SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 10, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) ─ Jackie Biskupski on Thursday met with officials from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and said she gave them a letter outlining her feelings about the decision to exclude children from same-sex households from church membership.
The mayor-elect of Salt Lake City released the following statement regarding her meeting with officials:
“I truly appreciate meeting with Elder D. Todd Christofferson, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Bishop Gérald Caussé, presiding bishop of the Church, to discuss the future of Salt Lake City. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints plays a key role in Salt Lake City’s history and in our city’s future and I look forward to continuing a relationship of open dialogue.
“Elder Christofferson and Bishop Caussé were very interested in discussing ways the Church can help on issues of homelessness, air quality, and watershed issues. We are all looking forward to a much more collaborative effort on long-term economic development opportunities for Salt Lake City. Today we began meaningful conversations that will continue at all levels for the next four years.
“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.”
Biskupski on Nov. 6 had released the following statement regarding the policy direction:
“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.“
The controversial new polices, implemented in November and previously approved by the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, were revealed in revisions to the LDS Church’s “Handbook 1,” which is distributed to Church leaders and administrators, including bishops and stake presidents.