LDS Church plans to file ‘friend of the court’ brief in Amendment 3 case

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints signaled its intentions to file a "friend of the court" brief in the appeal of Amendment 3.

Alexander Dushku, an attorney for the firm Kirton-McConkie, filed a notice of appearance Friday afternoon with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"The undersigned attorney(s) hereby appears as counsel for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; National Association of Evangelicals; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Amici Curiae, in the subject case," the filing states.

Read the filing here.

In comments to FOX 13 on January 9, an LDS Church spokeswoman said they were "not currently planning" to get involved in the Amendment 3 case. That has apparently changed by the notice filed with the federal appeals court.

The LDS Church came under heavy criticism for its involvement in California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in that state. It was overturned by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year.

On Dec. 20, 2013, a federal judge in Salt Lake City declared Utah's Amendment 3 -- which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and doesn't recognize anything else -- unconstitutional. After that ruling, more than 1,300 same-sex couples wed in Utah until the U.S. Supreme Court halted it pending the appeal.

Late Friday, members of the Utah State Legislature announced their intentions to weigh in on the Amendment 3 case. They included: Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper; Rep. Kay McIff, R-Richfield; Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville;  Rep. Lowry Snow, R-St. George, and "additional Utah state legislators to be named in the brief."

Read the legislators' notice of amicus filing here.

Also filing notice of amicus briefs: the conservative think tank Sutherland Institute, the Eagle Forum, the Concerned Women for America, the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

The amicus briefs are due Monday.


    • Christina R.

      Actually Rlee, freedom from religion does not mean, as some mistakenly seem to think,being free from seeing religion in society.What freedom from religion does mean, however, is the freedom from the rules and dogmas of other people’s religious beliefs so that we can be free to follow the demands of our OWN conscience, whether they take a religious form or not. Thus, we have both freedom of religion and freedom from religion because they are two sides of the same coin. The “Establishment Clause” was intended to prevent any governmental endorsement or support of religion and while one might read this to mean that the clause was meant to preclude endorsement or support of some particular religion, it is important to note that the clause also prohibits the endorsement of religion generally over non-religion. (

  • Indiana13

    Such nasty, hateful and hate filled people on here…. You act like big babies because the LDS church dares to stand up for something they hold sacred and abide by as laid out in scripture… You are disgusting…

  • Jim

    Now questioning a premise, or challenging a line of thought or the assumptions put forth by same sex marriage advocates is NOT homophobia or bigotry. Homophobia would require an irrational prejudice against individuals due solely to their sexual orientation and bigotry would require me to be dismissive, intolerant and overtly aggressive and hateful toward those who identify as homosexual. the church is none of those things; it represents the devoted and passionate philosophical and religious opposition to their same sex marriage doctrine. we can believe that the ideas of our philosophical opponents are corrosive and still respect them as individuals; this is the foundation of all civil discourse.

    I say religious opposition because the secularism and the latent to overt Atheism that follows it are just as religious in nature as my Mormon faith. My devotion to the dictates of my faith in God is just as valid as the oppositions devotion to their desire, which if your believe that embracing desire makes to a fully articulated individual, becomes a god unto itself. Where the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob says there is a law, the god of secularism, which is man’s own reason (we will not debate where man got the ability to reason) says there is no law; so the god is different, but the devotion of individuals on both sides is the same.

  • James

    It never ceases to amaze me how when shielded by the anonymity of the internet, people suddenly lose all sense of decency and become so irrational and hateful on comment boards. People who probably wouldn’t act in such a way in a face-to-face conversation. America is great be because we are allowed to debate issues. Why can’t we do so in a grown-up way, without treating someone who holds an opposing view with such contempt? Religious organizations and religious people have ever bit as much right as any other person or organization in this country to voice their opinion and be heard. It should be a two way street. However it rarely seems to be. It seems more like, “agree with me, or die.”

    • Kym

      That’s so true. Just because someone has a strong faith and believes to their core that something is wrong and they stand up for that does not make them a hateful bigot. There is a reason they have those feelings, and they are entitled to those feelings and to express them without the fear of being bullied. The homosexual population has complained they have suffered so much persecution and bullying, yet it feels like they are the meanest most forceful hateful group I personally have ever witnessed. Why can’t we all just agree to disagree?

  • Str8Ally

    Sure, we’ll just agree to disagree. You can go your way and we’ll go ours just as soon as you get your nose out of our business. There is no issue with your side standing up for your faith and opinions. You can express them all you want, the first amendment even protects you in that. What you cannot do is FORCE other people to live by your beliefs and pretend that it’s not oppressive and offensive.

  • Michelle Stevens

    Someone must have forgotten to tell the LDS church leadership that you cannot VOTE on another person’s RIGHTS. They also seem to have forgotten that the US Constitution trumps the State of Utah’s Constitution.

    The LDS church as with any religious organization should be able to practice it’s belief as they choose.

    It is tiresome and pathetic how bible thumping people feel that they are entitled deny another American a “RIGHT” to which they are given simply because of how they LOOK or how they LOVE. When you engage in this type of behavior you are no better than evil dictators of old – Mao, Stalin, and Hitler come to mind.

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