The Supreme Court’s decision Monday to not hear the appeals of marriage cases for Utah and four other states comes two days after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called for tolerance should their views opposed to marriage for same-sex couples not be upheld.
Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Mormon Church Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, its second-highest governing body and a former Utah Supreme Court justice, spoke at the Church’s semi-annual General Conference in Salt Lake City Saturday and doubled down on opposition to marriage for same-sex couples.
“Like the savior, his followers are sometimes confronted by sinful behavior,” Oaks said. “And today, when they hold out for right and wrong as they understand it, they are sometimes called bigots and fanatics. Prominent among these today is the strong tide that is legalizing same-sex marriage in many states, provinces in the United States and Canada, and in many countries around the world.”
But, Oaks acknowledged, should the Church’s views not be upheld on issues like marriage, pornography, and drugs, members should respond with “civility.”
“When our positions do not prevail, we should accept unfavorable results graciously, and practice civility with our adversaries,” he said.
Oaks also said Church members should reject persecution “of any kind, including persecution based on race, ethnicity, religious belief or nonbelief, and differences in sexual orientation.”
“We should love all people, be good listeners, and show concern for their sincere beliefs,” he said. “Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. Our stands and communications on controversial topics should not be contentious.”