Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Tuesday for passage of laws granting statewide protections against housing and employment discrimination for gay and lesbian Utahns — as long as those measures safeguard religious freedom.
This news conference featured three apostles – Elder Holland, Oaks and Christofferson and also featured Sister Neill Marriott who is the second counselor in the church’s Young Women general presidency.
“We call on local, state and the federal government,” Oaks said in a news release, “to serve all of their people by passing legislation that protects vital religious freedoms for individuals, families, churches and other faith groups while also protecting the rights of our LGBT citizens in such areas as housing, employment and public accommodation in hotels, restaurants and transportation — protections which are not available in many parts of the country.”
LDS officials “believe laws ought to be framed to achieve a balance,” Oaks said, “in protecting the freedoms of all people, while respecting those with differing values.”
Rep. Jacob Anderegg stated:
“Let’s be frank: The 800-pound gorilla in the room is: Does the LDS Church get behind it? If the LDS Church gets behind it and gives its blessing, then 81 percent of the body who are LDS will likely get behind it. And it’s not because the church is coming out and saying, ‘Vote this way or that way,’ but an endorsement from them does carry weight.”
Watch the full press conference below.