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Mormons split over same-sex marriage

On November 4, a critical mass of Mormons in the United States Senate—including Republicans Orrin Hatch of Utah and Dean Heller of Nevada (whose vote broke a filibuster by his own party)—played a critical role in passing the historic Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) protecting gay and lesbian Americans in the workplace.

Just days later, grassroots LDS Church members in the heavily Mormon communities of Oahu’s North Shore received instructions during their Sunday church meetings on how to help defeat—by letter writing or organized bus caravan to the state capitol—historic legislation to secure civil marriage rights for gay and lesbian Hawaiians.

The contrast has commentators from the New York Times to Mother Jones writing about what appear to be divergent impulses on LGBT issues in a faith that built its twentieth-century branding on tight bureaucratic management of theology and public image.

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