The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has issued a statement to its churches explaining its strong stance against same-sex marriage.
In a statement issued yesterday (10 January), the Church maintained its belief that homosexuality is not condoned by God, and that civil laws cannot override God's word.
The church said: 'Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep his commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society.'
The statement made clear that same-sex marriages, or any celebration of a homosexual relationship, should not take place on church grounds or property, including Mormon meeting houses.
The church also stated that lay bishops, who often perform marriages away from church property, cannot perform a same-sex marriage.
The church went on to say: 'entitled to maintain its standards of moral conduct and good standing for members.'
The statement comes as the US Attorney General Eric Holder announced same-sex marriages performed in Utah will be recognised by the government, despite the legal challenges in the state to ban them.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert had claimed the marriages were not legal, and therefore would not be recognised by the state.