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For week ended August 08, 1999 Posted 8 Aug 1999

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Gay Marriage

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Gay Marriage
NPR's Morning Edition 4Aug99 L1
By Jenny Brundin: KUER, Salt Lake City, Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The LDS Church campaign to support California's Knight initiative, set for a vote in March 2000, is the subject of this report on NPR's influential Morning Edition news program. The report emphasizes the difficulties that the Church might face because of the campaign and its political fallout.

Reporter Brundin talks with a BYU student who is soliciting signatures from fellow students, a good portion of whom might be Californians entitled to vote, on a petition in support of the initiative. She also interviews 'high-ranking' LDS Church official Lance Whitman, who notes that while the letter sent by the Church to congregations in California, while unusual, is one of the rare circumstances in which the Church enters the political debate. Whitman says that the issue of gay marriage attacks "one of the cornerstones, if not the cornerstone," of LDS beliefs on marriage.

[This letter was read in Priesthood and Relief Society meetings, not in Sacrament meetings as reported incorrectly in a Mormon-News story yesterday.]

Part of the controversy, according to the newsstory, involves a second letter, which NPR claims to have, in which selected wealthy members of the Church in California were asked for donations of specific amounts to be sent in support of the initiative. In addition, a letter from a local leader to the Area presidency apparently made specific suggestions of strategy, including which members should be approached for financial help.

Brundin also talks to University of Utah Political Science professor Ted Wilson, who sees possible repercussions in the Church's missionary program because of the campaign. Wilson notes that missionary work is an "inclusive" activity, while the campaign is "exclusive" in nature. Wilson explains that getting involved in politics always excludes someone. He indicates that those offended or excluded are not likely to talk with the missionaries in the future.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information