Mormon Church: Utah should not upend religious, LGBT rights balance

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church says Utah lawmakers considering hate crimes legislation this year should not upset a balance they struck last year with an anti-discrimination law protecting both religious rights and LGBT rights.

The statement Wednesday afternoon from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was in response to a proposal to beef up Utah’s hate crimes law and add new protections for gay and transgender people.

Church spokesman Dale Jones said in the statement that there are efforts from both ends of the political spectrum to upset that balance. Jones declined to elaborate.

Equality Utah director Troy Williams had no response to the statement Wednesday but said he and the bill sponsor, St. George Republican Sen. Steve Urquhart, would respond at a Thursday news conference.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!