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Mormon church weighs in on Prop. 8 court battle

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with several other religious organizations, filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to uphold California’s ban on marriage equality. The amicus brief, or friend of the court brief, asked the Court to rule in favor of the ban on marriage equality because leaders believe marriage must remain a union between one man and one woman for the betterment of society.

“Marriage defined as the union of one man and one woman is an axiom of Western civilization — not an attack on the civil rights of gays and lesbians,” the brief reads.

The authors of the brief also argue that marriage is designed to foster an environment to raise children and that heterosexual couples are the best candidates as parents. The brief does not mention gay adoptive or foster parents and does not address the existence of gay families with children.

“Of course, Proposition 8 takes sides in the moral debate over same-sex marriage, but value judgments are unavoidable here because every definition of marriage implies one,” the brief reads.

However, the authors of the brief argue that it’s appropriate to make value judgments against gay and lesbian couples because it has been done throughout history.

“Adopting Proposition 8 recovered a definition of marriage more congruent with voters’ moral sense than the relatively recent and highly individualistic conception imposed by the California Supreme Court,” the brief reads.

Since Proposition 8 passed, multiple public opinion polls have indicated a majority support for marriage equality and voters in three states — Washington, Maryland and Maine — have passed measures legalizing gay marriage.

“The people of California violated no one’s civil rights when they adopted Proposition 8. Their twice-expressed preference for the traditional definition of marriage over an untested rival conception was thoroughly rational. It is therefore thoroughly constitutional,” the brief’s conclusion reads.

Many other organizations, state representative and people have filed briefs with the Supreme Court asking for consideration in ruling for or against marriage equality, including the Utah Pride Center and Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Hollingsworth v. Perry, American Foundation for Equal Rights’ federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, on March 26. The following day the Court will hear oral argument in United States v. Windsor, the American Civil Liberty Union’s case challenging the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

AFER’s legal team, led by co-counsels Ted Olson and David Boies, will argue that Prop. 8 violates the United States Constitution, which guarantees same-gender couples like plaintiffs, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, nothing less than full federal marriage equality, said AFER in a release.

“Prop. 8, DOMA and laws like them harm countless gay and lesbian Americans, singling them out for unequal, second-class treatment under the law,” the release further stated.

Prop. 8 has been struck down as unconstitutional by Federal Judge Vaughn Walker and by a panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Go here to read the brief filed by the Mormon church.

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15 Comments

  1. So tell me again how happy we are supposed to be at how much "nicer" the Mormon Church is being to gays nowadays? What a bunch of lousy hypocrites.

  2. I don't believe a church should change their beliefs to suit societies changing views. However, they should welcome all who care to visit their church as Christ would. And they should not pretend to be something they are not. It is hypocritical…I believe this is the attitude Christ spoke of when he said "be hot or cold, not luke-warm less I spew you from my mouth".

  3. People can decide if a church fits their values or not, with out the church changing views to suit them.

  4. What's this One Man and One Woman thing? Have they forgotten about Brother Joseph and Brother Brigham?

  5. What about the 55 wives of Brigham Young? The LDS Church should be EMBARRASSED to comment on the definition of marriage.

  6. It really wasn't so long ago that Brigham Young had 55 wives, fully sanctioned by the Church. Not to mention Joseph Smith's (alleged) 27 wives and countless episodes of infidelity. The LDS Church should be ASHAMED to even comment on the definition of marriage.

  7. So, for all those people who dislike the church, simply leave it. It's easy. You either believe what they are selling or you don't. You can criticize it, yell about it, blog about it, yada yada yada, blah blah blah….. But at the end of the day, churches have their positions and they won't change as they base it on scripture and tradition. By telling a religious institution that it needs to change is silly at best as they are trapped in their dogma. They will be tolerant and say to "attach the sin, and not the sinner", and all other sorts of cliche' – gotchas…. There are several religions out there. Go find one that you can live with and join up. Don't waste your time in trying to get a religion to change. You can't compare religion to government. They don't sway their views to follow the political flavor of the day, unless they are looking to gain statehood (Polygamy) or appeasing our black brothers (Priesthood given)……… Homosexuality is a bigger animal to deal with and the conservative members would revolt if this became accepted officially in the church…

  8. Chris, that's baloney. When it becomes embarrassing enough, they change. Remember Poligamy? Remember Blacks and the Priesthood? I predict they will change thier views on homosexuality when they look rediculous enough. Their god doesn't like bad publisity.

  9. I don't think your assessment of the situation is fair at all. You act as if "The Mormon Church" is a living and breathing individual that exercises bigotry and hypocrisy towards specific people. But it's not. The church cannot think for itself, it is just a reflection of certain people within the organization who are using it as a means to spread an agenda. By accusing the LDS Church, you are essentially killing the messenger, and alienating many who maybe trying to figure this all out.
    There are many stratum within the organization. Some of us stay to be a progressive influence rather than leave and allow Mormonism and Utahns to become ideologically inbred. Others stay because they take the words of these policymakers as truth.

    And then of course there are others that travel halfway across the country to insult their neighbors, which isn't really a rational thought process either.

  10. Even if the church specifically doesn't allow gay marriage, what's wrong with civil gay marriage? Absolutely nothing. I don't care if the church wont allow it, but why is everyone against it being allowed just legally? That way no church is violating its beliefs but you are still letting them get married. What's wrong with that? All love is equal! <3

  11. In my opinion, the culpability of religious institutions in events like the suicide of gay/lesbian teens comes from the continuing efforts of religious institutions to qualify gay and lesbian individuals as less deserving of concern, respect, and equality. When followers are led to believe dichotomies of "better than, less than", it becomes easy to justify maltreatment (including bullying, harassment, and condemnation). This is so often couched in "love the sinner, hate the sin", which I believe is TOTAL bulls**t. Most people (certainly not all) are not capable of maintaining a distinction this fine, with all too often tragic results. And although they are by no means alone, I feel that religious institutions are absolutely culpable in these sort of events. Just today the LDS Church that I have tried so hard to respect and support renewed their hypocritical stance of defending Proposition 8 — what a sad day for those who truly believed the Church was trying to "do better" by gays and lesbian individuals. The message being so clearly broadcast is now "we love you, but we're still better than you and don't believe you deserve full, rewarding relationships". And please recognize that I am referring to the Church, not individual Mormons. Some of my dearest and closest friends are LDS, and are as supportive as they can possibly be of gay/lesbian equality. I broke with the Baptist church years ago because of these same sort of hypocritical, talking-out-of-both-sides-of-the-mouth issues…I feel for my LDS friends, acquaintances, and unknowns who are finding it increasingly difficult to stomach this sort of "leadership".

  12. You have to understand that the LDS church really believes in revelation from God. The Bible tells of times when polygamy was sanctioned by God. The Bible also speaks clearly about homosexuality. The church teaches love and kindness, but follows revelation from God "neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord."

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