Two Bishops Respond to LDS

The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson of the Center for American Progress writes at The Huffington Post:

[An] announcement by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) that they now support anti-discrimination legislation in housing, employment and public accommodation makes absolutely no sense.

Anti-discrimination bills, as the adjective would suggest, are meant to protect those named from being discriminated against. The Mormons’ “new” stance merely proclaims that they now favor bills which would bar discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, as long as those who discriminate against them are given protection for doing so. Such a twisted and distorted approach stretches both the language and the substance of such legislation into an unrecognizable shape and takes us into the realm of the absurd.

The Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, Bishop of Utah, writes on his diocese’s website:

I applaud the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in offering support for legislators to pass fair access to housing and employment for LGBT people. I also applaud the leaders for calling for the end of bullying those who may not believe as others may believe. I have steadfastly cried out to stop bashing philosophical opponents. That practice has become a hallmark of today’s political discussions. It is a brave thing they have done. I expect that in trying to establish a middle ground position, they will receive criticism from both directions.

I also note the LDS Church leaders concern over what they feel is an erosion of religious freedom. The words religious freedom, however, cause me prayerful reflection when freedoms may overlap between believers and non‐believers of a faith, or if legislation ever allows public servants to use their beliefs to deny expected services to others.

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