Nondiscrimination Legislation Requires Balance, Extreme Care

By William C. Duncan News reports suggest there is still an ongoing debate about how to balance calls for changes to state discrimination laws (which would expand the reasons businesses and property owners could not deny housing or employment) with the need for robust religious liberty protections. At the time leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a press conference calling for laws protecting religious liberty, Sutherland Institute noted its support for the balanced approach the church endorsed. It is safe to assume that few, if…

Governor issues statement on non-discrimination and religious freedom [UPH Wire]

*attached contains the following:  For Immediate Release Contact: Aimee Edwards edwards@utah.gov 801.755.3085 Governor issues statement on non-discrimination and religious freedom SALT LAKE CITY (Jan. 27, 2015) – Gov. Gary R. Herbert released this statement following the announcement made by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding the issues of non-discrimination and religious freedom: “The statement made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today is an additional and important step to help us find common ground on these important issues. It will be helpful in…

Leave the Nuance; Take the Talking Points

The LDS Church earlier today announced support for both a non-discrimination law for sexual orientation in housing and employment and support for greater protections for religious liberty. The reaction from proponents of a non-discrimination ordinance was swift: a near-complete dismissal of any need to protect the free exercise of religion while gladly taking the endorsement of non-discrimination. In many cases, freedom of religion was completely misrepresented as the freedom of belief, but not of exercise. This lays the groundwork for why I remain deeply suspicious and skeptical of any such proposed…

LDS Church Religious Freedom and Nondiscrimination News Conference [Video]

One unique aspect of Utah’s political mix is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (also known as LDS or more commonly as the Mormons). More than 50% of Salt Lake Valley is Mormon, and 60% of the rest of the state also claims affiliation with the faith. With such a large population of Mormons in the state, the faith holds some degree of influence on politics, usually passively, but occasionally, such as during the Proposition 8 campaign in California, the LDS Church takes a more active role. This morning,…

Did the senate save SB100 supporters from themselves?

Kenny Rogers said “you’ve gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em”. He was talking about gambling, obviously, but I’d like to think it applies to politics as well. Much like poker, the political process sometimes requires that you give up a hand in pursuit of the bigger picture. There’s no point in winning a battle if it’ll cost you the war. Curiously, SB100 supporters seem to think otherwise, and the senate may have saved them from themselves by killing it. It wasn’t just SB100 that got…