SLC Passes Pro-LGBT Measures. Will It Last?

Last night, Utah took a big side-step and did a very un-Utah thing.. it passed 2 ordinances against LGBT discrimination. Uh oh… does Gayle know about this?

In a unanimous vote, Salt Lake City Council passed fair workplace and housing ordinances following an hour and a half of testimonies from concerned citizens on both sides of the issue.  America Forever showed up (aka the crazy “you’re a waste of a vagina” Rodriguez family) to spout the usual confusing and un-thought out comments about how these ordinances will allow LGBT people to have sex at work apparently. They were out-numbered though by the enormous amount of people (myself included) who testified on behalf of these basic civil rights.

But the main speaker of the evening of course was Michael Otterson who represented the LDS (Mormon) church. The church stood up and supported these issues because they do not “do violence” against traditional marriage.

You know, although it’s not my wish to get negative about this wonderful event, I have to call BULL on those who are putting the church up on a pedestal for their statements. Let’s not fool ourselves thinking the church took a big leap last night. The church has been in support of these rights for years (at least that’s what they’ve claimed on their website). The only accomplishment the church made last night was to declare their own previously-announced beliefs verbally in front of a city council.

This past year’s legislative session marked the defeat of the “Common Ground” bills proposed by Equality Utah, included in these bills were…. everyone remember? Fair Workplace and Housing. Equality Utah called for the church’s support of the exact same protections on a state level last year, but the church remained silent at that point. So why now?

The supposition arising is that the church is bowing to enormous political pressure brought on from the backlash of Prop 8 in CA and the current look into their involvement in Maine. But I’m going to disagree completely actually.

Looking at history, I cannot believe that the church actually supports these rights. The church has never been shy about speaking it’s mind, and if they truly felt as strongly about the importance of upholding human dignity as Mr. Otterson suggested last night, they would have supported the state-wide issuance of these rights earlier this year.

But why then speak up at all? Perhaps we can find the meaning in the previously-made statements from certain members of our illustrious senate (Buttars of course), who said months ago that if the Salt Lake City Council passed these ordinances he would have them, and any other similar city ordinances in the state banned and illegitimized. The LDS leadership truly seems to be only attempting to pacify the LGBT community and the country as a whole with a “See We’re OK!” attitude, while perhaps hoping to see these rights stripped in the near future. Neat little box isn’t it? If the rights are taken away in the future the Church itself cannot directly be blamed because even though they only spoke on the-very small- city level, they still spoke.

If Senator Buttars or his colleagues manage to get their issues before the senate or legislature to get these ordinances struck down, will the Church support these rights again? Although I want to be hopeful, I’m going to doubt it.  Honestly the way I see this playing is these ordinances will come under attack in the next session and Equality Utah and the rest of the LGBT community will rally in support. But the LDS church will again remain silent, refusing to support us. Opponents of civil rights and human dignity will use that silence to their advantage by fading any LDS support into the background and pushing through hate-legislation…. .again.

Am I right? Hope not.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Why shouldn’t gay people have sex at work? Those office copy machines have already seen it all.

    Reply

  2. […] civil unions and they are sticking to their guns against gay marriage), which others commented on elsewhere, there was a terrific post on Mormon Matters from a guest writer, John Gustav-Wrathall, about the […]

    Reply

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