Mormon Church Defends LGBT Protections — As Long As Religious Groups Can Still Legally Discriminate

At a press conference in Salt Lake City today, Mormon church officials requested a truce with the LGBT community.

The Mormon church will support nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people in matters of housing, employment, and public services, one elder said, as long as those laws carve out protections for the expression of “religious freedom,” too. 

Essentially, they’re saying discrimination against LGBT people isn’t okay, unless it’s done in the name of religion.



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Religious Couple Returns $2,631 to Burger King Because “Jehovah Sees Everything”

Here’s a question for you: If you’re honest because you believe God is watching you, are you really an ethical person?

Last week in New Hampshire, Janelle Jones went through a Burger King drive-thru and was surprised to discover while driving home that the bag didn’t contain her food; rather, it contained $2,631 in cash.

She spoke with her husband and they quickly returned the money to the restaurant… but check out the explanation of why they did it:

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Arizona Bill Would Exempt Churches from Paying Property Taxes on Buildings They Rent

Arizona legislators have just introduced a bill that would allow churches to claim a property tax exemption on buildings they rent rather than just own. A similar bill was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer last year, but there’s no telling if the same thing will happen under new Governor Doug Ducey.

House Bill 2128, which passed through the House Ways & Means Committee yesterday on a 6-3 party-line vote, points out that the state already “exempts property owned by a non-profit educational, charitable and religious organization from taxation.”

However, if a church rents space from, say, a public school, they can now claim an exemption on it, too. That rule would not apply to secular non-profit groups that rent the same space.



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The Young Turks Take on Harlem Hate Pastor in Interview

You all know Harlem Pastor James David Manning because of the inflammatory things he’s said about President Obama, gay-rights supporters, and Starbucks (which he said flavored their coffee with the “semen of sodomites”).

That’s why I was surprised to see he did an interview with Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks:



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In Egypt, Atheists Are Considered “Threats to National Security” or “Carriers of a Dangerously Contagious Virus”

Mona Eltahawy has an important and eye-opening opinion piece in tomorrow’s international edition of the New York Times (online today) all about the persecution of atheists in Egypt.

The people she writes about — like Karim al-Banna and Alber Saber — are familiar names to readers of this site, as is the ridiculous report about how there are exactly 866 atheists in a country of more than 80 million people:



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