The Blue Review: Oases of Welcome

In an exclusive interview for The Blue Review, I had the great honor to sit down with gay icon and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson. We talked about marriage equality, religious freedom, Add the Words and more.


Blue Review, Boise State University, BSU

Oases of Welcome

Openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson visits Boise

gene-robinson-660x300“Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal Bishop, was the keynote speaker at the Pacific Northwest regional conference for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in Boise Oct. 4 at the Riverside hotel. About 130 PFLAG members from nine Northwest states attended. Some events were open to the community like the healing and reconciliation service on Sunday, officiated by Bishop Robinson — especially for LGBT people who have been hurt and rejected by their faiths.”

Read the entire interview HERE on The Blue Review

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

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.

Right-wingers, Lies & Videotape; Deconstructing Bryan Fischer

Jody May-Chang©
March 10, 2009 PrideDEPOT.com

On February 20, the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee turned its back on equality in a 2 to 5, voice vote by saying no to printing the Idaho Human Rights Act Amendment (IHRAA). They killed the bill in committee and silenced any opportunity for public debate on the proposed legislation. The forces of intolerance made certain that the bill would not get printed, distributed or entered into the public record just as if it never existed.

The IHRAA legislation would have added the “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the already protected classes of people such as race, religion, and national origin in areas of employment, education and public accommodation. The wording also included a religious exemption for legitimate churches and faith organizations that felt threatened if their religious beliefs were not inclusive of LGBT people in their memberships or employment.

Idaho Human Rights Act Amendment IHRAA Religious Exemption
Idaho Human Rights Act Amendment IHRAA Religious Exemption

When it came down to making a decision, the Senate State Affairs Committee listened mainly to the words of Bryan Fischer, executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, whose letter was delivered to the committee just before the hearing.

Before examining the letter in detail, it is important to examine the author’s background.

Who is Bryan Fischer and what is the Idaho Values Alliance?

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