John M. Becker

Mormon Church Entering Hawaii Marriage Fight?

Filed By John M. Becker | September 17, 2013 5:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Fred Karger, gay marriage, Hawaii, LDS, LDS Church, marriage equality, Mormon, Mormon Church, Mormonism, Mormons, same-sex marriage

gay_mormon_temple.jpgJust months after reporters and social media users breathlessly (and falsely) declared that the Mormon Church had "abandoned its crusade" against marriage equality, activist and watchdog Fred Karger -- who's been working to expose the Mormon Church's anti-gay crusade longer and more tirelessly than just about anyone else -- has uncovered evidence that the church plans to intervene in the marriage equality fight in Hawaii, the same state where they first stopped marriage equality fifteen years ago.

This afternoon, Karger posted a photo to his Facebook and Twitter accounts of a letter currently circulating among LDS (Mormon) bishops in the Aloha State. The letter is dated September 15 and contains instructions that it is to be read "in Priesthood and Relief Society."

It gently and obliquely reminds the bishops of the Mormon Church's position on marriage (the "proposed legislation... would redefine the relationship and nature of marriage in Hawaii," the letter reads), and urges them to donate time and resources to "community organizations addressing this issue." The letter also says that Mormons should advocate for a broad religious exemption that would allow individuals and businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples if said service involved "[assisting] in promoting or celebrating same-sex marriages." State law in Hawaii currently forbids discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The letter is signed by three presidents of the Honolulu Hawaii West Stake; a stake is a geographical adninistrative subdivision similar to a Catholic diocese.

As Jeremy Hooper points out, this story will surely develop in the coming days, but it certainly looks like the Mormon Church is rolling up its sleeves and gearing up to attack LGBT civil rights in Hawaii.

Fred Karger's photo of the LDS letter is after the jump.

karger_lds_letter.jpg

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