The two recent Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 have generated a lot of press. For those on the right, it’s a sign that we are truly in the Last Days. For those on the left, it’s a sign that America is on the correct path. For LDS Church members, it’s been a very divisive issue. With the leadership strongly supporting Prop 8, many “liberal” members have been struggling with their faith (or at least their church’s leadership).
After the judicial rulings, the LDS Church issued the following press release:
By ruling that supporters of Proposition 8 lacked standing to bring this case to court, the Supreme Court has highlighted troubling questions about how our democratic and judicial system operates. Many Californians will wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong when their government will not defend or protect a popular vote that reflects the views of a majority of their citizens.
There are several things wrong with this paragraph. (But realize that I’m not a lawyer.) The concept behind the Bill of Rights is to protect protected minorities against possible abuse by the majority. So majority rule doesn’t apply in all cases. For example, the majority can’t disenfranchise Jews, Mormons, or other religious minority. So does the majority have the right to disenfranchise the gay population? Is this a civil rights issue or a moral issue? For me personally, I come down on the side favoring same-sex marriage (SSM).
Polls show that the younger you are, the more strongly you support SSM. That means that eventually a very high percentage of Americans will strongly support SSM. And this may be a reason why the State of California decided not to participate in the appeal of Prop 8. If the referendum was held today, it’s entirely possible there would be a completely different outcome.
Lastly, I’m particularly concerned about the negative tone of the LDS Church’s news release. Why didn’t they say something positive? Why didn’t the release say the Church strongly supports the rights of gay partners as they relate to insurance, inheritance, hospital visits, etc.? The leadership missed a great opportunity to repair some of the damage caused by the Prop 8 debacle.