Guest poster JBK presented this speech at an ecumenical No on 8 rally this morning in Southern California.
November 1, 2008
I am a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a Mormon, a mother, a writer, a scholar, a feminist, and a community activist. I am also the descendent of Mormon pioneers. My grandmother’s grandmother crossed the plains from Iowa to Utah in 1852 when she was just one year old. Her parents pulled a handcart because they were too poor to afford oxen.
Mormonism is my spiritual and cultural home, and I attribute most of what is good in me to my Mormon upbringing. I am proud to be a Mormon because we are a people that believe in working hard together and making tremendous sacrifices towards fulfilling a great vision: a vision of building up Zion on this earth. What is Zion? In the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of Mormon scripture, Zion is defined as “the Pure in Heart” (D&C 97: 21).
In June, a letter was read over the pulpit in every Mormon congregation in California from the First Presidency of our Church, asking members to “do all they can” in support of Proposition 8. In the months that have followed, we have seen a political effort among Mormons unprecedented in the history of the Church.
I want to acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice put forth by thousands of Mormons. It is estimated that Mormons who make up 2% of the population of California have contributed between 40 and 70% of the donations to the “Yes on 8” campaign, and a considerable percentage of the workforce.
I am here today, though, to stand as a Mormon, a citizen of California, a voter, and a mother and explain why I cannot join my fellow Mormons. My personal faith and my conscience demand that I vote No on Proposition 8.
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