Bil Browning

LDS Changes Sides on Salt Lake City Human Rights Ordinance?

Filed By Bil Browning | November 10, 2009 5:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Harry Reid, LGBT Center, Mitt Romney, Pride Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

Tonight's Salt Lake City city council meeting to pass a fully inclusive human rights ordinance might come with a pleasant surprise from the Mormons.

The LDS church previously opposed the ordinance, but according to my sources they will announce at tonight's meeting that they've flipped positions. While the church won't go so far as to endorse the measure, they will withdraw their opposition.

Why? My sources say top LDS leaders got stern warnings from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney; the politicians are concerned over a recent spate of negative publicity over the church's support of Prop 8.

Michael Westley, Media & Special Events Coordinator, confirmed that the Utah Pride Center had also heard the information. "We've heard it as well. We'll have to see if it really happens," he said.

Both Romney & Reid have supported employment protections for the LGBT community previously. The city council meets at 7pm Mountain.


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Donna Pandori Donna Pandori | November 10, 2009 8:39 PM

Well isn't that special.

Here is an update of the text from the meeting - Mormon support of gay-rights ordinances: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=8624086

Donna Pandori Donna Pandori | November 11, 2009 8:59 AM

Does this mean the LDS will also throw their support behind passage of ENDA?

I don't see anywhere in the above linked articles that indicate this will be fully inclusive. Am I missing something?

Why? My sources say top LDS leaders got stern warnings from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney; the politicians are concerned over a recent spate of negative publicity over the church's support of Prop 8.

Do we know any more about the nature of these "stern warnings"? Were they about tax-exempt religious institutions being politically active? I thought such groups could take sides on an issue, but not endorse particular candidates --- right?

Or are the politicos worried that such LDS positions will make Mormon politicians unelectable? What exactly is going on here?

Re churches and political activities and IRS tax exemptions, note this recent Bilerico post by Sam Richie.

I think that we SHOULD push the LDS to take a stand on ENDA. We need to use this as a springboard.

Why should we continue putting pressure on the LDS?

Because the more they have to take stands on LGBT issues, the more they're going to have to deal with the fact they have LGBT members. The more they deal with that, the more likely we will be able to get them to move to the middle and accept their gay members.

Why should we want them to accept their gay members?

Anyone who's ever grown up in a faith knows that its particularly heartbreaking to be shunned and tossed out. Its like losing a limb. Sure, the LDS church belief raises eyebrows, but the more we can prevent the hurt that they inflict on their gay members, the better the world will be overall.