Archive for December, 2008

March For Equality Rally, 11.15.08 Eric Ethington

March For Equality Rally, 11/15/08 Eric Ethington

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PUSH FOR GAY RIGHTS HAS REACHED….SOUP?

campbell_ad

As some people may be aware, giant soup company Campbell recently started advertising in gay media, like The Advocate. The advertisements were like any other niche-style marketing campaign, and featured Chef Lea Forant with her son Eli and her partner Carolyn.

But even something this simple, has drawn the attention of the Christian-Conservative group American Family Association (AFA).

The AFA is famous for pushing companies to stop advertising in “pro-gay” media, we may recall their infamous 2 year boycott of Ford Motor Company (what, don’t you remember this?) which ended this past March when Ford stopped advertising in gay media. Although Ford stopped ALL of it’s niche-marketing campaigns because of the economy.

Or how about the oh-so-successful boycott of McDonalds? The 6 month boycott was ended in October when the AFA claimed that the McDonalds promised them they would remain neutral in the fight for LGBTQ rights (statement has never been confirmed by McDonalds).

But now they have turned their “powerful” gaze onto Campbell Soup Company. Writing in an Action Alert to their members, they claim that “Campbell Soup Company has openly begun helping homosexual activists push their agenda,” and that Campbell is giving “their approval the entire homosexual agenda.”

The AFA has even gone as far as to claim that, “Not only did the ads cost Campbell’s a chunk of money, but they also sent a message that homosexual parents constitute a family and are worthy of support.”

For their part, Campbell Soup Company is remaining steadfast of their position that they are trying to make more money, and that gay money is the same as straight money.

So there you have it, THE BATTLE RAGES ON! Ha Ha.

Senator Orrin Hatch Supports Gay Marriage?

In a recent posting on his weblog, Salt Lake Tribune writer Robert Gerhke wrote:

“I could be bitter. I seem to have been left of Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Christmas-card list this year. I’m told his staff even got copies of his new Christmas album. But super-secret sources leaked me a copy of the card that the senator sent out and pointed out an interesting feature.

The back of the card has a picture of the state’s senior senator, his
great wife, Elaine, and President George W. Bush, the lame Christmas duck. But what’s with those little diamond designs on either side of the
photo — the blue square with the yellow “equals” sign in the middle.
Looks familiar. Where have I seen that?

Oh, yeah. It’s the logo of the Human Rights Campaign, which, according
to the group’s Web site, is the nation’s largest organization “working
to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.””

So does this mean that our illustrious conservative Utah senator is secretly pro LGBTQ rights? Probably not, but you know some staffer is in quite a bit of trouble!

Look at the two equality signs to the side of the picture!

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO ENLARGE IT

http://blogs.sltrib.com/utahpolitics/2008/12/hatch-make-yuletide-gay.htm

Gay Rights Gain Ground With the UN Vote

The United States, specifically the Bush Administration drew world-wide criticism again this past Thursday (12/18/08) as it refused to endorse the declaration put forward by France seeking to decriminalize homosexuality in the world.

According to the NY Times, Rama Yade the French state secretary for human rights, and Maxime Verhagen,the Dutch foreign minister spoke out at a later press conference saying that they were disappointed in the U.S. for not supporting the French-proposed declaration. Scott Long of the Human Rights Watch said, “The Bush Administration is trying to come up with Christmas Presents for the religious right so it will be remembered.”

The declaration gained the support of 66 countries in the UN’s general assembly, most heavily from Europe and Latin America. But due to the opposition against it, including the United States, Russia, the Conference of Islamic States and the Catholic church the measure was forced to only be presented as a non-binding declaration, rather than a resolution.

An opposing statement was also read at the general assembly, and was supported by 60 countries. In part it read that the effort threatened to undermine the international framework of human rights by trying to normalize pedophilia.

But a lot of good came out of the discussion, according to many gay-rights groups. It was the first time LGBT rights have ever been openly discussed in the general assembly, and it gives hope to the nations of the world for the future of the human rights movement.

Orson Scott Card Shows Us How To Discriminate and Feel Good

In a recent article posted on the Mormon Times titled “Disagree, but don’t be unkind” Orson Scott Card again tried to define specifically why the LDS or Mormon church is opposed to Marriage Equality and homosexuality in general. He also added some personal examples detailing how he himself is definitely not a bigot or discriminatory. Let me share with you some quotes from that article:

“My family and I have close friends who are gay, some of whom have entered into lawful marriages. They know we don’t agree that their relationship is the same thing or should have the same legal status as our marriage, but we all accept that strong and clear difference of opinion and move on, continuing to respect and love each other for the values we share. Only when a gay friend demanded that I agree with his or her point of view or cease to be friends has the friendship ended. What is odd is that in every case they called me intolerant. They misunderstood the meaning of “tolerance.” ”

Let me just focus on this statement for a moment, because it’s something that I, as a resident of Utah, hear quite frequently as an example of how someone really isn’t intolerant. First, the 2nd sentence says that he and his wife are friends with a married gay couple even though they know that he doesn’t think they have the same relationship as he and his wife, and that their marriage should not be afforded the same legal status. This is the definition of intolerance! You CANNOT look at another person, and say or think that you for some reason are better than, and should have more rights than they do, and still insist that you’re filled with love towards them, and are not filled with the spirit of bigotry.

Mr. Card went on to say that he only cuts ties with a gay friend when they insist that he agrees with their opinion. And that makes them intolerant. Let me see if I can state this clearly. We, as the LGBTQ community are NOT seeking for the right to have more than 2 dogs. We are NOT seeking for the right to smoke in public buildings. We are fighting for our lives! This is not something that can be so easily brushed away as Mr. Card seems to think. We are fighting for our right to live, for our right not to be 2nd class citizens!

“It makes me sad when people are so intolerant that they cannot bear to be friends with anyone who disapproves of some action or opinion of theirs.”

I wonder how Mr. Card would feel if the country were to invalidate his life, and tell him he was no longer as good as everyone else? Is he honestly surprised that people don’t want to be around him when he tells them they, and their spouses are evil? That he can fight to take away their basic civil rights and then expect them to smile is astounding to me.

So just a quick word to everyone out there. Stop thinking that this is a small, or fly-by-night issue. We are talking about our rights as people, our rights as human beings, our rights as citizens of the United States of America. And I’m sorry, but no matter how much you shout, or wave your bibles around, you’re not any better than me.

I only addressed about a quarter of Mr. Card’s article here. To see the full article visit: http://www.mormontimes.com/mormon_voices/orson_scott_card/?id=4740

THE MOMENT HAS COME

My name is Eric Ethington, and I am here for you. Our country is on the brink of an extraordinary moment, where people of all classes, ethnic groups, colors and identities come together at once to say, “Enough!” We have a progressive African-American President Elect waiting to take office; we have a Senate and House both with clear democratic majorities. Four states (although now only two) allow same-sex marriage, with several more on the brink of the same. Many states now offer job-protection, housing-protection, tax and insurance benefits to same-sex couples. The United Nations is hearing a declaration being put forward by France to decriminalize homosexuality world-wide. And as of November 4th, there is a tidal wave of public notice, recognition and support backing the LGBTQ cause. This, right here and now, is the moment we have been waiting for. This is the day that so many have dreamed of for so long, where one more great push will allow all people of this great nation to proudly stand together under those glorious words, “All Men Are Created Equal!”

At this moment, nationwide, there are protests, rallies, meetings and vigils raising awareness on equality. The past month and a half has shown more grass roots LGBTQ-rights groups spring up than in any short time frame since the 1970’s. Previously obscure (in the left-wing political arena) places on the map such as Utah have become the epicenter of new nationally-noticed movements and groups. Thousands of people are pouring out to volunteer for causes they thought never had a chance. So on this day, I call upon the rest of the nation, to every gay man and lesbian, to every bisexual, transgendered or questioning person; I call on every straight man and woman who believes that intolerance should be a thing of the past to rise up and join your closest group. Find something you can donate your time or money to. Talk with your neighbors, talk with coworkers, employees and employers. COME OUT. It is harder to discriminate, or throw down people’s rights when you know them personally. History has shown us that the greatest thing we can do is simply to show people who we are.

New Jersey’s Civil Union Commission recently reached a unanimous decision to recommend that their state legislature pass a law allowing gay marriage; Iowa allowed one marriage to go through before they were stopped, and their Supreme Court is now hearing testimony on why same-sex marriage should be legal and banning it is unconstitutional. Utah is trying to pass the Common Grounds Initiative which would provide the LGBTQ community housing and workplace protections, as well as domestic partnerships. All that is needed to give the country that push, that one effort that will get us to our rightful place on top of the hill, is service. Get out with 3 or 4 of your friends and go shovel someone’s driveway, take out their trash, rake their lawn or weed their garden. Talk with each one and let them know what you are trying to raise awareness for, and what equality would do for YOU.

This is our day, this is the time that we will always remember as the final moment when we came together, made a difference and changed the course of our history.

“Following Blindly” by Travis Horlacher

This was sent to me by Travis Horlacher, asking me to post it here. Feel free to post comments and I’ll forward them to him.  -Eric

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I understand that you can actually feel that you are not following blindly because you are on the inside just like I was at one point in my life, but if you look at it from the perspective of someone outside of the church you might notice how it looks like you are indeed following blindly.
You aren’t making the decision to follow them blindly. Your decision to follow them has been made by all of your religious training (the scriptures that you and the people who have taught you find specific value in), but your decision to follow these leaders has indeed caused you to follow them “blindly” as many of us see it.
Some people have stated that they are just as confused by the decision as I am. What this tells me is that following these leaders’ decision to make what I see to be a bad decision is, in the case of these people, is not because they agree with the decision on their own but because their logic or the spirit tells them to ‘follow the prophet cause he knows the way’. What I’m seeing is that you may have made the nonblind (I think I just made up a word) decision to follow your prophet, but by doing so you are suddenly following that prophet blindly by doing what is told to you by that prophet despite any leanings you may have against the decision.
What I’m trying to say is that I understand that many of you have made a nonblind decision to follow the prophet, but doing so comes at the very high price of ‘following blindly’ if you do it in this manner.

I don’t mean this to be offensive, but this is how I feel about it and you have to know that if your reasoning behind supporting the church’s decision to politically support Proposition 8 in California is based on following the prophet then realize that it is hard for anyone else to agree with any assertions that you aren’t just following blindly. Your decision to follow isn’t blind, but when you actually do follow your following is just that, blind.

-Travis Horlacher