Salt Lake City Hub




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

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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."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Hate Group World Congress Of Families Launches Petition Against Human Rights Campaign - VIDEO

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The World Congress of Families (WCF) has issued a petition demanding that Human Rights Campaign (HRC) stop its “hate-filled” attack on the listed hate group's important work of denying gay people their rights and spreading anti-gay bigotry around the world.

The WCF petition follows a September HRC report that exposed some of the most vitriolic activists in the U.S. promoting anti-gay bigotry abroad including Benjamin Bull, Peter La Barbera, Sharon Slater, Mat Staver, Robert Oscar Lopez, and of course the “work” of the WCF.

Despite the relentless and dangerous hatred spewed worldwide by these and other groups and individuals - stand up Scott Lively - the WCF petition demands that HRC be nicer in future and vows to continue its global anti-gay mission.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6ea1768970b-800wiRevealing that WCF and their ilk are actually the victims in all of this -  a common theme among anti-gay bigots - the petition argues that “the HRC’s hate report has helped make clear to the global community what is at stake, it has revealed that HRC and its allies view traditional religious views on sexual morality and marriage as ‘hate’, it has taken the mask off of the new face of cultural imperialism.”

Despite the WCF’s claims to have “consistently denounced hate and violence,” it is one of the most influential groups in the U.S. promoting and coordinating anti-LGBT bigotry, ideology and legislation abroad.

According to Ty Cobb, HRC Foundation’s director of Global Engagement, the WCF:

"Coordinates a dangerous group of activists spreading anti-LGBT rhetoric and promoting laws and policies that criminalize LGBT people and the speech of those who support them.

"They praise Vladimir Putin as the standard-bearer for traditional ‘family values’ and honored a Nigerian activist who claims LGBT advocates conspire with the terrorist group Boko Haram with a ‘Woman of the Year’ award.  

"Their advocacy abroad harms LGBT people from Russia to Nigeria and beyond.  Hate is not an American value, and we must expose and work to stop the World Congress of Families and their extremist allies.”

The WCF intends to bring its annual convention to Salt Lake City in 2015.

Read the HRC reports The Export Of Hate and watch a report on a protest outside a WCF conference in Melbourne, Australia, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Hate Group World Conference Of Families To Hold 2015 Convention In Salt Lake City

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Anti-gay hate group The World Congress Of Families (WCF) intends to bring its annual convention to Salt Lake City in 2015.

The Illinois-based coalition of hate groups, which opposes homosexuality and abortion, claims to affirm and defend “the natural family as the fundamental unit of civilizations, thus renewing a stable and free society.  [The organization] is a practical effort to lead the international pro-family movement and build greater understanding and encourage new networks and initiatives among natural family advocates at the national and international levels.”

Last year, the WCF reserved a meeting room at the Dirksen Senate Office building, until it was shut down by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL). However the meeting, billed as a discussion of “what can our pro-family legislators learn — positively and negatively — by studying our colleagues’ actions abroad," was later rescheduled at a House office building thanks to Speaker John Boehner.

According to The Sacramento Bee, the WCF coalition, which includes Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America, aims to bring together “people of different religions and ethnicities to promote the "natural human family.” The coalition describes the “natural human family” as one man and one woman raising children with love and discipline.

Conservative Utah-based think tank The Sutherland Institute put in the bid and is leading the event planning, according to WCF vice president and managing director Larry Jacobs.

Speaking to The Sacramento Bee, Ty Cobb, director of global engagement for The Human Rights Campaign, said:

"Whatever the World Congress of Families may believe in their head about the values of people of Salt Lake City, they are wrong. The values of the people of Salt Lake City are ones that promote inclusivity."

Utah has been a focal point in the fight for same-sex marriage in recent weeks, following the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to strike down the state's gay marriage ban.


Mormon LGBT Rights Advocate John Dehlin Faces Excommunication: VIDEO

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John Dehlin, a Mormon advocate of LGBT rights, has said that no decision has been made on whether he will be excommunicated from the church.

Last month a top Mormon official reiterated the church's stance against same-sex marriage.

Speaking to The Washington Post, Dehlin, who runs the Mormon Stories website, said that regional Mormon church leader Bryan King told Dehlin he needed time to think and pray on whether to send the case to a disciplinary panel.

Writing on Mormon Stories, Dehlin says “that many LDS church leaders have good intentions, but I am deeply troubled by their historical and current treatment of women, racial and sexual minorities, and scientists/intellectuals.”

He also writes:

“I believe that I am being considered for disciplinary action because of: 1) the popularity of Mormon Stories podcast, 2) my support for LGBT rights within Mormonism, and for the legalization of same-sex marriage, 3) my support for Ordained Women, and 4) I believe that both local and high-level church leaders are blaming Mormon Stories for the fact that some people inevitably leave the church.”

Although Mormon officials have not specifically discussed the case, they have said the church welcomes questions and conversations about the faith.

Dehlin has agreed to no longer talk with the media about the case.

Watch a video of Dehlin speaking about LGBT rights at a TEDx talk this past November, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Salt Lake City Police Officer Who Didn’t Want Gay Pride Parade Assignment Resigns

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The Salt Lake City police officer put on administrative leave after the SLCPD said he refused his assignment at the city’s gay pride parade last weekend has now resigned, The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

The officer, whose identity has not been released, reportedly cited religious convictions in asking for reassignment rather than participating directly in the parade — an act he saw as an endorsement of last Sunday’s Utah Pride Parade.

His lawyer, Bret Rawson, said the officer did not — as initially indicated by SLCPD officials — refuse the [motorcycle] assignment, and would have ridden in the parade had he been ordered to do so.

"My client has made it clear to SLCPD that he is not returning," Rawson said Tuesday. "He feels he has been subjected to needless ridicule by the department for merely expressing a desire to work the parade without participating in the parade.

The Salt Lake City Police Department declined to provide further comment on the situation or any pending litigation.

GallagherWhen the initial story broke about the SLCPD indicating that a police officer had flat-out refused to work at Gay Pride, Maggie Gallagher blasted the cop, writing: "Religious liberty should not extend to a cop refusing to protect Gay Pride parade-goers — that is just wrong."

With these new developments that the cop may have only been asking for a less conspicuous assignment at Pride, however, Gallagher clarified her views:

I do not think cops have a right to refuse to serve and protect gay people or gay institutions, but if government can punish you for merely asking for an accommodation, we are in serious trouble. 

I trusted the police department as a reliable source (my biases showing!), but if the cop’s story is true, he has a number of serious legal claims, from the First Amendment to defamation of character.

What are your own thoughts on the case? Do you think, like Rawson, that the SLCPD gave a "knee-jerk reaction" to the officer's concerns by immediately putting him on administrative leave?


Utah Cop Claims He Never Refused Gay Pride Assignment, Says Dept. ‘Defamed’ Him

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A Salt Lake City police officer who made headlines last week when his department announced he had been put on leave for refusing to work an assignment at the city's gay pride parade is claiming he did not refuse his assignment and that the department 'defamed' him and violated his constitutional rights.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

"He feels that the same protections that afford individuals to participate in a parade like we had yesterday, are the very constitutional protections that were not afforded to him," Bret Rawson, the officer’s attorney, said Monday. […]

Rawson said the officer did not refuse his assignment — to join other motorcycle officers in choreographed maneuvers at the beginning of the parade — but instead asked his commanders for a "less conspicuous" role at the parade, such as traffic enforcement or security.

"The officer simply felt that the level of participation required in the event could be perceived as endorsing or advocating in favor of the LGBTQ community, a position which made him uncomfortable, given his personal and religious beliefs," Rawson wrote.

"He never refused to do his job," Rawson added in an interview Monday. "He specified that if he was required to do [the motorcycle assignment], he would do that. So he was very surprised that he was put on administrative leave."

Rawson said that the “media circus” surrounding the officer's leave amounts to “constructive termination,” adding: “No reasonable, rational person could stay at work under these circumstances.”

Citing pending litigation, a Salt Lake City spokesman said they were unable to comment on the validity of the officer’s claims.

And in related news, Maggie Gallagher has also weighed in on the controversy, but not in the way you might expect.

Maggie gallagherShe writes:

"Religious liberty should not extend to a cop refusing to protect Gay Pride parade-goers — that is just wrong.

UPDATE: Charles Cooke and I agree. Cops need to protect everybody, including Gay Pride parade-goers."

In a second post, she adds:

He says he was willing to serve at the Gay Pride parade but didn’t want to ride in front of the parade as he feared it might be interpreted as being a participant.

They could have cut the guy a break, instead of throwing the book, but the main point still stands: There’s no right not to serve at parades or political gatherings you disagree with.

Hell has just frozen over folks...


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