The LDS Church, like all religions in Utah, has a vital role to play in making Utah a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Sutherland’s important role is to help elected officials craft sound, principle-based public policy toward that same end. We recognize the growing differences between religious and secular cultures within Salt Lake City and commend the LDS Church for its earnest desire to keep cultural and political tensions to a minimum.
As a public relations opportunity, the LDS Church’s statement before the Salt Lake City Council may assuage the minds and soften the hearts of advocates of “gay rights” in Utah. As a policy statement, it is problematic. The approved ordinances before the Salt Lake City Council are unsound in principle, clarity, and effect.
We have learned from California and other states that the meaning of marriage will die by a thousand cuts. Each new inclusion in the law of such vague terms as “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” represents a mounting threat to the meaning of marriage. Of course, each one, singly and in isolation, does no violence to the meaning of marriage. However, the legal debate is far ahead of such parochial analysis. Unfortunately, homosexual activists seeking to redefine the meaning of marriage – as well as activist courts seeking to do the same – do not view these types of ordinances singly or in isolation but as a pattern of public opinion to justify radical changes to law as we saw in California.
As we have stated previously, we hold that the approved ordinances are vague, dangerously broad, and unjust to the parties they seek to regulate.
We, once again, call on the Utah State Legislature to overturn these local ordinances on the basis of sound public policy.