In major move, Mormon apostles call for statewide LGBT protections

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People walk past Salt Lake temple as they arrive to attend the biannual general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 5, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
*Note: This photo may only be republished with RNS-MORMON-GAYS, originally published on January 27, 2015 or RNS-TRANS-MORMONS, originally published on April 1, 2015, or with RNS-PARLIAMENT-RELIGIONS, originally transmitted on Oct. 14, 2015, or with RNS-CONGRESS-FAMILIES, originally transmitted on Oct. 27, 2015.

People walk past Salt Lake temple as they arrive to attend the biannual general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 5, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jim Urquhart *Note: This photo may only be republished with RNS-MORMON-GAYS, originally published on January 27, 2015 or RNS-TRANS-MORMONS, originally published on April 1, 2015, or with RNS-PARLIAMENT-RELIGIONS, originally transmitted on Oct. 14, 2015, or with RNS-CONGRESS-FAMILIES, originally transmitted on Oct. 27, 2015.

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SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) The move, one LGBT advocates have been pushing for years, provides a major boost for the prospects of of a state nondiscrimination statute.

  • Doc Anthony

    I like the LDS attitude on this one. It is caring. It is concerned. It is not hateful. Yet it does not ignore the Bible’s clear standards.

    But there is no possible doubt anymore, in Utah or anywhere else, that the gay-marriage activists do NOT intend to settle for any “compromise” at all.

    The Mormons are not declaring war on anybody, but they may soon find that war has been declared upon them, all the same.

  • Imprudent of the LDS leadership. Anti-discrimination law has proven metastatic with a menu of downstream costs. It is also a.dministered in a sectarian fashion. In a free society, freedom of contract and free association are the order of the day

  • Larry

    Yes Art, it leads to things like making discriminatory conduct and openly hateful actions socially unacceptable. OMG, people will have to treat others in a civil manner!

  • Pingback: BCNN2 » Blog Archive » Mormon Church Comes Out In Support of Homosexual Rights With Call for Statewide LGBT Protections()

  • Randomfactor

    They lost the culture war. They don’t get to dictate the terms of surrender.

  • Larry

    It appears the LDS takes its cues from Arab League Middle East Peace Plans.

    There is a caveat being omitted in the story. The measure has either an intentional dealbreaker (to make opponents look unreasonable) or its a loophole big enough to drive a supertanker through (turning it into a pro-discrimination measure) where discrimination against gays based on religious reasons is still very much allowed

    This is backhanded nonsense to give the appearance of a compromise or being reasonable without actually being so.

  • Doc Anthony

    That’s what I’m talking about. Gay activists don’t want compromise. They just want capitulation. Unconditional surrender to their religion (more accurately, cult).

  • ben in oakland

    Doc, it would surprise you exactly how much most gay people don’t care about your church. I don’t think the bulk of gay people could possibly care any less than we already don’t.

    Here’s the entirety of the church portion of the Big Gay Agenda. I’m quoting it verbatim from one of the secret copies that all homosexual people hide under their mattresses:

    “keep your purely theological concerns and your purely theocratic intentions out of secular law that governs a secular society, stop lying about us and trying to harm us in the name of your God whom you claim is love, stop demanding dominion over our lives…

    and we’ll be happy to do the same, except that we don’t lie about you, are not trying to harm you or your family or church, and we’re not interested in dominion over your life.”

    This is Ben again: translating all of the liberal-pinko-atheist-unbiblical-gobbledyspeak:

    Leave us the hell alone, and we’ll leave you alone.

  • ben in oakland

    If a free society, christianists don’t get a say over the lives of other people who don’t share their beliefs.

    But there you have it.

  • Doc Anthony

    Interesting summary line there. “Leave us alone, and we’ll leave you alone.”

    But that one line has already been refuted — TOTALLY refuted — by the gay activists, Ben. Refuted in New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Houston, Minnesota, and who knows where else, even right now.

    You guys — and certainly your leaders — do NOT want compromise. You don’t want to be left alone. You want **unconditional surrender**, at all times and in all venues.

    People — especially religionists — need to be really honest about what they are up against, regarding the now-victorious homosexual movement. This is serious stuff.

  • Then you shouldn’t mind complying when I tell you to get off my lawn and out of my bakery.

  • You’re not going to penetrate his narcissism.

  • Ben in oakland

    All you need to do is put a sign on your bakery, and i’ll be content. I’d suggest this one:


    that way, we’ll both be happy.

  • Ben in oakland

    Not at all. You are claiming the right to break the anti-discrimination laws, whether for sexual orientation or religious belief.

    either work to get those laws repealed, or accept them. You just want to find your own special exception ot them, which underlines why we have them.

    You don’t get the special right to discriminate.

  • Fmr Cath

    I have an honest question for the LGBT’s. I am not political nor bigoted. I have 2 brothers both are gay and I love them so I’m not coming from a place of “hate”. My question is this: If a business owner (I’m talking small business like hair salon or flower shop) does not want to provide services to a gay wedding, what if any, is the recourse of the gay individual(s) and what of the business owner? Now, I’m not saying the owner would turn away gays as a matter of general policy. I’m talking about “weddings”. For instance, on a daily basis the business serves all kinds of people, LGBT included, no questions asked. But for the business owner to do hair or flowers for a gay wedding, can they refuse on the grounds that that would constitute “participation” in the gay wedding and therefore they do not want to accept the job? Because, to me, that would be problematic and would go against “religious conscience”.

  • Dev

    As a gay man, I’ve often wondered the same thing. I stand by my beliefs, and I think everyone is entitled to that, but it seems like it’s just a matter of choosing your battles.

    If I were the customer, the farthest I would go is to encourage others not to patronize the store. Its unjust, but I’d rather take my money elsewhere. Do you even want to give business to a store where they’re legally forced to service you?

    If I were the business owner, I simply can’t understand why your beliefs would intrude on your professionalism. Business is business – who in their right mind would turn down a $500 flower order because of somebody else’s lifestyle? You’re there to provide flowers, not perform the ceremony.

  • Fmr Cath

    Dev- Thanks for your reply. I agree, if I were the customer, I would take my business elsewhere… If I were the owner, say of the flower shop, I would sell flowers to anyone that wanted them but if I had to personally go to the venue and set everything up for the wedding, it would be a different story. That IS participation (IMO) and I don’t put a dollar figure on my integrity… It’s a personal conscience issue and each one of us has a right to decide for ourselves. I just wouldn’t want a LAW that says a person MUST abandon their conscience… Thanks again for your kind answer.

  • ben in oakland

    I’m going to answer your question in three parts. First, from a case in Canada a few years ago.

    “Saskatchewan’s top court has said marriage commissioners cannot use religion to say “no” to nuptials for same-sex couples. The Appeal Court had been asked by the government to rule on a proposed provincial law that would have allowed commissioners to cite religious grounds in refusing to marry gays or lesbians. The appeal panel’s unanimous decision said the law would be unconstitutional and would amount to discrimination.”

    It really is that simple. Just as in the United States, religious congregations are pretty much able to do what they want within their churches, but don’t get to make up new rules when they act as part of secular society, this court case isn’t infringing on what churches are able to do and believe. It’s simply saying to commissioners who work for the government, “You have a job you were hired to do, and these are the laws. Don’t like it? Get a new job.”

    One of the judges made a really interesting point in her opinion. Justice Gene Ann Smith said the religious objection was secondary. “These marriage commissioners are not themselves compelled to engage in the sexual activity they consider objectionable. Their objection is that it is sinful for others to engage in such activity,” wrote Smith. “It is therefore arguable that the interference with the right of marriage commissioners to act in accordance with their religious belief … is trivial or insubstantial, in that it is interference that does not threaten actual religious beliefs or conduct.”

    Imagine that! The religious lives and practices of the Religious Right don’t automatically include the lives and practices of other people who don’t share their beliefs? It’s so… sane!

    Second, a quote from a Satanist Church:

    “As the High Priest and Magus of The Liberated Of Lucifer, one of those minority religions in Utah, I can state that our order believes the following on Religious Freedom – “True freedom means allowing others to practice their religion freely, as long as their practice does not infringe upon you. As long as they don’t want to force you to worship as they do, force you to pay their religious tax, force you to follow the commandments of their faith, attempt to legislate their faith restrictions or requirements into law, take your land from you for religious purposes, or kill you if you don’t go along with their efforts to do any of these things – or based on their belief that people like you should be killed – then they are not infringing on you. ” And I’ll add this: asking you do provide flowers for my wedding is not the same thing as inviting you into my bedroom, and demanding that you praise me for my sexual activities.

    Third: This is ben in Oakland.

    It is highly telling that just about the only complaints about refusing to do one’s job because of supposed “religious beliefs” crop up whenever these people have to behave politely or decently, let alone amicably, without animus, to gay people who don’t share their unfounded beliefs about gay people.

    In other words, as always, I can reject the whole of Christianity– as 2/3 of the world has– and this bothers no one but the most rabid of fundamentalists. But let me say that I am gay, and reject just this itty bitty little ditty they love so much to sing of conservative Christian belief, and whoa, Nelly, the sky is about to fall and we are being persecuted for our beliefs.

    Sorta makes you wonder if it is REALLY about sincere religious belief at all, dunnit?

    I was a highly successful wedding photographer for 30 years. I never considered myself a participant in their wedding, merely a paid attendee at best. When these vendors claim they are being forced to participate, it’s just nonsense both in reality and in the darkness of their own hearts. They are providing a service for which someone is paying them money. Elevating themselves into “participants” whose “moral approval” is requested is narcissism. If a vendor refuses to engage in sound business practices, for the sake of insulting and demeaning those he considers to be his religious and moral inferiors, then I’m afraid he deserves whatever happens. That’s why smart business people don’t do that. I’ve known plenty of people whose business failed because they just couldn’t find it in themselves to treat others as they would like to be treated.

    There are plenty of legal ways to avoid this non-existent participation, but they prefer to tell people exactly why they don’t wish to. It’s called changing the subject from complying with non-discrimination laws in a professional and business like way, to be forced to do something they don’t want to do.

    As a wedding photographer, I knew there were all kinds of clients whose wedding I didn’t wish to photograph, usually because I flat out didn’t like them, or thought they would be trouble. I would have been extremely rude, foolish, uncaring, and unprofessional to tell them why. This is no different, except that the vendor has a need to proclaim his or her superiority in religious belief, by which I mean superiority in morality. Here are few alternatives to flouting anti-discrimination laws, whether for religion or sexual orientation.

    I’m booked. Why don’t you call so and so.

    I don’t think I could do a good job for you, because I am uncomfortable around any same sex displays. However, I will comply with the law. (that couple will not stick around to hear more).

    I don’t think I could do a good job for you, because I am uncomfortable around any same sex displays. But I’ll do my best for you if you choose to hire me anyway. If not, Why don’t you call so and so. (Ditto).

    The state requires me to do business with all comers. I oppose same sex marriage, but I will follow the law of my state. (I can guarantee you no couple is going to stick around)

    The state requires me to do business with all comers. I oppose all homosexual equality before the law. If you choose to have you event here, I will comply, but I will donate $XXXX to Big-Anti-Gay, Inc. (Ditto).

    In this last case, there is always the irony of a Christian declaring that “there is no room at the Inn.” There is also THIS, since we’re talking about good Christians who follow Jesus and all. “You have a strongly held religious belief that forces you to act like a royal jerk? Interesting. I gather you’re not a Christian, then, because treating other people so unkindly would be utterly contrary to Jesus’ teachings.”

    Moreover, there is the invisible issue. If my venue hosts events for people who reject the entirety of my religious beliefs– Hindus, Mormons, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims for example– and not just the antigay parts, am I not participating in idolatry and idolatrous practices and false scripture, or condoning the rejection of Jesus, which is surely a much greater sin than what someone does with his/her dangly bits?

    All of these avoidance methods are legal, as their is no stated intention of denial of service. So there are plenty of legal ways to avoid gay cooties. But these also point out this, and I have said many times on these very pages:

    If you disagree with a anti-discrimination laws, then work to get them repealed. Trying to find exceptions to them merely underlines why we have those laws in the first place.

    And of course, some Christians would cry like big ol’ babies if the civil rights protections that they expect from anti-discrimination laws were denied to them, because someone doesn’t like their religion.