Mormons send mixed message on gay marriage

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints released a document last month, which outlined its stance on same-sex marriage.

The document, entitled “The Divine Institution of Marriage”, follows a statement made by the church in support of California’s Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriage if approved by a public vote in November.

The document, whilst speaking against gay marriage, does not object to other civil rights for gays and lesbians.

It says: “The church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights.”

Affirmation, a group of gay Latter-Day Saints, has praised some parts of the document whilst criticising others.

David Melson, spokesman for Affirmation, said:

“This is by far the Church’s most affirming statement of both human and civil rights of gay people since the issuance of ‘God Loveth His Children,’ which acknowledged that being gay is not a disease or a sin.”

“We applaud the courage of the leaders who chose to make this statement, which is contrary to many of the Church’s words and actions of the past, and we see this as a positive step.

“We would have been more pleased if it had not been issued during a time of contradictory action by the Church to repeal the civil rights of gay U.S. citizens and to seek to break apart families.”

Affirmation members, however, still objected to the statement in the document which says that “strong families, headed by a mother and father, are the anchor of civilised society,” claiming that this stance marginalises families headed by single parents, widows and adoptive or foster parents.”