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Mormon Attitudes And Gay Marriage--Globally


Daniel2

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In light of Scotland's parliament overwhelmingly passing civil marriage (by a margin of 105 to 18) for same-sex couples this afternoon, thereby becoming the 19th country to recognize same sex marriage, I found it interesting that the Trib published this article this morning:

How Mormons globally deal with gay marriage where it’s legal

http://m.sltrib.com/sltrib/mobile3/57495364-219/marriage-gay-members-church.html.csp

Following Faith by Peggy Fletcher Stack

First Published 1 hour ago

Updated 1 hour ago

Gay marriage is legal in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal and Spain — places where Mormons mostly find themselves in a tiny minority.

On top of that, nearly all these countries recognize only civil marriage as legally valid.

So how do such Latter-day Saints respond in those places?

"In gay-supporting countries, church members feel less disturbed by same-sex marriage because of the civil framework to which the word ‘marriage’ belongs," writes retired LDS professor Wilfried Decoo, who has taught at the University of Antwerp and at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University, "and because it pertains to non-members."

Chances are fair, the professor writes attimesandseasons.org, that some Mormons know a same-sex couple personally.

"In one of our Belgian wards, a 17-year-old joined the church — a fine young man, balanced and dedicated, who had been well raised by his two dads," he says. "Though not members, the two fathers later supported their son fully when he decided to go on a mission."

Such tolerance among Mormons is especially true in the Netherlands and Belgium, where same-sex marriage has existed for more than a decade, Decoo says, but in France, which legalized gay marriage last year, "Mormon opinions are more divided, in line with the fierce debate that preceded the French legalization of same-sex marriage."

Fierce divisions among Mormons in Australia have emerged as that country debates the move to legalize gay marriage, he writes.

"A member from Peru told me that Mormons in large urban areas are more lenient and understanding, because LGBT are more visible and more familiar to members," Decoo says, "while in rural areas members easily mention homosexuality in one breath with depravity and abuse. LGBT in such rural areas therefore tend to keep their orientation secret."

In Latvia and Hungary, East European countries "with strong anti-gay feelings," he says, "church members tend to share these anti-feelings and find justification for them in their Mormon belief."

And in African nations such as the Congo, he writes, "most members would consider homosexuality an ‘anti-value to morals and mores.’ "

Peggy Fletcher Stack

The news from Scotland (incidentally, the nation I was baptized in...):

Same-sex marriage becomes law after vote in Scottish Parliament

http://m.stv.tv/news/politics/262880-gay-marriage-becomes-law-in-scotland-after-parliamentary-vote/

04 February 2014 18:31 GMT

Scotland has followed England and Wales in changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill passed its third stage in a free vote at the Scottish Parliament as MSPs voted 105-18 in favour.

The vote means Northern Ireland is now the only country in the UK that does not permit gay people to marry.

After the vote was passed, Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "This is a historic moment for equality in Scotland.

“I am proud that the Scottish Parliament has taken this progressive and hugely important decision in favour of equal rights in our country.

“It is right that same sex couples should be able to freely express their love and commitment to each other through getting married. Marriage is about love, and that has always been at the heart of this issue.

“That was the clear message from Scotland’s Parliament today. We must no longer allow same sex couples who wish to get married to be barred from doing so.

“Thanks to this bill, same sex couples now have the same access to marriage — one of our most important institutions — as everyone else.

“There has been overwhelming support for this Bill from the beginning and many MSPs from across the political spectrum have expressed considered, personal opinions.

“We now need to work quickly and in close co-operation with Westminster on implementation. On that basis, I very much look forward to seeing the first same sex marriages taking place in Scotland as soon as is possible.”The issue had polarised public opinion between supporters who championed it as a move towards equality and opponents who raised concerns about the impact on religious freedom.

Scotland becomes the 19th country in the world in which gay marriage is permitted in all or part of its jurisdiction. Legislation to allow gay marriage in England and Wales was passed at Westminster in July 2013.

Same-sex marriage is also legal in Argentina, Denmark, The Netherlands, South Africa, Belgium, New Zealand, Spain, Brazil, France, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Iceland, Portugal and Uruguay. In the United States and Mexico marriage is regulated at a state level, with some states allowing same-sex marriage and others restricting the right to opposite-sex couples.

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Latter-day Saints are going to have a diverse reaction.  

 

I actively advocate efforts in my state to provide equal protection under the law for same sex couples.  Right now my colleagues at the college I work for don't have the same insurance benefits as heterosexuals.  I think that is an injustice. 

 

I do this while openly advocating the position that a man and a woman having an eternal increase is one of the choicest blessings of God and part of my beliefs as a Mormon.

 

Yet my colleague who are homosexual (or otherwise inclined) know I respect their agency to act according to the dictates of their own conscience, as well as know I expect the same courtesy in return.

 

Both sides on a moral issue should understand that the only way their freedom of expression and association is preserved is by respecting the rights of others to receive equal protection under the law.  In my opinion the legal definition of what a marriage is pales in comparison to the principle of moral agency.  

 

In short defining marriage is up to the institutions who practice it not the state.  Benefits for partners who are legally bound should be separated from the marriage debate.  It is a losing battle for both sides to try to define something as diverse as marriage and partnerships through the law.  Imagine if the majority passed legislation that said only Rastafarian ceremonies will now be recognized as "marriage" for the purposes of civil rights and benefits.

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In light of Scotland's parliament overwhelmingly passing civil marriage (by a margin of 105 to 18) for same-sex couples this afternoon, thereby becoming the 19th country to recognize same sex marriage, I found it interesting that the Trib published this article this morning:

 

You're missing the mark. The Church can easily swim where ssm is sanctioned by the state.  However, the Church knows that such sanctioning and acceptance by society is a stumbling block smoothing the way for troubled or deceived children and teens to accept the alternative lifestyle in opposition to God authorized marriage and so it opposes such cultural shifts.

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You're missing the mark. The Church can easily swim where ssm is sanctioned by the state.  However, the Church knows that such sanctioning and acceptance by society is a stumbling block smoothing the way for troubled or deceived children and teens to accept the alternative lifestyle in opposition to God authorized marriage and so it opposes such cultural shifts.

 

Good point, and consistent with what the brethren have been saying about the matter.  The "community standards" principle is the one place where I struggle with promiting my own beliefs while accommodating the beliefs of others.  I have had some fascinating discussions with one homosexual faculty member who works very hard to balance her own reaction to those who believe differently than her.  Being in an area with many conservative Baptists and Evangelicals living and studying alongside gays and transgenders it can be a difficult balance to maintain.  

 

I guess my ultimate position is "Share the Gospel with everyone and let God sort it out".  Apologies to  Arnaud Amalric.

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In light of Scotland's parliament overwhelmingly passing civil marriage (by a margin of 105 to 18) for same-sex couples this afternoon, thereby becoming the 19th country to recognize same sex marriage, I found it interesting that the Trib published this article this morning:

The news from Scotland (incidentally, the nation I was baptized in...):

The Church is not a governed by man, when it is men can vote on the issue. But when we can no longer say we are a Church established by God, then it no longer matter about anything. When the City of Atlanta addressed the issue of equal protection, insurance and pension beliefs...so be it. Company's and Gov't's can act without changing the definition of marriage.
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