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Church Supports New Bipartisan Non-Discrimination Bill in Arizona

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is lending its support to a bipartisan bill in Arizona that will be filed on Monday with the state’s legislature.

Representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ gathered with local government and community leaders on the Senate Lawn of the Arizona State Capitol on Monday morning, where the bill was first announced.

The following statement, distributed to media after the event, expresses the Church’s view of the proposed legislation for the Grand Canyon State:

The Church is pleased to be part of a coalition of faith, business, LGBTQ people and community leaders who have worked together in a spirit of trust and mutual respect to address issues that matter to all members of our community. It is our position that this bipartisan bill preserves the religious rights of individuals and communities of faith while protecting the rights of members of the LGBTQ community, consistent with the principles of fairness for all.

The Church has supported religious freedom and non-discrimination bills in the past, including one in Utah in 2015 and another at the federal level in 2019. As a Church statement said in support of the latter, “the nation is more united when diverse individuals and groups can work cooperatively to advance sound policy.”

Last November at the University of Virginia, President Dallin H. Oaks of the Church’s First Presidency called for “a new, workable balance between religious freedom and non-discrimination.” He pointed people to a “better way” that focuses on the Christ-centered virtues of loving, listening, respecting, negotiating, persuading, balancing, tolerating, cooperating, reconciling, accommodating — any peaceful means that focus on the common good and “resolve differences without compromising core values.”

The Church of Jesus Christ supports bills like the new one in Arizona because they do these very things. The bill, entitled the “Equality and Fairness for All Arizonans,” would help protect members of the LGBTQ community from housing and hiring discrimination, among other public provisions. Religious freedom protections currently in place would remain under the bill. Watch the press conference for the bill below.

 

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