Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thoughts and Suggestions for Equality

Equality Utah has posted this message on their site in light of the LDS church's statement regarding gay rights vs marriage:

Throughout the recent election cycle, the LDS Church has demonstrated its willingness to participate in political issues by asking its members to do all they can do, including donating their means and their time, to support California’s Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution and eliminated gay couples right to marry by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The LDS Church has articulated it is not “anti-gay” but rather pro-marriage and it “does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights.” On November 5th, Elder L. Whitney Clayton stated the LDS Church does not oppose “civil unions or domestic partnerships.” In response to these statements, Equality Utah is drafting legislation for the 2009 General Session of the Utah Legislature to address each of the issues mentioned by the LDS Church.

At a noon Press Conference today, Equality Utah is asking the LDS Church to keep its word and to demonstrate its conviction on these issues. Will you join us in this effort and be part of our work for a fair & just Utah?

Read the Press Release

Read the transcript from our Press Conference

You can be a part of this effort by:

Talking to your LDS family and friends. Encourage them to ask their church leaders to support rights for gay couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, probate rights and domestic partnerships.

Sign our petition and join the growing number of people working for a fair & just Utah.

For those who wish to support this effort and who understand the important role these rights play in the lives of gay and transgender people - rights that do not threaten traditional marriage - they may access this petition of support at www.equalityutah.org

Please forward this message to your friends and family – let’s build a statewide coalition of support!

For those of you who are growing weary of my gay rights tirade, fear not. I promise to lay off of it here in a little while. But with the passing of Prop 8 in California, the banning of Gay adoption in Arkansas, and the further legislation passed on denying same sex couples rights in Florida, the situation begs the question: What are we doing wrong? What needs to be done for the queer community to obtain civil rights in America and stop being treated as second class citizens?

Recently I attended a protest at the LDS temple in Salt Lake City protesting the church's involvement in the passing of prop 8, but with a few reservations. I understand that the Mormon church was a part of a coalition of other Christian churches that also supported Prop 8, however, those churches and their members didn't donate roughly twenty two million dollars to the cause. It frustrates me so much that this organization, which I have no attachment to can have such an impact on my future and the future of millions of other citizens in my same place.

So assimilation or liberation? Should the GLBT community try to show the heteronormative community that we are just like them? "I'm gay as a mongoose but I love to play golf!" Gorgeous muscular jocks or feminine women in skirts and lipstick spokes models posing as doctors and lawyers AND being gay as well? A collective group of people desperately mimicking the "normal" relationship model? Or take the approach that the gay community shouldn't have to prove themselves to acquire the same equal rights as the next "joe six pack" with his wife and 2.5 children? It is a hard question without a definite answer.

Like many other people, I think that though rights for the GLBT community took a hit in recent elections, it could be conceived as a positive thing. All across the country hundreds of thousands of people are standing up and saying enough. Assimilation and "separate but equal" policies haven't worked and rather than just signing a petition while shopping online, or letting the HRC fight our battles, each person needs to stand up and use their voice, and tell our leaders that we deserve rights just as much as anyone else.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prop 8 Spokesman in California Compares Gay People To Hitler and his Regime

Regardless of what you think of the GLBT community, do you really think comparing gay people to Hitler and his regime is the best way for Christians in California to go? In my opinion, Prop 8 is a message of hate that is working to promote discrimination towards members of the GLBT community and to continue denying those "inalienable rights" of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" that supposedly everyone in America are afforded.

It's a curious time we live in, I was told the other day when discussing Prop 8 with a someone from high school that gay people aren't discriminated against, and they do have the same right as anyone else to marry someone of the opposite sex. But don't you think it would have been appropriate in the sixties for the same argument to be made about marrying someone of a different race (and even still in some places in the US today)? Homophobia is the last great socially acceptable way to hate someone because of the minority they belong to, and approving Prop 8 will only send the message that the government approves of such hate, and that people are right in discriminating against them.