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Voting for doctrine
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Brock Brown asks us to leave religion out of the debate about same-sex civil marriage, but Natalie Abendroth says people's votes are guided by their deepest core beliefs ("Keep religion out of it" and "Faith-based political views," Forum, July 13). A church's doctrine should not be imposed on others, and everyone should have as much opportunity to flourish as that society can offer.

Simply, gays and lesbians would have more opportunity to flourish if same-sex civil marriage were legalized, and this added opportunity would not subtract from anyone else's.

The LDS Church's letter urging its members to support California's proposed marriage amendment uses the language of church doctrine ("ordained of God," "Creator's plan" and "sacred institution") that should not be the basis of civil or constitutional law that will be imposed on all. The letter alludes to non-religious concerns ("strengthening families" and "children are entitled to be born within this bond of marriage"), but same-sex marriage would neither weaken families nor cause more out-of-wedlock births.

Let's debate issues on their merits and not vote for doctrine just because it's doctrine.

Robert Dow

South Salt Lake City

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