This caught my attention on Fox13’s website: LDS Church clarifies it has not announced support for statewide LGBT non-discrimination bill.
It appears that the church may be in the process of pursuing an expansion of sex-orientation non-discrimination law in Utah. While the church official’s response (see link/text on the Fox13 site) seems to distance them from any further laws (besides the 2009 law), the church’s email ends with a statement that seems to indicate that the webpage was a work-in-progress for some sort of new announcement:
“This is a beta site and is not a final product. Additional edits and changes are possible before it reaches final completion.”
Maybe the final sentence in the response is just poorly written or intentionally cryptic. I don’t know, but I’ll take it at face value based on past experience. As noted by the LDS Church response, they supported a similar localized law in 2009…and made sure they were exempt from the law. Back then, I opposed what they were doing as it epitomized a “good for thee and not for me” attitude.
It sounds like the church may be preparing to push for government power to force acceptance of behaviors some of the community and its own members (and the church itself) consider immoral. In doing so, they intrude of private property rights and rights of association of their own members but, through carving out a special exemption, the church is not subject to adhering to this coercion itself.
These are the types of laws that we’ve seen force private bakeries (here too) and wedding reception/service businesses to violate their moral beliefs (or close shop) despite their attempts to find alternative accommodations for the clients (who clearly had predetermined to force acceptance via litigation).
If this issue is indeed so important – then step up and remove the exemption and allow the same policy to affect the church’s properties (such as BYU housing etc). To sum: “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”.