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Letter: LDS Church should quit trying to go backward

Published November 5, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Hawaii's legislature is headed to approve gay marriage. In the late 1990s, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled its constitution allowed gay marriages, but the Mormon Church led the successful campaign to change the constitution.

Ditto a decade later in California: A state supreme court ruling, successful Mormon-led opposition, and now California has gay marriage.

And then there's Utah (sigh).

In Tony Kushner's "Angels in America," the angel commands humankind to "go back," to retreat to 1950s America (the one seen in KBYU reruns). "Go back" is the Mormon reply to most things. But human experience isn't so simple. We can't keep shoving into the closet realities that don't fit that model.

We need to update our models, to acknowledge the things that don't fit, to expand our understanding of "liberty and justice for all," just as we did in the past with women, blacks, the handicapped, Jews, Catholics and, yes, even Mormons, who now won't give similar allowance for difference to others.

Kushner's reply to the angel was that "the world spins forward," not backward. We must go forward in our understanding, however incomplete, of justice and freedom.

That's similar to Mormons' "continuing revelation." It's time they asked for some.

Terry Hill

Salt Lake City