LDS Church leaders share support for Stewart’s Fairness for All Act, LGBT

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Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, questions Ambassador Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a former official at the National Security Council, as they testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shares their opinion on Stewart’s Fairness for All Act, Saturday.

On February 27, church spokesman Doug Andersen says; “On Thursday, February 25, 2021, the House of Representatives in the United States passed H.R.5, also known as the Equality Act. We stand by our statements from 2019 and reiterate the Church’s support for equality and fairness.”

“We could support legislation that provides protection for LGBT persons as well as people and institutions of faith. Both are possible and clearly required in a just society. The Church supports the legislation, like that introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart, that accomplishes both of these critical requirements and is confident that a balanced, fair, and unifying approach can be achieved.”

The law which Stewart originally introduced in December 2019, aims to reduce anti-LGBTQ discrimination and, unlike the competing Equality Act that passed the House Thursday, boost protections for people of faith.

“It harmonizes religious freedom and LGBT rights by amending the Civil Rights Act, protecting religious freedom in the workplace, protecting the rights of LGBT individuals, and preserving 1st amendment rights,” Stewart’s office says.

“It is hard to really love our neighbors when we are fighting with them over whose rights are more important. This country can accommodate both civil liberties for LGBT individuals & religious freedom. We have wasted enough time, energy, and money fighting over who deserves which legal protections. It is time to define the federal protections for our LGBT and religious friends and neighbors,” Rep. Stewart adds.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox, who recently reacted to a bill targeting transgender youth, issued a statement in support of the legislation.

“I’m grateful for Rep. Stewart’s work to find a nuanced and good faith policy that both protects religious freedom and the rights of LGBTQ individuals to be free from discrimination. This is the type of commonsense solution that Utah does best.”

A Friday release says the Fairness for All is the largest expansion of religious freedom and LGBT civil rights under federal law in a generation.

“No American should lose their home or job simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. All religious persons should be free to live, work or serve their community in ways that are consistent with their faith,” the release says.

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