SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints late Friday posted a statement to its website saying it now fully supports non-discrimination protections for LGBT Utahns in the areas of housing and employment.
The Mormon Church, while reiterating its opposition to same-sex relationships, said it supports inclusion toward people of “all gender orientations.”
“Church leaders recognize the existence and difficulty of same gender attraction and acknowledge the difference between having same-sex attraction and acting on it. They censure only the latter, and leaders strongly advocate for understanding, inclusion, and kindness toward people of all gender orientations.
“The Church website mormonsandgays.org details sincere outreach by the Church within the gay community, including support in Utah for nondiscrimination protections of employment and housing. There is room for compassion, common ground, and shared humanity among people who disagree, and Church leaders eagerly pursue these ideals, both inside and outside the Church.”
Following nationwide protests at Mormon-owned temples over its support for California‘s Proposition 8, the Church previously endorsed a local Salt Lake City non-discrimination law in 2009, but has remained silent on the issue ever since, and the Republican-dominated Utah State Legislature has refused to pass statewide LGBT protections.
The 2015 session of the state legislature begins in January, and with renewed support from the Mormon Church, a LGBT-inclusive statewide non-discrimination law proposed by state Sen. Stephen H. Urquhart (R-St. George) may finally see a vote.