9th Circuit overturns Prop 8 — LDS response?
In 1980, the Church released a pamphlet against the Equal Rights Amendment. It included a fear that the amendment would encourage a “blurring” of gender roles as well as forcing “states…to legally recognize and protect [same-sex] marriages” because “if the law must be as undiscriminating concerning sex as it is toward race, [then]…laws outlawing wedlock between members of the same sex would be as invalid as laws forbidding miscegenation.” (“The Church and the Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: A Moral Issue,” 23-page insert in Ensign, March 1980.)
This “fear” came to pass with Judge Walker’s ruling on Proposition 8 in 2010, when Walker stated that “because of their relationship to one another,” gays and lesbians are discriminated against due to their biological sex. (Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 2010 US Dist [N CA], p. 120-21.)
In 1984, LDS apostle Dalin Oaks predicted that any arguments used about keeping children “safe” from the “culture of homosexuality would be used by the opposition to suggest that in opposing homosexual marriage the Church opposes parental rights.
In the 9th Circuit repeal today, it’s almost as if the judges are double-dog daring supporters of Prop 8 to make this a question of parental rights:
We in no way mean to suggest that Proposition 8 would have been unconstitutional if only it had gone further — for example, by also repealing same-sex couples’ equal parental rights or their rights to share community property or enjoy hospital visitation privileges. Only if Proposition 8 had any effect on childrearing or “responsible procreation” would it be necessary or appropriate for us to consider the legitimacy of Proponents’ primary rationale for the matter. (Perry v Brown, 2012, 9th Cir., p. 62)
Basically, the court has ruled that rescinding the right to marry for same-sex couples in California is merely to make sure heterosexual relationships are upheld as “superior.” If anything, the “responsible procreation” argument takes a backseat to this overall point.
In 1998, President Hinckley stated that the Church could not “stand idle if they [gays and lesbians] indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation” because “to permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families.”
Well, legally-speaking in most states, it’s kinda been demonstrated that a same-sex couple (with or without children) is “a family.”
As of this post, the Church hasn’t officially responded. What can the Church say except to express the ruling as “unfortunate?” I suspect what we’ll see is more of the same for several more years: official policy making sure Mormons don’t ever enter same-sex relationships so that these questions about superiority/inferiority, or the “blurring of gender roles,” won’t have to be internally addressed.