Read the church's full statement on the Equality Act

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement calling for a more balanced approach to LGBTQ rights and religious freedom.

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  • Armchair Philosopher Spokane, WA
    June 3, 2019 11:37 p.m.

    The LDS statement says the Equality Act is not balanced, yet their own statement shows imbalance because the LDS statement uses the phrase vigorously protect in reference to religion, yet in reference to LGBTQ, the LDS statement uses the phrase basic civil liberties. To be balanced the LDS statement should either use the phrase vigorously protect in reference to LGBTQ rights and religion freedom, or use the phrase basic religious freedom and basic LGBTQ freedom

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    May 18, 2019 9:40 a.m.

    It seems like the current civil rights act has been expanded by the courts to cover the lgbtqrs groups already.... and it sounds like there are some poison pills here to undermine religious freedom... maybe they should go back to the drawing board

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2019 9:41 a.m.

    We have these sorts of laws for race, religion, and others. Adding one for sexual orientation isn't going to harm anyone's religious rights any more than making people provide services for interracial marriages (which had less than 10% support half a century ago and just below 50% support in the early 1990s) through race protections did.

  • Kia Kaha St George, UT
    May 17, 2019 7:31 a.m.

    What if we were having this conversation 50 years ago......... How grateful I am that the church is not sitting silently by while "blacks and the priesthood" activists ram legislation through that would further erode our fast disappearing religious freedoms. Let us hope our congressional leaders listen and use their influence to help stop this lopsided and biased bill from passing. Fairness for all is so much better than kicking religion to the curb. After all, freedom of religion is what this nation was founded on and gives it its strength, no matter what the activists and atheists say......... The pharisees that refused to help the beaten traveler were exercising their religious freedom. What do we do when "religious freedom" becomes a tool to enforce and protect policies, practices and doctrines that are discriminatory, and lacking charity and love. What would Jesus do? What did Jesus do?

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    May 15, 2019 9:34 a.m.

    @NoNamesAccepted
    "No one has been sued for not providing service to a Christian church wedding."
    This country is over 70% Christian. Are you really surprised that discriminating against the over-whelming majority religion of the country isn't more common?

    That said, how 'bout refusing services to inter-faith weddings?

    Alexandra Katzman and Jonathan Webber sued Bernadine's Stillman Inn because for refusing their Jewish-Christian wedding.

    Inter-racial weddings?

    Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay sued Keith Bardwell. He refused to sign their marriage license explictly because they are an inter-racial couple.

    For that matter, some of the earliest challenges to the Civil Rights Act (1964) involved people refusing services to inter-racial couples because of "religious reasons".

    Moving beyond weddings and marriages, there are literally *hundreds* of non-discrimination lawsuits (public accommodations, employment, housing, etc.) every *year* that don't involve gay people.

    Kinda suspicious that you just see articles re-treading the same half-dozen cases, eh? I mean, "photographers"? Elane refused to photograph a commitment ceremony 14 years ago.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    May 15, 2019 1:42 a.m.

    "The Church calls upon members of Congress to pass legislation that vigorously protects religious freedom while also protecting basic civil rights for LGBT persons."

    Notice the difference in emphasis:

    "vigorously protect religious freedom"

    Vs.

    (Almost as a side note) "protect basic civil rights" for LGBT persons.

    Why not "protect basic (minimal) religious freedoms" and "protect FULL civil rights for LGBT"?

    The Church is still treating LGBT as second class citizens, only worthy of minimal civil rights... like they are worth only 3/5ths of a regular person's civil rights?

  • 212degrees , 00
    May 15, 2019 12:00 a.m.

    If you discriminate against any other person solely because your religion told you to do so and you have no other legitimate secular argument using simple reason, You are not only wrong in trying to force your beliefs on others, IMO your religion is also very likely wrong and not from any perfect loving God.

  • 212degrees , 00
    May 14, 2019 11:54 p.m.

    @Endure2End "This misnamed Equality Act is biased toward LGBT. We need to protect religious freedom, too. Both are possible."

    Perhaps, but only if religions are willing to NOT discriminate against others based on their beliefs(not facts) that have no other basis in reality.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 14, 2019 8:13 p.m.

    @Ranch: "A wedding cake isn't "speech", it's a CAKE."

    If a $1000 cake isn't art, then why are you paying $1000 for it rather than buying a $25 cake at Costco or Walmart?

    Is photographry protected "speech"? If not, don't complain when some government official wants to censor images that offend him. If it is protected "speech" (or press or expression) then you cannot force an artist to employ her talents promoting your viewpoint that homosexual marriage is the same as conjugal marriage.

    Are drugs "speech"? I've yet to hear you voice a concern about drug companies discriminating against State prisons trying to conduct executions.

    Do you want to force social media to carry content that offends the owners? Or do billion $ companies get to live their values while small business owners are forced into bankruptcy?

    "...give up your own non-discrimination protections,"

    You can already refuse to provide service to a temple open house or missionary event. No one has been sued for not providing service to a Christian church wedding. Entertainers refuse to perform at the white house.

    I am not attending nor promoting a same-sex party. I will sell you off-the-shelf without discrmination.

  • jo1952 Redmond, WA
    May 14, 2019 2:08 p.m.

    The funny thing is, it's not the LG but the T that this bill is for. This bill would allow biological men to compete on women's sports teams. Feminists, radical feminists even, are completely against this bill because it will mandate that men must be included everywhere that is women only, if they identify that way. Transgenderism is a mental disorder and shouldn't be included as a protected class, anymore than any other mental disorder. That's why they shouldn't be in the military, at least not any place where they can become a danger to our soldiers and our country.

  • pjsunray San Jose, CA
    May 14, 2019 1:37 p.m.

    Religious liberty is a slippery slope with no defining guard rails. What is to stop a group of people from creating a new religious whose central tenants include breaking existing laws? e.g. theft, murder, kidnapping etc. There is no clear legal guidance as to what is and is not acceptable as a religion.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    May 14, 2019 12:11 p.m.

    "This includes the right of religious organizations and religious schools to establish faith-based employment and admissions standards and to preserve the religious nature of their activities and properties."
    ____________________
    And if those "admissions standards" discriminate? That the Church is trying to sound a more moderate and accepting posture is a positive to be sure. But let's remember that positive actions speak louder than high-sounding words.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    May 14, 2019 9:02 a.m.

    "The Church is on record favoring reasonable measures that secure such rights."
    No it's not. It has *one* time, in 2015, that can fit that description.

    But every single prior case? Sodomy laws, adoption laws, marriage bans, civil union bans, domestic partnership bans, employment bans, DADT, adoption bans, conversion therapy, family rejection... the "record" is solidly anti-gay.

    So argue that they're turning over a new leaf, but don't try to gaslight us on the actual *history*.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 14, 2019 7:27 a.m.

    @tesuji;

    If you don't care about the rights of others, why should they care about your rights? You could lose yourself what you won't protect for others. Equality mean equal, fairness means fair.

    @NoNames;

    A wedding cake isn't "speech", it's a CAKE. A business shouldn't be judging the worthiness of it's customers, they're just customers.

    Unless you're willing to give up your own non-discrimination protections, stop asking to be able to discriminate against others. You all keep saying nobody has a right to not be offended, that would include business owners.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    May 14, 2019 7:10 a.m.

    This is a well reasoned call for compromise. Too many on both sides have been harping about bathrooms or trying to force their will on all. Julea Ward may have been too unwilling to counsel an LGBT individual with relationship advice but Eastern Michigan University clearly violated her religious freedom in reaction.

  • tesuji Bountiful, UT
    May 14, 2019 3:16 a.m.

    Satan's using the whole gay question to attack everything good, isn't he? It sure destroyed the Boy Scouts.

    Why do so many people care about "gay rights"? Most of the supporters aren't gay themselves, so why do they care so much? I think it's due to pride - enmity toward God, and just another way to demonstrate that they don't want God telling them what to do. Just my idea.

    Also, this bill is a good reminder to me that even though I like many things in the liberal platform, they are also their own version of crazytown, and like conservatives, liberals can do a lot of damage when they get into power. This is why we need both parties, to keep each other in check, it seems to me.

    Let's hope this crazy bill doesn't pass without good revisions being added to protect religion.

  • BobP CA, 00
    May 13, 2019 11:24 p.m.

    If the law passes simply refuse to follow it.

    OR, get Trump to veto it.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 13, 2019 6:25 p.m.

    @Ranch: "What exactly are "appropriate public accomodations"? "

    Those goods and services that are provided without the provider having to engage in unwanted speech nor unwanted promotion of a message or event he chooses not to promote.

    Drug companies refuse to sell their products for legal executions. Would you force them to violate the values of their owners/operators to assist with a lawful execution?

    Social media companies ban content their owners/operators find offensive. Would you force them to host and promote material they deem "hate speech"?

    Various entertainers refuse to perform at certain political events, may refuse to license their songs for use by certain politicians. Would you force them to perform? Would you mandate they allow their creative material to be used by politicians whose platforms they oppose?

    So by what right would anyone force a photographer to attend and promote a wedding that offends her?

    Why would anyone demand a baker of high priced custom cakes use his talents to support an event that offends him?

    Is a little consistency too much to expect these days?

  • Jim Mesa, AZ
    May 13, 2019 5:22 p.m.

    Isn't there a federal election coming up soon. We sometimes forget that our political leaders are not our political leaders but political servants. If that is the case, then sack them at the next election by voting them out. If people being voted in that offend us or our beliefs, vote them out. If they don't listen to our concerns vote them out. It is that simple. But if the majority of the people support corrupt principles, then we are in trouble.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 13, 2019 5:09 p.m.

    Ever said the Lord's prayer, the tiny little word "as" holds the key to life. Someone has to do it first. It's not natural.

  • Occidentali Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2019 2:51 p.m.

    The Equality Act:
    1. repeals long-standing religious standards,
    2. threatens religious employment standards,
    3. devastates religious education,
    4. defunds numerous religious charities and
    5. imposes secular standards on religious activities and properties.
    It should not be enacted as written. It is a major step toward shutting churches and schools down and changing their essential nature as faith institutions.

  • Orson Woods Cross, UT
    May 13, 2019 12:45 p.m.

    How grateful I am that the church is not sitting silently by while LGBT activists ram legislation through that would further erode our fast disappearing religious freedoms. Let us hope our congressional leaders listen and use their influence to help stop this lopsided and biased bill from passing. Fairness for all is so much better than kicking religion to the curb. After all, freedom of religion is what this nation was founded on and gives it its strength, no matter what the activists and atheists say.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 13, 2019 11:41 a.m.

    "Lawmakers across the nation, including members of Congress, are working to enact or strengthen laws that ensure LGBT persons fair access to important rights, such as nondiscrimination in areas like housing, employment and appropriate public accommodations."

    -- What exactly are "appropriate public accomodations"? Buying a wedding cake? Purchasing flowers for a wedding?

    If a business is an "appropriate public accomodation" for straights, then it's also an"appropriate public accomodation" for LGBT customers.

    "...seeking reasonable, respectful compromises in areas of conflict."

    -- There is nothing "reasonable", nor "respectful" in allowing discrimination in the public square.

    "...the standard of fairness for all."

    -- Would be that EVERYONE is treated THE SAME in the public square.

    "...the Equality Act provides no protections for religious freedom."

    -- Can "religious freedom" be used to discriminate against women, blacks, other religious? No. Nothing changes with the equality act.

    -- Don't want to be constrained by the law? Don't accept public money.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:56 a.m.

    Power plays, by definition, are never fair. To complicate matters, "gay rights" are an ever moving target as they add to the acronym.

    It is a pipe dream to meld religious rights with a compromise of some sort. It'll never happen.

  • SorryNotSorry Draper, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:37 a.m.

    This is why I have waining sympathy for the plight of LGBT people. They over reach, the leaders of their nationwide quasi-religious support organizations seek for a zero sum outcome to strip rights from some to give it to the LGBT community.

    Most individuals with any sense of fairness want to live their lives free of codified law that undermines their liberties and religious beliefs.

    I allow the LGBT religion its proper respect for their beliefs about self fulfillment and their own pursuit of happiness.

    I don’t support the desire of national organizations to tear down the firmly held beliefs of others using the long arm of the government.

  • Furry1993 MSC, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:20 a.m.

    Churches are, of course, free to set their own standards for membership and the right to receive ordinances. They are perfectly free to preach their dogma, subject to the right of people to contest the content of the dogma.

    BUT, when a church operates in the civil/secular marketplace, it must follow the laws and requirements that govern the civil/secular marketplace and provide equitable treatment to all in the civil/secular marketplace. That includes, but is not limited to, the fact that sexual orientation cannot be used as a discriminator qualification concerning who receives the benefit of any particular entity acting in the civil/secular marketplace. Sexual orientation must not be used to determine whether a person is eligible for employment, to purchase a good/service, or any other civil/secular benefit.

    THAT is what the Equality Act does. The Equality Act should be supported as written.

  • Endure2End San Jose, CA
    May 13, 2019 9:59 a.m.

    This misnamed Equality Act is biased toward LGBT. We need to protect religious freedom, too. Both are possible.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    May 13, 2019 9:49 a.m.

    Typical deceptive civil rights law proposed by Democrats. Give the law a very attractive name and then add language that actually takes away rights from people they disagree with and hate. This must be fought on every end.

    This will continue until the Supreme Court rules that religious people , entitys and businesses can exercise and live by their sincere religious beliefs. They should have done it during the Colorado Master Cake decorator case. That would have been two cases affirming the rights of both groups (gay marriage and religious freedom) and helped stop the divide in this country.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    May 13, 2019 9:14 a.m.

    This is absolutely the correct approach in our polarized society. I hope their advice is heeded.