even Mormons don’t believe the Prop. 8 rhetoric anymore

A friend sent me a link to this letter in The Daily Universe:

Viewpoint: Defending Proposition 8 Its time to admit the reasons

The short version for those who don’t want to follow the link: None of the crappy reasons given by Mormons and the Mormon leadership for passing Proposition 8 even made it into the trial, let alone passed muster under the Judge’s careful scrutiny. Ergo, it’s time for Mormons to admit THAT THEY HAVE NO GOOD REASONS FOR OPPOSING SAME SEX MARRIAGE AND EQUALITY FOR LGBTQs. They do it because some old guys in SLC said to.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.


I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

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34 Responses

  1. Peter says:

    I resemble that remark.

    Actually, I am a 60 year old Mormon convert of 35 years that does not want gay marriage. The church has nothing to do with it for me. 2 men or 2 women can be allot of things but it is not a marriage. Marriage is the basic unit of society. It is the time tested foundation of families where children are born, raised and schooled to be decent, productive, valuable members of society. The concept of marriage is as old as the human race. It is sacred. It should not be used as a negotiating point for a selfish societal fringe element that is striving to force acceptance for an offtrack liefestyle.

    The idea of gay marriage just sounds like a sick joke to me.

  2. kuri says:

    Here’s a video you should watch.

    It reminds me of the Equal rights Amendment fight. The church helped defeat that one too, but 30+ years later, not many normal Americans believe that women shouldn’t have equal rights. The same thing is happening with gay rights. The church won a battle, but it’s losing the war.

  3. profxm says:

    Hi Peter,

    Couple of points.

    First, the human race is pretty old (250,000-400,000 years) and for much of that history there was absolutely no concept of marriage. Sure, people coupled and copulated, but there was no ceremony involved. Ugg liked Uha, took her into the woods, and came back happy (Uha probably didn’t come back happy as she was probably forced, but that’s a different issue).

    Once marriage became part of human society, there was no particularly dominant form (though polygamy could arguably fit that bill). Marriage has existed in many, many forms throughout the history of humanity, from polygamy to non-companionate marriage, to companionate marriage, to arranged marriages, to forced marriages. So, I’m wondering why you’ve fixated on a particular form of marriage that came to be popular during the Victorian period of the 19th Century rather than marriage from the Greek period (non-companionate, arranged marriages) or even the 19th Century form of the Mormons (polygamy for the elite and monogamy for the poor)? Why are you selectively choosing heterosexual, monogamy as the “ideal form”? It seems like you haven’t even considered the alternatives, and you certainly don’t present any arguments to justify your position.

    Marriage isn’t sacred. It’s a legal bond. Religious marriage could be seen as sacred, but as long as heterosexuals can get married sans religion, marriage itself is not sacred. If religious people want to disallow all marriage for civil unions and only allow “marriage” in religions, fine. That would mean everyone gets civil unions and only the religious get “marriages.” It’s crazy to think that would ever happen, but I’d go for it. But your claim that marriage is sacred rings hollow and vacuous.

    Why do you assume homosexuals are “selfish”? How is wanting to have the same rights as heterosexuals selfish?

    That you think of it as a “sick joke” belies your bigotry. The idea of Glenn Beck copulating at all seems like a “sick joke” to me, but that doesn’t mean I think he shouldn’t have the right to do so – with whomever he wants, whenever he wants (so long as I don’t have to see it and everyone is consenting).

    So, Peter, your reasons are basically those advanced by the advocates of Proposition 8: baseless and rooted in bigotry. Is that the best you can do?

  4. profxm says:

    kuri, exactly! This is a war LDS Inc. is going to lose. Why can’t they seem to see that?

  5. Saganist says:

    Because the LDS church never loses anything, not in their own eyes. Whenever they’re forced by society to change or die, they bring forth a new revelation and pretend nothing prompted it. Migration, monogamy, racial integration… those weren’t losses. They were great victories in the Lord’s grand design. Why can’t the world see that?

  6. Lisa says:

    I want to respond to Peter, but unfortunately my experience in doing so tells me it’s useless. But good god it’s hard. So I’ll just respond to this one bit with teeth firmly clinched on my tongue (it’s not doing much good).

    The concept of marriage is as old as the human race. It is sacred. It should not be used as a negotiating point for a selfish societal fringe element that is striving to force acceptance for an offtrack liefestyle.

    First, as already stated, marriage is not that old. And it wasn’t that long ago that your precious LDS church was gunning for polygamous marriages (not exactly “traditional” per your current definition)–and not necessarily in a very “sacred” manner either. Read a book or two about it.

    As to your other points, they used to say the SAME SHIT about interracial marriage. Loving v. Virginia.

    Also, it is not selfish to want to marry someone you love and are attracted to. But people who want to keep marriage all to themselves may certainly be described as such.

    So dude, go have your straight marriage. Have at. Have a couple of them.

    But while you’re at it, STFU about everyone else, yeah?

  7. The article is down now, did anyone keep a copy of it?

  8. Steven B says:

    If gays have an “off track” lifestyle, what legal rights should they expect as fellow citizens? What place should gays and lesbians have in society? Considering that marriage is a basic unit of society, who should gays and lesbians marry? Or for that matter, what about the transgendered? Who should they marry?

  9. Steve-M says:

    The editorial has been taken down. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there is a Google Cache version of it. Apparently someone at BYU (or in the COB?) didn’t like what the author had to say.

  10. Steve-M says:

    You can still access the editorial via the printed edition of the DU: http://newnewsnet.byu.edu/pdf/du20100907.pdf. Go to page 3.

  11. Tea Bagger says:

    Here’s the text from the article in case the PDF gets pulled down. Amazing opinion in the Daily Universe. Too bad it was censored.

    Defending Proposition 8
    Its time to admit the reasons
    Viewpoint Cary Crall

    Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the recent United States District Court case that overturned Proposition 8, highlighted a disturbing inconsistency in the pro-Prop 8 camp.

    The arguments put forth so aggressively by the Protect Marriage coalition and by LDS church leaders at all levels of church organization during the campaign were noticeably absent from the proceedings of the trial. This discrepancy between the arguments in favor of Proposition 8 presented to voters and the arguments presented in court shows that at some point, proponents of Prop 8 stopped believing in their purported rational and non-religious arguments for the amendment.

    Claims that defeat of Prop 8 would force religious organizations to recognize homosexual marriages and perform such marriages in their privately owned facilities, including LDS temples, were never mentioned in court. Similarly, the defense was unable to find a single expert witness willing to testify that state-recognized homosexual marriage would lead to forcing religious adoption agencies to allow homosexual parents to adopt children or that children would be required to learn about homosexual marriage in school.

    Four of the proponents six expert witnesses who may have been planning on testifying to these points withdrew as witnesses on the first day of the trial. Why did they go and why did no one step up to replace them? Perhaps it is because they knew that their arguments would suffer much the same fate as those of David Blankenhorn and Kenneth Miller, the two expert witnesses who did agree to testify. Judge Vaughn Walker, who heard the case, spent 11 pages of his 138-page decision meticulously tearing down every argument advanced by Blankenhorn before concluding that his testimony was unreliable and entitled to essentially no weight. Miller suffered similar censure after it was shown that he was unfamiliar with even basic sources on the subject in which he sought to testify as an expert.

    The court was left with lopsided, persuasive testimony leading to the conclusion that Proposition 8 was not in the interest of the state and was discriminatory against gays and lesbians. Walkers decision is a must-read for anyone who is yet to be convinced of this opinion. The question remains that if proponents of Prop 8 were both unwilling and unable to support even one rational argument in favor of the amendment in court, why did they seek to present their arguments as rational during the campaign?

    It is time for LDS supporters of Prop 8 to be honest about their reasons for supporting the amendment. Its not about adoption rights, or the first amendment or tradition. These arguments were not found worthy of the standards for finding facts set up by our judicial system. The real reason is that a man who most of us believe is a prophet of God told us to support the amendment. We must accept this explanation, along with all its consequences for good or ill on our own relationship with God and his children here on earth. Maybe then we will stop thoughtlessly spouting reasons that are offensive to gays and lesbians and indefensible to those not of our faith.

    Cary Crall is a senior from Temecula, Calif., majoring in neuroscience and minoring in mathematics. He loves the Great Gatsby and wearing suspenders.

  12. Ron Madson says:

    In fact, monogamy was denounced by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor and other church leaders as being a Roman invention that led to their ruination and that monogamy was not healthy for a society…

    Cary Crall is NOT saying he does not support the church’s stance on Prop 8 but that it was misleading as to how it was handled. that is spot on IMO

  13. chanson says:

    Sure, people coupled and copulated, but there was no ceremony involved. Ugg liked Uha, took her into the woods, and came back happy (Uha probably didnt come back happy as she was probably forced, but thats a different issue).

    By “coupling” do you mean they formed long-term pair-bonds, right? From the anthropology I’ve read, I gather that the consensus is that early humans did form long-term pair-bonds (unlike, say, chimpanzees).

    How these relationships were perceived and recognized probably varied widely from tribe to tribe. Probably in some times and places it was much like what you describe: a male grabs a female and claims her. In other societies, there may well have been some sort of negotiation among the parents or a symbolic exchange of presents or something else.

    The thing is that not a lot of specific details are definitively known about prehistoric culture and religion. We can make some very good educated guesses from their artifacts, but we don’t even really know what was the purpose of the Venus statues, for example. So you can’t definitively state that prehistoric people did not have relationships we would recognize as “marriage” or even that they never attached religious significance to such unions. That’s speculation.

    And — given that we’re talking about an enormous expanse of time, and given that culture, language, and traditions evolve more quickly in the absence of written language — I think it would be more prudent to guess that there were a variety of marriage-like cultural constructs in human prehistoric societies.

  14. chanson says:

    @12 I totally agree with your assessment of Cary Crall’s column.

    The fact that he’s not opposed to Prop. 8 is probably how it got printed in the first place, but I’m not surprised that the church leaders weren’t happy with his clear explanation of how misleading the pro-prop-8 campaign was. His column makes it quite clear that the chain-email rumors (used to scare voters) don’t hold up to scrutiny — and the the pro-prop-8 crowd knew it, otherwise why not argue them in court?

  15. Keep Sweet says:

    Oh Peter comment #1, where to begin. So you are a 60 year old geezer who hates gays, plus you were stupid enough to convert to Mormonism. Sounds to me like you are the sick joke around here, not gay people who just want the chance to be secure and protected under the law.

    No fool like an old fool.

  16. chanson says:

    Here are a few more videos:

    a response to a radio ad about the ruling.

    Gay families talk about why marriage matters.

    p.s. to Keep Sweet: I get that Peter started it by calling gay marriage a “sick joke,” but there’s no need to escalate it by calling him a stupid geezer. The equality side is holding all the aces in this debate — turning it into an our-team-vs-yours shouting match only obscures how weak their position is.

  17. Holly says:

    I’m currently reading a fascinating book on the history of marriage entitled, aptly enough, A History of Marrriage. Enlightening, readable, and occasionally horrifying. Marriage has changed considerably over the course of human history, and anyone who thinks it is “as old as the human race” and “sacred” has a lot to learn about both history and sacredness.

  18. chanson says:

    Holly — Isn’t that the same one that G has been reporting on for the Exponent? Sounds fascinating — I should read it too.

  19. Alan says:

    Why do the old guys in SLC oppose gay marriage? For the same reasons most Mormons do. The whole “eternal gender” scenario. I think demonstrating a divide between the “old guys” and the membership means that you have to actually look at the reasons of both and say: “Old guys believe this” and “membership believes this” but “prophetic nature of leadership trumps the divide.” Otherwise, it’s not convincing. What I read from the article above is that the author thinks Mormons are acting like sheep, and he’s a sole sheep in the herd that announces the flock’s “sheepness” without indicating what makes the sheep qualitatively different than the shepherds.

    It also seems to me that some of the fears opponents have — such as religious adoption agencies forced to allow same-sex couples to adopt — could very well come to pass. Look at the UK, for example. Also, the idea that students will be “taught homosexuality in public schools” makes sense when it comes to teaching sex ed or human sexuality. But as Walker indicated in his opinion, these fears are fears because they’re irrational, stemming from a basic belief that same-sex intimacy is less than opposite sex intimacy.

  20. Holly says:

    Holly Isnt that the same one that G has been reporting on for the Exponent? Sounds fascinating I should read it too.

    exactly–G’s facebook page is where I learned about it. Definitely worth my time.

  21. Bob says:

    Quote: “It also seems to me that some of the fears opponents have such as religious adoption agencies forced to allow same-sex couples to adopt could very well come to pass”.

    Only if you take public money to provide those adoption services. You can’t use public money to discriminate against some of the very people providing those funds.

    A simple proposition.

  22. Craig says:

    The USU SHAFT website has the entire letter, as well as a couple sentences BYU redacted before they printed it – which is pretty telling. What probably happened is that the editor of the paper printed it, and then was forced by BYU administration to remove it from the website either because of the ExMormon and gay attention it garnered, or because it strays dangerously close to criticising the hierarchy.

  23. Craig says:

    And here’s the google cache of the original as it appeared yesterday.

  24. Chino Blanco says:

    That’s awesome. Pharyngula, Truth Wins Out, Change.org, etc., lots of folks are linking to that SHAFT post.

  25. LWM says:

    I really like the Pharyngula take on it. The letter still contains all the apologetic fluff in it, but it still got censored by BYU editorial staff. I think I’ll forward this to my wife, now.

  26. kuri says:

    From the Daily Universe:

    Statement on Viewpoint
    Wed, 09/08/2010 – 16:02

    The Daily Universe made an independent decision to remove the student viewpoint titled Defending Proposition 8 after being alerted by various readers that the content of the editorial was offensive. The publication of this viewpoint was not intended to offend, but after further review we recognized that it contained offensive content.

    This is consistent with policy that The Daily Universe has, on rare occasions, exercised in the past.

  27. Alan says:

    an independent decision

    I wonder if they have ever indicated when a decision to remove content is not independent. “We were instructed to remove the viewpoint by church authorities.” Even then, they would probably still call it an independent decision.

  28. Craig says:

    Heaven forbid a newspaper should ever publish something anyone might find offensive.

    I find most of the content of the DU offensive, especially the sexist, homophobic, blindly pro-conservative rantings which appear in nearly every other opinion/viewpoint piece.

  29. kuri says:

    I see the DU is already back to its usual inoffensiveness.

  30. Craig says:


    It amazes me how often that exact same letter gets printed. When I was there it was at least every other week.

    Translation: “I’m really horny all the time and am completely sexually repressed. I feel guilty when I get a boner and especially when I furiously rub one out in the shower or in the washroom of the JFSB after seeing Suzy walk to class with her messenger bag strap between her breasts. I can’t control my thoughts so it’s your fault for being so sensual and dirty with your immoral legs and shoulders and most of all, BREASTESES! Oh, and when I rape you in the woods on the hill behind the MSRB, it’s TOTALLY YOUR FAULT! Especially if you were wearing overalls.”

    it’s just too easy.

  31. chanson says:

    It is time for LDS supporters of Prop 8 to be honest about their reasons for supporting the amendment.

    Yep, pretty offensive. Especially after he dared to clearly and concisely explain the evidence that the leaders of the campaign had not been honest about the reasons. The nerve!

  32. Chino Blanco says:

    This might generate a few more interesting LTEs to the DU:

    BREAKING: Federal Judge finds DADT is unconstitutional

    Chris Geidner’s always-worthy legal analysis.

  33. Carla says:

    first poster named Peter, your blindness and prejudice both seem like a sick joke to me.

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