Mormon leader reaffirms faith’s gay-marriage opposition
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.
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