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For week ended February 20, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

ACLU Says LDS Church Has Right To Fight Same-Sex Marriage
Deseret News 17Feb00 N1
By Jeffrey P. Haney: Deseret News staff writer

OREM, UTAH -- The Utah ACLU's Steve Clark and BYU Law Professor Lynn Wardle spoke together at Utah Valley Community College on Wednesday, agreeing on one important point; in spite of claims to the contrary by local California politicians, the LDS Church has every right to campaign for Proposition 22, also known as the Knight Initiative. However, the two couldn't be farther apart when it comes to the proposition itself.

"Gays and lesbians exist in our society, and they are parts of our families," Clark told the audience, "My view of marriage is a context . . . in which humans can understand their power and potential. If that's the definition, then we should be willing to open it up to anyone willing to undertake those vows."

But Wardle says that the traditional definition of marriage is the bedrock of society, "We value marriage because marriage is a unique institution," he said. "I ask, where is the evidence that (same-sex marriages) contribute to society?" Wardle claims that same-sex marriages don't provide a good environment for raising children, "The consequences are dangerous for society as a whole," he said.

Clark pointed out that Wardle's arguments were identical to those used to fight interracial marriages. Clark, who is gay, says that gay parents don't teach homosexuality to their children, "You can't teach sexuality," he said. "I didn't just wake up one day and decide this would be a fun thing to do."


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