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Utah values

Timothy Kincaid

August 13th, 2012

The Democratic candidate for Governor of the great state of Utah has clarified that he doesn’t support Democratic values. He supports Utah Values. Ya know, the ones that are passed down from the Prophet. (Salt Lake Tribune)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke launched a pre-emptive strike Monday, distancing himself from his party’s national platform, declaring his opposition to gay marriage, civil unions and abortion and vowing to represent “Utah values.”

Cooke said his opposition to gay marriage stems from his faith ­— he is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has actively opposed same-sex unions in California and elsewhere — but he supports a state law that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, which the church has also supported.

“To me gay marriage is part of my religious belief and I support that and I respect other religious beliefs and I support and love those who are in the gay community,” Cooke said. “I think what needs to be done in Utah is for us to all live together, be compassionate. That’s what the Democratic Party is showing.”

Well, okay, I guess that’s to be expected. It is Utah, after all.

But I’m not so sure that “I promise to vote how the church tells me” is that compelling of a position for politicians anymore. At some point people just get tired of being told that their church will do the thinking for them. And it seems to me that the Mormons may want to take a little glance at their buddies the Catholics and recognize that the more that church leaders insist on dictating politics, the more their flock feels comfortable with ignoring what they have to say.

And maybe, just maybe, Cooke could have grown a pair and used this to his advantage. He could have said that unlike Republican Governor Gary Herbert, he stands for gay families. He could have championed civil unions (or some other form of couple recognition) – as do 71% of Utah’s residents. And had he done so he, he might have stood out as the candidate more in line with “Utah values.”

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MCB
August 13th, 2012 | LINK

Let us not forget that this also means “Utah values = Mormon values,” i.e. Utah = Mormon. The roughly 40% of Utah residents who aren’t Mormon (16% unaffiliated, 14% Protestant, 10% Catholic) can just pack their bags, I suppose.

Mark F.
August 13th, 2012 | LINK

I’m disappointed, but hardly surprised, that Utah Democrats nominated this guy. How did you let this happen? I’d be mortified if I were a Democrat.

I suggest voting for neither major party canadate or voting for Ken Larsen , the Libertarian candidate. Don’t encourage these bigots.

Lucrece
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

Mormons are about 70% Republican, so I don’t think they’ll ever get tired of having a church do the thinking for them.

I’m more interested in the DNC allowing such an anti-gay candidate membership in their party.

CPT_Doom
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

I know of no mainstream Christian groups or sects that consider Mormonism to be a valid form of Christianity. Should all those people use their church’s teachings when evaluating whether to vote for individual politicians? Something tells me that Mr. Cooke may not like the outcome if they did.

Hunter
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

CPT-Doom — this is Utah. Mainstream Christian sects don’t have much clout.

“To me gay marriage is part of my religious belief and I support that and I respect other religious beliefs. . . .”

Well,that’s BS in and of itself. What about those religious beliefs — Unitarians, United Church of Christ, Reform and Conservative Judaism, etc. — that favor same-sex marriage?

Jay
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

Utah is like Louisiana and other Southern states where there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the parties. Democrats in Louisiana are often just as conservative, or at least just as anti-gay as Republicans. In our last Senate race, the Democratic nominee, who as a member of the House had voted against the hate crimes bill and the repeal of DADT, challenged David Vitter. The only difference between him and Vitter was that Vitter had been certified as someone who patronized prostitutes. In Louisiana, that wasn’t such a problem–he swept to victory even though he is a notably lousy and unpopular Senator. The Democrats are going to have to realize that being Republican-lite does not motivate Democratic grassroot voters.

cowboy
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

I haven’t read what Jim Dabakis (Utah’s openly gay head of the Democratic Party) has to say.

Actually, Jim would make a better Governor than Cooke.

Lord_Byron
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

“At some point people just get tired of being told that their church will do the thinking for them.”

That does not appear to be the case, when people still take ques from their pastors, churches, and other religious leaders on who to vote for. The religious right wouldn’t have much power if that was true.

Mark F.
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

“I haven’t read what Jim Dabakis (Utah’s openly gay head of the Democratic Party) has to say.”

He’ll endorse him like a good partisan, I’m sure.

Mark F.
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

Cooke might have at least supported civil unions. Geez.

Mark F.
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

Why can’t people recognize a distiction between civil marriage and religious marriage? Many Mormons , Catholics and Evangelicals are generally lovely people, so why are they creating this stupid conflict with gay people? I can live with them, why can’t they live with me?

Patrick
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

“Utah values” is obviously a way of pandering to the right wing mormons who populate much of the state outside of the Salt Lake Valley, Park City and Moab. But not all mormons and not all Utahns see things the same way.

Salt Lake, Park City and Moab are reliably Democratic and are in reliably Democratic counties that voted for Obama and would approve marriage equality in a heartbeat. As these counties become more populous and less mormon (SLC is now less than half LDS), the distinction between these urban areas and the rest of the state becomes increasingly stark.

Utah has given us some of the most interesting and progressive political leaders in the West. Rocky Anderson anyone? I think the state has reached a level of maturity and diversity that allows us to pan their Democratic leaders when they pander like this.

“Utah” is not an excuse to be a troglodyte.

cowboy
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

I relish your optimism, Patrick. But until those orthodox Mormons get voted out of the Utah Legislature I doubt we will see any new moderation and catering to Gentiles (non-Mormons) any time soon.

And I mean ‘orthodox’ as those rabidly, closed-minded Mormons who think they speak for the whole of the LDS Church. Have you not noticed how they ignore the admonitions from their First Presidency on various civic issues: immigration, liquor-laws, and gay-equality.

But we have the same problem with orthodox Roman Catholics, orthodox Jews, and Bible-Belt thumpers.

Richard Rush
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

In recent years, hasn’t the word “values” become a euphemism for bigotry? Nowadays, whenever I hear someone talking about their specific values, it usually sounds like bigotry to me.

Priya Lynn
August 14th, 2012 | LINK

Now that you mention it Richard, I feel the same way.

Mia
August 15th, 2012 | LINK

I believe that marriage is for a man and woman. You can love another woman or another man, but is that being inlove. I would considered that being confused, but what I think does not matter. It in fact it is a sin to be with the same sex just like it is to lie, steal, cheat, or commit murder. Yes, it is that serious. But if you do not have a relationship with Jesus you would not know that. In the Bible is clearly states that this is a serious sin. If you want to know more open your Bible not to have a religion but to have Jesus. He loves you. These command have been put in place so you can live life to the fullest. It is hard to live life to the fullest if you are in a same-sex marriage because God designed us to be one with our spouse. Sex is very important and is made for a man and woman to bare children and be one “with God”. The missing piece is God. He already loves you no matter what you have If you would like to accept Christ as your savior pray to gorgivness and he will set you free.

Mia
August 15th, 2012 | LINK

We are taught as little children not to steal, lie, or hurt anyone.If you do one of these things you usually feel bad. There is a reason that liking a girl if you are a girl doesn’t feel right, and the same if you are a boy. The expression he or she “came out of the closet” wouldn’t exist if being gay was a natural thing.

Désirée
August 15th, 2012 | LINK

@Mia
I’m a woman who is married to another woman and nothing about it feels wrong at all. Being with a man feels wrong. Please don’t project your internalized homophobia onto the rest of us.

What felt wrong was being a “Christian” and pretending to love an unknown “Christ” who I never saw, heard from or had any interaction with at all.

I don’t know what you are talking about when you say “god.” It’s nonsense and meaningless and nothing to do with my life. You might as well be talking about “Flizbarts” as there is no valid definition of those either. You and your religion have no right to dictate to me who I can and can’t be with.

TampaZeke
August 15th, 2012 | LINK

Wow Mia, thanks for sharing your insights. None of us have ever heard any of the arguments that you made before. Now that you’ve made the case so clearly and undeniably I have no doubt that everyone here will stop choosing to go against our natural desires for the opposite sex and will embrace our true natures as you AND God (coincidence I’m sure) determined they should be. No doubt that my husband of 20+ years, and our son, will also be thrilled once I’ve explained to them the holy and righteous reasons that we have to break up our pretend family and stop pretending to be happy so that daddy and papa can go out, get wives and be REALLY happy; and most importantly we can make you and the baby Jesus happy.

Thanks again! Mean it! Keep in touch!

Richard Rush
August 15th, 2012 | LINK

Mia, here is the Good News: There is still hope that you can live the rest of your “life to the fullest.” Through the glorious power of rational thought you can be set free from the bondage of your religion. It’s a free gift to everyone who accepts reason as their personal savior.

Jay
August 15th, 2012 | LINK

I believe that Mia is an idiot and a troll. God told me so.

Priya Lynn
August 15th, 2012 | LINK

Mia, I’ve loved both a woman and later a man. Both times it felt very right, like it couldn’t be righter – how do you explain that?

Ben in Oakland
August 15th, 2012 | LINK

Mia, did god tell you this personally, or did you make it up all by yourself? Are you a big girl now?

It always amazes me when people who are not gay– or so they claim– who obviously know neither me, my life, nor anything about homosexuality other than what’s knockin’ in their noggins– feel perfectly capable of telling me all about m life, what I feel, how I came to be, and so on.

You know what a really weird thing is? You keep comparing my life to people who hurt other people. I’m hurting nothing but your delicate sensibilities.

You know what the weirdest things is? you also claim to know that status of the relationship of god with any other person on the planet, what god thinks of them, and their lives.

You know all about what god is telling me, but the part where god is telling you to mind your own business and mind your own sins seems to escape you.

I suspect god is not actually telling you anything, other than this:

We’re all sinners. Only some of us are throwing stones.

cowboy
August 15th, 2012 | LINK

Cooke was on a local TV morning show and defending his stand. He states Equality Utah is still recommending we vote for him. And I get the feeling Cooke called the press conference on his own without getting sanctioned by the Utah Dems.

But…this is a sample comment from the KSL website:

It is better to represent the right principles and lose than to represent the wrong principles and win.

Mark F.
August 16th, 2012 | LINK

So Equalty Utah is saying we should vote for a bigot because he is a Democrat? How about “no endorsement” and no vote? Democrats will continue to act this way if it doesn’t impact their election chances.

A Democrat has a hard time in Utah as it is. Let’s make it harder until they come around on this issue.

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