Andrew Sullivan: The Mormon Move

It is possible to be cynical or begrudging in reacting to the LDS Church's unprecedented public decision to support civic protections against discrimination in employment and housing with respect to homosexuals in Salt Lake City. I think that is a temptation to be resisted.

What the LDS church has done in Utah is an immensely important and positive step and places the SLCGeorgeFrey:Getty Mormon church in a far more positive and pro-gay position than any other religious group broadly allied with the Christianist right. They have made a distinction - and it is an admirable, intellectually honest distinction - between respecting the equal rights of other citizens in core civil respects, while insisting - with total justification - on the integrity of one's own religious doctrines, and on a religious institution's right to discriminate in any way with respect to its own rites and traditions.

I believe that there are forces of discrimination and bigotry within the Mormon church - and they have recently been ascendant. But that is true of most churches and most institutions. And what I have long observed among Mormons - unlike some other denominations - is also an American decency that tends to win out in the end.

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