Dallin H Oaks has been a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1984. Prior to that calling he was an Eagle Scout, an attorney, the law clerk for a US Supreme Court justice, a state prosecutor, a law professor, the president of a university, a state supreme court justice and the 2013 recipient of the Becket Foundation’s Canterbury Medal. He is considered to be one who knows and understands the law well. He has been honored in the past as a champion of religious freedom. In his personal religious beliefs he does not condone same gender marriage. Neither does the church of which he is a general authority.
Elder Oaks, as he is known affectionately and officially, was invited to speak on 20 OCT at the 2nd Annual Sacramento Court/Clergy Conference held at Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento CA. During his presentation he never mentioned Kim Davis by name, but there was no question about whom he spoke regarding the behavior of public officials;
“Office holders remain free to draw upon their personal beliefs and motivations and advocate their positions in the public square. But when acting as public officials they are not free to apply personal convictions — religious or other — 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.”
He went even further and condemned civil disobedience by public officials, such as when governors or attorneys general refuse to defend or enforce laws with which they personally disagree;
“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 — whatever their source,”