Friday, March 28, 2014

LDS Mission vs. College Education

by Brig Bagley

28 March 2014

Now that boys and girls can leave on missions at 18 and 19, respectively (still literally teenagers), the LDS church has successfully deployed over 30% more missionaries around the world. But as college physics teaches, not only what goes up must come down, but energy can't be created... only transferred. 

These kids out on missions are taking away from attendance to not just physics, but all college courses--possibly forever. Girls, especially, are dropping out of college enrollment to "serve the Lord" and "go and do" his will wherever that may be. However, the expectation is that women marry early on and soon after serving--making Utah the lowest average age for marriage: 24. This number will also go down with the lowered mission ages. The education gap for men and women (highest in Utah) will continue to increase. 

Mormon Utahns argue that the 4% drop in college enrollment each semester since the 2012 mission age announcement was expected, and that a mission serves as a great opportunity to grow, learn how to learn, and experience many other important life experiences. There are a few issues that go along with that, though. The learning experience is not only biased, but it comes at a price. These kids give up 2 years of income and even pay out of pocket up to $10,000 for the "experience". Similar life and world experiences (if not more realistic and useful ones) can be encountered by serving in the military, peace corps, red cross, and more. And these experiences pay you. Not a lot, of course, but you can take your earnings to pay off much of college with it. 

LDS people often recite how important education is, but pulling naive teenagers right out of high school (with poor public school ratings in Utah to top it off) to fill their minds with religious rhetoric is anything but valuing education.

Along these lines--and I know I've already said this--snatching kids up right out of high school is one solution the LDS church has for such high inactivity levels for youth. Kids in this generation are the most open-minded ever seen with the progressive society we have. More and more of them are questioning the outdated ways of the Mormons. Sending them off to a mission right away, however, skips the limbo period where they question the church and fall away from it. 

Teach them how to think before they are taught to think for themselves.

Even if the LDS church gets more kids out on missions, there are still high numbers of missionaries that return home early for various reasons. Many will go out and realize it wasn't for them, they weren't ready, or they don't believe in it after all. This hurts both the church and the missionary.

Missions have a lot of great aspects. I served a mission and learned much from it. Most of what I learned, however, I could have learned many other ways. And I would be 2 years further in life. Missions should be for mature adults who have lived and loved the religion on their own terms and wish to share it. Not for a teenager that has little to no life experience or skills.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in a comment!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

PacSun's "Offensive" T-Shirts in University Mall, Provo UT

Do you agree that PacSun is harming children with suggestive clothing?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Poll Time!

Should Utah's ban on Sam-Sex Marriage be upheld?

Utah's Hired Attorneys to Fight for Amendment 3 Lose Credibility via Michigan's Trial

by Brig Bagley

Utah has hired private attorneys to fight in favor of Utah's same-sex marriage ban. It is already estimated that 2 million dollars of tax-payer's money will be used to pay off these private attorneys. 

Just a few days ago, Michigan had another federal judge strike down a same-sex marriage ban. But unlike any other ruling like it in the last few months, Judge Bernard Friedman organized a full trial to hear experts testify for both side of the case. Friedman not only ruled the ban unconstitutional, but also declared the attorneys defending the ban "entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration".

Two of Utah's "hired special counsel" to defend Amendment 3 were included in that ruling.

Utah, assuming they keep the same counsel and continue the fight for Amendment 3, will undoubtedly face embarrassment when the arguments and experts fabricating them are dismissed--by both the 10th District Court and the US Supreme Court--as empty and false. 

The state of Utah is wasting its own citizens' funds for a losing case. There are so many other lacking areas needing funding... such as public transport, pollution, education... that are being sacrificed for this battle that falsely claims to "protect Utah's families and children". 

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Catholic and Mormon Churches Need Choose Reform or Face Exodus

Still a boys' club.

by Brig Bagley

24 March 2014

I've mentioned this before, but it is good to hear it from another source that provides more facts and strong arguments--and even a parallel with Catholics. 

The status of society today is at great odds with these two institutions that live by tradition and hierarchical rule. With issues in the churches that are such non-issues in society--such as women's rights and equality--there is a impending decision that has to be made. People attending church today have replaced most of those who have experienced and accepted inequalities. The problem is that these younger folks don't understand why the church is continuing to mandate such outdated traditions. 

Church-goers will (and in many cases already have) risen up to challenge these traditions, finding un-moving resistance. When the heads of the church fail to listen to so many of its members, it will ultimately force these people away to find more open-minded liberal churches, or to stop attending churches altogether. The only way to prevent such a movement is to embrace the progression of the world is stands in.

LDS Singer Tyler Glen Comes out as Gay

Tyler Glenn Neon Trees

24 March 2014

by Brig Bagley

Inspired by many other pop artists' and athletes' examples of coming out, Tyler Glenn, singer for Neon Trees, has decided to come out to the world in the Rolling Stones magazine. Tyler might be behind the curve a little, but considering his LDS background, and all of the many Mormon Provo fans that idolize him, it comes as no surprise that coming out would be a little extra difficult.

Michigan Joins the Team!

24 March 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

Undercover Doctor: "Cure me, I'm gay"

‘Undercover Doctor: Cure Me I’m Gay’

by Brig Bagley

21 March 2014

A new documentary in London uncovers the practices, enforcers, participants, and reasons for curing homosexuality. A doctor goes undercover to participate in these activities and learn first hand the whats and the whys. This article is an interview with the doctor in the documentary. Dr. Christian says the documentary isn't available in the US yet.

Ordaining Women: Fact and Satire

by Brig Bagley

21 March 2014

The quote that inspired this fun, yet meaningful article came from a Mormon blogger, but is easily a default thoughtless argument of many LDS people concerning women's equality in the church:

If women are ordained, what’s to stop LDS Church leaders from ordaining toddlers, or house pets, or toaster ovens? Have none of you thought about the slippery slope problems???

 Read the satire piece here:

But in all seriousness, the LDS church has been unfair to women even leaving out the teaching that the priesthood is solely for worthy male members. Here are just a few examples:

This is just a small list of items that detail the gender inequality in the church. Even if it's true that priesthood is a male responsibility (because men aren't "good enough" to bear children and be mothers ... BS), these few facts ought to be enough to give pause to even the most faithful of members. It is also interesting to note that it has taken all the way to 2012-2014 to make drastic changes to policy as a result from social pressure. The fact that the church is bending its opportunities for women so late in the game shows that there really are issues deep within it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

ONE Wasatch: Interconnecting 7 Major Utah Ski Resorts

by Brig Bagley

20 March 2014

It's time to deviate a little from the usual politics that I cover here. It's the first day of Spring--and a beautiful one at that. Even if it is chilly.

ONE Wasatch is a concept that wishes to connect Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood, and the Park City Ski Resorts for a 7 resort experience. It would be the only of it's kind in North America, and could even be one of the best skiing experiences for 1 ticket in the world. No plans are in place yet, but the momentum has reached a serious level.

The main concern is how the connection would affect human-powered skiing activities. Individuals interested in these activities may be disrupted or deterred by the lifts. There is some doubt that the connection would improve the skiing experience in Utah as well. If the cost and limitations (time range validity) of the tickets are too much, few people would consider utilizing the connection. Most resorts are too large to explore in 1 day as they are now. A connection pass would need to extend over several days to be worthwhile. Luckily, all lifts would be constructed on private property, saving a lot of political problems.

Another concern is how to ensure a skier can get back to his/her origin resort once parks begin to close. Connections would need to continue until relatively late and allow easy access to the base of each resort.

However, if this concept does turn into a plan, it will likely be well thought-out and an outstanding opportunity for locals and visitors to experience one of the best activities in Winter Utah.

Read more here:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Utahns Unite for Marriage

by Brig Bagley

A number of respected Utah citizens have come together in support of marriage equality, Mormons and Republicans included. The groups wishes to promote the idea that anyone can support marriage equality while still honoring their beliefs from religion or conservative political parties. They say that people should understand that government is not a tool to uphold discrimination and their political representatives should step back to look at the issue more clearly.

The group was formed to time itself with the April 10 arguments for the Amendment 3 case in Denver.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Gay Marriage Affects Heterosexual Men, says Utah State Attorneys

by Brig Bagley

17 March 2014

In response to the plaintiff's brief in support of same sex marriage, the state filed their final arguments to the 10th District court to defend traditional marriage laws in Utah. The same arguments are revisited, saying that legalizing same-sex marriage would make marriage an "adult-centric" entity, completely ignoring the necessity of marriage to encapsulate the proper environment to procreate and raise children. Again, it argued that stripping the state of it's "right to regulate marriage as it pleases" grants liberal activist judges to dictate what is right for everyone. The legalization would corrode society, leading to "social strife". 

One additional argument was that allowing gays to marry would lower the significance of marriage, decreasing the number of heterosexual marriages, increasing fatherless or motherless parenting, higher birthrates out of wedlock, and would cause heterosexual men to be less "self-sacrificing", giving them less motivation to be involved in their children's lives. In addition, the state believes that gay peoples' rights to marry someone of the opposite gender is equality and that for no good reason, gays choose not to exercise their equal right to marry opposite gender spouses. 

In other words, it is the gays faults if heterosexual men decide to be less responsible and less involved in their children's lives. Heterosexual men are incapable of thinking for themselves and choosing properly how to create and foster their own families. Gay marriage will confuse straight men and completely throw them off from being able to make responsible decisions for their family. Does this make any sense?

This is not only offensive to LGBT people, but even more so to heterosexual men. Because two gay men or two lesbians can raise children, a straight man is no longer necessary in his kids' lives? It is preposterous to lay blame on anyone other than the delinquent father or mother. Adults, gay or straight, are responsible for their own actions. People choose to marry/not marry, procreate/not procreate, and raise/not raise children all on their own. How, when, or even if adults decide to do any of it is not something for government to dictate. The government does not regulate how children are raised, other than abuse.

Finally, to dismiss gay marriage because gays have the same right to marry opposite sex partners as heterosexuals, is like when people thought separate drinking fountains and bathrooms for black people was fair. This is exactly a "separate, but equal" situation, albeit arranged slightly differently. This time around, a gay person can marry, but not for love--as a straight person can. You are still saying, "Here is the exact same thing we have, but you have to have it they way we tell you to have it, not the way you want to have it." 

Anyone with a clear and open mind would be shocked that the state of Utah is using arguments like these to defend their position. All of these arguments are fear-based and have no concrete evidence that any real harm will occur. They are all guesses as to what may happen in the future, whereas there is REAL harm happening right now with gay couples that do not have the same rights, opportunities, and benefits of others. It doesn't make sense to force others to suffer because someone might feel "uncomfortable" with change.

Friday, March 14, 2014

ENDA is on its way to Becoming Law

by Brig Bagley

14 March 2014

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is a bill currently passing through the US House of Representatives to pass a national law to protect LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace. Surprisingly, a majority of republicans and democrats both support the law, creating a super majority of support. The law has already passed in the senate with a 64-32 end count. 

Several organizations and large companies support the law, hoping to protect their employees and members. A survey taken showed that 8 of 10 Americans already believe there are employment protections for LGBT people in the US, but the truth is that there isn't. Civil rights laws only currently protect people from discrimination against race, nationality, and gender. 

Fred Karger and Facts about the LDS Church's Political Involvement

The Mormon Church and NOM can’t put me out of business

by Brig Bagley

14 March 2014

You may not know Fred Karger, but his attention to malpractice in politics has revealed several shocking truths. Karger, according to the article I will refer to, as well as Wikipedia, is a political consultant, former candidate for the Republican Nomination for US President in 2012, former actor, and a gay rights activist. The article of interest discusses how the LDS Church and NOM (National Organization for Marriage) are at war to put the other out of business. 

Karger was skeptical when the LDS Church was so involved with Prop 8 in California that he filed an ethics complaint. The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) in CA investigated the church's involvement with the campaign. The church didn't report its donations, which came in several forms. This was illegal in CA. The FPPC prosecuted and investigated the LDS Church for a year and a half, after which the church plead guilty on 13 charges of election fraud. The church was fined. According to the article, this had never happened before.

NOM is another LDS church appendage designed to kill any progress on gay rights. It was headed up by none other than the son of LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland. Several other wealthy and prominent church members sat on NOM's board, including anti-gay fiction writer Orson Scott Card. NOM has spent millions on lawsuits and campaigns to shut down laws and movements that promoted equal rights for LGBT people. In hopes to shut down Karger, NOM has targeted his business hoping he will scare away and back down. Karger assues that will not happen.

If you weren't already enraged with the LDS church, this should surely shake you up. Not many know the specifics of the backlash the church experienced after the fallout of Prop 8. It is clear from its silence on the topic, that it won't be taking any brash steps in the same direction again anytime soon. The fact that it plead guilty to election fraud (breaking California Law) and got so deeply involved in politics, despite its claim to remain politically neutral, should question anyone's faith in the religion. How could an "inspired institution" mislead so many and expect to get away with it? These are tell-tale hints that the LDS church is on its way to becoming the cult its members work so hard to declare that its not. If it wants to survive, it needs to protect its own internally. Preemptive strikes against society aren't becoming of God's true church.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Utah's Issued Same-Sex Marriages Still Unresolved

by Brig Bagley

13 March 2014

Four same-sex couples sued the state of Utah for refusing to recognize their marriage performed in Utah. The stay issued by the US Supreme Court was meant to put further marriages on hold until a decision was made concerning the Amendment 3 ruling. It was not stated anywhere that legally performed marriages were all of a sudden void. The state seems to think so. It would be the first time ever that a marriage was voided by the government if Utah decided to invalidate those performed when it was legal. 

The 10th Circuit Court is now reviewing the case to make a decision on Judge Shelby's ruling on Amendment 3. In the meantime, same-sex couples have to put on hold their plans for adopting children, fear that major health decisions can't be made in an emergency, and hope that an accident doesn't strand a child from a parent who cannot yet legally receive custody. 

Opinions rage on for both parties on the sidelines while waiting for the score at the end of the court rulings. The outcome it likely to fall in line with the rulings of at least 7 other Federal judges that have upheld the rights of same-sex couples, striking down voted-in laws banning their marriages. Since people are so willing to tell gays to get married in another state or country, let's see how willing they are to leave the state or country to get away from it once it is legal.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Discussion of Religious Freedom Legislation

by Brig Bagley

11 March 2014

Several states have followed a pattern set by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed in the US in 1993 by the House, Senate, and Bill Clinton. The law was ruled unconstitutional in 1997, but these various states have created some form of RFRA to take it's place. The laws were primarily to protect religions from court cases and legislation that limited religious activities as much as possible, which seems redundant, but not harmful.

Since the forward leaps of marriage equality, several right-wing groups have pressed their more conservative legislators to pass law to not just protect religion. As a last resort and final blow to LGBT people, these groups wish to legalize discrimination against gays and lesbians for religious people, businesses, and even government. 

The wording is usually in regards to "refusing service to someone based on deeply held religious beliefs." However, it's certain that this kind of law would allow anyone with a strong distaste for another person's lifestyle to discriminate openly without any repercussion. 

Think about it. Gays, lesbians, trans-genders, and bisexuals are being stripped of the right to buy food, clothes, and shelter simply because of their lifestyle. Of course, not every American is going to actually discriminate, but giving anyone the right to discriminate tells the world that people like LGBT are second class citizens. The normal heterosexual people are more important and deserve more. Perhaps many people that supported the laws didn't see it this way. But it absolutely sends that message and has the potential to be just that damaging. 

Arizona just escaped such a law with the Governor's veto, but Mississippi and Kansas are two states at risk of signing them into law. If your state is close to legalizing discrimination, stand up for equality and fight it to the end. Gay or straight, it is not American to discriminate fellow citizens for any reason, and we should all get out to support equal rights for all.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thoughts on Religion, Weed, and Sex

by Brig Bagley

10 March 2014

This weekend, a friend of mine and I argued a few points concerning the legitimacy of certain religious beliefs, vs. what science has proven. Although I can understand the point of view of a religious person (having been a close-minded prudish Mormon myself), I can no longer tolerate certain aspects of religion that are still hugely believed today.

One topic was that of marijuana. Two states have already legalized pot for recreational use, although it is still federally considered an illegal drug. But besides that, science has explained that the effects THC has on the brain and the body can be of great benefit to people that experience depression, those who are suffering from high amounts of pain, and people diagnosed with cancer. Weed is known to be addictive because of its tendency to provide temporary elation, but its addictive nature isn't too far off from the happiness things like ice cream or roller coasters provide. The withdrawals from the addiction aren't anywhere near those of heroine or cocaine. Marijuana can't really be overdosed (you'll fall asleep before you get anywhere near toxic levels) and doesn't ever lead to violent behavior. I believe that it should be legal for recreational purposes. Alcohol is known to increase violence in many people, and it CAN kill someone with overuse in one sitting, yet it is legal. Long-term affects of weed haven't been thoroughly studied, but the known benefits and lack of danger in the short term make it a candidate for legalization. My friend argued that smoking (regardless of the drug) was a terrible, addictive habit. His father died of complications due to smoking, which fuels his fire against it. BUT, tobacco in cigarettes, and it's constant usage over the day, is much different than the occasional (or even nightly) joint of weed. It is also a huge topic of discussion in religion, where it is condemned as an evil substance, only associated with sin and other "evil" acts. 

Another topic that we discussed was that of virginity and sexual "purity". My friend said there was a religion that believed a woman could not be taken to wife if her hymen (or "cherry") was destroyed from a previous sexual encounter, rape or not. To overcome this technical problem in the belief, some women surgically have the tissue replaced/repaired so they may be able to marry. This is completely ridiculous to me. That kind of belief is absolutely ludicrous. Especially in the case of rape, it is utterly shallow and sexist to hold a woman to a piece of bodily tissue in order to consider her a candidate to marriage. My friend, although he doesn't believe this, thinks that it is totally legitimate for this group to believe and practice this suppression. Although it is true that someone can believe as they wish, I believe this practice is harmful, especially to women. 

To generalize this topic, sexual purity is a silly concept to me, especially the details that are proclaimed by the Mormon Religion. It is taught that sexual sin is the worst of sin, short of murder. It is disciplined without mercy, stripping privileges, rights, and opportunities from members until a leader arbitrarily proclaims full "repentance", and in many cases, enough time has passed to lift the discipline. This type of dis-fellowship does not help anyone. It pushes the member away, instills guilt and shame, and often causes depression, self doubt, and self loathing. Sex is a normal, natural, and healthy practice for all living things. Having the ability to abstain from it does not make someone a better person than another. 

It is also encouraged to avoid dating and marrying someone with a history of sexual sin. This keeps people single (the opposite of the goal of singles wards) and perpetuates the negativity I mentioned above. This ends up getting people hitched that have NO experience with sex. They have nothing to base it on, and if they end up having sexual difficulties and incompatibilities, there is nothing they can do. They are stuck together for "eternity", since divorce is hugely discouraged. It should be acceptable to "test-drive" people you date to really see if you are going to be happy with them in EVERY way. You never know until you try. I wouldn't be surprised if a huge number of Mormons that get divorced is because of sexual oppression and boredom with their one and only partner FOREVER. Just like you date someone to get to know how they are, their likes and dislikes, their personality and such, you need to be happy with their sexuality as well. Some people need more sex, some less. Some prefer to be more dominant, some more dominated. Some like to experiment with new sexual things, some like to keep it vanilla. Men tend to need sex more than women as well. If a highly sexual man ends up with a woman with little sex drive, it could drive him mad. The inverse situation is also possible. 

To wrap up, I believe these beliefs that stem from religion can often be more harmful than helpful. They may have good intentions, but sometimes the best intentions can lead to disaster. Just like telling a gay child that being gay is wrong and evil can lead to that child's suicide. People may believe as they wish. But ignoring and turning away facts that contradict those beliefs is close-minded, idiotic, and down-right dangerous. 

Please leave thoughts and comments. I am very opinionated, and I love to hear solid arguments, whatever side they may be on.

Friday, March 7, 2014

GetEQUAL Mississippi Travel Alert

by Brig Bagley

7 March 2014

GetEQUAL is a grassroots organization local to Mississippi that serves to fight for equality in the state. Due to a bill in the state legislature that is close to passing, one similar to the Arizona "Legalized Discrimination" act that gives special "religious freedoms". It is unclear whether it will be fully passed, and if it is, if the governor will veto it or not. The issued warning is below: 


Effective immediately

GetEQUAL Mississippi alerts those traveling to the state of a continued risk of discrimination based upon sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The State of Mississippi does not currently protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (“LGBT”) people from being legally ejected from their hotel rooms or other places of public accommodation, and is on the cusp of passing legislation that would give business owners even more latitude to legally discriminate against minority groups. 
Those who are required to travel to Mississippi are encouraged to take the following precautions:
• Avoid traveling alone in the state.
• Only book travel at hotels which have policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
• Visit only known LGBT-friendly establishments, including restaurants, bars and venues.
• Be aware of your surroundings and adopt other appropriate safety measures to protect yourself while traveling.
GetEQUAL Mississippi will continue to monitor this situation and update travelers as needed.

Read more here:

Real Stories from LGBT Utahns

by Brig Bagley

7 March 2014

Jonathan Adamson, a close friend of mine, as well as a previous author of this blog, filmed the stories told by the LGBT Utahns at the meeting with Utah Legislators just over a week ago. He posted this about the stories:

"Last week, 12 brave people sat before Utah State legislators and shared their stories in order to help our state representatives see the need for an anti-discrimination law that protects people against discrimination in the workplace and in housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity. I was able to record their stories and they are available on YouTube.

"Among the 12 are mothers, fathers, transgender Utahns, LDS Utahns, BYU students, and others. My boyfriend's mother, Wendy Matis was also one of the 12. Take the time to watch and share these videos. We've worked for 6 years to try and pass anti-discrimination legislation and each year our state representatives have dismissed it."

 Here is the link to the stories:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Illinois now Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses 

by Brig Bagley

6 March 2014

The law passed for equal rightsin Illinois isn't due to go into effect until June, but Illinois' AG and Governor both decided there shouldn't be a wait for those who love each other to marry.

Fundraising for "Restore our Humanity" to cover Court costs for Equality

145 fundraising campaign announced at Restore Our Humanity town hall

by Brig Bagley

6 March 2014

The Herbert vs. Kitchen case has accelerated beyond what anyone has expected. This is the case against Utah's Amendment 3 same-sex marriage ban. The case was resolved at the Dec. 20 ruling, allowing gays to marry in the state. Now the appeals court granted review in 5 weeks, when they often take a year. The Prop 8 case took about 4 years to completely resolve. This case is already going to beat that rate by at least a year. 

The costs to cover the case are an estimated $600k so far. Several fundraisers have covered a small portion of this, and it's looking for more. Restore our Humanity is looking for 1 million people to donate $5 for the cost of the court fees on the way to legalizing same-sex marriage in the nation. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Religious Leaders in Mississippi ask Legislators to stop "Religious Freedom Bill", Kentucky AG Refuses to Appeal Court Ruling Favoring LGBT

by Brig Bagley

5 March 2014

A group of  Mississippi Methodist and Baptist leaders signed a letter to the State of Mississippi asking for the "Religious Freedom" bill to be put to an end. Although these persons value religious freedom, they recognize the difference between "religious space and commercial space".

“When providing a service to the public, businesses cannot pick and choose whom to serve and whom to deny. This is basic discrimination and it has nothing to do with religious freedom.”

 Read more here:

The Attorney General of Kentucky will not be fighting the latest ruling forcing the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The state will hire outside attorneys to appeal the ruling.

“Today’s decision by Kentucky attorney general Jack Conway echoes that of state attorneys general across America who refuse to defend discrimination. Conway stands on the right side of history along with the Republican-appointed Kentucky federal judge who held that there is no legitimate justification for denying equal protection to same-sex couples. A growing bipartisan majority of Americans know it is wrong to deny anyone the freedom to marry the person they love. With a marriage case potentially making it to the Supreme Court as soon as 2015, we must continue to make the case across the country that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry.” - Marc Solomon

Over 40 Businesses file Briefs in Support of Gay Marriage


by Brig Bagley

5 March 2014

Several businesses, (46 to be exact) have filed briefs asking the 10th District Court of Appeals in Denver to uphold Judge Shelby's ruling striking down Utah's Amendment 3 that bans same-sex marriage. Among these include Starbucks, Facebook, and Levi Strauss. 

These businesses believe that the ban is bad for business because it complicates and hurts its gay employees that need equal protections and benefits. 

The briefs filed by Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center outline how Amendment 3 tells children of gay parents that their parents aren't really married, one parent is not really their parent, and their family is not a real family. 

If the 10th Circuit Court uphold's Shelby's ruling, it would ensure that civil law neither favors nor disfavors religious viewpoints and that religions can hold whatever sanctions they wish on their own ceremonies. Religions may not, however, prohibit marriages performed by the State or any willing person legally permitted to perform the ceremony. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

West Republicans Support Gay Marriage

by Brig Bagley

4 March 2014

A number of republicans located in the western states have joined forces in supporting same-sex marriage. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, Nancy L. Kassebaum of Kansas, Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada, and Sean Gallagher of Denver are just a few of the well-known Republican politicians and activists that have voiced their plans to support marriage equality. Many of these republicans have even openly admitted to changing their opinions on the matter.

The wind is changing directions. In only a few years, support for marriage equality has become the majority across the US, and continues to grow. The US Supreme Court rulings for Prop 8 and DOMA last year, court appeal rulings in several states, and anti-discrimination laws passing are all signs that the Gay Rights Movement is quickly reaching it's successful end.

Read more here:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Fifty-six percent of Americans Support Marriage Equality

by Brig Bagley

3 March 2014

Recent studies by NY Times and CBS News have shown enormous growth of support for same-sex marriages. In just a short 10 years, the numbers from surveys jumped from 34% of Americans to 56% of Americans. The numbers are reflected in the on-going legal recognition of same-sex marriage in 17 states and counting. 

The numbers are high even in conservatives, especially in Americans under the age of 40. With the combination of younger generations taking over older ones and the progressive legalization of same-sex marriage, the numbers are expected to continue to rise.

Utah Attorney General Steps in to Ensure Gay Couples in Utah Cannot Adopt

Utah Attorney General steps into private adoption cases of legally married same-sex couples

by Brig Bagley

3 March 2014

Since the stay issued by the Supreme Court to halt marriages in Utah, the State has re-claimed its original laws no longer recognizing same-sex couples as legally married. This includes couples' rights to adopt children in the state. Attorney General Sean Reyes has had several memos from his office sent out to adoption cases to halt their progression.

Several couples are seeking for legal joint custody of their children, but cannot with the State rejecting their family as legitimate. One mother seeks to have her biological child under joint custody of her female partner. If there is an emergency, or the biological mother dies, the child will be taken from the mother's partner on the basis that they are "legal strangers", and the partner has no right or custody over the child.

Utah claims it is "protecting the children of Utah" by not permitting same-sex couples to marry or receive any benefits that come with a marriage. But, by doing so, it is actually harming the children of same-sex couples who have loving homes and seek the legal protection of the State for their families.

Read more here: