Gays and the Gospel

12 Scriptural Reasons for Latter‐day Saints
to Support Our Gay & Lesbian Neighbors,
Their Marriages & Families

Maintain Freedom of Religion

We Latter-day Saints declare in scripture:

"We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only,  for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others….

"We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied."

(Doctrine and Covenants 134:4, 9)

"The test comes in practicing what we proclaim."

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, First Presidency Message, "Developing Chrislike Attributes" Ensign/Liahona Oct. 2008

What are some important "spiritual privileges" and "individual rights" and liberties we claim as Latter-day Saints - baptism, marriage, prayer, Sabbath observance, blessing children etc.? Other churches and citizens also claim these "spiritual privileges" but exercise them in different ways. Is it right for us or any religious society to impose through law its religious opinions regarding any of these religious practices?

If we practice our scriptural declaration above, would it be right for us to campaign for and support a law that forbids all baptisms that are not done by immersion? Our Book of Mormon refers to infant baptism as "an evil abomination", "gross error", " solemn mockery before God", and those who believe in it are "in the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity [and] ... must go down to hell." (see Moroni 8: chapter heading, 6, 9, 14). With such clear and condemning language should we promote laws throughout the world forbidding everyone from baptizing children under 8 years of age? Should we campaign for laws that proscribe or prohibit all other churches from baptizing at all since we believe only we have the proper authority? Most would agree such laws would be a horrible denial of religious freedom and an attack on God's gift of agency. Then how can we rightfully justify proscribing or legislatively forbidding other churches and individual citzens from practicing their spiritual privilege of marriage with whom they choose and in the form they believe is right?

Millions of Gay and Lesbian citizens believe marriage and family are as much a part of their religious life and devotion to God as we do. Their desire to marry, not just live with, a same-gender companion is as much a matter of their conscience, love, natural affection and religious belief as marriage to an opposite-gender companion is for many Latter-day Saints and other Christians. Growing numbers of churches value God's Gay and Lesbian children and their families and believe it is good and right to offer them the blessings of marriage.

How can we Latter-day Saints justify voting to deny these churches the religious freedom to marry their Gay or Straight members according to their own religious beliefs? Don't laws which forbid marriage for our Gay or Lesbian neighbors clearly foster “traditional” religious society while proscribing or forbidding spiritual privileges of other churches to offer legal and lawful marriages according to their beliefs?

Isn’t it strongly held “religious opinions” regarding what constitutes marriage or a family that is the basis for laws which exclude millions from marriage? Did California's Prop 8, the US Federal Marriage Ammendment and similar marriage laws around the world deny the “individual rights” of millions of Gay and Lesbian citizens to marry according to their conscience and religious beliefs? Do those laws deny millions of Gay citizens and their families their right as citizens to enjoy the same state and federal benefits and protections other couples and families enjoy? 

Since we Latter-day Saints have joined coalition majorities in voting away the rights of the LGBTIQ minority, and thereby imposed our religious opinions regarding marriage and family on them, how will we defend ourselves when a different coalition majority disagrees with our LDS beliefs or practices and seeks to proscribe through popular vote or legislation our right to live our beliefs and practice our spiritual privileges?