Referring to Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, a top Mormon Church leaders says public officials cannot impose their personal beliefs on their offices.
Dallin H. Oaks denounced Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis on Tuesday by saying public officials have a responsibility to uphold the U.S. Constitution, as he reminded followers to respect the wall between church and state.
"Office holders remain free to draw upon their personal beliefs and motivations and advocate their positions in the public square," Oaks, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said Tuesday, according to Ben Winslow of Fox 13.
"But when acting as public officials they are not free to apply personal convictions â€” religious or other â€” in place of the defined responsibilities of their public offices. A county clerk's recent invoking of religious reasons to justify refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples violates this principle," Oaks, not mentioning Kim Davis by name but clearly referencing her, told a group of hundreds of lawyers, judges and religious leaders in California.
"Constitutional duties, including respect for the vital principle of separation of powers, are fundamental to the rule of law. Government officials must not apply these duties selectively according to their personal preferences â€” whatever their source," Oaks insisted.
"The more appropriate metaphor to express that relationâ€”reinforced by various decisions of the United States Supreme Courtâ€”is a curtain that defines boundaries but is not a barrier to the passage of light and love and mutual support from one side to another," he claimed.
Elder Oaks also denounced extremism.
"Extreme voices polarize and create resentment and fear by emphasizing what is nonnegotiable and by suggesting that the desired outcome is to disable the adversary and achieve absolute victory," he said, according to the full transcript.
Oaks is by no means a support of marriage for same-sex couples. In 2012 he said that children who are raised by same-sex couples are "victimized."
Image: Screenshot via Mormon Newsroom/YouTube
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