Mormon Newsroom
Official Statement

The Church of Jesus Christ Supports the Federal Fairness for All Act

The bill preserves religious freedom and protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination

This article was updated Monday, December 9, 2019

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints expressed support Friday for the federal Fairness for All Act introduced at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., this morning by nine members of Congress from seven states. The Church joins a broad coalition of bill supporters, including the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the 1st Amendment Partnership, the American Unity Fund, the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities and the Center for Public Justice.

 

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The following is the Church’s full statement:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints commends the introduction of federal legislation that seeks to preserve religious freedom and protect LGBT individuals from discrimination. We’re grateful for the leadership of Utah Representative Chris Stewart and other congressional supporters of this cause. The nation is more united when diverse individuals and groups can work cooperatively to advance sound policy. Alongside other religious organizations and denominations and important leaders of the LGBT community, the Church endorses this balanced approach that fosters greater fairness for all.

The Church backed a fairness for all approach to legislation in 2015 when it supported a bill passed in the Utah legislature that both protected religious freedom and banned discrimination in housing and employment against LGBT people. This new federal bill, according to a press release, “continues what began in Utah and builds upon existing protections for both religious and LGBT Americans in federal, state, and local law. 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.”

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Jack N. Gerard of the Seventy joined coalition members at a news conference at the Utah Capitol to promote the bill on Monday, December 9, 2019.

                   

“Many today are understandably concerned about increased political divisions within our society,” said Elder Gerard, executive director of the Church’s Communication Department. “The kind of judicious approach that is on display here today, the kind of cooperation and collaborative spirit, should give us all a little more hope, particularly at this time of year. The work of this group is a testament that we are all more united when diverse individuals come together to advance a balanced approach that fosters fairness for all.”

The bill’s chief sponsor, Utah Congressman Chris Stewart, said Monday that the bill’s expansion of civil rights for everyone makes for a stronger community and nation.

“When we protect freedom and dignity for our neighbors, I think we make all of society freer and more dignified,” the Utah representative said. “I’m a man of faith, and religious liberty is a very, very important priority. But I don’t have to deny protections for the LGBT community to enjoy the freedoms and practice of my religion. And that’s what fairness for all is about.”

After the press conference, Tyler Deaton of the American Unity Fund spoke to Newsroom about the importance of finding common ground with groups whose views may seem worlds apart from his own.

“LGBTQ people and people of faith—many of them are the same people,” said Deaton, whose nonprofit organization promotes freedom for LGBTQ Americans. “There’s a lot of people of faith who are LGBTQ, so these worlds aren’t actually so far apart. They share a lot of values. And certainly, when it comes to the public square, we have a lot in common. . . . Whenever people from wildly different backgrounds can work this closely on something as significant as federal legislation, I think that shows a sign that there’s hope for the future that we can really solve this problem once and for all.”

Read the full text of the Fairness for All Act (FFA), H.R. 5331.

Visit FairnessforAll.org for more information.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.