40 years ago today - Dec 5, 1979

The announcement of the excommunication of Sonia Johnson, president of the Mormons for the ERA. Charged with apostasy she unsuccessfully appeals the decision to the First Presidency (which already authorized this "local action"). Johnson's case becomes the top story in the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, and on network television news. The resulting non-Mormon criticism of the church and Johnson's own subsequent radicalization drive many LDS moderates away from their prior support of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment and into acceptance of the church's anti-ERA position.

[The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database ( http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase )]]

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