To: All OC Public Affairs Personnel
Cc: Other Interested Persons
By now many of you serving in Public Affairs may have been invited by your Stake
Presidency to join other stake priesthood and auxiliary leaders in attending a special
meeting. That was to discuss points that originated last Sunday, June 29, with a
historic live interactive telecast emanating from SLC among Elders Ballard, Cook, Wickman
and Clayton with CA Stake Presidents.
We have been asked to study out the above issue – starting with the First Presidency
letter that was read in Church last Sunday and the Proclamation on the Family. You
should all have copies of these items. As the year goes on, Public Affairs is apt to get
ever more involved, under proper Priesthood direction. This will be especially true
after Labor Day, when getting out the vote will be crucial. Meanwhile we are asked to
use "our best efforts" and to do "all we can" to support this initiative with
both our "means and time."
To help you get prepared, here are some pertinent materials I have gathered on this
issue, for your summer reading.
1. In Re Marriage Cases. See attached PDF summary of these consolidated cases, as
issued by the Cal Sup. Ct. on 5-15-08. The majority decision is 121 pages long plus
concurring and dissenting opinions. Essentially, the court has determined that any
classification based on sexual orientation is a "suspect classification" that
requires "strict scrutiny" under the "equal protection" clause of the CA
Constitution. It also found that the CA Constitution has granted a "fundamental right
to marry." In 1948, that enabled the court invalidate statutory restrictions on
interracial marriage. On these grounds, the court then proceeded to invalidate the
existing statutory restrictions on same-gender marriages that were passed as Proposition
22 in 2000.
The Protectmarriage.com website. This is the key website of the central coalition of
churches and other organizations that have been promoting what is now Prop. 8 for over a
year. You will first see a list of member organizations and sponsoring individuals
belonging to this coalition. Also see links on the left-hand side for "FAQS" and
some good talking points under "Why it is needed."
3. LDS.org Website. See this long but exceptionally important and well
articulated 2007 interview by Public Affairs with Elders Dallin H. Oaks and Lance B.
Wickman on "Same-Gender Attraction." It is at: http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/e
4. Meridian Magazine. "What difference will same-gender marriage make to you?"
See this link: http://www.ldsmag.com/familyleadernetwork/080627marriage.html Also
see http://www.ldsmag.com/familyleadernetwork/080619ignore.html These articles explore
some of the possibly unintended consequences of this recent Cal. Supreme Court decision.
5. NB Stake Talking Points. See attached PDF with some key talking points created
by my own Newport Beach Stake President Weatherford Clayton. More official talking
points will are being prepared and will be provided through proper channels by LDS Church
HQ in Salt Lake City.
6. Church News Article. From 2004 issue on the benefits of families raised within
HISPANICS AGAINST PROP 8. See first email attached above.
HISPANICS WHO SUPPORT IT. See email #3 attached above.
As the June 20th First Presidency letter said, more information will be made available to
you from time to time through local priesthood channels.
You may also be aware that the new Managing Director of LDS Public Affairs in SLC will be
Michael Otterson. He has been serving as assistant to Bruce Olsen and is originally from
Australia. Brother Olsen will be the new San Diego Temple President.
Joseph I. Bentley, Director
Orange County Public Affairs
61 Montecito Drive
Corona del Mar, CA 92625-1018
(H) 949/720-9777, (C) 949/500-9959