Should Romney be Asked about Mormon Women’s Issues at the Debates?

Today at The Daily Beast, journalist Stacey Solie calls on the moderators of Wednesday night’s debate to ask Mitt Romney about whether he supports what Solie characterizes as the “second-class” status of women in Mormonism.

Are women’s issues fair game? Yes. But don’t let Romney be the only voice on the subject.

Ask the Mormon women who crafted the recent “All Are Alike Unto God” statement calling for “simple changes in institutional policy that will foster a more equitable religious community.” Ask women who care about their faith tradition and their church and want to create more breathing room and opportunity within it.

Ask Mormon feminists like Judy Dushku, who have been vocal and candid about how Romney relates to women in his LDS circles.  

Ask journalist Peggy Fletcher Stack, who reached out to and enfranchised a range of Mormon women’s voices in this important August article in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Ask Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Mormon feminist Laurel Thatcher Ulrich who in Stack’s article calls the past decades in Mormon women’s history the “Great Disappearance” for Mormon women. When one recalls that Mormon women in the late 19th century were national suffrage activists and in the early 20th century were building hospitals and other major social service instutitions in Utah, it is very striking to reflect that the most visible Mormon women of the last three decades have been Marie Osmond and Anne Romney. That’s three decades, and two women.

Should Mormonism’s gender issues be fair game as a nation assesses a presidential candidate?

Yes. But our story as Mormon women is too important to be left to Mitt Romney to tell.

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