There was a news conference yesterday, held by the LDS church. You can read about it and watch it here. The church announced their support of laws in Utah that would allow for LGBT individuals to seek housing and employment without fear of discrimination.
Yes, it is great that a church is standing up and saying that LGBT individuals should not be discriminated against when applying for housing and employment. The church reps went on to say that, as a church, they have the right to not hire LGBT individuals in their institutions and to force them to do so is an attack on their religious freedom.
I think we can all agree, no one should be discriminated against. No one should be denied housing because of their sexual orientation and no one should have to resign as CEO because they don't support gay rights. But can we please stop lauding 'the church' for this amazing wonderful stance they are taking? Because the church basically said that they don't believe in LGBT discrimination in hiring practices except if they're the ones doing the hiring. Because church. And religious freedom.
During the press conference, Dallin H Oaks said, "the precious constitutional right of free speech does not exclude any individual or group, and a society is only truly free when it respects freedom of religious exercise, conscience and expression for everyone, including unpopular minorities. "
Then, after the press conference, Elders Oaks and Christofferson held individual interviews with journalists to answer questions. Peggy Fletcher Stack, of the Salt Lake Tribune, asked the apostles what the LDS Church thinks of members who back same-sex marriage. This was the response from Elder Christofferson:
"There hasn't been any litmus test or standard imposed that you couldn't support that if you want to support it," Christofferson said, "if that's your belief and you think it's right."Any Latter-day Saint can have a belief "on either side of this issue," he said. "That's not uncommon."Problems arise only when a member makes "a public, sustained opposition to the church itself or the church leaders and tries to draw others after them," he said, and that support swells into "advocacy."
So, the precious constitutional right of free speech does not exclude anyone but if your convictions aren't totally in line with church teachings, don't voice them in public, and definitely don't be an advocate.
Don't discriminate against gays unless you're a church. Don't speak freely unless your opinion is the same as the church's. Husband and wife are equal but men preside. We are given agency but we have to choose this path to gain exaltation. The holy ghost confirms truth to you unless that truth isn't church-endorsed - then it's satan deceiving you.
I'm just........tired. Also, I support gay marriage.