When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its support of the Respect for Marriage Act, which is designed to codify same-sex marriage while safeguarding religions from embracing such unions in their policies and practices, many members, especially LGBTQ allies, rejoiced.
Not all of the faithful, however, agreed with the historic decision.
Paul Mero, former president of the conservative Sutherland Institute think tank, for one, says the Utah-based faith’s backing of LGBTQ rights in recent years led to this unwise and unnecessary move. And Stuart Reid, a former Army chaplain, state senator and public affairs representative for the church, says it’s misguided to tacitly endorse civil same-sex marriage when the practice is viewed doctrinally as an “abomination” to God.
Both argue that the church would be better off stepping away from politics and the nation’s culture wars.
On this week’s show, they discuss why the church should have stayed on the sideline on this topic, how it betrays Latter-day Saint teachings, how it confuses members and former allies, why the approach from apostle Dallin Oaks, first counselor in the governing First Presidency, advocating compromise on LGBTQ rights and religious liberties, is ill-advised, and what the global faith of 16.8 million members should be doing instead.