LDS Church stance on proposition 8 illogical

Editor:

Proposition 8 in California remains hotly contested here in Utah. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, more than 59,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have donated more than $19 million to efforts to pass the legislation. Pamphlets of questionable integrity and misinformation have been distributed in California wards. Memos from the LDS Church favoring the legislation have led to countless talks in local wards about sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. A similar political strategy was organized here during Utah’s own constitutional amendment in 2004.

The contradictions in their own doctrine are bewildering. The LDS Church and its members have cited their doctrine, such as the Proclamation of the Family to the World as a justification of their active position in this civil matter. Yet their doctrine clearly states the tenet of “free agency” as key and central to Christ’s plan.

Marriage is indeed highly prized in society; it has many important positive effects for a couple, religious or not. It fosters psychological and economic well-being. It possesses many attributes that civil unions do not. Those who argue that a ban on gay marriage does not restrict freedom ignore the fragmented laws involving civil unions and deeply discount the important personal benefits and rights that married people universally enjoy.

The LDS Church’s volatile history is ripe with oppression from the state. Now that the LDS Church enjoys moderately mainstream status in society, it seems the tables have turned.

Trent Raleigh,
Senior, Economics and Environmental Studies