Southern Religion

LDS/LGBT overcome distrust & anti-discrimination ordinance is passed

To help restore damaged relations with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community the Church of Latter Day Saints endorsed Salt Lake City, Utah, ordinances making it illegal to discriminate against gays in housing and employment. Part of what the Southern Baptist Convention’s ERLC confrontationally calls the radical homosexual agenda, they passed.

Last week, voters in Kalamazoo, Michigan, approved a similar ordinance.

The Salt Lake City action is the fruit of a complex process of reconciliation between Mormon Church, which urged members to contribute money to the campaign in support of California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage, and LGBT groups.

Mormons are not, it seems, consumed by inerrant distrust.


November 11, 2009 - Posted by | Religion | , , ,


  1. Getting a little sloppy with your analysis here.

    The ERLC did not take a position on the ordinance passed in Salt Lake City. The ERLC has taken a position on ENDA. I seriously doubt what the extremely conservative folks in Salt Like City was no carbon copy of ENDA.

    The SBC regularly gives critics reasons to criticize. But you’re reaching here since the ERLC statement you point to is specifically in reference to ENDA and does not take a position against any and all pieces of legislation to protect against sexual orientation discrimination.

    I suspect Barret Duke would support a similar piece of legislation if it contained broad religious exemptions. Did the Salt Lake ordinance contain a broad religious exemption? I would be surprised if it did not.

    Comment by Big Daddy Weave | November 12, 2009

    • No Weave, the ERLC statement to which we link explicitly details what it calls a “radical homosexual agenda.”
      It does refer to “The Employment Non-discrimination Act,” and other matters.
      That ERLC statement is broad, not narrow as you imply.
      Your speculation about what Barret Duke would embrace with regard to protection for homosexuals against discrimination has no analog in reality that we have been able to discover. Link us to an on-point example of such support, and we can give exactly that much credence to your speculation.

      Comment by baptistplanet | November 12, 2009

  2. Yea, it details the radical homosexual agenda by pointing specifically to ENDA.

    Surely you recognize that ENDA and the Salt Lake Ordinance are not one in the same?

    We only know the ERLC’s position on ENDA. The ERLC did not offer a position on the Salt Lake Ordinance. Thus, why drag the ERLC into this?

    You may call the ERLC statement broad but in the context of nondiscrimination law, the only critique the ERLC offers is of ENDA.

    Nowhere does Duke come out and say that the ERLC opposes ALL Nondiscrimination Laws. However, he does explicitly state that he opposes one particular nondiscrimination law – that being ENDA.

    Comment by Big Daddy Weave | November 12, 2009

    • We asked you for an example, and you failed to address that question.
      The fact that ENDA and the Salt Lake City Ordinances are not one in the same is irrelevant.
      Duke alleges an overarching “radical homosexual agenda.” and proceeds to offer a series of examples to illustrate the agenda he asserts. He is quite clear:

      People of faith are on a collision course with the radical homosexual agenda. It is inevitable. In order for the radical homosexual agenda to be fully implemented, people of faith are going to have to be silenced and marginalized. The radical homosexual community will have to violate our religious liberty and our consciences in order to achieve this.

      His overarching call to battle leaves him no room to support any particular ordinance which offers additional protection to homosexual rights. The ordinances he does list are merely illustrations and he says that:

      At this very moment, three issues move us closer to what I believe is an eventual clash. These issues affect our religious liberty in unique and distressing ways. I will mention two related to each. [emphasis added]

      His conclusion reiterates and amplifies the overarching nature of his/ERLC’s call to battle:

      Our faith and the radical homosexual agenda are on track for a cataclysmic conflict. If the radical homosexual agenda is codified into law, our own government will be arrayed against us and our struggle to protect our religious freedom. We can fight this battle now or we can fight it later, but we are going to fight this battle. We must stand up and protect our freedom to believe and to practice our faith according to God’s leading, not governments’. [emphasis added]

      ERLC uses sweeping references to “the radical homosexual agenda” in both promotial blurbs and other statements (authors vary).
      Legalistic preoccupation with the specific ordinances he elects to include as illustrations of the overarching cataclysmic conflict about which he plainly says he is writing misses his/ERLC’s point and ours.

      Comment by baptistplanet | November 12, 2009

  3. Barrett does use words like “cataclysmic conflict” and “radical homosexual agenda” but with those three issues Duke is pointing to only three specific issues (mentioned in the articles): gay marriage, hate crimes legislation, and ENDA.

    There is a point to be made about the ERLC’s opposition but you really don’t have the goods to tie the ERLC’s positions to the Salt Lake Ordinance since no position was taken by the ERLC on that specific ordinance.

    Will you concede that pieces of legislation do indeed differ and just because ERLC opposes ENDA does not mean that they are opposed to the Salt Lake Ordinance as well.

    No need to use the word legalistic here. The fact is that there is not enough information present to tie the ERLC to this specific ordinance.

    Comment by Big Daddy Weave | November 12, 2009

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