Mayor Jackie Biskupski released the following statement on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ reversal of their policy on children from same-sex families:
“Today’s announcement from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to reverse its policy regarding the children of LGBTQ parents, is welcome and moving news.
When this policy was announced, shortly after I was elected mayor, I said I hoped if my sons decided to join the Church, they would not be forced to choose between the love of a church community and the love of their parents.
During my first meeting with Church officials, I delivered a letter in which I tried to capture the hurt and fear this policy inflicted upon our entire community. I am grateful for this revelation and for Church leaders acting upon it. This action is supportive of families and may even save lives.”
On November 6, 2015, shortly after the original announcement, then Mayor-elect Biskuspki released the following statement:
“The conversations I have had over the past 24 hours, regarding the LDS Church policy to exclude children living in same-sex households from membership, have been with people of all walks of life, both Mormon and non-Mormon. The common theme is both shock and concern for children—not just those directly impacted—but all children in our community who are witnessing a form of injustice that no child should experience.
As a faith community, the LDS Church has done so much good in promoting the strength of the family, that it is hard for many of us to accept a policy that would tell a child who wishes to seek spiritual guidance from the Church, that they should look elsewhere simply because of their parents. Our community has also come so far in the last year to bridge the gaps between us, that this new policy feels confusing to many.
The LDS Church is entitled to live in its doctrine and to make policy decisions that reflect the teachings of their faith, but I hold onto hope that a move in this direction will not last long. As a mother of a young son—who will grow up in this community—I want him to feel welcome wherever he goes and judged based on the content of his character, not on his mother’s sexual orientation. My son will make many important decisions in his life and if he chose to become a member of the LDS Church, I would support his choice, and I would hope he could find acceptance in his faith community.”
On December 10, 2015, Mayor-elect Biskupski released the following statement after meeting with Church leaders:
“At the end of the meeting Elder Christofferson also graciously accepted a letter which conveyed my feelings on the Church’s new policy regarding families headed by same-sex couples and their children. As a leader in Salt Lake City, and after hearing from many individuals, I felt it was my responsibility to use this opportunity to express the community’s concerns in a respectful manner.
I share in the sadness and confusion that this new policy has caused many in our community–both members of the Church and non-members. The LDS Church has done so much good in promoting the strength of the family and while I strongly believe they are entitled to live in their doctrine, I hope this policy direction will not last long.”