Mormon Church: 'Courts have spoken' on gay marriage

Wed. October 8, 2014 10:19 PM by

Salt Lake City, UT - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Monday acknowledged that the issue of gay marriage is largely settled in Utah.

More than 1,300 gay and lesbian couples exchanged vows in December before a ruling striking down the state's marriage ban was placed on hold. Weddings resume on Monday after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in the case.

(Related: Gay couples begin marrying in six states.)

The decision, the church said in a statement, "will have no effect on the doctrinal position or practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is that only marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God."

"Nevertheless," the church added, "respectful coexistence is possible with those with different values. As far as the civil law is concerned, the courts have spoken."

The Mormon Church faced a backlash in 2008 over its heavy involvement in passage of Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment approved by voters in response to a state Supreme Court ruling striking down California's law limiting marriage to heterosexual unions. A Supreme Court decision handed down last year dealt a fatal blow to Proposition 8.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City's response was to dig in its heels.

The Supreme Court's decision "is just keeping us in the same relative position," Bishop John C. Wester said. "We don't know what is going to happen in the future."

"I don't see this as a permanent solution," he said.

The Mormon Church also called for civility in its news release, saying it would "encourage our people to be persons of good will toward all, rejecting persecution of any kind based on race, ethnicity, religion, religious belief or non-belief, and differences in sexual orientation."

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