Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Daniel2

Lds Church In Talks To Write Lgbt Non-Discrimination Bill In Ut

Recommended Posts

Fantastic news...

LDS Church reportedly in talks to write LGBT non-discrimination bill in Utah

March 11, 2013

By Scottie Thomaston

UPDATE 1:40PM ET: Another report says the language was finalized and the bill passed out of a Senate committee.

The Mormon Church is reportedly working on language for a statewide LGBT non-discrimination bill in Utah. The church supported a similar bill in 2009, according to a report:

The church actually endorsed a similar ordinance in 2009 in Salt Lake City.

This is momentous, surely, but the Mormon faith, whether real or done for politics, is changing. In December, Mormon leaders launched a website called mormonsandgays.org, and the church stressed that homosexuality is not a choice, that all the brothers and sisters need to be treated with compassion, that we all “need to love one another.”

The church is well-known for its efforts to pass Prop 8 banning marriage equality in California.

The Salt Lake Tribune first broke the news on Thursday. According to their story:

Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, opened a bill file on Thursday — the last day to request attorneys draft legislation — titled Housing and Employment Amendments and will sponsor the legislation should an agreement be reached.

The newspaper notes that talks have been ongoing for the past eight months and there is not a bill yet, though other sources suggest that all the parties to the negotiations are close to final language. The report suggests that if the LDS church signs on to the bill’s language, it’s likely to pass.

Share this post


Link to post

An earlier article from Deseret News points out the ongoing controversy, and suggests that the LDS church had not yet (the week before) endorsed the bill. It will be interesting to see how this plays out--to what degree the LDS church IS or ISN'T involved, and what future versions of the bill may look like and what support they garner.

A Utah first: Senate committee endorses statewide non-discrimination law

By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News

Published: Thursday, March 7 2013 7:55 p.m. MST

1093532.jpg

Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, the Utah Legislature's only openly gay member.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Summary

Backers of a proposed statewide anti-discrimination law celebrated victory in a Senate committee Thursday. But opponents of the bill say their glee will be short-lived.

“It's a wonderful day for non-discrimination and fair Utahns everywhere.”

Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY — Backers of a proposed statewide anti-discrimination law celebrated victory in a Senate committee Thursday. But opponents of the bill say their glee will be short-lived.

After an emotional and congenial hearing, a Utah legislative committee for the first time voted to advance a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing and employment.

"This is a historic day. This has never happened before," said Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, the Utah Legislature's only openly gay member. "This happened with Republicans and Democrats. It's a wonderful day for non-discrimination and fair Utahns everywhere."

Utah Eagle Forum president Gayle Ruzicka said SB262 will die when it reaches the full Senate.

"If they want to call it a victory, that's fine," she said. "It has to become law for you to win. This one is not going to become law."

In addition to outlawing discrimination in employment and housing practices, the bill addresses workplace dress and grooming standards and shared restroom facilities. It would not apply to small businesses, college dormitories or religious organizations.

The Senate Economic Development and Workforces Services Committee voted 4-3 to advance the measure to the Senate floor, with two Republicans and two Democrats voting in favor.

Bill sponsor Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George, who described himself as "pretty freaked out" after the favorable committee vote, knows the bill is a tough sell among his colleagues in the Republican-controlled Senate.

"I'm not confident this will make it past the Senate floor, but I'm sure going to work for that result," Urquhart said. "I'm going to keep bringing it back until we pass it."

Similar proposals by Democrats in the past five years haven't gone anywhere.

Utah currently has a patchwork of non-discrimination ordinances in 17 cities and counties. Salt Lake City approved the first one in 2009, with the backing of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The church issued a statement Thursday saying it has not taken a position on SB262.

"The church is on the record supporting non-discrimination protections for gay and lesbian citizens related to housing and employment," said LDS Church spokesman Michael Purdy. "We also believe that any legislation should protect these rights while also preserving the rights of religious conscience — to act in accordance with deeply held religious beliefs — for individuals and organizations."

Cache Valley resident Doree Burt brought her "Mormon mommy" perspective to the hearing. She said amid tears that her religion teaches the Golden Rule, and passing the proposed law would put that principle into action.

"Please support families by not taking away places for their children to work and live," Burt told the committee.

Laura Bunker, director of United Families Utah, warned senators that a non-discrimination law would establish grounds for the courts to legalize gay marriage as they have in other states. She asked the committee to not take action on the bill.

"This bill does not deal with marriage," Urquhart said, reiterating it only deals with discrimination in housing and employment.

Utah, he said, needs a uniform law rather than different ones in various communities.

Opponents of proposed law argued that it would grant gay, lesbian and transgender people rights that aren't afforded all Utahns.

"It penalizes everyone. This isn't a gay rights (bill). It is a special rights bill," said Paul Mero, executive director of the Sutherland Institute, a conservative public policy think tank in Salt Lake City.

Mero said the bill asks lawmakers to legislate what people think, not what they do.

Urquhart disagreed, saying it's not about thoughts but it's about action against discrimination.

Mike Weinholtz, CEO of Utah-based CHG Healthcare Services, said it's "elementary" to have a non-discrimination law. Without it, he said, businesses won't be able to recruit top people or expand.

A statewide law would end confusion over the various ordinances across the state and "announce to the world that Utah's not only open for business but we're open to everyone," Weinholtz said.

Share this post


Link to post

Daniel2:

I'm conflicted about this. Oh not the Non-Discrimination part of it. I'm fine and encourage that part of it. But I see a little too much Church involvement in the political process for my taste.

Share this post


Link to post

But I see a little too much Church involvement in the political process for my taste.

Would you have a problem with an organization like Affirmation or a legal group such as the ACLU giving input?

The Church represents a huge constituency in Utah, it makes sense to consult its representatives for input on any bill that is wanted to pass just as it would make sense to consult the Democratic Party reps in a state that was primarily Democrats.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm curious. How many Utah house or senate bills over,say, the last decade have called for the church's input ?

Share this post


Link to post

Would you have a problem with an organization like Affirmation or a legal group such as the ACLU giving input?

The Church represents a huge constituency in Utah, it makes sense to consult its representatives for input on any bill that is wanted to pass just as it would make sense to consult the Democratic Party reps in a state that was primarily Democrats.

Having input is not the same as requesting or demanding input. Should state governments with large Southern Baptist constituents ask the Southern Baptist Conference for input on proposed legislation?

Regardless of the number of LDS in Utah, no state has no right or authority to mix Church and State. ALL laws must serve a secular purpose, and not overly restrict sectarian activities.

Share this post


Link to post

Here is an interesting development in this discussion.

http://www.huffingto..._n_3003401.html

Interesting article and idea. However, all it will take is one lawsuit and the house of cards will tumble down.

Pardon the pun, but the official state religion does not have a prayer.

Share this post


Link to post

Having input is not the same as requesting or demanding input. Should state governments with large Southern Baptist constituents ask the Southern Baptist Conference for input on proposed legislation?

Regardless of the number of LDS in Utah, no state has no right or authority to mix Church and State. ALL laws must serve a secular purpose, and not overly restrict sectarian activities.

I think that is generally a good policy. If churches play the politics game, they are open for the same sort of criticism unleashed on our elected officials.

That said, there are occasions where religion has positively impacted legislation. The most recent would be the various forms of civil rights legislation -- including legislation protecting women and GLBT people -- which have often come about with church support (even where other churches oppose the particular measures).

Share this post


Link to post

I think that is generally a good policy. If churches play the politics game, they are open for the same sort of criticism unleashed on our elected officials.

That said, there are occasions where religion has positively impacted legislation. The most recent would be the various forms of civil rights legislation -- including legislation protecting women and GLBT people -- which have often come about with church support (even where other churches oppose the particular measures).

While I support good common goals of churches. I'd rather keep them separate from the functions of government.

A play on a Galileo quote. The church can tell me how to go to Heaven, but not whether I go to jail.

Share this post


Link to post

Fantastic news...

We should not be involved in politics...IMHO and based on experience, all it will do is open us up to more bad press and criticism and every "Mormon website" filled with threads when there is so much more to our beliefs, instead of the one sided view of a very dynamic Church and dynamic people. As long as we uphold the ideal of marriage which God ordained...very first institution he established, we will be viewed as bigots, and it is not so. We are a tiny % of the billions who disapprove of same-sex marriage. Seems so odd the almost the whole of this issue has been laid at our feet.

Share this post


Link to post

Fantastic news...

 

I don't find it fantastic that government leadership, should have to get support from a religion, in order for those same government leaders to support non-discrimination. I prefer not to have my religion and government served on the same dish.

 

Found this thread, while looking for another thread, it seemed an appropriate "bump" given a recent thread started by Daniel2.

Share this post


Link to post

What is with the cowardice so many members seem to have about the church being involved with the political process in any way as if a bit of bad press and a few naysayers or even an army of naysayers matter.

Share this post


Link to post

What is with the cowardice so many members seem to have about the church being involved with the political process in any way as if a bit of bad press and a few naysayers or even an army of naysayers matter.

 

Who knew the scriptures taught cowardice and naysaying....

 

D&C 134

 

We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

Share this post


Link to post

Who knew the scriptures taught cowardice and naysaying....

 

D&C 134

 

We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

That scripture specifically says that the mingling of religious influence and government is unjust only if the government supports one religion while denying the rights of others. That is clearly not the case here so not sure why you are quoting this scripture.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...