As the British government debates proposals to legalize same-sex marriage, the LDS Church's area authority in Europe has issued a letter to be read in all Mormon congregations there, confirming the "need to protect and promote marriage, as the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife."
The June 11 letter, signed by Elder Clifford T. Herbertson, area seventy for the Utah-based faith in Europe, says that it comes in response to a request from the British government, asking "for comments about the definition of marriage."
LDS Church headquarters in Salt Lake City had no comment on the letter, but other faiths are weighing in.
"A law to allow same-sex weddings will destroy the institution of marriage for future generations, leaders of the Church of England warned," an article in the National Post said. "They claim it will lead to a constitutional crisis, arguing that human rights legislation will force churches to treat gay couples asking for a wedding in the same way they treat heterosexual couples."
For Mormons, same-sex marriage would remove a lot of the pain that gay members feel, says Lindsay Hansen Park, one of the bloggers at Feminist Mormon Housewives.
Park has assembled a number of stories about mixed-orientation marriages and is putting them up on the website once a week until they are used up.
"As a church, and as a society, I believe we should be encouraging marriages on healthy premises, not on unhealthy risks," Park writes in an email. "Life is hard enough, marriage is hard enough, without entering it knowing that you will not be sexually attracted to your partner."
That is a tough obstacle that could be "easily removed for most LGBT people," she writes, if they didn't feel like they had to choose between their "true love" and their salvation.
Peggy Fletcher Stack
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