Courtney Sargent, Deseret News
Gay-rights activists hand-delivered more than 27,000 letters to the LDS Church's downtown Salt Lake headquarters Monday in the latest effort to earn the church's support in the fight for equal rights.
Members of the Human Rights Campaign abandoned technology for old-fashioned paper and ink after discovering that an e-mail filter was preventing thousands of messages from reaching The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"We wanted to make sure they got there," said Jerry Rapier of the Human Rights Campaign.
The move was the latest attempt by activists to get church leaders to publicly support the Common Ground Initiative, a set of five bills aimed at securing civil protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Those measures will come before the Legislature next year.
A church employee accepted the boxes of letters outside the downtown office.
Church spokesman Scott Trotter declined to comment on the HRC's request Monday, but said the e-mails had not been intentionally blocked.
"We didn't take any measures to block their e-mails," he said, chalking the delivery issues up to the church's spam filter.
After coming out in support of California's ban on same-sex marriage, LDS officials said in a Nov. 5 statement on its Web site: "the church does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches."
The letters delivered Monday asked LDS leaders to "give credibility and force" to those words.
"In their pews, there are people that are supportive of this and they need to know it's OK," said Luana Chilelli, with the Human Rights Campaign.
Last month, LDS Church spokeswoman Kim Farah said the church would not comment on civil unions "for the time being."
- Tabernacle Choir performs Handel's 'Messiah'...
- 2-year-old boy dies from accidental shooting...
- Police make arrest in death of 59-year-old...
- Salt Lake City Marathon comes with many...
- Film about man's crusade against child sex...
- Western states to feds: Turn over public lands
- Two bodies discovered near Provo's Squaw Peak
- Students test interactive experiences ahead...
- Atheists, Mormon scholars talk religion 90
- At UVU, Elder Oaks sees hope despite... 78
- Utah, Oklahoma same-sex marriage cases... 47
- U., Ute Tribe reach agreement on... 38
- Appeals judges question right to sue in... 27
- Autopsies of 7 infants completed;... 24
- Texas seizes FLDS Church's secluded ranch 23
- 2-year-old boy dies from accidental... 14