We were worried, with the latest round of gay marriage talk in Iowa and New Hampshire, that the Utah-based Mormon Church would miss out on this round of reasonable discussion on ending discrimination. But then Lance Wickman, a LDS elder and member of the Quorum of the Seventy, decided to use his speaking gig at a conference yesterday to talk about how your right to get married is infringing on his right to religious freedoms. Yahoo!
At the 2010 J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference at the University of Utah, Wickman, the Church’s general counsel, specifically addressed the federal Perry trial, and how it’s freakin’ Armageddon up in here! “I believe that the greatest challenge faced by the church is the challenge to religious liberty that is growing worldwide. … A battle is looming over the effort to acquire civil social rights at the expense of civil religious rights. This battle, I believe, represents the acceleration of a disturbing slide downward in the law regarding the place of religion in the public square. … Perry seeks a court declaration that, as a matter of law, religious views may not be used to justify the denial of a social civil right. Stated differently, they essentially claim that the voters, from whom all authority in a democracy flows, may not consider religious views and values when deciding these alleged social and cultural civil rights. These are serious allegations and represent an arrow directly at the heart not only of traditional marriage but at the place of religion and religious views in the political dialogue of this country.”
Ya know how you ask, sarcastically and rhetorically, whether someone was born yesterday? It’s as if Mr. Wickman was, in fact, born yesterday.
Yes, that is the very claim: Religious beliefs should not, must not, cannot be a factor in deciding fundamental matters of discrimination, let alone law at-large. Voters can invoke whatever faith or convictions they want at the ballot box; that’s their right. But Wickman is trafficking in non sequiturs, linking the ability for citizens to vote on matters of equality with their right to exercise their freedom of religion.
But hey: Thanks, Wickman, for directly tying the Mormon Church and its interest in homophobia to the Prop 8 fight. It’ll be useful.
In the Perry trial.