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Race, Religion & Social Justice

Churches, Legislators File Arguments in Same-Sex Marriage Appeal

Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
Russel Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not alone in its arguments against the legalization of same-sex marriage in Utah.  Other religious groups have signed on to a friend-of-the court brief to the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals, while another has been filed by Utah state legislators

The amicus brief was filed jointly by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Doctor Russell Moore with the Southern Baptist Convention says it makes sense to work together on issues of common interest.

“Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, other evangelicals and Latter-day Saints, we have broad differences between ourselves," Moore tells KUER.  "But we agree that there are legitimate reasons for this, and we don’t think the court ought to pave over the consciences of people who are attempting to have a good dialogue in the public square about issues that we believe matter.”

The 53-page brief says their opposition to same-sex marriage is not motivated by hatred toward gay people.  And it says the common belief among these groups is that “the traditional, husband-wife definition of marriage is vital to the welfare of children, families, and society.”

81 members of the Utah legislature have also filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.  Republican Senator John Valentine was among them.

“We basically wanted to show the courts how important a home environment for children is," Valentine said.  "And we outlined the whole statutory framework we have for the raising of children.”

Arguments in the case are set for April 10th and a decision from the 10th Circuit could come as soon as this summer. 

KUER's Brian Grimmett contributed to this story.

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