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Religious Conservatives Gather to Oppose Gay Rights in Utah

Lehi1

Hundreds of enthusiastic anti-gay conservatives attended a think tank at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah last night. It was the 'Sacred Ground initiative' launched by the Sutherland Institute. Speakers warned of the dangers presented in the set of gay rights bills before the Utah legislature called the Common Ground initiative. One of those bills failed in committee last week.

Lehi2Although legal experts say differently, these moral crusaders fear the granting of any right to same-sex couples.

The Herald Extra reports: "Although Utah passed a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, [former legislator Lavar] Christensen said the set of bills are still a real threat to the institution of marriage. The bills, known in Utah as the "Common Ground Initiative," are similar to bills passed in California that led to a recent California Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage in the state, he said. Paul Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute, also spoke of what he called the basis of freedom -- the family. Mero said responsible citizens need to make the decision to stand for what they ought to do, not what they want to do. Gay marriage is a family created by the state, he said, not a natural structure. 'The proper definition of family is critical to our liberty,' he said."

Said Christensen: "We have the utmost empathy and sincere compassion for all human beings. But our empathy and compassion are not contingent on, nor do they require, the redefinition of marriage."

More than two dozen protesters who disagreed with that sentiment (top) gathered outside.

Hundreds gather in Lehi for anti-gay-marriage presentation [daily herald]
(image mario ruiz)

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Comments

  1. I'm so sick of people hiding their bigotry behind religion. It has to stop. There are more and more denominations of Christianity and other religions that support gay rights and gay marriage, why is their interpretation of the bible any less true than these right-wing religios zealots' interpretations? It's despicable.

    Posted by: NYCSteve | Feb 6, 2009 10:35:29 AM


  2. They are not hiding their bigotry behind religion. They are religious bigots. They are just trying to make their bigotry LOOK reasonable.

    Posted by: Ben in Oakland | Feb 6, 2009 11:04:24 AM


  3. There's a way in which these fools are right.

    The set of bills in front of the Utah legislature does have the effect of incorporating LGBT folks into the state as fuller citizens by replacing legal exclusion with inclusion. As people are included in more sectors of society, particularly the law, it becomes more difficult to maintain and retain exclusionary policies.

    The incorporation into Massachusetts family law of lesbians and gay men with regard to parenting helped to undercut arguments about children as a reason to keep gay folks out of marriage. The enactment of non-discrimination policies, and even a "bill of rights" for LGBT students, also helps to build a legal basis for increasing inclusion of LGBT people.

    So, the bigots are sort of right in thinking that these bills lead down a path toward marriage. It's not a direct path, but these things are all linked because the work to include gay folks as full citizens. They just think that this growing inclusion is the problem.

    Posted by: MAJeff | Feb 6, 2009 11:16:12 AM


  4. And verily I say unto you my beloved fellow bigots gathered here today that we feel that all human beings are entitled to equal rights ... except those that redefine "marriage" ... and I know that everyone gathered here today will agree with me that that definition of marriage will include any equal job protection, equal housing protection, and any of that other stuff we went on record as saying we'd be for in the Prop 8 battle but now sit on our hands and oppose .. not that we would lie my beloved hipocrites ... oh Praise Jerry Falwell, our Founder who aren't in heaven ... in the name of bigotry and intolerance I pray ...

    Man, wouldn't wanna be standing near these people when judgment day comes. Get thee behind me, Satan! Yuk!

    Posted by: Craig | Feb 6, 2009 11:34:48 AM


  5. Do these people even listen to themselves? Their freedom is predicated upon restricting freedom? Traditional families are "natural structures?" I guess we don't need all those laws protecting their interests if they're natural structures. They've lost a grip on reality.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Feb 6, 2009 11:36:29 AM


  6. "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest" D. Diderot

    You're dealing with crazy people. And yes I know that's a broad brush, but in my opinion all religious people are crazy people or delusional if you prefer. It's really just a matter of degree. Their ignorance and bigotry should be exposed and challenged at all times. There is more evidence to prove the existence of UFO's than there is evidence to prove the existence of some God, yet those who profess to believe in or have seen a UFO are labeled as nutty while "true believers" of some big invisible man in the sky are considered "enlightened". It would be laughable if not so sad. These people are at once dangerous and pathetic but should never be taken lightly or ignored. They are both ignorant and fearful, a very dangerous combination.

    Posted by: Bob R | Feb 6, 2009 12:22:48 PM


  7. Of course, Prop 8 wasn't about hurting families, just about reaffirming the sanctity of Traditional Orphanages.

    Posted by: Occono | Feb 6, 2009 12:28:07 PM


  8. I used to think that. In fact, in philosophy departments for much of the twentieth century, religious people were literally viewed as having mental illness...by analytics.

    I think that gives them a pass in moral culpability. They aren't crazy--that'd be a lot of crazy people. They're lazy when it comes to the memes that they've been infected with. Memes are powerful...they suspend our critical thinking skills and stimulate our pleasure centers. That explains religious belief in the vast majority of people of average intelligence--tradition, uncritical acceptance because of conditioning and indoctrination...generic stuff. They aren't crazy--but, in acting on those beliefs, they aren't victims, either. They're passively choosing to believe in BELIEF itself.

    I know too many people who are religious who aren't crazy. Very intelligent, in fact, and I have greater difficulty explaining why they choose to believe these strange things and defend their beliefs so cunningly. I have come to the conclusion that intelligent people (generally intelligent people aren't religious) who are religious are bored...their boredom causes them to embrace beliefs that are harder to defend, and subsequently requires more involvement and mental acrobatics.

    Anyway, I have a lot of respect for those fighting for lgbt equality in utah. That takes some brass and tenacity.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 6, 2009 12:31:19 PM


  9. gee, isn't it great that GLAAD caved and went along with Sundance Film Festival who decided (after Prop 8 fiasco) to push on and pump millions of tourism dollars into that film fest in that "wonderful" state of Utah.

    Sickening

    Posted by: Martha | Feb 6, 2009 1:39:49 PM


  10. gee, isn't it great that GLAAD caved and went along with Sundance Film Festival who decided (after Prop 8 fiasco) to push on and pump millions of tourism dollars into that film fest in that "wonderful" state of Utah.

    Sickening

    Posted by: Martha | Feb 6, 2009 1:40:24 PM


  11. gee, isn't it great that GLAAD caved and went along with Sundance Film Festival who decided (after Prop 8 fiasco) to push on and pump millions of tourism dollars into that film fest in that "wonderful" state of Utah.

    Sickening

    Posted by: Martha | Feb 6, 2009 1:40:33 PM


  12. "We have the utmost empathy and sincere compassion for all human beings. But our empathy and compassion are not contingent on, nor do they require, the redefinition of marriage."


    TRANSLATION: "As long as you live in someone else's community I won't burn your place down, but don't EVER expect me to think of you as anything but perverts!"

    Posted by: RedCedar | Feb 6, 2009 9:11:52 PM


  13. Christensen is a bigot.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 6, 2009 11:25:40 PM


  14. Jeez, ya'd think those knuckle-draggers would have said something about the epidemic of unwed heterosexual mothers.

    Posted by: mike shackleford | Feb 8, 2009 3:02:32 AM


  15. How 'bout we trade em - we get right to marry one person and they can marry three? They'll take that in a heartbeat. The problem is, once they have three wives they'll want more.

    Posted by: Ted | Feb 8, 2009 12:09:21 PM


  16. Wanna know what's really crazy?

    Check out the Sutherland Institute YouTube clips that they uploaded showcasing their star attraction, Paul Mero.

    One clip in particular caught my attention. It's titled: "Political Freedom Comes From Doing What we Ought to Do"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiOnPz-7n0E

    Head to around the 2:36 mark.

    Yup, those would be swastikas.

    What Paul & Co. are attempting to pull off with their "Sacred Ground" campaign is blatant FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). That's no surprise, but what is surprising is that they themselves recognize that their own case is so weak that they've been reduced to relying on Nazi-era visual aids to get the job done.

    The day is fast approaching when Paul Mero, LaVar Christensen, Gayle Ruzicka and Chris Buttars can all be safely ignored while the grown-ups sit down and map out policy.

    Posted by: Chino Blanco | Feb 10, 2009 9:50:51 AM


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