Alcohol control position restated

The Church on Aug. 28 released the following statement:

"The position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints concerning the consumption of alcoholic beverages is well known. The Church supports the philosophy that laws should strengthen state control of alcoholic beverage distribution, reduce unregulated consumption of alcohol, and enhance public health and safety. For this reason we have publicly opposed the changing of the name of Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City to Pioneer Square, an action which would sidestep existing state law prohibiting the serving of alcoholic beverages within 600 feet of a park."The Church supports existing state alcohol laws which are intended to accommodate those who choose to drink, while still maintaining a wholesome environment in which to live and rear families. We believe efforts to semantically sidestep such laws are unethical. . . . (The Salt Lake City Council held a public hearing on the issue on Sept. 3, and voted 6-1 to delay the decision following substantial community opposition to the name change. The developer stated he will build condominiums and offices instead of a restaurant.) "The Church is also concerned about a proposal to name West Valley City's new hockey arena after a well-known brand-name alcoholic beverage. Should this proposal be accepted, the city officials would be in the position of officially sponsoring the sending of a negative message to the public, especially to young people. Alcohol is a leading contributor to homicides, suicides and traffic fatalities, in addition to the breakup of families, spouse abuse and other societal ills. Naming the arena for such a product would perpetually promote consumption and negatively impact the health and safety of the community.

"The Utah North Area Presidency has formally expressed these concerns to stake presidents in West Valley City. We understand city officials have enlisted a polling service to survey residents and get their feelings on this and other issues. The Area Presidency has met with stake presidents in West Valley City and asked them to encourage Latter-day Saints who may be contacted by the polling service to cooperate. In addition, it is our hope that Latter-day Saints as well as others who agree with these concerns will let West Valley City officials know of their opposition to government-sponsored promotion of alcohol consumption and of their desire to protect the community.

"Similar issues will doubtlessly arise in the future, but no one should be surprised when the Church takes a similar stand."

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