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Churches changing bylaws after gay marriage ruling to try to avoid lawsuits

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  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    One difficulty that now arises, especially in light of he recent developments in the NM case, is that a lot of this litigation forces churches to become more closed to the LGBT community. Litigious "rights" seekers are inadvertently closing doors to their cause. Instead of churches being willing to accept people in the community on face value, it causes an aversion to the LGBT community as a whole and churches will begin shutting their doors to such people in order to protect their important right to religious exercise. I also do have to wonder why a gay or lesbian couple would even desire to be married in a church that does not accept their lifestyle.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    I have been of the opinion for a while now that churches would do well to totally remove themselves from the marriage business. In the case specifically of the LDS Church, I do have to wonder if just performing sealings after a civil marriage (for legal purposes only) would be a nice route to protect infringement upon the LDS temples by legal battles. Go get a marriage license, have a judge marry you, and then go to the temple and get sealed. (This would naturally require a policy chance on behalf of the LDS Church).

    Let the government and civil procedure bear the entire onus of dealing with all of these different litigations regarding marriage and same sex couples being denied perceived rights. Let the churches deal with helping people draw nearer to God.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    @Vladhagen --

    "One difficulty that now arises, especially in light of he recent developments in the NM case, is that a lot of this litigation forces churches to become more closed to the LGBT community. "

    Nobody is forcing the churches to become more closed to anybody. However, this litigation may very well induce the churches to be more HONEST, at least.

    Their new bylaws are now honestly setting down the principles they have been operating under for years. Specifically: "We here in the church may pretend to love and accept you, but we actually believe that you are less worthy than the rest of us. Go get married somewhere else -- we're too good for you."

    Honesty is the best policy, right?

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    btw -- It's important to remember that many religious people SUPPORT gay marriage. "Pro-civil rights" does NOT mean "anti-religion".

    Here's a partial list of denominations that perform gay marriages or bless same-sex unions, or allow each diocese or minister to decide independently. Not a complete list, but it'll give you an idea of the widespread support for equal rights amongst the religious:

    Episcopalian polities
    --Anglican Church of Canada
    --Episcopal Church of US
    --Old Catholic, Reformed Catholic, and Liberal Catholic Churches

    Lutheran and Reformed Churches
    --Church of Sweden
    --Church of Denmark
    --Church of Iceland
    --Danish Church of Argentina
    --Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada
    --United Church of Canada
    --Protestant Church of Germany
    --Protestant Church of the Netherlands
    --Church of Norway
    --Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

    Presbyterian
    --Presbyterian Church USA

    Congregational polities
    --Quakers -- in several countries
    --United Church of Christ
    --Canadian Unitarian Council
    --Unitarian Universalist Association
    --Metropolitan Community Church
    --Mennonite Church of the Netherlands
    --Affirming Pentecostal Church International

    Mixed-polity and other polities
    --Swedenborgian Church of North America
    --Uniting Church of Australia
    --United Church of Canada
    --New Apostolic Church

    An LDS offshoot -- Community of Christ

    Judaism
    --Reform Judaism
    --Reconstructionist Judaism
    --Conservative Judaism (USA)

    Muslim
    --Muslims for Progressive Values

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    "Critics, including some gay Christian leaders, argue that the changes amount to a solution looking for a problem."

    - No, it is churches recognizing the fact they no longer have an advocate in the courts or in the government, so they're choosing to change policy before being forced to do so.

    "They seem to be under the impression that there is this huge movement with the goal of forcing them to perform ceremonies that violate their freedom of religion," said Justin Lee, executive director of the Gay Christian Network, a nonprofit that provides support for gay Christians and their friends and families and encourages churches to be more welcoming.

    - That's because, THERE IS a movement to do just that. In many people's eyes, separation of church and state is a one way street. How many times have we heard people shout, "Freedom of Religion means Freedom from Religion?"

    "If anyone tried to force a church to perform a ceremony against their will, I would be the first person to stand up in that church's defense."

    - Maybe in 2013, but in ten years from now? Five years? Doubt it.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    Litigation is pretty close to what we would call force. When you act litigiously, you act with force. Ergo, churches are being forced to alter their policies about the altar, fearing that if they do not, they will be sued.
    As for honesty, you have a point. Yes, some churches honestly do not believe that homosexuality is appropropriate. My church has never pretended otherwise. The glory of America is that (for now at least) if you do not agree with the honest assessment of religion regarding your lifestyle, you can just go to a different medium of worship. Note that I am not suing the LGBT community to force them to attend my church. Do I hate people who are gay? No. There is no evidence to support that whatsoever. Understand that my expressing the view that I do not think that the LGBT community should use the courts as a big stick to strike down people who do not agree with them is not the same as hating people who are gay. Do not place a hate crime in my mouth.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    @Vladhagen --

    "Litigation is pretty close to what we would call force. "

    Nobody has ever sued a US church to force them to perform gay church weddings. Ergo, no force.

    And yes, I'm aware that churches in other countries HAVE been sued. Guess what -- those were STATE churches. Now aren't you glad that we have separation of church and state here?

    "Note that I am not suing the LGBT community to force them to attend my church. "

    Note that the LGBT community is not suing you either.

    This is a "cure" for an imaginary illness. But if these guys are so insecure that rewriting their bylaws will actually make them feel better, I'm not stopping them.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    You will hear us, you will except us. When you do, we will go away. That's the only reason for all this.

  • aislander Anderson Island, WA
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    Frankly, from any rational legal ground, that these Churches trying to imply that they are changing their bylaws out of litigation fear is nothing more than a PR stunt to sway public opinion. No one in this country has EVER forced ANY church to perform a marriage that it doesn't want to, nor admit ANY person as a member that it doesn't want to, nor is there the slightest shred of credibility that they would ever be forced to. This is nothing more than a Chicken Little publicity campaign.

  • Samuel B Martineau Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:38 p.m.

    Contrarius

    You argue that when churches choose to not perform marriages for gay couples they are saying

    "We here in the church may pretend to love and accept you, but we actually believe that you are less worthy than the rest of us. Go get married somewhere else -- we're too good for you."

    Some thoughts-

    1. Believing that another person sins does is not the same thing as hate. It is also not the same thing as pride. I think that we would agree that greed is bad right? Do you hate those who you perceive to be greedy? Do you think that you are better than them? Might you even still be able to love such people? Would you think yourself outrageously judgmental if you told your children not to be greedy?

    2. So we have a basic disagreement. You don't think that living a homosexual lifestyle is sinful. I do. Why the animus? We can disagree without painting each other as monsters right? If you are honest, don't you feel that your post in favor of tolerance is a little intolerant?

  • onceuponatime Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    Of course they will try and force churches to marry gays. It's only a matter of time before people are thrown in jail for their beliefs, it has happened in the past and will happen again because we have given up our freedom for "benefits".

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    @Vladhagen

    I agree with your point on the differences of civil and religious marriage ceremonies. Let people get a civil marriage from the courts of the land, and let churches retain their right to have whatever additional ceremonies they desire (whether that be a temple wedding or some other kind of ceremony).

    I'm curious how it works in other countries -- i.e. I have to believe that the LDS church might not possess the CIVIL authority to marry people in every country it has members (I could be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised). Does anyone know how the church operates internationally with respect to marriage? Is it viewed as legally binding (in a civil sense) or is it solely considered a religious rite?

    Lastly, I won't be surprised if we see a church sued in the next few years for refusing to perform a same-sex wedding. Though the LGBT movement has always asserted they would not pursue that course, it depends on the course of action of one same-sex couple (i.e. there is no LGBT association or organization that can prevent a couple from suing).

  • Beart SAINT LOUIS, MO
    Aug. 24, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    I think this IS a solution looking for a problem. If churches stick to their own principles and don't solicit weddings just for money, keeping with services for their own congregants then they would have no problem. I know in many protestant and Catholic ones, there is money to be made "renting" facilities for non congregants. Here is where the line blurs. For example the cathedral of St Louis and the old basilica are used for weddings and for collecting money for the atmosphere. In this way, they become for that period, nothing more than romantic or elegant venues for a wedding if anyone can afford it. So they then run the risk of getting involved in legal situations they could avoid simply by providing services for their own people claiming membership within that venue. Let the wedding halls handle the rest.

  • aislander Anderson Island, WA
    Aug. 24, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    Samuel:

    Not tolerating intolerance is not intolerance; Tolerance of intolerance IS supporting intolerance.

    Using religious dogma to attempt to circumvent civil law is illegal. And it is bigotry by it's very definition. It is transparent that many so-called Christians cannot admit they are being intolerant or bigoted, but they are in serious denial and using flawed logic to support their denial. Essentially you are saying "why can't you tolerate my belief that gay people are not entitled to equal treatment under civil law?"

    Onceuponatime:

    Gotta love your vague Chicken Little warnings of dire consequences. Show us examples in the USA relevant to this discussion to support your ridiculous prognostications or concede that they are totally without merit.

  • The Economist Newport, PA
    Aug. 24, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    Churches can not be sued for choosing who they want to marry or not marry. This was a waste of my time to read.

    Churches can be sued if they have publicly used property and don't want to allow that property, such as an open pavillion, to be used to marry a gay couple.

    Church marriages are about the only remaining combination of church and state.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    "It's only a matter of time before people are thrown in jail for their beliefs, it has happened in the past and will happen again because we have given up our freedom for "benefits".

    You mean like when 1 church makes the rules & imprisons others not like them? You mean like the Spanish Inquisition or the Christian Crusades? Like that?

  • Samuel B Martineau Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Aislander

    You just made the argument that intolerance is not intolerance and then accused me of using "flawed logic."

    Also, there is nothing "illegal" about the constitutional protections of the first amendment whether you call it "using religious dogma to circumvent civil law" or no.

    Finally, I don't think that you answered my argument. I argue, essentially, that everyone has beliefs about what is right and wrong. That does not make people automatically hateful. I recognize that their are people who preach hate against homosexuality. But to claim that this is representative of Christians generally is inaccurate. I maintain that believing that what another person does is wrong is not the same thing as hate. The biggest proof I have is that I believe in a moral code and I don't hate people who don't believe the same way.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 24, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    2nd try
    Do churches also need to change/write bylaws regarding certain offices be limited to only men? Could there not be lawsuits brought by women claiming discrimination based on gender?

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    Aug. 24, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    It's sad we have uneducated people running churches. Churches, by virtue of the First Amendment, can exclude whomever they want. The LDS Church decides all the time who can and can't have a temple marriage. Catholics only allow Catholics to be married in their cathedrals. Marriage equality will change none of this.
    I'd also like to point out that the recent New Mexico case wasn't even about a same-gendered marriage. It was a commitment ceremony. The photographer was operating a business. As part of getting a business license, they agreed to follow by the anti-discrimination laws of the State and failed to do so. The State doesn't license Churches.
    In fact SCOTUS recently sided with a church in a unanimous decision after a teacher sued for being fired while she was out on disability. Any business would have lost the suit, but because it was a church, the Supreme Court decided that the Church didn't have to follow the same rules as businesses because of the First Amendment.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    To answer Blue AZ Cougars question, the LDS church in MOST European countries does/is required to do just as you and others suggested. Members of the LDS faith in those countries have to get married in a civil court and then go to the temple to be sealed and "married" again according to their religious rights. The same thing is about to happen here in the United States.

    The idea that same sex couples aren't going to sue or push their "civil rights" agenda on religious entities is down right laughable in light of the ruling in NM. Contrarius, have you stepped back a moment to think about the many religions that run a non-profit business in association with their congregation/church? Have any liberals saying this is a "solution looking for a problem" stopped to consider that these religions depend on non-profit status & issue state marriage licenses as part of their marriage ceremony, all of which could be threatened by "gay civil rights" under state law? They honestly want us to believe in light of NM that these "non-profit" statuses & rights to perform legal marriages won't be infringed or threatened by law suits?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 3:16 p.m.

    It’s only a matter of time until gays will be demanding churches not only recognize but perform their union ceremonies. The first amendment has been kicked to the curb and will soon be eliminated – except for the perversion that says porn is free-speech.

    Contrarius,
    Sorry that you refuse to see
    And forcing churches to do things contrary to their creeds, or business owners to do things contrary to their beliefs, IS anti-religion, no matter how much you deny it.

    They may not yet have sued a church to force them to perform a gay union, but the courts and congress HAVE disenfranchised a church and confiscated all their property because of their views toward marriage. Sorry you are ignorant of the precedent.

    Beart, aislander
    The church that was disenfranchised and had their property stolen did NOT charge money to perform marriages. It is not a “chicken little warning” when there is precedent. Sorry you are ignorant of the facts.

    Impartial7,
    See above comments

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 24, 2013 3:35 p.m.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the GLBT will try to force religious institutions to allow ceremonies for them. But it won't come through litigation at first. It will come through the government intervention revoking tax exempt status to those churches who stick to their guns. For this reason Vladhagen's idea of the Church getting out of the marriage business is a pretty good one.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 3:44 p.m.

    aislander

    "Not tolerating intolerance is not intolerance; Tolerance of intolerance IS supporting intolerance."

    Which, of course, ix extraordinarily convenient when you define intolerance as being any opinion that disagrees with you

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    "Critics, including some gay Christian leaders, argue that the changes amount to a solution looking for a problem."

    Amen.

  • Befuddled WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    Did God change his bylaws, no he didn't . It's still a sin in the eyes of the Lord, no man or government on earth can change that fact!

  • 32843 PROVO, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    @Contrarius

    Contrarius, I'm certain in your worldview God's love for us extends to acceptance of our behaviors. I assure you that is not the case. The Lord has made it clear how He views homosexuality. Being able to list off a series of churches that perform gay marriage doesn't mean those churches follow God and that God was somehow mistaken about homosexuality. That some churches have altered their view on it to better fit into an increasingly wicked world, and to be accepted by those like you, doesn't mean God has changed His mind on the subject. All you've demonstrated is that those churches now preach a gospel of men.

    Isaiah 29:13

    Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.

    Matthew 15:7-9
    You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN."

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Aug. 24, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    Aggielove: The word you want is "accept" not "except." (Second time this week.) PS I like the Aggies too.

    To those who say it is a solution looking for a problem, who would have thought 20 or 30 years ago what the state of things would be today? So don't be surprised if in the future the currently unimaginable becomes commonplace.

    To LDS Dems: You may not support gay marriage, and forcing people to act contrary to their conscience (think of the New Mexico case) but the party you support does support it, so it will be hard for you to contribute to Democratic party causes without contributing to this.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Aug. 24, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    To Blue AZ Cougar, I know that in Brasil (served my mission there), everyone has to get married officially at the city office, and can then have a religious ceremony somewhere else (a church, or the temple). Ditto for Germany (my sister served there). And probably for many if not most other countries. In those countries, there is no 1 year waiting period to get a temple sealing after a civil marriage, as there is in the US. But I like our US system. I think it is special we can get married in the temple (and not just sealed after a civil procedure.)

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 4:51 p.m.

    @ Blue AZ Cougar: You asked, "Does anyone know how the church operates internationally with respect to marriage? Is it viewed as legally binding (in a civil sense) or is it solely considered a religious rite?"

    Depends on the country.

    All marriages in France are civil marriages and must be performed by the mayor or his legally appointed representative. Religious ceremonies are not binding and couples who wish to have a religious ceremony must have that ceremony after the civil ceremony. Civil marriages are also the only form of marriage in Belgium, Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands, and many other European countries.

    In Italy, if a Catholic priest performs the ceremony, there is no need for a separate civil ceremony. For all other religions, there are special requirements - most churches bypass these by requiring the couple to have a civil ceremony before the religious ceremony.

    There are also some countries which have no civil marriage and all marriages are required to be religious. These are usually countries with limited religious freedom.

    The LDS Church, like all other churches, must follow the laws of the land of the countries in which it has members.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    Personally, I find it doubtful, given the efforts and "success" of the GLBT community in the past, that they will stop till they gain "complete victory". It just doesn't fit their past history. They want their behavior (or lifestyle) to have complete acceptance, legitimacy, and win the hearts and minds of all around them. They are close to actually getting some of those things, but they will never get the hearts and minds of people for which homosexual behavior is wrong in the sight of man and of God.

    They will get a lot of things, but not that. Sometimes I wonder if that's all they really want anyway. All the worldly approval and legal rulings available will not change what is right and what is wrong. I don't hate GLBT, but I do dislike their militancy and their behavior.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    Vladhagen

    A good point regarding the LDS Church. For some reason the Church here in America will not marry people and then let them go to the Temple the next day. I think they require a 1 year wait. However, in England, for example, the law states that all marriages have to be open to the public. So the Bishop marries the couple in the Chapel, then the couple goes and gets sealed in the Temple. Why the LDS Church does not allow that here is beyond me. If anything it would allow a lot of non-members to see a couple married openly, then the select few would go with them to the Temple. I wish the Church would change its policy on that because they obviously do to allow for the English law exception.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 5:26 p.m.

    @ cougsndawgs: No churches issue marriage licenses - marriage licenses are issued exclusively by the state.

    Just as a church is not a business, a business - non-profit or otherwise - is not a church, even if it is run by a religious organization.

    Nothing in your comment supports your conclusion.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 5:43 p.m.

    I really don't think it's an issue (if it were I'd be on their side of that fight) but hey, if it helps them sleep better at night.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 5:49 p.m.

    @ClarkHippo
    ["If anyone tried to force a church to perform a ceremony against their will, I would be the first person to stand up in that church's defense."

    - Maybe in 2013, but in ten years from now? Five years? Doubt it.]

    Actually... there's a lot of people who fall in that category. Let's try a current example. Take the most hated church in America, the Westboro Baptist Church. While I absolutely disagree with their rhetoric, I think they have the right to do the awful stuff they do. (Likewise I have the right to call them... well... heh, okay in the public square I have the right to call them what I think of them... but in these forums there aren't total free speech allowances and what I think of them wouldn't make it through moderation haha).

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 24, 2013 6:21 p.m.

    re:LostinDC
    "The church that was disenfranchised and had their property stolen did NOT charge money to perform marriages."

    What "church" had their property stolen?

    Are you talking about the NJ Ocean Grove Boardwalk Pavilion owned by the Methodist Church?

    Facts:
    The owners (Methodist Church) permitted the public to reserve its Boardwalk Pavilion for exclusive use for events, mostly for weddings and occasionally for other events such as memorial services and were charged a uniform fee of $250 for use of the Pavilion. Reservations were taken using a “Facilities Use Request Form." That form required users to disclose only the following information: date and time of requested use; name, address and phone number of person in charge of the event; name, address and telephone number of person making the request; type of event; and any set-up instructions or special needs. The investigation disclosed that, in granting approvals for use of the Pavilion for weddings, Respondent did not distinguish between religious or secular weddings, or between Christian weddings and religious weddings of other faiths.

    The Church lost a suit brought by a lesbian couple. The Church merely lost a special NJ tax exemption. They did not "lose" the Pavilion.

  • donn layton, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 6:26 p.m.

    What does the Bible say about[gay]pride?"

    here is a difference between the kind of pride that God hates (Proverbs 8:13) and the kind of pride we feel about a job well done.

    The kind of pride that stems from self-righteousness is sin, and God hates it because it is a hindrance to seeking Him. Psalm 10:4 explains that the proud are so consumed with themselves that their thoughts are far from God: “In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” This kind of haughty pride is the opposite of the spirit of humility that God seeks: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). The “poor in spirit” are those who recognize their utter spiritual bankruptcy and their inability to come to God aside from His divine grace.

    The proud, on the other hand, are so blinded by their pride that they think they have no need of God or, worse, that God should accept them as they are because they deserve His acceptance.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Aug. 24, 2013 6:54 p.m.

    "No one in this country has EVER forced ANY church to perform a marriage that it doesn't want to, nor admit ANY person as a member that it doesn't want to, nor is there the slightest shred of credibility that they would ever be forced to."

    This is a very weak argument. Until a few days ago, no one was ever punished for refusing, for religious reasons, to provide photography services at a gay wedding. Until a few years ago, no state in this country permitted gay marriage at all. So the fact that no one has yet succeeded in forcing a church to perform a gay marriage is not very comforting.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 7:25 p.m.

    Truthseeker

    When the LDS Church still practiced polygamist marriage the federal government passed multiple laws which disenfranchised the church as an entity, took all their real property and also took the majority of their cash assets. The purpose of these laws were to force the Church to stop polygamist marriages. These laws were upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court at the time.
    Yes, polygamy is different than gay marriage, but it clearly sets a legal precedence for the federal government forcing a church to change it's practices based it beliefs about marriage. A good lawyer could easily use these laws as the basis for a case against a church denying gay marriage to his client.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 24, 2013 7:32 p.m.

    Of course those who would force an establishment of religion to change its doctrine would also deny that the supreme law of the land forbids government from dictating anything to an establishment f religion. They would replace law with whatever is on their agenda. Their motives have been known since Isaiah - 700 years before Christ was born - when Isaiah foretold our day with perfect clarity.

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    Aug. 24, 2013 7:40 p.m.

    Kirk R Graves
    West Jordan, UT
    Truthseeker

    When the LDS Church still practiced polygamist marriage the federal government passed multiple laws which disenfranchised the church as an entity, took all their real property and also took the majority of their cash assets. The purpose of these laws were to force the Church to stop polygamist marriages. These laws were upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court at the time.
    Yes, polygamy is different than gay marriage, but it clearly sets a legal precedence for the federal government forcing a church to change it's practices based it beliefs about marriage. A good lawyer could easily use these laws as the basis for a case against a church denying gay marriage to his client

    Well pft. There want my comfort zone. I hadnt thought of that idea of confiscating property as a legal precidant in marriages. I wish you hadnt, Kirk.

  • Truthseeker2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    Aug. 24, 2013 7:41 p.m.

    Re:32843

    "Southern preachers and slave owners believed the many references in the Bible permitting and regulating slavery (well over 100 verses), in both the Old and the New Testaments, were clear evidence that the institution was a part of God’s social and moral order.

    Abolitionist preachers argued in their sermons that the verses related to slavery in the Bible were a reflection of the cultural context and times in which the Bible was written and did not reflect God’s endorsement of slavery. They argued that there were “weightier” scriptures on justice, mercy and love that superseded those on slavery.

    There are a handful of Scriptures (5-8) that specifically speak of same-sex intimacy as unacceptable to God. Conservatives or traditionalists see these as reflecting God’s timeless will for human relationships. Progressives look at these same scriptures in much the same way that progressives in the nineteenth century looked at the Bible’s teaching on slavery. They believe that these verses capture the cultural understandings and practices of sexuality in biblical times, but do not reflect God’s will for gay and lesbian people."
    (Pastor Adam Hamilton)

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 8:26 p.m.

    Many of the commenters here should note that they seem to be in complete agreement with Russia. See "Russia defends anti-gay law in letter..." in this paper.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    Meanwhile --

    The LDS Church is doing well in other Countries with gay marriage.

    It changes nothing to my beliefs,
    if anything - it makes one's testimony stronger.

    I don't need to control someone else to live my religion.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    Maudine:
    "@ cougsndawgs: No churches issue marriage licenses - marriage licenses are issued exclusively by the state".

    Yes and the state grants legal marriages to be performed in a church/temple. A marriage performed in an LDS temple is recognized as legal and binding by the state (as it is in all other states in the United States). I apologize if I didn't make myself clear, but I'm fairly certain you knew what I meant. Are you inferring that a same sex couple could never file suit under the civil rights act and have the right of a church to perform legally binding marriages revoked?

    "Just as a church is not a business, a business - non-profit or otherwise - is not a church."

    What happens to a church organization that has expenditures and depends on it's non-profit business(es) to remain viable, when said businesses are sued for "civil rights violations"? This is reality for many churches, which was my point. Bottom line: churches AND businesses should have the right to deny service based on BEHAVIOR (or chosen lifestyle) but not based on ethnicity. This is why sexual preference/lifestyle shouldn't be protected under civil rights.

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 8:49 p.m.

    The world is becoming more sinful. The righteous will be persecuted. The signs of the times are clear to anyone who knows what to watch for.

  • J.D. Aurora, CO
    Aug. 24, 2013 9:07 p.m.

    Although this issue is a difficult one, we can rest assured that as public opinion goes a Revelation is sure to follow.

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:27 p.m.

    1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 10:32 p.m.

    Here's something ironic...

    Religious photographer says to gay couple "I don't believe what you're doing is right, so I'm not going to shoot your wedding."

    Religious photographer looses in court

    Gay photographer says to an pro-family activist couple "I don't believe what you're doing is right, so I'm not going to shoot your wedding."

    The irony? The gay photographer would still be likely to win the court case due to the way courts accept liberal tolerance and equality as being the only interpretations of words that were previously debated rigorously in the educated community. Now, there is no debate. People simply want to force their opinion rather than accept the democratic process.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:23 p.m.

    It is far too easy to attack others for their own methods of running their church.

    Churches are meant to be community assests, and it is logical for a church to open its use to the community with a small fee to cover the actual cost of its use by the community.

    It is also totally reasonable for a Church to want to have some control over what types of things it rents out to. As the Becket people point out, in this day and age, the best policy is to anticipate suits before hand.

    Over and over again it has become clear that written policies beforehand mean victory in lawsuits, and waiting until the crises means paying fines. It is better to be prepared than to be fined.

    This is not the actual fight we have to fear. The real violation of religious freedom is government "human rights" commissions and Attorneys General seeking to force others to lend their creative expertise to ceremonies they religiously object to, but if the Washington AG wins against the florist, a church might well be next.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:25 p.m.

    Just because a law is on the books does not make it a good law.

    Just because a religious group has a policy doesn't make it a good policy.

    The "push" required to bring about change in law, policy, and attitude creates significant momentum and that force often carries the cause beyond the intended mark much like the proverbial pendulum. The fervor, tenacity, and mood of those seeking to encode a civil right to marry someone of the same gender is sufficient to give many of us the impression that the pendulum WILL swing and something akin to persecution of groups--including churches--who opposed the establishment of the desired civil right will certainly take place.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:31 p.m.

    The US is not the only country where marriages are performed in tmeples. Tonga, Canada and many others also has that.

    On the other hand, in Brazil, the UK and other countries where marriages have to be performed civilly, yes, people can have a civil marriage and then go to the temple. But there is a very tight window for when that can occur. If people do not get to the temple soon enough, they do have to wait a year.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:41 p.m.

    The Catholic Charities/LDS Family services issue is much more complex than Scoundrel has suggested.

    The key is that LDS Family Services only does privately initiated adoptions. Catholic Charities has sought to be an adoption service used to place older children removed from their homes. There are lots of good reason for private charitable organizations to seek to augment the work of the state, and to just blindly defend the state excluding groups that try to do good because these groups have religious beliefs that they actually want to live up to ignores lots of factors.

    That said, the photographer in New Mexico never took a cent of government money, so not taking government money does not prevent lawsuits.

    Also, LDS Family Services is constantly threatened with lawsuits because they only place children with LDS couples who have been married in the temple. With good lawyers they general convince those who would sue that it would be a loosing battle, but there are those who oppose their model and method of operation, and they only manage to operate because they have clearly and explicitly spelled out what the rules of operation are.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 11:53 p.m.

    @ I know it: Not to be a grammar elitist, but "irony" is not applicable to your hypothetical situation. And no matter how many fake scenarios you make up, fantasies do not prove your point.

    @ cougndawgs: No, I am not a mindreader and did not know that you meant something different from what you said.

    As long as the First Amendment stands, churches will never have to violate their religious beliefs by performing religious services that they oppose. No church opposed to interracial marriage has ever had to marry an interracial couple, no church that does not accept blacks as members has ever had to marry a black couple.

    As for whether or not businesses should have a right to discriminate against legal behaviors and lifestyles - just remember, religion is a choice and is changed much easier and more frequently than sexual orientation.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:35 a.m.

    Scoundrel:
    "The details matter, people. Get acquainted with how the law actually works".

    Yes, please do understand how the law works. Taxpayer dollars? Any business can be sued for violation of civil rights regardless of taxpayer subsidies. Some of what you stated was valid, but the whole taxpayer issue is completely inaccurate. If a bar doesn't allow or give service to an Asian/Black/Hispanic individual because of his or her ethnicity, they can and most likely will be sued under the CRA while not having received a dime of "Federal Taxpayer Dollars".

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    The Church will change. It is just a matter of time. Like not allowing African Americans the priesthood or supporting polygamy, the Church will eventually catch up with the changing world. The Supreme Court has trumped these earlier, misguided, positions, and it will happen with Gay Rights. It is a shame that intolerance can be hidden with by biblical nonsense.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    @Cougsndawgs;

    What "behavior" are gays displaying in your business that you don't like? Being gay is NOT a behavior. Getting married is the SAME behavior that heterosexuals participate in. If you're going to deny your business to gays for getting married, you MUST apply that same criterion to straights and DENY them your business for also getting MARRIED.

    @OnlyInUtah;

    Bigotry is NOT "righteousness".

    @Danite;

    Thanks for the description of today's "religious" people. (if the shoe fits...)

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    @Blue AZ Cougar 12:47 p.m. Aug. 24, 2013

    I'm curious how it works in other countries -- i.e. I have to believe that the LDS church might not possess the CIVIL authority to marry people in every country it has members (I could be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised). Does anyone know how the church operates internationally with respect to marriage? Is it viewed as legally binding (in a civil sense) or is it solely considered a religious rite?

    ------------------------

    That's what happens in a lot of countries world-wide. The couple is first married according too the standards of the country in which the couple lives. That is the civil and legal marriage, and nothing more is needed to make the couple married in the eyes of the law. If they wish to participate In a marriage ceremony in their church of choice they can do so. The religious ceremony has no civil, legal effect.

    This is the system we should follow in the United States.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 25, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    @Contrarius:
    "And yes, I'm aware that churches in other countries HAVE been sued. Guess what -- those were STATE churches. Now aren't you glad that we have separation of church and state here?"

    The Sikhs in England stopped performing weddings because, they feared that they would be sued. And that aren't a state church. If they thought that it was possible, we could conclude that the fact they are not a state church doesn't protect them.

  • @Charles not from utah, 00
    Aug. 25, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    Let's be honest folks, homosexuality never has been and never will be equal to heterosexuality. It's impossible as nature, biology and anatomy dictate. To claim otherwise is a pure fantasy.

    The LDS church will never marry homosexuals as it is 100% against the plan of salvation. Anyone who thinks otherwise, including LDS members, do not know the doctrines.

    It's pretty simple folks; marriage is between a man and a woman. Anything else is just pretend.

  • Truthseeker2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    Aug. 25, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    "Every single marriage equality bill that has passed state legislatures includes language stipulating that no religious leaders will be required to solemnize a mar- riage that violates their religious beliefs.

    Every state that has passed marriage equality legislation has included provisions that exempt religious institutions from providing accommodations to same-sex couples if those accommodations are related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage. So, for example, even if a church rents out its banquet hall to members of the public, this exemption essentially allows that church to deny requests from same-sex couples looking to use that banquet hall for their rehearsal dinner.
    Four states—Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Washington, D.C.— have instituted broader exemptions by also exempting religious institutions from providing services or accommodations that relate to the “promotion” of marriages that violate their religious beliefs, in addition to “solemnization” and “celebration.”

    In fact, each of these 10 states has included explicit provisions making it clear that refusing accommodations to same-sex couples cannot create a “civil claim” or “cause of action.”
    (AmericanProgress "Twin Feedoms)

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Aug. 25, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi --

    "The Sikhs in England stopped performing weddings because, they feared that they would be sued. "

    Note the essential phrase here: FEARED they would be sued.

    I may fear that the sky is falling -- but that doesn't make it true, or even likely.

    The fact is that they were NOT sued. The only thing we can actually conclude from their fear is that they were fearful.

    @Charles --

    "Let's be honest folks, homosexuality never has been and never will be equal to heterosexuality."

    Sez you.

    Homosexuality is not the SAME as heterosexuality. That doesn't make it "unequal to", or "less than".

    Remember that phrase, "All men are created equal"??

    It doesn't mean that everyone is identical. It doesn't mean that everyone has the same capabilities.

    It DOES mean that everyone deserves equal treatment under the law.

    And remember -- this isn't a theocracy. Your religion does not determine our country's laws, nor its Constitution.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 25, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    One problem I have with the LGBT community is that they are bent on forcing not only legal acceptance, but moral acceptance (just read some of the comments on this article). I oppose same-sex marriage on moral grounds, which I understand most LGBT supporters will say is nonsense. But the fact of the matter is, you cannot force or legislate moral or social acceptance of same-sex marriage. Call me a bigot, call me intolerant, call me insensitive, but it won't change my views on same-sex marriage. The law of man is one thing, the law of God is another.

    You can revoke the LDS church's 501(c)(3) status, but that won't phase the membership. Members in much poorer countries pay their tithing without a tax break. You can pass all the civil laws you want to allow same-sex marriage to stand on equal footing with traditional marriage, but that won't change God's law. "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Mark 10:9)

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    @Blue AZ Cougar;

    I don't really care if you reject something on "moral" grounds or not. If you "reject" it, then don't do it.

    But to use your religious "values" (imo, they're not very indicative of values) to deny others the benefits you enjoy simiply because you consider them "immoral" is guess what, immoral in itself. Bigotry is immoral.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    @Ranch

    "Values" is in the eye of the beholder. You have yours, I have mine (imo, yours are not very indicative of values). To use yours to push your agenda on people of religion who think differently than you simply because you view us as "bigots" is guess what, bigotry in itself. Let's call a spade a spade.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    Ranch:
    "What "behavior" are gays displaying in your business that you don't like? Being gay is NOT a behavior. Getting married is the SAME behavior that heterosexuals participate in".

    I believe that engaging in a homosexual relationship is morally wrong. I never said being gay is a behavior (but love your red herring attempt). I said lifestyle is a choice and therefore chosen behavior. Anti-social and addictive personality disorders aren't behaviors either, yet we discriminate against the behaviors some with these personality disorders choose to engage in (most are discriminated by law). People with these disorders were "born" that way, just as gays & lesbians are "born" with a preference and attraction to the same sex. But that doesn't mean that we have to accept behaviors they choose to engage in because of their innate preferences.

    Despite finding it morally wrong, I personally have no issue with the LGBT community and have good relationships with many among them. But this is about the rights of businesses and churches to deny service to those engaging in these behaviors that they find morally wrong. I believe they should have that right...and apparently so do 85% of Americans.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    A generation ago, the Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional. I'm am not aware of a single church that was sued. This included the Mormon Church, who until 1978, did not allow African-Americans to be married in their temples. It seems like a non-issue.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    @BlueAZCougar;

    I would certainly photograph your wedding, bake your cake, provide your flowers and allow you to worship in your home and church in whichever manner you choose. That isn't bigotry.

    You, on the other hand, WON'T bake us a cake, take photographs of our weddings, provide flowers or allow US to worship as we believe.

    Which of us displays bigotry?

    The fact is that churches are churches and businesses are businesses. When a religious person opens a business that provides a service, they ACT as the business when providing the service and NOT as the person who opened it. Regardless of the person's individual religious beliefs, they should operate their business AS A BUSINESS.

    A church, on the other hand, can follow whichever doctrinal practices they choose without legal consequences because they aren't advertising as a business.

    Once again, bigotry (from which stems discrimination) is immoral. You can tell yourself otherwise all you want, but even your god's son said: "DO UNTO OTHERS as you would have them do unto you" (he didn't say unless they are sinners). If you can't even do that, are you really following your god?

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    What a terrible time in which we live. It is sad that we as individuals cannot agree to disagree without such anger and disrespect. I may completely disagree with ones views on gay marriage, I may even be so off base to state that homosexuality IS a behavior @Ranch but I like to think I can still do that with my heart free of bad feelings toward any of my brothers and sisters and not be considered a bigot or ignorant. The militant battle lines must come down, otherwise both sides will be forced to extremes and all will lose. That is where we are headed and the outcome looks dark.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Aug. 25, 2013 3:03 p.m.

    Contrarius you list denominations that support same gender marriage. They will do what they want. However real question would be does the Lord support same gender marriage? It don't matter what denomitations choose to believe on the issue. Issue should be what the Lord tells us to do on the issue.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Aug. 25, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    The reason the church requires a one year wait in the United States is because the government recognized marriages performed in temples here. In Countries were it is not recognized you go to the temple immediately following the marriage because the government does not recognize it. If you don't go immediately to the temple have to wait a year there too.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 4:16 p.m.

    higv - the lord says she's good with it.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Aug. 25, 2013 6:29 p.m.

    @Blue AZ Cougar,

    Countries, such as Germany, and probably France, do not recognize any religious marriage ceremony. In those countries, LDS couples must first go to the equivelent of a 'Justice of the Peace' and be married there; then they have about three days to reach a temple to be sealed, or if not, then wait a year like those in the USA who are not initially married inside of the temple.

    And personally, I think that these religious groups are acting prudently and not for publicity. As has been stated, we are becoming more and more that our courts are decreasingly tolerant towards religion. It's just a matter of time.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 6:36 p.m.

    I am glad to see Churches change... It is called "repentance", and most Churches need a whole lot of it!

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 25, 2013 7:24 p.m.

    @Ranch,

    Again, you can pass all the laws you want to make same-sex marriage equal with traditional marriage (at least in the eyes of the government), but you cannot legislate moral or social acceptance.

    Do you really expect me to throw you a party to celebrate something I view as morally wrong? Something that God has stated numerous times are against His law? Back to my original post, I have no problem separating a wedding between the civil and religious processes, but don't expect me to show up and wave a flag, take pictures, bake a cake, and put on a smile to support you in something that I fundamentally believe is immoral.

    As for the scripture you quoted, there are plenty more where God specifically states that same-sex acts are against His commandments. Don't misunderstand me, I wish no ill will against those who support same-sex marriage. I disagree, but I don't wish you harm.

  • Longfellow Holladay, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    I liked the comment "The Church will change. It is just a matter of time." Amazing precognition!

    I also liked Truthseeker2's assertion about the future: "Every state that has passed marriage equality legislation has included provisions that exempt religious institutions from providing accommodations to same-sex couples if those accommodations are related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage." As if state law will stop the federal government from overruling. In the wake of the SCOTUS ruling on DOMA, dozens of lawsuits are being initiated to overturn state laws defining marriage.

    So many people providing comments and so many predicting the future with absolute certainty. I think Captain Kirk had it about right when he said the future is the "Undiscovered Country". Events that never previously happened and no one thought were possible, have a way of occurring.

  • Turtles Run Missouri City, TX
    Aug. 25, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    Vladhagen wrote: I also do have to wonder why a gay or lesbian couple would even desire to be married in a church that does not accept their lifestyle.

    I am left to wonder are there any LGBT couples wanting to get married in churches that do not support those marriages.

    Churches have always been granted wide latitude in its ability to choose who they can marry. Churches are even allowed to deny marrying people of different faiths. This action on the part of the church lawyers seems to me as a solution looking for a problem.

  • Weberboy Fruit Heights, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 8:58 p.m.

    Practicing homosexuality is wrong according to the bible and modern day prophets. Negative consequences follow actions that are wrong. That is why I am against legalizing gay marriage. I don't hate the sinner, I hate the sin. I know God's commandments are true because they produce good when followed.

  • Turtles Run Missouri City, TX
    Aug. 25, 2013 8:58 p.m.

    Beart

    As a former Catholic and having been married in the Catholic Church I can assure you your comments on Catholic Churches being rented out like a wedding hall is pure bunk. Most Catholic Churches will not even marry you in their facilities unless you are a parishioner of that church much less a couple from another faith.

    Facilities that are actual Cathedrals or older churches generally have a year long waiting list to get married on their site. Renting out the place would not only not be reverent the parishioners would revolt.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 9:22 p.m.

    @Blue AZ Cougar;

    As you said, "morality is relative". I don't expect you to "throw me a party" (would you do it for a murderer's wedding?); I DO expect you to honor the law and conduct your business as a business. If you run a business baking wedding cakes, I expect you to treat ALL customers as equals. If you run a wedding photography business, I expect you to treat ALL customers as equals. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It IS the right thing to do. BTW; Prove "god" actually said anything that's in the bible.

    @Weberboy;

    I don't give a rip what your books or "prophets" have to say. We are NOT a theocracy. "Negative consequences follow actions that are wrong": Hence churches are facing the backlash of bigotry, because its wrong.

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 9:28 p.m.

    1. There is a very informative article written by Spencer W. Kimball entitled "Absolute Truth." It is well worth reading.
    2. I'm really grateful to belong to a church that is headed by a prophet. A prophet (Gordon B. Hinckley) was voice for stating the LDS Church's position on marriage very clearly in Sept. 1995. That means the LDS Church doesn't have to scramble to make its position known. The Proclamation to the World on the Family states what marriage is no less than five times. (I hope I live to see the day when the Proclamation is canonized).

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 9:56 p.m.

    Pre-emptive paranoia...

    "...You can't 10-4 me, I 10-4'd you...".

    The Andy Griffith Show...
    Barney Fife

    "...Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep...".

    For what it's worth...
    Buffalo Springfield

    83 comments have confirmed the suspicion of a handful of DN readers...

    This is a solution in search of a problem...

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 10:53 p.m.

    I just finished a two year term on the governing board of my denomination. I learned many interesting and valuable things. Did you know churches are exempt from all sorts of laws and regulations? As for example, the Americans With Disabilities Act. American law has extremely strong protections for churches and grants them extremely wide latitude on a great many issues; the fear that churches will be forced to perform or solemnize same sex marriages is unrealistic and flies in the face of every legal precedent.

    Right now, a non-Mormon couple cannot marry in a Mormon temple. A lawsuit to force the Mormon church to permit that marriage, would be laughed out of court. A Catholic church cannot be required to perform a marriage for a Muslim couple or a couple in which one or both of the parties have been divorced, and so on through all denominations and traditions. Those are long standing legal precedents which are not going to change.

    Social attitudes toward marriage equality have changed immensely in ten years. Churches may face internal activism to change their positions but cannot be sued for civil rights violations over matters of doctrine.

  • OC Guy San Diego, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    The fears seem unwarranted. The Roman Catholic Church does not allow remarriage of divorced persons if the ex-spouse is living. Yes, there are work-arounds in the form of annulments, but for sake of argument I am referring to divorced persons who have not applied for and received an annulment. In this sense, Roman Catholic rules are more restrictive than, say, LDS rules, which allow divorced men to remarry in a temple if they receive a sealing clearance. The clearance does not "un-do" the first marriage and serves as a "recommend" to assure the man is meeting financial obligations to the first (ex-) wife. Catholic rules even ban civil remarriage of divorced Catholics, which again is more stringent than LDS rules.

    That said, I know of no divorced person who has successfully sued the Catholic Church for failing to conduct a Catholic wedding ceremony. Such persons are allowed to remarry civilly by all states, but cannot receive a Catholic ceremony and are barred from receiving Communion.

    Prop 8 proponents used the case of the Methodist church in NJ (forced to lease a pavilion on public beachfront) but no one forced them to provide a ceremony.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    Church-owned schools are vulnerable, unless they take precautionary measures. BYU has been down this road, already, with other, previous hot-potato issues.Deseret Industries also is vulnerable. One problem is that the Federal Government has grown so large and has involved itself into so many aspects of our lives, that its power has become tremendous.When Uncle Sam takes your money through taxation, it is no longer your money.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    @Beverly

    You said - "The Church will change. It is just a matter of time. Like not allowing African Americans the priesthood or supporting polygamy, the Church will eventually catch up with the changing world. The Supreme Court has trumped these earlier, misguided, positions, and it will happen with Gay Rights. It is a shame that intolerance can be hidden with by biblical nonsense."

    Correct me if I am wrong, but are you saying the Supreme Court is what made the LDS Church suspend Polygamy and give blacks the priesthood?

    If this is so, would you be so good as to specify when these Supreme Court cases actually took place?

  • OC Guy San Diego, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    @ClarkHippo: the Supreme Court was obliquely involved in the federal government's crackdown on polygamy, by upholding the constitutionality of anti-polygamy laws such as the Edmunds and Morrill Acts. More specifically, in Reynolds v. United States (google it), the SCOTUS held in a 9-0 decision that polygamy was not protected under the Constitution. Not in your priesthood manual, but true.

    I would agree that no 1970s era SCOTUS decisions preceded the 1978 revocation of the black priesthood ban (and ban on black temple marriages---black women were banned from marrying non-blacks in temples and banned from endowments as well). However, several 1970s-era decisions, such as those involving Bob Jones University (lost their tax exempt status due to racially discriminatory policies) helped LDS church leaders to see the handwriting on the wall. SCOTUS would not have legally forced the LDS Church to open priesthood and endowments to blacks, but they might have been able to pull the church's tax exempt status.

    In the UK, LDS meeting houses are tax exempt. However, the two UK temples are NOT exampt because they are not "public houses of worship" as UK law defines the term.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    Glendberg

    "Churches may face internal activism to change their positions but cannot be sued for civil rights violations over matters of doctrine."

    You are right, a church can't be sued for violations related to doctrine. But you see, the point of the article is that churches are being advised to clearly document their doctrine to avoid the problem. You see, if the church has never clearly stated their doctrine, and has encouraged gay individuals to attend their services and actively reached out to the LGBT community (something many churchs do), then refuse to perform a marriage ceremony for these same parishoners, it would clearly look like an arbitrary decision to deny them services without clear cause (other than their gender orientation). It is a very real risk with a very real potential law-suit.

    By changing their by-laws to clearly reflect their views, they are protecting themselves from this scenario.

  • Jeffsfla Glendale, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    This is such a "sky is falling" situation. I cannot imagine any ruling which would force a church or a person of the cloth to perform a marriage that they do not disagree with. The government clearly protects religious institutions. I urge these people to not become overly dramatic. They are already coming across as simple minded religious zealots. Don't make it any worse.

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    I think that if courts are going to force churches to perform same-sex marriages, they are saying that there is no more freedom of religion. Hopefully the courts will allow churches to continue their current practice without imposing regulations which, in my mind, go against the constitution.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    @Longfellow --

    "I think Captain Kirk had it about right when he said the future is the "Undiscovered Country". "

    Sorry, big guy, but it was actually a Klingon who said that. ;-)

    Further, the original meaning of the "Undiscovered Country" isn't the future -- it's death.

    From Hamlet: "But that the dread of something after death/The undiscovered country from whose bourn/No traveller returns, puzzles the will/And makes us rather bear those ills we have/Than fly to others that we know not of?"

    @higv --

    "However real question would be does the Lord support same gender marriage?"

    My Lord is fine with it. My Lord is a Lord of love, not one of bigotry.

    But fortunately for all of us, this country isn't a theocracy. Neither my Lord nor yours gets to determine our laws or our Constitution.

    @Blue --

    "As for the scripture you quoted, there are plenty more where God specifically states that same-sex acts are against His commandments. "

    Jesus never said a single word against homosexuals. And there is no commandment which states "thou shalt not be homosexual".

    In the whole New Testament, Paul is the only one who spoke against homosexuality.

  • Incite Full Layton, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    You used to be able to state it as "Legally and Lawfully" married... you can't anymore.

  • CougBeast West Point, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    Scoundrel:
    "...my comment - was whether CHURCHES (NOT businesses) would be forced to perform marriage rites for those couples they deem unworthy".

    I went back and read your original post, and I apologize that I misread what you were saying. You are right, I thought you were including business rather than separating it from churches. My fault, thanks for pointing out my error (posted under Cougsndawgs).

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    Oh how I wish that I could trust that churches wouldn't be sued to have them perform gay marriages. However, those of you who think that churches are overreacting or reacting unnecessarily by changing bylaws to reflect their beliefs are either utterly naive, willfully ignorant, or flagrantly dishonest. You are a fool if you think there will not be lawsuits.

    This is NOT a solution in search of a problem. It is a solution that anticipates what appears likely to become a very serious problem to religious liberties. I'm sorry, but I've stopped believing the assurances LGBT groups and their allies. Past experience has given us good reason to believe that the LGBT are lying about what they intend to use the government to force people to do or believe through the courts or legislation.

    So ridicule all day. Call me a bigot. I'm not drinking the koolaid.

  • CougBeast West Point, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    Contrariusier:
    "My Lord is fine with it. My Lord is a Lord of love, not one of bigotry".

    Pray tell, what Lord do you worship? The same one who "looks upon sin with the least degree of allowance" (not skin color, not ethnicity, not sexual orientation, but the ACT of SIN). The same one who threw the money changers from the temple for violating and offending his father (not because of who they were but because of what they were DOING)?

    Just like you, The Lord I worship loves the homosexual as much as the heterosexual. However, stating that the act of engaging in homosexual relations is a sin, does not make The Lord a bigot...anymore than stating the act of acquiescing to the temptations of addictive behaviors is a sin for the person with addictive personality (every bit as much a biological and psychological desire as physical/sexual attraction). Labeling oneself as gay or lesbian doesn't absolve that individual of the acts and behaviors they engage in because of their sexual orientation. Bigotry is judging a person by who or what they are, not what they DO...that's the difference.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Aug. 26, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    @CougBeast --

    You said: "Pray tell, what Lord do you worship?"

    "Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
    -- Matthew 22:37-40

    "The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not covet,' and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

    Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."
    -- Romans 13: 8-10

    "If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world."
    -- John 12:47

    "There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?"
    -- James 4:12

    " Judge not, that ye be not judged."
    -- Matthew 7:1

  • MediumHarris Provo, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    "But recently, the church changed its rental policy to allow wedding-related events only for male-female couples."

    That's not going to work. Codifying discrimination against a protected group is still discrimination according to the law. They would have to disallow rentals for weddings altogether or make it a members-only private service. If you're offering a service to the public, you can't discriminate against a protected group.

    Also, members of the lds faith have nothing to worry about. The church is a private members-only organization. No lawsuit citing discrimination would hold up in court.

  • Woody Newbury Park, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    The Boy Scouts had the right to restrict membership. In doing so they lost sponsors and some members. Changing policy may lose a different set of members. Even though the courts ruled in their favor, local politicans sought to restrict them by prohibiting the use of public facitilies and otherwise limiting their right of expression.

    It will not happen immediately, but eventually the States will decide that churches do not have the right to perform marriages unless they marry any who ask. Performing a marriage is a legal function, after all. They will not technically force a church to perform a marriage. The church will just not qualify as a legal representative of the State. Local governments will go further and restrict zoning for churches. There will be no picnics in public parks. When the day comes that only a few hold out, the sanctions will become harsher.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 26, 2013 1:55 p.m.

    Some of the claims about temple marriage rules that have been included here are just silly. The fact is that the first sealing involving a couple where one was black done in the temple involved a black man and a non-black woman. There have never been any policies that would have allowed sealing to a person of one race, but not another.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 26, 2013 3:42 p.m.

    @Contrariusier

    "Jesus never said a single word against homosexuals… In the whole New Testament, Paul is the only one who spoke against homosexuality."

    Christ’s audience were Jews who followed the Law of Moses and they already understood from the law that homosexuality was a sin. Why address the subject when his listeners knew it was sinful and carried the death penalty.

    As for Paul He saw the risen Lord and that experience changed his life. He became an apostle, a witness of Christ on earth. What he taught about homosexuality he knew was the truth. After seeing the living Christ would he preach a sermon on the subject if it were not the truth? I don’t think so. In his particular situation he was also a prophet.

    (And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. Num 12:6)

    If Paul was stating his own opinion it would have put his own salvation in jeopardy.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    What else can be done? How long do we have to live our entire lives based on the beliefs of others? Do we ever get the opportunity to live our lives the way that we feel is right? Because I know that God is fine with my relationship. I know it! I shouldn't have to wait because of the bigotry found in somebody else's religion!
    There was one person that mentioned being better than us and more worthy! Why do people feel such a need for that way of thinking? We live it everyday! There is so much that we go through that just shouldn't be. You know, it is so nice to know how you people feel! So nice! You have no clue! And you don't care! That much gets shoved down our throats. Every day somebody has to remind us of how bad we are. I would never dream of being such a judge of another person's life! Think about! Your always screaming about your right to believe. What you believe about us is wrong! Yet you chose to treat us as if we are garbage!

  • Contrariuserer mid-state, TN
    Aug. 26, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    @zoar63 --

    "Why address the subject when his listeners knew it was sinful and carried the death penalty."

    His audience also already knew that murder, theft, adultery, and other crimes were sins -- yet he had no trouble discussing them.

    (and btw, historians haven't actually been able to find any homosexuals who were put to death during that time period.)

    "After seeing the living Christ would he preach a sermon on the subject if it were not the truth?"

    Paul also supported slavery.

    Paul also thought that women were inferior to men.

    Paul also told everyone that it was better to remain single than to marry.

    Are all of those things true as well?

  • gratefulmouse san angelo, tx
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:44 p.m.

    I hope the LDS church hasnt changed their language...let them sue...what can they do throw us in jail...sorry but we dont gamble with our beliefs ...and no trade offs either..

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Aug. 27, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    @zoar63 --

    You said: "Why address the subject when his listeners knew it was sinful and carried the death penalty."

    His audience also already knew that murder, theft, adultery, and other crimes were sins -- yet he had no trouble addressing those, nonetheless.

    Jesus also specifically listed three types of men who should NOT marry women, WITHOUT condemning them: eunuchs who were born that way, men who have been castrated, and the religiously celibate. (Matthew 19:12)

    And as we know from ancient-language scholars: "in translations of ancient texts, 'eunuch' may refer to a man who is not castrated but who is impotent, celibate, or otherwise not inclined to marry and procreate." -- IOW, homosexuals.

    You said: "After seeing the living Christ would he preach a sermon on the subject if it were not the truth?"

    Paul also supported slavery.

    Paul also thought that women were inferior to men.

    Paul also told everyone that it was better to remain single than to marry.

    Paul also told everyone that they should never get divorced. He didn't even allow for divorces due to adultery, even though Jesus did.

    Was Paul right about all of these things as well?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    @Weberboy
    "That is why I am against legalizing gay marriage."

    Because the Bible says its wrong? We're not a theocracy and just like Sharia law is illegal, it's the same with Biblical law. If you want to ban gay marriage, you need a non-religious reason to do so. Otherwise, it's unconstitutional.

    That's why your side keeps losing court cases, they haven't presented an effective secular case.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:00 p.m.

    @Contrarius

    "Was Paul right about all of these things as well?"

    You tell me.

    I will give you a clue how you can find out.

    For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

    Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

    Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. 1Cor2:11-14
    See also 2 Pet 1:20-21



    And Paul was not the only one that spoke out against homosexuality Peter did also
    2Peter 2

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    Contrarius...I have a hard time believing that you believe 100% that Jesus Christ was perfectly fine with the act of homosexual sex. Just as He didn't use the word homosexual, he didn't ever say it was OK.

    It is so unbelievable to me that gays are still trying to persuade the world that not agreeing with or condoning their behavior means we hate them. It's such a tired old argument.

    Did your parents love you unconditionally? Did they support and agree with EVERYTHING you did while growing up? Nothing you did was against family rules??

    Just think about it and then stop with the "hate" rhetoric. It's ridiculous!

  • Contrariusest Nashville, TN
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    @zoar63 --

    "You tell me."

    Paul was a mortal man, and fallible. He was right about some things, wrong about others.

    So, zoar -- do you support slavery? Do you believe that women are inferior to men? Do you believe that it is better to remain single than to marry? Do you believe that people should never get divorced, no matter what?

    If you believe Paul was a prophet, then you must agree with ALL of his preachings.

    "Peter did also 2Peter 2"

    2 Peter 2 is about false prophets, not homosexuality.

    @O'really --

    "Just as He didn't use the word homosexual, he didn't ever say it was OK."

    He also never said that wearing pink is okay. So what?

    Jesus specifically listed three classes of men who should not marry women -- WITHOUT condemning them. As Jesus himself said, "The one who can accept this should accept it." (Matthew 19:12)

    "It is so unbelievable to me that gays are still trying to persuade the world that not agreeing with or condoning their behavior means we hate them. It's such a tired old argument."

    Pro-gay opinions don't kill people. Anti-gay opinions do.

    It's a pretty obvious contrast.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    Let them have what they want.

    It only speeds up the day He returns.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 28, 2013 3:21 p.m.

    @Contrariusest

    "So, zoar -- do you support slavery? Do you believe that women are inferior to men?"

    Of course not when Paul was alive it was a different world. His audience were gentiles basically Romans and Greeks and they supported the institution of slavery and also treated women as inferior to men. Paul was a Roman citizen if he had preached against slavery he would have probably found himself accused of inciting rebellion against the state and the government would have crucified him.

    "2 Peter 2 is about false prophets, not homosexuality."

    And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
    And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
    For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds (2Pet 2:6-8)

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Aug. 28, 2013 6:06 p.m.

    @zoar63 --

    "when Paul was alive it was a different world."

    Ahhhh, now we're getting somewhere.

    Yes, absolutely. When Paul was alive it was a different world. And that principle applies to his views on homosexuality as much as to any of his other preachings.

    Paul was a mortal man, and he was shaped by his mortal milieu. He spoke from his heart, but he didn't always speak eternal truths.

    "the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha"

    Sodom and Gomorrah was more about arrogance and inhospitality than anything else. It was only the Medieval Christian church that decided to pretend it was all about homosexuality.

    "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me." (Ezekiel 16.49-50)

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 28, 2013 11:34 p.m.

    Contrariusester

    God would not burn a city to ashes and everyone in it for arrogance and inhospitality but we will just have to agree to disagree.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Aug. 29, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    @zoar63 --

    "God would not burn a city to ashes and everyone in it for arrogance and inhospitality "

    Was Ezekiel lying?

    Here's various sins attributed to Sodom and Gomorrah in the New Testament. Some of the sins are sexual, but none of them specify homosexuality.

    Was Jeremiah lying? -- adultery and lying (Jeremiah 23:14)
    Was Matthew lying? -- impenitence (Matthew 11:23)
    Was Luke lying? -- careless living (Luke 17:28)
    Was Jude lying? -- fornication (Jude 1:7), lasciviousness (Jude 1:4)
    Was Peter lying? -- "filthy" lifestyle (2 Peter 2:7), lasciviousness (1 Peter 4:3), wantonness (Peter 2:18)

    None of these guys singled out homosexuality. Were they all lying?

    And even in law today, the term "sodomy" actually refers to acts which are just as easily enjoyed by straight couples as by gay couples.

    So in any case -- we're back to the fact that Paul is the only one in the New Testament who condemned homosexuality.

    And Paul was a fallible mortal man.

    And Jesus specifically told us the three classes of men who should not marry women -- without condemnation.

    And one of those classes included men who were "born that way".

    Guess who that means.

  • Wyomingnative Wilson, WY
    Sept. 5, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    This fear that is sweeping over so many Christian denominations who are opposed to marriage equality is ridiculous. As a gay man I would never seek for a marriage to my husband in a Church that does not accept us. That would be ludicrous. There are many LGBT affirming Christian Churches out there who do perform same sex weddings. That's why my husband and I chose an Evangelical Lutheran minister to marry us in a state (Connecticut) where marriage equality is legal. The Evangelical Luteran Church is LGBT affirming. There are many other mainstream Christian Churches who are LGBT affirming.

    This article paints the conservative Christian groups who do not support marriage equality as being victimized or potentially victimized and LGBT people as being the victimizers. That is an incredibly sad and fear-based. Also the case in NM has nothing to do with religion. The LDS Church and all other Churches in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington are just fine with their religious freedoms being protected. That's not laughable, that's just simple reality outside of the Utah bubble.