Mormon church supports pro-gay laws. Sorta.

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.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Religious bigotry is alive and well in Grand Prairie

Barry Cameron

I got an e-mail today from a man who sent me a link to the pastor’s blog on the Web site for Crossroads Christian Church in Grand Prairie. He was appalled at the blog posted Oct. 14 by Pastor Barry Cameron and titled “Change we can’t believe in.”

I, too, found the blog appalling. But not surprising. In fact, the first sentence sound more than a little reminiscent of a certain Oklahoma state legislator (Sally Kern, anyone?). Here’s what Cameron had to say:

“This past Sunday, I shared in my message that the #1 battleground for America is homosexuality. It’s not the war in Afghanistan or the ongoing conflict in Iraq.”

And later, he says: “Hebrews 13:4 says, ‘Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.’ As I shared this past Sunday, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 makes it clear anyone who, as the habitual, continual pattern of their life, lives in sexual immorality of any kind will not inherit the kingdom of God. In short, the Bible clearly says people who live like that and die like that are not going to Heaven. Instead, they’ve sentenced themselves to an eternity in hell.”

He then went on to note that President Barack Obama had just recently spoken at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington, D.C., and castigated the president for saying that same-sex relationships are just as admirable as opposite-sex relationships, and that he supports equality in all areas for LGBT people.

Cameron was “concerned” because the president said LGBT people shouldn’t face discrimination in employment. The pastor warned, ” God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows,” and that “the work being done by the HRC and those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, warring against the traditional family and the biblical values that have shaped this nation for some 233 years, is not something God will ever bless.”

—  admin