PROVO, Utah — Some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints want one of its leaders to clarify a statement she made about women’s rights at a Brigham Young University devotional earlier this month.
Elaine Dalton, LDS Church Young Women General President, said in part, “You will also be the ones who provide the example of family life in a time when families are under attack, being redefined and disintegrating. You will understand your rights and your responsibilities, and thus see no need to lobby for rights.”
The statement has drawn sharp criticism from members who are fighting for gender equality. Mary Ellen Robertson, interim executive director of the Sunstone Institute, said the comment was discouraging.
“That was really like a stake in the heart for a lot of people because here’s their advocate saying, in essence, ‘don’t ask for anything else, don’t lobby for more,’” Robertson said.
A Mormon feminist group, WAVE, is asking their supporters to write Dalton and express their feelings as well as ask her to clarify herself so young women aren’t getting a mixed message.
Robertson said Dalton’s statement was hard to hear from someone with such authority.
“It’s just not the message I think a lot of people hope to hear from a person who is in an influential position in the church,” Robertson said.
Fox 13 News reached out to the LDS Church on this matter, but a church spokesperson declined to comment.