There’s been a surge of traffic to my blog about LDS temples being shut down or forced to perform same-sex marriages in the temple. It’s something a lot of people fear, not just Mormons, and apparently it’s on a lot of minds again. I wrote a blog post about this a while back and made these points:
- Exemptions are usually written into laws for religious organizations that don’t believe in same-sex marriage
- A lot of churches have made LGBTQ members feel unwelcome so even if they allowed same-sex marriage, LGBTQ members probably wouldn’t want to be married in your churches or temples anyway
- The LDS Church currently discriminates against any straight member(s) when it comes to marriage (e.g., couples who have sex before marriage can’t get married in the temple)
And there’s a lot of bad information out there on the topic. All we have to do to get good information is read the laws and draw our own conclusions about whether or not this can/will happen. Maryland’s ballot measure is a good example to look at. Here’s the wording of the law:
“Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.”
20 words related to the rights of gay/lesbian couples and about 50 on religious exemption. So, will churches be forced to perform same-sex marriages? Not a chance — there’s nothing to be afraid of.