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LDS, Catholic Leaders React to Gay Marriage Decisions

Dan Bammes

Mormon and Catholic religious leaders both say they’re disappointed with today’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it “remains irrevocably committed” to strengthening traditional marriage after the Supreme Court rulings.

Church spokesperson Michael Otterson issued a statement saying the court has “highlighted troubling questions about how our democratic and judicial system operates.”

The statement also criticizes California’s state government for refusing to defend Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriages in that state. It says Californians will “wonder if there’s something fundamentally wrong” when their state government won’t back a law enacted by popular vote.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged its members to help fund and organize the campaign that passed Proposition 8 in 2008. It also filed an amicus brief in the case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Salt Lake City issued a statement saying marriage between one man and one woman is divinely revealed and a “gift to humanity.” Bishop John Wester is hoping these court rulings will stimulate a new dialogue about the place and the value of marriage in society.

“I see this an important catalyst to deepen our appreciation of what marriage is and how important it is," Wester says. "I think, in general, that marriage is not given the priority that it deserves, that people treat marriage as something like a commodity, something that, like buying something at the store, you just take it back.”

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