12 November, 2008

Taking Them At Their Word

I absolutely cannot wait to see the Mormon Church's reaction to this:

A group of at least five Utah legislators have asked the Mormon leadership to join their call for state legislation protecting LGBT rights to hospital visitation, medical care, fair housing, inheritance, and non-discrimination in employment, based on a statement from the Church itself last week that the Church "does not object to rights for same-sex couples" in any of these areas.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have said they do not object to rights for same-sex couples, as long as those rights do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family.

Now, gay-rights activists and at least five Utah legislators are asking the Church to demonstrate its conviction.

The group Equality Utah says the Church made the invitation, and they're accepting it. "The LDS Church says it does not oppose same-sex couples receiving such rights as hospitalization and medical care, fair housing rights or probate rights," said Mike Thompson, executive director of Equality Utah.

In their attempt to appear non-bigoted the day after Prop 8 took away marriage equality rights throughout California, the Mormon leadership detailed a long list of rights of same-sex couples to which they do not object. Now, these legislators will introduce bills to protect all of these rights, and they ask the Church leadership to support them.

"Setting aside the marriage issue for now, there is so much in that space that is short of marriage that we need to talk about; and we're saying, ‘Let's talk about it,'" said Utah Sen. Scott McCoy.

Those issues include rights in medical care and hospital visitation, housing and employment protections, insurance rights for a partner, a statewide domestic partner registry. Repealing the second part of Utah's Amendment 3 would officially recognize gay couples.

Having framed this as accepting the Church leadership's invitation, the legislators put them into a rather tight spot: Are you as good as your word?

I somehow doubt it. It'll be interesting to see how they spin denying the rights they claimed they were all for.

Bravo to those legislators. This is very much the right thing to do, and they're doing it in such a way that the Mormon church is going to lose a lot of credibility if they come out against equal rights.

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