This week the Mormon Church took a half-hearted shuffle toward LGBT equality by pledging to support anti-discrimination laws for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. In a rare press conference in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, LDS leaders announced that they would endorse such legislation on the condition that it also protected the rights of religious groups.
The statement, which received a generally positive response, does not mean that the culture wars are over yet. The past week has also seen the introduction of three bills in Oklahoma that take direct aim at the LGBT community. When it comes to equality this week, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
State House Bill 1599, the “Preservation and Sovereignty of Marriage Act,” stipulates that taxpayer funds and governmental salaries cannot be used to support same-sex marriage (SCOTUS be damned). House Bill 1598, known as the “Freedom to Obtain Conversion Therapy Act” would allow parents to seek (invariably damaging and unsuccessful) counseling and therapy to change a child’s sexual orientation. And, finally, House Bill 1597 would allow businesses to refuse service “to any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person, group or association.” Because nothing says “Christian” like the refusal to help others.