Last Week in Utah: Cleve Jones and a gay bashing

Jennifer Dobner’s AP report in the WaPo: Gay rights activist calls for march on Washington

JoSelle Vanderhooft interviews Cleve Jones for QSaltLake here.

Deseret News reports (after the break):

Bursts of torrential rain did little to dampen the spirits of those gathered to cheer Jones, who served as the parade’s grand marshal; local political figures; and the dozens of floats that made up this year’s procession a highlight of the three-day Utah Pride Festival at Washington Square that drew more than 20,000 attendees. After the parade, Jones told a festival crowd that it is time to reprise a 1979 march for gay rights on the nation’s capital and demand full equality. He said the march, planned for Oct. 11, will coincide with National Coming Out Day.

We seek nothing more and nothing less than equal protection under the law in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states,” Jones said. “It is time to march again.”

I’ve got a message for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” he said. “Thank you. Thank you for uniting us. Thank you for galvanizing us,” he said, referring to the efforts of the church and its members to win passage last year of California’s Proposition 8, which overturned a court ruling legalizing gay marriage.

Cleve Jones sits down with Utah’s Fox13: YouTube

Cleve Jones in Salt Lake City: Thank you, Mormons! YouTube

Cleve Jones Announces LGBT March on Washington DC for October 11: YouTube

(After Cleve reiterated his call for the march during his SLC speech, the wires picked it up and LGBT bloggers began to weigh in … the consensus would seem to be that Cleve should reconsider this action).

Meanwhile, ABC4 reports on a gay bashing in Ogden: YouTube

And then check out this Facebook event page: Pray and Fast New York

It’s ostensibly an appeal to New Yorkers, but funny thing is, all I see are the names of Mormons from Utah and California on that page (e.g., Angela Rockwood, Emily Dyer). So, even if you’re not from New York, please feel free to drop by and leave a snarky comment (leaving a comment is the only interaction allowed on that page – after several NOM Facebook debacles, they’ve gotten smart and hidden the guest list this time around).

(Thing is, it looks like their prayers may have paid off early … a couple Dems in the NY Senate flipped and are now caucusing with the GOP … what a mess).

Chino Blanco

--- We are men of action, lies do not become us. ---

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5 Responses

  1. chanson says:

    I just saw the film “Milk” this morning for the first time, and I have to say: fantastic!!! Very moving and inspiring! And it’s cool to see what Clive Jones is doing now in the context of where he came from.

    I completely agree about the thanking the LDS church for helping organize the gay-rights-as-human-rights cause.

    I had one beef about one bit of the speeches you linked though: the part where he talked about how gay people believe in God just like everybody else. I know those weren’t his exact words, but he implied that gay people (like all normal, decent people!) believe in God.

    I know, he’s just trying to make peace and tell the Mormons he doesn’t hate them for being Mormon. And I know it sounds pretty self-serving of me to complain about this (being a straight atheist). But let me just quote Greta Christina on this topic:

    I’ve heard LGBT leaders talk about how important it is to reach out to people of different religious faiths… with no mention whatsoever made of reaching out to people with no religious faith. Not even in lip service.

    It’s making me feel like my home is not my home anymore.

    Being a queer in the atheist community, on the other hand…

    Being a queer in the atheist community is almost a complete non-issue.

    I write a lot about the parallels between the LGBT movement and the atheist movement… and atheists, of all sexual orientations, are always interested. When I talk about sexual orientation and queer politics and history — or just about my own personal experiences in my own queer relationship — atheists want to hear what I have to say about it. And when I don’t — when I just want to talk about creationism or Pascal’s Wager or the problem of evil or the meaning of life — then they want to hear what I have to say about that, too. Not as an LGBT representative, either; not as What The LGBT Community Has to Say About Pascal’s Wager. Just as Greta.

    When a homophobic or homo-stupid commenter shows up, the atheist blogosphere — straight and queer — promptly tears them about sixteen new assholes. I have never before been in a community where I felt so strongly that straight people had my back.

    On the whole, the atheist community has been just about the most LGBT- positive community I’ve been in that wasn’t, specifically, an LGBT community itself. I’ve had to do almost no Queer 101 education in it. I’ve been able to just relax and be myself.

    (Sorry if I’m breaking copyright for posting such extensive excerpts — there’s a lot more!)

    Am I being hypersensitive?

    p.s. to be doubly picky, he was also kinda U.S.-centric, even though the momentum is totally international! 😀

  2. Jason Echols says:

    Oh, I suspect that gay folks “believe in God just like everybody else” … i.e., some do, some don’t.

  3. Jason Echols says:

    Oh boy, that sounded testy, sorry about that. What Greta wrote sounds about right and atheists certainly don’t get properly credited nearly often enough.

    Did everybody see this?

    So gratifying to learn that our new DOJ is relying on BYU Law grads to write the gov’t’s arguments against marriage equality.

  4. chanson says:

    Jason — Yeah, I heard about that! It’s really shocking, especially considering his promises about DOMA! I don’t get why Obama keeps caving to the Religious Right on critical issues like this. The people he thinks he’s appeasing are going to think he’s the anti-Christ no matter what he does, so why not grow a spine on stuff that matters? (Not just this, but torture, detaining people without trial, etc.)

    And I didn’t think your response was testy — it’s very true that gay people “believe in God just like everybody else” in the sense that some do, some dont. That’s just not the vibe I got from Jones’s speeches.

    I also agree that gay people are justified in insisting on being accepted by their own faith traditions. It’s just a very fine line to walk — to praise those gay people who keep the faith without giving atheists short shrift. 😉

  1. June 29, 2009

    […] Cleve Jones wasn’t joking when he thanked the LDS church! Now Lisa Duggan (of The Nation) explains why Salt Lake City’s LGBT community is an […]

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