Dallin H Oaks same sex marriage

Dallin H Oaks same sex marriage - Dallin H Oaks Religious...

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Dallin H. Oaks Religious Freedom Diluted by Other “Civil Rights” A second threat to religious freedom is from those who perceive it to be in conflict with the newly alleged “civil right” of same-gender couples to enjoy the privileges of marriage. We have endured a wave of media-reported charges that the Mormons are trying to “deny” people or “strip” people of their “rights.” After a significant majority of California voters (seven million — over 52 percent) approved Proposition 8’s limiting marriage to a man and a woman, some opponents characterized the vote as denying people their civil rights. In fact, the Proposition 8 battle was not about civil rights, but about what equal rights demand and what religious rights protect. At no time did anyone question or jeopardize the civil right of Proposition 8 opponents to vote or speak their views. The real issue in the Proposition 8 debate — an issue that will not go away in years to come and for whose resolution it is critical that we protect everyone’s freedom of speech and the equally important freedom to stand for religious beliefs — is whether the opponents of Proposition 8 should be allowed to change the vital institution of marriage itself. The marriage union of a man and a woman has been the teaching of the Judeo-Christian scriptures and the core legal definition and practice of marriage in Western culture for thousands of years. Those who seek to change the foundation of marriage should not be allowed to pretend that those who defend the ancient order are trampling on civil rights. The supporters of Proposition 8 were exercising their constitutional right to defend the institution of marriage — an institution of transcendent importance that they, along with countless others of many persuasions, feel conscientiously obliged to protect. Religious freedom needs defending against the claims of newly asserted human rights. The so- called “Yogyakarta Principles,” published by an international human rights group, call for governments to assure that all persons have the right to practice their religious beliefs regardless of sexual orientation or identity. [xiv] This apparently proposes that governments require church practices and their doctrines to ignore gender differences. Any such effort to have governments
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