(SALT LAKE CITY) Gay and Lesbian Mormons yesterday applauded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for endorsing the employment and housing non-discrimination act now before the Salt Lake City Council.
Members of the church feel it is commendable that the LDS Church is taking a step toward living up to its own teachings of valuing of all humanity.
“We pray that the words spoken are to be followed up with positive action,” said Affirmation Assistant Executive Director Micah Bisson. “It is time to eliminate the heavy-handed church actions to defeat marriage equality and protections for transgender people. When LDS officials arrest gay people for public affection on Temple Square, we need to realize that all Mormons, and the LDS church itself, look small-minded to people who are outside the tradition."
“The LDS Church, as is the case with any faith organization, has the absolute right to choose whatever standards it wishes for membership, and to choose what marriage ordinances it wishes to perform or to recognize,” stated Assistant Executive Director George Cole. "It does not have the right to impose its unique standards upon those of other faiths.”
“Too many millions of dollars have been spent; the Church has been the punch-line of too many jokes,” added Executive Director David Melson. “This is an opportunity for the Church to take a position of leadership, to declare an end to the hostilities that have divided our country and our families, to welcome all of God’s children into the Church of Jesus Christ.”
Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger also feels the endorsement is a positive step.
Said Karger, “This is a small step, but one in the right direction. We look forward to the day when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fully recognizes the civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people.
“We hope the Mormon Church will soon support both Utah and Federal laws that will prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and disability from employers and in housing.”