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Thousands gathered today in downtown Salt Lake City to protest The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for their involvement in the passage of California’s Proposition 8 (hereafter referred to as H8). LDS donors made up approximately 78% of donations and the Church itself donated $2000 to the cause. Members were directed to give their time as well for the cause.

The partner, puppy, and I attended as well. The energy was amazing. An estimated three to five thousand + people came out, much higher than original predictions. Several legislators and our former mayor spoke while more protesters stood on street corners holding signs. Then we marched, flooding into the streets around Temple Square. There was chanting and songs. One of my favorites was when a three or four year old boy started a chant of “Separate Church and State”. Spirited debates with the counter-protesters. Some yelled. Some attempted to use logic. Some showed affection towards their partners. I was called a bigot by an evangelical hatemonger, but I also had enlightening, civil discourse with a young LDS woman who wanted to spread her “testimony” of peace and mutual respect.

Several hours later, I come home to see media coverage of the protest only to find that boycotts are being called for. Not for the LDS Church and it’s businesses, but for Sundance, the ski resorts, and the state of Utah as a whole! I am angered and disappointed.

The Sundance Film Festival is not owned by or affiliated with the Mormon church. The city in which it is hosted, Park City, is overwhelmingly comprised of liberal non-Mormons. As are Moab (tourist destination best known for proximity to Arches National Park) and Salt Lake City itself. When you target these places, you are hurting those who are on your side. Boycotting Sundance will have little to no effect on the LDS Church. In fact, I’m sure they’ll be glad to see it go.

If you want to hurt the LDS Church for their involvement in the passage of H8, target the Church itself. Boycott its businesses. Lists of companies owned and/or controlled by them are readily available online. Work to remove its tax-exempt status so that it’ll be treated as the business entity it truly is. But please, do not punish those of us who oppose H8 and the LDS Church itself just because we make our homes in Utah.

And remember, as so many of us chanted tonight: Love Conquers Hate.

June 2015

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