This morning the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 ruling that the Constitution guarantees all persons the right to marriage, including same-sex marriage. The decision is being hailed by many as a landmark civil rights victory.
Not by the LDS Church, however, which issued a short statement to reiterate its previously outlined position:
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court’s decision does not alter the Lord’s doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice.”
Not all Mormons agree with the Church’s official position on this issue, however, myself included. For me, receiving this news today was a blessed culmination of years of praying and writing about this issue. I want to take to the streets in joy! (However, I’m at a conference today and will only be able to squeeze in my celebrations in carefully prescribed fifteen-minute intervals between meetings. I’ll be the one having a Pride march from session to session.)
But . . . people! Marriage equality in every state in the United States of America! I have tears in my eyes. My friends who are LGBT will be able to marry, and have those marriages recognized, everywhere in our country. Their marriages will enjoy equal protection under the law.
The first responses are coming through from Mormons who, like me, have been working and praying for this day.
Here is a statement from Spencer W. Clark, the executive director of Mormons for Equality.
This is a beautiful day for so many families and we applaud the Court’s ruling. But our work is not done. Alongside changing the laws, we must continue to change hearts.
For over two decades Mormons have feared – and fought – civil marriage equality. It will take time to overcome and repent of our past, but as we’ve seen already, the more that we come to know same-sex couples and their children, the more we discover that our fears were misplaced.
Mormons believe in the importance of families, and for increasing numbers of Mormons, that means all families.
I’m thankful for this historic victory. And I look forward to being part of the work to continue to change hearts.