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The real significance of the Mormon Church’s shifts on gay rights here in California

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Los Angeles at sunset.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Los Angeles at sunset.
Chris Goldberg/Flickr

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Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a rare news confference yesterday to announce their support for some specific legal protections for gay men and Lesbians.

The church is promising to support some housing and job protections for gays and lesbians in exchange for legal protections for believers who object to the behavior of others. At the same time, the church argued that religious people should be exempted from having to follow those laws if they conflict with their beliefs. The move comes six years after the church provided big financial support for passage of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.

The church is still anti-same sex marriage, but what does this move mean to Mormons here in California, where the church counts its second-largest membership, with nearly 800,000 members? How much clout do Southland Mormons have with the leadership in Salt Lake? And what do California LDS members think of this move?


Patrick Q. Mason, Chair of Mormon Studies and Associate Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University

Mitch Mayne, openly gay Mormon living in San Francisco, California