SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Mormon church leaders called for a more balanced approach toward gay rights and religious freedom, a move that local LGBT supporters say is well-intentioned, but not enough.
In yet another example of a shift in tone on gay rights, leaders of the Mormon church spoke out on Tuesday in support of anti-discrimination laws for the LGBT community. At the same time, the church also called for laws that would protect faith communities against discrimination and retaliation.READ MORE: Video Released Of Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting Of Tahoe Park Resident Who Shot At Authorities
The Church of Latter Day Saints historically has been known to speak out against the gay community, and even led a fight in California against same-sex unions.
But executive director of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center Donald Bentz says their recent announcement has flaws.
“As long as you have a religious reason its still ok to discriminate against LGBT people,” he said.READ MORE: Coroner Identifies Passenger Killed In Wrong-Way DUI Crash On Highway 99
Bentz says it leaves a loophole where doctors can deny medical care or businesses can reject customers based on religious freedom.
“Most equal-rights ordinances do have religious exemptions already as part of their language where communities of faith are protected as long as they are operating within the confines of their place of worship,” he said.
Several people showed support for the announcement on Twitter, but Bentz believes the church still has work to do.
“That’s just a really slippery slope because if its OK to discriminate based on your faith beliefs against LGBT people, than what’s next?” he said.MORE NEWS: Looting Suspect Accused Of Dozens Of Thefts Arrested In South Lake Tahoe
In Tuesday’s announcement, the church made clear that they are making no changes in their doctrine, and they still believe sex is against the law of God, unless between a man and a woman who are married to each other.