As I See It: 2010 – Reporting from the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

2010 has been an amazing year for the movement toward full LGBTQI Equality. Encouraging challenges to California’s Proposition 8 and the Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, despite strong powerful forces against us, have set in motion a light forward for really substantive change toward federal employment non-discrimination, the repeal of DOMA, with full marriage equality, and same-sex partner immigration.

However, the epidemic of youth suicides, the rise of Bryan Fischer to the national stage and the tea party extremist’s being mainstreamed in the GOP, and the resurgence of the Idaho Values Alliance, tell us we still have so much further to go in our journey toward a truly free and inclusive Democracy.

To those of you who have supported and passed along my work to your mailing lists, family and friends, those who shared stories on Facebook and Twitter, THANK YOU! I am very humbled and truly grateful.

Mostly, I wish to thank my sources because it is they, who put the faces and names to many important issues, explain complicated issues and help sort out fact from fiction in a corporate media world that is full of noise, spin and propaganda. Continue reading

Pocatello City Council Votes to Include Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

Back left to right: Gary Moore, Robert Richway, Mayor Roger Chase, Roger Bray  Front left to right: Brian Underwood, Eva Johnson Nye, Ron Frasure

Back left to right: Gary Moore, Robert Richway, Mayor Roger Chase, Roger Bray Front left to right: Brian Underwood, Eva Johnson Nye, Ron Frasure

On November 19, 2009 the Pocatello city counsel voted to include sexual orientation and gender identity as classes to be protected from discrimination in the city’s personnel policy. The policy went through without any concerns or opposition.

Idahoans who support this change really should take a few moments and contact Mayor Roger Chase and the City Council Members to thank them and let them know you appreciate and support their vote.

Contact Mayor Chase: mayor@pocatello.us
Contact Council Members: city.council@pocatello.us

A Conversation with Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy

Interfaith Alliances Air America State of Belief Host Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy with Jody May-ChangThis morning I had the distinct honor and pleasure to sit down for an entire hour and talk with the president of the National Interfaith Alliance, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy.

Dr. Gaddy is quite an accomplished religious and political leader. He has authored 20 books and just last year published the powerful and poignant paper, “Same-Gender Marriage & Religious Freedom, A Call to Quite Conversations And Public Debate”

The reverend is an active practicing Baptist minister from Louisiana and the host of State of Belief, a weekly talk show on Air America Radio, and a frequent guest on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show.

“..the old cliche was, hate the sin love the sinner You’re not condemning homosexuality, you’re condemning a person!”

The reverend was called by the Obama transition team to advise the incoming president on issues related to religion and politics. Dr Gaddy played a key roll in working to get the Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes bill passed and was in the oval office with Judy Sheppard when President Obama singed this historic legislation into law.

Our conversation focuses on the collision of religion and politics and how that has affected the national conversation on same-gender marriage. We talk about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints involvement in anti-gay ballot initiatives across the country, and what needs to happen to achieve true equality. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.

I would like to thank my friend and colleague, Executive Director of the Interfaith Alliance of Idaho, Pam Baldwin for arranging this wonderful opportunity.

Stay tuned for more from Dr. Gaddy! As I See It… will soon post his keynote address to the Interfaith Alliance of Idaho’s annual meeting and dinner.

LDS Church Backing SLC Gay Rights Ordinance Smells

Big news is circulating on the blog sphere that the Mormon Church backs protection of gay rights in Salt Lake City,” as reported by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owned and operated, Deseret News on Tuesday.

<small>Michael Otterson, Mormon Public Relations (Photo: Tom Smart, Deseret News)</small>

Michael Otterson, Mormon Public Relations (Photo: Tom Smart, Deseret News)

At a public hearing on an employment and housing ordinance, public affairs managing director Michael Otterson said, “The church supports this ordinance because it is fair and reasonable and does not do violence to the institution of marriage.”

LDS support of this ordinance is nothing more than a political strategy to divert attention from the growing Mormon public relations problem of its role in the systematic religious abuse on gays and lesbians.

In Otterson’s statement he suggests same-sex marriage does “violence to the institution of marriage” yet says nothing about violence the Mormon Church has perpetrated against gay and lesbian human beings for generations, and more recently, funding and directing discriminatory initiatives like California’s Prop 8 and Maine’s Question 1.

These same LDS public relations gurus, at the alleged direction of Church leaders, have carefully orchestrated a finely crafted a PR campaign that resulted in a popular vote in two states that by a small majority, that took civil rights away from a minority. Just how “fair and reasonable” is that Mr. Otterson?

Some may say Mormon support of the Salt Lake City ordinance is a step in the right direction; and although, if passed, is a good thing, I suggest as far as the LDS position on this is concerned, it is nothing more than staged publicity stunt and small thing to give up as part of the cost of doing their dirty business.