Posts Tagged ‘forum’

New LDS / Mormon Bombshell (Maybe)

Speculation on what will happen with Salt Lake City’s new Fair Workplace and Housing laws in the upcoming session is flying. But some new insights into the LDS / Mormon Church’s plans are shocking!

Since the LDS / Mormon Church announced its support of the Salt Lake City ordinances to ban discrimination of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community this past week, analysis of their motivation has been the number one topic of discussion. Some think the Mormons were actually

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LDS / Mormon Headquarters

seeking to send an olive branch, while others (including myself) have claimed it was just a PR stunt attempting to shift the constant barrage of self-created negative press away from themselves for a while. Even Utah’s (UT) self-labeled and so-called “conservative think tanks” like Paul Mero with the Sutherland Institute and Gayle Ruzicka of the Eagle Forum have for the first time come out in opposition to the LDS / Mormon leadership.

But now some interesting insights are arising from these meetings that the LDS / Mormon leadership held with local Gay Rights leaders of the LGBT community. Apparently one very important concern that the local community leaders addressed was the very concern I posted about a few days ago, that these rights would be passed on the city level, just to be squashed by the legislature this Spring. But according to one source, Church leaders assuaged those doubts, going so far as to speak of one of the primary opponents of human rights saying, “the one whose name sounds like something you’d put on toast, we have him under control.”

So what should we draw from this? Could it be possible that the LDS / Mormon leadership plans on pushing these rights to the state level as the legislative session starts? It’s definitely a growing possibility with ENDA on the verge of passing on the federal level and more and more calls nationwide for these basic protections even from staunch conservatives. I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope.

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America Forever Responds to the LDS Church

You know how some people just don’t know how to shut up? Yeah…. for the Rodrigues family, aka “America Forever.” That time was just after they got out of diapers.

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Sandra Rodrigues of America Forever

With their constant spewing against the LGBT community, they have now become virtually one of the biggest PRO LGBT groups around! With every other anti-LGBT and anti- human rights group like the Sutherland Institute (Paul Mero) and Eagle Forum (Gayle Ruzicka) just wishing they’d shut up and go away.

Earlier this week at the now infamous City Council meeting in Salt Lake City, which ended with a unanimous vote to provide Fair Workplace and Housing laws for LGBT citizens, America Forever leaders like Sandra Rodrigues decided that showing naivete would be the best road to take. Their rants included stories about the “little old lady” who rents out her basement and would be forced to rent to “the gays” who would make out in front of her grandchildren, and the small business owner who would have his employees “acting all gay” around him. Unfortunately for America Forever, both grandma and any business under 15 employees are actually exempt under these ordinances, but hey.. technicality right?

Times were when America Forever could be counted on to show up at every opportunity with their 12′ by 4′ signs shouting “shame on the gays,” but we haven’t seen them for a while! Where have they been? Well apparently Sandra Rodrigues, chief kook of the kooks, was called in to her bishop a month or so ago and asked to stop being so public because it was making the church look bad!

Now that the LDS church publicly endorsed the fair workplace and housing ordinances in Salt Lake City, the Rodrigues clan is none-too-happy with the Mormon leadership. Below is their flyer that they faxed to 80,000 people and businesses this week. My response? Keep up the good work kooks!

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UPDATE:
To anyone who received this fax and is upset and/or offended by it. Sending out mass faxes such as this is illegal.

You can file your complaint using an on-line complaint form found at esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm. You can also file your complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Center by e-mailing fccinfo@fcc.gov; calling 1-888-CALL-FCC(1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division… Read More
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554.

Common Ground Ignored. Now what?

me1Today, the most prominent, and likely to pass of the Common Ground Initiative Bills was defeated in a motion 8-5, the Fair Workplace and Housing Bill.

Testimony was beautiful, Rep. Christine Johnson was (as always), eloquent, funny and moving.  Members of the Utah community spoke: from a transgender minister, to a local (straight) business owner, to a gay member of the LDS church. Stories were told of an LDS man, who is married to his wife and has 5 children but was fired from his job after over a decade of work on suspicion (because of his feminine voice) of being gay. Rep. Hansen gave a beautiful speech about how bills tend to be either against people or for people, and let’s do something for people. Rep. Johnson gave a beautiful summary stating that voting for this bill did not mean that you were pro-equal marriage, or even pro-homosexuality/transgenderism; but voting against this bill did mean that you were pro-discrimination.

And still, the nay vote came.

So now what? I’ve had 14 emails, 9 texts and 8 voicemails today asking if it’s over, asking if that’s all she wrote. My answer? Never.

What we are at is the beginning. This is the beginning of the rise to equality in Utah, this is the rise of equality in our country. One by one, states have seen the innate evil of refusing to protect their citizens, of denying people what is “inherently” theirs. And Utah will be no different.

We all know what kind of state we live in, of the raging ultra-conservatism that guides us. And yet we do not stop. We do not give in just because some nobody like Gayle Ruzicka says so. We do not stop fighting because the Sutherland Institute or the Utah Eagle Forum claims to have won do we?

I say never. I say that I will never stop fighting for my rights, and the rights of all Utahns and Americans who are oppressed or and beaten down for being themselves. I will never stop fighting for myself, for you and for all the “rest of us,” who they think don’t matter. Our voices will be heard. Our faces will be known, our memories shall be cherished. And long after you and I have turned to dust, our children’s children will thank us for the stand we make today.

I make no apologies for who I am. I make no apologies for who and what I believe in. I believe that I will be fully recognized and protected under the law as my straight brothers and sisters. I believe that I will no longer worry from day to day about losing my job or my home. I believe (yes, I’ll say it) that someday I will have the option of marrying another man legally in this state. But these changes will never come if I do nothing, and I will NEVER do nothing. Who stands with me? Who believes with me that we shall see these changes in our lives? Who stands with me?

The Gov Gives, and The Gov Gets

Utah Governor John Huntsman Jr released a statement a few days ago stating that he was pro both civil unions and other rights for homosexuals and transgendered people in Utah. Since then, he has received an enormous outcry from the public, both for and against.

While groups like Equality Utah (local) and the Human Rights Campaign (national) both came out praising the Governor for his stance on civil rights, other groups like the Eagle Forum and the Sutherland Institute came out hard against Governor Huntsman.

Mike Thompson, Executive Director of Equality Utah, said in a statement to the Salt Lake Tribune that he wants to make it clear that civil unions are not actually a part of the current Common Ground Initiative. “Equality Utah specifically dropped it’s bill regarding the second portion of Amendment 3 [which bans civil unions similar to marriage] to focus energy where common ground is clear,” Mr. Thompson said.

Many different groups, comments and email threads popped up on social networking sites, like Facebook. Many, including those started by All For One Initiative (Jacob Whipple), and PRIDE In Your Community (Me) asked members to write a quick note to the Governor thanking him for his brave stance, and posted a link to the State’s website to do so. But at the same time, groups like the Sutherland Institute also sent out threads to members asking them to do the exact opposite. “Governor Huntsman would rather be nice than right,” read the email they sent out, and they offered the same link to send the Governor not-so-nice comments.

What seems to be interesting about these different groups, is that while people like Gayle Ruzicka, Eagle Forum, Sutherland Institute and even many of Utah’s own legislators are bemoaning the loss of such a popular ally in their campaign against civil rights, the groups that praise Mr. Huntsman like Equality Utah are quick to point out just how ignorant their moans are.

The Common Ground Initiative is not now, nor has it ever been, a push for Gay Marriage. These bills provide basic protections for the gay and transgendered citizens of Utah, which multiple polls have shown the majority of Utahn’s support.

Utah needs to wake up. Because we are so very close to achieving some measure of equality in this state. And even (I hesitate to even say it) if the Common Ground Initiative bills were to all fail, it’s too late to turn back. It is too late for these pitiful little groups to stop the overwhelming tide of support for the LGBTQ community. And most of all, it is too late in history, people are too well educated to fall for the tired old arguments that these people seem hell-bent on leaning on.

Quotes courtesy of the Salt Lake Tribune