Mormons, Gays and Prop 8

No one is, or ever could be, excluded from the circle of God’s love or the extended arms of His Church, for we are all His beloved sons and daughters. As President Hinckley said: “Our hearts reach out to those who struggle with feelings of affinity for the same gender. We remember you before the Lord, we sympathize with you, we regard you as our brothers and sisters”—God Loveth His Children, official LDS Church pamphlet

“The attitude of our tradition and of Reform Judaism toward homosexuals is clear… Judaism places great emphasis on family, children and the future, which is assured by a family… we canot accommodate the relationship of two homosexuals as a ‘marriage’ within the context of Judaism, for none of the elements of qiddushin (sanctification) normally associated with marriage can be invoked for this relationship. A rabbi cannot, therefore, participate in the ‘marriage’ of two homosexuals.”—Responsum, Central Conference of American Rabbis, October 1985


I went to see the movie “8:The Mormon Proposition” on opening night in West Hollywood, a gay enclave in Los Angeles. Most of the 50 or so moviegoers were same-sex couples, and I was curious to observe their reactions to the anti-Mormon film. I didn’t have long to wait. The documentary’s opening scenes featured two young ex-Mormon men describing their courtship and eventual wedding in San Francisco on the first day that gays could legally marry in California. As they described their joy at finally being able to marry the person they loved after years of rejection, alienation, and heartache, the sounds of sniffles and muffled sobs filled the theater. Clearly their story had hit a nerve with the people around me, who undoubtedly had their own stories of rejection to share. This poignant moment alone was well worth the ticket price. I was also touched by the last part of the film, which examined the miserable lives of some gay teens in Utah. Unfortunately, the disingenuous “cry for an open dialogue” that appears on the film’s posters is likely to go unheeded by Mormons, who will understandably take offense at the film’s biased and dishonest portrayal of LDS beliefs and attitudes towards gays.

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