Five Religious Faiths File 42-Page Brief Supporting Gay Marriage Bans in Utah and Oklahoma

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Association of Evangelicals, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod filed a 42-page amicus brief to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday arguing in support of Bans on gay marriage in Oklahoma and Utah.

LdsThe filers argued that they aren't against same-sex couples:

"Our faith communities bear no ill will toward same-sex couples, but rather have marriage-affirming religious beliefs that merge with both practical experience and sociological fact to convince us that retaining the husband-wife marriage definition is essential," the brief explains.

The AP adds:

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."

…Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said Monday that religions will always be free to choose which marriages they perform.

But in a statement, Minter added that "the state cannot exclude any group of people from a fundamental right based on religious views held by some. Our society is strengthened when the law both supports all families and protects the freedoms of conscience and belief."

Download the full brief here (PDF).


  1. HadenoughBS says

    Typical religious double-speak: if you ARE against “civil” marriage equality for same-sex couples, you ARE against same-sex couples. Yes, it DOES make you anti-gay, irrational and bigoted. It DOES make you false and offensive. You should stand in front of a mirror and have a nice, long look at your homophobic selves and ask: WWJD? I’ll bet you come up with the wrong answer every single time.

  2. CPT_Doom says

    For the 48,000th time, marriage equality does not end male/female marriage. It only expands the definition of the legal arrangement to include all couples. Every state, country and jurisdiction with marriage equality continues to allow men to marry women, and it does not appear that any fewer such couples are getting married in those locations. Every activist for marriage equality supports man/woman marriage.

  3. rroberts says

    From page 4 of the amicus brief:
    “Our support for the established meaning of marriage arises from an affirmative vision “of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony,” Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15, 44 (1885), and not from animosity toward anyone.”

    When will someone point out that civil (state-recognized) marriage is NOT “holy matrimony”? They are different concepts. One is civil, one is religious. If your religion deems 1-man-1-woman marriage to be the only kind recognized WITHIN your religion, then fine — teach your children your religion. But this country allows other religious views and practices which may differ from yours. So STFU !!

  4. FFS says

    “No ill will,” huh?

    As it happens, I don’t think all religious leaders are moronic c#nts.

    There. Now we’re both liers.

  5. Hey Darlin' says

    “Our faith communities bear no ill will toward same-sex couples, but rather have marriage-affirming religious beliefs that merge with both practical experience and sociological fact to convince us that retaining the husband-wife marriage definition is essential,”

    It’s unfortunate that the only public face of these religious communities is that of inequality. One designed to place a group of citizens in charge of the rights of another group of citizens, as the constitution forbids. It must also seem unfortunate that in order to maintain their separation of church and state which is to their benefit in multiple ways, they must also keep themselves out of state matters.

  6. Hey Darlin' says

    To use your “community” in a group effort to remove another groups rights doesn’t make you sound stronger it makes you sound worried about your own community strength.

  7. Jere says

    “Our faith communities bear no ill will toward same-sex couples, but….”

    Well that says it all. To make a disclaimer like that shows they have no rational idea how their actions prevent us from inheritance rights, or hospitalization rights, pensions, protecting children, or over 1,000 other rights automatically given to opposite sex couples.
    Sounds like fabulous X-tian morals towards your fellow man.

  8. says

    ‘…to win by insult and intimidation rather than by reason, experience, and fact.’

    Down to the last stages of resistance when you resort to throwing back the empty mortars of our arguments. Notice how shallow they sound coming from the very ones responsible for so much inhumanity. It would almost be laughable but for the all too real harm they’ve caused.

    I guess they’d also like the courts to ignore centuries of written and documented evidence where LGBT have been persecuted and demonized by these same groups?

    History evidences the dire extent of your oppressive & immoral stance against our very humanity.

  9. Keith says

    Let’s be clear. Faith communities do bear ill will toward same-sex couples, do not espouse marriage-affirming religious beliefs (except when LGBT couples want to get married), and they have no practical experience or sociological fact that retaining ONLY the husband-wife definition is essential (and essential to what?). Our getting married has had absolutely no impact on the definition of marriage or the impact on heterosexual couples’ marriages. . .I challenge a single religious institution to find a single example of a heterosexual couple harmed by my marriage here in California (that can be proven in a court of law).

  10. woodroad34 says

    Perfectly said, @Raybob. I’m so freaking tired of Religion as the only right anyone can have. That mind control by superstitious cults can tell me what’s reality and what’s not, is beyond stupidity and is, in itself, immoral due to it’s hubris, immodesty, and arrogance.

  11. woodroad34 says

    ” that retaining the husband-wife marriage definition is essential,” the brief explains.” Sorry, but the Regnerus Study is not fact and is bad rationale like religion. I do believe it is now time to get one’s (i.e., Religion’s) facts straight, pardon the ironic pun.

  12. Gregory In Seattle says

    “We’re not anti-gay bigots! We simply believe that non-heterosexuals do not deserve the same rights as normal people because they are damned to burn in Hell for ever and ever for the entertainment of us in Heaven.”

  13. Sean in Dallas says

    Oh, so NOW they’re interested in ration, reason, experience, and fact? Since when?

    Let’s bring ration, reason, experience, and fact into the discussion about Joseph Smith and his known history of grifting before he invented his tax-exempt cult.

  14. Steve LEE says

    Marriage and the word Marriage DOES NOT BELONG TO RELIGION. And to the LDS Church, your religion was based on a skewed version of marriage called POLYGAMY. And why don’t you practice it now? BECAUSE OF THE LAW. The government was going to kill all the Mormons. Let us not forget Missouri Executive Order 44 (Extermination Order) So don’t try to sanction something that doesn’t belong to you. NOW PICK UP YOUR FACE!

  15. RH says

    It’s not five religious faiths, but five denominations of one faith – Christianity. I know it’s a small point, but it seems less overwhelming somehow – less monolithic – perhaps because it’s a reminder that not every denomination shares their ill-will or twisted cunning. Their words are the same tired rhetoric trotted out again and again wherever people feel their privileged or special status might be threatened, and sometimes I find it so tiring, so bone-deep wearying that I want to give up. Not going to, though.

  16. Joel says

    I will never be interested in acceptance by some bunch of idiots who believe that there is this fat guy in Rome who is infallible when he sits in the right chair. If they are dumb enough to believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell them for cheap.

  17. Chrislam says

    If only the church spent as much money and focus on having the government help the needy and the poor…..

  18. Mary says

    This is funny. All these churches are against the Mormon Church. They constantly pay for people to be at the Mormon Church events to be outside and scream at them that they are not Christians, the Mormon Church is abomination and they try to make the Mormon Church’s member to leave the church. Now they are all together on this petition??? They are all evil that’s what they are.

  19. jed says

    this is good news. it provides one more piece of evidence in court that the ban really is driven by nothing more than religion-based animus.

  20. jamal49 says

    One needs to remind those religious reprobates that marriage is a secular, civil matter. It is not about religion. No marriage in these United States, no matter that there may be a religious ceremony celebrating a union between two, loving, consenting adults, is ever recognized as valid or legal unless there is a civil marriage license.

    Marriage equality does not mean that heterosexual couples will no longer be permitted to be married. It does not mean that married, heterosexual couples will no longer be permitted or able to procreate.

    What these religious fools really want is to selfishly keep marriage and all of its legal benefits to themselves. What they want is to claim that their religions, their religious lives and their heterosexual lives will somehow be forever impaired and harmed by the granting of civil, marriage equality to same-sex couples.

    No matter how much they protest, their arguments simply do not add up. The days of their religious-based heterosexual tyranny are numbered. They know it. This is their last, desperate hurrah.

  21. Simon says

    Is it a joke? “Rational dialogue” has never been a strong suit of the long illustrious history of the Catholic Church.

  22. Simon says

    It is puzzling why these religious groups should be part of the dialogue since it has nothing to do with them. Not that they hold a patent on “marriage’.

  23. RonCharles says

    The Lutheran church in question here is the Missouri Synod. In contrast, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America led the fight against the anti-gay-marriage amendment in Minnesota. These two Lutheran churches have very different policies in terms of supporting gay rights.

  24. TonyJazz says

    So, which Christian churches filed briefs in support of equal rights? (I hope there were at least five….)

  25. JJ says

    @TONYJAZZ, numbers don’t matter. All that matters is which side the one _true_ church took. Any believer can tell you which one that is.

  26. Randy says

    Time for all people who believe in equal marriage to abandon these religious cults!! Jesus would be proud of you for standing up and getting out of these brainwashing organizations!

  27. says

    This “love the sinner (gay couples); hate the sin (same-sex marriage” is old and no longer even original.
    Religions should be outlawed from speaking out on public matters.

  28. Simon says

    They still don’t get it. Court after court have already rejected their type of arguments.
    As a judge put it:
    “the fact that a form of discrimination has been ‘traditional’ is a reason to be more skeptical of its rationality.”

  29. Bill says

    @Jed : wouldn’t it be nice if the churches that do not have a problem with same-sex marriages also filed briefs, but briefs opposing the marriage ban because the ban prevents them from practicing their religion.

    That would put the court in a bind as the First Amendment is supposed to prevent the state from favoring one religion over another.

  30. andrew says

    What a difference a few centuries make. These religions, except for the more recently made up myths like LDS, use to KILL each other as heretics. Now they must unite to oppose this “evil” idea of LGBT equality.

  31. SpaceCadet says

    Separation of church and state y’all. Our nation was founded on that principle. Right-wingers conveniently forget this but never about the right to bare arms!

  32. Nelson says

    I would like to hear one judge simply say from the bench , at the beginning of the hearings, “no religious objections to equality will be included in testimony because we are dealing with secular law in this nation and not favoring a particle religious view, as required by the Constitution” and the proceed to shut down everyone who opens their mouth about “traditional Judeo-Christian values ” or “the nonsensical story of “Adam and Eve ” or nonsense about how married gay couples don’t procreate (just like my 94 year old father and his wife….) Every religious argument MUST crumble because it is false and bigoted. And has no place in secular law.

  33. says

    The “supporting ‘traditional’ marriage argument makes you anti-gay” misses the point: it’s an attempt to maintain a religious definition of marriage as the law, and so, a violation of everyone else’s freedom of religion.