I get Sunstone, an irreverent Mormon publication that helps translate the world of the Latter-day Saints into language the rest of us can understand. In one recent issue, I chanced upon “Why Mormonism Can’t Abide Gay Marriage.” The reasons are theological.
Author Christopher Bigelow, the great-great-great-grandson of a Mormon apostle who had more than 40 wives, writes that Mormons are created in the image of a God who has human body parts, including genitals. Mormon doctrine also states that God is married to a Mrs. God and that these heavenly parents engage in some form of celestial sex.
“In order for same-sex marriage to be accepted by Mormons, we would need to become convinced that God himself could conceivably engage in such a union, including its sexual implications,” he wrote. “To put it more bluntly, unless God himself could be gay and still be God, then there’s no room for homosexuality in Mormon doctrine.”
I have been unsuccessful in locating this essay online, so I am providing parts of it. There is biblical precedent for polygamy, a Mormon practice that has long since been outlawed, he writes, but not same-sex intercourse. “As I see it, the bottom line is that we Mormons would have to give up our theological integrity to accommodate gay marriage,” he adds. “If we thought that God could be gay, our eternally procreative marriage-based doctrine would collapse like a house of cards.”
So, that’s what’s at stake for the Mormons and why they are fighting so hard to keep marriage legally between a man and a woman.
The Sunstone folks, by the way, are having a conference Jan. 30-31 at Marymount University in northern Virginia.
- Julia Duin, religion editor