LDS, Catholic and other religious leaders react to DOMA, Prop 8 Supreme Court rulings
Wildmon said his organization’s next line of defense will be to “protect our religious liberty.”
“We must warn against the coming persecution, the barrage of criticism and the aggressive action of the homosexual agenda to indoctrinate and change the thoughts and convictions of Americans to accept this lifestyle as the new normal,” Wildmon said, adding that he was also concerned about the trend to classify “statements that have a biblical foundation as ‘hate speech.'”
Leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America issued a statement from their New York City headquarters, reiterating “the historical position of the Jewish faith, enunciated unequivocally in our Bible, Talmud and Codes, which forbids homosexual relationships and condemns the institutionalization of such relationships as marriages.”
However, the Jewish statement continued, even though their beliefs are “unalterable,” Judaism “teaches respect for others and we condemn discrimination against individuals.”
“No religion has the right to dictate its beliefs to the entire body politic, and we do not expect that secular law will always align with our viewpoint,” the Orthodox Union statement concluded. “Ultimately, decisions on social policy remain with the democratic process, and today the process has spoken and we accord the process and its result the utmost respect.”
Other religious leaders, however, applauded the Supreme Court decision.
“As the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, I am joyful that the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act and its discrimination against same-sex marriage is unconstitutional,” said the Right Reverend Scott B. Hayashi, Episcopal Bishop of Utah. “Gay and lesbian people are members of our families, congregations and communities. They raise children, celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. They rent apartments, own homes and pay taxes. They contribute and support the well-being of our state and country. They are people who are made in the image of God. I will continue to welcome them into The Episcopal Church.
“I am well aware that others believe that the action of the Supreme Court is wrong,” Bishop Hayashi continued. “For these people these decisions are a cause for upset, unhappiness and frustration. My happiness is tempered with this knowledge. Understanding, compassion and prayer for people who deplore this decision is important. They are also made in the image of God. I will be offering my prayers for them and I will continue to welcome them into The Episcopal Church.”
Bishop Hayashi concluded that “all of us can work to make the state of Utah into the place where all people are brought together, where each person is treated with dignity and respect, and where God is seen in the face of each and every person.”
Similarly, Presiding Bishop Peter E. Hickman of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion of Orange, Calif., said that while he views Wednesday’s rulings as “positive steps forward, they are only two steps in the process of establishing equal rights and protections for all.” He called upon “religious leaders from every perspective to embrace these decisions, to see in them the expansion of the boundaries of justice for our citizens and an opportunity for our society to move in the direction of increased tolerance and respect for the natural diversity in all of God’s creation.”
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