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Too Offensive for Mormon Eyes

Timothy Kincaid

October 2nd, 2009

The Deseret News is a Utah newspaper directed towards Mormon readership. It is, in a way, the sectarian version of the Salt Lake Tribune, sharing the same advertising handler and providing discounts for ad spots placed in both papers.

But the Deseret News is careful to shield its readers from advertising that could offend Mormon sensibilities. And this week it has rejected just such an ad,with a message so outrageous that it was sure to offend. (Salt Lake Tribune)

The wording of this ad:

“Bring Them in From the Plains”

From Despair to Hope

The Foundation for Reconciliation
presents a Memorial Service, honoring LGBT suicide
victims as well as those who have successfully overcome
conflicts involving their sexual orientation and the LDS
Church. Join us for an evening of music and the spoken
word, including a special video appearance by actor
Will Swenson

Yes, this is an ad by a Mormon group seeking to gain dialogue with other Mormons. This ad makes no attack on the church nor does it contain language that is contradictory to church dogma. In fact, the foundation made effort to be non-offensive.

Peter Danzig, a Salt Lake City spokesman for the foundation, called the newspaper ad “innocuous.”

“There’s nothing anti-Mormon,” he said. “We tried to create an event that would be welcoming to everyone on either side of the issue.”

But the ad does express sympathy for those who killed themselves over conflict involving their sexual orientation, and the church can’t have that!

So when officials at the Mormon Church assure you that they don’t hate you just because you are gay, be very very skeptical.



October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Stupid move. Now the ad has gotten even more attention as a result, and they are revealed to the world as the coldhearted bigots they are.

Streisand Effect for the win!

Scott P.
October 3rd, 2009 | LINK

A correction, if I may, the Desert News is considered the newspaper of the LDS Church, and the Salt Lake Tribune is (or used to be until it was also bought the the Mormons) the “secular” paper.

October 3rd, 2009 | LINK

I’m not surprised the Deser[e]t News wouldn’t publish the ad. The “…those who have successfully overcome conflicts involving their sexual orientation and the LDS Church…” statement was not as innocuous as you might think. Mr. Danzig’s ad might have been published if that one sentence had been removed.

I am surprised the Salt Lake Tribune didn’t publish the ad but the fact it was reported as a news article (complete with the ad) made up for that. That got more publicity than the ad alone would have made.

I’m not always happy with how news is filtered/censored in Salt Lake City. The news media is afraid of offending the vast majority of the populace and naturally would fear the loss of revenue from outraged subscribers. If it were not for Pat Bagley’s political cartoons, Paul Rolly’s column and a few out-of-State (read: non-Mormon) editorials that appear in the Trib I might not even read the paper.

I’m just cringing to hear what the Mormons will say in their General Conference this weekend about us gays…particularly the Priesthood Session tonight. Maybe I should take up the invitation to go attend the session with one of my neighbors? Naw. I’d be too tempted to shout: “You lie!” at such a reverent conference meeting. I can’t do that…(gasp!).

David C.
October 3rd, 2009 | LINK

@cowboy: Dude, go. Bring us back an update. I think the First Presidency of the LDS is doing the church a great disservice by not being more honest about gay people in general. There will be a day when that is remembered and regretted.

Scott P.
October 3rd, 2009 | LINK

Yes, yes, deseret, which means honeybee in Joseph Smith’s made up language. Sorry my typo hurt your feels, (it was 1 a.m.) but my facts were not incorrect. You could, on occasion, read articles critical to the LDS Church in the Tribune until it was bought by them. The Tribune reported in the 80s how the mayor had taken the city budget to the First Presidency for the Prophet’s approval.

On the other hand, the Deseret News published an article questioning whether a “good” Mormon could actually be a democrat.

October 3rd, 2009 | LINK

Who said my “feels” were hurt?

I’m not sure but if you check their history, the Salt Lake Tribune was in a proverbial family take-over but then the newspaper was bought by AT&T and finally sold to some mega-media conglomerate out of Denver.

David C.: As for going to Priesthood Meeting tonight: I just checked my closet. I don’t have the requisite white shirt and a tie. Plus, the only slacks I have are too short now. Anyway, it’s no big deal. The whole Conference will be available to view/read next week on the LDS website.

I am a bit somber now thinking about those who have committed suicide. I have taken a quick tally and I know personally three friends who took their lives. I’m not sure the Mormon Church was the direct result of their decision to end their lives but the peer pressure and the family pressure to conform certainly was a factor.

October 5th, 2009 | LINK

in addition to being “directed towards Mormon readership”, the Deseret News is wholly owned and operated by the LDS Church under the umbrella of Deseret Management Corporation.

also, correcting Scott P., the Salt lake Tribune is not owned by the LDS Church. it’s owned by MediaNews Group of Denver.

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