Thursday, July 03, 2008

"Talking Points" distributed in California

It has been reported that last Sunday California Stake Presidents were instructed by video conferencing by Elders Ballard, Cook, Wickman and Clayton regarding the anti-gay marriage initiative in California.

 - Church members are to emphasize the doctrine of the "eternal nature of families" using the Proclamation on the Family and the scriptures.

 - Members are to be asked to contribute their "means, time and talents."  Leaders are not to ask for donations at church, nor use church meetings or buildings -- but must do these activities outside of church buildings and meeting times.

 -  Ward and stake directories may be used

The following document is apparently being distributed to some stakes.


12.  Talking Points

Talking points are always in evolution- some to consider:

A. Elder Clayton and other brethren
  i. Society has already provided civil unions which allow basically all the benefits of marriage- however they cannot be allowed to define marriage for the majority.
  ii.  California didn't ask for same sex marriage (court made the change.)
  iii.  There should be no change in the definition of marriage without a vote of the people.
  iv.  Think of the children- training same sex activity as the equivalent of heterosexual activity will begin in elementary school because it is the law of the land (see Massachusetts.)
  v. Same sex marriage goes too far. CA law provides same sex partners with all the same protections as traditional marriage partners.
  vi.  This might affect our first amendment rights including the free exercise of religion- potentially the right to worship as we believe. Note: the Catholics had to close their adoption agencies in Massachusetts because they legally couldn't adopt babies to only heterosexual couples.


  i. Children need the love of both a father and a mother. The body of research-proof is overwhelming and consistent.
  ii.  Traditional marriage deserves protection because of its contributions to societal well-being- it is about children and society, not the relationship of two adults.
  iii.  Expanding the definition of marriage by including homosexual relationships adds to the continued disregard for marriage's ultimate purpose. Where it has been legalized, same-sex marriage decreases the total number of marriages while increasing illegitimacy. Nine European nations have had same-sex marriage since the early 90s-and just 2 percent of same-sex couples in these countries ever marry, while there has been a 46 percent increase in out-of-wedlock births.
  iv.  Expanding the definition of marriage begs the question: What legal basis would remain to limit the number of partners in marriage? 
  v. Legalizing same-sex marriage necessarily mandates changes to all California public-school curriculum. Children will be subjected to a mandatory acceptance of homosexuality and all of its practices. Public school curriculum will actively discriminate against the values of the majority of its community'S families.
  vi.  Religious freedom has been the cornerstone of success for the United States of America.  It is na'ive to believe that when acceptance of same-sex marriage is legislatively or judicially forced upon citizens via employment law, education, or other government mandates, rights of religious liberty won't decrease.


  a. Study The Family: A Proclamation, the June 20th First Presidency letter, and the scriptures to better understand the doctrines and principles of marriage and family.
  b. Prepare to teach these doctrines to your people- to build a fire in their hearts about marriage and family.
  c. Get to know the website:
  d. Prepare to begin the fundraising effort right away.
  e. Be ready to "get out the vote."
  f. Study the talking points.
  g. The Lord will bless you as you go forth in His service in protecting marriage and family


Tom said...

Clair -

I have two questions a comment for you.

Question one: how will denying marriage equality prevent heterosexual couples from having children?

Question two: how will denying marriage equality prevent homosexual couples from having (or adopting) children?

If the point of denying same-sex couples the right to marry is to encourage the formation of households with both a mother and father, how will Proposition 8 help accomplish this goal?

My comment is this: civil unions provide most, but not ALL of the legal benefits of marriage. Social Security survivor benefits is one, inheritance taxation is another.

I will tell you a true story. I had an uncle-in-law, raised in Salt Lake, who was in a relationship with another man for more than 35 years. Though they had done all they could legally to formalize their union, when this uncle died of lung cancer, his surviving partner was not eligible for Social Security survivor benefits, which would have been automatic had they been married. On top of that, because of inheritance taxes and a shift in the tax basis of the house they shared (neither of which would have happened had they been married), he was unable to afford to stay in the home they had shared for three decades.

Does this seem fair or equitable to you?

I fully respect the right of the church to deny marry marriage to anyone it wishes. They currently deny anyone but recommend holders the right to marry in the temple. Prior to 1979, this meant black men couldn't be married in the temple. As far as I know, no lawsuits were filed claiming the church was denying temple marriage on the basis of race.

No religious freedoms are in danger here.

ClairB said...

Tom, I agree with your points.

I don't see how denying marriage equality will prevent heterosexual couples from having children. Nor do I see how this will prevent homosexual couples from having or adopting children.

I think the underlying reason runs deeper than these "talking points." I'm not exactly sure what those reasons are, but I suspect they are complex.

Perhaps with the church quest for respect while they are still associated with polygamy has caused a reaction where the church is trying to prove beyond doubt their support of traditional marriage, and their apprehension of any kind of non-traditional marriage, be it polygamous or homosexual.

Larry said...

It seems on those talking points they forgot "Praise the Lord and pass the Ammo" or would that be going to far.

Brandon Burt said...

This "talking point" is revealing:

"v. Same sex marriage goes too far. CA law provides same sex partners with all the same protections as traditional marriage partners."

Which sounds almost reasonable ... until you consider that the LDS Church also opposes those very domestic partnership laws which offer the "same protections."

It heavily promoted a Utah constitutional amendment which specifically prohibits laws such as those on the books in California.

Clearly, the LDS Church will not rest until homosexuals are stripped of all rights and all dignity.

If gays were sent to prisons or asylums and given BYU-style shock treatments, then would the church feel that marriage was "protected" enough?