At a rare press conference at church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Mormon leaders spoke out to support anti-discrimination laws for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, as long the laws also protect the rights of religious groups.
Among the anti-discrimination laws was one proposed in Utah, its purpose is to protect people from being denied housing or jobs based on sexual orientation. However, the leaders also called for laws to protect the rights of those who say personal beliefs obligate them to oppose homosexuality or to refuse service to gay couples.
Due to the contradicting nature of these statements, there has been some confusion as to what the four Mormon leaders were attempting to express. Many questioned if their support of the anti-discrimination laws might mean gay-marriage in the churches is fast approaching. It was later made clear that the church has no intention of revisiting its doctrine, which says marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and that gay sexual-relationships are prohibited. Although the Religion does not condemn homosexuality, it views acting on these feelings as sinful. Those who practice Mormonism and are gay are expected to remain celibate, or marry the opposite sex regardless of their sexual orientation.
Although gay-marriage in the Mormon Church does not seem to be an upcoming topic of conversation, it can be widely celebrated that the church’s support of anti-discrimination laws is sure to impact the likelihood of a bill being passed after years of stalling in the legislator.
“This was a major event for the Mormon Church, a major event for Utah and the L.G.B.T. Community,” declared State Senator Stephen H. Urquhart, a republican who so far has unsuccessfully tried to pass an anti-discrimination law. “This changes the dynamic.”