LDS Church affirms support for Utah Senate Bill 296

Elder D. Todd Christofferson addresses Utah lawmakers and others at a press conference introducing Utah Bill 296.

Leaders of the LDS Church and state lawmakers gathered at the Utah State Capitol Wednesday to publicly support a bill that provides protections for LGBT people and strengthens religious freedom.

Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including Elders L. Tom Perry and D. Todd Christofferson of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles attended the news conference.

Elder Christofferson expressed appreciation to those who had worked to negotiate the bill. He said the legislation serves as an effective model for other local and state governments to follow.

The LDS Church issued a brief statement as the press conference began stating: “The principle that we have urged legislators to address is that of fairness for everyone. In a society which has starkly diverse views on what rights should be protected, the most sensible way to move forward is for all parties to recognize the legitimate concerns of others. After a considerable amount of hard work, we believe that the Utah legislature has wisely struck that balance.”

The statement went on to say, “LGBT people cannot be fired or denied housing just for being gay. At the same time, religious conscience and the right to protect deeply held religious beliefs is protected by robust legislation. While none of the parties achieved all they wanted, we do at least now have an opportunity to lessen the divisiveness in our communities without compromising on key principles.”

Utah lawmakers will vote on the legislation before the session ends next week.

In January, Church leaders held a press conference in Salt Lake City calling for legislation across the United States that protects religious freedoms and LGBT protections.

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