Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons, a support group for current and former gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their allies, has released the following statement about the passage of Proposition 8.
“Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons is deeply saddened that marriage equality was rejected by so many California voters, as well as by voters in Florida and Arizona. The apparent passage of Proposition 8 is a blow, not only to the thousands of Californians whose marriage plans are now in question, but to the freedoms and protections that are the hallmark of both the United States and the California constitutions. This constitutional amendment strips citizens of an existing right and compromises the principle of equality. Affirmation fully supports the efforts now ongoing to challenge, overturn, or set aside the results of the Proposition 8 ballot initiative.
“Affirmation is also saddened by the role that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints played in this process, and the harm that the Church has done to itself in California, across the United States and around the world. That the leaders of the Church seem to not understand the damage that has been done, the depth and breadth of emotion that has been unleashed, or the hurt that has been inflicted is tragic. Nonetheless, our invitation to the First Presidency of the Church to meet with Affirmation’s Executive Committee to discuss areas in which we can work together on items of mutual concern remains open. The Church’s acceptance of our invitation would be a first step toward healing.
“Affirmation affirms that all of us on this earth are children of a loving God, endowed with certain privileges and promises. We have been commanded to love God and to love each other. Our church has taught us the importance of finding a companion with whom to travel the journey of life, and that nothing is more important on this earth than family. We do not seek to deny anyone else the recognition of their legal marriage vows; we ask that others accord us the same respect.”
In previous statements, Affirmation has called the LDS church’s support of Proposition 8 “an embarrassment” and has refuted the church’s charges that failure to pass the proposition would force churches to perform same-sex marriages, and force the teaching of gay marriage in public schools.
“The Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints state people must be allowed to believe and worship as they choose, and the church must not interfere in civil issues,” said David Melson, Affirmation’s Assistant Executive Director, in a statement released Oct. 11. “The leadership of the Mormon Church has seriously breached the tenets of their own faith. We urge them to prayerfully consider pulling out of the Prop 8 campaign, cease teaching hatred and homophobia as family values, and begin concentrating on the real world needs of its members and others.”