LDS church isn’t filing ‘friend of the court’ brief in gay marriage case yet

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is staying out of the Amendment 3 fight for now.

A Church spokeswoman confirmed that the Church is currently not planning on filing an amicus brief in the appeal. Amicus briefs are filed from people or groups with a special interest or strong views on a subject but not directly involved in the case.

With the LDS Church seemingly removing itself from Utah’s battle over same-sex marriage, supporters of gay marriage in Utah said this decision could be a sign that the Church is focusing on other priorities.

Vice Chair of the Utah Pride Center’s Board of Directors, Kent Frogley, said: “To me it means that they may be beginning to recognize that marriage equality is something that’s going to happen and it’s really just a question of time not if.”

The LDS Church has filed amicus briefs in the past when they asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Frogley adds, “I think the Church may realize that amicus briefs and these kinds of statements reflect negatively on the Church, and it hinders its ability to further its mission.”

Laura and Chantel Fernandez got married on Dec. 20, the day Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah’s Amendment 3. They said the Church’s decision against filing such a brief is welcome news.

“Even if it’s not the support, right now from them just not making or filing anything against it and just kinda keeping quiet and staying on the sidelines, I think that’s good,” Chantel Fernandez said.

A statement from the Sutherland Institute – an organization that’s been vocal against same-sex marriage in the state – reads, “The LDS Church stand on same-sex marriage is clear. Sutherland Institute and others will file the necessary briefs. It’s the argument, not the entity, that makes the difference.”

The LDS Church could still file an amicus brief at a later date. No details were given for this decision from Church leaders.

16 comments

  • CarrotCakeMan

    The LDS Church is increasingly wary of their tax-exempt status. While Eric is correct that the Church is entitled to express their hatred and fear of LGBT Americans, they are not entitled to poison our political process the way they did in 2008 in California. The United States Supreme Court has seen the documentation that Mormon leaders committed criminal acts in violation of California campaign finance and disclosure laws. Foolishly, Catholic bishops emailed Mormon leaders detailing their agreement to make these secret, illegal cash and in-kind contributions to the California H8te Vote. That email was introduced into evidence in the federal trial that revoked the H8te Vote, and was included in the evidence presented to the US Supreme Court, which upheld that ruling.

    • Mist Form

      That is an amazing story, thank you for mentioning that. I’m going to do more research.
      The LDS Church is trying to pretend they’re not pulling any strings in the capitol building. They don’t have to publicly announce anything.

    • Wayne Dequer

      I try to stay pretty informed and this is the first I’ve heard of these proported email. Please supply a specific reference so we can verify your accuracy and credibility. Thanks. ;-)

  • Cassandra Hughes

    The LDS Church runs the state of Utah. That is a given. If they try to file a statement with the courts regarding this information it should be dismissed. If the state would allow another “Vote” by the voters I guarantee it would be LEGAL for the LGBT community to marry and have the same rights as everyone else. THE LDS CHURCH NEEDS TO BACK OFF AND STAY OUT OF THIS!!!

  • Stefanie Ray

    The amount of money this is going to cost the state of Utah will be huge. the LDS church should pay for the fight that they induced.

  • People

    It’s the right of the peoples vote not just blame the LDS CHURCH we all have the freedom to vote or say what we want in this state as much as in America itself .

  • tweedmeister

    LDS, Inc. began to learn a lesson from their Prop 8 experiment. Public opinion of Mormons went to hell, and even thousands of practicing Mormons simply walked away from the church, overcome with offense and remorse over the church’s judgmentalism against gays. Many Mormons even spent their college funds to support the effort, only to see it reversed later; it’s hard to visualize your thousands of dollars taking wing and flying away. The rather uninspired and poorly led LDS church was blindsided. Best to stay out of the argument here on out.

  • Randi

    I still want to know what happened to “Separation of Church and State.
    The church beliefs should be no more important than anyone else.
    Times have changed, blacks used to be slaves, women couldn’t vote, none of it was right so it was changed, just as everyone should have the right to marry anyone they love and choose to spend the rest of their lives with.
    Everyone deserves to have the same benefits of marriage ( taxes, life, health insurance ect.)
    And be happy in life no matter what their race, religion, ect.

  • Marco Luxe

    LDS Professor Morris Thurston was right in his warnings to the church about the lies used to prosecute the Prop 8 campaign. Lies have consequences.

    [My intent is to be of service in helping our Church avoid charges of using falsehoods to gain a political victory. Relying on deceptive arguments is not only contrary to gospel principles, but ultimately works against the very mission of the Church. --MT]

  • Peter Johnson

    Wow. The only hate I see comes from those against the LDS church. And the only attempt I see to restrict rights is the freedom of speech of the LDS church and it’s members. Sorry, but we are all entitled to our opinions, even if others don’t agree.

    • Minister Leroy Swailes

      The LDS HAVE THERE TAIL BETWEEN THERE LEGS, AFRAID TO TELL THE TRUTH, THE TRUTH SHELL SET YOU FREE. WASHINGTON,D.C, THE NATIONAL ZOO WERE I LIVE, THEY HAVE 400 DEFFERENT SPECIES OF ANIMALS MAMMALS AND EXOTIC ANIMALS NONE ARE HOMOSEXUALS, BUT AS SOON AS LEAVE NATIONAL ZOO, YOU SEE HOMOSEXUAL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. HOMOSEXUALS ARE LOWER THEN ANIMALS AND RODENTS ROACHES RATS CATS DOGS.

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