Unacceptable to Mormon Eyes

Timothy Kincaid

February 16th, 2009

Update: This post has been updated to include a clean, legible version of the full page ad.

Today the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News ran full page ads by an anti-gay activist group called America Forever. This is the same group that was wearing “Homosexuality is Anti-Species” t-shirts last week.

The ads are being called “hateful” by both friends who find them disgusting and foes who fear they may reflect badly on their own more socially acceptable brand of anti-gay behaviors and attitudes.

Gay-rights opponent Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, agrees with America Forever’s stance on upholding “traditional marriage” but condemns the group’s tactics and rhetoric, including the ad.

“There’s no need to have hateful discourse,” Wimmer said. “Quite frankly, they make those of us who are on the side of traditional marriage — they make a lot of us — look bad.”

Yes, Wimmer, mirrors can be disconcerting.

But what I find more interesting than the bile splattered accross newspapers in Utah is what was not included in the Deseret News, a newspaper owned by the Mormon Church.

The Deseret News recognizes that their readership has a set of values and they established publishing guidelines so as not offend their sensibilities. Therefore, the Mormon paper had a slightly different version of the ad.

First, let’s see what was completely acceptable for Mormon eyes:

For example: by holding hands and kissing in the public area of: an apartment complex playground, in a family neighborhood, at a party, or to present one’s self as a homosexual person in the workplace, is stating and displaying that he or she practices sodomy, and backed by law, will force the acceptance of homosexuality as a relationship equal to a man and woman relationship.

and

If a hooker displays her conduct, a druggie displays his conduct and a homosexual displays his conduct, it is our right to not have them part of our lives: in our businesses, living in our basements, barbecuing in our yards, or in common living areas.

and

Gays should be forced not to display their sexual conduct to our children as role models in school as school teachers and principals, in our streets, shopping centers, and in our lives.

All of the above passes the test of acceptable text for Mormon eyes. However, not all things are allowed in Deseret News.

MediaOne made the decision to run both ads — and removed a photo of two gay men kissing from the LDS Church-owned News version — Low said, consistent with publishing guidelines from both papers.

Yep, undeniable hate speech that seeks to coerce one’s gay neighbors and remove their constitutional rights is perfectly acceptable. But a picture of two men kissing is forbidden – even when in an anti-gay ad.

John

February 16th, 2009

I wonder if the fact that the kissing couple appear to be inter-racial bothered their readership at all?

It can be really hard for bigots to maintain their ever so high standards these days…

Jason D

February 16th, 2009

I see they’re stepping up. I honestly wonder where we’re headed next when people feel so emboldened. Will the public accept and embrace this, or will they reject it as absurd as we do?

Emily K

February 16th, 2009

It’s always two MEN kissing. Probably because two WOMEN kissing would have been considered “pornographic.”

Andres

February 16th, 2009

This is absolutely ridiculous. People that write this hateful stuff, and people that can spare time to seriously consider it, obviously have too much time available to waste.

David C.

February 16th, 2009

Yep, undeniable hate speech that seeks to coerce one’s gay neighbors and remove their constitutional rights is perfectly acceptable.

The true colors of the rabidly anti-gay are shining through. And the Deseret News, having applied its “standards”, tacitly approved. If anybody was wondering what our enemies really have in mind for us, this should remove any remaining doubt. And irrespective of all the platitudes offered by the Mormon leadership after the passage of Prop 8, it’s pretty clear where their true loyalties lie.

So I’m not going to make up any rosy scenarios and believe in them. These people are hell bent on doing whatever they can to hurt gay people any way they can. It’s time for progressive organizations to start placing advertisements that expose this madness in mainstream newspapers, and it’s time to take the gloves off.

Andres

February 16th, 2009

In regards to the comment by David C, these people are not the enemies of gay people. They are against the idea of considering that every one of us stands in equal footing when compared to another one. So, let’s say I do not care about this because I do not feel persecuted right now. However, if I tacitly approve this discrimination, tomorrow it could be me, or my son, or my daughter, or my partner. That is the real problem: persecuting a random minority for no good reason whatsoever. Just because persecution is against gays, thus making it more “justifiable” (cough cough), does not make it valid.

AJD

February 16th, 2009

“Gays should be forced not to display their sexual conduct to our children as role models in school as school teachers and principles, in our streets, shopping centers, and in our lives.”

This is the religious right — and that includes the LDS church — showing its true colors. THIS is what they want for us, and it’s why we can’t afford to be complacent. I’ve never doubted for a minute that these people would stick us in concentration camps if given the chance. Gay marriage bans are just the first step.

David C.

February 16th, 2009

They are against the idea of considering that every one of us stands in equal footing when compared to another one.

Yes, it essentially means those who believe and would act in this way are ultimately the enemy of every ideal this country stands for.

Fiona

February 17th, 2009

“Gays should be forced not to display their sexual conduct to our children as role models in school as school teachers and principles,…”

I know this is probably petty, but they really didn’t publish this line with the word “principles” used instead of the correct term “principals”, did they? Are all Mormons including the anti-gay group that made the ad and the editing staff of the newspaper that ignorant? If you want to make a statement in print, at least try to use the correct words and spelling. Jeez!

Sorry. It’s the (lesbian teacher with the homosexual agenda…snark!) English teacher in me speaking. Then again, this could be their problem. They have gotten rid of all their good teachers and PRINCIPALS.

cowboy

February 17th, 2009

Fiona,
The ad was riddled with all sorts of grammatical errors. (You can see the ad if you follow the links to when I pointed this out in an earlier post but it’s not worth the effort.)

I do not think the Mormon Church would have approved this kind of ad…their high-priced New York PR staff would have done much better.

It’s ironic that America Forever would use such a picture except, maybe, they want to introduce the racial intermixed kissing couple because of its targeted audience as John, above, has implied. More fear-based hate-base propaganda?

Again, I want to mention, the sentiment of what was said in the ad MIGHT be the prevailing attitude of a lot of Mormons but this kind of demonstrating (with signs) and this advertisement is not sanctioned by the Mormon Church.

In another related news: Today KSL, (Mormon-owned television station) did a scientific poll of Utahns about the Common Ground initiatives:

47% favor civil unions
42% oppose civil unions
the rest are undecided.

So…maybe we might be making headway! And as David C. says: “It’s time for progressive organizations to start placing advertisements that expose this madness in mainstream newspapers, and it’s time to take the gloves off.”

CPT_Doom

February 17th, 2009

Let us be clear, as pathetic and sad as this award is – and the grammar mistakes are just the beginning – the attitudes expressed affect people every single day, particularly in places like Utah, where the church and the business community are very intertwined (IIRC the LDS church invests nearly all its tithe money into commercial enterprises). I work in health care quality and have had to travel to SLC several times for work. I’ve even presented to the LDS church’s health plan. Even though I am totally out at my job, and work in a jurisdiction that protects my civil rights, I was forced to closet myself to simply walk into the office building owned by the church.

cowboy

February 17th, 2009

“Award”? I think you mean: “advertisement” ?

CPT_Doom, I’m not challenging you. I’m not clear as to how you would “closet” yourself before walking into the office building. Are you talking about the LDS Church headquarters?

It has been pretty much confirmed I’m “the gay” on my floor in my office. However, I don’t flaunt it. Years ago during a late-night crisis, I had a very frank conversation with my boss and he asked some pointed questions. It pretty much cemented the rumors about my social life after that. I don’t regret the answers I gave. It was none of his business but I will not apologize for who I am nor will I lie about who I am.

I do have some ultra-radical conservatives on my team. Even after multiple mandatory seminars about diversity in the workplace I have had some very interesting interactions with my co-workers. Just last week, one boss of mine said to another co-worker: “That is so gay.” But that was minor.

In spite of that, and the huge influence of the biggest Church and its members, I don’t think I would ever need to feel I had to “closet” myself.

I’m wondering how you had to “closet” yourself when you came to Salt Lake City.

Oh and, yes, I know…there are other gays on my floor. They just don’t admit they are gay.

CPT_Doom

February 17th, 2009

Cowboy – first you are right – not sure what brain fart caused me to type “award” when I meant “Ad,” must be early Alzheimer’s.

As for closeting myself, I don’t know what your experience is, but I know that I consciously and subconsciously alter my mannerisms, censor what I will talk about and otherwise hide any sign of my actual sexuality.

My job requires me to fly around the country doing educational presentations, so I typically spend only a few hours with a group of colleagues for any one program. Perhaps it’s a bit of cowardice on my part, but these types of interactions are typically so brief that I feel the need to minimize any potential issues by ensuring those who might be offended by my existence don’t realize that I am gay.

I am in general open about my sexuality (e.g., I won’t lie if asked a direct question), but when I travel to a place like Utah, where there are absolutely no protections for me and a large anti-gay population, I practice the “better safe than sorry” philosophy. I simply cannot afford to be refused a hotel room, or, in this case, thrown out of the church headquarters for being gay (it was bad enough that I have a goatee, apparently facial hair is a no-no for the LDS, so they knew I was not one of “them” from the very get-go).

I only bring it up to point out the huge double standard here. Anti-gay types have absolutely no problem announcing their potentially offensive “lifestyle choices,” like religion, and would never agree to any form of self-censorship. But as this ad makes clear, they are absolutely against LGBT people making our existences plain. Because they can back those demands up with force (and I’ve already been gay-bashed once, thank you, don’t need it again), we are the ones forced to re-closet ourselves.

Can you imagine the outcry if some group of evangelicals had published an ad like this, say protesting Romney’s candidacy for President? You could easily fill an ad with denunciations of the “heresy” and “blasphemy” of the Mormons, claim they are a threat to religious freedom in this country because they demand that “Christians” accept their sin, etc. Yet the outcry would be so huge it would likely have helped Romney, IF you could have found a newspaper to print it – and that’s just part of the double standard.

cowboy

February 17th, 2009

Mr. Doom,
(no…no…I can’t call you that)
Mr. CPT,

Unless you were part of a group called Cyber Sluts (don’t ask me to explain…except to say they’re ‘drag’ to the nth degree.) I doubt very much you would feel obligated to dress/act or be anyone but yourself in Salt Lake City and even in the LDS Headquarters…except the Temple, of course…you might be cast as one of the live actors for the presentations they do in there portraying you-know-who. (I can’t get into the details here.)

But, I will agree, a goatee, on some people, might be devilish-looking for some ultra-prudes. Just leave your trident at home.

Just think, if Brigham Young were alive today, he would have had to shave his beard to be in the First Presidency.

Times have changed.

Regan DuCasse

February 17th, 2009

I’m SO CONFUUUUUUUUUUUSED! I don’t see ‘sex’ in this picture.
I don’t see ‘sex acts’, in this picture.

So let’s see, I don’t think I’ve heard of someone KNOWINGLY inviting a rapist or drug addict to a family outing. But then rapists don’t commit their crimes at those either.
And drug addicts don’t usually do that business in front of someone in public, but usually among those ALSO doing the same thing.
So how would two men or women kissing TRAUMATIZE anyone at a family outing or in public?
How could hand holding or hugging, much the same as ANY OTHER person who is with who they love, do anything damaging?
Somebody has some seriously irrational, little ol sensibilities?

I mean, of COURSE the ANTI marriage equality people don’t want the ad to be PUBLICLY mean and display OPENLY what they have in their hearts and minds?
Because of course, private bigotry and fear, it’s SO much better right?
So, as long as discrimination, and public policies that barely acknowledge gay people as citizens and human beings are in place…then there is REALLY no need for such mean spirited advertising?

People might ACTUALLY figure out what they are doing and why.

Regan DuCasse

February 17th, 2009

Oh, I just caught the reason for the mixed couple in the caption below the picture.

“Homosexuality is not a race!”

Well, neither is one’s religion!

How BEHIND can people be? One’s color, isn’t a ‘race’ either.

According to our DNA, we’re ALL ONE RACE, ONE SPECIES.
Gay people included.

And one’s Mormonism isn’t a race, or species.
So religious groups really are in LESS of a position to be demanding any Constitutional protections, let alone for LIBEL, SLANDER, THREATS and DEFAMATION.
These are not protected speech.

The Bible says only a few things about homosexuality.

All the rest that anyone else says to specifically deprive a minority of their Constitutional rights, civil equality and all that, IS subjective defamation and negative propagandizing.

Their speech ISN’T so free if the price is the freedom of another.

“Homosexuality isn’t a race!”

PUH. LEEZE!

cowboy

February 18th, 2009

Equality Utah had this ad in the Salt Lake Tribune today:

http://www.equalityutah.org/CG_Thank_You_ad_FINAL.pdf

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