Ep 151 – LGBT Press Conference Smackdown

Written by on February 1, 2015

Glenn, Matt, Scott, Tom, and (eventually) Randy smack down the Mormon Church’s January 27th press conference on LGBT rights.

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  1. JRon   On   February 1, 2015 at 5:10 am

    Wow! This opening is beautiful beyond any mortals ability to express such delightsomeness. May the gods bless the Infants on Thrones cause’ I’ve been waiting all week for someone to talk about “The Church’$” decision to keep interjecting themselves into my face/life.

  2. Tierza Rose Askren   On   February 1, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    One note on the timing of this press conference – the Utah “State of the State” address took place the next day and Gov. Herbert is supporting bills on non-discrimination and “religious freedom” – which he addressed in his address.
    Living in Utah, and listening to the news I was struck by the close connection between the church and the state government — and I have NO doubt there was a connection on the timing of this church press conference.

  3. Andre Sprague   On   February 1, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Great episode! Thanks for the shout out Scott/Glenn. I have not commented on itunes because I’m on android and don’t even have itunes installed, but after hearing you cry about it for 10 minutes I’ll install it and leave a review. Maybe I’ll even toss in a vote or two.
    I’m also interested in an episode about funerals. You could also tag non-temple marriages in there, as they are both are essentially missionary sermons that usurp the memory/focus of the event, shame/exclude non-members from the mormon hereafter privilege (so insulting!) and attempt to force their worldview on everyone else (downplay/shunning the grief cycle in funerals for example).
    I can relate to the death episode that Glenn so eloquently delivered back in October. I lost my son in 2009 and went through a similar experiences. I have the whole funeral recorded as an mp3 but haven’t brought myself to listen to it because 1) I’m not sure I could survive the emotional tsunami that would hit me and 2) I’m still so upset and EMBARRASSED that his funeral was hijacked into a preachy missionary sermon. I remember squirming in my seat as we were surrounded by my co-workers and different people in the community that had supported us that were forced to endure this VIP Heaven timeshare presentation with no pink-jeep tour at the end. I’m getting too pissed right now, I think you get the point. I can’t wait to hear it.

  4. Craig Keeling   On   February 1, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    I’m loving the intro. The Darth Oaks is spot-on! I think Oaks has entered the inner Sith circle that Dick Cheney belongs to.

  5. Thomas Moore   On   February 1, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Not all the laws are happening in Utah. The timing of this was during Idaho’s legislature halted a Gay Protections Bill on 1/29/15. Idaho is in the mordor; so on this one the prejudiced won for a time. I guess us gays will have to start boycotting Idaho potatoes.

    • Bob R   On   February 2, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      The proposed Idaho law would have prohibited discrimination based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”. But supporters of the law could never agree on what those two phrases meant, and thus, who the law would actually apply to in practice.
      There is little opposition to “Adding the Words”, that I can tell. Nail down the definitions, come back next year and try again. This year it got a hearing, next year it will probably go a littler farther, and the next year it will probably pass, and we will have a much better, more enforceable law. Like any other law passed by the state legislature, it just takes a little time and patience.
      Please, don’t call me a hating hater who hates just because I prefer to have a little more careful thought go into legislation that can lead to my fining, arrest, or imprisonment.

      • Cyn   On   February 3, 2015 at 12:43 am

        How many years are members of the LGBT community supposed to wait while you quibble over semantics. Couldn’t you pass the law, put protections in place and then quibble? A year could be a long time to wait for an apartment.

      • Bob R   On   February 3, 2015 at 4:09 am

        We should try the same with speed limit laws. That would also work well.
        Like I say, it was those darn prejudiced supporters of the law who could not agree on who the law applied to. Haters, am I right?

      • Cyn   On   February 3, 2015 at 5:35 am

        I’m not accusing anyone of being a hater, but since 21 states already have public access laws in place, why couldn’t Idaho simply copy another states wording? I don’t understand your analogy. What does the speed limit have to do with public access legislation? Since you seem eager to blame the failure of the legislation on it’s supporters, I must assume that you were either ambivalent or non supportive. If the Idaho state legislature wanted to pass public access legislation, they would do so. The question is, why didn’t they want to pass such legislation and did the LDS church demand for religious protection have anything to do with it?

      • Bob R   On   February 3, 2015 at 7:37 am

        “I’m not accusing anyone of being a hater, BUT…” Yes. I see.
        Thomas called us (me) prejudiced and suggested an economic boycott of my state because we did not pass a specific piece of legislation.
        The specific piece of legislation was to amend the Idaho human rights act, adding 4 words to read as follows:
        “The right to be free from discrimination because of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin is recognized as and declared to be a civil right. This right shall include, but not be limited to:
        (1) The right to obtain and hold employment without discrimination.
        (2) The right to the full enjoyment of any of the accommodations, facilities or privileges of any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage or amusement.”
        I have no idea what other states do. That was the proposal in our state.
        You recommended we just add the words and decide later who those words are meant to protect. When we post speed limit signs, there is a number on them. A great big number. I know when I’m speeding. See what I mean? I don’t want to be informed after the fact that I’ve violated the law. I’d prefer to know ahead of time. I’m funny that way. I prefer the rule of law. Call me a hater. Call me prejudiced. Whatever.
        I’d like to see a good law that is enforceable. If not that, what is the point? At the legislature, it takes time. Support for this change will grow over time and it will pass, probably in the next few years. When it does it will be more clear what the intent is and it will be a better law, more clear, more enforceable, than if it had passed this year. The public will have been involved and participated in the process, instead of having a dictatorial mandate imposed upon their sorry, backwards, prejudiced hides.
        LDS church may have been involved, I have no idea. I don’t remember hearing anything related to the church’s involvement, honestly. When they announced the news conference it seemed related but too late in the game to have an impact.

      • Cyn   On   February 3, 2015 at 8:07 am

        I understand that it is too late to extend rights to LGBT persons living in Idaho until your legislature meets next year. That gives you almost a full year to educate yourself about similar legislation in 21 states, plus Puerto Rico and DC. You could start with the three states to the West, whose borders you share. Perhaps you could submit a bill yourself. And Bob, I have no intention of calling you anything. I am assuming that you are a well intentioned, duly elected legislator who will eventually do the right thing for all of the citizens you represent.

      • Bob R   On   February 3, 2015 at 3:47 pm

        No, don’t assume I’m a legislator. I’m just a guy.
        Just as you will be spending the next year not giving one damn about the issues that matter to me, I will probably spend the next year not thinking once about the proposed changes to the human rights act.
        Mostly I’m just opposed to the increasingly common tactic of depriving people of their dignity and ability to make a living because they dare to express a different opinion. All Idahoans are called prejudiced and should face economic punishment not because they have engaged in ugly acts of discrimination, but because they disagreed with us on a vote. Those are ugly, ugly tactics that need to stop.

      • Cyn   On   February 3, 2015 at 5:27 pm

        Wow, have I got egg on my face. That’s what being a female in a misogynistic organization for sixty five years can do to a woman. The authoritative language in you response to Thomas, and the fact that the legislation never made it out of committee led me to believe you had the inside scoop. Even in your last comment you’re claiming victimhood because, “they disagreed with us on a vote”. You’re just a guy, remember , you didn’t vote.
        You are probably right about my not caring about issues that matter to you. I don’t know what those issues are, but I suspect that we are miles apart on most of them.
        Just one parting tip, when you’re traveling through life and there is no sign, with big numbers, telling you what to do, do the thing that does no harm to anyone.

      • Thomas Moore   On   February 3, 2015 at 9:03 pm

        WHOA!!! I didn’t call any “one” person a hater. I suppose I should of added that similar laws and bills are coming up in Wyoming, Alabama, etc…
        If they can’t determine how to keep segregation and “rights” balanced for both the religious and LGBT communities, I believe they should side on the citizens and not the corporations and organizations.
        Yet the courts ruled in favor of corps like Hobby Lobby, because it’s not a public corporation. I believe that the state legislatures are making laws that are either doomed for vetoes or to become court tested “turnovers” for being unconstitutional.
        The problem becomes that both sides look and sound bad, and there will be “dumb” quotes that both sides of the media (FOX vs MSNBC) can use as fodder for the elections coming up.

  6. The Professor   On   February 2, 2015 at 3:12 am

    I wrote this a while back when I started investigating the church (be gentle, I wrote it off the cuff in the shower one morning lol).
    Lying for the Lord
    Now mama told me to be real careful about types like you
    Cause clean cut men in suits and ties can be dangerous too
    But ever since I’ve left home I have grown a rebellious streak
    What started out as curiosity has brought me waist deep
    Now I can guard against sticks and stones
    But a still, small voice doth shake my bones
    So I’ll give you a chance, I’ll sit down and listen to you
    Tell me darling, tell me true
    For I have put my faith in you
    Tell me how, what, when, and why
    And I’ll wait patiently for your reply
    Tell me sweetness, tell me dear
    Oh talk to me and relieve my fears,
    But answer me this, and tell the truth
    Are you lying for the Lord?
    Now mama told me all about the nice things you’d say
    All about the good, warm, fuzzy feelings I’d get if I pray
    Oh, I wish I could up and tell you that I’ve seen the light
    But your not drowning me in that font, no, not without a fight
    I can guard against sticks and stones
    But a still small voice doth shake my bones
    So I’ll sit down, I’ll relate, and listen to you
    Oh tell me darling, tell me true
    For I have put my faith in you
    Tell me how, what, when and why
    And I’ll wait patiently for your reply
    Tell me sweetness, tell me dear
    Oh talk to me and relieve my fears
    But answer me this, and tell the truth
    Are you lying for the Lord?
    Yes there’s one small suspicion that I can’t ignore
    It’s that you’re lying for the Lord
    – Carmen, the Nevermo

  7. MarcusB   On   February 2, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Great Episode guys. Isn’t it ironic that just a few verses past D & C 134:9 (quoted in the press conference) you’ll find verse 12 which reads …”We believe it just to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruption of the world; but we do not believe it right to interfere with bond-servants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them contrary to the will and wish of their masters, nor to meddle with or influence them in the least to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situations in this life, thereby jeopardizing the lives of men; such interference we believe to be unlawful and unjust, and dangerous to the peace of every government allowing human beings to be held in servitude.”

  8. Bradman   On   February 2, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    This was a fun episode to listen to. Thanks for giving the full story on the court cases. I hate the way the church used false equivalencies all the time in the press conference. You know, we’re persecuted because we can’t get money from the government for discrimination, just like gays can’t get a home. Or a guy was forced to quit his job because the public didn’t like his decision to engage in bigotry is not the same as LGBT people fearing retribution or finding it difficult to find a job just for being who they ARE.
    Although I do think it wasn’t nice to hold the Mozilla guy responsible for something he had done several years before. I mean, some of those people that said they would boycott Firefox probably had a dramatic change in opinion over the issue of gay marriage. I know I’m ashamed of all the stupid things I said and did around the Prop 8 stuff. And the repercussion with the protests around the temple made it easier for the bigoted church members to pretend that they were being persecuted, so I’m not sure it really worked.

  9. Homsar   On   February 2, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    When did this debate ever become about LGBT rights versus religious freedom!? Who in the LGBT community is trying to take away religious rights? The whole premise of the church’s position is just an ugly straw man argument. So bogus. Really good episode, but I didn’t like Matt’s comment about Oaks getting “raped” in court with his logic. Maybe avoid rape analogies whenever possible?

  10. Bryce Jones   On   February 2, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    The press conference really pisses me off because I’ve already run into issues with family members because I feel I’m calling a spade a spade on what the church is doing. They can’t see past , “oh this is such a big step forward.” No it’s not. The church hasn’t conceded anything. Fair housing and employment rights weren’t even a thing.

    • Cyn   On   February 3, 2015 at 12:52 am

      Like you, I’m really angry about the press conference. I think the church misrepresented their position. They didn’t want to support a public access bill unless it included religious exemption wording. I don’t agree that fair housing and employment rights aren’t a thing. In Utah you can be denied an apartment or a job simply because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

      • Bryce Jones   On   February 3, 2015 at 3:42 am

        Thank goodness I don’t live in Utah. Though I do live in a state that doesn’t recognize gay marriage.
        My problem is that, since it doesn’t affect me personally, I’m not aware of the actual discrimination the LGBT community faces. I should work on this.

      • Cyn   On   February 3, 2015 at 4:07 am

        Don’t feel too bad Bryce, I doubt that most people in Utah know that LGBT people can be denied employment and housing. It seems like their rights should already be protected. Most people think it’s a fight about whether a baker should have to bake a gay wedding cake. What ever that is?

  11. LatterDayDeist   On   February 2, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    On the topic of Oaks knowing what he said was false …
    My duty as a member of the Council of the Twelve is to protect what is most unique about the LDS church, namely the authority of priesthood, testimony regarding the restoration of the gospel, and the divine mission of the Savior. Everything may be sacrificed in order to maintain the integrity of those essential facts. Thus, if Mormon Enigma reveals information that is detrimental to the reputation of Joseph Smith, then it is necessary to try to limit its influence and that of its authors.
    Dallin H. Oaks, Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith:

    • Randy_Snyder   On   February 7, 2015 at 5:38 am

      Perfect response to Tom’s incredulity to lying for The Lord. It’s the sacred responsibility of any “special witness” to obfuscate, coerce, or simply make shit up to erect the “standard of truth” which no unhallowed hand can stop from progressing.

    • Randy_Snyder   On   February 7, 2015 at 5:32 am

      Sorry Corwin. Maybe I should retire? Or maybe you could use our arguments yourself as the likelihood your TBM friends would have endured the 45 min before I got on are close to nil. Tone is just as crucial to TBMs as profanity.

      • Corwin   On   February 7, 2015 at 5:44 pm

        I was just giving you a hard time. It seems the cool thing to do. You are very proficient in using the F word. I myslef like to use it every once in a while but it still burns my ears. I really do like you insight. It seems to me that you are usually in one of two places, angry and swearing like a sailor or deep and really evaluating things. I think both sides add to the podcast. Please call Glen a Dick for me. Thanks. I did like your seahawk gear!

      • Randy_Snyder   On   February 8, 2015 at 4:04 am

        Thanks Corwin. I work in profanity like other people work in clay. It’s my true medium (Xmas Story). I’m mostly thoughtful but I have a temper that I hate. When in my anger all the traps of cognitive biases and fallacies come out and snag me. But this podcast experience has made me well acquainted with my glaring weaknesses.

  12. Gerry   On   February 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Does anyone think the timing of this press conference could be related to Dehlin’s church court, which also happened to get postponed a few weeks?

  13. Bryan88   On   February 3, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Great episode. I always enjoy the smackdowns.
    Like other commenters, this press conference has really frustrated me. It seems that almost every statement the church puts out or position it takes is soaked in duplicity. The leadership looks to be incapable of simple forthrightness, even in matters where they believe they are right.
    I have not attended church for several years. Even so, I think it is time to send in the resignation letter. I have held off for family considerations, but my conscience and integrity will no longer allow me to remain as a named member of such an organization.

  14. Mike   On   February 4, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Love it! I did a post about this press conference on my blog. And you guys nailed it. (IMO) I couldn’t even bare to read the entire thing, so hearing you guys read it out with your comments were great! What I find interesting was they have this press conference, then that same day I saw this bill that was trying to get passed in Utah.
    http://le.utah.gov/~2015/bills/static/HB0066.html It’s called MARRIAGE MODIFICATIONS. And in it they use the same argument that they did for a doctor shouldn’t have to do things biased on religious beliefs. But this is for SSM. If a judge or clerk feel’s its against their religious beliefs. Then they shouldn’t have to help that person, or perform the marriage.
    So they are trying to use religion as a way to say “SSM is legal in Utah, but our people don’t have to perform them if they feel it’s against their religion.” It’s utter bill shit. Can you say separation of church and state?
    If someone has that big of issue with performing a SSM, and they work for the state. Then they need to get a new job. Again, that is just in my opinion.
    Anyway, loved the way you guys broke then down. I am linking it on my press conference blog as I think they fit together pretty well. Keep rocking it guys!

  15. Gail_F_Bartholomew   On   February 5, 2015 at 3:48 am

    Oaks never mentions that when he complains about the treatment of Mormons after prop 8 is that the church participated in and advocated the same type of “mistreatment” against those to posted prop 8. And he continues to be completely fine with far worse treatment of not only homosexuals, but those that would fight for same sex mairage.

  16. ChrisWir   On   February 6, 2015 at 9:38 am

    The LDS church had a press conference where they “support” LGBT-people (only) when it comes to their right to housing, jobs and public transportation. They also explain that they feel threatened when it comes to their religious rights to discriminate against people.
    Since people are born LGBT, through hormone regulations during embryonic development, and people choose LDS, through own free will at the age of eight, I would like to point out how bizarre this press conference was.
    We have people who have CHOSEN their religion and then are willing to accept (limited) rights to people depending on what chemical set-up they are BORN with.
    Let us turn it around! Let put genetic set-up ahead of free will. This seems more natural:
    Have people born LGBT hold a press conference, stating that they support LDS people the limited right to housing, jobs and public transportation – regardless of their religious choice.

  17. Dave Sonntag   On   February 7, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    In the annals of craven leadership loyalty tests, trotting out “Noob Apostle I Love My Gay Brother” Christofferson to introduce this Charlie-Foxtrot presser, ranks second only to Wholely Joe asking Heber Kimball for his wife Vilate, but settling for a nubile consolation prize with their just-shy-of-her-fifteenth-birthday-daughter, Helen Mar.

  18. Dave Sonntag   On   February 7, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    As to the question of Oaks, and whether or not he is “Lying for the Lard,” or suffering cognitive bias, I think he’s just been living in a bubble for so long, that his legal skeelz are stuck in the 1980s.
    The panel raised another interesting point about the political viability of the views put forward in this presser. Pure speculation on my part, but look at the timing. Presser is on the 27th. Four days later, Romney announces he will step aside for the Republican nomination. That’s long enough for the GOP to have run some focus group testing and say “Uh, Mitt, we don’t think this stuff will sell on Mainstreet USA.”

  19. Orrin Dayne   On   February 7, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I think the Church’s problem is that they want freedom to express/act (including discriminating) for religions and for as many religion-affiliated institutions as possible. I haven’t read the caselaw, but Scott seemed to suggest that the ability to circumvent current anti-discrimination laws depends upon whether the institutions are religions or affiliates and, if affiliates, how close those activities are aligned with religious activities.
    I expect that the Church doesn’t want these lines that **currently** apply to the “race, color, religion, sex, and national origin” laws to be extended to LGBT citizens because those current lines may not be sufficient (from the Church’s point of view) to protect BYU and other Church entities. Because the Church recognizes that it’s only a matter of time before LGBT citizens receive more and more civil rights protections, the Church is trying to grab back some territory ceded in the context of “race, color, religion, sex, and national origin” laws before it’s too late for them.
    On another point, it’s a little strange to rally around the flag of the marketplace of ideas when it does what we want (punish anti-LGBT statements) yet ignore that we also have to muck with it because of its gross imperfections. The marketplace of ideas (pre-civil rights act) allowed employers and businesses to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Thus, the Civil Rights Act restricted the marketplace of ideas. Conceivably, legislators could extend rights to LGBT citizens and thus further restrict the marketplace of ideas. I support the Civil Rights Act and support it being updated to protect LGBT citizens. But that’s still a restriction of the marketplace of ideas. It’s strange to imply that religious people are getting what they deserve when they run up against the marketplace of ideas when the whole debate is how that marketplace should be defined in the first place.

  20. One of the Other Mothers   On   February 13, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Uhoh! I have another suggestion. When you’re talking to each other it would be awesome if you called each other by your full names complete with an initial, and call the women by their first names, or sister “first name.” Please? !? Even for just one episode. Just do an episode highlighting how ridiculously sexist the church is by doing everything exactly how they would do it. I would love you forever!

  21. David   On   February 18, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Great episode! Thanks especially to Scott for giving us the skinny on Oaks’ “religious discrimination” examples. I had a sneaky feeling that Oaks wasn’t giving us the whole story.
    Love the podcast, keep up the good work.

  22. Megan   On   June 26, 2015 at 3:25 am

    This was an excellent episode. Ever since I heard this whole thing I just wanted to scream this stuff is already federal law. You already cannot discriminate in housing or employment beacause federal law against that was passed ages ago. Ironically Mitt Romneys father probably helped pass the housing laws while he was head of HUD.

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