SL10351: Panel: Mobilizing the Saints: Behind-the-Scenes Strategies on Same-sex Marriage

”Toeing the Line: Is the LDS Church a Moral Agent or a Political Machine?” The LDS Church identifies its involvement in same-sex marriage issues as a moral cooperative with other religions. Yet participation by both members and general leaders appears to have outweighed participation by other religious adherents. Has the Church crossed the line from moral organizer to political action committee? Is there a difference between the two? Let’s examine the evidence from 50 years of trials, proclamations, memos, experiences, and hearings—and figure out which side of the line we’re on. “Mobilizing For Marriage: Congregations and Arizona’s Proposition 102.” On 4 November 2008, Arizona citizens passed Proposition 102. This proposition—known by its supporters as the Marriage Protection Amendment—amended the Arizona state constitution to define marriage as a relationship only between one man and one woman. Drawing on the Southern Arizona Congregations Study (a representative survey of 297 congregations in southern Arizona collected in 2009), I present findings related to congregation-based support of and opposition to Proposition 102 and discuss the peculiarity of Mormon participation in relation to that of other faiths. Mormon congregations were by far the most likely to get involved and participate at high levels of political mobilization in support of the proposition. I conclude with a discussion of social implications of these findings.