LDS leaders take different tack on Argentina’s gay-marriage push

As Argentina moves closer to allowing gay marriage, the LDS Church is reminding members where the faith stands on the issue with a letter that may be significant not so much for what it says as for what it doesn’t say.

“The doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is absolutely clear: Marriage is between a man and a woman and is ordained of God,” write LDS President Thomas S. Monson and his counselors in the governing First Presidency, Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, in a letter to be read Sunday in every Mormon congregation in the South American nation. “We recommend that together as families you review The Family: A Proclamation to the World to understand more fully the doctrine of the church in regards to this topic.”

The letter was prompted, it said, because “concerns have been raised regarding the proposed legislation which would change the definition of marriage in Argentina.”

Still, LDS spokesman Scott Trotter said Friday, the Utah-based church “has taken no official position on the legislation being considered.”

What is interesting to many observers is what the missive, written in Spanish, doesn’t mention — especially in the wake of California’s spirited Proposition 8 debate.

It definitely reaffirms the church’s commitment to traditional marriage, says Brigham Young University law professor Fred Gedicks. “But it doesn’t take as strong a position on the legal question [of same-sex marriage] in Argentina.”

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