Numerous members of the Mormon Church signed a petition posted online Monday to urge the New York Times to rewrite an obituary they published for the late president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson, who died last week.

The petition was filed Monday by Nathan Cunningham, a resident of Sparks, Nevada, who stated the obituary attacked and belittled Monson’s character rather than focusing on the “positive aspects” of his life. The petition also stated the obituary was used to make a “political statement” against Monson and the church, and described the headline of obituary as “click-bait” material.

It then mentioned other obituaries written by the New York Times and said, “Fidel Castro and others have had more neutral obituaries which shows this as either a direct attack or a complete misunderstanding of religions or religious people. Would they write similar scathing remarks about the Pope?”

The petition however recognized news agencies like the New York Times were entitled to free speech and freedom of press, but stressed “obituary should not be used as a political platform.” It ended with a demand for an apology from the news organization for its “bias in reporting” and also asked them to write an “honest, neutral and balanced obituary.”

The petition set a limit for 150,000 signatures and at the time of publishing of this article, it was quite close to reaching that mark with 147,294 signatures.

The New York Times in their obituary last week wrote about Monson’s stand on issues relating to same-sex marriage and female missionaries being ordained as priests.

The obituary stated even though under Monson the number of female missionaries grew since 2008, he did not accept the Mormon women’s demands to be ordained as priests.

With relation to same-sex marriage, Monson in 2015, in response to the Supreme Court’s decision of legalizing same-sex marriages, wrote a letter that was read in Mormon churches. It stated any sort of sexual relations, which lies outside the domain of heterosexual marriage would be considered “contrary to the laws of God.”

The obituary also stated the church proclaimed same-sex couples as apostates and restricted the children of these couples from attending baptism and ceremonies.

An article by the New York Times, published Monday, provided inputs from the obituary editor about the obit that was subjected to strong reactions. In the article, the obituary editor of the news organization addressed some of the comments made by numerous people, which included Mormons, and also provided a justification to some of the complaints made by the readers.

Similar to the petition, many of the readers stressed the obituary mainly pivoted around the church’s high debated political and divisive stances, the article said.

The article also said many complained the obituary should have focused more on Monson’s humanitarian work.

To this, the editor of obituaries stated, “I think the obituary was a faithful accounting of the more prominent issues that Mr. Monson encountered and dealt with publicly during his tenure.”

The editor also defended the obituary by saying, “Still, on balance, I think the obituary makes clear that he was a man of strong faith and convictions, who stood by them even in the face of detractors, while finding ways to move the church forward.”

In a reply to the complaints made by Mormon readers that the obituary didn’t talk about the “positive feelings” the community had for Monson, the editor stated, “We’re not in the business of paying tribute. We’re journalists first and foremost.”

Monson died last Tuesday at his residence in Salt Lake City, Utah, of old age. He was 90 years old.