Mormons renew marriage fight in advance of hearing on Utah ban

By : Wire Report
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Salt Lake City-  A top Mormon leader reiterated the church’s opposition to marriage equality during the church’s biannual general conference, just days before a federal court will hear oral arguments on whether Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ stance on homosexuality has softened in recent years, but this marks the second consecutive conference in which leaders took time to emphasize the faith’s insistence that marriage should be limited to unions between a man and a woman, as God created.

“While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not,” Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve said April 5. “He designated the purpose of marriage to go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of adults, to more importantly, advancing the ideal setting for children to be born, reared and nurtured.”

In the October 2013 church conference, Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum said human laws cannot “make moral what God has declared immoral.”

Marriage equality has been an especially hot topic in Utah since December, when a federal judge overturned Utah’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples married until the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on marriages pending a ruling from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. A hearing is set there for April 10, where each side will have up to 30 minutes each to make their arguments. On April 17, the appeals court will hear oral arguments in a similar Oklahoma case.

A 10th Circuit decision only establishes law in Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming and New Mexico. The circuit court decision will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court.

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