Main | Thursday, September 19, 2013

LDS Quietly Enters Hawaii Marriage Battle

After pretty much staying out of recent marriage equality battles, the Mormon Church is quietly entering the fight in Hawaii, where the marriage movement began twenty years ago. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that this time, the LDS is taking a much softer approach.
In a letter dated Sept. 15 and read to congregations, LDS leaders across the state urged Mormons to "study this legislation prayerfully and then as private citizens contact your elected representatives in the Hawaii Legislature to express your views about the legislation." The letter did not tell members which side of the issue to take, only to study the church’s "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," a document that endorses one man/one woman as the ideal for marriage. Whether Mormons favor or oppose the potential change, the letter said, they should push for "a strong exemption for people and organizations of faith" that would protect religious groups "from being required to support or perform same-sex marriages or from having to host same-sex marriages or celebrations in their facilities; and protect individuals and small businesses from being required to assist in promoting or celebrating same-sex marriages."
A political scientist at Brigham Young tells the Tribune that the language in the letter heralds "a kind of resignation that there’s a shift in society that we can’t stop." The Hawaiian legislature meets in a special session next month to make their vote on marriage.

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