Proposition 8 Creates an Ex-Mormon

The Mormon Church gave millions of dollars to support Proposition 8 in California. The measure passed and, as a result, gay people in the state will have to wait a little longer before they obtain equal rights.

Jodi Mardesich tells an incredible story about how she was a practicing Mormon for so long but her own research into the faith drew her away from it. The Mormons’ support of Proposition 8 was the final straw that forced her to get her name off of the church membership list:

The day after the election, I wrote my letter of resignation. I sent it to the membership office of the church, telling them that I am no longer One of Them. They have to take me off their rolls. I can’t stomach being counted as One of Them. I despise what they have done in Hawaii, in California, in Arizona, in Florida. They are actively working to strip gay people of their rights. They want to define marriage as a union that can only take place between a man and a woman.

I spent much of the ’90s as a lesbian, in committed relationships with women. It doesn’t matter that I’m now in love with a man. I support the rights of gay couples to define their relationships in the traditional sense, if they so choose. I despise what the Mormon church has done to restrict the definition of a family. Love should be celebrated where it is found, whether it’s between a man and a woman, or a woman and a woman, or a man and a man. Period.

My dad says I need to get over my anger toward the Mormon church. I wish I could. Maybe if it someday becomes inclusive, and stops hating, I will get over my anger.

A reader of this site, Rose, also raises this question in regards to the story:

If faith is something you can give up whenever you decide you no longer agree, how can it be the truth?

I mean, I know this is one of the many reasons I cannot be a religious person, but why don’t more people have this epiphany (no irony, really)?

I would hope more Mormons (More-mons?) are realizing how their religion is (once again) acting as an obstacle to equal rights.

This story may be just a drip, but I hope the deluge will follow.

(Thanks to everyone who sent in the link!)

  • http://falterer.blogspot.com Falterer

    If quitting an institution is giving up your faith, that institution is a cult.

  • llewelly

    From the article:

    Still, I eventually converted 35 people. (Cringe.)

    The average Mormon missionary converts 2-4 people. This woman was special.
    In any case – the LDS (Mormon) church has ex-communicated a few people for being lesbians in the recent past. Usually they try to make them straight, but if that doesn’t work, sometimes, they’ll ex-communicate.

  • Marzipan

    I know a lot of people have been resigning over this, but to me resigning just means buying into the cult’s procedures. I was out when I said I was out, and it’s not worth it to me to go to a notary and follow a protocol that Mormons made up just to show you they’re in control. If anyone is going to be motivated to convert by the church’s inflated membership records that count people like me and assume that inactive official members they have no contact from live until they’re 110, being a Mormon is the least of their problems.

  • http://mondaynightlions.blogspot.com/ erock

    I’m gonna have to agree with Marzipan on this one. While I admire her quitting the cult, er church, on reasons of principle, jumping through their hoops one last time seems anticlimactic. It’s like storming out, slamming the door, and then going back in because you forgot your wallet. A simple letter saying F*** You! should have sufficed. No?

  • http://lfab-uvm.blogspot.com/ C. L. Hanson

    I understand there really is a deluge of people resigning their membership over this.

    I think the biggest collection of letters is on Signing for Something. That site started as a collection of petitions from LDS church members to the church leaders to get them to change their stance on proposition 8, and lately has taken to gathering up information on how many people have resigned the LDS church membership over this fight.

  • http://saganist.blogspot.com/ Saganist

    A lot more people than just one are resigning from the Mormon church over this issue. Many of them have posted letters to the Signing For Something web site.

  • http://lfab-uvm.blogspot.com/ C. L. Hanson

    p.s. I’m actually working on resigning my own LDS church membership over this, as I explained in my post Resign in Protest?

    (Yep, crazily enough, I’m still officially a member since I never bothered to resign my membership before.)

  • Sean

    It’s one thing to resign from a cult – it’s quite another to do it for reasons that are rational. It seems to me that leaving the Mormon’s just because you don’t agree with a particular dogma of the church is hypocritical.

  • http://smartbykrae.com K.Rae

    It seems to me that leaving the Mormon’s just because you don’t agree with a particular dogma of the church is hypocritical.

    Sean: why so, exactly?

  • Old Beezle

    Marzipan Says:
    November 14th, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    I know a lot of people have been resigning over this, but to me resigning just means buying into the cult’s procedures. I was out when I said I was out, and it’s not worth it to me to go to a notary and follow a protocol that Mormons made up just to show you they’re in control.

    A different way of looking at resignation is to sever official membership with the church to (1) publicly declare as a matter of record that you are not affiliated with the organization and (2) to cut off any chance that in the future they may decide to excommunicate you for some frivolous reason of their own.

    I see resignation as removing power from the Mormon church. You’re effectively telling them that they no longer have any power over you. I see sending a letter to them as a very minor effort.

    Especially since there was a Supreme Court decision in the 80′s in which a member sent in her resignation letter and then they tried to excommunicate her post facto. The court said that the church has zero power in that regard. If you send them a simple little letter, then they can’t even try to discipline you in one of their kangaroo courts. The U.S. Justice system knows this, we now know this, and it’s high time the church realized that it has NO POWER when people stand up to it and say, “NO!”

  • Marzipan

    Old Beezle says:

    A different way of looking at resignation is to sever official membership with the church to (1) publicly declare as a matter of record that you are not affiliated with the organization and (2) to cut off any chance that in the future they may decide to excommunicate you for some frivolous reason of their own.

    I see resignation as removing power from the Mormon church. You’re effectively telling them that they no longer have any power over you. I see sending a letter to them as a very minor effort.

    Especially since there was a Supreme Court decision in the 80’s in which a member sent in her resignation letter and then they tried to excommunicate her post facto. The court said that the church has zero power in that regard. If you send them a simple little letter, then they can’t even try to discipline you in one of their kangaroo courts. The U.S. Justice system knows this, we now know this, and it’s high time the church realized that it has NO POWER when people stand up to it and say, “NO!”

    Well, you certainly have a point, but then again, the only way you can make your resignation public is by talking about it, which is something I can do just as well. It’s not like the church is going to advertise the fact that you bailed.

    And I don’t care if they excommunicate me because I don’t think any of their rituals have any validity to begin with (which includes my sealing ceremony, but that memory I just want to repress). Besides, I can always summon the avenging unicorn to smite them: http://www.mcphee.com/items/11554.html
    It has way more powers, and you don’t need to wear magic underwear to have it as an imaginary friend, which is a huge plus in my book. And, it has four different kinds of horns. Jesus doesn’t even come close.

    Speaking of imaginary friends, my husband and I went to today’s Salt Lake Join The Impact rally, which was an amazing and very positive event. But we were disappointed by the amount of God talk and theism there. You’d think being persecuted would force one to see the flaws of irrational beliefs more clearly. We got handed a flier about the struggles of gay Mormons who still “have a testimony”, and it just broke my heart that people experience this needless suffering over a cynical lawyer-run cult while realizing full well that the “kindness” of members is usually only outwardly. So while I’m glad that Salt Lake has so many tolerant people (there were quite a few straight allies there, too) who value separation of church and state, I’m a little depressed that I couldn’t relate to a significant portion of what was being said there.

  • http://mylongapostasy.blogspot.com ATL-Apostate

    “More-mons”
    Chuckle.
    yes, please.
    nice one, Hemant.

  • K

    We have not considered ourselves as mormons for years. We’ve always meant to send in the “official resignation letter”, but like Marzipan, never wanted to jump through the hoops of the orginization (though there is no need to go to a notary).

    But we decided to make it official, and sent in the letter last week. I am glad they will no longer offically be able to include me and my family amongst their ranks, and maybe by sending in the letter amongst this backlash will make it a little more meaningful.


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