Oh My Lord

I just found out that The Sutherland Institute is 2 floors below me. They came up to offer everyone in my office free tickets to go see the speaker they have flown in to celebrate their 10th Anniversary Celebration: Newt Gingrich.

Their latest accomplishment? Getting the statement that they crafted for the LDS Church here right before the vote on our constitutional ban on Same Sex Marriages (the one that swung many LDS people who were undecided into supporting the amendment) revamped into a resolution that they then sent to all the Utah municipalities asking them to create resolutions for their communities based on this document and then put the local goverments in a position of enforcing it. The first city here to create such a resolution was North Salt Lake, the city in Utah where "Everybody is Somebody". The resolution was voted down after citizens came out against it, but, again, this is only the first city to attempt The Sutherland Institute's plan.

Other things they work for? Well, let's just say they are throwing a considerable amount of money and influence toward creating (even more of a) LDS (Mormon, for those of you not in the know) Theocracy here in Utah.

I share the elevator with these people. I pass them in the halls. It turns out that I've smiled and wished a nice day to people who are working so hard to shame and legislate against my family as they erode my rights and deny my existence.

I knew there was a smell in the elevators.

Posted by Trista @ 12:13 PM

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and on that fateful day when they realize what a terrible sinner you are, you can only hope that all those smiles and positive energy you've sent their way might cause them to think outside their little box--if only for a moment. :)

Posted by Blogger Amanda @ 1:09 PM #

I think you should accept the ticket and bring your poor little cursed child of Ham, and explain that her father has three other wives... they're around here somewhere.

Have you read 'Under the Banner of Heaven'? Is it even available for sale in Utah? Run, don't walk, and get a copy. It's truly hair-raising, and the Mormon brothers who claim God told them to kill that woman is the least of it.

Posted by Blogger Lorem ipsum @ 3:22 PM #

Honey, I don't need to read Under the Banner of Heaven, I live under the Banner of Heaven. That was truly a horrific crime, and the most horrific thing about it is how the rhetoric that lead to the killing is still taught, still around, not far from the mainstream here. And also how people can see that and say "well, they're just nut jobs, that's not really what the religion is saying or about", but then when it comes to Islam the nut jobs are considered the norm and no one bothers to find out what the Koran is really saying about these issues or what the religion is really about...

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 3:30 PM #

You work in a big building, right? I bet there is all sorts of nastiness happening under and round you. I agree with Amanda. I've affected more people positively who didn't know they knew anybody queer until I told them that I was. Yes, at first it was shocking for them, but for the most part my willingness to *be* and *be out* was more powerful than their prejudice.

I'm not saying that being out is the cure of all the homophobic ills in this world. But smiling and being genuinely kind to those who are bigoted is a good first step, IMHO, to actually making real, radical change in this world.

Noseplugs for the elevator might not be a bad idea, though. ;-)

Posted by Blogger breather @ 3:53 PM #

that is a freaky realization, for sure. But I tend to agree that YOU can use this for good. Most of these people preach things that they were brainwashed. You can open thier minds just a bit by being your fabulous self.
that or start plastering the elevator with pretty rainbows :)

Posted by Blogger Calliope @ 8:24 AM #

On the other side of it, I'm LDS and live in fear of my daughter's best friends' (twin girls) mothers finding out about that and deciding, just because of that religious label, that I must be judging their lifestyle (I'm not) and only pretending to be their friend out of 'Christian duty,' when the truth is that they are the only moms at that private school whose company I truly enjoy.
Then again, everything you describe here about The Sutherland Institute (which I had never heard of) describes perfectly why I would never be able to survive as a Latter-Day Saint in Utah. I pursue my Mormon lifestyle because it is my personal choice to do so and living in the land of Southern Baptists, it has often been difficult and painful. If anything, it has made me lobby that much more for every individual to have the freedom to do likewise (and that makes me a misfit at church too, but I think I'm just destined to spend my life never quite fitting in anywhere). I'm not sure where I'm going with this except to say none of us fit any one certain label regardless of our lifestyles and personal beliefs. Well, that and I'm sorry to read that a place like The Sutherland Institute even exists.

Posted by Blogger Melessa @ 10:21 AM #
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