The American Family Association last week issued an Action Alert to its members, updating them on the hate campaign being waged by gay activist organizations against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of its support for the successful Proposition 8 ballot measure in California.

In it, AFA founder and chairman Donald E. Wildmon states that, although Proposition 8 was supported by a broad coalition, including Catholics and evangelicals, “the homosexuals have singled out the Mormons as their target of anger.”

He urges his members to add their signatures to a petition of thanks which he intends to deliver to LDS Church leaders.  He states that, in addition to himself, other prominent religious and pro-family leaders have already signed the petition, including Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Charles Colson of the Prison Fellowship, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Gary Bauer of American Values.   The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has also extended its prayerful support and steadfast solidarity to the LDS Church at this time, Wildmon noted.

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The outstanding thing about the AFA’s message, and the sentiments behind it, is this.  Too much of the time, a certain tension exists between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members, and other churches, particularly the Evangelical ones, and their members.  This tension grows much more out of doctrinal differences, many of them rather technical, than out of meaningful differences in the foundational beliefs and values that we hold.  Nonetheless, these perceived differences have too often kept us from combining our efforts in issue areas, some of them very important, on which we take the same position.  However, the struggle in California, and especially now its aftermath, have been different.  There is an increasing realization that we can work together, with greatly increased effectiveness, on crucial issues in which the things upon which we agree far outweigh the things upon which we differ.

This, to me, is very satisfying.   And so, to Dr. Wildmon, and to everyone everywhere who stood with us in the defense of marriage in California and some other places this fall, let me speak, both for myself and in behalf of the many, many Latter-day Saints who feel as I do, by saying it was a distinct pleasure and a privilege to work together with you in a great cause.  And when in coming days the forces of darkness gather around whatever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, or praiseworthy, I look forward to standing with you again, shoulder to shoulder, in defense of those things.

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The entire Action Alert, which was distributed by email, is shown below.

Background on Proposition 8 and the same-sex marriage controversy, including links to reliable non-LDS sources of information, is available at the Church’s Newsroom site.

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