Gay Marriage: Jews vs Mormons

An email from the usually-hilarious San Francisco-based comic Heather Gold (who, by the way, you can see live on Margaret Cho’s current tour) takes on a serious tone: California’s Proposition 8, a bill to illegalize gay marriage, is encountering a massive push from members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints.

Number of Mormons in California: 761, 763 (2006 #s)

Number of Jews in California: 999,000 (2001 #s)

The Mormon Church is about to change the California Constitution on November 4th to overturn my Jewish wedding because I married a woman (with my parents’ blessing in case you’re curious).

The Mormon Church will only make their religious doctrine our secular law because people who aren’t gay aren’t that involved right now.

The main argument for Prop 8 is that civil legal inclusion of marriages like mine offend certain believers’ Christian doctrines. Therefore the Constitution must be changed to exclude gay people from the civic marriage laws for everyone.

gay marriage in california, courtesy of heather goldHeather also pointed out an article which alleges that Mormons have funded 77% of Prop 8 campaign financing. Her thesis point is interesting — that among Jews, we focus on our deeds, our actions, and how we treat other people, while Mormons are more concerned with enforcing their religious rules.

It’s interesting to examine, both as a ranking of religious doctrine in life, but also as a matter of priorities. Of course gay marriage is something that the more fanatical sections of both religions are against — but, at least in Heather’s estimation, Judaism puts other people’s autonomy above our own, while those who are angling to vote “yes” on Prop 8 are, irrelevant of anything else, putting their own faith in front of somebody else’s.

Discover More

Jews of Iran: A Modern History

Iranian Jewry under the Islamic Republic of Iran.

History of the Reform Movement

America's largest Jewish denomination, Reform began in 19th-century Germany.

Anti-Semitism in America

Prejudice against Jews has always existed in the United States, but American anti-Semitism differs from its European precursor in fundamental ways.