More Voices from the Wilderness

I’m rather glad to see that I’m not alone in the LDS community in speaking out in questioning the wisdom of the Marriage Amendment.

Just a few days ago, Jeffrey Nielsen, BYU Professor of Philosophy and LDSaint, published an editorial in the SL Tribune opposing a Constitutional ban on homosexual marriage.

Ed Firmage, prominent BYU graduate and professor emeritus of Constitutional Law at UofU, has recently posted a critique of the movement to ban gay marriage at He makes his claims in a strong yet eloquent fashion.

5 Responses to “More Voices from the Wilderness”

  1. Jolard Says:

    You are not alone. As another self professed Liberal Mormon, I too think that the Marriage Amendement is bad law, will not make any difference in our lives (my marriage will not be stronger, and gays are not going to leave their partners) and is nothing but a patisan ploy to bring division and distract from real pressing problems.

    Not only that, it is a little hypocritical coming from an organization that would have argued in the past that the morality of the majority should not stop a minority from deciding who they want to marry.

  2. Brian Says:

    I have to say that I question whether either of the mentioned gentlemen are part of the LDS community. I guess it depends on your definition of “LDS Community”.

    Mr. Nielsen says that “As a member, I sustain the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as LDS general authorities…” but what about Prophet, Seer and Revelator? If I dissagree with the Prophet I tend to wonder why, and do some self searching to find out. I do know that he is a Prophet.

    As for Mr. Firmage, from his “critique” I would question whether he could, or would want to be, considered part of the LDS community. He may have gradutated from BYU, but many non-LDS people have done the same. There was a lot of venom in that letter. Things said that offend me, as one who loves the Lords annointed.

    Jolard, the Marriage Amendment is not meant to strengthen your marriage. That is up to you and your spouse. It is meant to stop the dillution of Marriage.

    I don’t see a conflict between the Marriage Amendment and the past or future practice of Plural Marriage. The practice of plural marriage consisted of multiple marriages between one man and one woman. Not a single marriage of one man and multiple women.

    I am enjoying the blog. 🙂

  3. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Thanks, Brian.

    Nielsen is a temple recommend bearing LDSaint, and the Gospel Doctrine teacher in his ward. Sounds like a member of our community. Further discussion of Nielsen and his position will be forthcoming.

    I’ve no idea of Firmage’s current membership standing. He may no longer be a member. Yes, his words were stronger than I would have put them, but he made some very cogent points. We are told to “reprove betimes with sharpness.”

    Polygyny (the practice of taking multiple wives) is a non-traditional marriage. If we claim the right to practice non-traditional marriages when we see fit (ie, when we claim the Lord commmands us to do so), we should permit others the right to do so. Otherwise, we are hypocrites.

    Note that both the Utah and the Federal Marriage Amendments restrict marriage to “one man and one woman.” Plural marriage as practiced by the Church in the past (and potentially in the future) would be banned by those amendments. What, would we suddenly reverse our position and insist that the amendment be repealed? Again, we would be hypocrites.

    I’m glad you enjoy.

  4. Jolard Says:


    One of the conservative arguments against gay marriage is that if we let gays marry, then we will have to allow polygamy and beastiality as well. It is the narrow edge of the wedge.

    That said, it is applicable. We fought the Federal Government for the right to marry who we wished even if it was considered immoral by the majority of Americans at the time. It seems that this is a similar issue to me.

    Personally I have no problem with the church preaching morality, but are we really sure that we want to start legislating morality? We are still a minority religion. To put it in perspective, what if half of America converted to Islam, and there was a constitutional amendment that all women had to wear head to toe coverings? Or that all children must be tought the Koran in school? We would be horrified.

    Most people will argue with me about this by saying that this is different, because this is a moral issue, but those are moral issues to Muslems. What is the difference? If that is too different, then what about the next constitutional amendment that declares that the Bible must be tought in school. And with our President, it will likely be tought using a Evangelical curriculum. Are you going to be happy having to convince your kids that grace is all they need?

    That is the problem with legislating morality. It is fine when it is your morality that is being enshrined in law, but not so when you are on the other side.

  5. Says:

    What A Wonderful Blog Post…

    [..] I saw this really great post today and I wanted to link to it. [..]…

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