The headline on the front page of The Salt Lake Tribune on Oct. 1 was, “Same-sex union opposition affirmed.” The article explains that during Saturday’s LDS General Conference, apostle Dallin H. Oaks described the LDS Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage as being a divine decree that will stand forever.
Fast forward to the front page of The Salt Lake Tribune on Oct. 2, with the headline, “Mormons urged to stand against bigotry.” The article recounts LDS apostle M. Russell Ballard’s directive during Sunday’s General Conference that bigotry in any form is un-Christian and “we need to embrace God’s children compassionately ... and eliminate any prejudice.”
Unless you’re kidding yourself, you cannot reconcile these two positions. Bigotry is intolerance of other people, but a bigot’s intolerance matters most when it leads them to deny other people the rights the bigot enjoys.
No reasonable person would argue that they are not racist, they just don’t want to share a lunch counter with a person of color, or that they believe women are equal but shouldn’t be allowed to vote. The LDS faithful (and members of many other religions) cannot embrace the LGBTQ community compassionately and without prejudice but refuse to let them marry. Denying someone else a right because of who they love is prejudiced and bigoted. I’m sorry, Mr. Oaks and Mr. Ballard, but your positions don’t square up.
Tristan Smart, Salt Lake City