Mormon Leaders Make Small Moves On Gay Rights

Mormon leaders took a bit of a positive step last month when they released a six-page document detailing their stance on gay marriage.

While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn’t back same-sex marriage – and have asked members to back Proposition 8, which would overturn California’s gay marriage win – they’re prepared to support certain same-sex rights:

The church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.

The document, entitled “The Divine Institution of Marriage,” also insists that while they don’t approve of the gays, they frown on anti-gay action: “[This stance] neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility towards homosexual men and women. Protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not affect church members’ obligations of love, kindness and humanity toward all people.”

Gay Mormon group Affirmation applauded the Church’s declaration, calling it “the most affirming statement of both human and civil rights of gay people” that leaders have made. The group did, however, scoff at the document’s definition of marriage – one man, one woman, obviously – and insists such a position marginalizes countless families, including single-parent households.