The Mormon Church has confirmed that it will indeed insert itself into the marriage equality fight in Hawaii, according to a report from the Salt Lake Tribune.
Earlier this week, activist Fred Karger obtained a letter from chuch officials urging Mormons in Hawaii to get involved in the upcoming legislative battle over the freedom to marry. The letter, which was read aloud in Mormon churches last weekend, reminded members of the church's commitment to marriage discrimination and asked them to donate time and resources to preserve it in the Aloha State. Failing that, Mormons were instructed to push for a broad religious exemption to state nondiscrimination law that would allow individuals and businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples.
Ruth Todd, a spokeswoman for the LDS (Mormon) Church leadership in Salt Lake City, told the Tribune in an email,
"The Church's positions on these issues are well established, including our encouragement for members to be good citizens and to be involved in their communities. As the stake presidents' letter says, members in Hawaii have been asked to study these issues and to consider becoming involved as private citizens."
A political scientist at the church-run Brigham Young University notes that the letter's language indicates "a kind of resignation that there's a shift in society that we can't stop," so the church hopes to instead carve out so-called "religious liberty" exemptions that are as broad as they can possibly get away with.
The Mormon Church may be adopting a subtler, more chastened tone in the aftermath of their disastrous failure on California's Proposition 8, but make no mistake: they definitely intend to remain a player in future campaigns against marriage equality.
Earth to Mother Jones: ready to correct your ridiculous "Mormon Church Abandons Its Crusade Against Gay Marriage" article yet?