One Equal World

With One Condition, Mormon Church Backs LGBT Rights

Posted on: January 30, 2015

Earlier this week the Mormon church held an unexpected press conference at the church headquarters in Salt Lake City, in which the leaders publicly pledged to support anti-discrimination laws for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people. The one hitch is they want the laws to also protect the rights of religious groups. There’s always a catch, isn’t there? LGBT Bible

“When religious people are publicly intimidated, retaliated against, forced from employment or made to suffer personal loss because they have raised their voice in the public square, donated to a cause or participated in an election, our democracy is the loser,” said Elder Dallin Oaks, a member of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles. “Such tactics are every bit as wrong as denying access to employment, housing or public services because of race or gender,” he said.

Over the past several years the Mormon church along with some Catholic bishops and Southern Baptists have complained about religious freedom, linking it with myriad social justice issues to further their own cause. Even though the church alleges to support rights and protections for LGBT people, the Mormon Apostle D.Todd Christofferson made it clear from the beginning, “We are announcing no change in doctrine or church teachings today.”

The Mormon press conference was much less detailed about its support of LGBT protections and more focused on the steady erosion of treasured freedoms for the Morning church and other forms of religion. They did not acknowledge specific examples of their support, much less say “bisexual” or “transgender,” two of the most marginalized factions of the “LGBT alphabet soup.” Many believed that the press conferenced seemed more like a strategic business move than an actual commitment to acceptance from the Mormon church.

The Mormon church has proven time and again that it’s not above co-opting a civil rights framework in order to get what it wants. Only time will tell if the inclusion of LGBT people in the press conference had a genuine intent behind it.

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