SALT LAKE CITY — Jackie Biskupski, presumed winner of the race to be Salt Lake City Mayor, released a statement Friday responding to a policy change from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that prohibits children of same-sex couples from joining the LDS Church unless they are of legal age, have moved out of their parents’ home and have disavowed the practice of same-sex relationships.
Biskupski is a lesbian, and her statement reflected her personal connection to the controversial issue. Should the final vote tally confirm Biskupski’s victory, she would be the first openly-gay mayor of Salt Lake City.
The full statement is reproduced below:
“The conversations I have had over the past 24 hours, regarding the LDS Church policy to exclude children living in same-sex households from membership, have been with people of all walks of life, both Mormon and non-Mormon. The common theme is both shock and concern for children—not just those directly impacted—but all children in our community who are witnessing a form of injustice that no child should experience.
As a faith community, the LDS Church has done so much good in promoting the strength of the family, that it is hard for many of us to accept a policy that would tell a child who wishes to seek spiritual guidance from the Church, that they should look elsewhere simply because of their parents. Our community has also come so far in the last year to bridge the gaps between us, that this new policy feels confusing to many.
The LDS Church is entitled to live in its doctrine and to make policy decisions that reflect the teachings of their faith, but I hold onto hope that a move in this direction will not last long. As a mother of a young son—who will grow up in this community—I want him to feel welcome wherever he goes and judged based on the content of his character, not on his mother’s sexual orientation. My son will make many important decisions in his life and if he chose to become a member of the LDS Church, I would support his choice, and I would hope he could find acceptance in his faith community.”