Originally published on Advocate.com August 21 2003 12:00 AM ET
Same-sex marriage threatens God's plan of happiness for his children here and in eternity, said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Mormon Church's governing Quorum of the Twelve. On Tuesday Ballard told a devotional at Brigham Young University that he helped draft the 1995 Proclamation to the World on the Family, which he said came in response to concerns by leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over social movements to "design families in ways contrary to God's plan." In response, they drafted the proclamation so as to "make the Lord's position on the family so clear that it could not be misunderstood." The opening line reads, "Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the family is central to the creator's plan for the eternal destiny of his children." The church has spent millions of dollars campaigning against same-sex marriage.
As the "vacillating whims of convention and political correctness" march forward, Ballard said, "families continue to be assaulted openly and viciously," with "gender being confused and traditional roles being repudiated." In God's plan, the traditional family "is not just the basic unit of society but the basic unit of eternity," he added. He said the church and its leaders "must stand firm at this time when the adversary is using differing lifestyles in an attempt to replace the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman."