By Rosemary WintersThe Salt Lake TribuneUpdated: 12/11/2009 06:08:03 PM MSTA conservative Utah think tank now says Salt Lake City's anti-discrimination ordinances can stay on the books as long as the Legislature tweaks them to exempt religious organizations and their followers.Sutherland Institute President Paul Mero says that would create a "level playing field" for religious freedom.Religious organizations and their subsidiaries -- for instance, the LDS Church and Deseret Book -- already are exempt from Salt Lake City's new laws protecting gay and transgender residents from housing and employment discrimination. So are businesses with fewer than 15 employees and landlords who rent out portions of their own homes.Salt Lake City will fight any legislation that attempts to expand the religious exemption, says Ben McAdams, Mayor Ralph Becker's senior adviser."The exemption would swallow the rule," he says, if any person of faith could be excluded.Last month, the city passed two measures that ban housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The policy, a first for Utah, received a rare endorsement from the LDS Church. The church reiterated its opposition to gay marriage but praised the protections for gay and transgender people as "fair and reasonable."....
Sunday, December 13, 2009
OK folks, this is what ENDA might look like using Salt Lake City's new employment and housing non discrimination ordinances.
Transgender people will have the right to work without fear of overt discrimination, if you do not work for a religious organization or a small business employing less than 15 people.
These specific organizations are still allowed to blatently discriminate against Transgender people.
The bottom line for the churches is that they can still preach Transphobia, hate and vile from their pulpits.
Congregations hear this message and carry it home. The Transgender people who hear this message are further marginalized and feel less than human. They certainly do not preach the love for all humanity Jesus taught.
What is wrong with this picture? The LDS Church says the Salt Lake City ordinances are "fair and reasonable."
Who cares what they think? If the LDS church wants to protect their freedom of religion, they should keep their nose out of politics or they should be taxed as a for profit corporation.
As the battle for ENDA and marriage equality moves forward, the fundamental principle of the separation of church and state becomes more important and should be strictly enforced.
Thinly veiled "think" tanks and their parent religious organizations should have their feet held to the fire as lobby groups thus forfeiting their tax exempt status.
Posted by De Sube at 12/13/2009 08:13:00 AM