Mormon Leaders Ask California Members To Fight Gay Marriage

The LDS Church is asking its 750,000 Californian constituents to support the California Marriage Protection Act, an election day referendum that will change the state's constitution to define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, the AP reports. In a letter leaked to several websites, Mormon Church President Thomas S. Monson said, "The church's teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal…Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained or God, and the formation of families is central to the creator's plan for his children." But that's not all the Mormon Church has to say about homosexuality. On the Church's official website, there is an entire section devoted to "Same-Gender Attraction," in which Church elders complain about the curtailing of freedom of speech and charges of homophobia.

Elder Oaks says on the LDS website, "Over past years we have seen unrelenting pressure from advocates of that lifestyle to accept as normal what is not normal, and to characterize those who disagree as narrow-minded, bigoted and unreasonable. Such advocates are quick to demand freedom of speech and thought for themselves, but equally quick to criticize those with a different view and, if possible, to silence them by applying labels like 'homophobic.'…Given these trends, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must take a stand on doctrine and principle. This is more than a social issue - ultimately it may be a test of our most basic religious freedoms to teach what we know our Father in Heaven wants us to teach."

The website also has tips and tricks for Mormons who experience same sex attraction; they all boil down to remaining celibate for the rest of their lives. But there is a small glimmer of hope: the gay Mormon organization, Affirmation, has plans to meet with the head of LDS Family Services in August in an attempt to "bridge the divide between Mormonism and gay members hurt by church teachings that homosexuality is a sin," the AP reports. According to Affirmation spokesman David Melson, "We're not going to let this stand in the way.The church has said they are open to finding new avenues and new solutions to minister to gay members, and we are taking them at their word."

Mormon Church Enters Calif. Gay Marriage Fight [AP]

Same-Gender Attraction [LDS Official Website]

LDS Church Officials Urge California Members To Support Marriage Amendment [Mormon Times]