SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The Mormon church criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision opening the door for same sex marriage in California, saying it highlights troubling questions about the country’s democratic and judicial systems.
“Many Californians will wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong when their government will not defend or protect a popular vote that reflects the views of a majority of their citizens,” said leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a statement sent out Wednesday morning. “In addition, the effect of the ruling is to raise further complex jurisdictional issues that will need to be resolved.”
The LDS church helped fund and lead the charge for California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional ban on gay marriage that voters adopted in 2008 after the state Supreme Court ruled that gay Californians could marry.
Church leaders said Wednesday the ruling doesn’t change their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that same-sex relationships are sinful.
“The Church remains irrevocably committed to strengthening traditional marriage between a man and a woman, which for thousands of years has proven to be the best environment for nurturing children,” the statement said.
Their support of Proposition 8 drew intense criticism and backlash.
Since then, Mormon leaders have been trying to heal tensions.
Earlier this year, the church launched a campaign encouraging members to be more compassionate toward gay and lesbian members of the church. They reinforced that the church welcomes members who experience “same-sex attraction” as long as they don’t act on those feelings.
More recently, church leaders supported the Boy Scouts of America’s new policy allowing gay youth to join the ranks, while continuing to ban gay adult Scout leaders.
The LDS church has its worldwide headquarters in Salt Lake City, and Mormons account for at least 62 percent of the 2.8 million people living in Utah, U.S. Census figures show.