Friday, January 30, 2015

LDS Church Responds to News Press Criticism

by Brig Bagley

30 January 2015

Mr. Oaks and Mr. Christofferson took the time to respond to critics concerning their recent news press statement on Tuesday. Claiming fairness and moderate positions, they rejected statements that they considered "blanket" or "extreme".

A NY Times writer stated that the church was looking for legal permission to discriminate against gays. Oaks said that it was wrong to be so extreme and not consider the other side of the argument. Oaks claims that this could mean forcing a person to do something that conflicts with their conscience. The example given was that of a widow renting a room in her house should be able to use personal beliefs as reasoning to deny housing.

An irony with the article concerning their reactions is their claim that there are "no absolutes" in this conflict: the LDS church advertises its "absolute truths" when it goes out to convert others. And although it's saying that the laws need to be fair with religions and LGBT people, how is it fair to use personal beliefs to negatively affect the everyday life of another?

Claiming that there would be rare exceptions where LGBT people would need to go elsewhere for services and housing, the LDS leaders think religious freedom legislation would be a fair protection.

The LDS leaders make it clear that because of their personally held beliefs, rights and opportunities for some should be compromised. Freedom of religion--to them--means projecting your beliefs and expectation onto others--legally.  It's their 'right' to do so in any situation.

Read more here:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

LDS Church Speaks at News Conference About Religious Freedom and LGBT Discrimination


by Brig Bagley

27 January 2015

Sooner than expected, the LDS Church has jumped in to make official statements regarding religious freedom and discrimination against LGBTQ in the workplace and housing.

Although none of the statements are new or surprising, it reiterates what it stands for and how it separates public policy from religious liberty. No specifics on existing proposed measures or laws was mentioned, but a general support for city and statewide protections for LGBT people with appropriate exceptions for religions.

Lehi's Jacob Anderegg is proposing a law that would permit not only religious leaders to discriminate against LGBT people based on religion, but state officials and judges as well. Reverend Curtis Price, a Baptist in SLC, says that religious freedom violations are more perceived than real. He does not believe there is any need for further religious protections. Individuals part of minorities are now standing against a religious majority to be just as equal: they are not attacking religion.

The LDS church again asks all parties to discuss the future of any measures with civility and hopes that a reasonable compromise can be reached to peaceful associations between all beliefs.

Read more here:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Utah will File Amicus to SCOTUS Supporting Traditional Marriage

by Brig Bagley

16 January 2015

Utah is going to all it can to support it's 2004 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage--which isn't much at all. It plans to file an amicus "friend of the court" brief since its case was already rejected by the high court. 

Attorney General Sean Reyes, Governor Gary Herbert, and Sutherland Institute's Bill Duncan, and the National Organization for Marriage re-affirm their support for a "child-centered" definition of marriage between a man and a woman only. 

HRC, Equality Utah's Troy Williams, and the Kitchen vs. Herbert plaintiffs all express their excitement for a nation-wide ruling to protect all families.

BREAKING: US Supreme Court Will Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases

by Brig Bagley

16 January 2015

In a closed meeting today, the US Supreme Court justices met and decided to take on the same-sex marriage cases pertaining to the 6th Circuit Court Cases: Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky. Each case was affected by the 6th Circuit's ruling in favor of state bans of SSM. The plaintiffs for the four cases have varying situations, from deceased partners, multiple children, adopted children, and out-of-state marriages.

The justices will hear the cases in April and likely make a ruling in June. Argument time limits were increased to 2.5 hours. Amicus briefs are now being accepted for the case. It will consider two questions:
"The first is whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The other is whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere."
Read more here:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mormons Openly Living in Mixed-Orientation Marriages

Curtis and Tera, who are in a mixed-orientation marriage, appear in the TLC special "My Husband's Not Gay"

by Brig Bagley

13 January 2015

TLC is broadcasting a special on Mormons living in mixed orientation relationships, meaning one spouse is gay, and one is straight. In all of the cases in this special, the men are gay and married to straight women. There is already a petition with 125,000 signatures protesting the broadcast and asking TLC to cancel it, but it seems TLC is not going to respond to the vehement requests to cancel the show.

One of the men featured in the show, Jeff, was the previous president of "North Star", a group that focuses on living LDS expectations while "managing attractions to the same gender." The men in the show claim to be happy, sexual, and in love with their wives.

Those opposed to the show say that it is not healthy for anyone to live against their natural orientation and that religion is not a good enough reason to do so either.

Read more here:

Friday, January 9, 2015

Supreme Court Discusses Same-Sex Marriage Again

US Supreme Court

by Brig Bagley

9 January 2014

Although it's been quiet on the LGBT rights frontier for a while (at a media level, anyway), there is still heavy discussion on a blanket ruling for SSM in the US.

The SCOTUS is again discussing SSM today. The split in district decisions (District 5 ruled in favor of SSM bans, pending appeal) is the only one to differ, although many other circuit court decisions were not unanimous in favor in SSM.

There is no guarantee that a case will be taken, nor which party will be favored. But experts predict that it will be taken eventually. Considering the trend, it will be likely mostly in favor of SSM.

Read more here: