The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took the position it did on the United States Respect for Marriage Act (signed into law in December 2022) because of the law’s “necessary protections for religious freedom.”
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So said President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency at a Saturday morning meeting (February 11, 2023) with local Church leaders and their spouses in Chicago, Illinois.
The Respect for Marriage Act includes “valuable provisions to assure that no federal or state laws [can] be used to harm the religious or conscience rights of faith-based institutions or their members,” President Oaks said. “In the end, the total law ensures that religious organizations, religious schools, and their staff do not have to perform or host same-sex marriages or celebrations. It protects the tax-exempt status of religious organizations. It protects the grants, licenses, contracts, and accreditation of religious schools. And it specifically provides that its own provisions cannot be used to violate anyone’s rights to religious freedom. Putting such protections in the federal law was a big step forward.”
You can read more about President Oaks’s address on Church Newsroom and watch highlights from his message in the Instagram player below.