Wednesday, November 5, 2008

LDS Temple Marriages: Valid or Not?

[Politics] The California Proposition 8 supporters have taught me a valuable lesson: Just because people say they're "married" and have a "document" that purports to "prove" that fact, doesn't mean they're actually married. Oh, no no no no no.

They may love each other very much; they may even have children. But, in fact, they need to seek my approval of their marriage, for some reason. (Don't ask me why this is so; apparently the Proposition 8 supporters have special knowledge about this point.) I had always thought that somebody else's marriage was a private matter between them. But Proposition 8 has proven me wrong. A marriage belongs to everybody in the state! If enough people say a marriage doesn't exist, then it doesn't; you can even pass laws against other people's marriages.

So, from here on out, I no longer recognize the validity of LDS Temple "marriages," * and I encourage others not to recognize such "marriages." I'm sorry, but if you were "married" in an LDS Temple ceremony, as far as I'm concerned, you're not married at all. We've got to draw the line somewhere--so why not draw it there?

(Brandon Burt)

*Note: Special exemptions will be made for temple-married folks who opposed Proposition 8, such as my partner's mother and that lovely woman who organized a last-minute vigil.


  1. I do not understand your logic.

    LDS marriages have a marriage license, the same ones you need anywhere else. The only difference is that you are in a different location.

    Dont get me wrong, I don't agree with Prop 8 either.

  2. John is right, you need marriage license's for temple marriages, just like any other religion needs to have them.

  3. The people getting married to their same-sex partners also had marriage licenses, so I don't see your point, John and Lauralee.

  4. Logic does not come easy to people who have accumulated more bitterness than thoughtfulness.

    In fact, any marriage does belong to the state in this way: Marriages are state sanctioned, and have specific requirements: Age, sexes involved, relationship to spouse (IE, incest not allowed), etc..., These specific requirements lead to specific benefits.

    So yes, the state determines this. That's what the license is for. It's not just a nice thing to hang on your wall: It is a legal document.

    However, if you read what the LDS Church is saying, they are protecting the definition of marriage. They are open to allowing legal rights to otherwise denominated unions:

    "The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians. Even more, the Church does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches."

    I know anger is the easy response to the situation, but it's pretty clear the Church is trying to extend the olive branch in helping people understand their position. Read more on this at .

  5. Brandon, you're hilarious and I, unlike other commenters, understand the point you were making.

    However, as witty as you may have spun it, it is still heartbreaking to read, "Just because people say they're "married" and have a "document" that purports to "prove" that fact, doesn't mean they're actually married."

    My heart goes out to all members of the gay community, and I hope for a brighter future.

  6. Wow this was written by someone that is angry and has no idea what he is talking about. I cannot accept you as a human now. This country is still a Damocracy right? Not a mockery. Also as far as I see it still a very religious country. You trying to make a mockery out of Temple marriage and marriage in general is unwarrented and uncalled for.

  7. I'd say that soliciting your congregation to support a proposition built on hate with upwards of $20 million in donations is far more unwarranted than a justifably engraged target of said hatred airing his grievances on a harmless blog.

  8. Fuck Mormons and their cracker jack temples.

  9. So if you reject marriages in a temple then you must reject mine from a cathedral; my holy place. I understand your need to take a potshot, but by definition you just denied all marriages.

  10. Brandon, you are outraged because one group, gays, are not being treated with equality, so your response is to show extreme prejudice to another group, mormons. So you subscribe to the adage that two wrongs do make a right???

    I think you could expand on Jamie's point for your outrage. If 20m was solicited from members for a clearly political agenda, does that impact the tax exempt status??? How can church elders state that they believe in free choice, but not this choice???

  11. This post was sent to me by a friend and it and its comments have triggered many thoughts.

    First, the perspective from which I come. I am LDS, recently married in the temple, and I am an attorney.

    Second, I am flabbergasted at the problems with the argument in this post. Laws are created to reflect the values of society, whether done through the legislative process via representatives or though a ballot process like the one we have seen this week. The laws will not reflect the values of an individual or many individuals, but a society as a whole. Prop 8 is how California has decided to define marriage. Laws are not always going to comply with each individuals values.

    Third, as to the issue of marriage; each state may define marriage as well as determine the requirements for a marital ceremony. In many states and countries, worthy members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints may be married in temples. In these instances, as with any other religious marital ceremony, the state has sanctioned the religious representative to perform a legal marriage. They must be certified by the state for the marriage to be legal. This is a decision of the state and the laws of each state as defined by the values of each society. However, not all countries are willing to participate in this process. In many countries across Europe, a couple must follow the legal procedures of getting married in a civil ceremony. They then may participate in whatever religious ceremony they choose. They must comply with the laws as created by the values of the society in which they live.

    This post seems to attempt to compare things that are not comparable. Temple marriages are done according to the laws of that state or country. Should society so dictate that a religion no longer be able to perform a legal marriage, so be it. My faith would have to comply with that request and perform a religious ceremony thereafter. If that is what the society wants, so be it.

    Fourth, as to the previous comment about tax status, churches are not allowed to endorse political parties or candidates. However, they are completely within their rights and indeed purposes to express a view on moral issues. I would argue the primary tenants of organized religion are worship of God (or whatever being each denomination chooses), and definition of moral conduct that complies with your understanding of what God would want. Not all faiths follow these endorsement requirements, as evidenced by smaller congregations and denominations endorsing candidates, having candidates speak to their congregations, and donating money to a political party. Not to worry though, as long as they are endorsing the “correct” candidate or party, it can be overlooked.

    Finally, I realize that this is a divisive issue. I also realize that this isn't over with Tuesday's vote. We now have a situation where some states have taken the same position as California while others have taken the opposite position. I suspect we will see this issue in the Supreme Court in the next few years. Although moral issues are usually within the discretion of the states, the impact of marital rights crosses state lines. I don't see how addressing it at a federal level can be avoided.

    (Stepping down from my soapbox... :P)

  12. I just wish...

    That those that are enraged and angry about the proposition 8, would show the same respect and consideration that the LDS church showed the Gay community when Gay marriage was approved the first time.

    The church never picked your weddings or places of worship. They never posted angry or hateful blogs.

    Instead the people that were for Prop 8 went through the correct means of fighting it, the legal system and had the People of California ammend the law.

    Why can't the LDS church or any other church get the same respect in return?

  13. Chelsea, you're a lawyer yet you can't read the satire and subtext in a tongue-in-cheek post?

    In case you missed it, here's a summary: Brandon's joking. Duh.

    Seriously, I gotta get myself to law school. They must be lettin' anybody in these days.

  14. I get that he was joking. I was specfically making a point that it was ridiculous. For it to be funny, it would actually have to make sense. The point of satire is that there is some truth behind it. Missed the mark in this case. Good luck on the law school thing...that my friend would be the real joke.

  15. Is Brandon kidding or just proposing an extreme definition as a demonstration of his animosity toward the decision??? The space could have been put to a better use.

    Chelsea- Thanks for the comment regarding tax exempt status. I agree that moral issues are open for discussion and even declaration of position by churches. Next question, is it crossing the line for the church to not just declare its position, but to actively collect funds for the express purpose of buying ads to persuading others outside of the flock?

  16. hey Chelsea: so you're up there on your soapbox, making valid points about laws and how society defines marriage, etc etc.

    as an attorney, how do you explain the horrific violation of civil rights that is proposition 8? how do you explain the violation of civil rights that Utah took part in, sanctioned even, when it changed its consitution? here's something you should be able to comprehend, being an attorney, just because the majority of people think that something is right, doesn't make it so. we used to believe that slavery was right. what would you say to that? does that make it okay to violate the civil rights of african americans? did it make what we did to them okay?

    your church used to ban blacks from being a part of it. did you forget that? does that make it okay, because it was accepted by the majority of your church? now your church is against gay marriage. a few years from now, it's going to have to change its position again.

    just because something is accepted, DOES NOT make it right. that is the argument that Brandon is making. That is the argument we are ALL making.

    it is very naive of you to brush this matter aside so matter of factly. if this were your marriage being questioned, you would be angry. maybe if we as a society all decide that any marriage ceremony done in a specific religious manner i.e. in the LDS tradition-even with a license-is illegal, then hey, in your words "so be it". that will exempt you from having the same health benefits, legal benefits, and a million other benefits that you have now. how would that feel? unjust? perhaps, oh say, a violation of your civil rights?

  17. I think that the fact that the LDS church urged their people to go against this prop is bordering on the separation of church and state. They should not have made a comment one way or another to the public, in the privacy of their churches it's fine but in any communication with those outside their congregation. If they continue to do this then I say the government should be able to tax them. If anything it will either make them stay out of the law or balance the national budget. Either way works for me.

  18. The LDS Church does nothing but help people...God's laws don't change because a bunch of people get together and cry about...

    Your talking about a Church and people that know what real persecution is, so stop your whining about Prop 8. You lost, don't keep asking everybody to give you a hug and wipe your tears, life goes on...

  19. Brandon Burt is an idiot. Religion or ethics aside, his argument is empty and incredibly unstudied.

    Sorry Big Boy....leave the journalism to real journalists.

  20. Sad you have to be validated as a human being by the Ninth Circut Court. Sad. Damn Sad.
    Oh, and I guess I am a Bigot because I do not deny a God and His creation of the male/female relationship to perpetuate society. Think I will marry my dog, she is fuzzy and cute and does not run up my credit card. Slurppp.

  21. I, for one, am thrilled that the Mormon's picked this fight. Though they don't know it yet, by choosing to act as a political force, they've done serious damage to their religious image and they'll pay for that sooner than later.

    Time to protest. Time to out them for the hateful, close-minded entity that they are. Time to tax the Mormon corporation.

    It's no wonder that Mormons were once chased from town to town and state to state. They've always brought it on themselves.

  22. Mormons do not do "nothing but help people". how dumb are you? they mask their help for other people in a manner to force them to convert. in India, where a lot of mothers have leprosy, the church has gone in, separated the children from the mothers, and they allow them to see the children once a week. however, if you are mormon, or if you convert, then you get to see your child more often. Mormons are corrupt. and it was started by a philandering, bipolar alcoholic, who wanted to find a way around the law so he could have as many wives as he wanted.did you forget your own personal history? do you know anything about it? brigham young and joseph smith thought that men lived on the sun. and there's proof, it's in his writings. wonder what else they were wrong about?

  23. The LDS have crossed over the line on this one :
    Walsh: LDS stand on Prop. 8 oozes irony
    By Rebecca Walsh
    Tribune Columnist
    Article Launched: 11/02/2008 01:19:27 AM MST

    In a four-month offensive, the LDS Church has deployed its faithful as partisans for California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that would ban gay marriage - the largest mobilization since the faith fought the Equal Rights Amendment three decades ago. In June, members were asked to "do all you can." And they have.
    As a result, the Salt Lake City-based church gets the credit and the blame for leading the cause. According to Californians Against Hate, Mormons have donated more than $19 million to the cause - nearly four out of five dollars raised.

    A boycott of Utah and ALL LDS owned businesses is already underway. I'm also joining those who are moving for the removal of tax exempt status for this crossing over the line of church ( Temple and State)

  24. Good, your minority 1% of Society will definitely bankrupt the LDS Church.

    The Gay community would have won on Prop 8 if they simply had the majority vote. Why can't you accept that as fact?

    Go cry with Al Gore you sorry ass whiners...


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