Mormons support gay rights legislation

What are they up to?

The Mormon church for the first time has announced its support of gay rights legislation, an endorsement that helped gain unanimous approval for Salt Lake city laws banning discrimination against gays in housing and employment.

There must be money in gay housing. Story is here.


  1. #1 Joshua Zelinsky
    November 12, 2009

    This may be sincere. Gay marriage is something they can’t condone but anti-discrimination laws can be supported. It seems theologically consistent.

    The other possibility is that after all the backlash against their support of Prop 8, the Church doesn’t want that sort of thing to happen again. So they are supporting to try to either avoid that or to get a generally better impression with the general public.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    November 12, 2009

    Yeah, they could be throwing out a bone that has already been chewed to bits and taking credit for it. The equal housing and employment laws and court law are well developed.

  3. #3 Clayton Summers
    November 12, 2009

    Another possibility is that if we pass marriage anti-discrimination laws that apply to gay marriage, they might try to get it extended to polygamy as well?

  4. #4 Stacy
    November 12, 2009

    “… they might try to get it extended to polygamy as well?’


  5. #5 Jason Thibeault
    November 12, 2009

    I’m not sure how polygamy follows from gay marriage, but it’s a shorter stretch than Boehner’s “next we’ll legalize bestiality!”

  6. #6 Alex
    November 12, 2009

    Well, if it is a ploy to legalize polygamy, but so what? Why should polygamy be illegal?

  7. #7 Alex
    November 12, 2009

    Whoops, ignore the word “but” in #6.

  8. #8 Joshua Zelinsky
    November 13, 2009

    Officially the Church of Latter-Day Saints does not support polygamy. I suspect that most of the hierarchy doesn’t support it even if there are likely still elements that do.

  9. #9 Jen
    November 13, 2009

    This is strictly a public relations olive branch. The double-speak is dizzying. They are attempting to normalize in the public opinion, and hope that their fundamental beliefs are overlooked. And it just may work, too.

  10. #10 SQB
    November 13, 2009

    Let’s combine those two to form: polygamous gay marriage.

  11. #11 Katharine
    November 13, 2009

    Here’s one:

    The state is not their church, and civil marriage is not religious marriage. They had better keep their paws out of the state.

    Until they answer for their stupidity, don’t back down from calling them out on their bullshit.

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    November 13, 2009

    I just want to point out that people might be misuing the word polygamy.

    Polygyny is the practice of more than one woman married to a man. Polyandry is the practice of more than one man married to a woman. Polygynandry is the practice of marriages with two or more women AND two or more men. Polygamy is the overarching term that includes all of the above.

    When mormans say “polygamy” they mean “polygyny”

  13. #13 Seth R.
    November 13, 2009

    The LDS Church excommunicates anyone who practices polygamy. This has been the LDS stance for close to 100 years now.

    You guys are thinking of the FLDS – a breakaway faction (those guys in Texas).

  14. #14 Joel
    November 13, 2009

    It’s a public relations gimic. They’re saying, we don’t hate gays and do not support discrimination. We only want to protect the sacred institution of marriage.

  15. #15 Rick Pikul
    November 13, 2009

    @Seth R.

    Remember that the ban was for entirely political reasons and was pretty much forced upon them. I would not be surprised if there are elements within the LDS church who would like to reverse the ban but know that the law has to be overturned first.

    Personally, I have no problem with allowing polygamy. It’s just a matter of making sure the relevant laws are written so as to avoid the problems that are sometimes related to it, (to begin with, I would require the consent of all of the co-mates).

  16. #16 noel
    November 13, 2009

    I want fully equal rights for my polygamous gay beastiality marriage.

  17. #17 Rachel
    November 13, 2009

    Every marriage should have a high species diversity.

  18. #18 chanson
    November 14, 2009

    My guess is that they’re doing some desperate damage control for some of their PR problems:

    One of the General Authorities recently gave a widely-publicized speech comparing discrimination against Mormons to the treatment of black people during the civil rights era. It was a clueless move that showed impressive chutzpah (see our discussion here and here). And that whiny speech looks doubly rotten if the church leaders support discrimination against gay people while decrying some (mostly imaginary) discrimination against Mormons.

    Re: the point on polygamy. The mainstream LDS church has a vested interest in seeing that polygamy never be legalized. The official LDS proclamations ending polygamy specifically say that the point is to obey the law. They never repudiated polygamy as a doctrine or eternal principle. So if polygamy gains legal recognition, they have a huge problem on their hands: many core members will expect polygamy to then be practiced again, whereas an even larger chunk of the membership would be horrified by the prospect. This would lead to a major schism.

    I suspect that the massive LDS effort against legalizing gay marriage (for non-LDS people…) is largely motivated by fear that legal polygamy will follow.