FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 26, 2015
LDS Dems Stand for Marriage, Applaud SCOTUS
SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Democrats caucus of the Utah Democratic Party joins broader celebrations Friday in support of the Supreme Court decision Friday allowing same-sex marriage nationwide. In doing so, the caucus reiterates the importance of the separation of church and state and adds a call that the rights of a religion to define marriage for its own members remain inviolable.
“As members of our communities and the LDS Church and as lovers of families, we are thrilled that the Supreme Court has upheld same-sex marriage rights for the entire country,” said Crystal Young-Otterstrom, spokeswoman for the caucus. “This is right. It’s right for equality. It’s right for love. It’s right for tolerance and acceptance. Today we are one step closer towards realizing our founders’ vision of ‘all men are created equal.’”
Young-Otterstrom stresses that the LDS Democrats caucus strives for inclusion and acknowledges the differences of opinion within its membership. She calls for people on the full spectrum of opinion to be civil to each other as the country processes and implements the Supreme Court decision. She quoted a talk by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf that called for showing love in all things:
“Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk” (October 2009 General Conference).
The Supreme Court decision allows all U.S. citizens to create families with the protection and benefits of marriage, and the LDS Dems caucus supports protections that will lead to the creation of more families under more stable circumstances. The Caucus believes that stable families are better able to reach self-reliance.
The LDS Democrats caucus also specifically rejects objections to same-sex marriage on grounds of religious freedom. The caucus maintains that the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution protects religious freedom with an unmatched strength that has consistently been upheld and protected by courts and legislatures throughout the country. This right allows religions to craft their own standards for marriage and to remain free to perform marriage for whom and how they choose. The separation of church and state has been, and will continue to be, a sacrosanct protection in America.
“LDS Dems bring a unique perspective to the same-sex marriage discussion. We are disciples of Christ, so today we celebrate love with those who celebrate and mourn with those who mourn,” Young-Otterstrom said. “Today we affirm Christ’s message of love and charity to all people, ‘…for God is love.’ (1 John 4:8)”
LDS Democrats (LDS Dems) is an official caucus of the Utah Democratic Party, and part of the national organization, LDS Democrats of America. Founded in 2011, LDS Dems is the largest caucus inside the Utah Democratic Party with more than 4,500 members. More info at ldsdems.org.