The Mormon Church in Salt Lake City is known for its active opposition to marriage equality. The church is usually criticized by gay-rights groups for its opposition, but last Wednesday marked a stepping stone for the state.
The church provided open support of an ordinance banning discrimination against gay men and lesbians in housing and employment in Salt Lake City. The ordinance passed last Tuesday and will take effect in April. This allows the mayor to appoint an administrator to investigate discrimination complaints based on sexual identity/orientation.
This ordinance makes Salt Lake City the first city in Utah to offer such protections. Gay rights activists see this as a giant step across the state and in the Mormon legislature.
“Across America and around the world, diverse communities such as ours are wrestling with complex social and moral questions,” Michael Otterson, spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told the city’s council. “The issues before you tonight are the right of people to have a roof over their heads and the right to work without being discriminated against.”
About 100 cities in the U.S. have passed similar employment and housing protections, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
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— Kim Brown