Mor­mon leader reaf­firms faith’s gay-marriage op­po­si­tion

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS -

SALT LAKE CITY — A top Mor­mon leader reaf­firmed the re­li­gion’s op­po­si­tion to same-sex marriage Satur­day dur­ing a church con­fer­ence — and re­minded fol­low­ers watch­ing around the world that chil­dren should be raised in fam­i­lies led by a mar­ried man and wo­man no mat­ter what becomes the norm in a “de­clin­ing world.”

The speech by Dallin Oaks, a mem­ber of a top govern­ing body called the Quo­rum of the Twelve Apostles, fol­lowed a push in re­cent years by The Church of Je­sus Christ of Lat­ter­day Saints to up­hold the­o­log­i­cal op­po­si­tion to gay marriage amid wide­spread so­cial ac­cep­tance while trying to fos­ter an em­pa­thetic stance to­ward LGBT peo­ple.

The Mor­mon church is one of many con­ser­va­tive faith groups nav­i­gat­ing the chal­lenges that arise from trying to strike a bal­ance.

“We have wit­nessed a rapid and in­creas­ing public ac­cep­tance of co­hab­i­ta­tion with­out marriage and same-sex marriage. The cor­re­spond­ing me­dia ad­vo­cacy, ed­u­ca­tion, and even oc­cu­pa­tional re­quire­ments pose dif­fi­cult chal­lenges for Lat­ter-day Saints,” Oaks said. “We must try to bal­ance the com­pet­ing de­mands of fol­low­ing the gospel law in our per­sonal lives and teach­ings even as we seek to show love for all.”

Oaks ac­knowl­edged that this be­lief can put Mor­mons at odds with fam­ily and friends and doesn’t match cur­rent laws, in­clud­ing the re­cent le­gal­iza­tion of gay marriage in the United States.

But he told the nearly 16 mil­lion mem­bers watch­ing around the world that the re­li­gion’s 1995 doc­u­ment de­tail­ing the doc­trine — “The Fam­ily: A Procla­ma­tion to the World” — isn’t’ a pol­icy statement that will be changed.

Church lead­ers use the con­fer­ence to de­liver spir­i­tual guid­ance to mem­bers.

JAHI CHIKWENDIU/THE WASH­ING­TON POST

2 move­ments, 1 mes­sage: The March for Racial Jus­tice and the March for Black Women held in­de­pen­dent ral­lies in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., on Satur­day be­fore con­verg­ing on the Mall as part of an ef­fort to spot­light racial in­jus­tices, espe­cially those fac­ing black women.

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