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Latter-day Saint church backs Amendment C removing slavery from Utah's constitution

Amendment C news conference
Posted at 3:40 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 17:40:44-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is backing Amendment C, which removes references to "slavery" from Utah's constitution.

During a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, the state's dominant faith lent its support to the proposed constitutional amendment that goes before voters in November.

"This outdated language is offensive to all of us and there's no compelling reason for this to remain in our constitution," said Juan Becerra, with the faith's government and community relations branch. "And we fully support the removal through the amendment that has been proposed."

At Tuesday's event, Black community leaders and others gathered to announce a campaign to get voters to approve Amendment C. FOX 13 previously reported on efforts to persuade voters to remove it. It removes references to "slavery" which exist in the Utah Constitution as a prohibition with an exception for punishment of a crime. Backers of the amendment insist it will not impact prisons or jails, but would remove offensive and outdated language.

"This was a human issue. This was about righting a wrong," said Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, who sponsored the proposed constitutional amendment that passed the legislature unanimously.

Her co-sponsor, Sen. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, called passing Amendment C "a no-brainer."

"This should have been done decades ago," he said. "Why did we include it (slavery in the first place)? I don't get it."

Amendment C has broad support from a number of groups. The Utah Republican Party has announced its support, alongside the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah, the NAACP and others.