LDS First Presidency and Utah's gay community call for civility over Prop. 8

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(KSL News) The First Presidency for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today issued another statement about public response to the vote for California's Proposition 8.

In the statement the First Presidency says since Prop. 8 was passed, "places of worship have been targeted by opponents of Proposition 8 with demonstrations and, in some cases, vandalism. People of faith have been intimidated for simply exercising their democratic rights."

The statement also says, "The Church is keenly aware of the differences of opinion on this difficult and sensitive matter" and urges people to respect opposing opinions and calls for civility for from those on both sides of the issues.

"Attacks on churches and intimidation of people of faith have no place in civil discourse over controversial issues. People of faith have a democratic right to express their views in the public square without fear of reprisal. Efforts to force citizens out of public discussion should be deplored by people of goodwill everywhere."

The gay rights advocacy group, Equality Utah is also calling for a stop to the violence and asks for "peaceful expressions and conduct. There is no room for violence, vandalism or intimidation."

In a press release it says it has asked the LDS Church to work with Equality Utah in areas where they have common ground, "such as hospitalization and medical care rights, housing and employment rights, probate rights and domestic partnerships."

It says it is "confident the LDS Church will be true to its past public statements that it is not anti-gay."

The Utah Pride Center, which serves the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in Utah is alos calling for "peaceful acts of protest."

In its statement, the center says it "Center is deeply troubled by the recent vandalism of LDS churches and the suspicious mailing to the LDS Temple." It calls those actions "deplorable" and "make our entire community fear for our safety."

Last week the LDS Church released a similar statement in response to protests saying, "it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process."

For more information on the Church's involvement in the Proposition 8 campaign and the reasons behind it CLICK HERE.

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