Mormon Leader Sorry for Prop 8 Pain

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com September 29 2010 10:30 AM ET

A high-ranking Mormon leader apologized for the pain caused by the Proposition 8 campaign in a recent meeting with the Oakland, Calif., stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

According to Religion Dispatches, Elder Marlin K. Jensen, the Church’s historian and a prominent member of the General Authorities leadership hierarchy, accepted an invitation to a special meeting with about 90 Mormons hurt by their Church’s significant role in the Prop. 8 campaign.

“During the one-hour meeting, thirteen gay and straight Mormons came to the microphone,” reported Religion Dispatches. “Many expressed their love for the faith, as well as the profound pain caused by LDS Church actions towards gays and lesbians. Gay Mormons recalled years of prayer and fasting, attempted heterosexual marriages promising to ‘cure’ them, and Church-prescribed aversion therapy. Gay and straight Mormons spoke of how their families and neighborhoods had been divided by the Yes on 8 campaign. And some expressed their anger over the Church’s leading role in a political campaign that gave California and the Mormon community a ‘license to hate’ homosexuals.”

According to an attendee who talked with Religion Dispatches, Jensen, a favorite figure with liberal Mormons, apologized for the pain they described.

“To the full extent of my capacity, I say that I am sorry . . . I know that many very good people have been deeply hurt, and I know that the Lord expects better of us,” he said.

Religion Dispatches puts the apology in the broader framework of a Mormon thaw on LGBT issues since 2008 and recent work within the church to come to terms with the Proposition 8 campaign.

“But behind the buzz stands a deeper story of how a committed group of Mormons is working to heal the rifts created by Proposition 8 and the even larger story of how faith communities slowly come to terms with the legacies of the political battle over same sex marriage,” writes the magazine.