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Marriage Equality

Mormon Church Back in Marriage Equality Fight in Hawaii

Mormon Church Back in Marriage Equality Fight in Hawaii

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After a few years of sitting out such battles, the church is becoming active in Hawaii, urging members to oppose the legislation pending there.

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After backing away from fighting marriage equality for a while, the Mormon Church is once again active on this issue, coming out in opposition to the equal marriage bill pending in Hawaii.

Church leaders have issued letters to the faithful reiterating that the denomination believes marriage should be limited to opposite-sex couples, with one sent by the church's Salt Lake City headquarters to Hawaii congregations in September and another, stronger one issued by the Hawaii church hierarchy this month, Mother Jones reports.

The September letter "acknowledged that some Mormons might actually be in favor of the marriage bill," the magazine reports, but directed members to review documents spelling out the church's official stance opposing same-sex marriage.

"Salt Lake City's focus-grouped language didn't sit well with Hawaii church leaders, who wanted a more forceful message," Mother Jones notes. "On October 13, Hawaii church leaders read another letter to their flocks, this time stating flatly that the church's position on same-sex marriage had not changed and that the church 'is opposed to the proposed legislation in Hawaii.' The state church's letter argues that traditional marriage is 'fundamental to successful families and a strong society,' and directs members to actively oppose the legislation." Hawaii has a large Mormon population, and the church-affiliated Brigham Young University has a campus in the state.

In the past few years, the church has been less active in opposing marriage equality than it was, for instance, in the battle over California's Proposition 8, in which it played a major role. Some observers say part of the reason for that move was to avoid hurting Mitt Romney's chance at the presidency; Romney, last year's Republican candidate, is one of the nation's most visible Mormons.

A Hawaii state Senate committee voted Monday to advance the marriage bill to the full Senate, and a House committee is scheduled to consider it Thursday. Gov. Neil Abercrombie supports the measure.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.