LDS church uses photo of marriage-equality supporter in release about unchanging doctrine


    LDS church uses photo of marriage-equality supporter in release about unchanging doctrine

    (KUTV) Shortly after the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal across the nation, the LDS Church released a statement that, despite the ruling, doctrine around marriage would remain.

    A family of three -- mom, dad and their young son -- strolling past the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. accompanied the church's news release and was posted to its website.

    The only problem? The mother in the image is proudly pro-marriage equality.

    "Umm...this is us in the photo," wrote Sylvia Cabus, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in DC with her family, wrote on her Facebook wall Friday. "I am still pro-marriage equality!"

    The image appears with the church's statement about its stand on gay marriage on the website lds.org, on the church's Facebook page and on the news released on the Mormon Newsroom. The photo came about when Cabus learned about a casting call by the church asking for "interfaith/multicultural families."

    At the time Cabus was told the photos taken of her and her family were primarily intended for a religious freedom website that the church supports. She says she knew that by signing paperwork, she was agreeing that the photos could be used for any purpose.

    "I was a little surprised since I thought the photos were going on the 'Faith Counts' initiative website first but didn’t think much of it besides posting the photo on my FB page simply because it’s a great family photo," she told 2News. "It didn’t seem to have circulated very much at the time."

    In the days since, the image and news release have been shared and spread across social media, prompting Cabus to clarify her position.

    "I 'rainbow-fied' the photo in my profile photo so I hope that shows I'm pro-marriage equality," she wrote on her Facebook page last night.

    When the Supreme Court's decision came down regarding same-sex marriage being legal in all 50 states Cabus was thrilled. She started to see the photo of her attached to church and other news organization websites.

    "I felt that now that our photo was in a wider public sphere that I wanted to make my own personal position clear. " she told 2News. "I felt a lot of support from Elder Christofferson’s statement that members can remain in good standing while agreeing with the SCOTUS decision."

    Cabus, who supports pro-marriage equality group Mormons Building Bridges, said she feels she has been able to express her liberal political opinion and remain in good standing in the faith.

    "I have not experienced any negative repercussions from any church members, including my ward leadership, and am heartened by all the positive reactions I’ve received to our 'rainbow' photo," she said.

    The photo, she said, was also used in April in the church's response to marriage equality in its amicus brief, which was posted to the church's website.

    The LDS church declined to comment on this story.

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