Mormon Lawyer: Church Should Embrace Marriage Equality
A straight Mormon who once campaigned against same-sex marriage has made a U-turn to become a supporter of marriage equality, and he says his entire church should embrace this position.
Brad Carmack, a Phoenix attorney and Brigham Young University graduate, discusses his evolution in a column published today by The Salt Lake Tribune. He volunteered in support of the ballot measure that repealed a marriage equality law in Maine in 2009, but, he says, subsequent research he did for his book Homosexuality: A Straight BYU Student’s Perspective convinced him that gay couples deserve marriage rights. And while the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon Church is formally known, has frequently campaigned against same-sex marriage and preaches that gay members should be celibate, Carmack sees room for Mormon theology to endorse marriage equality.
“Mormonism is unequivocally pro-family,” he writes. “So is same-sex marriage. ... Same-sex couples (and their children) stand to gain from the mutual caretaking, community support, and stabilizing effects of marriage. Risky mixed-orientation marriages (such as a gay man and a straight woman) and lifelong celibacy threaten healthy marriage more than do monogamous same-sex partnerships.”
He notes that Jesus never condemned homosexuality, and the Book of Mormon is silent on the matter. “The church’s law of chastity,” he adds, “has always been explicitly tied to legal marriage — in which case a monogamous, legally married LDS same-sex couple in Massachusetts is already abiding the law of chastity.”
Carmack says he believes marriage equality “is the moral issue of my LDS generation.” Read the full column here.