Walsh: A step back for gay Utahns
Posted on June 25, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
Reading the headlines, the news isn’t good for gay Utahns.
Former Equality Utah Director Mike Thompson has moved to San Francisco, taking his organizing skills from Holladay to the Haight. He says it’s personal, not professional.
Then, Pride Week opened with what looks like a hate crime.
Christopher Vonnegut Allen was arrested after allegedly beating his gay neighbors — a man and a woman — bloody in Ogden. One victim needed surgery. You may not have heard of it. Prosecutors charged Allen with only one count of burglary.
And this week, two nice Mormon ladies from Santa Cruz decided to give their unwilling church one more chance to reconcile with its gay members and the LGBT community outside the flock.
While the rest of the country moves forward — New Hampshire, New York, Iowa, for goodness sake — this place seems perpetually stuck.
It probably helps that Thompson missed the headlines. Still, he’s optimistic.
“You can’t have a defeatist attitude,” he says. “You’ve got to press against it in order to even hope for a change.”
He points to Salt Lake City’s nondiscrimination ordinance and domestic partners registry, an anti-bullying law, polls that show Utahns supported the Common Ground Initiative (even if lawmakers didn’t).
“Maybe they’re not significant in some people’s minds, but there are measurables there,” he says. “People are having conversations. Change is going to come sooner or later.”
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