In a landmark move, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Tuesday that it is changing its posture toward gays. The church has decided to support anti-discrimination legislation for gays and lesbians in the realm of housing and employment. The church also announced that it it comes with the condition that no one can be forced to perform actions if he or she has religious objections. One example, a doctor who refuses to artificially inseminate a lesbian couple. Utah is facing two bills that protections for each group. Political watchers in the state have noted that both measures would be likely to pass if the LDS Church got behind it.
“When religious people are publicly intimidated, retaliated against, forced from employment or made to suffer personal loss because they have raised their voice in the public square, donated to a cause, or participated in an election, our democracy is the loser,” said Elder Dallin Oaks, a member of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles. “Such tactics are every bit as wrong as denying access to employment, housing, or public services because of race or gender.”
However, this month, the church was in hot water for planning to excommunicate a prominent critic of its same-sex marriage stance for the apostasy.