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Protecting the Bill of Rights in Utah since 1958

ACLU of Utah Applauds LDS Church’s Support of Discrimination Protection for Gay and Transgender Utahns

27 January 2015 Published in Newsroom

We hope this support will lead to the enactment of meaningful, state-level legal protections for gay and transgender people in Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - As an organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the rights of all, the ACLU of Utah applauds the LDS Church’s statement in support of protection from discrimination in housing and employment for gay and transgender people. We hope this support will lead to the enactment of meaningful, state-level legal protections for gay and transgender people in Utah.

The hardworking people of Utah—including those who are gay or transgender—should be treated fairly and equally by Utah law, and should have the opportunity to earn a living to provide for themselves and their families, and to have a roof over their heads. Nobody should have to live in fear of being legally fired or evicted simply because of who they are or who they love.

With the addition of protections for gay and transgender people, we believe that Utah’s existing non-discrimination statute strikes an adequate balance between religious freedom and equality. Between the constitutional protections of the First Amendment and these specific non-discrimination laws, religious liberty in Utah is well protected.

The ACLU of Utah does express some concern over the limited scope of public accommodation protection supported by the LDS Church, namely only restaurants, hotels and transportation. Equality means that gay and transgender people should have full protection in public accommodations on par with race, gender, religion and other categories.

With this public statement of support, we hope Utah will soon join the growing list of states, communities, and private businesses that recognize discrimination against members of the gay and transgender community hurt us all.