Thursday, November 12, 2009

Latter-Day Saints Back "gay rights" Ordinance

The Salt Lake City Council has passed a non-discrimination ordinance making it illegal to fire or evict somebody because of their sexual orientation. The measure was approved unanimously, and even had the support of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

The LDS issued a statement backing the ordinance, saying they were against discrimination against anyone, but that they supported traditional marriage. Church spokesman Michael Otterson said, "The church supports these ordinances because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage."

Reaction to the decree was swift from conservative groups such as the Sutherland Institute, an independent, conservative public policy organization based in Salt Lake City. Stan Rasmussen, public affairs manager with the Institute, says the Mormon Church's support of the ordinance is problematic. "We do not support, abide, encourage or tolerate discrimination that is inappropriate. We think there are ways, [in fact] we know there are ways to address those concerns [which] do not include the incorporating of these phrases into city ordinances," Rasmussen argues. "An example would be a hate crimes bill several years ago which conservatives and liberals collaborated to craft. [It] addressed all concerns without including that vague language of 'sexual orientation' or 'gender identity.'" The Sutherland Institute will encourage state lawmakers to pass laws which seek to reverse Salt Lake City's new ordinances.

Tuesday's passage made Salt Lake City the first Utah community to prohibit bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Exceptions in the legislation allow churches to maintain, without penalty, religious principles and religion-based codes of conduct or rules. Homosexuals are welcome in the Mormon Church, but must remain celibate to retain church callings and full membership.

[by Allie Martin - OneNewsNow]

Today's Quote

“No two plants grow in the same way, at the same rate, or to the same size. Each plant’s growth pattern is unique. The same is true of churches. No two churches will ever grow in identical ways. God intends for your church to be unique.” – Pastor Rick Warren

Pastor Heroes

Pastors are in the trenches everyday building and communicating vision, leading change, studying, resolving conflict, leading staff, planning the weekend, caring for family, and working through growth issues. They are often misunderstood, judged, criticized and mistreated. They are the unsung heroes of our day.

There would be no denominations without local churches. There would be no district, area, state, or national offices without local churches. There would be no funds used by denominations, missions, or leaders without local churches. The local church is the engine that runs all faith-based efforts around the world.

It is more challenging to be a pastor today that ever before. Many people think they could do it easily, and many former pastors talk about how easy it should be. But neither have any idea what it is really like in today's world.

Did you or your church honor your pastor in October? If not, it is never too late. If you did, continue an effort every month to create better understanding between your congregation and your pastor.

Thank you Pastor for all that you do. Just keep in mind that you may not be fully appreciated here and now, but our real reward is on the other side. You are laying up treasurers in Heaven. Keep on keeping on.