Do Mormons Hate Gays?

The best article from an LDS author on the topic of gay marriage is Homosexual “Marriage” and Civilization by science fiction writer Orson Scott Card. But it’s pretty long and you might have a short attention span so I’ll try to summarize some points from the article along with my own thoughts.

So, do Mormons hate gay people? No. If Mormons don’t hate gay people, why are they against gay marriage? Why are they forcing their religion on other people and taking away their rights? Why would they want to rob committed couples of the opportunity to legalize that commitment?

Mormons don’t hate gay people any more than they hate people who steal batteries. Mormons see the homosexual act as a sin, but they don’t hate people who sin. Mormons recognize that everyone is a sinner, and nobody has the right to say “I’m good and you’re bad” because we all fall far short of perfection. We are all “bad” if you want to look at it that way.

But there are two ways we can look at “badness”. We can either say “I’m bad, but I want to be good” or we can say “There is no such thing as being bad.” Mormons want to be good, and want to help others be good as well. Mormons believe that legalizing gay marriage is a way of saying that there is no such thing as bad and good or right and wrong, and Mormons believe that if people think something that is truly bad is accepted as being good, then that will lead to increased levels of general unhappiness. Legalizing gay marriage doesn’t change what it is. It forces society to accept it, but doesn’t make it acceptable. If California legalized stealing batteries we would all be forced to accept battery thieves, but we would all know that it’s still stealing, whether it’s legal or not.

Or would we? What message would it send to our children if we legalize stealing batteries? What if a child’s parents teach them that stealing is wrong, no matter what, but then at school they learn that stealing is usually wrong, except for batteries? In at least some cases might this not result in the child doubting the teachings of the parents? And if everyone else believes stealing batteries is ok, but my parents don’t, what else might my parents be wrong about? And what’s the difference between batteries and music CDs? Why is one ok and the other wrong? What about cars? If it’s ok to steal batteries, isn’t it ok to steal anything?

Of course legalization of the theft of batteries wouldn’t result in every child becoming a thief. But what if it negatively affected the actions of 1%, 2%, or 5% of the population? Might the actions of that small percentage be enough to negatively effect the entire population?

Likewise, the legalization of gay marriage will send a message to children that what their parents teach them at home and what they learn outside the home are at conflict. This will force them to either doubt the legitimacy of the government, or the legitimacy of their parents as authoritative figures. It puts parents at odds with the government in the education of their children.

Of course this isn’t the first time this has happened, but can you expect parents to not oppose anything? If the government wanted to legalize stealing cars would you oppose it? Of course you would. Why? Because stealing is wrong. It hurts people. Making stealing acceptable would hurt all of society. Mormons and others see legalization of gay marriage the same way. The only difference between you and them–assuming you were against Prop 8– is that they’ve drawn the line in a different place. You are willing to accept things Mormons aren’t. But we all believe discrimination is good, we just don’t always agree on what should be discriminated against. We can all agree that discriminating against negative behaviors like murder and theft is good for society (except for some real nut-jobs), and we generally agree that discriminating against inherent characteristics like gender and skin color are not good for society. But homosexuality falls into a gray zone where we’re split. Some think it is a similar issue to skin color, and others see it as a behavior, like stealing things.

The question has been decided democratically, by the vote of the people. I don’t oppose the right of those who are trying through legal means to stop Prop 8 or overturn it. I think they have every right to try as long as they don’t circumvent the laws of the state and country. If they win someday, as I’m afraid they may, I won’t react the same way they have with protests and hateful words, nor will I hate them. I’ll be disappointed and frustrated but I’ll deal with it.

While these are clearly my own opinions I believe they’re held by a majority of Mormons. In my 33 years as a member of the LDS faith I have never heard any hateful talk about gays. On the contrary I’ve heard much about love and compassion and I expect to see more of it as time goes on and Mormons come to understand the issue more thoroughly.

Comments

  1. Mormons do not hate guys. They don't agree in people being gay because that is not what our God in Heaven put Adam and Eve down here for. He made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. That is about all I need to say. Oh and also I didn't read your entire thing just about 2 paragraphs.

  2. What about Caster Semnyna the dual gender athlete born without a womb but with internal testes? 1 -2000 humans are born with this normal variation. David, who should Caster marry to be right with the Lords plan in your view, because she is clearly not an Adam or an Eve. The fact is, gender is not binary as some would like to think..

  3. Yes: It is a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution.

    David Boies
    is the chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner in New York (Philadelphia Inquirer – link below)

    In the debate over gay marriage there are two related but distinct questions.

    One question is whether people believe, for religious or other reasons, that people of the same sex should not fall in love and marry each other; many people have strong and sincere beliefs on each side of this question.

    The second question is whether state laws prohibiting persons of the same sex from marrying each other violate the equal-protection and due-process clauses of the U.S. Constitution; this is the question that former Solicitor General Ted Olson and I are now litigating in our case to overturn California's Proposition 8, which prohibits gay marriage in that state.

    People's personal views of the appropriateness of same-sex relationships naturally influence their views of our lawsuit. However, it is important to remember that the legal question does not, and under our Constitution cannot, depend on people's personal preferences.

    The constitutional issue is quite simple. The Supreme Court repeatedly has held that the right to marry the person of your choice is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the equal-protection and due-process clauses of the Constitution:

    In 1967, in Loving v. Virginia, a unanimous court overturned the laws of more than 20 states that at the time prohibited interracial marriage.

    In 1978, the Supreme Court, in Zablocki v. Redhail, vacated as unconstitutional (by an 8-1 vote) a Wisconsin law preventing child-support scofflaws from getting married. The court emphasized, "Decisions of this court confirm that the right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals."

    In 1987, in Turner v. Safley, the court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, struck down as unconstitutional a Missouri law preventing imprisoned felons from marrying, holding that marriages were "expressions of emotional support and public commitment. These elements are an important and significant aspect of the marital relationship."

    In 2003, Lawrence v. Texas held that states could not constitutionally outlaw consensual homosexual activity. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia noted that the court's ruling undermined the rationale for any state limitations on gay marriage.

    There are five basic arguments that are made to support state prohibitions. First, it is argued that the prohibitions are the result of the democratic process. This is true but irrelevant to the constitutional question. The purpose of constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process is to limit the power of the majority to restrict minority rights.

    Second, it is argued tautologically that marriage by definition is between a man and a woman. That is the question, and a circular answer does not advance the analysis. In fact, marriage is not, and has not been, limited to persons of different sexes. Not only are there historical examples, but there are a number of states in this country (including Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and California before the passage of Proposition 8) and a number of foreign nations (including countries as Catholic as Spain, as different as Sweden and South Africa, and as near as Canada) that have embraced gay and lesbian marriage.

    Third, it is argued that same-sex marriages are inconsistent with religious teachings. As a Christian, I would disagree. (See Matthew 22:35-40.) As a lawyer, it is irrelevant. The First Amendment guarantees the right of religious opponents of gay marriage to express their personal disapproval of such unions and the right of churches that forbid same-sex marriages not to perform them. But the same First Amendment, as well as the due-process and equal-protection clauses, precludes anyone from using state law to enforce his or her religious beliefs on others.

    Fourth, it is sometimes argued that permitting gays and lesbians to marry will somehow undermine heterosexual marriage. There is no evidence that this is so, and contrary evidence from places where same-sex marriage is permitted. Moreover, it is difficult to the point of impossibility to envision two heterosexuals in love deciding not to marry, or to get a divorce depending on whether their gay neighbors are permitted to marry.

    Fifth, it is argued that it has "always" been true that gays and lesbians have been prohibited from marrying. As already noted, this has not been, and is not, true. Moreover, as Justice Anthony M. Kennedy elegantly wrote in Lawrence v. Texas, rejecting the notion that a history of discrimination might trump constitutional rights:

    "Times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom."
    http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20091101_Y

  4. Comparing gay marriage to thieves and theivery is ridiculous. The writer is a simpleton.

  5. Comparing gay marriage to thieves and thievery is ludicrous. This author is a simpleton.

  6. When women stopped going into "heat" and began to be receptive during the whole month, sex no longer became all about procreation. Enter LOVE. Now, sex had another purpose…love. You fundamentalists try to make the complex universe as simple as the human mind can comprehend. It is idolatrous to claim to know the mind of God. Live your own life and stop limiting others' freedom. THAT may be the biggest sin of all.

  7. Human rights should not be decided via a vote either.

  8. Hi John, since I posted this I've been somewhat converted to a libertarian mindset on many issues. I still have some questions about the gay marriage issue, but on some level it makes sense to me when politicians like Ron Paul advocate for getting the government entirely out of the marriage business. That is, no marriage licenses, no official recognition of any type of marriage, merely a system of private contracts. Marriage would then be relegated back to churches or any other institution, and it would be up to each institution to define "marriage" any way they want to. If one church wants to define marriage as between one man and one woman, and refuse to marry gays, that would be their right. If another church wanted to define marriage as only being between homosexuals, that would be their right. If another church wants to do polygamous marriages, so be it. Animals, rocks, colors, mathematical concepts, etc. would all be fair game–anyone could define marriage any way they please, and reject anyone else who has a different definition that doesn't meet their criteria. In this way, everyone would be on an equal playing field when it comes to public recognition of marriage, because there would be no such thing. Marriage would be an entirely private matter.

    Would you say this is a logical way to go? Or do you have a different take on it?

  9. I would agree with that. I think that is the only real solution, but it is one that many people will not readily accept becuase it goes against the mainstream

  10. Orson has a pretty weak & offensive argument. Comparing gay marriage to stealing? How about separating church from state and acknowledging that marriage is a contract and can be made and cancelled (divorce) without God. Nobody needs a Church's or Jesus' blessing to get married. Gay marriage should be a civil right.

    Isn't it ironic that the same LDS people who bought and paid for Yes on Prop 8 in California are being called "cultists" by conservative Christians because they don't want a Mormon in the White House? That's pretty discriminatory. But, I'm sure the "real" Christians" love their Mormon brother and sisters. There's No H8, there, right? As Orson says, discrimination is good. Wake up. H8 is H8. LDS is the target this time.

  11. @jane – Since I first wrote this post I've become something of a libertarian, and so I'm inclined to agree that marriage shouldn't have anything to do with the government but should be merely a private contract. That way there would be Jewish marriages, Mormon marriages, gay marriages, man-animal marriages, and what have you–it would be up to individuals to decide what is or what isn't marriage and act accordingly, as long as they're not trying to force their views on anyone else (i.e. Mormons wouldn't force gays to marry a certain way, and gays wouldn't try to force Mormons to allow gay marriages in their churches or temples). I'm not 100% convinced this is the way things should be because I'm still educating myself on the matter, but I'm leaning in this direction.

    As for separating church and state, the only solution is to shrink the size of the state. When the state becomes so large that it invades every area of our lives, it becomes hard to keep our lives out of the state. If the federal government would function within the confines of the Constitution these types of arguments wouldn't come up in the first place. A large part of the problem is that people say "I'm ok with an intrusive government that forces its will on everyone else as long as I agree with what that 'will' is." What people don't seem to understand is that a government that can force group A to engage in certain behavior can easily be turned around and used to force group B to engage in certain behavior. Only by taking the power away from government to force either group A or B to engage in any type of certain behavior will we be able to live in peace.

    That said, I would be careful as to what you label as "hate". I don't know anyone who hates gay people, but I know plenty of people who are against gay marriage. When you automatically label anyone who is against gay marriage as hating gay people, you lose the ability to influence those people, because it's obvious you don't understand where they're coming from. They hear what you're saying and their reaction is "Well, I'm against gay marriage but I don't hate gay people, so why should I listen to anything this lady says? She's obviously crazy or just hateful herself of anyone who disagrees with her."

    It is possible to be against a behavior and still love the person who engages in that behavior.

  12. No, they do not hate gays. It is my opinion. I do not know their heart and mind. Who knows. I do not hate them. Because it is not part of the gospel. I believe they are against gay marriage because they want it that way. I do not hate anyone. Even though, it is written: He who loves his brother, loves God, and he who hates his brother, and he says he loves God is a liar for there is no light in him. If someone beats his brother, it is against the gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel bad and hated. Sorry. I wonder if Mormons hate gays, can they also hate rich people?

  13. I AM MORE INCLINED TO SUPPORT RON PAUL'S PHILOSOPHY OF HAVING GOVERNMENT GET OUT OF THE MARRIAGE BUSINESS & LET CHURCHES HANDLE THE ISSUE. NO ONE REALLY KNOWS THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF HOMOSEXUALITY BUT MOST SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION TENS TOWARD SUPPORT OF A GENETIC CONNECTION.

    WHAT BOTHERS ME MOST IS THAT WE WISH TO TAKE THINGS INTO OUR OWN CONTROL. GOD GIVES US A FREE WILL AND DOES NOT FORCES US TO DO ANYTHING. SO THE QUESTION TO ME IS WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? I AM COMPELLED TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS WOULD WANT THEM TO USE THEIR FREE WILL TO DECIDE THE BEST WAY TO LIVE.

    JESUS IS GENTLE, FIRM AND COMPASSIONATE. ANYONE THAT SEARCHES FOR THE TRUTH AND ACTS UPON THE TRUTH, WILL BE SAVED NO MATTER WHAT WE BELIEVE. JESUS SAVES SINNERS TOO.

  14. I had a direct experience with four generations of Mormon friends in Idaho and Utah. Although I've known them for many many years, I was shocked. They are high up in positions in the church and one High Priest stated "all gays should be shot"! They also bragged that you find only "white" faces there. They were very clear that they hated those of color and treated those who were not members of their church with total disrespect. My heart is broken, because of how they displayed and acted out in their hatred for others of color and consider all Non-Mormons sinners. It took all these years and being with them all together before they revealed all of this to me. I'm now reading up on the "Book of Mormons" and their history. If you really want to know the truth, be around them when they are living their true belief and read. They are very deceiving and put on a front to all Non-Mormons. I've been blind-sided all these years.

  15. the writer of this article should be shot, dug from his grave, shot and then buried again. Mormons who preach this bullshit should be sent to hell. homosexuality isn’t a sin. what are you resources? a book written thousands and thousands of years ago by cavemen? the real sin is you teaching these people that being gay is wrong. its funny that you actually believe that homosexuality is a sin, it shows just how stupid and ignorant you are. its also going to be hilarious when you die & god tells you your whole life was a fucking JOKE because you spent it believing and preaching utter bullshit. your religion is a joke, and god probably hates you for being an idiot.

  16. I like the author. The author is not being hypocritical, the author understands we are all sinners.
    I don’t like gays because I don’t believe it is real love. I also don’t
    believe it’s logical since they are not accepted in religion or science
    as normal.

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