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Reaction to LDS Church announcement on LGBT, religious protections

Published January 27, 2015 8:02 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Gov. Gary Herbert, Republican

"The statement made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today is an additional and important step to help us find common ground on these important issues. It will be helpful in our effort to resolve these difficult and emotional matters. I firmly believe that, in order to protect the personally held values of people on all sides, any advancement of nondiscrimination legislation should be coupled with legislation to safeguard protections to religious freedom. I am confident that, as elected officials, we can work together with religious, business and civic leaders as well as the LGBT community to craft policies that treat all people with dignity and respect."



Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, House minority leader

"Nondiscrimination has always been about supporting and protecting Utah families. As a large employer and moral leader both in Utah and abroad, the LDS Church's impact reverberates through the world. Democrats are grateful to all the stakeholders who have taken a seat at the table to work to make our state better."

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Democrat

"No one should be discriminated against simply because of who they are, whether it's having a decent place to live or a job to support themselves and their families or their religious beliefs.

"In 2009, I helped craft the Salt Lake City ordinances granting protections against discrimination and as a Utah State senator, sponsored legislation in 2010, 2011 and 2012 to expand these protections statewide. Treating people with dignity and equality under the law and protecting constitutionally granted religious liberties are compatible goals. I support both, due to my deeply held religious beliefs and my LDS faith.

"As a policymaker and public servant, I'm ready to join in a mutually respectful and constructive dialogue with all who would make Utah a place where nondiscrimination and constitutionally granted religious freedoms are the rule."

Sutherland Institute, conservative Salt Lake City-based think tank

"Sutherland Institute has long called for protection of religious freedom for individuals and organizations. This principle must be reflected in any proposed legislation. Residents of Utah and citizens everywhere are entitled not just to belief, but also to the free exercise of their religious beliefs and moral conscience—both in private and in public. ... We also reiterate our position that Utah can address valid concerns of mistreatment in employment and housing and public services without contributing to an environment of intolerance toward people of faith and moral conscience."

Gayle Ruzicka, president of the Utah Eagle Forum

"I'm just really grateful they said what they said, because the personal religious liberty and personal freedom of conscience has been such a big issue that none of the bills dealt with. ... If you're going to have an anti-discrimination law, you've got to have it so religious people are protected at the same time."

Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City

"I am proud that the LDS Church has seen fit to lead the way in nondiscrimination. 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."

"Since serving as a senator, and as the only LGBT member of the Utah Legislature, I can say one of the joys of the job has been to meet and enjoy the company of LDS officials. I know that together, we can build a community that strongly protects religious organizations' constitutional liberties and in addition creates a civil, respectful, nurturing culture where differences are honored and everyone feels welcome. Now, let's roll up our sleeves, get to work and pass a statewide nondiscrimination bill."

Utah Democratic Party Chairman Peter Corroon

"The LDS Church's message is clear: All people should feel safe while at work, in their homes and out in public. Utahns are known for their compassion, and the LDS Church is sending the message to the rest of the nation and world that we should embrace all people in our community as fellow citizens and fellow human beings regardless of sexual orientation or religion. This is a courageous move by the LDS Church and we understand the sensitivity of this issue on both sides. Democrats hope for the passage of a statewide nondiscrimination ordinance through empathy and open debate."

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah

"Religious freedom is a fundamental right of all Americans and is an essential part of how we define ourselves as a nation. In working toward reasonable nondiscrimination standards, we must not undermine religious liberty. I will continue to help ensure that legislation designed to promote greater equality includes robust religious exemptions and nonretaliation provisions."

Spencer W. Clark, executive director of Mormons for Equality

"Church leaders said little today which had not been said before. What's notable, however, is the way they said it. A rare press conference featuring four high-ranking officials sends a far stronger message than do unsigned press releases. It highlights how important — and urgent — it has become to enact protections for basic human rights. This is the year to pass housing and employment nondiscrimination laws."

Mayor Ralph Becker, Democrat

"As the first city in Utah to successfully pass an ordinance guaranteeing protections for our LGBT residents in the areas of employment and housing, I laud the decision of LDS Church leaders to publicly revisit today the support they showed for our local effort in 2009. ... It is beyond the time for these appropriate and fair protections to be a part of state law. ... It's just the right thing to do."

Mitch Mayne, board member of Mormons for Equality

"To have the church stand in support of legislative protection for LGBT individuals is meaningful because it encourages Mormons to think differently about how we understand our LGBT brothers and sisters as our equals under the law. To some, this will be new thinking, and that's a good thing. To many others, it will be permission to speak out about what they've known and felt in their hearts all along: that LGBT individuals are just as valued and important in the eyes of our Savior as any heterosexual person."

Mormons Building Bridges, an outreach group between the LDS and LGBT communities

"We are also supportive of the church's call for civil dialogue regarding people of faith's constitutional rights to practice their religion according to the dictates of their own conscience. How far that right extends into the lives of others, and in this case how it will affect LGBT people, will continue to be a matter of important discussion in the public square. ... The issue of religious liberty need not be one that pits people of faith against LGBT people."

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

"I think the Latter-day Saints are well-intentioned but naive on where the reality stands today. I do not think, in most instances, sexual orientation ought to matter in housing or employment, but of course the proposals to address these concerns inevitably lead to targeted assaults on religious liberty. ... As Southern Baptists, we believe gay and lesbian persons are created in the image of God and ought to be respected. We also believe that any sexual expression outside of marriage between one man and one woman is morally wrong. And we believe that freedom of conscience for those of us who dissent from the sexual revolution ought to be maintained."

 

 

 

 

 

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