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Mormon church comes out in support of same-sex marriage law


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A huge kudos to the Church.  Heartening to see how far it's leaders and members have come. 

The Church's actions are in keeping with a September 2022 poll showing broad support among Utahn's for marriage equality for same-sex couples:

Do Utahns support same-sex marriage?

As the Senate considers legislation to protect same-sex marriage a new poll shows nearly three-fourths of Utahns support legal same-sex marriage.

The new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics survey found 72% of residents agree that marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages. The poll shows 23% disagree, while 5% don’t know.

“For a state that less than 20 years ago passed laws and a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, there has been a seismic shift in opinion,” said Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.

When same-sex marriage became recognized in Utah in 2014 — a year ahead of the Supreme Court decision — it had support from less than half of Utahns. A January 2014 Deseret News/KSL poll amid the legal battle and contentious public debate over the issue found a majority of Utahns (57%) opposed same-sex marriage.

“Now, it has majority support from nearly every group across the political, demographic and religious spectrum,” Perry said.

The Desere

Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, said he’s not surprised to see that a majority of Utahns now support marriage equality.

“Utah is a pro-family state, and we recognize that families come in all shapes and sizes. When we see loving, committed couples joining in matrimony, our natural impulse is to support and encourage that love. This gives me great hope for the future,” he said.

Williams said he also hopes Utah Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney will follow the example of their congressional colleagues in the House and vote in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act, “so that all Utah families will be protected by state and federal law.” 

RPoll results come amid negotiations in the Senate over the Respect for Marriage Act, which the House passed in July with 47 Republicans, Utah’s four GOP congressmen among them, joining all Democrats in supporting the bill.

 

Edited by Daniel2
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https://www.ksl.com/article/50518688/latter-day-saint-leaders-express-support-for-amended-same-sex-marriage-bill
 

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same-sex marriage bill awaiting action in the Senate has gotten a religious freedom-focused makeover from a bipartisan group of senators, according to Politico.

Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.; and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., worked together to try to quiet fears that the Respect for Marriage Act would harm people of faith who object to same-sex marriage.

The group "worked with their Senate colleagues and stakeholders to develop an amendment to the House-passed bill to confirm that the bill will not lead to the recognition of polygamous unions and has no negative impact on religious liberty and conscience protections," explains a fact sheet on the updated bill provided by Politico.

Like the original version of the Respect for Marriage Act, the new bill aims to ensure federal recognition of same-sex marriages that take place in states where such unions are legal. But it would do so while explicitly protecting people of faith and faith-based nonprofits.

 

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I have no problems with this.  In fact I would like to expand rights.  If we fought a "war" to have agency in this life we should promote liberty.  Not only should same sex marriage be legal but prostitution, drugs, and anything else that people want to do.   As long as our choices do not infringe on the rights of others, everything should be legal.  We should be free to make our choices and accept the accountability before God of the choices we make.

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wow.  I honestly didn't see that happening.  Congratulations to Church leaders for respecting the right to marry for gay couples.

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3 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

The Camel’s Nose. The Church should stay neutral. 

Indeed. If we just waited for SCOTUS to decide that gay marriages and interracial marriages are also not constitutionally protected since they were decided on similar ground as Roe vs. Wade and agree the decision should be left to the states we could kill two birds with one stone. One could be married in Utah but not in Idaho. What fun!!!

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6 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

Mormon church comes out in support of same-sex marriage law

 
Associated Press

I think the proposed law is a step in the right direction; though I do wonder if the law would have any applicability on the States if it is determined by SCOTUS that marriage is not protected by the Federal Constitution.

Thank you for sharing the article.

Edited by provoman
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2 minutes ago, provoman said:

I think the proposed law is a step in the right direction; though I do wonder if the law would have any applicability on the States if it is determined by SCOTUS that marriage is not protected by the Federal Constitution.

Thank you for sharing the article.

Wouldn’t matter as much at that point. At that point SCOTUS wouldn’t be determining whether marriage is protected by the constitution. SCOTUS would instead have to decide that the federal government can’t regulate marriage at all and any such regulation is against the constitution.

This is why pro-choice people have been advocating for years for a federal statute protecting abortion rights in case Roe v. Wade was ever overturned.

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Seems to be consistent with the church's posture about letting government do their thing so long as they leave churches alone to do theirs without any sort of reprisal. That's fine by me.

Interestingly, I noticed that the compromise changes which were added to help secure a veto proof majority included a stipulation clarifying that the federal government is not required (nor authorized) to recognize polygamous marriages. Under the original version of the RMA, the government would indeed have been obligated to recognized polygamous marriages should a state decide to legalize them.

Now, to be clear, I don't believe the RMA wouldn't be a complete substitute for Obergefell should the Supreme Court ever decide to overrule it in the future, but it would be a significant aid. And that's a good thing in my book.

 

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12 hours ago, JustAnAustralian said:

That might be more applicable to the 2015 "Utah Compromise". 

To me this legislation reads just like a bit of fairly uninteresting law, but that's because in Australia marriage is part of federal law not state law so something like this would never be needed in the first place.

 

Stay neutral on law that means marriage in one state will be recognised in the next state over? There's nothing to stay neutral on. That's just common sense.


Hypothetical: A state makes a law that all marriages must be performed in a place that is open to the public (such is the case with the UK). This would mean that without his law, the "temple marriages" of Utah tourists, could be deemed to be not valid if the state decided to do that.

I agree, I think the underlying rationale for the support, at this stage, concerns protection of government protected, marriage-related material benefits under the law.

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10 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

I have no problems with this.  In fact I would like to expand rights.  If we fought a "war" to have agency in this life we should promote liberty. 

That sounds wonderful.  In practice, though, "liberty" is a pretty broad concept.

10 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

Not only should same sex marriage be legal but prostitution, drugs, and anything else that people want to do.

Regarding prostitution, do you see a viable way of "regulating" it by the government? 

It seems like stringent regulation would often result in the status quo (illegal prostitution, akin to the situation with marijuana in jurisdictions which heavily regulate it).

Also, would regulation increase or decrease human trafficking, pimping, and other related crimes?  See, e.g., here:

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The idea that legalizing or decriminalizing commercial sex would reduce its harms is a persistent myth. Many claim if the sex trade were legal, regulated, and treated like any other profession, it would be safer. But research suggests otherwise. Countries that have legalized or decriminalized commercial sex often experience a surge in human trafficking, pimping, and other related crimes.

Prostitution, regardless of whether it’s legal or not, involves so much harm and trauma it cannot be seen as a conventional business.

Prostitution and human trafficking are forms of gender-based violence.

Legalizing or decriminalizing prostitution has not decreased the prevalence of illegal prostitution.

Legalization or decriminalization has not reduced the stigma faced by prostituted people.

Legalization or decriminalization increases human trafficking.

Attempts to regulate prostitution have failed and adherence is low.

Legalization and decriminalization promotes organized crime.

The Nordic Model (criminalizing the act of buying sex, but legalizing the act of selling sex) has lowered the prevalence of street prostitution.

The Nordic Model has prevented an increase in prostitution overall.

Prostituted individuals often come from vulnerable populations and lack other options, while most sex buyers do not.

It seems like attempting to thread the "Nordic Model" needle may not be worth the attendant risks and costs.

Regarding the legalization of "drugs," I think we can look to Oregon, which in 2020 became "the first state to decriminalize small amounts of heroin and other street drugs."  The results seem to be . . . mixed, with the bad parts being pretty bad.  See, e.g., here:

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But five months since decriminalization went into effect, the voter-mandated experiment is running into the hard realities of implementation. Realizing the measure's promise has sharply divided the recovery community, alienated some in law enforcement and left big questions about whether the Legislature will fully fund the measure's promised expansion of care.

Even many recovery leaders here who support ending the criminalization of addiction are deeply concerned the state basically jumped off the decriminalization cliff toward a fractured, dysfunctional and underfunded treatment system that's not at all ready to handle an influx of more people seeking treatment.

Advocates for decriminalization "don't understand the health care side, and they don't understand recovery," says Mike Marshall, co-founder and director of the group Oregon Recovers.

"Our big problem is our health care system doesn't want it, is not prepared for it, doesn't have the resources for it and honestly doesn't have the leadership to begin to incorporate that [expanded treatment]," says Marshall, who is in long-term recovery himself.

And here:

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Decriminalization doesn’t appear to be leading to a rise in drug-related crime, such as property crime. Property crimes in the state actually decreased this year, according to data provided by the criminal justice commission and the judicial department. 

It’s less clear whether decriminalization has led more people to seek help for substance use disorders. 

Defendants failed to show up in court to make their case against about half of 1,300 citations issued through September for possession of small amounts of drugs, according to the Oregon Judicial Department. In only seven cases did defendants submit a health assessment to get their fines waived.

To critics of the new law, the seldom-used hotline proves that decriminalization isn’t working. Only 51 people have called so far, noted Republican state Sen. Lynn Findley, the assistant minority leader. The Oregonian first reported the hotline statistics.

“People aren’t curbing their behavior, they aren’t paying attention to [the citations], they’re just ignoring them,” Findley said of Measure 110.
...

Oregon’s rate of substance use disorder is among the highest in the country, according to federal estimates. As of 2019, only adults living in Colorado, Vermont and Washington, D.C., experienced drug or alcohol dependence at higher rates.

Clinical treatment programs in the state have long been overstretched. Now they’re offering even fewer inpatient beds and detox opportunities, because of an ongoing worker shortage, pandemic-era social distancing rules and other financial stressors. 

“Unfortunately, we’re in the middle of two things: COVID and a workforce exodus,” said Heather Jefferis, executive director of the Oregon Council for Behavioral Health, a trade group for clinical treatment providers. “I’m not even going to call it a crisis anymore, I’m going to call it an exodus.” 

And here:

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State health officials have reported 473 unintentional opioid overdose deaths from January to August 2021, the most recent month for which statistics are available, with the vast majority of those occurring after decriminalization took effect. That narrowly surpasses the total for all of 2020, and is nearly 200 deaths more than the state saw in all of 2019. The state reports that opioid overdose visits to emergency rooms and urgent care centers have also been on the rise.

And here:

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Keith Humphreys is an expert in the prevention and treatment of addiction. He told Oregon lawmakers recently that the state's drug policy encourages drug use and has no deterrents. 

"Addicted people usually do not seek treatment and recovery without external pressure from family, friends, employers, health care providers or the law. Why does this matter? It matters because Oregon has removed all legal pressure to stop drug use and seek treatment. Because many addicted people are not working or in touch with their family, those pressures to stop using drugs and alcohol are absent from their lives," Humphreys said. 
...
He laid out Oregon's situation in stark terms. 

"Because the West Coast has an individualistic culture with a tolerance for substance abuse, social pressures to seek treatment are often minimal. So on the one hand, we have highly rewarding drugs which are widely available. On the other hand, little or no pressure to stop using them. Under those conditions we should expect to see exactly what Oregon is experiencing. Extensive drug use, extensive addiction and not much treatment seeking."
...
Most who are issued tickets ignore them, according to Dr. Todd Korthuis, head of addiction medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. 

"The original plan to ticket people who use drugs and have them call a treatment hotline has not worked. Of over 3,000 tickets issued as of the end of this summer, the hotline received 137 calls for treatment, most of whom weren't looking for treatment. They were looking for screening for legal purposes," said Korthuis. 

He added, "Only 1% of those issued a ticket for drug possession requested information about treatment resources. In my discussions with treatment leaders around the state, not one has had any patient enroll in treatment due to these tickets."
...
Humphreys spoke to lawmakers about Portugal, which decriminalized user amounts of drugs long before Oregon. 

"Now its worth noting that Portugal, which is often cited as the inspiration for Oregon's drug policy, places heavy social and legal pressure on addicted people to seek treatment. The open use and flagrant drug dealing that we see in West Coast cities in this country are virtually absent in Portugal, which shuts them down and uses court pressure to get them in to treatment. I've spent a lot of time in Portugal and I know the people who designed their policy, so please take it from me: Oregon is not following Portugal's example and will not get its results."

And here:

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The streets of downtown Portland, Oregon, resemble an open-air drug market. 

Heroin, meth and fentanyl use is rampant and often visible on city streets. Portland police officers drive by homeless addicts buying and using. 

The signs of drug addiction are actually increasing throughout the state, according to law enforcement sources. Oregon ranks second-highest among U.S. states for substance abuse with nearly one in five adults addicted.  
...
Sixteen months into this first-in-the-nation experiment, the numbers paint a bleak picture. Drug overdose deaths hit an all-time high in 2021 with 1069, a 41% increase from 2020. And very few people are getting into treatment. According to The Lund Report, after one year, just 136 people had entered treatment, less than 1% of those helped by Measure 110. But the actual number may be even lower.
...

Mike Marshall, co-founder and director of Oregon Recovers, is not surprised by the dismal treatment numbers following implementation of Measure 110. 

"It was never designed to reduce our addiction rates, so it was never designed to deal with our addiction crisis," Marshall says, "It was always meant to deal with the war on drugs."

Oregon’s war on drugs may be over, but other crimes are on the rise and keeping police busy. 

"What we’re absolutely seeing is that as drug possession has been decriminalized, property crimes have increased and so has violent crime," said District Attorney Kevin Barton of Washington County, Oregon. Police in rural parts of Oregon also tell Fox News they are seeing more theft as people steal to feed their addiction. 

Portland, the state’s largest city, set an all-time record with 90 murders in 2021. Police in Multnomah County link these to Measure 110, saying there's been a rise in homicides tied to drug turf wars between gangs. 

And here:

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In 2020, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize possession of drugs, including hard drugs. Portland district attorney Michael Schmidt gleefully announced that his office would immediately stop prosecuting drug possession even before the law went into effect, saying, “Past punitive drug policies and laws resulted in over-policing of diverse communities, heavy reliance on correctional facilities and a failure to promote public safety and health.” Less than two years later, Oregon is suffering through the predictable results of this experiment: overdoses are skyrocketing, violent crime is rising, and virtually nobody is getting treatment.
...
On the issue of reducing addiction and overdoses, Oregon’s decriminalization of drug use has been a tragic failure. 
Overdose deaths rose by over 33 percent in Oregon in 2021, the year after the law was passed, compared with a rise of 15 percent in the rest of the United States. As for the claim that the law would provide a pathway to treatment for addicts, less than 1 percent of the people eligible for treatment under Measure 110—a paltry 136 people—ended up getting help. In fact, out of the 2,576 tickets written by police for drug possession, only 116 people called the help hotline to get the ticket waived, with the vast majority of the others choosing to pay the minimal fine instead. As Coelho warned, without the threat of incarceration and the mandatory court programs that come with an arrest, addicts seldom have any interest in getting treatment.
 

The impact of decriminalizing drugs did not stop with addiction and overdoses. Police in Portland report that all categories of crime jumped in reaction to Measure 110. Drug addicts need money; they got it by stealing items and reselling them, so property crimes rose. Once a drug market opens up, drug dealers move in to service it. As a result, the streets of Portland are awash in guns and drugs. With drug dealers battling for turf, gun violence increased. Portland recorded 90 homicides in 2021, shattering the old record for annual murders in the city. “We’ve seen more guns than we’ve ever seen in our investigations,” a Portland police supervisor bluntly stated. “Almost everybody is armed. . . . Criminal organizations are robbing other criminal organizations. That’s kind of our big push right now—trying to stop the gun violence and the drug violence that goes with it, because they’re hand in hand. It’s not one or the other. It’s not related to the pandemic, it’s not related to Covid, it’s because we have a criminal environment that’s tolerated and allowed to flourish here.”

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once noted that “a state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Oregon has chosen to run a novel social experiment in decriminalizing hard drugs. Let’s hope the other 49 states are paying attention to the results.

The "Portugal" model may be worth some consideration.

10 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

As long as our choices do not infringe on the rights of others, everything should be legal. 

The caveat ("as long as our choices do not infringe on the rights of others") swallows rule ("everything should be legal").

It is precisely because things like prostitution and drug use do end up "infring{ing} on the rights of others" that they generally remain criminalized.  Look at the above comments about the experiment in Oregon.

Legalize drugs -> more accidental deaths  -> massive emotional toll on family and friends, society is deprived of a citizen/worker/taxpayer, etc.

Legalize drugs -> more gun violence and gang activity  -> more deaths, more injuries, etc.

Legalize drugs -> more drug use -> more impairment of citizens/workers/taxpayers, increased costs in terms of treatment, etc.

Legalize drugs -> more need for $ by users -> increase in property crimes.

Neither prostitution nor drug use is a "victimless" activity.  The costs for them are pretty horrible.

10 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

We should be free to make our choices and accept the accountability before God of the choices we make.

Isn't that pretty much already the state of things?  

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, Amulek said:

Seems to be consistent with the church's posture about letting government do their thing so long as they leave churches alone to do theirs without any sort of reprisal. That's fine by me.

Same here.  The threat to civil liberties - particularly religious liberty - seems to be mitigated by this efforts.

Not every party interested in religious liberty is taking the Church's position, though.  Consider this press release dated 11/15 from the Religious Freedom Institute:

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The U.S. Senate is preparing to vote, as early as tomorrow, on the “Respect for Marriage Act” (RMA). According to a statement the Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) sent to key senators last month urging opposition to the bill, the RMA:

would deal a devastating blow to religious freedom in America, even if it included proposed amendments [which the current bill now does] that purport to protect religious freedom, but in fact do not. It represents a dangerous authoritarian turn by Congress and the administration that would extend the power of government well beyond its constitutional role and harm the fundamental freedoms of all Americans.

The RFI statement continues:

Passing the RMA would mean that the U.S. government has arrogated to itself an authority it does not possess… [by]…attempting to dismantle and remake an institution that existed long before the state, that is, marriage and the family produced by marriage.

Even in its amended form, which claims to protect the religious liberty of dissenters: 

the premise of the RMA [remains], namely that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is akin to racism. That claim is not only false but profoundly disingenuous. The vast majority of Americans, including those who are religious, do not oppose interracial marriage. There is no real or perceived threat to marriage based on race in any state in America.

I am also curious, however, how this law will affect individuals such as Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop fame.  More f

Quote

 

{T}he RMA would require federal recognition of any single state’s definition of marriage without any additional limitations. It would also invite lawsuits against religious individuals, organizations, and businesses that operate according to their religious conviction that marriage is a union of one man and one woman and that also act “under color of state law.” 

The phrase “under color of state law” in the RMA is quite dangerous to religious freedom. It significantly increases the risk of liability for any private organization that does not fully recognize and implement practices affirming “same-sex marriage” if that organization: (1) participates in a joint activity with a state, (2) serves a function traditionally performed by the government, or (3) maintains operations that are entwined with government policies. These criteria are so broad that they could sweep up any organization that dissents from the new state-enforced definition of marriage. 

The RMA, furthermore, would imperil the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status of religious organizations that hold to their convictions about marriage as the union of husband and wife. 

“This law would intentionally subject millions of religious Americans, and the tens of thousands of religious institutions they represent, to ruinous lawsuits in federal courts,” said RFI President Tom Farr. “This tragic result would be unjust. It would undermine the most dynamic and compassionate, non-governmental civil society in history, one comprised of the entire spectrum of American religions – from Jewish schools, to Muslim health clinics, to Christian homes for the aged and dying, to countless others that bring hope for the marginalized and desperate. Those who devote their lives to these ministries are lovers, not haters.”

 

Here is a link to the full press release.  It includes some proposed language to be added to the RMA:

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Though the “Respect for Marriage Act” should be rejected in full, inserting into its text the following religious liberty protections would mitigate some of its worst consequences. However, even with these protections, the lesson for America’s youth that proponents of marriage as the union of one man and one woman are haters, bigots, and racists would remain.

1. No American citizen or organization may be compelled under “color of State law” to perform, engage in, or support in any manner same-sex or transgender forms of “marriage.”

2. No American citizen, religious community, or religious organization shall be subject to penalties of law under the RMA for refusing to recognize and affirm same-sex or transgender forms of “marriage.”

3. The RMA shall not restrict or preclude any First Amendment protections for religious free exercise afforded to every American and every American religious institution, or the protections afforded under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

4. No American citizen or organization, including religious citizens and religious organizations, may be subject to a private right of action under the RMA for refusing to perform, engage in, or support in any manner same-sex or transgender forms of “marriage.”

5. Nonprofit religious organizations, nonprofit organizations that exist to advance religion in society, faith-based businesses, and any owner or employee of such an organization or business, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges in support of same-sex or transgender forms of “marriage” if such actions would constitute a violation of conscience or a sincerely held religious belief and abrogate the core principles or beliefs upon which the business or organization is established.

(This provision addresses Sec. 6(b) and the issues of employment practices, to include hiring, firing, and employee conduct codes, and faith-based businesses providing goods or services – e.g., cases such as Arlene’s Flowers, Masterpiece Cakeshop, etc.)

6. No therapeutic or religious counselor, including medical counselors, clergy, military chaplains, or spiritual counselors, whose assistance is sought by an individual or couple contemplating a same-sex or transgender form of “marriage,” shall be subject to legal action under the RMA for expressing their best judgment as professional counselors.

(While no protections related to counselors are currently included in the text or amended text, they should be since counseling is a standard professional service often sought out by couples planning to marry or who are already married.)

The Church's Newsroom item on this story is pretty vague, stating only that "the Respect for Marriage Act includes appropriate religious freedom protections while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters."

This article references a proposed amendment to the RMA that its authors characterize as containing "'commonsense language to confirm that this legislation fully respects and protects Americans' religious liberties and diverse beliefs, while leaving intact the core mission of the legislation to protect marriage equality.'"  It goes on to describe the amendment:

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The bipartisan amendment unveiled Monday ensures nonprofit religious organizations will not be required to provide services, facilities or goods for the celebration of a same-sex marriage, and protects religious liberty and conscience protections available under the Constitution and federal law, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It also makes clear the bill does not authorize the federal government to recognize polygamous marriage and safeguards any benefit or status — such as tax-exemptions, grants, contracts or educational funding — of an entity so long as it does not arise from a marriage. 

Here is a link to what I understand to be the proposed amendment.  A few observations:

The section entitled "No Impact on Religious Liberty and Conscience" is worth examination.  It creates protections for "nonprofit religious organizations, including churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, nondenominational ministries, interdenominational and ecumenical organizations, mission organizations, faith-based social agencies, religious educational institutions, and nonprofit entities whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion, and any employee of such an organization."

The protections for the foregoing entities is pretty solid. 

  • The foregoing organizations and their employees "shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage."
  • The foregoing organizations and their employees are protected from "any civil claim or cause of action" for "{a}ny refusal under this subsection to provide such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges."

It looks like pretty much everyone is protected by the next section ("Statutory Prohibition"), which states that nothing in the RMA "shall be construed to deny or alter any benefit, status, or right of an otherwise eligible entity or person, including tax-exempt status, tax treatment, educational funding, or a grant, contract, agreement, guarantee, loan, scholarship, license, certification, accreditation, claim, or defense, provided such benefit, status, or right does not arise from a marriage."

1 hour ago, Amulek said:

Interestingly, I noticed that the compromise changes which were added to help secure a veto proof majority included a stipulation clarifying that the federal government is not required (nor authorized) to recognize polygamous marriages. Under the original version of the RMA, the government would indeed have been obligated to recognized polygamous marriages should a state decide to legalize them.

Yes, I noticed that as well.  I wonder if we will ever end up with a legislated legalization of polygamy.  I think legalization through judicial fiat is more likely.

1 hour ago, Amulek said:

Now, to be clear, I don't believe the RMA wouldn't be a complete substitute for Obergefell should the Supreme Court ever decide to overrule it in the future, but it would be a significant aid. And that's a good thing in my book.

I don't think Obergefell is in any danger.  

I think this quote from the article in the OP is noteworthy:

Thanks,

-Smac

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Haven't read the rest of the posts.  

 

I know what the House Bill on the subject says.    While the Church's press release does not mention it, it seems clear that the Church supports only the Senate version, which is materially different** from the House version and which will likely come up for a vote between now and Jan 2023. 

https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/download/respect-for-marriage-act-amendment-text

 

Here's the passed House version:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/8404/text?format=txt

 

** Including limiting marriage to two people, which does exclude polyamory, polygamy (none of the senators who are named in the Senate Amendment proposals are LDS but clearly there remain public outcry now some 140 years after the Edmunds Act) and human/animal ones?

Edited by rpn
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32 minutes ago, rpn said:

Haven't read the rest of the posts.  

 

I know what the House Bill on the subject says.    While the Church's press release does not mention it, it seems clear that the Church supports only the Senate version, which is materially different** from the House version and which will likely come up for a vote between now and Jan 2023. 

https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/download/respect-for-marriage-act-amendment-text

 

Here's the passed House version:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/8404/text?format=txt

 

** Including limiting marriage to two people, which does exclude polyamory, polygamy (none of the senators who are named in the Senate Amendment proposals are LDS but clearly there remain public outcry now some 140 years after the Edmunds Act) and human/animal ones?

Just read through it, the Congressional findings do not correspond to restrictions limiting marriage protection to only 2 people.

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You're probably reading the House version.    Not the Senate version (which I'm not sure has even yet been officially amended, just that the amendment language has been proposed.

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Why?  

Because the gay camel will come in and kick the guy inside out into the sandstorm.

Following the metaphor he is worried that straight people will end up in the bitter sandstorm like gay people are/were when they asked to be allowed to come inside.

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8 hours ago, rpn said:

Including limiting marriage to two people, which does exclude polyamory, polygamy (none of the senators who are named in the Senate Amendment proposals are LDS but clearly there remain public outcry now some 140 years after the Edmunds Act) and human/animal ones?

That's good. It seems to me that the effect of this bill is to allow the state with the broadest definition of marriage to set the terms for the nation. Somebody who enters [novel marriage structure X] in, say, California, would compel, say, South Dakota to recognize that marriage should they move there. It's easy to translate legally as long as it is two adults, but once you start expanding the number and type of legal entity allowed to enter into a civil marriage then the ramifications across many aspects of state law would cascade. 

If California legalizes polyamorous unions then a whole raft of changes to property rights, family court procedures, taxes, et al would ensue, and the House version would basically require all states to "prepare to receive" any novel marriage structure by amending their laws as soon as any state got experimental. Seems like a HORRID way to do federalism, if we can call this federalism at all. 

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From the Tribune:

Quote

‘Big deal,’ ‘unprecedented,’ ‘hate it’ — range of reactions to LDS Church’s support of same-sex marriage bill

It marks the first time the Utah-based faith has embraced civil same-sex marriage.

The Church's statement reiterates its stance on marriage ("{t}he doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints related to marriage between a man and a woman is well known and will remain unchanged") then states it is "grateful for the continuing efforts of those who work to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act includes appropriate religious freedom protections while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters," that "this approach is the way forward," that is, to "work together to preserve the principles and practices of religious freedom together with the rights of LGBTQ individuals," by which "much can be accomplished to heal relationships and foster greater understanding."

Not sure this is aptly summarized as the Church "embracing civil same-sex marriage."

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The response on every side was swift and passionate, with bloggers and tweeters weighing in.

Here is a sample.

“So why is it a big deal that the LDS Church came out in support? {It is} the first time the church has acknowledged the civil legitimacy of same-sex marriage.

I disagree with Sam here.  From back in 2014:

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage. During the church's semiannual General Conference on Saturday in Salt Lake City, one of the faith's top leaders addressed how members of the church should react to "the voice of the people" legalizing practices that the church opposes.

Without mentioning gay marriage specifically, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of church's Quorum of Twelve Apostles and a former Utah Supreme Court justice, said church members should "accept unfavorable results graciously, and practice civility." Oaks said Latter-day Saints should show goodwill toward all and reject persecution based on race, ethnicity, religious belief and sexual orientation.

From the Church Newsroom June 2015:

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"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today's ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court's decision does not alter the Lord's doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice."

From October 2015:

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Elder Oaks then provided some suggestions for fellow believers and others for those with non-religious values.

Believers, he said, should seek to harmonize divine and civil laws. They should not assert the free exercise of religion to override every law and government action that could possibly be interpreted to infringe on institutional or personal religious freedom.

They also will be more persuasive if they explain their positions in terms understandable to those who don't share their beliefs.

"None," he said, "should adopt an 'us vs. them' mentality."

Believers also should submit to a law once it is sustained by the highest available authority, he said.

"All government officers should exercise their civil authority according to the principles and within the limits of civil government," he added before commenting on Kim Davis:

"A county clerk's recent invoking of religious reasons to justify refusal by her office and staff to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples violates this principle."

Far worse, he said, are governors or attorneys general who refuse to enforce or defend a law they oppose on personal secular or religious grounds, a reference that could include the Obama administration's past refusal to defend DOMA and some conservative governors' refusal to abide by federal marriage rulings.

And here (full transcript of the above remarks) :

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Believers should also acknowledge the validity of constitutional laws. Even where they have challenged laws or practices on constitutional grounds, once those laws or practices have been sustained by the highest available authority, believers should acknowledge their validity and submit to them. It is better to try to live with an unjust law than to contribute to the anarchy that a young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln anticipated when he declared, “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.”

We should "acknowledge the validity of constitutional laws."

"{O}nce those laws ... have been sustained by the highest available authority, believers should acknowledge their validity and submit to them."

This is from seven years ago.

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In the past, the church has recognized some fundamental individual dignity of LGBTQ people, but made a normative argument against same-sex marriage. Here, it recognizes the legitimacy of such marriages and publicly supports legislation that requires that civil recognition. …The support of an institution that has historically opposed same-sex marriage sends a signal. That signal goes to members of the church, but it also goes to other institutions that have historically opposed same-sex marriage and to Mormon politicians and to Mormon and non-Mormon LGBTQ individuals. …The church’s response isn’t perfect. …But it definitely represents a step forward.”

— Law professor Sam Brunson, on By Common Consent

The Church "recognize{d} the {legal} legitimacy" of same-sex marriage years ago.

This one does better:

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While the church has acknowledged that the Supreme Court decision made marriage equality ‘the law of the land,’ supporting federal legislation that protects same-sex marriage is a significant move. In other ways, of course, it’s the same old story: The church is taking a pragmatic step.… Since 2015, the tide of public opinion has moved in favor of gay marriage … in September 2022, a poll by Deseret News & Hinckley Institute of Politics reported that 72% of Utahns supported legal protections for same-sex marriage. This battle has been lost.”

— Blogger “Elisa,” on Wheat & Tares

Yep.  

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“I understand folks’ unwillingness to acknowledge that the church can make changes for the better, but institutions are morally neutral — & an institution like the church is ultimately only as evil as the decisions it makes. This is a good decision. Not the end by any means — but good.”

 University of Utah student Calvin Burke

I wonder what he means by "not the end by any means."

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“Hate it — it provides a legal shield for loads of anti-LGBT discrimination by people and institutions (all in the name of ‘religious liberty’).”

— Aaron Y Nelson

I expect more of this.  For some, anything other than doctrinal capitulation by the Church will suffice (and likely not even then).

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“Religious exemptions are necessary when there is a separation of church & state. They’re not new. Examples: clothing, vaccinations, workers for certain jobs, wine for Mass, etc. We have freedom of religion & freedom to choose our beliefs b/c of said separation. This makes sense.”

— Camille Lynn Jaque

This is a reasonable stance.

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“There’s evidence in national data…[including] a sizable sample of Latter-day Saints and you can see the change over time. Latter-day Saints have moved on this issue of accepting gay marriage, where there is currently a majority of all Latter-day Saints who would say it’s OK. That’s particularly true among young Latter-day Saints. It’s something I see all the time as I interact with college students at BYU. I don’t see any opposition to the idea [of same-sex marriage] at all. They mostly shrug their shoulders and wonder what the big deal is. Part of it is that every single one of them has a friend from high school or a family member or somebody they know who is LGBT and they are as comfortable with it as they are with anyone else.”

— BYU political scientist Quin Monson, on “Mormon Land

I think many Latter-day Saints are "accepting gay marriage" in the same sense that we "accept" all sorts of things that do not specifically comport with our beliefs.  That is part and parcel of living in a pluralistic society.

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“Maintaining their position sitting on the fence. Acknowledging the federal right to marry — while reinforcing that they believe ‘real’ marriages should be between man/woman.”

— LaReesa Knight

Not sure how this is "sitting on the fence."

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“The church can no longer claim to be politically neutral. They have been moving left ever since the blowback from Prop 8 in California. Compromise will never be enough for the other side and support for this bill will eventually come back to bite the church.”

— Stan Lindsay

I think I understand this stance, but I don't agree with it.  I think "preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters" is more than just a purely legal issue.

Same-sex marriage is the law of the land.  A patchwork system where the legality of a marriage varies by jurisdiction, is unworkable.  The Church has reiterated its doctrinal/religious position, which is appropriate.  The Church has also acknowledged and submitted to the law of the land, and is endorsing a law that facilitates "preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters" without compromising on religious liberty (for the most part, anyway).

I believe the Church has mandates substantially more important than this particular issue.

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“I yearn for a future in which the @Ch_JesusChrist will recognize LGBTQ+ marriages. That’s — very clearly — not today; and I’m not sure it will ever happen (sadly). But I’ll take a small victory. (And a much needed shift from the dark Prop 8 days.)”

— John B. Holbein

I don't think "it will ever happen," either.  And I don't think that's "sad."

I also don't think the "Prop 8 days" were "dark."  To the contrary, I think the Church was right to proceed as it did.

This is, I think, the most correct summary regarding this development:

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“While this is clearly a very different approach from the one the church took during DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] and Prop 8, I actually don’t think this is very surprising or even that much of a shift from the church’s recent approach. …The top leaders’ approach to church and state and the Constitution is a little more nuanced: President [Dallin] Oaks, in particular, has repeatedly expressed the idea that part of the church’s belief in the rule of law is the idea that in the United States, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the meaning of the Constitution and that while we may disagree with its decisions, we are bound to respect them as the supreme law of the land. …So Obergefell means that gay people have a constitutional right to civil marriage in the United States, and with that settled, it is not all that surprising that the church would support legislation that reaffirms that right….The basic fact that gay people in the United States have a constitutional right to civil marriage is not something that the church appears to have any desire to challenge.”

 Attorney Jared Cook

This is curious:

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“It’s a stunning development but not an entirely surprising one. And I think perhaps the biggest takeaway is that it provides a model for how other similarly conservative religious institutions might act. I doubt that most of them follow suit. But I do think this position by the LDS Church affirms religious liberty in its best way and not how it is cynically used by most conservative religious actors these days. The LDS position announced today shows that marriage equality did not harm religious freedom — in fact, it did the opposite. The LDS Church can continue to oppose same-sex marriage and not perform them and it will, rightly, pay no legal price for that.”

— Neil J. Young

I wonder what he means by "religious liberty" being "cynically used."

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“14 years after Prop 8 & 7 years after the LDS Church labeled ppl in same-gender marriages apostates, they have come out in favor of legislation protecting same-sex marriage. I’m STUNNED.”

— A gay Latter-day Saint

I think the people who are "stunned" have been listening more to narratives about the Church (mostly from its critics/opponents) than to the Church itself.

Thanks,

-Smac

Link to comment
On 11/16/2022 at 4:33 PM, bluebell said:

Why?  

The camel’s nose. You may not realize this, but other internet fora are exploding over this. Basically they’re saying that the Church has de facto endorsed SSM.  Not true, of course, but it’s better just to be neutral. No reason to comment on any of this. 
 

Of course, the church doesn’t believe that anyone not sealed in the temple is not really married, anyway. Has made allowances for those not sealed. You can be civilly married and not sin, as long as it’s not same sex. 

Edited by mrmarklin
Link to comment
On 11/15/2022 at 11:06 PM, The Nehor said:

Indeed. If we just waited for SCOTUS to decide that gay marriages and interracial marriages are also not constitutionally protected since they were decided on similar ground as Roe vs. Wade and agree the decision should be left to the states we could kill two birds with one stone. One could be married in Utah but not in Idaho. What fun!!!

Literally nobody is talking about abolishing interracial marriage.  

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