Mara Stewart, Honolulu, Hawaii – Our family is not forever anymore

To the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve:

Gentlemen, my parents are converts to the LDS Church. I was raised in the Church. I was baptized, confirmed, went on mini-missions as a teenager, attended Seminary. I was a good daughter.

When I came out as a lesbian to my parents, my mother was loving and accepting. I was afraid that she would disown me. My father was less than happy, but accepting of the daughter he raised all the same. Despite Church doctrine that says I am a sinner and unworthy because of my sexual orientation, they loved me and I loved them. Our family remained strong and united in the face of adversity.

With the First Presidency’s declaration that Church members must support Propositions 8 in California and 102 in Arizona, that changed. My parents support the Church’s efforts to influence civil law out of fear, not out of love. They support Church efforts to declare their daughter a lesser citizen. That support has ruined our relationship. It has ruined my parents’ relationship with my straight, married sister, who does not believe that Church doctrine should dictate civil law. Our family has been shattered by this.

The Church’s political war against gays and lesbians is not right. It is not just. It is not loving. It is not Christlike. It is hateful, mean, small, and base. The civil right of gays and lesbians to marry according to the laws of their state in no way affects Church doctrine on homosexuality or marriage. The First Amendment guarantees Church immunity from performing same-sex marriages. Temple marriages will not be threatened. The Church loses nothing.

Instead, families are threatened. Families lose. Our family, so important to my father and mother, is falling apart because of this. They are more afraid of the First Presidency than they are willing to support civil rights for all their children. This is wrong. This is in direct opposition to the precepts laid out in D&C 134.

The LDS Church is ripping its own families apart over a war it should never have waged to begin with. Gentlemen, I urge you to leave the government of the citizenry to the civil government. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Perform and strengthen your own Temple marriages according to Church doctrine and the dictates of your own conscience. Do not try to dictate to the conscience of other men.

Above all, do not rip my family apart in this way. My parents’ decision to support your political campaign is because they believe that you are infallibly correct. In this, you are not. Please, remember the doctrine laid forth at Kirtland, Ohio in 1835. Remove Church support from this civil action.