The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), also known as the Mormon Church, has always had a strained relationship with the LGBT community.
For some dumb reason, LGBT and religion don't always mix well.
That's why it's so great that the Mormon Church is supporting LGBT nondiscrimination legislation!
The Mormon leaders had a rare news conference and that's when they announced their support for the LGBT nondiscrimination bills!
Sister Neill Marriott of the LDS Church's Young Women's program said:
"God is loving and merciful. Jesus ministered to marginalized outcasts. It's for this reason that the church has publicly favored laws and ordinances that protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing and employment."
Okay, getting lumped into with "outcasts" isn't the nicest way of putting it but at least it's support.
The LDS Church still opposes same-sex marriage in its doctrine and insists only men and women should have sexual relations.
[ Photos: Celebs Who Were Raised Mormon! ]
Elder D. Todd Christofferson, from the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve, said:
"I'd say we're more sensitive than before. Our tone may be different. Our beliefs don't change, our doctrines are what they are. We sense this is an opportunity where we can come together where there is a chance to balance competing interests and rights respectfully and find a solution."
So, sounds like they still disagree with homosexuality but they're trying to be less awful about it?
The ACLU isn't fully convinced it's enough. They released a statement:
"The ACLU of Utah does express some concern over the limited scope of public accommodation protection supported by the LDS Church, namely only restaurants, hotels and transportation. Equality means that gay and transgender people should have full protection in public accommodations on par with race, gender, religion and other categories."
Right??! Dead on.
Another important opinion on the matter came from Senator Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City. He happens to be the only openly gay lawmaker in the Utah State Legislature, which is primarily made up of Mormon representatives! He said:
"I am proud that the LDS Church has seen fit to lead the way in non-discrimination. As a Church, Mormons have a long history of being the victims of discrimination and persecution. They understand more than most the value and strength of creating a civil society that judges people by the content of their character and their ability to do a job."
The Human Rights Campaign, the national gay rights group, released a statement that read:
"We share the church's commitment to freedom of religion. We embrace the principles of the First Amendment and believe churches do and should have the right to make determinations about who fills their pews. But non-discrimination protections only function when they are applied equally. It should be stated that there are countless LGBT Mormons, and Mormon allies, who support equality, not in spite of their faith but because of it."
Basically, it seems like most everyone agrees this is a step in the right direction.
But is it a big enough step to actually make a difference?? Only time (and votes) will tell!
Check out the video (below) to learn a little more!
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