It’s been widely reported that the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) helped tip the balance in favor of California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state. But not all Mormons voted yes. On the site Seeking Forgiveness, LDS Church members apologize on behalf of their church to the gay community—and express their regret that Prop 8 passed.
The apologies are worth a read. After the jump, I’ll quote a few that moved me:
Some are short and to-the-point:
As a straight, active, recommend holding, RM, married in the temple, yada yada yada Mormon, i want to express my heart felt sorrow for what the church has done.
In the Book of Romans, it says, “Be not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…”
I am not ashamed of it, I’m just ashamed of how my church portrays it.
Please forgive us and help us repent of this evil.
But the posts that really caught my attention were from readers who wrote wrestling with church doctrine and their own moral compasses. This one’s kind of long, but it’s worth reading:
I cannot understand what it is like to be gay. I do not understand what it is like for the world to tell me that the love I have for my signifigant other is wrong or sinful. I do not understand what it is like to have the government not allow me to enjoy the same benefits that heterosexual couples do because my companionship doesn’t fit the social norm. I don’t know if homosexuality is right, wrong, sinful, or part of God’s plan. But there are things I do understand.
I understand the principles of freedom and as the LDS Church teaches – free agency. I understand that God’s plan is to not make us choose righteousness but to allow us the opportunity to choose good or evil. And to do so requires that we individually determine what is good and what is evil. I understand the importance of the separation between Church and State. And I know that if it did not exist in this country I would not be able to practice my religion; as peculiar as it is to so many.
I understand the only way for me to truly protect the sanctity of marriage is to work on my own, not to prevent others from enjoying this union. I understand that instead of donating time and money to a political proposition, focusing more attention on my significant other protects the sanctity of marriage. I understand that allowing hate and bigotry into my heart does not protect the sanctity of marriage but will destroy it.
If there is one good thing that has come out of Proposition 8 it is the conviction it has brought to the hearts of heterosexuals like myself that are willing to do all in their power to fight for the civil rights of the gay population. My apology is a promise that I will be your advocate and I will fight for you. Whenever a Proposition for or against gay marriage is brought to my State I will be on your side; and I believe yours is the right side.
And then there’s this one, from a gay Mormon to him/herself:
I’ve known you for a very long time. You are smart, funny, an extremely faithful member of the church and gay.
I know that it was painful for you to go to church every week and hear the derrogatory comments made by not-so-few people in your ward. The majority didn’t know that their hurtful comments about gays were affecting you personally. I know that it was even more painful for you to hear those comments from people who you have come out to, and who you assumed would be more tactful about their support for prop 8.
I know that you quit going to church a few weeks ago because you couldn’t stand to hear the defamation of your gay peers during discourses given over the pulpit or in sunday school classrooms. I know that it’s going to be difficult to really convince yourself to go back. But I urge you to do so. Remember that the gospel is about your relationship with Jesus Christ, and not about your relationship with a group of people.
Self, the core doctrines of the gospel are true. The core culture of the church is not doctrine. Just as segregation used to be preached over the pulpit and is now a faded memory of the past, I sincerely hope that this issue follows suit. Be strong and know that you are loved.