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What do Prop. 8's Mormon supporters want?

November 28, 2008
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RE "GAY-MARRIAGE debate roils, unites Mormons" (Page A1, Nov. 24): It seems that Mormon supporters of California's Proposition 8 want it both ways.

On the one hand, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mounted a bare-knuckles political fight to ban same-sex marriage. The network of LDS wards and stakes coalesced into a tax-subsidized political machine, energetically fund-raising and mobilizing campaign volunteers to influence public policy.

On the other hand, when faced with the criticism that is standard fare in politics, Mormon church spokespeople waved the bloody shirt of religious persecution, as if anyone were seeking to impinge upon the free exercise of religion.

The Mormons have every right to participate in the political process. But the LDS church overreaches when it politicks with the benefit of federal and state tax exemptions, then spurns accountability for an apostolically sanctioned crusade to enshrine sectarian beliefs in secular law.

Something has to give - either the tax-privileged status of the LDS church, or extraordinary political campaign exertions that played a disproportionate role in stripping gay and lesbian Californians of civil rights.

Don Gorton
Boston

IN "GAY-MARRIGE debate roils, unites Mormons," Jennifer Thomas of Belmont says, "You're either a nitwit bigot, or you're for gay marriage - no one has left people of faith an alternative place to stand."

Here's a clue for "people of faith" who bemoan their unfriendly treatment by gay activists: Once you stop attacking their human rights, people get a lot friendlier.

Jonathan Dreyer
Lexington

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