Tom Hanks Apologizes for Calling Mormon Supporters of Proposition 8 'Un-American'
Friday , January 23, 2009
Tom Hanks says he's sorry he told FOXNews.com that Mormons who supported California's constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage were "un-American."
"Last week, I labeled members of the Mormon church who supported California's Proposition 8 as 'un-American,'" the actor said in a statement through his publicist. "I believe Proposition 8 is counter to the promise of our Constitution; it is codified discrimination."
"But everyone has a right to vote their conscience; nothing could be more American," the statement continues. "To say members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who contributed to Proposition 8 are 'un-American' creates more division when the time calls for respectful disagreement. No one should use 'un- American' lightly or in haste. I did. I should not have."
The "Big Love" producer made his original remarks at the Los Angeles premiere of the HBO series last week.
“The truth is a lot of Mormons gave a lot of money to the church to make Prop-8 happen,” he told FOXNews.com. “There are a lot of people who feel that is un-American, and I am one of them. I do not like to see any discrimination codified on any piece of paper, any of the 50 states in America, but here's what happens now.”
Read Tom Hanks' original statement in full.
Kim Farah, a spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, responded that "expressing an opinion in a free and democratic society is as American as it gets."
Bill McKeever, a rep for the Mormonism Research Ministry, added, "Personally, I find it un-American to tell people that they shouldn’t vote their conscience."