Utah Leading On Gay Rights

Another good sign: an LDS apostle is quoted as backing the Salt Lake City anti-discrimination laws, and there's a real chance that this model could go state-wide:

Even an LDS apostle -- continuing the string of stunners --thinks Salt Lake City's ordinances could be a model. "Anything good is shareable," Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said in an interview Wednesday, referring to Salt Lake City's new policy aimed at protecting gay and transgender residents from discrimination. He praised the efforts of Mormon officials and gay-rights leaders who sat down to discuss the issue before the church's endorsement. "Everybody ought to have the freedom to frame the statutes the way they want," he said. "But at least the process and the good will and working at it, certainly that could be modeled anywhere and even elements of the statute."

Kudos to both the Mormon church leadership and to the gay rights groups in the state. They're offering the rest of us a model for grappling with this - a model that does not deny our differences but seeks common ground where we can. I also see the influence of former governor Jon Huntsman, a Mormon Republican who went further than the LDS and backed civil unions for gay couples in his state.

Someone has decided to offer an open hand. A civil rights movement should never spurn such a good faith effort. We should build on it, and see if we cannot ask other churches to follow the same model.