Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The latest from 50 E N Temple St

The latest from Church headquarters has me sputtering. It's a justification for the Church's involvement in the proposed California constitutional amendment that would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in that state.

There's some good news and bad news here.

I guess the good news, as mentioned in the bloggernacle, is that the Church seems open to domestic partnership laws that give gay couples similar legal rights as heterosexual couples. That's real progress.

It's also interesting to note that the Church now uses phrases like "homosexual men and women" and "homosexual family member or friend." It's easy to forget that just a few short years ago, the Church went to great lengths to insist that while there might be homosexual acts there are no homosexual persons. That little rhetorical gambit has been quietly dropped. (Apology accepted.)

That's pretty much the good news. Well, maybe not. In a way, it's good thing that the Church now gives specific (secular) arguments to bolster its case, as these may be judged on their merits by members of the Church and others. Judge for yourself.

One thing to note is how important gender is in the Church's argument. It makes me wonder if the point is more about shoring up against further erosion of the gender divide than it is about erasing gay families. (Note to Church: you need to read the literature on intersexuality, the phenomenon of people born with ambiguous gender who cannot be classified as either male or female. This phenomenon pretty much refutes the gender-is-eternal argument.)

There is some new material in the Church's latest bulletin, such as language that indicates that the Church does not expect all members to line up on the same side as the Church on this issue. I'll leave it to the bloggernacle's busy Kremlinologists to dissect the fine points.


Chino Blanco said...

This Thursday, August 14th, from 5:30 p.m - 8:30 p.m. at 2020 Main Street, Irvine, California:

ACTION ALERT: Tell the Right-Wing Consultants NO to Prop 8!

Sorry, I'm kinda spammin' here, but if you do happen to have any friends in Orange County who'd be willing to show up, that'd be great.

Your blog rocks!

MoHoHawaii said...

Hey Chino Blanco,

I don't mind the spam. We on the "vote no on Prop 8" side don't own satellite broadcasting systems (unlike our friends across the aisle), so we have to use cheaper ways to get the message out. :- )

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

What bothers me most is the way they defy logic and make totally ridiculous claims like because homophobia/discrimination is illegal in Europe, that means that if we allow gay marriage in the US, our religious freedoms will be limited.

Where and to whom does that even make any sense at all?

That and the fact that they totally are fear-mongering like the best of them (ahem Bush/Cheney) with their talk of schools amending their cirricula.

What also bothers me (besides the whole freaking thing) is that they constantly cite Jesus' condemnation of the woman taken in adultery to mean that Jesus was a proponent of only having sexual relations with your married spouse(s). The fact that the woman was adulterous (cheating on her husband) and not in a gay relationship seems to be convenient overlooked. The fact that is the only time he spoke out against any sort of sex as being sinful is also apparently unimportant.

They seem to be trying to convince the world that gay marriage is bad by dumping buckets and buckets of red herrings all over us until we surrender and say "ok, we give in, gay marriage is bad, just because"

It really shows me how weak their cause is when their official statements are so convoluted and non-sensical. They really haven't a leg to stand on, and they don't even realise it.

MoHoHawaii said...

Hi Craig,

They seem to be trying to convince the world that gay marriage is bad by dumping buckets and buckets of red herrings all over us until we surrender....

I love this line. It does seem like that-- they pile on enough unrelated but unsavory issues and soon enough we call it 'compelling evidence.'

Beck said...

I take the point of view that there are positive developments here as you pointed out at the beginning of this post. Whether one is willing to see these baby steps as sufficient is a different subject. The point is - the debate is bringing them to the table of discussion and having to admit the use of certain terms or the acceptance of certain civil unions, both of which were unheard of previously.

I think the debate will lead the Church leaders into taking more baby steps in the future.

Sure there is fear-mongering. Sure there is legal double-talk full of "what if" scenarios. Those are negative and regrettable.

Though not enough, I'm savoring the positives - hoping and praying for more.

MoHoHawaii said...

Hi Beck,

Yeah, these are baby steps. Or another way to look at it is that the Church is being brought, kicking and screaming, along for the ride.

If Prop. 8 loses in CA, I think the Church will start to adapt. If it passes, the Church will only be emboldened.

Donate here. :- )

Holly said...

One thing that struck me, aside from all the bad logic and insulting attitudes, and that I mention in my own analysis of the document, is how afraid the church is of the looming showdown with the state over this matter. And with good reason: the last time the church fought the law on the subject of marriage, the law won.

Does anyone else laugh mirthlessly at the profoundly ironic fact that the church is fighting tooth and nail to defend a concept of marriage it resisted as hard as it could, and accepted only when it was imposed on it by the federal government?

MoHoHawaii said...

Hey Holly!

The irony of the one man/one woman refrain is heavy in the air these days.

By the way, there is a hilarious post over at Times & Seasons that asks why the LDS Church chose only two issues, the Equal Rights Amendment and marriage equality, to fight politically. The author of the post wonders what possible common thread might unite these two issues.

The answer, of course, is trivially simple: gender roles. If society allows women all rights (including the right to marry a woman), then why exactly is it that only men can hold the priesthood? It's about male prerogative, all the way.

Anyway, in the approximately 50 or 100 comments that followed nobody brought up patriarchy or gender. LOL!

yeson8donors said... provides an up-to-date list of donors to, with some donors identified as mormon. There are a lot of donors from Hawaii. Please take a look and see if you can identify any of the donors from Hawaii as LDS for us.

Chino Blanco said...

Ron Prentice Gets Rich Fighting Gay Marriage

Ron Prentice is CEO of the California Family Council and Chairman of, the committee behind Prop 8 (the folks working to ban gay marriage in California).

Ron is set to be be honored at the Values Voter Summit 2008 (September 12-14) with Focus on the Family Action's Family Champion Award.

Justin McLachlan has broken a major story in the Proposition 8 battle: California Family Council contributions have mostly been spent on the generous salaries that Ron pays himself and his staff.

So far, there’ve been about a dozen news and blog pieces that have appeared online referencing Justin’s research into Ron Prentice and his shady management of donor funds.

Folks volunteering for and making contributions to the “Yes on 8″ campaign should be aware that the operatives running the show have a track record of using contributions to generously reward themselves.