Mormon church resumes anti-gay lobbying

Last year, following the beating the Mormon church took for its massive financial and logistical support in favor of Proposition 8 that banned same-sex marriage in California, the church seemed to be toning down its opposition and seemed to be taking a more moderate approach to the issue. There were hopes that the church was slowly changing its views.

But it looks like that was a fake thaw, driven by their desire to not imperil the chances of Mitt Romney to become president. Now that that effort has gone down the tubes, Fred Karger says that the church seems to be reverting to anti-gay lobbying actions.

Now that Romney is not a factor anymore, the Mormon church is back fighting same-sex marriage. We discovered two letters that were read to all Mormon church members in Hawaii as the state was considering whether to legalize same sex marriage. The letters signed by high-ranking Mormon leaders asked church members to give of their “time and means” in order to defeat a bill. Fortunately, Hawaii didn’t listen to the Mormon church. It passed the bill earlier this month, becoming the 15th US state to allow gay marriage.

The Mormon church even pulled out its top law professor, Lynn Wardle, from church-owned Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. They flew him to Hawaii to testify against the gay marriage bill. Professor Wardle has long been the church’s leading legal mouthpiece in fighting gay marriage across the country.

The recently released official Mormon church documents published by Mother Jones, show that church has been acting more like Exxon-Mobil or AT&T than a religion. They have had up to 23 lobbyists in 23 states all over the country working to pass laws and constitutional amendments banning gay marriage and opposing each and every marriage equality bill.

It is astounding that the Mormon church appears to use tax deductible donations given to the church to lobby and run political issue campaigns. Official LDS church documents show the measures the LDS church took to keep its involvement secret and obscure the source of its funds.
Perhaps it’s time that the US Department of Justice and the IRS take a closer look at the Mormon church’s political activities to determine if its tax-exempt status allows for this. If the Mormon church wants to act like a corporation and not a religion, then its income should likely be taxed.

Of course the IRS is not going to do any such thing because almost all the religious organizations do similar things.

More evidence, if we needed it, of how religious institutions are willing to lie to cover up their true intentions.


  1. raven says

    A lot of fundie religion is just politics with a few crosses stuck on for show.

    They say they want to save your soul but they seem a lot more interested in power and money on this earth. Which makes sense. Heaven might be real but probably isn’t. The earth definitely is real and we all have to live on it.

    In the case of the LDS church they don’t even bother with the show crosses. As part of their ethnogenesis, they don’t use the cross as a symbol.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    Which reminds me, the Mormons have a present in Hawaii. There is a Brigham Young University – Hawaii campus in Laie (island of Oahu). The Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu is also run by the Mormon church. I let my travel agent send me there a few years ago, and I was surprised by the Mormon link.

  3. raven says

    Which reminds me, the Mormons have a present (sic “presence) in Hawaii.

    They do but it isn’t that much.

    They claim 5% of the population. Since the Mormon church outragously inflates their numbers, the real number is likely more like 2.5%. The tiny tail was trying to wag the dog and it didn’t work.

    Where they do have a presence is in Polynesia. They claim 25% of American Samoa and 33% of Tonga.

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    Many of the workers at the Polynesian Cultural Center were students of BYU-Hawaii, working on student visas.

  5. lanir says

    Well, this ought to be interesting when it begins to stick out to their believers. Right or wrong, some groups of them appeared to be under the impression they were somewhat responsible for the LDS church changing it’s position on gays.

    Modern churches are in an interesting state. They traditionally appeared to subvert sex and tribalism to get their way. These are of course very powerful motivations so if you can get out in front of them you tend to be able to lead people around by the nose and shut down a lot of critical thinking. They’re trying to keep control of the sex aspect (bash the gays, treat women as sub-human, and similarly “enlightened” ideas) but the ad industry has largely run off with it. Which makes me wonder if we’ll see a lot more hate coming from that quarter. Nobody can demonize like a bunch of kooks who can call their scapegoats literal demons… and readily convince a sizeable crowd of gullible rubes to believe them.

  6. lanir says

    Oops. Should have mentioned gay bashing is both hate and sex based. That and the percieved low number of LGBT people in the population is probably why it’s such a popular go-to for all the sanctimonious swindlers.

  7. thewhollynone says

    A couple of 20-21 yr-old Mormon boys were making the rounds in my neighborhood yesterday, and , as I was sitting out front enjoying the sunshine, I motioned them over to talk. I was amazed at their naivete and their ignorance about the history of their religion and of Utah. Both were high school graduates, and very nice looking and well-mannered, and one of them was a smooth talker, but both were dead average intellectually, maybe less. It’s a shame to see boys like that so dogmatized, and just used as salesmen for the Mormon business operation. I tried to encourage them to get out into the wider world and to get some education, but I doubt that I made a dent in their shells of ignorant belief.

  8. Mano Singham says

    I had a very similar experience to yours back in 2008 that I wrote about here. Nice young men but clueless and naive.

  9. Wylann says

    I wonder how long it will be before the churches start claiming that they were always pro-equality? Although some of the more socially conservative churches will likely treat gay marriage like many currently do abortion. (i.e. as something of a wedge issue to be ‘undone’, blame all of societies ills upon, and of course, get donations, and voters.)

    As for this endangering the churches tax status, don’t hold your breath. Even with the current guidelines being set out by the IRS (see Ed’s blog from a couple days ago), churches and non-profits are specifically allowed to take positions on issues. What they are explicitly not allowed to do is tell the congregation which politician to vote for.

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