The Mormon Church announced that they will support gay rights protection and religious freedom.
After years of talks on the subject, it seems that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is willing to support certain aspects of the LGBT community.
However, their support for a community that has been typically shunned by the church comes with a slight caveat that has many people viewing this gesture with suspicion. Their support comes as long as religious groups are afforded protections against social advocates and government who, in their view, have been bullying them over their beliefs.
What Is Changed And What Remains The Same
The Mormon Church has said that they will support legislation that helps the LBGT community thrive, though it will not effectively change their church doctrine. While they will support the secular aspects of the rights sought by gay advocates, their church will not change to support sex outside of marriage or same-sex relations. The official church release states that the members of the church needs to learn, like everyone else, how to function in a society that has various sets of beliefs.
This has caused a variety of different reactions, with some calling it a major victory while others saying that it hardly changes anything. Specifically, some say that the religious exemptions that the Mormon Church is asking for makes the entire gesture seem meaningless. However, Jim Dabakis, a gay senator, has said that this represents what America is all about: finding common ground with one another and making compromises that do not infringe on civil rights.
A Call For Religious Protection
The Mormon Church has called for protection for their religion from persecution in the public forums. With a changing society that often views religious laws as being antiquated, it is little surprise that many take offense to some teachings of the Mormon Church. For example, they are vocal opponents of gay marriage, which has gotten some members of the church fired from their jobs or laden with undue hardship. They insist that denying their rights of free speech, whether they are agreed with or not, is similar to denying members of the LGBT community to speak out on their own behalf.
Some of the most famous cases of perceived religious intolerance in the nation have been levied against Baptists, Catholics, and the Mormon Church, who are taking a stand against it. Just three years ago, a Mormon gymnast had to step down from a position as an Olympic liaison due to his support of a proposition in California that banned gay marriage.
A Brighter Future
It looks as though this dialogue on LGBT rights and religious groups will open new talks and means of ensuring that free speech is not endangered for anyone in the nation. Whether this will result in new legislation for religious protections or protection for other groups remains unseen, but it still serves as hope for understanding between these groups in the future.