The Church and Prop 8

122 Primary Sources

Jan 29, 1844

Joseph announces his candidacy for the US Presidency.

Feb 8, 1844

Joseph Smith discusses the reasons why he would run for the Presidency of the U.S.A.


John Taylor teaches that the Saints generally "vote as a unit" in elections.

Feb 12, 1870

Text of "An Act Conferring Upon Women the Elective Franchise" allowing women over 21 years of age to vote in Utah.

Aug 3, 1870

George A. Smith (member of First Presidency) writes that he had the "pleasure" of staying at home while his wives voted in August 1870.


Brigham Young acknowledges that "outsiders" object to LDS block voting; justifies it as it allows the Kingdom to be established in righteousness.


Brigham Young teaches that a religion that does not govern its members in their politics is "a very poor religion"; the Gospel unites people from different political backgrounds.


John Taylor defends the practice of the Saints voting together.


Edward Tullidge notes that the act allowing women to vote in Utah was passed by Brigham Young and the legislature without a dissenting vote.


Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887 takes away the right to vote for women in Utah.

Feb 19, 1891

Wilford Woodruff records meeting with delegation at Ogden who wants to unite the people of Utah under two parties: Republicans and Democrats.

Mar 16, 1892

Wilford Woodruff records meeting with Democrat politicans who blamed the Church leadership for Logan electing a Republican.

Oct 4, 1892

Wilford Woodruff records in journal that Church leaders do not believe members should "take the stump" to make political speeches.

Nov 8, 1894

Wilford Woodruff records in journal that majority vote in Utah and rest of USA went to the Republicans; Frank J. Cannon (Republican) defeated J. L. Rawlins for congressional seat.

Oct 7, 1895

Abraham H. Cannon records in journal Church leaders discussing B.H. Roberts and Moses Thatcher and need for Church leaders to consult with their superiors before seeking office.

Apr 11, 1896

First Presidency issues the "Political Manifesto" during the April 1896 General Conference: Church leaders must get permission from leadership before running for political office.

Oct 1897

Wilford Woodruff calls on Church members to vote for electing good men to government regardless of their political party.

Jan 1908

Edward H. Anderson encourages support of Prohibition in January 1908 Improvement Era.

Jan 16, 1919

The text of the 18th Amendment to the U.S Constitution.

Jun 4, 1919

The text of the 19th Amendment to the U.S Constitution.

Sep 1932

First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles come out in support of prohibition and oppose proposals to repeal 18th Amendment.

May 27, 1933

Deseret News reprints Heber J. Grant's letter addressing the Church's opposition to attempts to repeal the 18th Amendment.

Mar 24, 1941

Harlan F. Stone tells Charles Evans Hughes that Jehovah's Witnesses have been great advocates for religious freedom.

Aug 1941

First Presidency issues a letter opposing federal payments for not raising crops.

1970 - 2015

Georgetown University Website provides timeline of legalization of gay marriage.


SCOTUS rules that Amish children don't need to attend public school.


SCOTUS rules that Amish are not required to send children to school.

Oct 22, 1976

First Presidency articulates reasons for opposing ERA.

Oct 1978

First Presidency in 1978 reaffirms opposition to ERA.

May 5, 1981

First Presidency expresses reason for opposing MX missile construction.

Aug 7, 1984

Dallin H. Oaks explains purposes of gay rights movement.

May 5, 1993

Hawaii Supreme Court holds that gay marriage ban does not pass strict scrutiny.

Feb 1, 1994

FP issues statement in opposition to gay marriage.

Mar 18, 1995

Gordon B Hinckley explains why the Church becomes involved in political activity.

Apr 14, 1995

Donald L. Hallstrom recites common language for Church position against gay marriage in Hawaii.

Jan 23, 1996

HSC issues negative ruling on Church's motion to stop gay marriage.

May 18, 1996

Gordon B. Hinckley explains position of political neutrality, barring moral issues.

Jun 3, 1997

Church includes Proclamation in Amicus brief.

Dec 20, 1999

VSC finds that same-sex couples should be given same benefits available to other marriages, even if not called "married."

Dec 31, 2000

Proposition 22, which defined marriage between a man and a woman, passed.

May 29, 2002

S. George Ellsworth gives overview of Utah becoming a state; includes discussion of Edmunds-Tucker and other anti-polygamy acts.


Church Manual notes that Church leaders instructed members to vote Republican in 1890s.

Jun 26, 2003

SCOTUS determines that anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional.

Nov 18, 2003

MSC rules that marriage should be defined between two persons, not man and woman.

Aug 14, 2004

NYT reports on peyote and religious freedom.

Mar 30, 2005

Cal. 4th rules on Proposition 22, determining that only opposite-sex marriages will be recognized

Apr 4, 2005

C4CA determines that domestic partnerships are compatible with Proposition 22.

May 15, 2005

California Court of Appeals.

2006 - 2007

Text of law indicating domestic partner benefits in California pre-Prop. 8.

Mar 17, 2006

Boston Archdiocese announces an end to their providing adoption services.

Aug 14, 2006

Dallin H. Oaks states homosexuality is a temptation, not a fundamental identity.


LA Times reports on leading donors for Prop. 8.


Text of Proposition 8.

Jan 10, 2008

Church highlights their contributions to humanitarian efforts in 2007.

Apr 8, 2008

NOM releases advertisement supporting Prop. 8.

Jun 1, 2008

Church PR campaign showing people supporting Proposition 8.

Jun 30, 2008

First Presidency explains Church's rationale for supporting Prop 8.

Jun 30, 2008

First Presidency explains Church's rationale for supporting Prop 8.

Aug 1, 2008

Church Newsroom posts the Formal Church statement on Prop 8 efforts.

Sep 1, 2008

MT argues why common LDS arguments are untrue or misleading.

Sep 7, 2008

Kaimi Wenger criticizes prevalence of Prop. 8-related testimonies in Church.

Sep 30, 2008

Andrew Sullivan expresses concern over black vote at Proposition 8.

Oct 6, 2008

Stake Presidency sends letter warning to Andrew Callahan of disciplinary action for anti-Prop 8 activity.

Oct 8, 2008

CPA sets up phone volunteering system in support of Prop 8 in California.

Oct 8, 2008

Russell M. Nelson advocates for Prop 8; requests Church members to campaign actively, in a respectful manner, in one's community.

Oct 9, 2008

DAB comments on what anti-Proposition 8 activists were trying to do: "the tyranny of tolerance."

Oct 26, 2008

Associated Press reports on donors to Prop. 8, including the largest contributor, the Knights of Columbus, who donated $1.4 million.

Oct 26, 2008

Peggy Fletcher Stack reports on Morris Thurston's views of Prop. 8; he notes that Church leaders are civil and respectful to those who disagree with Church's position.

Oct 29, 2008

NBC Bay Area reported that Catholic Bishops donated to Prop. 8.

Nov 1, 2008

CCIC issues advertisement depicting missionaries invading lesbian home.

Nov 2008

David Blinder Research collects ethnic, religious, and sex data on Prop. 8.

Nov 3, 2008

Max Blumenthal reports on Howard Ahmanson's contributions to Prop. 8.

Nov 5, 2008

CPA comments celebrating the passage of Prop. 8.

Nov 6, 2008

Reporter offers stats on Prop. 8 passage: the measure had 52.5% of the vote.

Nov 11, 2008

Adam Hetrick highlights Scott Eckern's contribution to Prop. 8.

Nov 14, 2008

New York Times reports on LDS as source of Prop. 8 income.

Nov 15, 2008

Ben Winslow in Deseret News reports on white powder sent to Church HQ.

Nov 17, 2008

Nicholas Riccardi reports on Book of Mormon burning near Denver.

Nov 17, 2008

Juan Becerra in Deseret news maintains that no evidence linked powder to Prop. 8.

Nov 18, 2008

MD reports Christian mobilization for Prop. 8 and passage rate.

Nov 20, 2008

"Calif Mormon" lays out all activities at Church regarding Proposition 8.

Nov 20, 2008

First Presidency responds to vandalism post-Prop 8 passage.

Dec 8, 2008

Jessica Garrison reports that Marjorie Christofferson targeted for contributing to Prop. 8.


Brian Galle writes analysis of what constituted breach of non-profit status when 501c3 becomes involved in politics.


John Vile gives overview of Abington School District v. Schempp (1963) whose ruling prohibited the reading of Bible verses without comment, and the Lord's Prayer in public schools.

Jan 6, 2009

CNA reports that white powder sent to Knights of Columbus as well as Mormon church post-Prop. 8.

Jan 19, 2009

Frank Schubert comments on persecution targeting Church members post-Prop. 8.

Feb 9, 2009

Deseret News reports Church violated laws through failing to report amount spent on Prop. 8 campaign.

Dec 31, 2009

RJO discuss Church humanitarian efforts and "a total of 30.7 million" from 1984 to 1997.


AORDA presents data on LDS population by percent of general population by county.

Jun 9, 2010

Scott Taylor in the Deseret news speaks to the Church's oversight in campaign finances.

Aug 4, 2010

California Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage.


USLegal Website provides overview of Edmunds-Tucker act; notes that it was repealed in 1978.

Feb 7, 2012

DN reports Church's disapproval of Perry v. Hollingsworth.

Mar 20, 2012

Jeffrey R. Holland denies Church used money for Proposition 8.


Articles of Faith 11 and 12 affirming commitment to the law and the government.


Joseph's declaration to the Church on the role of Government and Law.

Jun 26, 2013

Original Text of Proposition 8: only marriage between a man and a woman recognized/valid in California.

Nov 19, 2013

VMH references Prop. 8 letters read over pulpit.

Apr 1, 2014

Coalition to oppose gay marriage files in KvH.

Jun 26, 2015

SCOTUS finds that the Constitution protects same-sex couples's right to marry.


NJY comments on use of phone banks in Mormon-owned businesses.

Sep 15, 2016

Church Public Affairs recounts contributions to humanitarian causes in 2016 by the Church.

Jun 18, 2018

Church condemns family separation policy at US-Mexico border.


Official Church Website teaching that Tithing is used for construction of temples; no mention of tithing being used for political reasons.

Jan 22, 2019

Church Public Affairs articulates Church's political neutrality.

Feb 11, 2019

Alyssa Roberts includes statement from Church on opposition to alcohol increase in beer.

May 13, 2019

Church expresses opposition to Equality Act.

May 22, 2019

Current map of downtown Salt Lake City.

Dec 17, 2019

Deseret News reports on Church's response to $100 billion whistleblower.


Church official instructions concerning disciplinary actions and confidentiality of proceedings.


First Amendment Encyclopedia website gives overview of 1997 case Agostini v. Felton.


Church Handbook of Instruction Outlines when a membership council is required.

Apr 20, 2020

Church lobbying the US Federal Government in 2020.

2021 Website gives an overview of the "Fairness for All Act."


UW issues policy agenda for 117th Congress.

Feb 25, 2021

SPLC testifies before Congress on far-right groups.

Mar 12, 2021

Deseret News article reports on Uchtdorf's campaign donation during 2020 U.S. election campaign.

Apr 2021

Oaks teaches that faithful members should not be barred from belonging to, or voting for, any particular political party.

Apr 16, 2021

Church lobbying the US Federal Government in 2021.


Saints notes that George Albert Smith reversed Helmuth Hübener's excommunication in 1942 after learning about it after the end of World War 2.


Church Topics Essay on Helmuth Hübener.


Saints gives an overview of Church leaders debating B. H. Roberts and Moses Thatcher seeking politcal office without seeking support from their quorum leaders; results in 1896 "Political Manifesto."