Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Mormon Shell Game

Yesterday the headlines blared that the Mormons (or Latter Day Saints, LDS) had come out in support of non-discrimination rules for housing and employment for gay people.

Today, people are noticing the catch.  The so-called support comes with a large poison pill, the recurrent theme of "religious freedom".  That is, they want people who express religious objections to gay people, to still be free to discriminate.

Andrew Rosenthal: 
The Associated Press explained: “Mormon leaders still want to hire and fire workers based not only on religious beliefs, but also on behavior standards known as honor codes that require gays and lesbians to remain celibate or marry someone of the opposite sex. The church also wants legal protections for religious objectors who work in government and health care, such as a physician who refuses to perform an abortion, or provide artificial insemination for a lesbian couple.”

Substitute the word “black” or “Jewish” or “Catholic” or, say, “Mormon” for LGBT in these statements, and everyone would be outraged.

Or, as Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for LGBT rights, put it: “All Americans should have the right to be employed, receive housing and services in environments free of discrimination. We await the day the church embraces that fully, without any exceptions or exemptions.”
Hobby Lobby, the gift that keeps on giving. 

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