Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports marriage act with religious protections
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it would support the Respect for Marriage Act if it included appropriate religious freedom protections in a statement released Tuesday.
The bill ensures respect for state regulation of marriage: protecting same-sex and interracial marriages.
The Church released a statement on its website that states:
“The doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints related to marriage between a man and a woman is well known and will remain unchanged.
We are grateful for the continuing efforts of those who work to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act includes appropriate religious freedom protections while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
We believe this approach is the way forward. As we work together to preserve the principles and practices of religious freedom together with the rights of LGBTQ individuals, much can be accomplished to heal relationships and foster greater understanding.”
The bill was first introduced into the Senate on July 20 and may be voted on as soon as this week.
On July 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill, with all four of Utah’s Republican representatives voting in favor of it.
Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, sent the following statement:
“Despite differences we may have, we can always discover common ground on policies and laws that support the strengthening of all families. We are thrilled to see that a broad coalition of parties and faiths recognize that every American has a fundamental right to marry, regardless of race or sex. While this version of the Respect for Marriage Act clearly acknowledges and protects the diversity of American religious and other beliefs, it does not do so at the expense of the central tenant of the Act, which is to safeguard marriage equality.
“This action today, as well as the support from other faith groups and political figures, makes clear that equality is and always has been an American value. No American should face discrimination simply because of who they love. We are heartened to see the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints publicly take this stance today, and are certain it portends a successful vote in the Senate later this week.”
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