On July 6, congregation members that make up Argentina’s over 370,000 Mormons heard word in ward houses that simply reiterated the church’s long held stance that marriage was strictly between a man and a woman, in reference to a proposed law in the country to legalize same-sex marriage. Lacking the call to arms the Church issued in its campaign to repeal gay marriage in California in 2008, pundits are left scratching their heads over the Church’s new tack.
The Trib points out that LDS faithful may not have much sway in Argentina where they are a clear minority. But does that mean the battle is any less important? It begs the question of whether or not the Church wants be the sole super power waging the war on gay marriage around the world. California was a victory but a costly one. Perhaps the calculation was too costly to fight the battle for the whole country of Argentina given the church’s relative influence.
But the question remains, why would the church not at least prioritize the whole continent as a crucial front in this battle? Mormons in Argentina may be the minority, but South America remains the church’s powerhouse demographics. Church statistics show Mexico boasts 1 million members, and South America 3 million. Some BYU scholars had even predicted that 71 percent of church membership would be located in South America by 2020.
Only time will tell if the church is rethinking its political advocacy or just being pragmatic about the battles it chooses.