Religious communities request respect of traditional beliefs in wake of Supreme Court ruling

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Mormon Newsroom
A family walks outside the United States Supreme Court. (Mormon Newsroom)

Representatives from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Catholic Church said they honor the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage but request respect for their traditional beliefs on marriage.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on Friday made it so that individual states can no longer ban same-sex marriage. People of faith in the Salt Lake City area voiced their opinions regarding this decision.

“The Constitution of the United States guarantees the free exercise of religion. It is a fundamental right and one of America’s first freedoms,” BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said. “In addition, Utah state law recognizes the religious liberty of faith-based institutions, such as BYU, in providing housing and employment. As a result, we do not anticipate that the Supreme Court decision will have an impact on current practices at BYU.”

BYU will not see any changes in the form of campus policies — one of the rights it retains as a private university. Additionally the LDS Church will continue to support traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

The church was ready with this firm statement, issued immediately after the ruling: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court’s decision does not alter the Lord’s doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice.”

The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City had a similar reaction.

“This decision, though significant, does not conclude debate over the definition of marriage,” according to a statement from the diocese. “As Catholics, we seek to uphold our traditional belief in marriage as a sacrament, a well-established and divinely revealed covenant between one man and one woman, a permanent and exclusive bond meant to provide a nurturing environment for children and the fundamental building block to a just society.

“We acknowledge the right of our nation’s highest court to provide for a well-ordered society by establishing laws that protect the common good and safeguard the civil and contractual rights and privileges of its citizens. At the same time, we urge our lawmakers and judges to respect those institutions that are beyond state and federal jurisdiction, institutions such as sacramental marriage that transcend civil law and whose origins precede the existence of the state and go beyond its competence.”

Statements made by both of these churches indicate a spirit of respect for the new ruling; nevertheless, they do not do so at the expense of forfeiting their religious beliefs and freedoms.

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