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Social issues are top priority for Eagle Forum

Published: Sunday, Aug. 30 2015 1:56 a.m. MDT

Social issues remained at the top of the agenda on Saturday at the annual convention of the Utah Eagle Forum.

About 250 conservatives from around the state gathered at the Salt Lake Community College Larry H. Miller campus in Sandy to hear from speakers on a variety of social issues such as abortion, immigration and the dangers of pornography addiction.

Scheduled speakers included Utah Sen. Chris Buttars, Oklahoma Sen. Randy Brogdon and former Utah Rep. LaVar Christensen, among many others.

"Everybody is excited," Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka said. "They are so grateful for what they've heard today."

Although social issues dominated the convention agenda, one speaker, Dave Jorgensen, specifically addressed the issue at the forefront of most American minds: money. But even in light of the current economic crisis facing the country, convention attendees and organizers did not view the economy as a higher priority than social issues.

"Of course the economy is a very important issue to everybody," Ruzicka said. "We're pro-family, and the economy affects families. Daddies have to have jobs. But we can't abandon moral issues because we get in a panic about finances."

Outside of social issues, conventioneers and speakers alike expressed concern about the upcoming term of President-elect Barack Obama.

"On Jan. 20 we are entering what I believe will be a time of peril for this country," said speaker Jack Thompson. "And that is Barack Obama."

Concern over the president-elect and his plans for the country were echoed repeatedly.

"Every time I hear Obama talk about what he's going to do when he gets in, I wonder if he knows he has to go through Congress or if he thinks he can just do what he wants," said LaReta Brinkerhoff, who teaches seventh- and eighth-graders at American Heritage School in American Fork.

Andrea Gillis, 16, who was at the convention with her parents, expressed no concern over the president-elect or the economy. "I think (social issues) are more important to me. The economy doesn't really affect me much."

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