In a rare move, the LDS Church announced Tuesday night its support of Salt Lake City‘s proposed ordinances protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination in housing and employment, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Hours later, the City Council approved the measures unanimously.
“The church supports these ordinances,” said spokesman Michael Otterson, “because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage.”
They also are entirely consistent, he said, with church teachings.
The move was hailed by leaders of Utah‘s gay community — some of them stunned — who called it groundbreaking policy that they hope will set the stage for statewide legislation.
The anti-discrimination ordinances, expected to win unanimous support by year’s end from the council would make it illegal to fire or evict based on sexuality.
Tuesday’s announcement follows more than two months of secret meetings between midlevel LDS officials and five of Utah’s most prominent gay leaders.
The LDS Church sees the announcement as an olive branch to the gay community after months of growing tension over the church-backed Proposition 8 vote that reversed gay marriage in California , and the kiss-in protests that took place after LDS security detained two gay men on the church’s Main Street Plaza after they were seen hugging and kissing.
Full story at The Salt Lake Tribune.