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Utah's faith leaders sound off on gay-marriage rulings
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"The Supreme Court's decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is disappointing. While civil law establishes societal standards of conduct, we must also consider the natural law, moral law and divine revelation. It is from these fonts of wisdom and grace that we Catholics understand that marriage between one man and one woman is a gift to humanity. The blessings of such a marriage cannot be legislated, litigated or changed by civil authorities. I acknowledge that there are those who disagree with the traditional definition of marriage and that their lives are affected by such decisions as made today by the Supreme Court. At the same time, I affirm that marriage is a sacred and precious gift to humankind, a gift that is inviolable and unalterable, given to us by the creator for the good of the individual, the family and the fulfillment of human beings, all of whom are created in God's image and likeness."

— The Rev. John C. Wester, bishop Salt Lake City's Catholic Diocese

"I am joyful that the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act and its discrimination against same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Gay and lesbian people are members of our families, congregations and communities. They raise children, celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. They rent apartments, own homes and pay taxes. They contribute and support the well-being of our state and country. They are people who are made in the image of God. I will continue to welcome them into The Episcopal Church.

"I am well aware that others believe that the action of the Supreme Court is wrong. For these people, these decisions are a cause for upset, unhappiness and frustration. My happiness is tempered with this knowledge. Understanding, compassion and prayer for people who deplore this decision is important. They, too, are made in the image of God. I will be offering my prayers for them and I will continue to welcome them into The Episcopal Church.

— The Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah

"As someone who supports 'biblical marriage,' as I would call it, I'm disappointed in both Supreme Court decisions. I am discouraged, no doubt about it. It's a painful and hard day. I do believe in a moral nation and my morality is based on my faith. Mine is a different belief system from those have prevailed today. We have a great challenge before us because of strong and polar opposite views on how to define marriage. ... If gay marriage becomes law of the land in 50 states, at some point as a pastor am I going to be told I can't speak out about something I think is morally wrong? Will that liberty be taken from pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, Mormon bishops? I trust that the Christian community will continue to be loving and kind to those in gay community, but we will also continue to affirm what we believe about the nature of marriage."

— The Rev. Greg Johnson, president of Standing Together, a group of Utah's evangelical pastors, but speaking on his own behalf

"By ruling that supporters of Proposition 8 lacked standing to bring this case to court, the Supreme Court has highlighted troubling questions about how our democratic and judicial system operates. Many Californians will wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong when their government will not defend or protect a popular vote that reflects the views of a majority of their citizens.

"In addition, the effect of the ruling is to raise further complex jurisdictional issues that will need to be resolved.

"Regardless of the court decision, the church remains irrevocably committed to strengthening traditional marriage between a man and a woman, which for thousands of years has proven to be the best environment for nurturing children. Notably, the court decision does not change the definition of marriage in nearly three-fourths of the states."

— Michael Otterson, spokesman for the LDS Church

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