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LDS Church signs letter on traditional marriage: U.S. religious leaders aim to sway Senate vote
The Deseret News ^ | 4/25/2006 | Stephen Speckman

Posted on 04/25/2006 11:31:45 AM PDT by Utah Girl

An LDS official and 49 religious leaders from around the country have signed a letter that calls for a U.S. constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Members of Utah's gay and lesbian community called the letter, written on behalf of the Religious Coalition for Marriage, a political "distraction" and hurtful.

Elder Russell M. Nelson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, signed on behalf of the LDS Church. The letter is intended to help sway the U.S. Senate, which is expected to vote in June on a resolution that calls for the marriage amendment.

The LDS Church joined other religious bodies and leaders in signing the letter "to protect and preserve the institution of marriage between a man and a woman," according to a church statement on its Web site at www.lds.org.

The statement went on to advise LDS Church members to be civil and respectful of each other when participating in public debate on moral, social and political issues that can become "divisive."

LDS Church spokesman Dale Bills declined comment Monday. Bills referred questions to the church's statement on its Web site.

While only one of 50 signatures on the letter was an LDS leader, 16 were Catholic bishops and archbishops.

The large turnout for the Catholic Church follows a vote last month by the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to reaffirm its support of a federal marriage amendment. In 2003 the committee issued the statement, "Promote, Preserve, Protect Marriage."

The LDS Church has previously aired its opinion on marriage in the document "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." Read publicly in 1995 by LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley, the proclamation says, "Marriage between a man and a woman is essential to his eternal plan" and that children should be reared by a father and mother.

The recent letter from religious leaders is posted at www.religiouscoalitionformarriage.org. The letter is intended to sway the Senate in favor of the resolution for the "Marriage Protection Amendment."

The resolution calls for a constitutional amendment that would provide a national definition of marriage. The Senate is expected to vote a second time on the resolution June 6. The resolution passed the House but failed once before in the Senate. Approval by the Senate would send the resolution to voters for a final say.

"We are convinced that this is the only measure that will adequately protect marriage from those who would circumvent the legislative process and force a redefinition of it on the whole of our society," the letter reads.

Signatures on the letter include leaders from the Baptist, Episcopal, Greek Orthodox and Lutheran churches, two rabbis and officials from religious groups like Focus on the Family, led by founder James Dobson. A complete list of signers is posted on the Web site for the Religious Coalition for Marriage.

A federal amendment would echo what took place in Utah in 2004, when 66 percent of voters passed Amendment 3, which changed the Utah Constitution to specifically ban gay marriages.

Utah's only gay state senator, Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake, said the recent letter is an attempt by Republicans to rescue their "pitiful" place in the polls right now by pandering to their right-wing, religious-fundamentalist base.

"Honestly, that's what this is about," McCoy said Monday. "This is an attempt at electoral distraction."

McCoy added that for every church represented on the letter, there is a faction of that church that believes the exact opposite.

Inactive LDS members Millie and Gary Watts co-chair Family Fellowship, a support and education group for an estimated 1,700 LDS families with gay and lesbian members. The Watts are parents of six children, including a gay son and lesbian daughter.

"I feel badly that the (LDS) church has to again re-emphasize its belief that marriage is between a man and a woman," Millie Watts said. "It hurts. It may unite other families, but it hurts my family."

Rather than frown upon gay relationships, Watts would like to see society and its churches spend more time on encouraging monogamy and helping to fortify relationships, gay or otherwise.

Valerie Larabee, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, said she wasn't surprised by the recent letter. "I wish that we would pay more attention to helping people than hurting people," she said.

Larabee said the letter contributes toward gay and lesbian people not being treated equally. "If you alter the Constitution," she added, "you're not going to have equality."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: homosexualagenda
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I remember the First Presidency issuing the Proclamation on the Family in 1996, and thinking that it was so redundant. As it turns out, it was prescient.
1 posted on 04/25/2006 11:31:49 AM PDT by Utah Girl
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To: Utah Girl

Members of Utah's gay and lesbian community called the letter, written on behalf of the Religious Coalition for Marriage, a political "distraction" and hurtful.



Wait a minute. Utah HAS a Gay and Lesbian community?


2 posted on 04/25/2006 11:35:52 AM PDT by trubluolyguy (It wasn't the spikes that kept Him on the cross.)
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To: trubluolyguy

There are gays and lesbians everywhere. Hadn't you noticed?


3 posted on 04/25/2006 11:37:14 AM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: MineralMan

There are gays and lesbians everywhere. Hadn't you noticed?



Yes. Unfortunately, yes.


5 posted on 04/25/2006 11:38:45 AM PDT by trubluolyguy (It wasn't the spikes that kept Him on the cross.)
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Utah Girl


LDS thinks marriage is a man and woman?

Don't they mean a man and women?


7 posted on 04/25/2006 11:42:35 AM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: Farallon

Used to be the love that dare not speak it's name. These days it's the love that won't STFU.


8 posted on 04/25/2006 11:43:54 AM PDT by trubluolyguy (It wasn't the spikes that kept Him on the cross.)
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To: Utah Girl
Yes. Isn't it funny that every election year we have a debate on gay marriage, and then after the election everyone forgets about it and nothing happens?

This is political tricks and nothing more.

9 posted on 04/25/2006 11:45:05 AM PDT by conserv13
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To: trubluolyguy

typical homoadvocates.

They dismiss as irrelevant that which does not advocate same sex genital playing.


10 posted on 04/25/2006 11:45:33 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Tzimisce

It never fails--say anything about Utah and the idiots that think the Church still practices polygamy come out of the woodwork and show their asininity in public forums. Gag!


11 posted on 04/25/2006 11:47:10 AM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: Paulus Invictus


Polygamy has been in the LDS since its inception.

Mention anything Mormon and the hypersensitive nutcases come out.

Get over yourself.


12 posted on 04/25/2006 11:48:52 AM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: Paulus Invictus
idiots that think the Church still practices polygamy

I don't care about the polygamy, I just think the entire premise behind LDS is hogwash.

13 posted on 04/25/2006 11:50:18 AM PDT by conserv13
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To: Paulus Invictus

Perhaps he was speaking to when the husband after death raises one or more wives. I've read the book of Mormon you had better watch who you refer to as an idiot.


14 posted on 04/25/2006 11:51:03 AM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: Tzimisce
Polygamy has been in the LDS since its inception.

No, it hasn't.

15 posted on 04/25/2006 11:51:25 AM PDT by Spiff ("They start yelling, 'Murderer!' 'Traitor!' They call me by name." - Gael Murphy, Code Pink leader)
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To: Utah Girl
"I feel badly that the (LDS) church has to again re-emphasize its belief that marriage is between a man and a woman," Millie Watts said. "It hurts. It may unite other families, but it hurts my family."

Your hurt feelings are outweighed by the higher good of the common good, Ms. Watts.

Sorry. Feelings don't trump everything else.

16 posted on 04/25/2006 11:51:45 AM PDT by The Iguana
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To: trubluolyguy

no they are not everywhere, they are just squeeky wheel lound mouthed sex fetishists who get excited when people know about their deviancies in the bedroom.

2.7% (their number) of the population is not everywhere.


17 posted on 04/25/2006 11:52:00 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Tzimisce
Don't they mean a man and women?

No, not since 1890, when the LDS changed their rules. Any polygamists now are outside the church, as demonstrated in the new HBO series, "Big Love".

18 posted on 04/25/2006 11:52:16 AM PDT by American Quilter
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To: The Iguana

I know the Watts family. They have two children who are gay/lesbian. They don't have much to do with the LDS church anymore. It is very sad.

And you are quite right. Just because a small minority doesn't want their feelings hurt does not mean we should not stand on principle and say that marriage is between a man and a woman.


19 posted on 04/25/2006 11:55:36 AM PDT by Utah Girl
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To: American Quilter

I'm hooked on Big Love. Just cracks me up!


20 posted on 04/25/2006 11:56:51 AM PDT by bonfire
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To: Spiff

It was "revealed" to JS in 1831. He didn't practice it until 1843, but some sources say 1833.


21 posted on 04/25/2006 11:58:03 AM PDT by bonfire
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To: Tzimisce
LDS thinks marriage is a man and woman? Don't they mean a man and women?

All depends if you're talking about time [LDS say "no" here"], once upon a time [obviously yes, from the original leaders on down], or eternity [another "yes"--something LDS common folk don't want non-LDS common folk to understand].

In other words, LDS believe in past-tense polygamy, future-tense spiritual polygamy. They just frown on present-tense polygamy.

22 posted on 04/25/2006 12:02:10 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: bonfire
I'm hooked on Big Love. Just cracks me up!

Me too! It's fascinating to watch the interplay between the husband and three wives, which strikes me as realistic. The wives never have enough of his time or attention; he's struggling to earn enough to support three households and to satisfy each wife.

When I first saw the title of this thread, I thought it might be driven by the LDS' strong objections to the show. According to my lapsed-LDS neighbor, the church prophets (if that's the right word) have put out a call to all Mormons to write to HBO protesting the show.

23 posted on 04/25/2006 12:05:21 PM PDT by American Quilter
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To: American Quilter; bonfire
When I first saw the title of this thread, I thought it might be driven by the LDS' strong objections to the show. According to my lapsed-LDS neighbor, the church prophets (if that's the right word) have put out a call to all Mormons to write to HBO protesting the show.

Mr. Cat and I are addicted to this show. I believe it about the call to arms to write HBO. I had an email from an LDS friend of mine all about it. I don't have the heart to tell her that we like it!

24 posted on 04/25/2006 12:07:44 PM PDT by conservative cat
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To: American Quilter

HBO won't care about protests but they DO care about ratings. Don't ya love the symbolism at the opening when they are all sitting at the table on a "planet"?

btw, I love the "affair" with his first wife! The whole show makes my head spin!


25 posted on 04/25/2006 12:07:53 PM PDT by bonfire
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To: conservative cat

Recently saw a documentary on one of the polygamous groups that live on a compound....I believe the show is modeled after this group. Anyway, they interviewed many of the women and men and it comes VERY close to "Big Love".


26 posted on 04/25/2006 12:09:24 PM PDT by bonfire
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To: Farallon

"Do they bug ya?"

Only when they're marching down the street in leather chaps with a sparkler sticking out of their butt shouting "I'm normal, respect me"!


27 posted on 04/25/2006 12:10:32 PM PDT by dljordan
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To: Paulus Invictus
the idiots that think the Church still practices polygamy

Pray tell. Please answer: Contrary to what Jesus said ("At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven"--Matthew 22:30), do not LDS believe that since "families are forever"--in other words, intact forever, that LDS folks are "still practicing" polygamy in eternity right now? Yes or no?

Since eternity knows no time boundaries, how can polygamy be a past doctrine, a future-tense doctrine, and a present-tense spiritual doctrine [since polygamous folks live in eternity co-adjacent to us in another dimension] and still it is somehow almost "anathema" on the present-tense physical/social level?

How many thousands of women have been sealed to LDS men "for eternity?" And, does this sealing still go on even among those inside the LDS church?

28 posted on 04/25/2006 12:14:03 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: bonfire; conservative cat

I'm glad I'm not the only one! I can't wait to find out how Bill's going to deal with Roman. Can't post any more right now, though--gotta go to work (sigh).


29 posted on 04/25/2006 12:14:17 PM PDT by American Quilter
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To: Colofornian

Most excellent question, Colofornian.

LDS know the only reason polygamy isn't practiced now. It wasn't any "revelation" either!


30 posted on 04/25/2006 12:17:25 PM PDT by bonfire
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To: Utah Girl
Hmmmm...wonder what Joseph Smith would say?


31 posted on 04/25/2006 12:24:51 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: Utah Girl
Utah's only gay state senator, Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake

I've heard Utah is 70% LDS. So, Mr. McCoy was not elected without the help of LDS voters. It'd be interesting to find what his level of support was among LDS.

32 posted on 04/25/2006 12:29:17 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Tzimisce
Your attempt to be funny is hardly laughable.

Plural marriage has been outlawed in the church for over 100 years and is an excommunicable offense today. Bring yourself up to date and please let wisdom and knowledge replace your shallow and illfounded attempt at religious humor.

33 posted on 04/25/2006 12:31:34 PM PDT by rundy
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To: rundy
excommunicable offense today

But, if you're an LDS in eternity taking to yourself additional wives who were "sealed" to you for eternity, it's not only something that will not get you excommunicated from your degree of glory, it's actually something prominently practiced in that spiritual dimension by LDS men-turned-gods [like Joseph, Brigham, and all the rest of the now-deceased polygamous general authorities], right?

34 posted on 04/25/2006 12:36:57 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: rundy

The founder of your religion, and writer of your canon books was an ardent polygamist. And that's less than 170 years ago...hardly a blink in religious history.

135 years without polygamy isn't a very long time at all.

Small "o" orthodox Christians however have for 2,000 years frowned on polygamy...forbidding it expressly for Church leadership in the Bible (I Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6) and historically forbidding it even for lay persons from the 4th Century onwards....meaning Smith could not have held any leadership post in any Church--nor even membership there for the last 1600 years or so. How can one breaking the New Testament command on polygamy--and firmly teaching others do do so too--be considered a true prophet?


35 posted on 04/25/2006 12:52:54 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: AnalogReigns
135 years without polygamy isn't a very long time at all.

It's actually less than 120 years since the edict came down. Also, remember that polygamous families weren't banned from the church; just the official act itself. So LDS polygamous families were still widely intact well into the 1900s--less than a century ago. I mean there's an awful lot of baby boomers whose grandparents were born within polygamous families...so that's not so long ago.

Many others have written about "less official" LDS polygamous marriage rites that were conducted on a case by case basis, though not publicly condoned, in the 1890s and on into the 20th century.

36 posted on 04/25/2006 1:13:09 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Tzimisce
"Don't they mean a man and women?"

That was stricken by the LDS church in the 1890's. Never in LDS history was there ever over 20% whom approved of plural marriages.

And no, I am not an LDS member. But after having associated with them through work and community for a few decades, I have found them to be honest and hard working Americans with terrific family values.
37 posted on 04/25/2006 1:55:49 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis

Thanks for the comments. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have worked hard to pass initiatives across America to preserve marriage to be between a man and a woman. We have worked in conjunction with our friends and neighbors and with other faiths who have the goal: to preserve traditional marriage.


38 posted on 04/25/2006 8:39:34 PM PDT by Utah Girl
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis


There are places in Utah where it is still practiced. There are Mormon sects that still do it (although not officially.)

...did I EVER say anything was wrong with polygamy? I was making a joke.

Now get over yourself.


39 posted on 04/25/2006 9:03:17 PM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: rundy


OOOO! Wow! I didn't know that. Thank you so much for that information.

Is there any other laws of left wing political correctness I should be observing now?


40 posted on 04/25/2006 9:04:40 PM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: Colofornian


I used to live in Utah. I've had Mormon friends all my life.

Yes, I am aware of all this.


41 posted on 04/25/2006 9:06:13 PM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: Tzimisce

"...did I EVER say anything was wrong with polygamy? I was making a joke.

Now get over yourself."

I very much doubt any one whom takes their religion seriously, would take ridicule from a total stranger as a joke.


42 posted on 04/25/2006 9:06:34 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis
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To: Spiff


Yeah, and freedom is at the heart of liberalism too. :)


43 posted on 04/25/2006 9:07:05 PM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: Tzimisce

There are no Mormon sects that practice polygamy in Utah. We cannot support anyone in polygamy or we are excommunicated. We cannot practice polygamy or else we are excommunicated. The groups that form usually have fundamentalist in their name, or some other version cobbled together.


44 posted on 04/25/2006 9:12:26 PM PDT by Utah Girl
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And there are no other Mormon groups that practice polygamy anywhere. If they practice polygamy, they are ex-Mormons.


45 posted on 04/25/2006 9:14:28 PM PDT by Utah Girl
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To: Tzimisce

You couldn't be more wrong, but it's useless to argue to people who do not know the facts.


46 posted on 04/26/2006 7:11:07 AM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: conserv13

That's your opinion and you are entitled to it.


47 posted on 04/26/2006 7:12:17 AM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine

You are correct! I had a moment of ire there, and won't use that word again. It only makes others angry and does nothing to promote good Christian communications.


48 posted on 04/26/2006 7:14:30 AM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis

"I was making a joke." How would you react to a "joke" (ridicule) about anything your own religion may teach or practice (or no longer practices)?


49 posted on 04/26/2006 7:29:09 AM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: Utah Girl
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have worked hard to pass initiatives across America to preserve marriage to be between a man and a woman. We have worked in conjunction with our friends and neighbors and with other faiths who have the goal: to preserve traditional marriage.

This is a true statement. I know LDS were prominent in helping to pass Prop 22 in California. So it is good that LDS have been willing, from their leadership on down, to be on the forefront of this issue. It is indeed commendable.

I only wish the same was true on other socio-political issues. Like abortion, for example. By and large, many LDS folks are pro-life. But we don't see this translated into the public arena. Of course, LDS, as a body of faith, is not alone here. The same could be said of many denominations in the historical Christian faith.

50 posted on 04/26/2006 8:01:25 AM PDT by Colofornian
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