The Mormon Church changed its handbook to treat same sex marriages, and the children of those families, in the vilest of ways. Now some who fought for marriage equality are speaking out against religious bashing as well.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the Mormon Church over its new change of policy. That policy not only compared the act of a loving commitment in a same sex marriage to the sin of murder, it specifically called out and ostracized our children. It was the first time a major religion targeted the children of LGBT families and treated them as pariahs.
The sting of that action has been felt far and wide by LDS members and non-members alike. One reaction to the attack was the development of a petition asking that conscientious singers and performers take a stand and decline invitations to perform with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, probably the single most positive outreach into the secular world that the LDS Church deploys. The petition has been catching momentum, and now it has 15 more very prominent signatures.
They are those of a majority of the plaintiffs in the Obergefell case that prevailed at the Supreme Court brining widespread same sex marriage legalization to the United States.
They stood up against homophobia in equal legal protections, and now they stand against it in theological principles.
Here are their thoughts in their own voices: (From their November 24th press release.)
Obergefell plaintiffs have issued the following statements condemning the Mormon Church’s Nov 3, 2015 policy:
“The Mormon Church has chosen to discriminate against same-sex couples and their children in what I can only describe as a cold and cruel response to the SCOTUS ruling making same-sex marriage legal across the nation. As a Christian clergyman and SCOTUS plaintiff, I find this decision by the church to be highly abusive to the LGBT community and their children. I urge folk of good will and moral consciousness, to boycott Mormon Church sponsored events and pressure leadership to reconsider this destructive decision. Resist in love and never comply with religiously motivated bigotry and discrimination.” Rev. Maurice Blanchard
“We encourage everyone to sign the petition at http://change.org/mormontabernaclechoir, asking the guest performers to cancel their appearance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, because with two small children of our own this policy disheartens us because it tears families apart. This feels like a direct attack of the family recognition that we fought for this summer as plaintiffs in the case that brought marriage equality to our country. “ Pamela & Nicole Yorksmith
“What the Mormon Church is doing is a perfect example of EVIL – especially when you have spiritual leaders condoning hate in the name of God. From the beginning of time people have used God to justify what is unjustifiable. Furthermore, Science is MUCH older than Religion – therefore the Talmas-Vitale family has a hard time believing anything that comes from modern religion – especially one that was founded in 1830!” Joseph Vitale, Rob Talmas, Cooper Talmas-Vitale
“As named plaintiffs in the Kentucky Bourke vs. Beshear case that was joined with Obergefell vs. Hodges at SCOTUS we reiterate our support for the http://change.org/mormontabernaclechoir petition and what it seeks to achieve. Real people and real families are being torn apart by the LDS Church’s new and hateful policy that punishes innocent children. Please sign and help us spread the word asking the guest performers to cancel.” Greg Bourke, Michael De Leon, Isaiah Bourke De Leon, Isabella Bourke De Leon
“We have had the great privilege to have several devout Mormon friends and close family supporting us in our long struggle for marriage equality. Therefore we have much respect for the church and its devout people of faith. As such, we ask the Elders to please reconsider their recent exclusion of the children of whose parents may be in a same gender relationship. Please do not separate the children from the love of Christ because of the perceived sins of their parents. Remember the words of Christ in Matthew 19:14 ” Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven”. Timothy Love & Lawrence Ysunza-Love
“I’ve always fought for basic fairness for families to include my own. As a plaintiff in the recent Obergefell v. Hodges case that helped advance equality for all families, I am proud to support the http://change.org/mormontabernaclechoir petition, and I call on the guest performers to cancel their Christmas concert with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This latest action of the Mormon Church directly attacks families by forcing children to choose between their Faith or their own family. To place this burden on children is fundamentally unfair.” Ijpe DeKoe shes innocent children. Please sign this petition and share with your friends to spread the word.”shes innocent children. Please sign this petition and share with your friends to spread the word.”
“We have children along with some of our co-plaintiffs and just thinking how horrible that would be. We do NOT support the church that sees this to be a bad thing having gay parents. Just having parents for so many wonderful kids who need families. We are great parents and it’s not just “gay” parents. We LOVE like all great parents, and to try and verso that up is unthinkable to us. We are equal and we LOVE equally, as though should ALL !!” Tammy Boyd & Kim Franklin
Photo Courtesy of Scott K. Fausett, © Scott Fausett, all rights reserved