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The Mormon backlash

Justin Webb | 20:44 UK time, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

I have never met a Mormon I did not hugely like.

Well, alright, the presidential candidate fellow was a touch reserved when I had a sandwich with him and his jolly Welsh wife many moons ago in Des Moines, but he had his reasons for caution and he certainly was not hostile.

Normally, a Mormon is a decent person, that is my experience.

And none more so than the amiable Michael Otterson, who speaks for the church - and with whom I have had many dealings over the years.

What a surprise then, this terrible mess where the church appears to have got itself into the position of enemy-in-chief of gay liberty, as one might put it and is now facing a backlash far more potent and worrying than the low-level nastiness about Mitt Romney's religious views.

The case against the church is made with typical cogency and passion by Andrew Sullivan (whose experience of Mormons appears to have been been at odds with mine) but it seems to me that a wider, dispassionate view of the spat suggests that gay people will win - history is on their side.

The Mormon church itself - let us be blunt - did not do much for monogamous marriage in the early years of its existence; Mormons did not think much of black people until God told them (in 1978!) to change their ways. In the long term, He will be back...


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