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Elder Wickman: Gay marriage battle endangering religious voices

As the battle over same-sex marriage winds its way through the federal courts, the fundamental right to voice religious beliefs in political debates is seriously endangered, said Elder Lance B. Wickman.

Elder Wickman, an attorney for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, made the remarks Thursday as part of the 2010 J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference at the University of Utah.

"I believe that the greatest challenge faced by the church," Elder Wickman said, "is the challenge to religious liberty that is growing worldwide. … A battle is looming over the effort to acquire civil social rights at the expense of civil religious rights. This battle, I believe, represents the acceleration of a disturbing slide downward in the law regarding the place of religion in the public square."

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