According to the Toronto Star, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has taken a position on a comprehensive nondiscrimination bill stated to protect LGBT rights
It gives broad protections. This became the crux of the issue for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the LDS. The representatives of the LDS church stated that the bill, or the Equality Act, will be a direct threat to religion.
In the following senses, it will post a threat to religious employment standards, to religious education, and to the funding of religious charities.
As reported, “The church pointed out the importance of religions and religious schools having the right to create faith-based employment and admissions standards.”
The other religious groups who have stood in solidarity with the LDS in opposition to this have been the Southern Baptist Convention and the Roman Catholic Church.
This legislation adds gender identity and sexual orientation to the current federal nondiscrimination laws in “employment, housing, education, and public spaces and services.”
The Equality Act simply protects vulnerable individuals in society who, as of recently, have begun to have some modicum of respect, dignity, and representation within the society.
“The bill has widespread Democratic backing and seems certain to pass the House, but the chances appear slim in the Republican-controlled Senate,” the Toronto Star stated, “The Utah-based faith, widely known as the Mormon church, said it favours ‘reasonable’ measures to protect LGBT people’s access to housing, employment and public accommodations, but that such efforts shouldn’t erode the right for people to live and speak freely about their religious beliefs.”
The LDS church has been progressing in ways not seen, in terms of rapidity, in other faiths, which took much longer while other have not moved at all (or much).
The LDS church lives with the difficult context of wanting to affirm the rights of the LGBTQ community while also sticking within the boundaries of the faith on homosexual marriage and intimacy of same-sex couples.
This is difficult to straddle this line.
The article informed, “The church points to a 2015 Utah anti-discrimination law it backed. That measure made it illegal to base employment and housing decisions on sexual orientation or gender identity, while also creating exemptions for religious organizations and protecting religious speech in the workplace. The faith said the federal Equality Act doesn’t strike the right balance.”
In the minds of the officials of the LDS church, the difficulty lies between religious liberty and the rights of the LGBT community. They see the proposal in the Equality Act as something that is eroding the free practice of religion while also “preventing diverse Americans of good will from living together in respect and peace.”
U.S. Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee have opposed the legislation.