Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. Sure never saw THAT one coming. I'll give you a moment to recover from the shock.
Okay. So, yeah - check out what brought this about for the Mormon Church:
It looked like a stunning reversal: the same church that helped defeat gay marriage in California standing with gay-rights activists on an anti-discrimination law in its own backyard.
On Tuesday night, after a series of clandestine meetings between local gay-rights backers and Mormons in Salt Lake City, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would support proposed city laws that would prohibit discrimination against gays in housing and employment.
The ordinances passed and history was made: It marked the first time the Salt Lake City-based church had supported gay-rights legislation.
The Mormon church — which continues to suffer a backlash over its support last year of Proposition 8, the measure banning gay marriage in California — emphasized that its latest position in no way contradicts its teachings on homosexuality.
But the action is one of the strongest signs yet that even conservative religious groups that oppose same-sex marriage might be willing to support legal protections for gays that fall short of that.
Well, that is good news. Personally, I felt like the Mormon Church was being used as a bit of a scapegoat in CA. Sure, they supported Prop 8, but apparently, so did the majority of Californians. It's a hard truth to swallow, but the evidence is indisputable. The majority voted for Proposition 8. Are you telling me that that many Californians could be swayed to violate their internal beliefs by the Mormons? Really? Exactly.
More about the Church:
At the same time, the church's position has angered some of its conservative allies on social issues, prompted questions about whether public relations is its real motivation, and put the church on the spot over how far it will go on similar legislation on the state and federal level.
"This is a very good public relations response that has the additional benefit of actually representing the way the current church leadership thinks," said Armand Mauss, a retired professor at Washington State University and scholar of Mormonism.
Some of the church's conservative allies in the gay marriage battles, however, call it a setback. The two new ordinances make it illegal to fire or evict someone for being gay, bisexual or transgender.
Such legislation robs employers and landlords of their rights and gives legal ammunition to judges sympathetic to gay marriage, said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the conservative Family Research Council.
"It's disappointing and I'm fearful that it reflects in part a reaction to the attacks they came under after Proposition 8 — an effort to bend over backwards to exhibit tolerance toward homosexuals in some way," Sprigg said.
Michael Otterson, director of public affairs for the Mormon church, said Wednesday that church leaders were able to support the ordinance because it doesn't carve out special rights for gays.
Supporting "basic civil values," Otterson said, does not compromise the church's religious belief that homosexuality is a sin and that same-sex marriage poses a threat to traditional marriage.
"There are going to be gay advocates who don't think we've gone nearly far enough, and people very conservative who think we've gone too far," Otterson said. "The vast majority of people are between those polar extremes and we think that's going to resonate with people on the basis of fair-mindedness."
The position is not a reversal, Otterson said. In August 2008 the church issued a statement saying it supports gay rights related to hospitalization, medical care, employment, housing or probate as long as they "do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches."
I have to admit - given the attacks on the Mormon Church, I am a tad surprised to see this is their position. Honestly, that's more progressive than many people would believe. More than I would have believed had I not read it for myself. The way in which the Mormons have been demonized by LGBT rights activists and supporters, one would have thought the Mormons were the Devil Incarnate. Evidently not:
Church officials say the city ordinances were not discussed in the recent meetings between church staff and gay rights leaders, and that it was the mayor who put the proposals on the table.
Harry Knox, director of the religion and faith program at the gay-rights group Human Rights Campaign, said the Mormon church's stand on the Salt Lake City ordinances could help alter the debate over gay rights.
"The church deserves credit, but that credit really comes because people have been pushing for it," Knox said. "It's not something thing they arrived at on their own and out of the goodness of their hearts."
The church's action is the latest sign of a softening among some conservative Christians toward offering some legal protections to gays.
Activists are trying to garner support from evangelicals for a federal employment anti-discrimination law that would cover gays. However, religious reaction was largely negative to a federal hate crimes act protecting homosexuals that President Barack Obama recently signed into law. Several conservative Christian groups argued that preaching against homosexuality could be deemed a hate crime under the legislation.
The Mormon church has not taken a stance on either piece of federal legislation.
Otterson, the church spokesman, said that in the case of the Salt Lake City ordinances, Mormon leaders weighed in because they were responding to a request for feedback on specific legislation.
Asked whether the church would take a stand on similar state or federal legislation, Otterson said: "The church leadership is not inclined to offer free advice where it's not being requested."
Well, that's an interesting response. But the rest of it is a bit eye-opening for a church that has been completely demonized by liberals. Perhaps, at some point, they might actually have to start looking at just who it was who voted for Prop 8. I guarantee you, they weren't all Mormons...
And speaking of religious types, it seems Donnie McClurkin, Obama's big campaign buddy, has been out and about spewing hate against the GLBT community. Oh, yes. No doubt, Jesus told him to call us "vampires," and "perversions." Yep:
The last time we heard from Donnie McClurkin, he was campaigning with Barack Obama. At the Obama campaign event, you may recall, McClurkin harangued gays for over thirty minutes and proclaimed:
“God delivered me from homosexuality.”
Well, McClurkin is back. This weekend, he re-emerged spewing homophobic hate in Memphis. Rod 2.0 reports:
Donnie McClurkin ramps up the ridiculous to speak in tongues and call gays "vampires". The infamously "ex-gay" — or should we say merely "re-closeted" — Grammy Award winning gospel singer and evangelist rants against gays, gay youth and recently out gospel singer Tonex at the Church of God in Christ's Holy Convocation Youth Service. This happened last Saturday at the COGIC convention in Memphis.
Oh, it doesn't stop there: I
n the first of three disgusting YouTube videos, McClurkin begins his rant against Tonex, the gospel star and minister who recently confirmed his long-rumored sexuality. McClurkin says Tonex is a "perversion" and must pray away the gay: "God did not call young people to such peversion. Society has failed him, his church has failed him ... I would be homosexual to this day if Jesus hadn't delivered."
McClurkin also rails against against openly gay youth as "broken and feminine": "I see feminine men, feminine boys, everywhere I go ... No, don't applaud 'cuz it ain't funny. It's because we failed. I see them everywhere."
Rod has posted the three videos of McClurkin's rant. Check them out. It's ugly.
Again, it begs the question: why did people in the GLBT community ever think Obama stood with them considering the people with whom he surrounded himself?
I might add, if you really want to see where the community is these days, check out some of comments at posts that have anything to do with the DNC at Gay Americablog - I know Aravosis was an Obama water carrier. He sems to have realized the error of his ways. TOo late, I know, but nothing like being scorned, right? The anger in the comments is palpable by people in the GLBT community at Obama and the DNC. Hence the latest, "Don't Ask, Don't Give" campaign being generated against the DNC. Oh, yeah. They are shutting down their wallets. About damn time, too, if you ask me.
That is to say, Upside Down World continues - the Mormon Church is supporting a number of GLBT rights, Obama's good buddy is ranting against GLBT people, and the is dragging its feet. Maybe it's because of its new leadership - Gov. Tim Kaine, homophobe. Okey dokey.
I think I need to sit down now.