SALT LAKE CITY — In a “friend of the court” brief, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined a number of other religions to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against same-sex marriage becoming legal nationwide.
The LDS Church filed an amicus brief alongside faiths such as the Southern Baptist Convention, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Free Methodist Church – USA, and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in urging the court to uphold a traditional definition of marriage.
“Notwithstanding our theological differences, we are united in declaring that the traditional institution of marriage is indispensable to the welfare of the American family and society. We are also united in our belief that a decision requiring the States to license or recognize same-sex marriage would generate church-state conflicts that will imperil vital religious liberties. This brief is submitted out of our firm judgment that the Constitution does not require States to take that fateful step,” they wrote in the amicus filing.
The filing says the Mormon faith “teaches that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, that the traditional family is the foundation of society, and that marriage and family supply the crucial relationships through which parents and children acquire private and public virtue.”
“Out of support for these fundamental beliefs, the Church appears in this case to defend the traditional, husband-wife definition of marriage,” it says.
The LDS Church recently backed a bill in Utah that guarded against discrimination in housing and employment for LGBT people, as well as a bill that lets county clerks opt-out of performing same sex marriages, provided someone in the office does it.
In a statement to FOX 13, LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins wrote:
“The Church’s deep belief and commitment to marriage between a man and a woman is well known. While we have been outspoken proponents in favor of protections for LGBT people in such areas as housing and employment, we believe that a redefinition of marriage to include same–sex couples has profoundly troubling implications for society in the long term. We have therefore joined with many other diverse faiths representing tens of millions of Americans in expressing our views to the Supreme Court.”
Last week, the Utah Attorney General’s Office filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of states and uphold same-sex marriage bans. The mayors of Salt Lake City, Park City and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., had previously joined in amicus briefs in support of same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriage became legal in Utah after a federal judge here ruled the state’s ban (known as Amendment 3) was unconstitutional. The state appealed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and later the U.S. Supreme Court. The nation’s top court refused to hear the Amendment 3 case.
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on same-sex marriage in cases out of Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky on April 28. A decision is expected in June.
Read the filing by the LDS Church and other religious groups here: