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Mormon Church Working on Bill to Protect Gays From Discrimination

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Slade Sohmer


By Slade Sohmer on February 8, 2013


There’s an astonishing piece in Thursday’s Salt Lake Tribune, and if you haven’t been paying attention to the sudden “evolution” of the Mormon church’s leadership on homosexuality, it will make your jaw drop.

Most people associate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with overwhelming animous towards the LGBT community, heaping on the church total responsibility for 2008′s devastating Prop 8 victory.

Gay Marriage
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

But, wait, times are a-changing, and the Mormons are now working with Utah’s LGBT leaders to help craft a statewide anti-discrimination law:

Attorneys for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are in quiet discussions with leaders of Utah’s gay and lesbian community, trying to hammer out language for a statewide ban on housing and employment discrimination that the church could support.

Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, opened a bill file on Thursday — the last day to request attorneys draft legislation — titled Housing and Employment Amendments and will sponsor the legislation should an agreement be reached.

The church actually endorsed a similar ordinance in 2009 in Salt Lake City.

This is momentous, surely, but the Mormon faith, whether real or done for politics, is changing. In December, Mormon leaders launched a website called mormonsandgays.org, and the church stressed that homosexuality is not a choice, that all the brothers and sisters need to be treated with compassion, that we all “need to love one another.”

The LDS Church has a long way to go. But it’s rare to see a church even head-fake towards equality and progress.

The real takeaway about Utah, though, isn’t about the LGBT community or anti-discrimination bills at all. No, it’s about how Utah is a theocracy!

If the LDS Church, the state’s largest faith to which nearly 90 percent of the Utah Legislature belongs, were to endorse the anti-discrimination bill, it would be a major boost for efforts to pass the legislation, which has failed the past several years.

If the LDS Church says it shall be so, it shall be so.

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