California | Gay Marriage | Gay Rights | Mormon | News | Proposition 8 | Scott McCoy | Utah

Equality Utah Calls Bluff of Mormon Church on Gay Rights


Equality Utah and Utah's first openly gay state senator Scott McCoy held a news conference yesterday in response to a statement put out by the Church of Latter Day Saints following uproar over the church's massive funding efforts to pass Proposition 8 in California.

Mormon2The Mormon Church put out a statement last week in an attempt to soften criticism of its anti-gay marriage campaign that read, in part, that the church "does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights or probate rights."

Said McCoy: "Setting aside the marriage issue for now, there is so much in that space that is short of marriage that we need to talk about; and we're saying, 'Let's talk about it.'"

According to Utah station KSL, "Those issues include rights in medical care and hospital visitation, housing and employment protections, insurance rights for a partner, a statewide domestic partner registry. Repealing the second part of Utah's Amendment 3 would officially recognize gay couples. Most Utah legislators are not aware of the proposals, a few hesitating to comment until specific bills are available. This group knows there will be questions, resistance, even negative reactions. They're hoping to create a dialogue based on the common ground they say the LDS Church has laid down."

Watch the news report and conference clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. It's going to take a while until we know for sure, but I'm conflicted whether I believe the Mormon Church actually meant what it said or if they really didn't think anyone would hold them to it.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 11, 2008 11:50:53 AM


    Equality Utah's response could not be better.

    We all should expect the LDS Church to honor its own word.

    Posted by: Taft | Nov 11, 2008 12:00:12 PM

  3. I love that they're latching onto that statement! Brilliant! A silver lining in the black cloud...

    So legislators are hopeful because of a statement from the Mormon church...

    I guess Utah is a theocracy? I thought that was against the US Constitution. What kind of constitution does Utah have? Or is it just the Book of Mormon?

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Nov 11, 2008 12:06:33 PM

  4. U couldn't pay me to go to Utah..ever!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Nov 11, 2008 12:29:26 PM

  5. Civil Unions is NOT the same as marriage. We need marriage rights. I have been with my partner (from Ecuador) who's visas have expired. Without marriage, there is no way that he can stay here with me--legally.

    Until we have the same immigration rights as heterosexuals it is not the same as marriage. If he was a woman and I was a straight man, the process for legalization would be no problem as it is for married couples.

    Posted by: ken | Nov 11, 2008 12:39:37 PM

  6. Use the statement to press the church. But, let's not paint too broad of brush. I use to work with a Mormon guy who drank caffeine, was cool with gay people, etc. The guy invited me to some ceremony for his child in the Mormon church knowing I was a poof. He invited me to his house. So, all Mormons aren't homophobes. And if we keep making this an us versus them thing, we're going to alienate members of that community that are more progressive.

    Posted by: Brandon | Nov 11, 2008 12:43:21 PM

  7. Ken, this is a mere stopgap. We're leveraging every inch we get. The fight for marriage isn't over as we struggle for civil unions or other modes state-by-state equality.

    Posted by: freddy | Nov 11, 2008 12:46:42 PM

  8. This is a great idea. I hope this strategy works to help LGBT folks in Utah.

    Posted by: Marc in Chicago | Nov 11, 2008 1:31:18 PM

  9. I called the LDS main press office in Utah, and they told me that indeed they it wasn't about rights it was about the word marriage. The gentleman I spoke to told me he has gay people in his family and loves them. I would respectfully ask them that if they are not against rights, they should endorse some sort of civil union in Utah and make it happen. They can do what they set their minds to. It would be a PR bonanza for them, if they have the courage to do it.

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 11, 2008 2:12:00 PM

  10. I'm tired of all this "gosh, we might offend our allies if we attack the whole church" whining. When any organization or person finances a dishonest, deceitful, unethical, immoral campaign of misinformation against another group, it deserves to be publicly castigated and shamed. Those in that church who are our allies should be equally ashamed of their church and should stand with us to demand change. Had they merely financed an honest campaign and won, then I'd have no gripe.

    We use our balls for so many other things, it's about time we used them to fight for our rights and to speak truth to power.

    Posted by: BCW | Nov 11, 2008 2:12:41 PM

  11. The LDS Church IS against gay marriage and civil unions. There is pointless. The Yes on 8 campaign decided not to go with striking down civil union laws like they just did in FL and have done in the past in other states but they do plan to come back to California one day and try to pass a law making civil unions void. We must act now and make sure this doesn't happen, and we must do whatever we can do get full marriage rights just like everyone else.

    Posted by: JJ | Nov 11, 2008 3:35:40 PM

  12. LAWMAKERS are going to work with a CHURCH to TRY to get more rights for gay people? what is wrong with this picture?

    Posted by: jude | Nov 11, 2008 6:54:52 PM

  13. Not a lot of people know that Salt Lake City is actually one of the most gay friendly cities in the nation. Mayor Rocky Anderson is one of the most liberal mayors in the US and hate crime and domestic partnership laws favoring gays have been passed in city resolutions with flying colors. Last I heard Salt Lake was only about 40% Mormon. It's a diversifying community and it's just not accurate to say that the LDS Church has the Salt Lake area in its pocket.

    Posted by: Rathje | Nov 11, 2008 8:26:45 PM

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