This announcement isn't a complete 180 for the church. Mormon leaders aren't changing the church's doctrine. But! They *are* admitting that the way LGBT people have been treated and discriminated against because of the Bible is wrong. So while they aren't changing the word of God, they *are* formally and publicly saying: "Stop discriminating. Stop that right now."And that, my friends, is a really big deal.
The Mormon church, like many others, hasn't been known for a particularly warm and welcoming attitude toward the LGBTQ community.
But seeing a massive organization take even a small step forward by announcing support for LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws is always good news.
At a rare press conference held on Jan. 27, 2015, to talk about the church's decision, Sister Neill Marriott of the church's Young Women program explained the LDS church's thought process.
Why they aren't changing the church's doctrine:
"The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints believes that sexual relations other than between a man and woman who are married are contrary to the laws of God, this doctrine and commandment comes from sacred scripture and we are not at liberty to change it."
How they're still making some very significant progress:
"God is loving and merciful. His heart reaches out to all His children equally and He expects us to treat one another with love and fairness. There's ample evidence in the life of Jesus Christ to to demonstrate that he stood firm for living the laws of God, yet reached out to those who had been marginalized, even though he was criticized for doing so.
Racial minorities, women, the elderly, people with physical or mental disabilities and those with unpopular occupations ... all found empathy from the Savior of mankind.
It's for this reason that the church is publicly favoring laws and ordinances that protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing and employment."
And what about people who say it's not enough?
Applauding the Church's welcoming stance on non-discrimination laws. This is good stuff, people. Not enough for many. But still good.
— By Common Consent (@ByCommonConsent) January 27, 2015
But also, I can't wait for them to hit next-level progress:
Hari Kondabolu is right. Tolerance is a low bar for humanity.
In the spirit of praising progress wherever and however it's happening, let's cheer for the church's significant step toward tolerance today and hope acceptance and love aren't too far behind.