Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"All Hail Plankton"

Yesterday I was so excited to read about Governor Huntsman's stance on the whole Common Grounds initiative. I honestly never voted for the guy because of his views on school vouchers and such, so this has completely changed my view of him. For all the courage people tell Scott and I that we have, it is nothing compared to our Governor taking a stance on this. Amazing!

Meanwhile, I get an email last night sent to a list I am on for Utah Republican Women, asking us to spread the word about a gathering at the capitol today to voice disapproval of Governor Huntsman's statement:

Family Coalition Sets News Conference
in Response to Governor's Support of Gay Unions

Salt Lake City, Utah, February 10, 2009. Members of the Utah Legislature and leaders of Utah’s Pro-Family groups have formed the "Utah Coalition for Traditional Families" have scheduled a news conference on Wednesday, February 11, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. in the House Building located on the west side of the Utah State Capitol Plaza. This event is in response to Governor Huntsman’s remarks in support of the “Common Ground Initiative,” a group of bills that advocate for the homosexual lifestyle and undermine the legal status of Traditional Marriage in Utah.

Utah legislators, legal experts, and pro-family groups will respond to the announcement by Governor’s spokeswoman, Lisa Roskelley, that Governor Huntsman "supports civil unions” and that he “backs Equality Utah’s Common Ground Initiative . . ,” legislation that would provide special rights to those who identify themselves as homosexual.

The Coalition issued this collective statement: "We are disappointed that the Governor would join with Equality Utah and the majority of Democrats in the legislature in a position which is in opposition to the majority of Utahns, most of the Utah legislature, and his Republican Party."

The Coalition cites the Republican governor's opposition to his party's own platform which says 'We call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it.”

All citizens who wish to let Governor Huntsman know of their views on his position are urged to attend this news conference.

Oh, I was so ticked off! I wrote an email back to the sender in response and carbon copied it to my state senator and representative. This just goes to show that it is not a great idea for me to respond to things immediately when I am hot under the collar:

Dear "Utah Coalition for Traditional Families",

Please do some research before you advertise this hateful response to Governor Huntsman.

My husband is an active Mormon and also happens to be gay. The fact that he could be fired with no legal consequences of discrimination for his sexual orientation infuriates me.

I have been an active participant in the republican party for many years, held caucuses at my home, put up yard signs, etc. This kind of behavior from the republican party is childish and ridiculous, and I no longer wish to be associated with it.

Get to know just how this affects people, me an active LDS straight woman who has done nothing wrong, and my husband who has chosen to live a lifestyle that aligns with the teachings of the LDS church, and yet we both live in fear of job security and our church membership because we have chosen to take a stance on gay issues like this one.

This bill in the legislature will NOT hurt the traditional family, will NOT lead to gay marriage in Utah. It is about basic civil rights for people who are born differently than you, that are some of the sweetest people I have ever met.

Get your head out of the sand and learn something. Walk in MY shoes for a while.

And praise Governor Huntsman for his willingness to take a stand in the midst of this ridiculous Utah/LDS culture of ours.

Just my 2 cents. I am SOOO done supporting the Republican party.

This morning when I woke up, I was still ticked off. I was trying to get it off my mind before leaving for work and was discussing it with Scott. For some reason the Spongebob Movie came to mind. Why does it feel like a lot of these church-going people are going around with buckets on their heads, bowing down and chanting "All Hail Plankton!" "Save traditional families." (Scott and I chuckled at that thought, and as you know, laughter is always the best medicine.)

The common grounds initiative has NOTHING to do with their precious marriage between a man and a woman. What about MY traditional marriage and family that are affected by the fact that my husband can be discriminated against when it comes to employment? Does that mean nothing?!

This thought kind of reminded me of Abelard's thoughtful post relating this whole thing to Hitler--an amazing and scary parallel that I had never thought of before.

As I was mulling it all over in my head on my way to school this morning, another movie quote entered my head, this time from my favorite movie Mary Poppins. It goes something like this: "Sometimes, by no fault of his own, your father cannot see past the end of his nose." By the end of the movie, the father comes around, and Mary Poppins has been oh-so patient with him. I want to be like Mary Poppins, patiently expressing my view and patiently waiting for the day that these people will also be able to see past the ends of their noses and realize what they have done. Will it actually happen? I hope so!

God bless me with patience, with a heart full of mercy and forgiveness during the time that it takes to get to that point!


Alan said...

Sarah, you and Joan of Arc will be best friends in the next life. I don't think I have ever known a more courageous woman than you.

Sarah said...

Alan, that's funny. My senior year of high school we (the seminary council) produced a silly video for the seminary students to introduce ourselves. I played the part of Noah's wife (aka Joan, of the arc).

Beck said...

You go girl!

This is totally awesome!

Thanks for your stance. Thanks for your passion. Thanks for speaking out. Thanks for your example.

Sarah said...

Thanks, Beck. Your approval and praise means the world to me!

Jenz said...

"legislation that would provide special rights to those who identify themselves as homosexual."

This infuriates me. It's not SPECIAL's EQUAL RIGHTS.

With all this going on in Utah, it makes me dread my upcoming trip there to see my family at the end of March.

THANKS SARAH!!! We need more people like you.


After I saw the news last night about the Senators response to Gov. Huntsman's announcement I wanted to scream also. The close mindness of some really gets to me. After reading your blog post today I felt like you had been in my head and wrote down everything I had been feeling. Thank you for your letter maybe you should have sent it around so many more of us could have signed it. Because I would have. Also, how does one become a member of Equality For Utah?

Vanessa said...

Good job Sarah. I watched the Senator respond to Governor Huntsman and I can't stand most government officials anyway because they are all so fake. At least Huntsman has some courage which is greatly lacking in our pathetic government.

Christopher said...

"a group of bills that advocate for the homosexual lifestyle and undermine the legal status of Traditional Marriage in Utah."

Cute, huh? That's the part that made me want to run around and break stuff. Advocate for the homosexual lifestyle? Undermine legal status of traditional marriage!? Did they actually think this absurd claim through? I really like what you said, Sarah... what about those like your husband Scott, and me, active and married and gay. What about our rights!? Do we matter?

Christopher said...

By the way, I love that Spongebob episode.

Alan said...

@Christopher's questions:

1. No, they didn't.

2. You don't have any.

3. No.

Any more?

Christopher said...

Phewf, thanks, Alan, for answering these important questions for me! Now I can sleep easy.

Anonymous said...

I hate when people equate "Sutherland Institute, Eagle Forum and the Utah Coalition for Traditional Families" as representing conservatives. I mean, they may be conservative, but their statements don't represent any conservatives that I know. They're nutbars. And yeah, Utah has a disproportionate number of nutbars in government. I hate the Republican party in this state. But I'm a conservative so I have nowhere else to go...

ConservativeRepublican said...

Hi, just a conservative republican here who happens to be gay. Your blog is wonderful.

I stick with the republicans because I'm mostly conservative in my politics except for gay rights, so it makes more sense to me to stick with the party and act as a positive example for change rather than support the Dems who I don't agree on with much at all. By being openly gay and republican, I have an opportunity to change minds that would otherwise not be changed. The gay community is not exactly known for doing a good job when it comes to reaching out to other groups.

That having been said, I should make it clear that I don't live in Utah, so I'm not exposed to the particular kind of politics that goes on there. If things are getting that bad, then you might want to consider staying with the GOP on the national level and continuing to support the RNC and all, but stop sending money and helping out the Utah GOP. This is what I did when I lived in South Carolina for a short time.

Just a possible alternative that might be easier than going over to the Dems or a third party.

Anonymous said...

@ConservativeRepublican: Good thoughts and that's what I do, really. I support some Republicans but on a case by case basis any more. I stopped supporting groups long ago. One note: part of the problem is the RNC. Supporting the RNC is just like supporting the local Republicans because their main function is to funnel money into the state races. Worse, the RNC gives money to clowns like the reprehensible Ted Stevens and other corrupt jerkwads who add corruption and good-old-boy political machinations to their lack of conservative appeal.

So I guess my real problem is that I'm a conservative and the Republicans just finished eight years of proving that they aren't any more conservative than the Democrats. I may have to vote for the lesser of two evils, but I'm sure has heck not going to support, lobby for, defend, or give money to it.

ConservativeRepublican said...


Good point. I personally don't have as much of a problem with it when I know my money is essentially being used to support a lot of different candidates as well as the general structure, but I can see how any money going to corrupt idiots like Ted Stevens might stop someone from donating. There is simply no excuse for that. I did stop sending money for awhile a few years ago during the debate over the Federal Marriage Amendment. Once that all seemed to die down, I became comfortable with giving money again.

On that note, I'm hoping that Michael Steele will be able to make some changes in the RNC. We need new blood in the fundraising and campaigning departments. Whether he's the kind of guy we need, we'll soon find out.

Oh, and I hear you on voting for the lesser of two evils. I voted for Bush both times and Mccain this time. I had to literally grit my teeth when voting for McCain (and for Bush for a second term), but I did it. I think Obama will be (and Kerry would've been) much worse on many of the issues I find important.

Again, I'm a proud gay man who supports gay rights (no mark Foley or Larry Craig here). I so wish the republicans would get with it in this area so I wouldn't have to constantly argue with my political allies on these issues.

Sarah said...

Update: I just received this email from my representative in response.

Thank you for your email. This is certainly a controversial issue and has stirred many emotional responses on both sides. I have gotten copies of the bills which I will study this weekend so that I understand better what the bill is proposing. I am fine with protecting the rights of all individuals. However I am concerned that some bills are more of a political statement than an effort to fix problems. After my review of the bills, I will listen carefully to the debate and get input from both sides so that I can vote in an informed manner.