Sister Neill Marriott, second counselor in the Church’s Young Women general presidency, opened a rare press conference with Church leaders this morning—the first time a female leader has done so. She noted that the push for gay rights was prompted by “centuries of ridicule, persecution and even violence against homosexuals. Ultimately, most of society recognized that such treatment was simply wrong…God is loving and merciful. His heart reaches out to all of his children equally, and he expects us to treat each other with love and fairness.”
Marriott’s observation reminds us of Dr. Martin Luther King’s hope for a more just future: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” As world religious institutions are among the last to end discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, we have hope that one day universal equality will be reflected in laws, policies and practices everywhere.
Ordain Women applauds initiatives that protect the civil rights and human dignity of all, particularly those who have endured discrimination and marginalization. We trust the cloak of religious freedom will not be used to cover bigotry and prejudice.