Thursday, October 30, 2008

Important Announcement, Really

Please Read:

Earlier this month some Mormon PFLAG mothers of gay children gathered for a luncheon date. The luncheon stretched out to almost four hours as these mothers talked about what the Mormon Church’s active support for California’s Proposition 8 was doing to their families and to their loyalty for the church.

While these mothers have tried to give their church leaders the benefit of a doubt with respect to their church’s policies, the church’s recent public support of the California Proposition that would take away the civil rights of their gay children seems to have been a tipping point.

They want to do something to show their support for their gay children and for the larger gay community. At the mothers’ urging, Salt Lake City PFLAG, Equality Utah, the Pride Center, the Inclusion Center, Affirmation, and the Human Rights Campaign have joined together and scheduled a candlelight gathering for all supporters of our homosexual friends and neighbors this Sunday evening, November 2nd, at the Salt Lake City Library plaza at 6:00 p.m.

The gathering is open to the general public, gay, straight, Mormon and non-Mormon alike and is intended to be a positive pro-community show of support and inclusion of our gay brothers and sisters. There will be a short program featuring Millie Watts, Katherine Steffensen, and Linda Barney. Candles will be provided for everyone following the program and we will join together in a short procession around the city block of the library.

Please spread the word and encourage your friends and families to be there. This event is free. Everyone sympathetic to gay civil rights should be there. The sponsoring groups foster equality for all people. Having a large number of participants will be an eye opener to many who honestly believe our numbers are few. Let’s join with our gay friends and show them that they are valued and equal members of our community.

WHAT: Candlelight gathering

WHEN: This Sunday evening, November 2nd, 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Plaza of the Salt Lake City Library, 200 East 300 South



I hope you all can be there; and spread the word, online and in person.

As Dr. Watts explained it to me, It won't be a church bashing session; it will be an event to focus on what we have here in Utah. We all need to heal, and feel some sense of community here. Even some of those out to legally harm our families are suffering with the split and backlash in response to the LDS push for Prop 8.

Personally, I've been feeling less and less part of my home state, I do not feel my family is welcome here, and you've all heard me whine about maybe moving (aka retreating). In short I know I need this, and, regardless of whether or not Proposition 8 passes or fails, we'll all need the warmth that will be there Sunday night.

If you are coming (and you are :-) ), be sure to tell me and we can meet up, have a blog reunion. Maybe Edgy won't stand us up again.


[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

I'll be there, and I'm even bringing/going with a BYU person.

See you there. Edgy, don't stand us up.

Cadence said...

im not doing anything.... so i should go... we'll see... the U's lgbt sent this out so we should represent...?

Edgy said...

Oh! the frustration. I will not commit one way or the other at this point. Here is why: We have the kids this weekend, and 6:00 is around the time when we are either eating or getting ready to take them home. So, if I can finagle it, I will.

GUY said...

This sounds wonderful. I heard about it from my mother who was at that luncheon. Such great women they are! I'm even considering taking a break from the Prop 8 craziness here and coming up for it...Or should I be here getting out the vote?

Amanda said...

Okay this comment is totally unrelated to this post, but I couldn't figure out how to comment elsewhere - I just read your "long version" story and I was very touched. You have a beautiful family (both you, your husband, and children, and the family that raised you), and I wish you all the happiness you can have. Stories like yours are wonderful to hear, and I wish everyone who is afraid of "the gay community" could read and see that there is nothing there but love. :)

Edgy said...

It would appear that Dec has decided that we are going to go to this. (He's even confirmed it on Facebook.) We're just going to eat an early dinner and not tell the kids or their mother before we go. :)

Scot said...

Great, we don't need to set a place to meet, or do we?

I'll be the guy who looks just like my pictures. I'll have my family and some extended family with me as well.

Eh, just in case, at 6:00 I'll look for people looking like they're looking for someone at the north edge of that wading pool fountain. It' the one the kids like to play in in the summer, just south of the south exit of the library into the plaza.

Craig: "I'll be there, and I'm even bringing/going with a BYU person."

Does that translate into "date"? :-)

"so we should represent...?"

That we should. The more people the better the event.

Guy: "Such great women they are!"


"I'm even considering taking a break from the Prop 8 craziness here and coming up for it...Or should I be here getting out the vote?"

We'd love to see you all, but I hope you can help give us something to celebrate too.

"It would appear that Dec has decided that we are going to go to this. "

Yeah, we'll see. :-)

Amanda, thank you so much for the kind words. And welcome!

Guy said...

Check out this great op-ed piece in today's LA Times:
(sorry, pasting as can't get link now)--
Mormons and Proposition 8
Of all people, Mormons should be sensitive to those seeking nontraditional unions.
By Lola Van Wagenen

Reports that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a big supporter of Proposition 8 should sadden all Mormons. Based on the unique history of Mormons, there is no religious group in our country that should be more tolerant of "nontraditional" forms of marriage than those of us whose ancestors were polygamist Mormons, who were persecuted because of theirtheir "nontraditional" marriages.

Have today's Latter-day Saints forgotten that in the 19th century, our ancestors were violently and relentlessly attacked for their "peculiar institution"? Have they forgotten that they pleaded for understanding and tried in vain to prove that they were good parents? Have they forgotten that Utah territory gave our great-great-grandmothers the right to vote in part to prove that they were not downtrodden, and that these ancestors prayed to the Lord for the protection of "celestial marriage" against the hatred directed at Mormons?

Our polygamous ancestors were accused of being incapable of providing loving homes for their children. Who knows better than we do that this was untrue? Who can deny that our "nontraditional" ancestors left a heritage of hardworking, high-achieving progeny. And yet the fallacy that "nontraditional" marriages erode and destroy family values is one of the main attacks being used against gay and lesbian couples by LDS proponents of Proposition 8.

Most Mormons today would concede that much of the continuing prejudice against the LDS church persists because of our history of "nontraditional" marriage, even though 118 years have passed since the church abandoned polygamy. Still, what religious group has known more hatred and persecution in America than our families? And it lingers. Have today's Mormons not learned to fight against prejudice and the vilification of people who happen to be different?

Returning to my Mormon roots as a historian has deepened my appreciation for, and gratitude to, my ancestors -- for their struggles and their sacrifices that living in "nontraditional" marriages demanded. My great-great-grandfather was jailed for his marriage, a history that I share with so many practicing Mormons. Given the Mormon experience, why are today's Latter-day Saints not in the vanguard of pleading for acceptance, equal rights and compassion for all Americans? They should be standing up in opposition to Proposition 8, knowing that loving homes and good parenting can come equally from "nontraditional" or "traditional" marriages.

Lola Van Wagenen is a member of the Mormon History Assn. and the author of "Sister-Wives and Suffragists: Polygamy and the Politics of Woman Suffrage, 1870 to 1896."

Anonymous said...

I hope to be there. I have a research paper due on Monday that is still in its formative stages, so... we'll see.

That's an interesting op-ed piece. I don't necessarily agree with Ms. Van Wagenen on the effects of nineteenth-century polygamy on families, women and children, but the way she tells it makes the irony of the current Mormon position much more apparent, so I guess I won't argue with her.