The Mormon Church has once again walked back a major statement on LGBT civil rights.
Less than 24 hours after releasing a statement on their website saying the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) supported workplace and housing protections for LGBTQ Utahns, church officials have altered that statement to limit the support to a local Salt Lake City ordinance passed in 2009.
Originally, the statement read "The Church website mormonsandgays.org details sincere outreach by the Church within the gay community, including support in Utah for nondiscrimination protections of employment and housing. There is room for compassion, common ground, and shared humanity among people who disagree, and Church leaders eagerly pursue these ideals, both inside and outside the Church."
That statement was altered today on their website to read "The Church website mormonsandgays.org details sincere outreach by the Church within the gay community, including support in Salt Lake City in 2009 for nondiscrimination protections of employment and housing."
Since publicly supporting the local ordinance in 2009, the Mormon Church has declined to publicly comment on whether or not it supports a statewide law banning housing or employment discrimination against LGBTQ people.
In a written statement, church spokesperson Eric Hawkins said tonight that "The reference to non-discrimination ordinances was meant to reflect the church's support for the 2009 Salt Lake ordinance and is not an announcement of any kind. The Church has been clear that its support of this specific ordinance was due to language that attempted to balance issues of non-discrimination and religious freedom."
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Eric Ethington is a freelance journalist originally from Salt Lake City. His work has been featured on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, CNBC, the New York Times, The Guardian, and The Public Eye magazine. Follow him on Twitter @EricEthington
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