Published 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.”
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."