is WRONG!!! It's WRONG for people on EVERY SIDE to keep this idiotic dog fight going day after day on Deseret News.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 18, 2009 10:11 p.m.

    Refusing to buy, support, or stock a book in your local library is not censorship.

    Refusing to embrace ideas and practices that go against your values is not discrimination.

    Working and voting for or against passage of legislation is not a violation of civil rights.

    But when your actions attempt to silence those who disagree with you (through threats, violence, retribution), it is all three.

  • Jess
    Oct. 18, 2009 10:12 p.m.

    The gay marriage issue is not just a religious issue. In France, a very secular society with almost no Southern Baptists or Mormon political influence, the French parliament denied gay marriage because it would be destructive to the family and the welfare of children. The fact is that if Gays can marry, they will be able to legally adopt children. And, many, many statistical studies show clearly that the healthiest situation for raising children is in a home where there is a father and a mother married to each other. Other arrangements fall far short of this ideal. Shouldn't our children's right to be raised in the best possible situation trump someone's imagined civil right?

  • Some Facts
    Oct. 18, 2009 10:42 p.m.

    Gays can already petition to adopt children in most states in the U.S.

    Yes, ideally children are best raised by two loving and involved parents of opposite sex. However, the sad fact is, as of 2006, 40% of babies in the U.S. were born to single parents.

    The problem this country faces with families isn't due to same-sex couples. It is a problem with heterosexuals. For some children, a homosexual couple is their only and best option available to become part of a family.

    We should be focusing on preventing unplanned pregnancies, decreasing the acceptance of promiscuous sex, and loving one another instead of demonizing groups of people different than ourselves.

  • Sandy
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:33 p.m.

    Gays aren't being discriminated against. Marriage for them is irrelevant. Gays can't produce offspring. That's the major purpose for marriage--the production and protection of offspring. It provides children kin and order and all that goes with it. Just because so many heterosexual marriages are failures these days doesn't change this biological, anthropological, and sociological fact.

    So, gays, get your civil unions and all your legal rights. Mormons aren't standing in your way.

    But marriage for you is pointless. It won't make your lives any more romantic or committed. I guarantee it. Those of you who deny this are fooling yourselves.

  • mark
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:51 p.m.

    @Sandy

    Same sex marriage is perfectly legal in MA, ME, VT, CT, and IA. NY recognises other states SSM as does DC.
    Those same sex couples married in CA remain legally married.
    Nothing you or LDS believe changes that.
    Now that so many states are recognising SSM, as soon as Defense of Marriage Act is recinded, court cases will percolate up to the Supreme Court which will rule the same way they did when some states recognised inter racial marriages, if you are married in one state, you are STILL married in another state. Utah will be dragged whining all the way into THIS Century.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:07 a.m.

    @ Sara
    I don't hate dieties I like most of them, of course I have some favorites.
    Zeus, Apollo, Artemis, Neptune

  • Mike
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:09 a.m.

    The whackos are out in force.

    Is it something in the air? What gives?

    Did we pass another resolution again that I missed?

    Give someone an article about a savory issue and everyone is all over it. Down people, down.

  • The debate
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:31 a.m.

    isn't about whether members of the Mormon church or wrong or right in voting for Prop 8.

    The issue raised by Elder Oaks is that the religious members of the population should not be coerced, intimidated, threatened or silenced because their belief disagrees with that of the gay community on the issue of same-sex marriage.

    We have not ever said that we do not expect to undergo criticism. We are standing up for what we believe. So are you.

    We are not threatening your property, boycotting your businesses, taking away your livelihoods, or using violence or other undemocratic means to sway the vote in our favor. We are exercising our rights under the rule of democratic law to campaign, speak in public forums and organize ourselves regarding an issue that we feel strongly about.

    For you to continue to whisper your subtle threats about being careful what we vote for because Mormons deserve the persecutions they received in the past and can receive more if they don't stop participating in this debate is UNAMERICAN!

    This is our position and we will stand firm in our right to speak and vote our conscience!

  • @9:50
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:38 a.m.

    No, I'm not wrong. It's not in the sex ed stuff - it's in the Safe Schools curriculum, as if kindergartners were beating up on gay kids. And, there is NO opt out provision.

    I lived in CA up until 8 years ago, still have a lot of family there. I follow it and stay aware of it - thankful that we moved our kids out of it.

  • Vince
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:38 a.m.


    Studies have shown that,

    Gay couples as committed as straight couples

    NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Gay and lesbian couples are just as committed in their relationships as heterosexuals and the legal status of their union doesn't impact their happiness, according to new research.
    In two new studies that compared same-sex and heterosexual couples using different factors and methods to assess their happiness, scientists found few differences."

    Source: Reuters, January 22, 2008


  • Not true for all LDS
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:49 a.m.

    "What hypocracy" compared being non-Mormon in Utah to being black in the South in the 1960s. He or she makes it sound as if the LDS church not only condones but teaches discrimination against non-LDS Utahns.

    This is simply not true, and even a casual study of our teachings and doctrines can prove this point. We are taught to love all of God's children equally.

    Nevertheless, there are no members of the LDS faith who are perfect, just as there are no perfect Jews, Catholics, Baptists, etc. We are all humans. Judging the Church by the behavior of its worst members is hardly fair.

    I am a business owner. My partner is not LDS. We have a mix of LDS and non-LDS employees. Pay is fair for both groups. Hiring is based on merit, as are promotions. We have employees of various sexual orientations and marital status. We have open dialogue back and forth about all of our belief systems.

    If all your experiences are true, I apologize on behalf of those who have made you feel this way. Please know that not all LDS are the same as those you describe.

  • Not true for all LDS
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:54 a.m.

    LDS people who are doing their best to follow the teachings of the Savior and his living prophet on the earth would not participate in or condone behavior such as you describe. I have lived the majority of my life outside of Utah and know what it is like to be in the minority.

    I hope that you can overcome your obvious bitterness toward a few Church members and not judge us all by the behavior of those who have offended you. Many LDS people are kind, generous, hard-working, good and honest people who are trying to be the best people they can be in all their roles in life: neighbor, family member, employee, friend, coworker, etc.

    Give the rest of us a chance. If you want to know more about us, study the lives of the best examples of Church members to gain a more accurate understanding of the ideals we strive to uphold and the example we try to share with all around us.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:58 a.m.

    @the debate
    EXACTLY how do you think you have ANY power what business I buy from?
    That is delusional that you busy bodies think you can control someone outside your faith. YOU CAN'T.
    You honestly can't control those within your faith, most of my Mormon relatives smoked and drank alcohol and coffee.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:02 a.m.

    With the right to speak out, comes the consequence some folks will detest what you say, and become angered by what you say.
    There is NO GUARANTEE what you say has no consequences.
    Some speech such as calling for insurrection or treason or assisgnation isn't covered by free speech and is illegal. Endangering public safety of yelling fire in a crowded theater also isn't perotested.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:04 a.m.

    protected...typo in previous post

  • mark
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:24 a.m.

    One thing Mormons may not know about gays and lesbians.
    After we (LGBTs) win full equality in America, we will neither forget nor forgive the assault you made on our families.
    This isn't going to end in any of our lifetimes.

  • Dear Of Course
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:31 a.m.

    You are not being persecuted by our right to defend marriage. If you want to see what persecution is go back and read what happened to the LDS people in Ohio, Missouri and Nauvoo, then you will understand what that word really means.

  • Guess What?
    Oct. 19, 2009 2:45 a.m.

    Gay rights activists are used to screaming and yelling and intimidating until they get there way. I think it's now obvious. Mormons will no longer stay quiet. We will defend our rights as vigorously as you do; and you don't like it.

    TOUGH.

  • norah
    Oct. 19, 2009 4:07 a.m.

    oh my i am so confused thousand of innocent little children dying of hungry in the world n u all worried about prop 8.

  • @ Mike Richards
    Oct. 19, 2009 6:18 a.m.

    You are absolutely correct. If they wanted religion and a church of their own, they would found one. No, they want only to subvert and force acceptance by the one moral standard that exists to come to or welcome and sanction them.

    For some reason, as much as they try to dull their consciences, they can't shut it out completely; so, they try to weaken its voice by getting the churches to tell them it's ok.

    S2

  • @Vince
    Oct. 19, 2009 6:48 a.m.

    "using different factors and methods to assess their happiness, scientists found few differences." - What! lol... What other scientist uses one method and set of factors for one variable, and a different method and set for another variable, then declares no difference between them. What a crock!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 6:52 a.m.

    I would expect Elder Oaks to defend the Church. Of course he has a right to do so. My concern lies in where he seems to want government out of Church business, yet wants the government to defend Church doctrines. How can he have it both ways. I've read the BYU-Idaho speech, and I agree with 90% of it, but his subtle conclusions are troubling.

  • Chris
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:03 a.m.

    Let me get this straight. We have to defend our religion, because we believe, and know this to be true, that marriage is between a man and women, and no other. If only that were true. That is just one tool the opposition uses. I have never seen, nor heard church leaders, or members in general urge members to terrorize gays, refuse to do business, vandalize their property, nor cause harm in any way. Unfortunately, those who oppose us, cannot say that. Being immoral, isn't a right, and it covers more then just being gay. The church teaches tolerance of people, not actions or decisions made. Hate the sin, not the sinner.

  • Sir Thomas More or Less
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:11 a.m.

    Mr. Cannon,

    As a member of the LDS Church I can certainly appreciate the need for religious freedom. However, I do not think you articulated one instance where that freedom has been restricted recently. Criticism of the Church does not equate to restriction of religious freedom.

    I will take Elder Oak's advice and speak out. I believe Elder Oaks inaccurately compared the bad PR the Church has recently experienced with the persecution received by blacks during the civil rights movement of the 60s. I believe the Church is on the wrong side of the gay rights fight.

  • Samurai
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:48 a.m.

    Do you know why Roman Empire went down? Or Pompei?
    Because they practiced against God Will.

    American will go down if people in the land do not obey the law of God.

    We are all right to defend our religions!

    Go Mormons!

  • Arbitrary
    Oct. 19, 2009 8:04 a.m.

    @What? | 9:10 a.m. Oct. 18, 2009
    The gay and lesbian supporters who claim that the LDS church was seeking to limit civil liberties , with their support of prop 8 never read the churches official statement about the proposition. The LDS church was seeking to defend marriage. Read the official statement. Just because I think that being a doctor is my right - and a school won't give me a diploma because I don't want to enroll - is not a violation of my rights. Marriage is religious institution - Doctors are a medical institution.
    --------------------------------

    Religion is also a secular civil right. In order to be married legally, you must have a license issued from the state.

    LGBT families deserve the same as your families. Marriage is already legal for gays in some states and it has not changed heterosexual marriages one bit. The sky isn't falling.

  • Re: Arbitrary
    Oct. 19, 2009 8:32 a.m.

    It takes 20-30 years for the consequences of societal change to manifest themselves on a population. It's impossible to say right now that there are no consequences for gay marriage, because no society has had the institution implemented for that long. We need, at the MINIMUM, another 20 years to see what the repercussions of all these homosexual lawsuits are going to be.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 19, 2009 8:38 a.m.

    'Mormons are entitled to defend their freedom of religion'

    ...no matter how many other people pay for it.

  • So tired of this
    Oct. 19, 2009 8:42 a.m.

    I get so tired of mormons playing the victim card! How about we live in the present (yes, I'm an active member of the LDS church) and look forward to the future. This whining victim stuff really gets old, particularly given the power that the LDS church has nowadays.

  • ToO-: 8:42-AM
    Oct. 19, 2009 8:55 a.m.

    Boy, do I ever hear you my friend. A BIG HUGE Ditto on what you said. I, too, am LDS.

  • Playing the Victim Card?
    Oct. 19, 2009 9:24 a.m.

    @8:42 & 8:55

    So using examples of religious liberty violations in an article about the importance of religious liberty is "playing the victim card?"

  • Marital Rights and benefits.
    Oct. 19, 2009 9:28 a.m.

    Man and woman=continued survival of our species. Stable, traditional families give kids the best chance at becoming future assets to society.

    Homosexual relationships cannot continue the existence of our species. As such there is no need to extend the same recognition and/or benefits to those relationships.

  • ex-catholic Californian
    Oct. 19, 2009 9:29 a.m.

    I believe that those who think the Mormon church is discriminating against homosexuals need to study things out. People that choose to violate one of the greatest institutions given man by God, the marriage of a man and a woman, are going against God, not the Mormons or the constitution. It is not discrimination to defend God's law of marriage. The Mormons are not haters of homosexuals, on the contrary. Everyone is considered a child of God, therefore equal. It is man's choice, or "agency" as they put it, to engage in whatever behavior they desire. Just don't violate the God-given institution of marriage so that one can receive a tax benefit!!

  • JNS
    Oct. 19, 2009 9:36 a.m.

    This editorial seems to misunderstand what religious freedom entails. It is a freedom of belief and association, identical in form to the freedom to form a book club or to unionize. Freedom of religion does not entail the freedom to break the law, and so the history of the conflict between the Church and the government during the polygamy period had nothing to do with religious freedom.

    Regarding the alleged threat to religious freedom, it is largely fantasy. Very few people were fired because of Proposition 8, and BYU has in the past fired people for public statements on related issues. A handful of chapels were subjected to graffiti, which was wrong. And public records related to political contributions were, ahem, made public. There is no larger threat.

  • re -- Samurai | 7:48 a.m
    Oct. 19, 2009 9:43 a.m.

    ["Do you know why Roman Empire went down? Or Pompei?
    Because they practiced against God Will.

    American will go down if people in the land do not obey the law of God"]

    wow. do you even realize how taliban that sounds? next you're going to want to cut off the hands of shoplifters...

  • Naruto
    Oct. 19, 2009 9:51 a.m.

    This is such a joke, everyone knows non-mormons are the ones who are discriminated against in Utah.

  • To JNS
    Oct. 19, 2009 9:59 a.m.

    "Freedom of religion does not entail the freedom to break the law, and so the history of the conflict between the Church and the government during the polygamy period had nothing to do with religious freedom."

    You do realize that at the time, there were NO laws against polygamy in the United States, right? They actually wrote and passed those laws as a way to keep Utah (at that time the state of Deseret) from entering the union. There were no laws defining marriage at that time at all in the US. And the laws that were put in place defining marriage stated that marriage was between one man and one woman. Those laws are still on the books, and they are still valid.

  • Patrick
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:07 a.m.

    The internet has brought many to the table of public discussion for the first time. If your not accustomed to having your opinions publicly ridiculed, this first exposure can be a rude awakening. On the net your logic is belittled and your spelling is enthusiastically bemoaned. Public debate has never been a pretty thing. Rude, forceful behavior has always been present in public forums. Its unfortunate that the anonymity of the web enboldens some to throw tomatoes. Can the quiet opinions of sincere religious people really be heard on the web? I think so, but these quiet religious people will have to accept a certian amount of abuse, and will have to learn that debate is more than the bearing of testimony.

  • JNS,
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:07 a.m.

    BYU is a private organization, not funded through government funds, and anti-discrimination laws do not apply. One of the rules for BYU faculty is that those staff members don't actively speak out against the LDS church or its policies or doctrines. They don't have to believe it, they don't have to be members of the religion, but they don't get to go around bad-mouthing it, either. If people break that rule, they're fired.

    There was widespread vandalism - not just against the LDS church, but against private citizens of all religions - and harassment after Prop 8. People from all over the state were reporting incidents of violence and property damage. Those public records were posted, not just to be made public, but so that the public would harass them day and night, go to their property and cause trouble, and run background checks on them in order to blackmail the donors into giving to the Anti-8 side, or rescinding their support for Prop 8. People were intimidated outside polling offices. A parent was arrested for asking that his child be taken out of OPTIONAL studies on homosexual families. This is not fantasy.

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:18 a.m.

    "Marriage is NOT a civil right. Many posters have pointed this out, including me."

    Well, you and the others are absolutely WRONG. Marriage IS a civil right as established by the US Supreme Court, most, if not all, state constitutions and many state supreme courts.

  • Re: Naruto
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:19 a.m.

    "This is such a joke, everyone knows non-mormons are the ones who are discriminated against in Utah."

    Um. You voluntarily live in a state where there is a large population of people who share the same values and beliefs, and who vote and pass laws according to those beliefs, and because you don't share those beliefs, you feel you're being discriminated against? You have the right to vote according to YOUR beliefs and values, so do we. If you don't like the laws being passed, do something about it.

    I get so tired of people whining about the LDS influence in Utah. People who have the same values tend to have similar voting habits. That's just the way it goes, anywhere you live in this country.

    And when I was growing up, it was the non-LDS kids who picked on the LDS ones. They used to make fun of us, shoot us with rubber bands, spit on us, beat us up, stab us with pins, and refused to let us hang out with them until we stopped acting like Mormons. Then their parents would get mad 'cause we weren't including them.

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:21 a.m.

    "So, gays, get your civil unions and all your legal rights. Mormons aren't standing in your way."

    This is such nonsense. Who do think stood in the way of civil unions by passing Amendment 3 in Utah?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:27 a.m.

    The principle of Freedom and Agency is not license to do anything we want, it is the right to Choose the Right or die spiritually. It is the spiritual welfare of the latter group many religions are interested in and the freedom from the militant influences of that same latter group on the nation's culture.

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:28 a.m.

    "People that choose to violate one of the greatest institutions given man by God, the marriage of a man and a woman, are going against God, not the Mormons or the constitution. It is not discrimination to defend God's law of marriage."

    Well, yes, yes it is. Your "God" isn't everyone's "God" and your "God" doesn't rule our country. Our country is a respecter of no man's "God". Get it? I doubt it.

  • Greenut
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:40 a.m.

    The LDS record on respect and civil rights for others:

    1. All other religions are wrong and an abomination before God.- Joseph Smith
    2. And the skins of the Lamanites were dark according to the mark..., which was a curse upon them... Alma 3:5.
    3. "Slavery is an institution ordained of God" Brigham Young.
    4. "We do not encourage the intermingling of the races."Spencer W. Kimball
    5. The LDS church officially opposes the Equal Rights Amendment.
    6. The LDS church officially opposes Gay Marriage.

    But wait, we'll be your friend at work or school until we figure out that we can't convert you.

    If LDS people were really sincere about wanting promote harmony-they'd show a little more respect for others and little less arrogance. If you don't like Gay Marriage- fine. Fight against it but have the guts to the stick up for rights of gay partners to visit each other in the hospital and have a civil union. That's not likely though, because around here it's always "live how the LDS church wants you to live." Not live and let live.

  • Civil unions in CA
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:45 a.m.

    Ok, California has civil unions. According to California law, it is spelled out that every right and privilege accorded to marriage is also granted to civil unions - except the name "marriage". But that's not good enough for gays - they have to call it marriage and anything less is unacceptable. Civil unions are on that slippery slope all right - and near the bottom. And then people wonder why Utah didn't want to go there.

    Nothing less than full societal approval of gay relationships, enforced by law on every citizen, will ever be good enough for gays.

  • Isn't it IRONIC???
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:47 a.m.

    I find it VERY ironic that the early Mormons had to LEAVE the United States (which was founded to provide religious freedom to religious refugees from England)... in order to find a place where they could have religious freedom.

    They actually had to LEAVE the United States to get the freedom to worship and practice their faith without suffering death threats not only from rogue groups but also from elected Governors and threats of prison time from Federal leaders of the time, IF they practiced some of their beliefs.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:48 a.m.

    to -- ex-catholic Californian | 9:29 a.m

    ["People that choose to violate one of the greatest institutions given man by God, the marriage of a man and a woman, are going against God, not the Mormons or the constitution. It is not discrimination to defend God's law of marriage"]

    there is no such thing as "God's law of marriage". the word "marriage" does not appear in any old religious books. It only shows up in the BOM, written by a guy in the 1800s...

    get your facts straight. marriage was invented by man. it has changed considerably since its first conception. we no longer sell our daughters for land and power. come join us in the 21st century, where any two unrelated consenting adults can join together to make a family...

  • Re: jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:52 a.m.

    "Marriage IS a civil right as established by the US Supreme Court, most, if not all, state constitutions and many state supreme courts."

    Regarding the Supreme Court, gay marriage is not a civil right.

    Your "most, if not all" clause demonstrates you have no idea what you're talking about. Only CT, IA, MA, and VT allow gay marriage. Twenty eight states have constitutional amendments prohibiting gay marriage. How is that "most," let alone "if not all?"

  • @jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:55 a.m.

    Care to point to any SC decisions that specifically outline Marriage as a Civil right ?

    I don't believe you can....

  • You've got it backwards
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:57 a.m.

    A lot of people here are stating that the Church "forces their beliefs on society".. What, are they putting you under hot lights tied to a chair and trying to brain wash you? No.
    On the other hand, gays are picketing around Church property, pretty much non stop, to force THEIR beliefs on the general public. But then they like to play the victim and act so misunderstood. If there is any persecution going on here, it's definately not the Mormons doing it.

  • To jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:57 a.m.

    Amendment 3 passed with 65.8% of the vote, nearly double the percentage of the opposition.

    According to the SL Trib, Utah is 62.4% LDS, with only about 41.6% of those members actually being active.

    Unless you're saying that the non-LDS population can't or won't vote, it's pretty obvious that it wasn't just the Mormons who voted in favor of Amendment 3.

    The only "right" being lost with Amendment 3 was the right to have the government recognize your relationship. It didn't prevent you from having those relationships, or from living your life exactly the way you wanted to. It didn't prevent you from anything except getting tax breaks, since all of the rights that come with a legal union are accessible through other means. You can get a legally binding power of attorney, as well as other legal documents, for around $40 a pop if you shop around. You can find some for as little as $10.

    The only thing the Mormons did in relation to Amendment 3 and Prop 8 was vote according to our consciences, the exact same way you did.

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:02 a.m.

    Naruto:: When i vote religion isn't even a factor

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:05 a.m.

    "Nothing less than full societal approval of gay relationships, enforced by law on every citizen, will ever be good enough for gays."

    Why should gay people (and supporters of marriage equality) accept anything "less" than equal?

  • @Anonymous | 10:48 a.m.
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:09 a.m.

    Genesis Chapter 2, Verse 24 - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

    I'd say that pre-dates Joseph Smith - but what's a few thousand years here and there in an argument.

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:09 a.m.

    Re: "Re: jackhp" 10:52 a.m.

    Your ability to comprehend plain English leaves much to be desired. The person I responded to said "marriage is NOT a civil right". I responded that, yes, indeed, it is. Did I say anything about "gay marriage"? No, I did not. The "marriage is not a civil right" argument is nonsense and so is your rebuttal to me.

  • Peterk
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:11 a.m.

    Marriage is a civil right, within the established guidlines.

    Without some minimal standards and rules, our country would be caos. There must always be a balance between freedom of action and decency/civility. Otherwise we will become like animals, without any self discipline, only caring about our own feelings and desire to gratify our physical passions.

    The people have always determined what is right and wrong within their society. There are many practices that we do not tolerate because we have deemed them immoral (murder, rape, pedophilia, etc.). This practice of regulating our society is a good thing.

    Also, how did we ever get to the point where we are considered bad if we do not accept homosexuality? 40 years ago, homosexuality was so repugnant that most homosexuals stayed in the closet. Religious people are not the ones that changed.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:15 a.m.

    to -- Marital Rights and benefits. | 9:28 a.m

    ["Man and woman=continued survival of our species. Stable, traditional families give kids the best chance at becoming future assets to society."]

    and you think that if 1%-2% of the population marries individuals of the same sex, then the species will not survive? you think that 1%-2% of the population will ruin society?

    ["Homosexual relationships cannot continue the existence of our species. As such there is no need to extend the same recognition and/or benefits to those relationships"]

    marriage is not about sustaining the human race. it has NEVER been about that. so why do you insist on trying to make it something it never was? (since you ask this question, so can I)

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:17 a.m.

    re: 10:55 a.m.

    Sure, glad you asked.

    Loving v. Virginia

    I quote:

    "The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.
    Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival."

  • To Greenut
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:21 a.m.

    The actual Brigham Young quote was this: "Ham will continue to be servant of servants, as the Lord decreed, until the curse is removed. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? You cannot. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. They cannot do that."

    And that was in a Millenial Star article with quotes from Joseph Smith saying much the same thing. But what you're missing is the context. What these two men were saying was that nobody in this country could free the slaves until God decreed it was time. Everything happens on the Lord's time, not on our time, is what they were saying. There are also many quotes in the article that suggest that they weren't talking about physical slavery, but the curse of Ham in the Bible.

    However, since you misquoted this statement, and since Alma 3:6 clearly states that the darker skin was a physical manifestation of the mark, which was the curse, not that the dark skin was the curse, we obviously need to take your words with a very large grain of salt.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:21 a.m.

    to -- Civil unions in CA | 10:45 a.m

    ["Ok, California has civil unions. According to California law, it is spelled out that every right and privilege accorded to marriage is also granted to civil unions - except the name "marriage". But that's not good enough for gays - they have to call it marriage and anything less is unacceptable"]

    "civil union" is not on federal tax forms - "married" is.

    "civil union" is not recognized by other states (especially Utah) so it restricts the couple to the one state they had their "civil union" in.

    I could go on but the result is clear. if LGBT couples want all the rights that others have, they MUST be able to MARRY. what about that do you not understand?

  • Old Guy
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:25 a.m.

    Dear But,
    God did not "Create" homosexuals. He created man and woman as heterosexuals, and gave them the free agency to make their own choices in life with consequences for making wrong choices. He gave them rules to live by, and if they violate those rules they must suffer the consequences. But, through the atomement of Christ, we are able to repent and have bad choices forgiven.

    As for defending their beliefs, Mormons have just as much right to do so as any other religion. They have as much right also to explain their beliefs to others without being accused of discrimination against any given group.

  • @jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:26 a.m.

    Why should a church be forced to rent its facility for a gay wedding (NJ)? Why should an infertility doctor be forced to provide services for a lesbian (CA)? Why should a photographer be forced to do a gay wedding (NM)? Why should a Catholic adoption agency be forced to place kids with gay parents (MA)? And dozens more cases across the country, where gays have sued and won for discrimination, even though to do these things went against the conscience of the religious people involved, and even though there were MANY other willing providers of services.

    I suppose you also think every doctor can and should be forced to perform abortions against their conscience?

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:29 a.m.

    Re: Amendment 3

    Amendment 3 specifically outlawed civil unions as an alternative to same-sex marriage. If the LDS Church is so in favor of gay rights (just not marriage) as everyone likes to say they are, then why didn't they come out against Amendment 3?

    Regarding the vote, I never said no one but Mormons voted for Amendment 3. You are being deliberately obtuse by taking this line of argument. It is clear that whichever way the Church goes on statewide issues is the way the vote will go. If the Church had came out against Amendment 3 it would have been voted down.

  • wow
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:29 a.m.

    re: jackhp | 11:05 a.m. Oct. 19, 2009
    "Why should gay people (and supporters of marriage equality) accept anything "less" than equal?"

    hmmmmm because two men are not the same thing as a man and a woman (or a man and five women)

    different things are by definition not the same/equal.

    fair does not always mean same (which is why we have separate mens and womens sports leagues even though they are equally importnt)

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:34 a.m.

    "... since Alma 3:6 clearly states that the darker skin was a physical manifestation of the mark, which was the curse, not that the dark skin was the curse, we obviously need to take your words with a very large grain of salt."

    In other words, "Your dark skin isn't a curse, it's just how we know you ARE cursed."

    Wow, that makes it so much better!

  • Pagan
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:42 a.m.

    With permission Greenut, I enjoyed you post, I'm going to post it again. As for others claiming the LDS church endorces equal rights, one has to ask why blacks were not allowed the priesthood till 1978.

    The LDS record on respect and civil rights for others:

    1. All other religions are wrong and an abomination before God.- Joseph Smith
    2. And the skins of the Lamanites were dark according to the mark..., which was a curse upon them... Alma 3:5.
    3. "Slavery is an institution ordained of God" Brigham Young.
    4. "We do not encourage the intermingling of the races."Spencer W. Kimball
    5. The LDS church officially opposes the Equal Rights Amendment.
    6. The LDS church officially opposes Gay Marriage.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:43 a.m.

    "A parent was arrested for asking that his child be taken out of OPTIONAL studies on homosexual families. This is not fantasy. "

    It is also not the truth. The parent was arrested because he would not leave the school. He talked to the principal about the book that was sent home (he did not read it to his child, as was his choice), and decided to become disruptive when he did not get his way. It had nothing to do with the studies.

    Don't exaggerate. It shows our side to be despirate instead of in the right.

  • @Anonymous | 11:21 a.m.
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:45 a.m.

    And what state marriage law is going to overturn federal law? You want federal tax benefits, then you're going to have to pass a federal marriage law, because as it stands the federal government only recognizes marriage between one man and one woman.

    State recognition - then overturn the rest of the federal DOMA law too.

    Thank you for pointing out for me exactly how pointless the gay campaign against Prop 8 was.

    And for where this conflict is going next, so that we can continue to defend traditional marriage in the right places.

  • Why
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:46 a.m.

    does it have to evolve right back to a prop 8 battle. If I could be assured that I would never be sued for not wanting to photograph a gay wedding, if I could be assured that the pastor of the local schurch would never be sued for not wanting to perform a gay marriage etc. I would have no problem. It's the ones who take thing to the extreme as to why I can't support gay marriage.

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:54 a.m.

    re: 11:26 a.m.

    If you get government funding or subsidies (for example, reduced property taxes) then you cannot discriminate. It's as simple as that.

  • Point-Counter Point
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:54 a.m.

    Since Elder Oaks's discourse read like a legal brief, I'd like to see someone as well versed in legal and moral issues as Elder Oaks write a dissenting legal brief that is just as compelling as what he wrote. Is there anyone out there competent enough to do so? Or are we just going to be stuck with the nonsensical diatribe that gets posted on venues such as this? I'd certainly be interested in reading something intelligent and thought-provoking that counters what Elder Oaks had to say.

  • One other thing
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:56 a.m.

    Actually, what federal tax benefits??? You do realize that married people actually have a tax penalty? That filing as singles actually gets you more money back? To the point that many people over the years have either decided not to get married, or divorced even thought they still lived together, just to pay less in taxes? Recent laws have sort of fixed it in lower tax brackets - but in 2011 it will be back, unless Congress reauthorizes current law (Democrats? give up tax revenue? not likely!)

    As for getting any other rights that married people have, what for? There's nothing that they can't get with $10-40 in other legal documents, that a previous poster mentioned. You'll pay just as much for a marriage license.

    If gays are so discriminated against because of not being married, then why aren't hetero single people agitating because of second class citizen status? Gee, maybe because it's a non-existent problem?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:59 a.m.

    RE -- @Anonymous | 10:48 a.m. | 11:09 a.m

    ["Genesis Chapter 2, Verse 24 - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."]

    I fail to see the word "marriage" in there. pls explain how that discusses marriage.

  • to@Jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:06 p.m.

    #1 Why should a church be forced to rent its facility for a gay wedding (NJ)?

    Because they took advantage of a particular state tax exemption as a public place and rented out the pavilion to various different groups (non-religious and religious) for a variety of events and discriminated against a same-sex couple who wanted to use it (note, same-sex marriage is not permitted in NJ). The Church lost their tax exemption for the Pavilion ONLY.

    Why should an infertility doctor be forced to provide services for a lesbian (CA)? Same-sex marriage WAS ILLEGAL in CA at the time.

    Why should a Catholic adoption agency be forced to place kids with gay parents (MA)?
    The Catholic adoption services was ALREADY placing children with gay couples. It came to light when it was reported in the Boston Globe newspaper and Catholic leaders told them to stop. Catholic adoption services had essentially been functioning as a state agency, getting public funds.

    Gays have brought lawsuits on a variety of issues and won in states where same-sex marriage is/was illegal. Prohibitions against same-sex marriage isn't going to stop discrimination lawsuits.

  • RE -- To Greenut | 11:21 a.m
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:07 p.m.

    ["What these two men were saying was that nobody in this country could free the slaves until God decreed it was time. Everything happens on the Lord's time, not on our time, is what they were saying"]

    and you think your leaders talk to God and therefore God will tell them when it is time.... so in fact, your leaders control everything, since God determines the timing for everything... so you are in fact saying thet your leaders make all the decisions and we should follow them because it is the same as God's decisions.

    and if we, for whatever bizarre, uncomprehensible reason, think that maybe perhaps there's a chance that your leaders don't talk to God... (bear with me - I know it makes no sense for us to not believe them - they are after all THE prophets of God) but just on that crazy slim chance that they DON'T really talk to God, then why would we want to wait for them to change their minds? why would you expect people that are not mormon to "follow your leaders"?

  • to - Old Guy | 11:25 a.m
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:12 p.m.

    ["God did not "Create" homosexuals. He created man and woman as heterosexuals, and gave them the free agency to make their own choices in life with consequences for making wrong choices"]

    and you KNOW this how? did you sit down with God, maybe over coffee, and have this discussion? or are you just reading old book, old guy?

    ["He gave them rules to live by, and if they violate those rules they must suffer the consequences"]

    your leaders and the authors of your old books gave you rules, which seem to constantly change. and you are free to follow your rules. no one is stopping you.... oh - wait - you want EVERYONE to follow your rules... well, I have some rules - do you really think you want to follow my rules? I don't think you'll like them...

    ["As for defending their beliefs, Mormons have just as much right to do so as any other religion. They have as much right also to explain their beliefs to others without being accused of discrimination against any given group."]

    that's right. you can call blacks "of the devil", you can tell women to stay in the home. feel better now?

  • to -- @jackhp | 11:26 a.m
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:15 p.m.

    ["Why should a church be forced to rent its facility for a gay wedding (NJ)?"]

    same reason they are forced to rent to a black or interracial couple. it is illegal to discriminate. If the church puts its facility open to the public for rent, they have to rent to anyone.

    same answer to the rest of your post. just because you don't like someone doesn't mean you can discriminate. imagine what the south would be like if anyone that wanted to could refuse services to blacks? it's still bad down there but at least progress has been made... and so it will be for LGBTs.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:19 p.m.

    "They have as much right also to explain their beliefs to others without being accused of discrimination against any given group. "

    There is no right to not be accused of discrimination. This is the same thing that the church was accused of with blacks: discrimination. It was. It was right that we were called on it, don't you think?

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:27 p.m.

    "hmmmmm because two men are not the same thing as a man and a woman (or a man and five women"

    When it comes to a legal contract called marriage two men most certainly are the same as a man and a woman.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:28 p.m.

    "@Rebeckah - Umm, curriculum for public schools in both Massachusetts and California mandates homosexual content down to kindergarten, with no opportunity to opt out or be informed in advance."

    Please prove this. And that would be through a neutral and credible source, not through some Mormon funded excuse for "research". Also, I'd like to know exactly WHAT the material is. If it is simply pointing out that some people of the same gender care for each other and form family units, then I'm all for it. Maybe then some of the homosexual youths who are being beaten and killed will have a chance to survive -- or don't they have a "right" to live?

  • @jackhp 11:54
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:30 p.m.

    Only the church had a tax break - as do all churches. So you are saying you want to eliminate tax breaks for all churches if they don't do gay weddings? I'm sure the Unitarians will love you for that...

    As for the rest of the examples listed, not one of them had any tax break or other public benefit - they were simply carrying out their normal business, while their rights to freedom of religion and association were being hijacked.

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:31 p.m.

    "If gays are so discriminated against because of not being married, then why aren't hetero single people agitating because of second class citizen status? Gee, maybe because it's a non-existent problem?"

    This is the absolute dumbest argument yet. Why aren't hetero single people agitating? Becuase they CAN get married . . . DUH!

  • Bill F.
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:32 p.m.

    You are definitely entitled to your own religious belief's but not entitled to change thew meaning of the word "Marriage". If you don't like the term domestic partnership then pick another one. Marriage is taken and defined

  • @Anonymous | 12:59 a.m.
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:34 p.m.

    That's almost too dumb to respond to. What part of "man" and "wife" do you not understand? How about looking through the rest of the first five books of the Old Testament, where many references to husbands, wives and commandments/rules for them are found?

  • To @jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:34 p.m.

    [Why should a church be forced to rent its facility for a gay wedding (NJ)?]

    If they take government money (NJ), they cannot discriminate against some citizens that pay that money.

    [Why should an infertility doctor be forced to provide services for a lesbian (CA)?]

    He had joined a HMO that they belonged to. He was suppose to serve them... Would it have been ok if he would not provided services for a black couple because he had a prejudice against them?

    [ Why should a photographer be forced to do a gay wedding (NM)?]

    State law. Again, could that photographer have denied photographing a black wedding?

    [Why should a Catholic adoption agency be forced to place kids with gay parents (MA)?]


    They were supported by state funds - again taxes collected from some gay citizens too - and by law could not discriminate against gays. If they had kept their adoption agency private (like the LDS church does), they could discriminate to their hearts content. They decided rather than run it without state monies, they would close their doors. Their decision. No one forced them to close.

    OK? Not quite what you were trying for, is it?

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:36 p.m.

    "Anonymous: AGAIN the church did not fund anything to do with Prop. Church members did but the church itself did not."

    Church officials told members to contribute time and money and church officials are using their membership lists even now to send e-mails to people telling them to butt into Maine's current vote on homosexual rights. This is pretty much like politicking in my book and I really hope the Federal Government is paying attention.

    "oh and btw no temple has been closed"

    Yes, one was closed indefinitely in Africa (I believe) the reason given being "violence" but no plans for reopening it mentioned. (Apparently your God doesn't care about people in violent areas.) And I believe the Japanese Mission Training Center has been closed too. Hardly signs of a robust and growing membership.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:40 p.m.

    "Gays aren't being discriminated against. Marriage for them is irrelevant. Gays can't produce offspring."

    So sterile heterosexual couples or old hetersexual couples who won't be having children should be forbidden to marry since they won't be reproducing and it won't make their marriages any more committed or romantic? Got it. Folks, let's all start lobbying to repeal the marriages of anyone who doesn't reproduce!

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:45 p.m.

    "The issue raised by Elder Oaks is that the religious members of the population should not be coerced, intimidated, threatened or silenced because their belief disagrees with that of the gay community on the issue of same-sex marriage."

    Neither should homosexuals. How many are beaten up, killed, fired, electroshock "therapied" and other atrocities at the hands of Mormons? Apparently neither you, nor Elder Oaks, want to admit to the persecution of homosexuals and the hands of faithful LDS members. Hypocrite!

    "We are not threatening your property, boycotting your businesses, taking away your livelihoods, or using violence or other undemocratic means to sway the vote in our favor."

    Hmmm, I remember a man losing his job in Utah because he wrote a book that the principal of his school thought was "anti-Mormon". There was plenty of evidence as to why he lost his job and the school system was censured by the equal employment people. Utah simply ignored it. Discrimination and "undemocratic" means to influence people is alive and well in Utah, it seems.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:49 p.m.

    the problem remains that religious people think marriage is a religious contract, and us regular folks think marriage is a civil contract. the two will never be the same.

  • Reply to "Anonymous | 11:59 a.m.
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:49 p.m.

    Anonymous | 11:59 a.m.

    You are being intelectually dishonest or intentionaly ignorant if you actually claim to belive that Genesis Chapter 2, Verse 24 has nothing to do with Marriage.

    ["Genesis Chapter 2, Verse 24 - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."]

    What do you think the term "Wife" means if this has nothing to do with Marriage?

    What do YOU think the term "Wife" means (OUTSIDE of marriage)? NOTHING to do with marriage?

    You're trying SOOO hard to twist this to mean what you want... but it's not working today.

    I feel sorry for you having to stretch so hard to twist the scriptures to seem to back you up.

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:51 p.m.

    "If you don't like the term domestic partnership then pick another one. Marriage is taken and defined."

    Yes, it is . . . by our government! If your particular religious institution doesn't want to be indirectly associated with non-discriminatory legal marriages then it is YOU who needs to pick another term.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:52 p.m.

    RE -- @Anonymous | 12:59 a.m. | 12:34 p.m

    ["That's almost too dumb to respond to. What part of "man" and "wife" do you not understand? How about looking through the rest of the first five books of the Old Testament, where many references to husbands, wives and commandments/rules for them are found?"]

    oh - you want to go by the old testament? I thought Jesus threw that out? or don't you believe that?

    if you want to go by the old testemant, lets do it. I haven't seen any child sacrifice in a long time. what else is in there?

    you SURE you want to go back to the old testament?

  • re: JackHP - 11:17
    Oct. 19, 2009 12:53 p.m.

    Lets see the case you cite, Loving v. Virginia.. Was that a case of a man trying to marry a man or a woman trying to marry a woman?

    No it wasn't.

    At the time that the decision was rendered marriage was understood to be defined as taking place between a man and a woman.


    Try again. This court case does nothing to support your supposition.

  • @To @jackhp | 12:34
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:02 p.m.

    Why is it that gay behavior keeps getting equated with race? It isn't the same, and you offend most black people every time you say it. By the way, you do realize that far more blacks voted FOR Prop. 8 than Mormons did.

    No, I don't want people discriminating on the basis of race. It's immoral behavior, and forced support for it, that is the issue here. It's the Constitutional rights of freedom of association (which includes the right NOT to associate), freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, that are at issue here. Any law that violates the Constitution needs to be struck down, and I hope these will be.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:05 p.m.

    "God did not "Create" homosexuals."

    Then why do we find them in nature? As in, animals form homosexual pairs too.

  • Vince
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:09 p.m.

    Bill F. | 12:32 p.m. Oct. 19, 2009

    Words change as people in their societies change.

    In the English language, you can go as short as a generation and take a look at how words have changed.

    Sometimes some words change from one year to the next, almost unperceived.

    The word "marriage" itself may not in your mind have changed in terms of the hetero normative paradigm.

    However, to say that marriage is defined as "one man and one woman" is contrary to history.

    Plurality of wives has been practiced throughout much of history. At that, tn the United States, it has not been singular to Mormon culture and history. At that, I am not advocating it, just stating a historical fact.

    Socially, the rights of women have not taken precedence up until decades ago in terms of marriage.

    Moreover, to say the term is taken and defined ignores the entries of some dictionaries which extend the definition of marriage as not limited to man and woman, but also....

    "the union of two same-sex partners"

    dictionary dotcom

  • @Anonymous | 12:52 p.m.
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:10 p.m.

    Who's talking about going back to the Old Testament? Having trouble following an argument and staying on topic? The original poster said that marriage wasn't in any old religious books, I showed it was in Genesis, which he/she couldn't see because they couldn't make the connection between the word "marriage" and man and wife.

    And Jesus didn't "throw out" the Old Testament - he quoted it all the time to expound on doctrine. He did introduce a higher law - such as don't just not commit adultery - don't lust. Don't just not commit murder - control your anger. etc. The law of Moses (animal sacrifice, many nitpicky rules) was done away, and replaced with a law that still included the 10 commandments and all of the principles.

    By the way, the only children sacrificed in the Old Testament were those of the pagans worshiping idols.

  • Vince
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:14 p.m.

    Further,

    Merriam-Websters defines,

    "the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage"

    And MSN dictionary defines marriage without regard to gender,

    "legal relationship between spouses: a legally recognized relationship, established by a civil or religious ceremony, between two people who intend to live together as sexual and domestic partners"

    That said, however, the definition still limits marriage to two people, not three, four, or seven, and it does not extend marriage to close blood relatives, etc.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:16 p.m.

    'This court case (Loving v. Virginia) does nothing to support your supposition.'

    I disagree.

    Interacial marriage and gay marriage have many similarities.

    Both were viewed as 'sins' when presented.
    Both have had 'genetic impurities' or children used. (one the furthering of the species, the other children with birth 'defects')

    Also, Loving vs Virginia was 42years ago.

    If your looking for more recent definition of marriage, Massachusetts allowed gay marriage for 5yrs now.

    The only thing that changed is the divorce rate.

    It got lower.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:16 p.m.

    "You are definitely entitled to your own religious belief's but not entitled to change thew meaning of the word "Marriage"."

    Why not? Definitions of words are changed all the time. Why can't any group of people choose to redefine this one? I think it's just sour grapes, myself. The American public wouldn't let the LDS church redifine marriage into polygamy so not the have to take out their frustration on a more marginalized group.

  • Vince
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:25 p.m.

    When you take the religious connotation of marriage people ignore the obvious fact that states issue marriage licenses.

    People can and do marry civilly and no one calls those 'not marriages.'

    Religious marriage is a subset of the the general concept of marriage.


  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:26 p.m.

    "the problem remains that religious people think marriage is a religious contract, and us regular folks think marriage is a civil contract. the two will never be the same."

    I think that's a really valid point. Personally, I think the government should just call all legal unions "Civil Union" or "Domestic Contract" and let the individuals decide whether or not to call themselves married. They can handle the legal contract between the two without ever using the word "married" again. (Just my two cents worth, but somehow I think the Mormons and fundy Christians would scream even louder if they government changed the legal term "marriage" to civil union. LOL!)

  • Svoboda
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:28 p.m.

    To Rebeckah: So there is homosexuality among animals? And? What does Darwinishm say about this? Survivalibility of the species means breeding - actually producing offspring.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:30 p.m.

    "It's the Constitutional rights of freedom of association (which includes the right NOT to associate), freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, that are at issue here."

    You forgot the right of "pursuit of happiness". If getting married makes homosexuals happy, and it doesn't harm anyone else, then they have a right to do so. (Granted that's from the Declaration of Independence and not the Constitution, but clearly it was intended to be a founding principle of our country.)

  • LDS Revelations
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:31 p.m.

    Ironic how Cannon sees anti-polygamy legislation of the late 19th century as persecution. LDS leadership and members who defied the laws of the land are hailed by him as heroes. He fails to see the parallels between what society and the US Goverment of that day did and what the Prop 8 proponents are doing now. Cannon's use of this example is silly.

    Mormons are free to worship as the want. What Oaks is talking about in his talk really is 'freedom from criticism'–and Mormons should not expect that. They stepped into the public debate and can't escape the criticism that comes from their actions.

    If you stand the heat.......

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:32 p.m.

    Laugh at our religion all you want.

    In fact, laugh to your heart's content.

    We don't care what you or the world thinks.

    We do, however, fear God and care what he thinks.

    Getting back to your laughter...I recall an old sunday school lesson where many laughed and mocked at Noah as well.

    How'd that turn out for them?

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:32 p.m.

    "By the way, the only children sacrificed in the Old Testament were those of the pagans worshiping idols."

    and those who disobeyed their parents.

  • @Rebeckah
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:32 p.m.

    Ah, the old "animals do it too". Well, then, by all means let's all live just like animals. Some eat their young, is it ok if I do that? Some eat their prey while it's still alive and kicking - sounds exciting! Hmm, animals don't worry about whether their dinner is on the endangered species list...

    They all stop taking care of their young far earlier than humans, either from birth or any stage up to the equivalent of early teens - Yay, that means next time my 14yo sasses me, I can boot him out of the house, right?

    As for animals engaging in homosexual acts, I'll be sure to write their preachers and let them know they need to teach their species better morals. Because animals are so capable of reason and morality...

    [Warning - the above post is SARCASM for the humor impaired]

  • Vince
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:33 p.m.

    Old Guy | 11:25 a.m | 12:12 p.m. Oct. 19, 2009

    Re: "God did not create homosexuals"

    This particular belief is a based belief from NARTH which is not shared with much of the therapy that is used to "treat gays and make them into hetero-normative individuals."

    In fact, much of the literature that is used to treat gays does in fact reads that being gay is not a choice.

    The attraction, the identity, the sense of being, is definitely there.

    The literature and treatments, much of it, tends to counter that with suppressing behavior, not identity.

  • One Human Family
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:36 p.m.

    The sad thing about this entire argument is that we are forgetting those that are the real victims in all of this. Gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual children and young adults within the church and society continue to hear that they are "less than" and that they are flawed. THAT is what we should be discussing.

    How many more of our children are going to take their own lives because we adults cannot learn to accept GLBT people for who they are and give them the unconditional love they deserve?

  • Re "Rebeckah | 12:45 p.m."
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:36 p.m.

    Rebeckah | 12:45 p.m.

    Was that a PRIVATE school? Or a public school that fired someone for writing an anti-mormon book?

    If it was a PRIVATE school... what obligation do they have to not fire him?

    If it was a PUBLIC school... then it's a different story.

    But a Private shool (especially one ran by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) is not required to continue his employment.

    I'm not sure what incident you're refering to, but the answer to my question would be critical to my knowing if it was a big scandal or not.

  • jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:42 p.m.

    re: 12:53 p.m.

    Okay, listen up dummies, for the third time now, the argument made is that "marriage is NOT a civil right." This is absolutely and completely WRONG. Marriage most certainly IS a civil right. Loving v. Virginia, as well as many, many rulings from state courts have established this fact many times over. The argument that "marriage isn't a right" is completely and thoroughly a non-starter.

    If anyone ever tries to argue that "marriage" isn't a right then now you know that they are either completely disingenuous or simply ignorant.

    Please, read this comment several times if you have to in order to comprehend it fully. Thanks for your time.

  • Womens rights and marriage
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:42 p.m.

    "Socially, the rights of women have not taken precedence up until decades ago in terms of marriage."

    Bullpucky. Marriage laws were included in the Old Testament, in Hammurabi's Code, and in many ancient cultures, right up through the Middle Ages and up to modern times. They established things like dowries, which remained the wife's property, and went with her if they divorced. They set rules for divorce, required men to support their wives and children, and established penalties if they didn't, including giving a woman the right to divorce if he broke the law.

    Do women have far more rights today? Of course - but a major component of marriage has always been to protect the weaker sex. (That's not an anti-feminist thing - just an historic fact.)

  • Vince
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:50 p.m.

    Re: Arbitrary | 8:32 a.m. Oct. 19, 2009

    You wrote,

    "It takes 20-30 years for the consequences of societal change to manifest themselves on a population"

    The same has been said about giving any minority rights in American history.

    Whether they were African slaves, Irish immigrants, women voters, Native Americans, people have always feared what would happen if....

    To use it in the context of the 1920's, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, in the context of race, that people feared the rise of "inferior races."

    (The Great Gatsby, Chapter 1)

    Race outside, within the LGBT movement, there has always been a what will happen if....

    * we let gays in the military
    * we elect them to public office
    * Canada, Massachusetts, Spain, etc - and every other state - where same-same marriage is allowed, won't they sue churches, temples, synagogues, mosques?

    They have not, and even if they had, they would not win.

    Law experts within Churches know this. They have known this for years which in essence gives them the right to marry whom they will.

  • re: jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 1:53 p.m.

    you are not helping your case
    you claim to want choice but in the end you simply want to deny anyone the right to disagree with your choice; thereby proving that all the "scare tactics" of evil Mormons and Prop 8 supporters are actually a correct analysis

  • Re: jackhp
    Oct. 19, 2009 2:00 p.m.

    "In other words, "Your dark skin isn't a curse, it's just how we know you ARE cursed."

    Wow, that makes it so much better!"

    The curse mentioned in the Book of Mormon was that the Lamanites lost the Spirit of God. They were murderers and devil worshippers, so it stands to reason that they'd lose the Lord's help and guidance. The dark skin was an outward manifestation of their inner darkness.

    Did that apply to everybody born with darker skin? No, of course not. In 2 Nephi 4:6, it's revealed that the curse only applies to that first generation, not to their descendants. In Jacob 3:9, the Nephites are commanded not to "revile" against the Lamanites because of their darker skin. In Alma 23:18, the curse is completely lifted. I don't know if that means the skin lightened or not, it doesn't say. But don't forget, there are several times when the Lamanites are much more righteous and closer to God than the Nephites are.

    To all of the Lamanites but those first ones, the darker skin is simply genetic and not a sign of anything at all.

  • Re: 12:07 p.m.
    Oct. 19, 2009 2:15 p.m.

    "...and if we, for whatever bizarre, uncomprehensible reason, think that maybe perhaps there's a chance that your leaders don't talk to God...then why would we want to wait for them to change their minds? why would you expect people that are not mormon to "follow your leaders"?"

    Well, if you'd read the article in question, you'd know that it was an article in a Mormon newspaper, written to Mormons, and not to the world, telling the MORMONS not to help whip up the situation in Missouri (or other places in the South) to the point of war over the matter, when the Lord hadn't decreed it time for the slaves to be set free. And if, as several comments in the article indicated, it was referring to the spiritual and not the physical side, that didn't happen until quite recently.

    It's easy to pick a quote out of context and make it sound bad. It's a favorite trick of people trying to criticize members of all different religions. But I've found that 99.99% of the time, the quote wasn't saying what the poster was inferring at all.

  • lol thanks for your opinion, Joe
    Oct. 19, 2009 2:19 p.m.

    Mormons are not entitled because they are special. Not because they've had a rough history. And not because Oaks has "qualifications". Sure, Mormons are entitled to defend their religious freedoms -- who is going to argue with that? Now what? Joe Cannon takes us nowhere after stating the obvious.

  • CAN WE GET BACK ON TOPIC?
    Oct. 19, 2009 2:29 p.m.

    This thread has become totally off topic.

    The topic is... "Do Mormons have the right to defend their religion".

    It's NOT about "Is Gay Marriage OK or not". But that's what has gradually and totally dominated the conversation.

    I'm just wondering if we can get back on topic. Because I'm VERY interested in what people have to say on the ACTUAL topic, but not so much on the issue that seems to have suplanted itself as the actual topic.

    I have to read dozens of comments arguing about Gay Marriage to find one on the topic... "Mormons entitlend to defend their religion".

    We know where people stand on the Gay Marriage issue. Must we go over it and re-hash it daily? Let's talk about something different (like the topic) for a change.

    Personally I have no problem with gay people defending their lifestyle, religion, politics, whatever. But likewise Mormons also have the same right to defend their religion, lifestyle, politics, etc.

    Does ANYONE disagree?

  • Re: Rebeckah | 1:05 p.m.
    Oct. 19, 2009 2:39 p.m.

    "Then why do we find them in nature? As in, animals form homosexual pairs too."

    Animals also eat their own feces. Are you really trying to use that as an argument?

  • Study real history
    Oct. 19, 2009 2:47 p.m.

    I am shocked at the one-sidedness of this article. There are reasons why the Mormons were sent out of their early settlements, which this author, and indeed the corporate church, does not admit. The illegal abomination of polygamy was the most obvious one.

    Governor Boggs lived in fear of his life due to the Mormon Danites, a fanatical group of Mormon thugs who tried to assassinate him. Mormons’ block voting, plus their own burning and plundering, and having the biggest private army in America were some more reasons they were “persecuted.”

    Those wanting to know the real truth of Mormon history, not the LDS whitewashed version, will discover some interesting, disturbing facts that the church wishes their followers would never find out.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 3:10 p.m.

    Mormons didn't vote Prop 8 into law, Califormians did, go whine to them.

  • Seek the Truth
    Oct. 19, 2009 3:12 p.m.

    The Flat Earth Society is also entitled to defend itself. Communists, neo-Nazis and skinheads are entitled to their viewppoints too.

  • Grandma
    Oct. 19, 2009 3:49 p.m.

    To: Study real history | 2:47 p.m. Oct. 19, 2009

    Can you provide citations or references to your claims? Thanks.

  • @ "Study real history | 2:47 p.m
    Oct. 19, 2009 3:50 p.m.

    Study real history | 2:47 p.m.

    There's NEVER a good reason for a Governor to order the "extermination" of a whole population, just based on their religion, race, ethnic background, political background, etc.

    That YOU somehow find a way to DEFEND that decision, is amazing!

    IF Gov Boggs had a problem with a radical group trying to assasinate him (I've never heard of THAT one)... But even IF it did happen... you go after THOSE law breakers... YOU DON"T ORDER THE ETHNIC CLENSING OF A WHOLE SEGMENT OF YOUR STATE'S POPULATION BASED ON THEIR RELIGION... EVER!

    ANYONE who defends that practice deserves to be denounced by ALL people (not just Mormons).

  • to-- Re: 12:07 p.m. | 2:15 p.m
    Oct. 19, 2009 3:53 p.m.

    ["Well, if you'd read the article in question, you'd know that it was an article in a Mormon newspaper, written to Mormons, and not to the world, telling the MORMONS not to help whip up the situation in Missouri (or other places in the South) to the point of war over the matter, when the Lord hadn't decreed it time for the slaves to be set free"]

    again - "the Lord hadn't decreed it time for the slaves to be set free"....

    your leaders tell you what to do and what to believe. you do so because you think they talk to God. You are probebly wrong and they can't really talk to God.. I rest my case.

    I suggest you not try to reply - your replies seem to go down the same path of "my leaders told us so" - and we don't want to follow your leaders...

  • "Real" history
    Oct. 19, 2009 4:01 p.m.

    "Those wanting to know the real truth of Mormon history, not the LDS whitewashed version, will discover some interesting, disturbing facts that the church wishes their followers would never find out."

    Ah yes, those poor, brainwashed Mormons... Trouble is, there's plenty of documented evidence, cited by non-Mormon historians, that backs up the church's views. Have members ever done bad things - duh, yes. Nobody's perfect, and people do get tired of being pushed around and want to push back. But if you want to pile up the evil done from 1828 or so to 1900, Mormons vs. non-Mormons, I'll be happy to be on the Mormon side of that scale.

  • Dave
    Oct. 19, 2009 4:08 p.m.

    TO: GWB 4:34,
    I think you have your fact mixed up. It was Madalyn Murray O'hair an Atheist who on June 25, 1962 had prayer removed from schools.
    People please, if we are going to comment, please make sure our facts are straight.

  • Hope
    Oct. 19, 2009 5:04 p.m.

    ex-Catholic Californian

    Very fair comments!

  • One Human Family
    Oct. 19, 2009 5:33 p.m.

    As an LDS man with a gay brother, this past year has been tough. I stand by my belief that my brother should have every right to marry his partner.

    The "persecution" I have felt as a Mormon does not even compare to what my brother has gone through. My brother does not want to get married in the temple, in fact he wants nothing to do with the church (no surprise there!). He wants a civil marriage and the right to live a life free of prejudice and hatred. The church leaders are wrong on this one.

  • Why
    Oct. 19, 2009 5:37 p.m.

    Why should the atheists, the socialists, the nihilists, be allowed to set the only agenda?

    If good people, religious people cede the culture to the enemies of all that is transcendent, they are surely abandoning all that they hold dear and aiding and abetting the destroyers of cultures.

    Not LDS, but I applaud Elder Oakes, and am in full agreement.

  • @why
    Oct. 19, 2009 6:20 p.m.

    "If good people, religious people cede the culture to the enemies of all that is transcendent, they are surely abandoning all that they hold dear and aiding and abetting the destroyers of cultures."
    Right because our only interest is to destroy society. so how is the view from your self righteous high horse?

  • Hank
    Oct. 19, 2009 6:36 p.m.

    Nobody is attacking Mormons. Nobody is taking away Mormons' religious freedoms.

    People are protecting the definition of "equality before the law".

    People are protecting the "traditional" definition of freedom and liberty.

    Just because Mormons believe their "religious freedom" includes the freedom to deny the civil rights of others does not mean they are correct.

    And please don't try to appeal to the authority of Elder Oaks and his tenure as a Utah Supreme Court Justice! Sure, being a Supreme Court Justice is impressive... in any other state besides the theocracy that is UTAH! Oaks' understanding of the United States Constitution is pathetic, as proven by this speech! He may have been a good SC Justice for Utah, judged by fanatic Utah standards, but that doesn't mean ANYTHING outside of the LDS bubble!

  • re: re:why | 6:20 p.m. Oct. 19
    Oct. 19, 2009 6:59 p.m.

    Prove my point about nihilists, thanks.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:03 p.m.

    The leaders never asked the members to vote against the proposition, what they did say was study the issue and vote according to your conscience. You can go to any bishop and they probably could produce the letter that they read to the members. Big suprise, that members who believe in marriage between a man and a women, that a lot of them probably voted for the proposition. The church did want people to be involved. Other claims that the church invested money are also false. The members donated not the church...... big difference.

  • Old Guy
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:03 p.m.

    To all who replied to my comments. Those are my beliefs, and I'm sticking to them. If you don't like it, you have the free agency to disagree and LUMP IT!!

  • Eastern Observer
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:06 p.m.

    Another interesting thread - most of the negative comments on here don't have much factual basis behind them - weak arguments mostly. i really haven't seen any of the Mormon missionaries in New England carrying guns forcing people to follow their creeds. And the LDS people I've met at work and around don't seem to be the kind to force anything on anyone except maybe standing up for decency. Not all of them, but those that profess to be followers actually do a pretty good job of living christian lives (being kind and nice to everyone - at least more so then those claiming to be athiest or following their own inner spirit - whatever that means. They're not as wishy-washy and stand by their convictions for the most part. What's in the water out there in Utah that brings out the vitriol attitudes?

  • re: Eastern Observer | 7:06 p.m.
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:21 p.m.

    Nothing wrong with the water here in Utah.

    I'd bet anything that most of the incoherent crybaby comments are from San Francisco. Democracy doesn't play well there. They lost on prop 8, twice, and are still whining about it.

  • Seattle
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:22 p.m.

    I don't think anyone will argue the point that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion and it goes without saying that when attacked, most people will push back.

    I agree with "Eastern Observer" as one living outside of Utah that there really is no issue here. I've met only 1 person in my 20 years outside of Utah who had a problem with Mormons - everyone else has been very supportive.

    I live in an area that is 2% LDS with a 40% activity rate, so figure 1% active LDS. Two of the three schools here have Mormon kids as Student Body President. Last year and the year before, it was also 2 out of the 3 schools. The LDS kids are well liked and well accepted.

    The Prop 8 issue is non-existent here - I wouldn't even know about it if it weren't for this website. And as far as persecution against our kids who won't drink or smoke, I think in every era there have been kids trying to get their friends to do that. It's nothing new.

    As I said, this article tries to make a mountain out of a molehill.

  • To Eastern Observer
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:26 p.m.

    Utah Mormons are different from Mormons in other states because of geographic isolation, and having to suffer more closely under bad leadership, beginning with Brigham Young onward.

    As a consequence, many Utah Mormons are very defensive and prejudicial against “outsiders.” This upsets the non-Mormons in Utah.

  • re: To Eastern Observer | 7:26 p
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:34 p.m.

    Hmmm... I'm a non-Mormon Utah resident. I don't have any problems like you seem to think that you have. Maybe it's you not Mormons. Just sayin'...

  • Re: Study Real History
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:37 p.m.

    Now we see why the anti movement is so blinded by their hatred that they fabricate facts and accuse the church of whitewashing history.

    Nearly every reliable source I can find is clear that the accusation that Mormons tried to kill Gov Boggs is completely baseless. Heck, even wikipedia got it right.

    The claim that Joseph Smith put a bounty out on Boggs and that Porter Rockwell made the attempt is attributed to an angry ex-Mo named Bennett. Gosh, Bennett wouldn't have any hidden motives, would he? Rockwell was in fact held illegally for a year with absolutely no evidence.

    Boggs was hated by many groups, not just the LDS. He was a corrupt and evil politician. Amazing that the anti's would come to his defense.

    How about you guys stop blackwashing history by buying "hook, line and sinker" the claims of ex-Mo's. You know, they might have lied.

  • Huh?
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:45 p.m.

    You accuse Utah Mormons of being defensive and prejudicial and then you make a comment like "suffer under bad leadership with Brigham Young onward." You just insulted the prophets of the LDS church and you don't think that's going to put people on the defense?

    Go to the Vatican and tell them all the popes are lousy and see where that gets you.

    I've lived both in Utah and out of it and the Non-Mormons in Utah have it pretty good. Remember, the Mormons grew what is now Utah out of nothing, so those coming to get in on a good thing are welcome, but should not complain about the people and values that made Utah what it is.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:48 p.m.

    @One Human family

    Your brother is lucky to have you stand up for him, wish him and his partner my best when they wed, and you definitely qualify for Best Man.

  • To: Study Real History
    Oct. 19, 2009 7:54 p.m.

    The information posted in the rebuttal at 7:37 is true, but moreover, that incident where somebody tried to murder Boggs and the Mormons got the blame for it, didn't occur until after the Mormons had been settled in Nauvoo for several years. The extermination order had already been put in place long before it was even dreamt up. Boggs was a wildly unpopular governor, and he had a lot of enemies. The Mormons weren't even suspected until Bennett mades his claims a few weeks later.

    Secondly, polygamy didn't come to be known to anybody until, again, the Mormons were gathered in Nauvoo. The persecutions they suffered in Kirtland and twice in Missouri had nothing whatsoever to do with polygamy. And, just as a point of reference, POLYGAMY WAS NOT ILLEGAL AT THAT TIME. It was not made illegal until well after the Mormons were forced to flee to Utah.

    If you're going to demand that we "study real history," perhaps you should do the same. This is all easily verifiable by multiple outside sources.

  • re: One Human Family
    Oct. 19, 2009 8:01 p.m.

    I have a brother that I've wondered about for some time, so I appreciate your post. I've given a lot of thought to how I'd feel if he ever confirmed that he is gay.

    He will always be my brother and I will always love him. I don't know what he is going through or how he feels.

    That said, I respect any church for sticking by its values as it seems pretty straight forward in reading the Bible that homosexuality is a sin. I would be unable to belong to a church that went against the teachings of the Bible due to political and social pressure.

    That said, I believe we can love everyone without condoning their actions and choices.

    I wish you the best.

  • Re: To Eastern Observer
    Oct. 19, 2009 8:14 p.m.

    "Utah Mormons are different from Mormons in other states because of geographic isolation, and having to suffer more closely under bad leadership, beginning with Brigham Young onward. As a consequence, many Utah Mormons are very defensive and prejudicial against “outsiders.” This upsets the non-Mormons in Utah."

    It's been my experience that you find what you look for. Going around telling the Mormons that their leaders, whom they hold as prophets of God, are bad people probably doesn't tend to endear you to the local Mormons.

    To those wondering what's in the water down here, Salt Lake City is one of the most religiously divided places you'll go in this country. There are more vocal Anti-Mormons there than anywhere else in the state. Go look at the comments in the Trib, and you'll get a better picture of what I'm talking about.

    To put it another way, I was spit on for being LDS in downtown Salt Lake City, ON TEMPLE SQUARE. I wasn't on the temple grounds, but I was on the square by the office buildings, and all I did was confirm I was LDS. That wouldn't happen elsewhere.

  • Well, That Was Easy....
    Oct. 19, 2009 8:26 p.m.

    The original letter writer asked the question if Latter-day Saints should be allowed to defend their religion.

    Does the First Amendment allow freedom of speech?

    Yep.

    There's your answer.

    Don't like it?

    Guess you'd better change the Constitution then.

    Dan Maloy
    Enid, OK

  • Chris
    Oct. 19, 2009 8:35 p.m.

    Religious freedom does not require government benefits. If I were a pastor in CA who believed in gay marriage, I would perform the ceremony according to my beliefs and help the couple register as domestic partners.

    Since the CA law provides domestic partners the same rights as married couples, the quest for gay marriage is in effect a way to achieve a social and quasi-religious affirmation via the state. It is also a political strategy for changing federal laws and the laws of other states. It does affect people in other states.

    Votes are needed to change government benefits and definitions. No one is invading bedrooms or private ceremonies. Don't invade the voting booth or harass those who vote according to political and religious freedom.

    I support domestic partner rights and traditional marriage. Domestic partner rights would readily extend to any two people, not just gays. Any government benefits need to be properly funded and voted on. They are separate from religious freedom.

  • Compassion
    Oct. 19, 2009 8:53 p.m.

    President Thomas S. Monson asked Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Valley to reach out to the aged, the widowed, the sick, the handicapped and the less-active members of the LDS church.

    "Extend to them the hand that helps and the heart that knows compassion,"

  • Ask Them Yourself
    Oct. 19, 2009 9:00 p.m.

    I'm from out of state.

    A guy I work with had a tour as an F-16 pilot at Hill AFB.

    I asked him if the members of my (LDS) church treated him well while he was there.

    He said that though he was a little nervous about being surrounded by Mormons when he first moved there (he bought a home in Layton) that LDS members treated he and his family very well during his assignment. Said he loved his stay in Utah.

    Made me feel good to hear that.

    Bottom line....don't believe everything the anti's tell you.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 19, 2009 10:15 p.m.

    @Chris
    Domestic Partnerships don't provide anywhere near equal benefits of married hetero couples. State Supreme Courts have ruled repeatedly Civil Unions/ Domestic Partnerships set one group up as second class, which is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

  • Bill
    Oct. 19, 2009 11:02 p.m.

    To Anonymous 10:15 pm

    It was the Nebraska State Supreme Court that over ruled a lower federal court on the States Marriage Admendment. In fact what it did is to allow the admendment to stand. Your statement is only for those so called states that have either over-ruled its citizens voting rights IAW the State Constitution or going against a legislature for doing so. When Iowa finally gets around to putting this issue to a vote, then the population of the state will once more vote for the Marriage Admendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman. That I believe will take place within the next four years. It will pass because many in the state were upset with the courts ruling. What was unconstitutional was the way it was instituted. The law will come forth and Iowa will join the states banning same sex-marriage.

  • David
    Oct. 20, 2009 12:20 a.m.

    I belong to a church that believes that God wants same-sex couples to be able to marry. Laws that prevent this from happening take away my religious freedom.

  • To 7:37 p.m.
    Oct. 20, 2009 12:27 a.m.

    Where do you get such paranoia? There is no anti-Mormon movement “blinded by hatred.” In truth, few people really know or even care about the Mormons. But there are those who want to find out the real truth of Mormon history, especially since the church has been less than honest about it.

    Regarding Gov. Boggs: Orrin Porter Rockwell, Mormon vigilante (Danite), is still considered the prime suspect in the assassination attempt of the Governor, even though he was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

    From 1831 Joseph Smith had been issuing prophecies that Missouri belonged to the Mormons. The Danites were urged to drive non-Mormons and ex-Mormons from Missouri. So you see, the history in Missouri has another side. The LDS church has whitewashed the history to make themselves look like the only victims.

  • Study real history
    Oct. 20, 2009 12:36 a.m.

    To 3:50 p.m.

    Read my post again. You are completely over the top, putting words in my mouth that I never said. I recommend you study real history to understand why the Missourians felt threatened by the Mormons.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 20, 2009 12:36 a.m.

    ""Then why do we find them in nature? As in, animals form homosexual pairs too."

    Animals also eat their own feces. Are you really trying to use that as an argument?"

    Once again; the response was to the claim that God doesn't make homosexuals. I pointed out that homosexuality occures in nature. I would assume that God is responsible for the creation of animals in your worldview, therefor God DOES indeed create homosexuals. Is arguing logical fallacies a course they teach you people? When I took logic it was with the goal of getting people to avoid making them, but here it seems like the goal is to use them.

  • Polygamy known before Missouri
    Oct. 20, 2009 12:45 a.m.

    To 7:54 pm:

    Joseph Smith taught plural marriage from 1831, but it was kept secret until 1843. Nevertheless, people were hearing about it in Kirtland, Ohio before the move to Missouri, such that the church had to write denials about it in Ohio. Sixteen-year-old Fanny Alger became Smith’s first plural wife in 1833 in Kirtland. Indeed this was one reason the Mormons fled to Missouri. There was also Smith’s liaison with Nancy Marinda Johnson in 1831, though she did not marry Joseph Smith in polygamy until 1842.

    The point is, people in Missouri heard about Mormon polygamy. Christian belief of North America at the time believed in monogamy, and that anything else was an abomination. Citizens back in the U.S. had been jailed for polygamy even before the Mormons went to Missouri.

  • To Grandma
    Oct. 20, 2009 1:29 a.m.

    Below are some great Mormon histories by respected Mormon scholars (not apologists):

    Blood of the Prophets, by Will Bagley

    In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, by Todd Compton

    Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery

    Nauvoo Polygamy, by George D. Smith

    No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, by Fawn Brodie (niece of LDS President David O. McKay)

  • Don't like it then vote 2 change
    Oct. 20, 2009 3:55 a.m.

    RE:Pagan

    "I disagree."

    No one cares if you disagree.

    "Interacial marriage and gay marriage have many similarities."

    The difference is that Loving v. Virginia is based on the concept that if white men can marry a white woman than black men should be able to marry white women since all races should be treated equally under the law. This is not similar to gay marriages since a gay person can marry under the same terms as a straight person and there is nothing that says:

    A straight (white) person can marry a person of the opposite sex but homosexuals can only marry a person of the same sex.

    The law must only treat them equally.

    It doesn't need to add an additional definition. It only needs to say "if a heterosexual can marry a person of the opposite gender then a homosexual must be able to do the same" and "homosexuals can't be denied a marriage as it is defined based on their sexual orientation."

    Neither gays or straight people can marry a person of the same sex nor are gays denied marriage to the opposite sex hence you have equality as currently defined.

  • Leni10
    Oct. 20, 2009 6:41 a.m.

    To Anonymous: Laugh all you want you and your buddies well keep on growing and getting stronger. Until every tongue and every land has the chance to hear the truth. And take a minute to where you and most american are heading because of your arrogance and ignorance on facts. Im thousands of miles away from America, so I can tell how it looks from outside. And whats in store is very sad. Good day!!

  • true religion
    Oct. 20, 2009 6:47 a.m.

    "undefiled is this, to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and administer to the afflicted."

    This is true religion according to the Bible. Has anyone persecuted the Church for doing this?

  • @Eastern
    Oct. 20, 2009 6:52 a.m.

    People who are vehemently and vociferously outspoken against any organization, and the LDS church in particular, become that way due to disaffection, and offense that they take. Usually, it is people who prefer to find their "freedom" to pursue happiness or indulgent behavior outside of the guides and mores that practicing LDS find as our root to freedom and happiness. In other words, those who have transgressed, sinned against, or cannot live up to or within the liberating lifestyle of the obedient are those most likely to claim injustice and hypocracy or irrelevence of organized religion, based on their prideful claims of mistreatment or higher intellectual powers, which of course are mostly as a result of covering said transgressions, sins, or attitudes.

    To the brother of the gay subject, why does he think he needs to "marry" to be happy? What is wrong with a civil ceremony, recognized by civil authorities, and granting him legal rights of partnership? Why continue demanding "marriage?" Marriage is reserved for one kind of pairing; gaining a religious body's recognition and sanctification cannot be dictated. He can go on seeking happiness in his way, or be conflicted and miserable over his choice.
    S2

  • Svoboda
    Oct. 20, 2009 6:53 a.m.

    To 12:27 a.m. Oct. 20, 2009:

    Pleeeeaaaseee, not that Danite hogwash again. There weren't any Danites. Never. That is so much historical baloney.

    Firstly, there is no document, nor any incident, nothing in fact that confirms the existence of the Danites.

    Secondly, such an organization goes against all the teachings of the LDS Church.

    Do you also believe the moon is made of cheeze?

  • Prophet, Seer, And Revelator
    Oct. 20, 2009 6:55 a.m.

    It does not matter whether you believe it or not, but Elder Oaks is a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. It cracks me up when people argue and bicker about this whole thing. Its not like the Quorum of the Twelve just gets together and says, let's come up with something to say that is going to tick people off. PROPHETS SEERS AND REVELATORS! Today's environment is no different than Old Testament, New Testament, or Book of Mormon times. Prophets, Seers, and Revelators have always been beguiled by those who would bring them down. You know what the difference is? Unlike previous times, the church is going to continue to stand, no matter what anyone else says or does. So go ahead, keep punching, keep kicking, keep wailing and gnashing your teeth. Elder Oaks is a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. That's a fact. Period.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 20, 2009 7:15 a.m.

    To David

    You cant just make things up, there is a legal process to starting a religion.

    Nice try tho.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 20, 2009 7:21 a.m.

    Respected by whom? That is the real question.

  • Vince
    Oct. 20, 2009 7:31 a.m.

    Joe | 12:41 a.m. Oct. 19, 2009

    If you're reading,

    On your last post, you were chiding me for shame for not replying to your post. You only gave several dozen of pages to read, my friend and I applaud that we can engage in researched study.

    Can we agree not to call each other hater? It diffuses the issue from the issue to personal.

    Answers to your studies forthcoming.

  • Vince
    Oct. 20, 2009 7:43 a.m.

    To Joe

    On the issue of domestic violence in hetero households versus versus gay households.

    Your source said the following:

    "Is domestic violence more frequent in homosexual partnerships? The 1996 National Household Survey of Drug Abuse, based upon a random sample of 12,381 adults aged 18 to 59 years, estimated that 828,900 men and 828,678 women engaged in homosexuality in the prior 12 months. Random surveys indicated that at any given time, 29% of homosexual men and 32% of homosexual women are in same-sex partnerships. The National Criminal victimization Survey for 1993 to 1999 reported that 0.24% of married women and 0.035% of married men were victims of domestic violence annually versus 4.6% of the men and 5.8% of the women reporting same-sex partnerships. Domestic violence appears to be more frequently reported in same-sex partnerships than among the married."

    There are several issues I need to take with this study. Would you please regard,


  • Vince
    Oct. 20, 2009 7:53 a.m.

    To Joe Re: Domestic violence in hetero households versus gay households

    * This is contracted by statistics released by The American Bar Association where they cite,

    11% of lesbians reported violence by their female partner and 15% of gay men who had lived with a male partner reported being victimized by a male partner.

    Patricia Tjaden, Symposium on Integrating Responses to Domestic Violence: Extent and Nature of Intimate Partner Violence as measured by the National Violence Against Women Survey, 47 Loy. L. Rev. 41, 54 (2003).

    The presentation of this other set of statistics is quite different than what your study showed. I tried to find a source which was not right conservative fundamentalist Christian and at the same was not biased towards the LGBT community to find some objectivity.

    Further, the statistics with male-female levels of domestic violence incidents are not defended in other sources:

    In a 1995-1996 study conducted in the 50 States and the District of Columbia, nearly 25% of women and 7.6% of men were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner/acquaintance at some time in their lifetime." (cont)

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 20, 2009 8:26 a.m.

    "Religious freedom does not require government benefits.”

    The separation of Church and State requires that the government allow the same government benefits to individual citizens regardless of religious moral objections. Now, if there is a solid, proven detriment to other members of society when such benefits are allowed, it is permissible for the government to deny those benefits. When there is NO solid, proven detriment to anyone it does not matter how many people vote against it, they are stepping over the line separating church and state if they try to deny those benefits. It was true in the case of racial rights, it was true in the case of female rights, it is true in the case of homosexual rights. America is a democratic republic (not just a democracy) which promises that the church doesn't get to tell whomever they want what to do just because they are able to sway a majority of voters. No church is allowed to break the violation of church and state by creating "moral" laws that deny rights to people who harm no one by having them.

  • Svoboda
    Oct. 20, 2009 8:27 a.m.

    To the person who wrote that the following is a great history on Mormons---
    No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, by Fawn Brodie

    Fawn Brodie won acclaim when her book was first published. The interesting thing is that she later wrote a biography on Thomas Jefferson, in which she used the same tactics that she used in her book on Joseph Smith. The Jefferson book was, of course, reviewed by many prominent US historians, who then soundly scolded the author for her fiction. Brodie changed sources that she quoted in her Jefferson book to help make her point. After that fiasco she was a disgraced historian.

    And interestingly enough, no one had checked her source material for the Smith book, which when it was discovered that she had altered source material for the Jefferson book, LDS historians did some checking on their own. Guess what? Brodie did the same thing in her biography on Joseph Smith. She is a charlatan and a discredited academic historian.

  • Vince
    Oct. 20, 2009 8:30 a.m.

    To Joe, on Sexual Orientation and Mental and Physical Health Status

    Your source read,

    "Results. Gay/lesbian participants reported more acute mental health symptoms than heterosexual people and their general mental health also was poorer. Gay/lesbian people more frequently reported acute physical symptoms and chronic conditions than heterosexual people. Differences in smoking, alcohol use, and drug use were less prominent.

    Conclusions. We found that sexual orientation was associated with mental as well as physical health. The causal processes responsible for these differences by sexual orientation need further exploration."

    Source: American Journal of Public Health, June 2006.

    Absent from this study is the following:

    * What if anything, does suppression play into the role of these causes.

    The study did not try to find causes, incidentally, and by its very wording, "the causal processes.... need further exploration."

    This study Joe, is not definitive by its own admission.


  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 20, 2009 8:32 a.m.

    "The law must only treat them equally."

    Not true, "Don't like it then...", the law may not prohibit actions based on religious morality, only based on benefit or harm to the citizens. American Indians could not hunt bald eagles because they used to be endangered, even though it is a part of some tribes' religious practices. Now that they are no longer endangered there should be provisions made to allow some native Americans to hunt them - the prohibition is no longer based an a perceived harm. There is no credible evidence anywhere that homosexuals being married harms anyone. Laws against them are a violation of the laws separating church and state. The Mormons made that abundantly clear in their crusade during Proposition 8.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 20, 2009 8:36 a.m.

    "People who are vehemently and vociferously outspoken against any organization, and the LDS church in particular, become that way due to disaffection, and offense that they take. Usually, it is people who prefer to find their "freedom" to pursue happiness or indulgent behavior outside of the guides and mores that practicing LDS find as our root to freedom and happiness. In other words, those who have transgressed, sinned against, or cannot live up to or within the liberating lifestyle of the obedient are those most likely to claim injustice and hypocracy or irrelevence of organized religion, based on their prideful claims of mistreatment or higher intellectual powers, which of course are mostly as a result of covering said transgressions, sins, or attitudes."

    This is simply not true. It is a convenient story religions tell their members so that other members aren't tempted to take a long, hard, factual and rational look at their religion and stop obeying and giving money to the organization.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 20, 2009 8:40 a.m.

    "To the brother of the gay subject, why does he think he needs to "marry" to be happy? What is wrong with a civil ceremony, recognized by civil authorities, and granting him legal rights of partnership? Why continue demanding "marriage?" Marriage is reserved for one kind of pairing; gaining a religious body's recognition and sanctification cannot be dictated. He can go on seeking happiness in his way, or be conflicted and miserable over his choice."

    Perhaps his religion tells him it is a sin to fornicate and he does not wish to sin but be married in according to his deity's wishes. And saying marriage is reserved for, or means, what you CHOOSE to have it mean doesn't make it so. Marriage is a loving commitment between two committed and mature adults. I don't feel that it should be anything else. (i.e. No more 16 year old girls marrying 50 year old guys either -- legal with parental permission in most states but still wrong.)

  • Arbitrary
    Oct. 20, 2009 8:42 a.m.

    Vince | 1:50 p.m. Oct. 19, 2009
    Re: Arbitrary | 8:32 a.m. Oct. 19, 2009

    You wrote,

    "It takes 20-30 years for the consequences of societal change to manifest themselves on a population"
    -------------------------------------

    Please go back and look at that again. I did not write that - It was a response to me. My post is just above that.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 20, 2009 8:47 a.m.

    "So go ahead, keep punching, keep kicking, keep wailing and gnashing your teeth."

    Ummmm, you guys are the ones weeping and playing the persecution card again. People who believe in equal rights regardless of sexual orientation will continue to stand for the rights of homosexuals, just as the civil rights activists did until all men in America had access to their basic human rights.

  • Svoboda
    Oct. 20, 2009 9:37 a.m.

    To Rebeckah:

    The traditional family is what is important. That's it. Bottom line. Gay marriage will never benefit society like the traditional family.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 20, 2009 10:21 a.m.

    Svoboda | 9:37 a.m. Oct. 20, 2009
    To Rebeckah:

    "The traditional family is what is important. That's it. Bottom line. Gay marriage will never benefit society like the traditional family."

    Please be clear that that is only SOME traditional families. Some are so disfunctional that they are a detriment to society.

    Some homosexual families are very beneficial to society, since they are raising children that have been discarded by their biological parents or the bio parents are so concerned with drugs, etc. that they neglect or abuse these children.

    Why can't we support ALL families? Why do we only support traditional families? What about single parents? What about grandparents raising their grandchildren?

    Why only traditional families?

  • jackhp
    Oct. 20, 2009 11:29 a.m.

    "Why can't we support ALL families? Why do we only support traditional families? What about single parents? What about grandparents raising their grandchildren?

    Why only traditional families?"

    Hey, don't blame Svoboda, take it up with "God" if you have a problem with it!

  • to - Svoboda | 9:37 a.m
    Oct. 20, 2009 12:28 p.m.

    ["Gay marriage will never benefit society like the traditional family."]

    there is no such thing as the "traditional" family, and hasn't been since mayberry rfd. perhaps you've missed the last 50 years...

  • Really?
    Oct. 20, 2009 12:29 p.m.



    "What these two men (Joseph Smith & Brigham Young) were saying was that nobody in this country could free the slaves until God decreed it was time."

    So you honestly actually believe that God condoned slavery? Humans owning other humans, treating them like animals? It was ok, until He decided it wasn't?

    "Alma 3:6 clearly states that the darker skin was a physical manifestation of the mark, which was the curse, not that the dark skin was the curse"

    I thought only Catholics believed we were born with sin. But it looks like the Mormons believe black people were.

    We are all 99.9% genetically the same. We originated from what is now known as Africa. Peoples who traveled to places colder and less sunny lost melatonin in their skin.

    So, what say you?

  • To Svoboda
    Oct. 20, 2009 12:35 p.m.

    The Danites did exist, and were documented in Mormon diaries and writings beginning in 1838 Missouri.

  • LDS to Convert too?
    Oct. 20, 2009 12:40 p.m.

    The Pope has now authorized Anglicans to convert to Catholocism after their split with Rome in 1534 when King Henry the VIII was refuse marriage annulment, and create the Church of England and the King James Bible. Since the LDS support and use King Henry's bible, which was re-written to support the Kings ideology; does this mean that the LDS faithful will be granted the same rite? That is, will the Vatican authorize LDS members to convert as Anglicans are now allowed? Since the King James is invalid, and the LDS faith is based on the King James, is it logical to suggest that the LDS will be allowed choose freely not to use an invalid version of the Holy Bible?

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 20, 2009 1:35 p.m.

    We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

    Ever hears of this

  • Bill
    Oct. 20, 2009 1:43 p.m.

    Polgamy was first introduced to the Church around 1834 or so. Many brethern did not and I repeat did not practice it until they had arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Some of those who did practice, Joseph Smith and maybe a few others did so after much consoltation with the Lord. Porter Rockwell was aquitted of such a crime. Maybe he did and maybe he didn't but no one and I mean no one knows for sure. Bennett as ex-member of the Church is the one who tried to tie it to Joseph Smith. Again the case was dropped against Joseph Smith.

    Gallatin refused to allow Mormons to vote and this is what caused a so called riot. Members of a mob kidnapped several (three) members of the Church and a members of the Church went to get them. A battle ensued. Lies were told to Governor Boggs of the so called Mormon involvement and thus the extermination order was issued. Did you know this order was not removed until the 1980s? That is right in the state of Missouri up until it was revoked a man could have legally killed a Mormon.

  • Bill
    Oct. 20, 2009 1:50 p.m.

    I will not lie but the saints were admonished for some of the treatment they did to the other members of Missouri. That was for those who moved from Jackson County to Cass County. Joseph Smith formed a small body of Saints to try and get the property back. In the end, they never fired a shot in anger over the property. There were many lies told to cover-up the Mob violence in Missouri by the Missouri militia that were sympathizers with the mobsters. People were driven from their homes. Printing presses were destroyed. People were killed for nothing more than their beliefs. Yea, we weren't perfect but we did not kill, drive people from their homes or stop the printing presses in Missouri. What you are stating is exactly what was spoken then and that it is it was okay to kill a Mormon but no ok for them to defend themselves. That is where the first admendment of the Constitution comes in. Our rights to religious freedom were utterly destroyed and no government official whether at the state or federal level was willing to intervene. We are using our rights as citizens to vote.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 20, 2009 2:38 p.m.

    @Bill
    You aren't too sharp on Iowa law, it takes TWO sucessive legislure's votes to bring this ruling to a popular IA vote....HA!

  • To Bill
    Oct. 20, 2009 3:23 p.m.

    Your posts show that you are not well informed about Mormon history. You would do well to read some of the books listed above in the post "To Grandma" at 1:29 a.m.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 20, 2009 3:51 p.m.

    I hope everyone purchases something from the ads on these pages so this "discussion" will have served it's purpose.

  • Vince
    Oct. 20, 2009 5:53 p.m.

    Arbitrary | 8:42 a.m. Oct. 20, 2009


    I understood, I was commenting to the person commenting on your original post so that we're good on who said what.

  • Perspective
    Oct. 20, 2009 7:27 p.m.

    I think the real question at issue is what do we think about the nature of homosexuality? If we can answer that question (an obviously difficult, if almost impossible task), we can then determine whether supporting/opposing it is right or wrong.


    God-sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman has been the basis of civilization for thousands of years. There is no justification to redefine what marriage is. Such is not our right, and those who try will find themselves answerable to God.

    Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out.

  • Whoa, there, Rebeckah!
    Oct. 21, 2009 12:50 a.m.

    "How many [homosexuals] are beaten up, killed, fired, electroshock "therapied" and other atrocities at the hands of Mormons? Apparently neither you, nor Elder Oaks, want to admit to the persecution of homosexuals at the hands of faithful LDS members. Hypocrite!"

    I know of zero incidents of "faithful LDS members" who are capable or willing to participate in any of the persecution or discrimination that you charge faithful LDS members with. Please share your source(s) for these allegations.

    I have been a member of the LDS church for over 40 years, and I have NEVER heard any living leader who has taught such repulsive and morally wrong behavior. Likewise, I have NEVER read any account of any former LDS leader teaching anything like what you are alleging.

    The worst crimes in the world have been perpetrated by members of nearly every faith, but that does not mean that those religions teach or condone these behaviors.

    If anything you allege has actually happened, know that the perpetrator is NOT in harmony with Church teachings and would be disciplined and removed from the Church immediately and prosecuted.

    Reckless, unsubstantiated allegations of criminal discrimination by LDS are slander and unfair.

  • Bill
    Oct. 21, 2009 12:57 a.m.

    To Anoynmous:

    I'm from Missouri at one point and time. I've study extensively the Church's involvement in Missouri along with other books. I have read journals of those who lived and died in Missouri during the riots. Yes, I know what is in those books but as I stated, the saints were not perfect but what you are stating is that it is ok to kill the Mormons simply because of their beliefs. That is why we continue to fight for our first admendment rights to do so.

    The saints living in Missouri were for the most part from New England and were against slavery. Most of those living in Missouri were in favor of slavery. It is true that Mormons were kept from voting in Gallatin. Study Church history and you will find that not everything written is as it seems even from those with a pro-Mormon twist.

  • george
    Oct. 21, 2009 2:51 a.m.

    re: Polygamy known before Missouri | 12:45 a.m


    Indeed, this is what gets me about mormon apologists. Doctrine and Convenants section 132 spells it out. Either the Lord was directing pologamy to be followed or Joseph Smith and others were nothing but adulterers and pedophiles. Which would lead one to ask the next question: why anyone would even want to follow a religion where their presidents were adulterers?

  • a man, a woman
    Oct. 21, 2009 7:15 a.m.

    "God-sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman has been the basis of civilization for thousands of years. There is no justification to redefine what marriage is."

    Polygamy?

  • JS
    Oct. 21, 2009 7:54 a.m.

    re: Eye in the church

    BOY are you really OFF BASE !!!!!!!!

    I think that most likely 95% of strong praticing LDS members would agree with this article!

    Where are you getting your facts/oponions??? Please share them or quite trying to pass your lies arounds

  • Pagan
    Oct. 21, 2009 8:29 a.m.

    Directed at 'Don't like it then...'

    My quote: "I disagree."

    His quote: 'No one cares if you disagree.'

    Hate to break it to you but apparently you do.

    Also, your example that gay men/women have 'equal' rights since they have the ability to marry someone of the opposite sex, just like straight people is, well, pathetic really.

    Your not even taking into account the fact of someone's sexuality into this marriage.

    Let me put it another way.

    If I am gay, why would I want to marry a person of the opposite sex?

    Foolish logic.

    Oh, and for the 'being gay is a choice' crowd, I have one simple solution.

    If I can change my sexuality...

    you first.

  • Vince
    Oct. 21, 2009 8:47 a.m.

    Regarding discrimination and who is the victim

    True, no one likes being the victim and it is an incorrect assumption for some based on a single event, or a "trend" via the buzz about who the victim is. Who wants to be really?

    Nonetheless, when we look at statistics about hate crimes, for examples, we find that in this day and age, hate crimes are still based on:

    I quote in part

    #1 Racial bias
    Among the single-bias hate crime incidents in 2007, there were 4,956 victims of racially motivated hate crime.

    ■69.3 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-black bias.
    ■18.3 percent were victims of an anti-white bias.
    ■4.7 percent were victims of an anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.

    #2 Religious bias
    Of the 1,628 victims of an anti-religious hate crime:

    ■69.2 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
    ■8.7 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.
    ■4.3 percent were victims of an anti-Catholic bias.
    ■4.1 percent were victims of an anti-Protestant bias

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 21, 2009 8:52 a.m.

    a man, a woman:: in polygamy there is still only one legal marriage

  • religious freedom has voice
    Oct. 21, 2009 9:02 a.m.

    Great article. Should educate people. Some will choose to ignore the facts. But the fact is, Mormons have as strong a right to give voice to religious freedom as anyone.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 21, 2009 9:26 a.m.

    'a man, a woman:: in polygamy there is still only one legal marriage'

    Actually Tigerlily polygamy is against the law. It is very much, Ilegal.

  • re: Adam
    Oct. 21, 2009 9:49 a.m.

    Exactly! The LBGT community are the ones perpetrating the hate. they know that very few people in america will accept marriage other than between a man and a woman. They cannot convince people that that lifestyle is ok, so they have to find another way to get people to accept their way of life by looking like the victim, which they are not. The church didn't whine like babies after having their churches vandalized, their members shunned by people in their own community for simply exercising their right to express their opinion, etc. The church has always maintained a position of loving your neighbor. This does not equate to tolerance for sinful behavior, which the church cannot and should not condone.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 21, 2009 10:20 a.m.

    actually pagan, polygamy is one legal marriage and the other are mistress. Adulty too is against the law

  • Bill
    Oct. 21, 2009 10:22 a.m.

    To Vince:

    As you are aware every prophet has basically stated that Homosexuality is a choice. Now there is evidence that same sex gender attraction may be otherwise. There are temptations as well as other weaknesses we are born with just as same sex gender attraction. To act upon those impulses is a CHOICE, plain and simple. There are many things that bother me but as long as I don't act upon them then I am fine.

    The act of homosexuality is what is sinnful and a grievous sin before our Father in Heaven and his son Jesus Christ. You can easily love the sinner with all your heart, mind and spirit; but still hate the sin itself. You know very well that there are those who have same-sex attraction that have never acted upon it and though they may not marry one of the opposite sex in this life, nor even have a loving mate, in the eternities that will change. If they are true and faithful to the commandments and the covenants they make they will be able to have a mate in the eternities.

    Same-sex marriage is NOT ordainded of God.

  • WOOL is for clothing
    Oct. 21, 2009 10:47 a.m.

    Also, Tigrerlily, who cares about polygamy when there was never-ever a revelation to practice such a vile act. It has always ONLY been a mans revelation, and a made-up one at that. There are a FEW men who automatically have such revelations. Some of these men decide to use God for their cover-up which is a transgression in itself by using the LORDS NAME IN VAIN. Men on earth are clever connivers and can be quite mischievous. I pray someday your eyes are opened. The mind is a fragile and easily manipulated organ.

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 21, 2009 10:52 a.m.

    TO Pagan:: no one has never been tried and covicted of polygamy

  • re -- tigerlily | 8:52 a.m
    Oct. 21, 2009 10:56 a.m.

    ["a man, a woman:: in polygamy there is still only one legal marriage"]

    only one legal marriage? polygamy means multiple wives. so the husband has multiple marriages. how do you get one legal marriage out of that?

    perhaps you need to look up the definition of polygamy...

  • Pagan
    Oct. 21, 2009 11:17 a.m.

    This is directed at Adam's last post.

    Wow.

    I'm not even going to quote the entire thing. To quote Anchorman "I'm not even upset, I'm amazed.'

    I don't think the LGBT community is hateful, I think they are angry.

    Members of the LDS church can marry a person of consenting age. (In some places, more than one)

    A gay man/woman cannot.

    The LDS church preaches 'love the sinner, not the sin'. So by definition, a gay person is a sinner. Regardless of actions taken but rather by intent.

    And even thought the American Phsychological Association (150k members) calls 're-orientation' attempts 'harmful' many LDS members claim 1) sexuality is a choice and 2) It should be changed.

    No one is questioning the ability of religious groups to express opinion.

    Just the logic of it.

    For example, if the LDS church is so perpetrating love, why do the actively campaign against marriage?

    OR is that only ok to do if your doing it to a gay person?

  • lunatic
    Oct. 21, 2009 11:30 a.m.

    Why is it understood to be persecution/discrimination if someone voices his/her opinion? Guess what? We live in a place where from time to time you may hear things you may not agree with. That does not mean you are being persecuted or discriminated against. Call me crazy, but I thought that was the whole point of a free society...

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 21, 2009 11:46 a.m.

    "The LBGT community are the ones perpetrating the hate."

    Really? Prove it, please. Mormon's play the victim card so willingly. Most of us just ignore your melodramatics.

    "they know that very few people in america will accept marriage other than between a man and a woman."

    You are very wrong about that. MANY people are willing to see marriage be defined as a legal contract between two consenting adults. The era of homophobic hatred an backlash is ending. I wonder why that frightens so many religious people? Afraid that without a boogyman to enrage people against they'll lose their hold on members?

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 21, 2009 11:49 a.m.

    "The church didn't whine like babies after having their churches vandalized, their members shunned by people in their own community for simply exercising their right to express their opinion, etc."

    It didn't? Then what was Oaks' speech about? Sounded like whining to me. The same sort of whining that brings up "persecution", "martyrdom", and "extermination order" every time the rest of the world mocks their hypocrisy and unloving attitude.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 21, 2009 12:16 p.m.

    'no one has never been tried and covicted of polygamy'

    How would one prove it?

    Oh, and technically Tom Green was convicted of Bigamy. However, in a 'spiritual' sense he was a polygamist.

    Last Tigerlilly, I am glad your only doing a 'name drop' with polygamy and gay marriage.

    Because anyone defending the LDS church's right to freedom while quoting polygamy against gay marriage is pointless.

    As the majority of gay men/women do NOT have the legal right to marry the person (singular, one) person of they're choosing, and the LDS church has a history of the ability to marry multiple (more than one) person of they're choosing in the past.

    As polygamy is still very much illegal, in all 50 states, though very hard to prove.

    As many only consider polygamist marriage 'spiritual' as to avoid legal consequence.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 21, 2009 1:48 p.m.

    tigerlily | 10:52 a.m. Oct. 21, 2009
    TO Pagan:: no one has never been tried and covicted of polygamy.

    False. They arrested plenty of LDS men during the 1920's. They used to be housed in the prison that was situated where sugarhouse park is now.

    I think that just a decade or so ago, a man named Green was convicted of polygamy, remember?

    You need to read a little, tigerlilly.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 21, 2009 4:32 p.m.

    WOOL is for clothing::: Yes there was a revelation. My eyes are wide open.

  • to - Anonymous | 1:48 p.m
    Oct. 21, 2009 4:46 p.m.

    and the texas FLDS guys are probably going to jail for it. (i know - they aren't LDS in your eyes... but they are in us regular folk's eyes...)

  • Jamie
    Oct. 21, 2009 4:50 p.m.

    How come polygamy always seems to come into LDS story's? Are some out there trying to run everyone off?

    Anyone who practices polygamy is short of being normal. Polygamy is cult not a religion. There should not be any FREEDOM for sex abusers who hide behind God.

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 21, 2009 4:58 p.m.

    Anonymous, by the 1920s the church was excommunicating those practicing polygamy. In the late 1800s those still practicing polygamy went to the mexican colonies where some still live today.

  • WHERE IS THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON
    Oct. 21, 2009 5:37 p.m.

    RESPONSE TO COMMENT POSTED BY GWB4:34a.m.Oct.18,2009

    In your final paragraph you state, "that minority religions attacked the religious freedom of the baptists to pray at their football games?"
    How blind to the truth and misleading can you be?
    Nothing could be further from the truth!

    Your own statements indicate that the intent of the students who raised the issue, was to secure to themselves the same right afforded to the"baptists",
    "to pray at their football games?" and not, to bring
    "the practice to an end."

    Furthermore, it was not the LDS and Catholic students
    who ended "the practice" but the judges of the land
    who handed down the final decision, which made the whole thing a lose/lose situation rather than a win for anyone concerned, except for Satan and his emissaries.

    Sadly these judges exercise what must be described as "Legal Wisdom", which bears no resemblance to either common sense or THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON, both of which were highly valued in times past, but seem to have become extinct in so many venues of our present day.

    Now I ask, does this not strike you, as Ironic?

  • kenny
    Oct. 21, 2009 7:36 p.m.

    If Latter Day Saints spent as much time sharing the gospel as we do defending the gospel then we would see millions of people joining the church.People are less interested in knowing why we think other churches are wrong and more interested in knowing what we have and why we believe it to be true.

  • To Lunatic
    Oct. 21, 2009 10:42 p.m.

    You are correct. A lot of lunatics posting here..lol I have never read so much garbage in weeks.

  • Re: Kenny
    Oct. 21, 2009 10:56 p.m.

    Good point, but I know of almost no one who spends time talking about why we think other churches are wrong. That seems to be the M.O. of the "born again Christians." I know there are some folks out there who are offended when they ask Mormons if we think our church is THE true Church. There's nothing to be ashamed of. There is one Lord, one faith, one truth.

    We can be firm in our convictions and still be kind about it. But all of this political correctness is getting carried away.

  • Pagan
    Oct. 22, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    'Anonymous, by the 1920s the church was excommunicating those practicing polygamy.'

    That is because before that point the LDS church was endorcing those practicing polygamy tigerlilly. After Utah was to be a state this changed. Not before.
    To pretend otherwise is a lie.

    And last, people try to be 'politically corret' due to much discrimination and bias in the world. There is no harm in trying to be polite.

    However, if you feel like burning a cross on somoene's lawn, or 'ringing up' a person of color on a tree, well that's you.

    And working to deny marriage to a pair of consenting adults is not 'kind.'

    Many would say it's cruel.

  • tigerlily
    Oct. 22, 2009 10:54 a.m.

    to - Anonymous | 1:48 p.m | 4:46 p.m. Oct. 21, 2009
    and the texas FLDS guys are probably going to jail for it. (i know - they aren't LDS in your eyes... but they are in us regular folk's eyes...)

    The flds are not mormons

  • D iz M
    Oct. 22, 2009 10:58 a.m.

    re: Anonymous | 1:32 p.m. Oct. 19, 2009
    //Laugh at our religion all you want.

    In fact, laugh to your heart's content.//

    I'm not laughing. Just highlighting some of the naivety, ignorance, & cognitive dissonance.

    //We don't care what you or the world thinks.//

    Your posting here suggests otherwise.

    //We do, however, fear God and care what he thinks.//

    Therein is the problem not only with the LDS mindset but Organized/revealed religion in general.

    Being motivated by fear and what someone else expects NEVER works out well. God is compassionate & understanding. Honestly and sincerely doing better today than you did yesterday (i.e. continual self-improvment)is all He wants IMO.

    There are ALOT of people myself included who are going to be really surprised when we get to Heaven.

  • Roy Rogers McFreely
    Oct. 22, 2009 11:02 a.m.

    re: Hank | 6:36 p.m. Oct. 19, 2009

    Exactly. Something about all men are created equal, equal protection under the law, & life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    It seems to me that the LDS hierarchy and members can dish it but can't take it.

    This only validates the persecution complex and justifies the false sense of entitlement that they are the "chosen ones"

  • Col Jessop
    Oct. 22, 2009 11:04 a.m.

    re: Leni10 | 6:41 a.m. Oct. 20, 2009

    The Truth? You can't handle the truth.

    Especially when it turns out your light years away from it.

  • so how does this work?
    Oct. 22, 2009 1:19 p.m.

    I guess according to many of you the mormons should not persecute other americans who don't have their same beliefs. So should we let Miss Smarts kidnapper go because he was following his beliefs and they don't go along with ours. OF COURSE NOT! It's not easy to stand up for what's right but have some backbone and do it! I hate these comments in the DN that talk about illegals and gays and people classify all mormons as being anti whatever. I'm a Mormon and I don't hate or dislike anyone. I may not agree with their life style or whatever but I still care about them. Let's move on and be mature about this. We have a right to say we disagree with what you do but it doesn't mean we hate you. WE JUST DISAGREE!!! Love you all. Have a great day!

  • Rita
    Oct. 22, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    What I find most interesting is that we Mormons like to wave the "religious freedom" banner, but I hear so much condescension about Muslims, Evangelicals, Seventh-Day Adventists...the list goes on.

    I've even heard people in our church say Muslim women in the U.S. should have to take off their burquas. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong.)

    We tend to forget - conveniently, so - the last part of the 11th Article of Faith: "...and allow all men the same privilege. Let them worship HOW, WHERE, and WHAT they may."

    The knife cuts both ways.

    We receive the persecution when others feel persecuted by us. Others come after OUR way of life, when they see us coming after theirs.

  • Ignorant Thinking
    Oct. 22, 2009 5:07 p.m.

    There was never ever any revelation for polygamy. This practice has always been made up by men to give them more sex partners. It's also wrong to use Gods name in such a vain manner to benefit ones sexual desires. I would have to say that these kinds of men no doubt are condemning themselves to eternal damnation. There is no such thing as defending perversion in the name of religion. The two do not go hand to hand.

  • Question
    Oct. 22, 2009 6:11 p.m.

    Are Mormons so against gay marriage because they think the Church will be forced to perform gay temple marriages? Because, technically, I'm LDS, but I didn't get married in the temple because my husband and I didn't have recommends. Gay Marriage would be a civil ceremony, like we had. So, what's the big deal? How does it affect you Mormons if gays are allowed to marry?
    Please do not compare it to allowing someone to marry their pet, or to pedophilia, and please don't say how you don't hate the gays, and how hey, they're allowed to call it a civil union. Why don't 2 consenting committed adults in love deserve the same societal rights as the rest of us? Why do you care? What is it to you? How will it affect YOUR own personal life?

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 22, 2009 6:43 p.m.

    "The flds are not mormons"

    Then the LDS are not Christians. In fact, the FLDS are closer to LDS in theology than the LDS are to most of Christianity and than most of Christianity is to Judaism. Futhermore, the FLDS certainly seem to be living the teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young more closely than any mainstream LDS.

    Just pointing that out.

  • Rita
    Oct. 22, 2009 7:25 p.m.

    "Mr. Cannon, you forgot to mention that it was a Mormon girls that also ended the practice of prayers at school before football games and other activities.

    We often hear that religion is under attack because prayer is not allowed in school, but it was an LDS girl and a catholic student that brought the practice to an end.

    After being denied the right to say the prayer at their Texas high school football game because they were not of the prevailing religion, the mormon and catholic kids sued and won all the way to the supreme court.

    Now I hear that people from these same religions are using their religion to deny rights to other individuals.

    Does that strike anyone as Ironic?"

    Thank you, poster GWB for bringing that up! I love to throw that in people's faces at church when they start with "religion's under attack" because there's no prayer in public school.

    Wouldn't everyone be in such a tizzy if the Muslims started praying or if a "Church of the Devil Worshipper" started demanding the right to pray in our little kids' classrooms.

    It works both ways and all ways.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 22, 2009 7:44 p.m.

    Criticism is one thing. False and malicious adds, vandalism of buildings, threats of bombing, boycotting people out of their jobs, and many related things are another. They are a set of actions that should not be engaged in.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 22, 2009 7:54 p.m.

    To the 5:16 commentator,
    I did in the past point out that a clear implication of Elder Oaks talk was that people should not refuse to vote for people because they are Muslims (or Budhists, or whatever).
    I think I said something to that effect in one of my posts to the Deseret News, I am not sure if it got posted.
    There was a bizarre claim that somehow people in Utah voting straigt Republican tickets violated this principal. While I have never voted a straight ticket, and in most elections with more than six races manage to vote for at least one third party candidate, I do not see voting straight party as a violation of religious freedom.
    I think the reasons that this has not been brought up is because those who hate Elder Oaks can not skew this as a bad thing, and those who really do refuse to vote for someone because they are a Muslim have not yet realized that Elder Oaks called them out.

  • Read
    Oct. 22, 2009 8:06 p.m.

    I sat 13 rows away from Elder Oaks when he gave this talk at BYU Idaho. I listened to the entire talk and not just the section of it that people get sensitive about. The talk was ment to give wisdom and encouragement to those that will be active in our government for years. The section of gay marriage was only a portion and example of what he wanted to teach. It was not an attack on a group of people. He laid out the simple facts that traditional marriage has been on the earth for thousands of years and that defending it is protecting civil rights, not destroying them. He has been in law his whole career and he knows what he is talking about. How many people noticed that the talk was to teach, not attack? He encouraged my peers and I to give in to intimidation like the kind that followed prop. 8 voting. Threats were dealt out to church members and buildings were vandalized. Despite this his first point of council was for us to speak with love despite the reaction of others.

  • Chris
    Oct. 22, 2009 8:09 p.m.

    To David 12:20 am Oct 20

    You say laws prevent your church from performing a same-sex marriage. This need not be true if your church would separate its ceremony from the state. As before, if I were pastor of such a church in CA, I would perform the marriage ceremony according to my beliefs and help the couple register as domestic partners (same rights in CA, but not federal).

    I have checked this with a lawyer in CA. It works if you separate church from state.

    Politically, I think the quest to change the definition of marriage or even to extend domestic partner rights has been hurt by the harassment of Prop 8 supporters. I understand the anger. Much of it stems from reliance on an activist court and misunderstanding of distinctions between state and federal laws and religious freedoms.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Oct. 22, 2009 8:43 p.m.

    In support of the 10:52 commentator,
    In around 1972 the United States Supreme Court specifically ruled that defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman did not violate the constitution.

  • Re: Rebeckah
    Oct. 22, 2009 9:56 p.m.

    "The LDS are not Christians"

    Who are you to say? You don't determine who I do or don't worship. Saying someone isn't Christian because they chose to accept the 15 or so passages in the Bible forbidding homosexuality is on pretty shaky ground in my humble opinion.

  • Emily Larson
    Oct. 22, 2009 11:16 p.m.

    In 1984 the Utah Supreme Court ruled that mormons were christians. It is done and you can stuff that in your sock. Go away haters and antis.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2009 9:14 a.m.

    (The LDS are not Christians)

    "Who are you to say? You don't determine who I do or don't worship. Saying someone isn't Christian because they chose to accept the 15 or so passages in the Bible forbidding homosexuality is on pretty shaky ground in my humble opinion."

    You miss my point. I don't actually worry about determining whether or not LDS are Christians. However, IF the FLDS are not "Mormons" THEN the "Mormons" cannot be Christians. The arguments used to claim exlusivity are the same in both cases. In other words, if you can deny FLDS their "Mormon-ness" then "Christians" can deny you your "Christian-ness" and Jews can deny "Christians" their "Jewish-ness". Get it?

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 23, 2009 9:15 a.m.

    Sorry, didn't mean to post as anonymous. That response to Christian-ness and Mormon-ness was me.

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 23, 2009 9:42 a.m.

    "In 1984 the Utah Supreme Court ruled that mormons were christians. It is done and you can stuff that in your sock. Go away haters and antis."

    sigh

    Again, I am not claiming that Mormons are not Christians. I am pointing out the hypocrisy of saying that the FLDS are not Mormons while claiming to be Christian over the assertion by mainstream Chrsitians that you aren't. Also, the Utah Supreme Court hardly applies to me. I'm not a citizen of Utah.

    I just wonder. Are you (or perhaps the original poster who made the claim that FLDS aren't Mormons) FLDS haters and antis? Just curious.

  • Chris
    Oct. 27, 2009 5:59 p.m.

    To Rebeckah - I am impressed with your prolific posting and wonder if this late response will catch your eye.

    You responded to my comment that "Religious freedom does not require government benefits” by essentially saying that the government should not discriminate on individual benefits based on religious objections. I agree. That is a different issue. Our government did not create marriage and the people have voted to maintain the traditional definition.

    CA gives the same rights to domestic partners as married couples and we may see more states and the federal government do the same by vote or legilslation. We still have a need for different words for different associations. Your definition of marriage as a loving commitment between two mature adults is overly broad. Should I be able to continue my mother's Social Secuirty benefits or have her estate pass tax free (if she were super wealthy) to me by claiming your new definition of marriage?

    Some laws have put more obligations on married couples - debt, income tax disadvantages, etc. Our laws have many ways of making distinctions that are not discrimination against rights.

  • Silver Bels
    Oct. 29, 2009 6:31 a.m.

    It is not only funny but highly bizarre that Mormons fight against same sex marriage. Are we talking about the very same Mormons who practiced polygamy? And STILL would be if it were not put set into law as illegal. Mormon polygamy case went all the way to the supreme court in George Reynolds vs United States and polygamy was made illegal in 1862. The same Mormon's trying to tell others how to live? LOL!

    The more you try to suppress people the more revolt. Live and Let Live! Let people alone just as you wish to be left alone. The whole middle east conflict that has been going on for thousands of years is all about religious fanatics trying to control others. Leave people alone!! Same sex marriages have nothing to do with Mormons or anyone else. They are not hurting you, have nothing to do with you.....

  • Rebeckah
    Oct. 30, 2009 6:40 p.m.

    Chris,
    I tried to respond to your post but apparently my responses weren't acceptable to the censors. Feel free to contact me via e-mail if you really want to have a discussion. I use the same name as a Google blogger. (Not that I have a blog -- I just post on Google blogs.) I have an e-mail with it.

    By the way, I don't think I was in any way rude, so I'm not sure why my posts were censored. Oh well, it happens. ;)

  • JSM
    Nov. 1, 2009 2:07 a.m.

    They are still going on about this at the Trib. Most haven't even read the talk, then they show us exactly what Elder Oaks is talking about. It is ok in America to hate one for his/her religion, and rights are being taken away. And if you mention it, well, you'll get more hate. I will make three posts. Don't know if the editors will want it all here.

  • Chris
    Nov. 1, 2009 3:52 p.m.

    Mormons sought to practice polygamy in the privacy of their homes and ceremonies. It was not a quest for government benefits or redefining marriage through the courts. The 1878 Reynolds case confirmed the traditional definition of marriage. Then subsequent laws and enforcement lead to government abuses where homes were invaded, families torn apart, and assets were seized.

    In the 1960's, the Loving v Virginia case corrected the abuse of government invading the home of a biracial couple. Proposition 8 confirms the traditional definition of marriage consistent with prior votes. Domestic partners have the same rights in CA and Mormons support these rights. No one is invading homes or private ceremonies. For those who want to change state or federal laws, muster the votes and avoid harassment.

  • Chris
    Nov. 4, 2009 10:12 a.m.

    Rebeckah,

    I found that posts may not be accepted if they include a web link. I found a Google blogger listing with Rebeckah and posted a note, but was not sure if it ws the right one.

    See fairlds org site for Prop 8. See blacklds org site re comparisons to race issues. I would also get comments on this site.

  • Rebeckah
    Nov. 6, 2009 11:47 p.m.

    No, Chris, that wasn't me. Look for Rebeckah Mae in Eastern Washington -- I think that narrows me down properly. Sorry, I'm still trying to figure out how this blogging stuff works. ;)