Salt Lake City’s new lesbian mayor hopes to reach out to anti-gay Mormon church
Salt Lake City’s new lesbian mayor plans to try and build bridges with the Mormon Church – which recently introduced harsh new anti-gay rules.
The Utah city is known as the home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has strict anti-LGBT doctrines and recently branded gay people ‘apostates’.
The Church also affirmed that all children living with same-sex parents or guardians will be barred from being baptised or becoming Church members for the entirety of their childhood, and until they “disavow” their parents’ relationship.
Despite the Church’s influence, it was confirmed earlier this month that openly gay Democrat Jackie Biskupski has been elected as the city’s first lesbian mayor.
Speaking to NPR, the Mayor-elect, who will officially take office in January, said: “With my election, people are surprised that something significant like becoming the mayor of the capital city where the home of the LDS Church is located can happen… and that means something to everybody in the world. Like, this is big.
Of the Church’s anti-gay policy, she said: “I believe love will bear out over fear. And I really believe that that policy comes from a place of fear.
“I’ve asked to meet with the LDS Church, and I will be meeting with them.
“And in that discussion, there’ll be a number of topics that we’ll talk about… we’ll talk about that [anti-gay] policy.”
She declined to share what she would tell church leaders, adding: “I always speak from my heart when I get into a room and have a discussion like that. But the conversation needs to happen.”
A spokesperson for the LDS Church said: “We look forward to working closely with Mayor Biskupski and her administration going forward.”
Listen to the clip below: