November 11th, 2008
On the day after election day, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints issued a triumphant press release crowing about their smashing success in stripping gays of their rights in California and permanently assigning gays to second-class citizenship in Arizona and Florida. But they insisted that they weren’t anti-gay, or even opposed to some rights for gays and lesbians:
… the Church does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.
Well now Equality Utah and Sen. Scott McCoy, Utah’s first openly gay state Senator, is taking the LDS Church at their word and calling their bluff. Using the very same points raised in the Mormons’ press release as their legislative agenda, Utah state Senator Scott McCoy and state Rep. Christine Johnson will introduce five bills for the 2009 general session of the Utah legislature. They are (PDF: 32KB/3 pages):
- Hospitalization & Medical Care
Most gay people with insurance cannot insure their family. This bill will mandate that insurance plans, which extend benefits to an employee’s spouse, also cover an employee’s partner. When insurance plans cover families, they should cover every family member.
- Fair Housing & Employment
Currently, it is legal to fire a person from her job or evict a person from his home just for being gay or transgender. The Fair Housing and Workplace bill will expand on HB 89, introduced by Representative Christine Johnson in the 2008 session. It will add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of characteristics employers and landlords may not consider when making employment or housing decisions.
- Probate Rights – Wrongful Death Amendments
The death of a loved one is painful. When someone dies, we can protect the family’s financial security by removing barriers to inheritance and insurance. As part of this effort, we will continue to support Senator Scott McCoy’s Wrongful Death Amendments legislation.
- Domestic Partner Rights & Responsibilities Act
The term “marriage” has proven to stir up many conflicts. Aside from marriage, we can do much more to help committed couples care for each other. This bill creates a statewide domestic partner registry as exists in California and attaches rights of inheritance, insurance and fair housing.
- Repeal of part 2 of Utah’s Amendment 3
A registry that covers inheritance, housing, and insurance is not the legal equivalent of marriage. Yet the second part of Amendment 3 has been misinterpreted to avoid any recognition of gay couples. Laws that deny basic protections under the law should be repealed. This bill will repeal the portion of Amendment 3 which states “no other domestic union; however, denominated, may be recognized as marriage or be given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.”
If the LDS leadership is serious about their rhetoric about not being anti-gay, they have a golden opportunity to try to put some action behind their words. Mike Thompson, Equality Utah’s Executive Director invited the LDS church to do just that by asking these very pointed questions:
The LDS Church has stated that it does not oppose same-sex couples receiving such rights as “hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights?” Will the LDS Church be willing to support efforts to secure these rights?
Is the LDS Church willing to assign a member of its Presidency of the Seventy to lead Church efforts to secure these rights, just as it did with Proposition 8?
As it did in California, will the First Presidency draft a letter to Utah Latter- Day Saints in support of rights and protections for gay couples?
As it did in California, will the First Presidency ask for this letter to be read to all Utah congregations on a specified date?
Will the First Presidency ask that all members of the LDS Church do all they can do, including “donating their means and their time”, to assure that gay couples receive such rights as hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights” — just as it asked its members to do in support of California’s Proposition 8?
Will local Church leaders provide information to its members about how to get involved in supporting such rights, just as it did in California?
Finally, we ask members of the LDS Church, will you ask your church leaders to support these efforts?
In other words, are the LDS leaderships protestations that they aren’t anti-gay real? Or are they just empty words uttered in the face of a backlash?
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
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In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.