Some excerpts from yesterday’s Salt Lake Tribune:
LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks on Tuesday likened the post-Proposition 8 backlash against Mormons to the persecution blacks endured during the civil-rights struggle.
Now Oaks faces a backlash himself.
Last year, the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged its followers to donate money and time to pass Prop 8, the successful ballot measure that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to wed in California. Afterward, protests, including several near LDS temples, erupted along with boycotts of business owners who donated to Prop 8 and even some vandalism of LDS meetinghouses.
And from an Associated Press article:
“[The analogy] may be offensive to some — maybe because it hadn’t occurred to them that they were putting themselves in the same category as people we deplore from that bygone era,” [Oaks] said.
Oaks qualified his comparison somewhat by acknowledging that the intimidation of Mormons in the wake of Prop 8 has not been “as serious as what happened in the South.” Still, I find it offensive. Comparisons to things like the civil rights movements should not be trotted out casually. Absent a strong parallel, such comparisons cheapen those events. And in today’s gay rights debate, neither the LGBT community nor especially the LDS Church (with its own history of racism should tie their plight to that of blacks.
What do you think? Was Oaks’ analogy appropriate?