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Published: Friday, Nov. 29 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Agreed.

The Attitude of the LDS leadership is at odds with many of it's members.

The quorum of the 12 has an entire website directed to the LGBT members to - 'Stay With Us'.

and yet,
many members are still hurling stones at them.

This is a Utah Mormon cultural homophobia bigotry thing,
and NOT an LDS Church thing.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Awesome letter, Emily. You nailed it. Thank you.

Contrarius
mid-state, TN

"the fear for gay and transgender Utahns is real. In fact, four in 10 LGBT Utahns report having faced discrimination from employers and landlords. It’s past time we amend existing Utah law to include sexual orientation and gender identity alongside religion, age, race, color, sex, pregnancy, national origin and disability."

Great comments!

Sal
Provo, UT

Perhaps you are exaggerating about an army of men in girls' bathrooms. One perverted man would be bad enough. And he could enter at will claiming he is a female.

So pass a law protecting housing and employment only. Leave out the bathroom stuff. If you look like a man, stay out of women's bathrooms and vice versa.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Agreed.

And thanks for making the point about the LDS Church's endorsement,
and the State Republicans refusal to comply.

I support the LDS Church's position,
and soundly reject the Utah State Republicans.

Sven
Morgan, UT

No Emily, Ms. Valentine's argument isn't ridiculous at all. She specifically pointed out that there is "no official process by which a person declares their gender identity..." Only LGBT activists wouldn't see a problem with allowing those who don't know what their sexual identity is, to decide on a whim what bathroom to use. You don't want LGBTs to be uncomfortable, but have no problem with others being made to feel uncomfortable.

Emily, please provide specific examples of LGBTs who've been fired from their jobs, or evicted from their homes based on their sexual preference? Sadly, the LGBT activists live in the "ends justify the means" world. Looks like new details are coming out in the Matthew Shepard murder, which was the catalyst for the need for special rights for Gays. It appears his death may have been over drugs, and not his sexual orientation, as was originally touted. It also looks like the Gay NJ waitress (Danya Morales) was lying about the anti-gay note she said she received from the couple eating at the restaurant where she works.

Machado
South Jordan, UT

I'm just wondering when discrimination became the "greatest of all sins" in our society. Have we really become so filled with lust that immorality is now a minor sin (if it is a sin at all) and discrimination is egregiously bad. I can remember when discrimination was a virtue. It was an indication of education, culture, and class.

Despite what some people want us to believe there is still a difference between good and bad, tasteful and tasteless, pure and tainted, sweet and fetid, Bedford Falls and Pottersville.

Not being hindered by your blindness, I can clearly see the differences. Ironically, my ability to see bothers you so you want to force me to be as blind as you are. In short, I'm sick of the self-righteous intolerance of the LGBT community.

Contrarius
mid-state, TN

@Sven --

"Emily, please provide specific examples... "

We've had specific, first person accounts right here in the DN comments section, on previous articles.

Here's a few additional random examples of anti-gay discrimination in Utah from a quick google search.

2011 -- a transgendered woman in SLC was forced to remove her makeup and loudly ridiculed by Dept of Transportation employees before she was allowed to obtain a state ID card. Notably it was not the transgendered woman who made the complaint, but an unassociated bystander who happened to witness the mistreatment.

2009 -- **42 percent** of the homeless youths served at the Salt Lake City Homeless Youth Resource Center identified as LGBT. Many of them had run away or been cast away from homes where they were not accepted after they came out.

Utah law decrees that single gay people, but NOT committed gay couples, can adopt children in Utah.

2008 -- a gay couple in SLC living next door to a family were accused of kidnapping when the family's children wandered over to their home during a party. The couple was viciously beaten with a frying pan, a flat screen TV, and other implements by the partygoers.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"I'm just wondering when discrimination became the "greatest of all sins" in our society."

What part of, "All men created equal" do you not understand?

If we cannot treat everyone as equals and must discriminate others, then what the heck is our government worth? Lets just abolish our government, get rid of the Bill of Rights, and live in caves like in Afghanistan. Lets discriminate and hate based on sexuality, gender, race, and religion.

E Sam
Provo, UT

Superb letter. Thanks for writing.

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

4 in 10 people have experienced discrimination in employment, college access, or housing if:

They are male
They are female
They are White
They are Black
They are Brown
They are Mormon
They are Catholic
They are Protestant
They are Jewish
They are from another part of the country
They are from another part of the world
Because they were locally raised and not diverse enough
They are single
They are married with children

And 9 of 10 people have experienced discrimination if:

They are not good looking
They are fat
They have a disability

Wow will our legislators be busy writing special rights laws for all those people!!!

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

When was discrimination a "virtue"? Does the scripture say, "Whatever you do to the least of these my brethren, you do it unto them, and keep right on doing it"?

Contrariusier
mid-state, TN

@Badgerbadger --

"Wow will our legislators be busy writing special rights laws for all those people!!!"

Actually, for those groups who actually HAVE experienced such high levels of discrimination, such laws already exist. It's called the Civil Rights Act -- and the Americans with Disabilities Act -- and other associated anti-discrimination legislation. It protects those groups which have experienced discrimination, including the characteristics you mentioned such as religion, disability, race, and gender.

There is currently NO such protection for LGBT people.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

Sal: " Leave out the bathroom stuff...."
Sven: "... to decide on a whim what bathroom to use."

I've heard the bathroom argument several times from different quarters in the past few weeks, often in reference to some vaguely unspecified law that would open up women's rooms to any man in a dress. I don't recall this coming up when SLC debated the nondiscrimination ordinance. What is the source of this meme? It strikes me as a desperate effort to find some argument that will find traction in a country that generally supports GLBT rights. Bathrooms, the last refuge of a scoundrel, I guess. It reminds me of the Equal Rights Amendment days, when opponents argued that it would mandate unisex toilets. Fearmongering in the loo.

No transperson "decides on a whim" his or her gender any more than a cisperson does. To even suggest such a thing betrays a remarkable lack of knowledge of their condition.

Sven: "please provide specific examples of LGBTs who've been fired from their jobs..."

Your turn. Having raised the bathroom issue, please provide examples of fraudulent crossdressing to gain access to opposite sex bathrooms for voyeurism or assaults.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'In short, I'm sick of the self-righteous intolerance of the LGBT community.'

'Study: Gay Men Offered Fewer Job Interviews' - By Winston Gieseke - The Advocate - 10/04/11

'According to a study published today in the American Journal of Sociology, men whose resumes indicate that they’re gay are 40% less likely to be called in for job interviews, especially in the south or Midwest.' – article

And then…

Safety of gay people topic of Salt Lake discussion' - By Jennifer Dobner - AP - Published by DSNews – 07/14/10

'The high-profile incidents — from the 2008 beating of a South Salt Lake man in his home by angry neighbors, to an alleged April assault of two men at a Salt Lake City pub, and reaction when a gay couple kissed on the Mormon church's Main Street Plaza in 2009 — has left many in the gay community feeling vulnerable, center Executive Director Valerie Larabee said.'

WWJD?

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

Let's look to our Republican leadership…

'Republican Debate Audience Boos Gay Soldier Stephen Hill After DADT Repeal Question' - By Jason Linkins - Huffington Post - 09/23/11

**Gays GREATEST THREAT TO AMERICA, Buttars says' - By Aaron Falk - DSnews - 02/19/09

I see no reason to support a political party that not only refuses to take action against, clear and evident discrimination to LGBT Americans…

but seems to actually participate, in it.

Buttars election in 2000, 2004 and 2008. on a Republican ticket, in Utah.

WWJD?

HaHaHaHa
Othello, WA

How precious. What a country we live in, where one group can complain about the majority living their life, but in the next breath the group has no problem with forcing their morality on the majority. We have plenty of civil rights laws in this country, we don't need special rights for certain segments of society. In a country of freedom, we don't need to micro manage every segment of peoples lives. If we want to remove all freedoms, we could get rid of drug dealers, rapists, and thieves tomorrow!!

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

Contra -

35.9% of American adults are obese. They are discriminated against everywhere and in every way!!! Particularly in employment. Yet there is no law to protect them from such discrimination.

Surely the bigger problem (no pun intended) should be the top priority.

As far as the ADA, and the civil rights acts, yes they exist, and the discrimination goes on anyway. In some cases the DISCRIMINATION IS CAUSED by the civil rights laws.

You might be putting too much faith in your government to fix those who are cruel. So far all they have done is transfer who is the recipient of the cruel people. It seems to me (and many others) that your group seeks not to end misdeeds, but to transfer recipients yet again.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

As a Latter-day Saint, and also as a registered Republican, I feel a statewide law protecting the LGBT community from discrimination, identical to the law passed in Salt Lake City, is totally okay with me.

Why?

1. I find nothing in this law that would hinder freedom of speech, religion, press or assembly.

2. I don't see how this law gives anyone a "special" right. I have several friends who are gay or lesbian and if they want to in an aprtment or townhouse in a city live like Murray or Taylorsville, who am I to say No to that?

3. If there were indeed situations in which men were putting on dresses so they could go into bathrooms and assault women, where are the news accounts of this happening? I'm sure if there were even two or three of these type of these crimes, Drudge Report or Fox News would be on it in a heartbeat.

I admit I don't like the idea of government passing silly laws like what type of soda I can drink, but clearly this is a problem and it should be addressed, so I say YES to this this statewide anti-discrimination law.

Contrariusiest
mid-state, TN

@Badgerbadger --

"35.9% of American adults are obese. "

Ahhhh, now you have given up on race, gender, religion, and disability, and you're left with only the poor discriminated-against obese to worry about?

You've made a lot of progress already. ;-)

As for obesity: guess what -- I'm obese myself. And the fact is that, in most cases, obesity is a choice. I myself lost over 100 pounds about 10 years ago, because I chose to -- and I'm obese now, because I choose to not put the effort into being otherwise. So most obese people have little to complain about, except themselves, if they get discriminated against.

In contrast, sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Did you ever "choose" to be straight? No, of course not. And neither do gay people

There is no comparison between obesity and homosexuality.

"Surely the bigger problem (no pun intended) should be the top priority."

Yes. And guess what again: gay people in this country are still 8 times more likely to be the victims of violent crimes than straight people. They are beaten and killed regularly, not to mention constantly denied opportunities, simply because of their orientation. And that kind of mistreatment IS the "bigger problem".

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