Salt Lake City, Utah - It was an emotionally charged issue with some Mormon moms in Utah Sunday night, who urged defeat of a California measure.
Proposition 8 would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. For three moms it was personal. With just two days left before Californians go to the ballot box on Prop. 8, Mormon moms who have gay children wanted a way to show their support against the proposition so they came up with a way to show that support - a candle light vigil.
They came in spite of a stormy night, nearly 500 strong, holding flickering candles amidst a drizzly sky that broke long enough for three Mormon moms to speak. "I'm so touched that you would be here with us tonight," said Mormon Mom, Millie Watts, with a voice pitched high with emotion.
The LDS Church has asked their members to support Prop. 8 in California because it believes the sanctity of marriage should only be between a man and a woman, a stance that the three Mormon moms say has divided LDS families who have gay children. "I have experienced many emotions: crying, anger, disappointment and betrayal, mostly due to the actions of my church," said Watts.
Watts has a lesbian daughter and gay son. She told the crowd her children should have the right to marry. "I want to celebrate and validate the marriages of my gay children," comments that brought an eruption of cheers and applause. ABC4 asked Watts if she wrestled over her support that pits her against her church she said, "My heart aches over it, it's not a wrestling thing, I just feel hurt over what the Church has done."
ABC4 called a spokesman for the LDS Church but it is its policy not to comment on such matters.
A similar vigil was held simultaneously in St. George. Several gay support groups helped get the word out Including Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG, to which Watts belongs.