LDS Church issues statement on hate crimes bill

Posted at 4:22 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 20:01:01-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-say Saints says it doesn’t want any changes from last year’s big compromise bill on gay rights and nondiscrimination.

In a statement to FOX 13 on Wednesday, the LDS Church said it is not supporting any changes from the balance achieved by that from either side the political spectrum. Wednesday’s statement was in response to questions from FOX 13 about Senate Bill 107, which seeks to add race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protections under Utah law.

The LDS Church’s statement says:

“The Utah Legislature achieved something extraordinary last year in arriving at legislation that protected both religious liberty rights and LGBT rights. Interests from both ends of the political spectrum are attempting to alter that balance. We believe that the careful balance achieved through being fair to all should be maintained.”

The LGBT rights group Equality Utah said Wednesday it still hoped for the passage of SB107. It unveiled a long list of backers to the bill, including the Statewide Association of Prosecutors, the Utah Sentencing Commission, the ACLU, NAACP, the Catholic Diocese, First Baptist Church, the Episcopal Diocese and Utah Coaliton of La Raza.

“We’ve got multiple law enforcement agencies that have endorsed it, multiple faith organizations that have endorsed it and multiple ethnic communities that are also endorsing it and the numbers are growing every day,” said Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams.

Williams told FOX 13 they would keep talking with the LDS Church. SB107 passed out of a Senate committee last week. Senate debate could happen next week.