Mormon Church Slithers Back Into Same-Sex Marriage Debate

After laying low for some time, the Mormon Church is rearing its ugly head back into the same-sex marriage debate.

Yesterday, Mother Jones reported that the church has been quietly reentering the fight against marriage equality for weeks. This time they have their sights set on Hawaii, where the state legislature just began a special session to consider a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage.

The church sat out on nearly every state same-sex marriage ballot measure in 2012, which helped pass marriage equality bills in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and elsewhere. It also launched a website,, in an effort to encourage better treatment of LGBT members. Some Mormons even marched in pride parades in Salt Lake City.

Turns out that was all a charade.

In September, local Mormon bishops read a letter to their flocks from top Hawaii Mormon leadership urging churchgoers 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.”

Then earlier this month, Hawaii church leaders read another letter, this one affirming that the church’s position on same-sex marriage had not changed and that it “is opposed to the proposed legislation in Hawaii.”

These are the same tactics the church used to successfully pass Prop. 8 in 2008, which stripped same-sex couples of their marriage rights in California.

Owen Matsunaga, a local church leader in Hawaii, insists that the church’s opposition to the legislation “does not reduce our regard for all children of God, including individuals who choose to live by other standards.”

In other words: We don’t hate you or anything, we just don’t think you should be treated equally.

The church’s reappearance in lobbying against LGBT rights has disappointed many Mormons who had thought the church’s position was changing. Openly gay Mormon, Mitch Mayne, told the Huffington Post in an email: “While it’s disappointing that any Mormon would stand against something that for many others is clearly the Christlike thing to do, marriage equality remains a question of when — and not if. Our Savior is watching over this one, too. We need not fear.”

Photo credit: Mother Jones.

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  • 2eo

    I’m shocked that vile people are acting like vile people. LITERALLY SHOCKED.

  • Eric Auerbach

    Oh God, why did you post this? Now Cam will just think he somehow made this happen.

  • Cam

    @Eric Auerbach:

    Yes, by all means Eric, let’s ignore the largest most well funded and best organized opponent of gay rights in the nation.

    As for Queerty.

    you said….The church sat out on nearly every state same-sex marriage ballot measure in 2012, which helped pass marriage equality bills in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and elsewhere.

    That is not true. The church is one of the largest funders of NOM which not only was front and center in opposing those ballot measures but is also fighting pro-gay measures in Hawaii, fought them in New Jersey and is fighting Transgender rights nationwide.

    And you said…

    It also launched a website,, in an effort to encourage better treatment of LGBT members.

    The website did no such thing. It restated their opposition to people living gay lives and basically encouraged an ex-gay type of lifestyle.

  • CaptainFabulous

    I say let them waste more and more of their money on this Ahab’s crusade. They won’t win. At every turn they have lost, one way or another. And every time it costs them 10s of millions of dollars. At some point the money bleed is going to catch up with them.

  • carl_mark_smith

    Wow, religitards are against gay marriage? When did this happen??

  • loren_1955

    The sad thing is 100 years ago the government and many religious groups turned on the Mormons because of their marriage beliefs, polygamy. Families were literally broken up, property lost, moved in exile to protect themselves. And the persecution endured for many decades later. Move forward to today. The Mormon church is held is some regard now. Strange, those that were persecuted are now the persecutors against another people for their marriage beliefs having the effect of breaking up families, properties being lost, families moving to protect themselves. And all of this from an organization that says family is the most important thing in this life. THE PERSECUTED IS NOW THE PERSECUTORS. Is there some hypocrisy here?

  • MK Ultra

    Who would have thought? A large, religious corporation misleading its followers and the general public.
    I wonder if other large, religious corporations would deceive the public like this as well?

  • yaoming

    @CaptainFabulous: Totally with you on that… let ’em blow all the cash they want; it’s too late for a claw-back now. Maybe they can try to repeal the 19th amendment (allowing women to vote) or keep women from driving in Saudi Arabia. That’s about where they are now.

  • Harley

    @CaptainFabulous: problem is there is quite a bit of wealth within the Mormon corporation. They have the money to burn and obviously don’t mind burning it. With the Citizens United decision by the SCOTUS it is now changed from “1 person – 1 vote” to “1 dollar – 1 vote.” Welcome to the new American corporacracy.

  • Cam


    A lot of their supposed persecution is revisionist history. Joseph Smith for instance wasn’t shot by an Anti-Mormon mob as they would have you believe. He was shot by a mob of his followers who all lost money when his wildcat bank folded taking all their money.

  • AnnaMcManus

    Johnny said I am impressed that you able to profit 9964 bucks in four weeks on the computer. top article>>>

  • Polaro

    I hate the Mormon church. It is a free country and I am free to hate as I see fit. They violated the law when they spent tax-free, religious money to run ads in a political campaign in California and they should lose their tax-free status for it. That said, what they are doing in Hawaii seems to be within the law. They can preach what they believe to those people in their church. I don’t like it, but, just like I am free to hate the magic underwear sect, they are free to hate me back. They just can’t do it with tax-free dollars.

  • hyhybt

    @loren_1955: That’s an entirely too easy trap to fall into, and it’s always wrong.

  • Steve318

    As a Mormon I am concerned about the Church’s schizophrenia when it comes to LGBT rights. On the one hand, there are many members like me who just want the Church to stay out of civil matters,(FYI I fully support LGBT rights) and on the the other hand there are members who think the Church should dictate the kind of society it wants. I did not hear a peep from the Church in the press or from the pulpit when my State (Washington) voted a year ago to legalize same sex marriage. I’m disappointed its taking a giant Prop 8 step backward in Hawaii.

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