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Why Is the Mormon Church Supporting Gay Workplace Protections?


Well isn’t this novel: Rather than trample on the livelihood of gay Americans, the Mormon Church has come out in support of anti-discrimination measures to protect the ‘mos in Salt Lake City.

As the Salt Lake City Council yesterday debated whether to add sexual orientation to the list of protected classes in housing and employment backed by Mayor Ralph Becker, LDS public affairs managing director Michael Otterson testified that the Church supported the measure “because it is fair and reasonable and does not do violence to the institution of marriage.”

And while LDS’s position may sound shocking, given the Church’s high stakes role in defeating marriage rights in California, Otterson said LDS has always maintained a position of “not object[ing] to rights regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference” (that quote is from a statement released last year before Prop 8’s decision).

Noted Otterson: “I represent a church that believes in human dignity, in treating others with respect even when we disagree — in fact, especially when we disagree. Our language will always be respectful and acknowledge those who differ, but (we) will also be clear on matters that we feel are of great consequence to our society.”

So, as we understand it, the Mormon Church views gays as worthwhile human beings in the workplace, but not in their own bedrooms. Got it.

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