The LDS Church will not perform same-sex marriage ceremonies in their meetinghouses, nor will they allow receptions or other events associated with same-sex marriages, according to instructions sent to LDS congregational leaders throughout the United States on Friday afternoon.
On Dec. 20, 2013, a federal district judge in Salt Lake City found Utah’s law prohibiting same-sex marriages unconstitutional. The law is currently on stay until it can be reviewed by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. However, the federal government has stated that they will recognize the more than 1,000 same-sex marriages already performed in Utah.
The LDS Church has held firm to its statements opposing same-sex marriages throughout the past month’s changing same-sex marriage laws in Utah. Leaders were told to refer to “The Family a Proclamation to the World” for further guidance on teaching the Church’s stance on gay marriages.
While the LDS Church anticipates backlash for their firm stance opposing same-sex marriage, the instructions sent to Church leaders asks for people to respect the Church’s moral standards and instructs members to respect everyone, including same-sex couples. In the guidelines the LDS Church stated:
“While these matters will continue to evolve, we affirm that those who avail themselves of laws or court rulings authorizing same-sex marriage should not be treated disrespectfully. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility—even when we disagree.”