Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mormon church headquarters back LGBT rights law

The leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also known as the LDS church or Mormons) based in Salt Lake City, Utah, have given their support to a citywide ordinance to outlaw most housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The Salt Lake City Council passed the ordinance unanimously last night. The church's stance can be partly explained by the exceptions that the law allows for religious organizations, which may continue to consider sexual orientation as a factor in employment.

"The church supports these ordinances because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage," said Michael Otterson, the director of public affairs for the LDS church. The LDS church gained national attention last year for its strong support of California's Proposition 8, which removed the right of same-sex couples to marry in that state.

Whether the rest of Utah will follow remains to be seen. Salt Lake City is among Utah's least religious and most socially liberal communities.

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