While I was struggling with my post, Kevin Drum, bless him, came up with a post saying exactly what I wanted to say. The emphasis is mine.
I'm afraid the church elders have it exactly backward here. Churches have every right to involve themselves in political issues, but if they do then they're going to be treated as political actors. Protests, boycotts, op-eds, blog posts, and marches are exactly the democratic ideals of our nation, and being on the receiving end of them is what happens to anyone who enters the political fray. It's a little late for them to pretend they didn't know this.People should not be persecuted for their religious beliefs, and I condemn any gay-rights supporter who does that. But I refuse to let people take my rights away and then claim that I can't fight back. Give me a break!
In case you're wondering why anyone would be miffed at the LDS, take a look at this weekend's New York Times: Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage.