This week, in Salt Lake City, UT (USA), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supported a nondiscrimination ordinance to help protect the rights of gays in the city to have equal opportunity for housing and employment.

The statement that was read as part of the announcement of the Church’s choice on this matter included the following explanations regarding this decision:

In drafting these ordinances, the city has granted common-sense rights that should be available to everyone, while safeguarding the crucial rights of religious organizations, for example, in their hiring of people whose lives are in harmony with their tenets, or when providing housing for their university students and others that preserve religious requirements.

The Church supports these ordinances because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage.

The Church has taken a firm stand on upholding the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman and is devoted to also protecting religious rights, as Elder Dallin H. Oaks recently explained. But this effort to work together with city leaders in Salt Lake a illustrates, as Michael Otterson (managing director for Church Public Affairs) explained, that we “belong to a church that believes in human dignity, in treating others with respect even when we disagree – in fact, especially when we disagree” (emphasis in original).

For more information on the Church’s position regarding same-sex marriage, see this statement, issued during the time when Proposition 8 was on the ballot in California, USA. You can also see some videos and other information that the Church provided during that time here.