SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined with other religious organizations in filing two briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court last week, one defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act, commonly known as DOMA, and the other defending Proposition 8, a California state law restricting the definition of marriage.

The cases are both before the U.S. Supreme Court this term.

On the challenge to Proposition 8, which the LDS Church supported in 2008, the brief defended the law against the charge that it reflects an irrational public policy or that it was motivated by animus toward gays.

"On the contrary, our members supported Proposition 8 based on sincere beliefs in the value of traditional marriage for children, families, society, and our republican form of government. Only a demeaning view of religion and religious believers could dismiss our advocacy of Proposition 8 as ignorance, prejudice, or animus."

The briefs were both filed by Von G. Keetch for the firm Kirton McKonkie, based in Salt Lake City, but the briefs were also signed by the National Association of Evangelicals, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, among others.

Eric Schulzke writes on national politics for the Deseret News. He can be contacted at