Marriage Equality USA

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Current Status

  • Because it is the center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/Mormon) religion, Utah has a unique history regarding marriage. Polygamy was practiced by certain Mormon members, leaders and communities beginning in 1835. From 1852 until 1890, LDS Church leaders preached and encouraged members, especially those in leadership positions, to marry additional wives. Fundamentalist groups who believe that the church discontinued polygamy only because of pressure from the federal government continued the practice. As they were discovered by the LDS Church, they were excommunicated. Some of these polygamists have appointed leaders and continue to live in groups, including those in Hilldale, Utah and Colorado City (formerly Short Creek), Arizona. Others still practice polygamy but have no affiliation with an organized group.
  • One of the prime arguments used by those opposed to marriage equality is that it will lead to polygamy.
  • In August 2014, without realizing the cards would not be welcomed, Hallmark placed greeting cards celebrating same-sex marriages in the Brigham Young University bookstore. The cards were removed by the bookstore as soon as they were discovered. BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins referenced the BYU honor code. It states that while being attracted to people of the same gender doesn't violate the honor code, acting on those feelings is a violation. BYU is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which stands behind its belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.