- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Mormon Church announced Tuesday that it would support laws that protect gays from discrimination.

Leaders in the church described their new approach as a “way forward,” and made clear that they would only support such state and federal anti-discrimination laws if they didn’t infringe on the First Amendment rights of other faiths, CNN reported.

At a press conference, church spokespeople said Mormon leadership would support laws that ban discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transponders, CNN reported.

“When religious people are publicly intimidated, retaliated against, forced from employment or made to suffer personal loss because they have raised their voice in the public square, donated to a cause or participated in an election, our democracy is the loser,” said Elder Dallin Oaks, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, CNN reported. “Such tactics are every bit as wrong as denying access to employment, housing or public services because of race or gender.”

The news outlet reported the Mormon Church touts about 6.5 million members in the United States.

Mormon leaders also clarified that the new view does not extend to church doctrine, or water down the church’s prohibitive stance on gay marriage.

The Mormon Church just this month threatened to excommunicate a member who posted several messages on his blog expressing support for same-sex marriage.

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