For every step the LDS Public Relations Department takes forward, it takes at least one backward. The latest gaff involves the LGBT community.
According to a story by Paul Rolly in the SLTrib (2 Oct 2014):
A gay Mormon who planned to hand out informational cards outside Temple Square during the LDS General Conference this weekend has been served with a cease-and-desist order by church attorneys.
The cards [Michael Ferguson, a returned missionary,] had printed and planned to distribute on the sidewalk outside the temple grounds outlined the church’s position on gays and lesbians, as stated on the church’s official website.
What spawned the legal action was the use of the LDS Church’s official logo on the cards. According to an official church spokeman:
When an individual or group adds the church’s logo to a promotional item, it implies that the item has the church’s official stamp of approval. That is not honest. Irrespective of the message contained in the promotional product, all organizations are obligated to protect their state and federally registered trademarks and logos.
Okay, protect your logo. I guess that’s okay. But instead of calling out your $300/hr lawyers, how about just offering to reprint the cards without the logo. That way you don’t look like your attacking the LGBT community and you don’t generate the bad press. You also give the LGBT community a chance to reemphasize the LDS Church’s position toward gays.
By the way, Ferguson’s cards had three bullet points:
- same-sex attraction is not a choice,
- love is the greatest commandment, and
- therapy does not change one’s same-sex attraction.