Salt Lake City Hub

Gallup Survey Confirms San Francisco Is The Nation's Gayest City (#7 May Surprise You Though)


Not surprisingly, San Francisco has the highest concentration of LGBT people of any city in the US, at 6.2 percent, according to a new Gallup survey

However, there are some surprises on the list, including Salt Lake City, which is ranked No. 7.

From The New York Times:

Gallup1It might seem surprising at first that the city most associated with the Mormon Church — which believes that sex and marriage should occur between only a man and a woman — has the seventh-highest share of L.G.B.T. people, at 4.7 percent.

But another aspect of the Mormon culture — the importance of community and family — goes a long way toward explaining the pattern, people in Salt Lake City say.

Though many gay people who were raised Mormon (or L.D.S., an acronym for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) describe feeling expelled from the community, a large number still choose to stay close to their families and culture. “If you grow up L.D.S. like I did, you still have these deep Mormon values that are embedded in your DNA,” said Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, an L.G.B.T. advocacy group.

The Gallup survey includes the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas and is believed to contain the most detailed estimates yet about where LGBT people live. 

Birmingham, Alabama, has the lowest concentration of LGBT people, at 2.6 percent, but according to Gallup, the overall margin is small:  

The distribution of LGBT identity across the largest metro areas in the U.S. is relatively narrow, with a range of 3.6 percentage points from the highest to the lowest MSA among the top 50. This mirrors previous analyses of the distribution of the LGBT population across states, which show similarly fairly even distribution, at least in comparison to the many other pronounced geographic differences found on race, ethnic, political and ideological variables.

The lack of sharp distinctions could reflect in part that the geographic MSAs used in this research are large, and for most areas, include significant suburban populations around center cities. The sample sizes involved do not allow for an analysis of center cities per se, but perhaps the LGBT percentage is larger in these areas than in the metropolitan area as a whole.


Husband From 'My Husband's Not Gay' Compares Being Gay To 'Craving Donuts' - VIDEO

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One of the husbands from TLC's My Husband's Not Gay explained to ABC News that his attraction to men is like the equivalent of eating "Too many donuts." He elaborated that he doesn't think of having sex with a man when he's having sex with his wife, but used the analogy (sic) that he may "love donuts," but then he wouldn't be able to "fit in his pants every day." He ended his statement saying that he would "love to eat donuts every day," but says he "desires to live a healthy lifestyle," and that he's not miserable or denying himself because he truly loves his wife and believes that his relationship with her is "healthy."

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.26.49 PMThe show follows four gay men, with some of them married to women, in Salt Lake City, Utah and is already garnering criticism from critics and activists saying the show delivers a negative message to LGBT people regarding their identities, especially youth. Josh Sanders, a devout gay Christian and LGBT advocate, spearheaded a petition to cancel My Husband's Not Gay, receiving 100,000 signatures; the petition ultimately failed to persuade TLC to take the show off the air. Sanders recently appeared on The Meredith Veira Show and spoke with Veira about surviving reparative therapy and how he thinks TLC is being reckless and exploitative with LGBT identities and issues for the sake of entertainment. Watch ABC News' interview with the "donut" craving man and his wife, and Sanders' interview with Veira about the TLC show, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Salt Lake County Prosecutors Pursuing Hate Crime, Assault Charges In Attack On Two Gay Men

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Salt Lake County prosecutors are pursuing hate crime and assault charges against a pair of Wyoming men for allegedly attacking two gay men outside a Salt Lake City home on Dec. 21 reports The Salt Lake TribuneThe assault on Dec. 21 began with a volley of gay slurs, including explicit sexual references, aimed at Rusty Andrade and Maxwell Christen. A physical attack quickly followed and left the two friends bruised, bloodied and emotionally shaken. The two had just returned from a holiday party at Christen's boyfriend's house nearby, exchanging a hug outside Andrade's garage when the suspects approached.

CrimeSaid Christen:

"I let go and then these two guys were just standing there. They started calling us faggots … one of them pushed Rusty and then they hit both of us. It was just quick."

An account of the attack in a Salt Lake City police report says the two suspects returned after the attack to search for a lost wallet at the same time a patrol officer arrived in response to a 911 call; the two suspects both denied participating in the fight when police questioned them. However, one of the men said he'd been drinking at a bar and couldn't remember what happened according to the report. The man admitted that if there was an altercation then he was "probably involved," which seems like a contradicting statement to what he said previously. He also had cuts on his face but claimed he couldn't remember how he got them. The other man still flat-out denied any involvement in the assault.

Neither suspected assailants were arrested or cited, and initially the case was not being investigated as a hate crime according to responding Patrol Officer Sgt. Robin Heiden. A detective began a follow-up investigation and spoke with the victims a second time and discerned that a hate crime may have occurred. Andrade and Christen believe it was certainly a hate crime.

Said Christen:

"Once they found out we were gay, it was absolutely clear why they attacked us. It was a complete hate crime. If feel like if I could have done something, I would have."

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill (top photo) said his office is reviewing police reports to determine what charges might be supported in regards to evidence and, if necessary, would conduct a follow-up investigation. Gill said his office is taking the charges seriously, regardless of whether it's based on a person's gender, religion or culture.

Nationally, 5,928 hate crimes were reported by law enforcement agencies in 2013, data from the FBI’s annual crime statistics report released in December show. Of those offenses, about 20 percent were motivated by a sexual orientation-related bias and most of the victims were gay men. A Utah report from the state Bureau of Criminal Identification for 2012, the latest year with readily available figures for Utah, shows the overall number of hate crimes dropped 29.31 percent to 58 percent. Of those, the report says fewer than 10 were sexual orientation motivated.

Troy Williams, the executive director of Equality Utah, says the attack sent a disturbing message to the wider community, especially in Salt Lake City and county where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals say they generally feel safe in. Williams also noted that the assault coincides with the anniversary of the surprising court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah.

Said Williams:

"When you attack one member of the LGBT community, you really attack all of us. That’s the cruel irony of it ... Biases still exist.

"We’ve had these amazing legal victories, but prejudice against us because of who we are is still pervasive in society. This is an ugly, brutal reminder of that."

As of Dec. 31 it's unclear how soon a decision about criminal charges will occur.

[photo via QSaltLake]

Does The Mormon Church Support A Statewide Law Banning Anti-LGBT Discrimination In Utah?


The Mormon church published a statement on its website Friday — under the category "Mormons 101" and the heading "Gays and the Church" — referencing its support for an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in Salt Lake City five years ago. Here's the full statement: 

“Church leaders recognize the existence and difficulty of same gender attraction and acknowledge the difference between having same-sex attraction and acting on it. They censure only the latter, and leaders strongly advocate for understanding, inclusion, and kindness toward people of all gender orientations. The Church website details sincere outreach by the Church within the gay community, including support in Utah for nondiscrimination protections of employment and housing. There is room for compassion, common ground, and shared humanity among people who disagree, and Church leaders eagerly pursue these ideals, both inside and outside the Church.”

Friday's post has led some to declare that the Mormon church now supports a statewide law prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in employment and housing. However, an alternative reading of the informational post might conclude that it merely contains a reference to the church's previous support for one nondiscrimination ordinance — in Salt Lake City.

Indeed, on the website mentioned in the statement,, I found a link to a statement from the church in which it makes clear that its support for the nondiscrimination ordinance in Salt Lake City was specific: 

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 12.40.52 PMIt is important to understand that the provisions and elements of each nondiscrimination ordinance can often vary significantly. The Church supported the Salt Lake City ordinance because it granted common-sense rights that should be available to everyone, while safeguarding the crucial rights of religious organizations. The ordinance also avoided the potentially problematic elements of public accommodations and criminal penalties.

Since Salt Lake City passed its nondiscrimination ordinance, numerous other Utah cities have followed suit. However, bills to ban anti-LGBT discrimination statewide have failed in every legislative session. Earlier this year, several protesters were arrested (above) outside the governor's office after they demanded a hearing on one of the bills. 

It's worth noting that the city nondiscrimination ordinances in Utah, as well as the proposed state legislation, have contained broad exemptions for religious groups. It's also worth nothing that there's a major difference between the municipal ordinances — punishable by fines of up to $1,000, although none has ever been levied — and a statewide law, which would allow alleged victims of discrimination to file lawsuits. Utah.Politico.Hub summarized the difference as folllows: 

Although discrimination is prohibited under the municipal ordinances, the remedies are extraordinarily limited, and the decision to take judicial action is left to the discretion of the  municipal attorney. Under SB100, the full remedies available under the Utah Anti-Discrimination Act and the Utah Fair Housing Act – including a private right of action and damages – would be available to persons asserting a sexual orientation or gender identity claim, making the application of the law to discriminating employers and landlords potentially significantly more severe.

Having spent a session covering the Utah Legislature, I'd say the bottom line is that until the church clearly states its support for a specific piece of legislation to ban anti-LGBT discrimination statewide — which it has never done, despite plenty of opportunities — it's doubtful that predominantly Mormon state lawmakers will have the political will to pass such a law.

UPDATE: The Mormon church has updated its statement to clarify that it was referring only to the Salt Lake City ordinance. To be clear, though, the church didn't "walk back" its statement, as some are reporting. It merely clarified it. Read it here

TLC's 'My Husband's Not Gay' Documents Gay Mormon Men Dating Women To 'Overcome' Their Sexuality: VIDEO

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TLC will air a documentary on January 1st about gay Mormon men in Salt Lake City who are married to women.

The men claim to use their faith in god to overcome anything that goes against their religious beliefs. Featuring three married couples and one bachelor, one of the men says he has “chosen an alternative to an alternative lifestyle.” Another participant helpfully explains “I’m interested in men, I’m just not interested in men.”

Some of the wives are delusional.

Watch a trailer for the TLC special, AFTER THE JUMP...

Mormon leaders recently reiterated the church's opposition to homosexuality.

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LDS Church 'Sad' About Salt Lake City Gay Bar's 'Dress Like a Mormon' Party: VIDEO


A gay club is making headlines in Salt Lake City for a promotion meant to take advantage of the LDS General Conference in town over the weekend, KUTV reports.

The club erected a muscular Moroni statue on its roof, posted photos of its staff as missionary "Elders" and gave them similar nametags. It is also offering liquor specials such a "Sacrament shots", "Baptism by Fireball", and "Garment Droppers" and is offering free entry to those wearing "garments, missionary nametags, or their missionary suit."

The stunt has offended at least one patron who says she'll "think twice" about going back.

An LDS Church released a statement about the promotion:

"In recent years many people in our community, including religious leaders and representatives of the LGBT community have worked hard to create greater understanding and develop more sensitivity and good will toward each other. It is sad to see events like this - deliberately designed to offend and alienate - given any kind of attention."



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