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Religious groups join, fight gay marriage in court

February 10, 2014 • National News


Opponents for gay marriage show their support during a rally at the Utah State Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Salt Lake City. A little more than a month after a surprising federal court ruling overturned this conservative state’s ban on gay marriage, the battle over the issue reached the Capitol building Tuesday as hundreds of opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage held twin rallies. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A coalition of religious organizations has come together to urge a federal appeals court to uphold same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma, saying unions between a man and woman are best for children, families and society.

The argument was made in a 42-page brief filed Monday afternoon to a Denver-based court reviewing cases that could reverse gay-marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma.

Lawyers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote the brief, which was signed by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

“Our respective religious doctrines hold that marriage between a man and a woman is sanctioned by God as the right and best setting for bearing and raising children,” it says. “We believe that children, families, society, and our nation thrive best when husband-wife marriage is upheld and strengthened as a cherished, primary social institution.”

The coalition struck back at the notion that opposing gay marriage makes one anti-gay, irrational or bigoted.

“The accusation is false and offensive,” it says. “It is intended to suppress rational dialogue and democratic conversation, to win by insult and intimidation rather than by reason, experience, and fact.”

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