I’ve never been to Salt Lake City, but those I know who have say it’s actually a fairly open-minded town where gay people can feel somewhat comfortable — it’s in the smaller towns and outlying areas that the fundamentalism rears its head. (Can you say “Dallas”?) So it was perhaps not a surprise that the city council of SLC passed two local ordinances banning employers and landlords from discriminating based on an employee or tenant’s sexual orientation. They even passed unanimously.
What is a slightly bigger deal is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints came out in favor of the laws — sorta.
“The church supports this ordinance because it is fair and reasonable and does not do violence to the institution of marriage,” Michael Otterson, managing director of the church’s public affairs office, said in a prepared statement, according to the Deseret News.
Hardly a ringing endorsement. In fact, to me, it damns with faint praise: “THIS law is OK because it does NOT do violence… but same-sex marriage? Inheritance rights? Adoption? Well, those are NOT OK because they are VIOLENT ATTACKS on marriage” is the message of the church that colonized Utah because they wanted me to marry as many women as they could. So, I’m not sure where they get off as the gatekeepers of sanctified unions. (“Marriage is between a man and a woman… and another woman, and another, and well, ho many ya got?”)
Anyway, it was enough for Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate to endorse as a step in the right direction. Me, I’m still not planning to visit Utah anytime soon.