Mormon Church voices view on gay marriage
October 20 2004 11:00 PM ET
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement opposing gay marriage on Tuesday, two weeks before Utah voters decide on a proposed constitutional amendment on the question. The nearly 150-word statement says that only opposite-sex couples should marry and that "any other sexual relations, including between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of family."
The Mormon Church had said in July that it supported the idea of a constitutional amendment against gay marriage but wouldn't speak specifically to the Utah ballot measure. The new statement could be a late push to sway Utah voters who will consider the amendment on November 2, though the church declined to elaborate on its motives.
There is broad support in Utah for an amendment banning same-sex marriage, though opponents argue that it could endanger Utah's common-law marriage statute and endanger the rights of unmarried straight couples. The Mormon Church claims 12 million members worldwide--6.6 million of them outside the United States.