Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mormon church praises ruling on same-sex marriage

Excerpts of Mormon church praises ruling on same-sex marriage by Jennifer Dobner, Associated Press Writer

On Tuesday, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints praised the decision by the California Supreme Court to uphold a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

In a statement, the church said it "recognizes there are deeply held feelings on both sides, but strongly affirms its belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman."

The church said it believes marriage has profound implications for society that range from "what our children are taught in schools to individual and collective freedom of religious expression and practice."

Affirmation, an international support group for gay, lesbian and transgender Mormons, expressed regret over the ruling and the role that church played in Prop. 8.

"The church which preaches that family is to be valued above all else has squandered millions of dollars to tear our families apart," said David Melson of Silver Spring, Md., the organization's executive director.

"As much as people have tried to reach out during Proposition 8, we need to reach out even more now," said Laura Compton, a Mormon from Cupertino, Calif., who help create the Web site

"I think there will be a lot of Mormons who are going to feel like they've been righteously upheld, that the court decision is a sign that God is on their side," Compton said. "I hope it doesn't lead to a rash of 'I told you so's.'"

Linda Stay of St. George quit the church last fall over the gay marriage issue. Tuesday's ruling was bittersweet for her family, who have been Mormons for several generations. Two of her nine children are gay. Both live in California, but only one was married during the window when gay marriage was legal last summer.

The court ruling did not invalidate those marriages.

"We're grateful that my son and his returned (Mormon) missionary husband's marriage gets to stand, but for my daughter, who didn't have someone she was ready to marry at that time, it's heartbreaking," she said.

San Francisco graphic designer and lifetime Mormon Lisa Fahey said she hopes that her church services on Sunday will be free of righteous messaging. For now, she said she won't let the differences of opinion keep her from church and she'll keep fighting for equality.

"I'm an active faithful member of the church. Just because we have different views on gay marriage doesn't mean I'm any less a member," Fahey said. "I like to say I'm a missionary for the church. A missionary showing that not all Mormons are against gay marriage."

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