SW0915: Marriage, Mormons, and Civil Liberties

Nineteenth Century Mormons were denied their civil and religious rights in part because of their marriage practices. The will of the majority led to Mormons being driven from their homes and massacred and their leaders assassinated. Modern-day Mormons are cognizant that our ancestors were wronged, but may be less aware of the striking parallels with the historical treatment of homosexuals. Most Mormons voted for Proposition 8 because the Prophet said it was essential to “protect traditional marriage.” I believe Mormons can protect marriage as instructed by Church leaders as well as allow for civil liberties and rights of homosexuals. I discuss some ideas that will help convince moderate and liberal Mormons that in civil society (which is separate from religious community), it is appropriate and even beneficial to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Sue Spencer Cannon