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A Latter Day ad freeze?

by Jeremy Hooper

This comes from Gay Rights Watch:

Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News pull ad criticizing LDS stance on Prop 8

200812291539The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News have pulled a full page ad placed by Utah businessman, Bruce Palenske, that criticized the Mormon Church over its role in funding Proposition 8, a measure that bans gay marriage in California.

“We have a signed contract, and the newspapers had already accepted payment for the ad when it was pulled literally 5 minutes before the production deadline,” said Palenske.

“This is clearly political,” Palenske continued. “I’ve placed millions of dollars worth of ads with these two papers over the years, and this is the first time something like this has ever happened. I can’t help but think that the LDS came in and put the brakes on this.”

Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News pull ad criticizing LDS stance on Prop 8 [GRW]

Hmm. So what kept hundreds of thousands of Utah residents from using this ad as a coaster for their morning coffee mug: Mormon pressure or some other bit of corporate decision-making? Well, we're gonna put out some feelers and we'll let you know what we learn.

However, if it was the LDS church, who would really be surprised? After all, they've already worked to have our wedding announcements pulled -- why should we expect them to confine themselves to one particular part of the paper?

Look out, arts section -- you're surely on the list!!

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Your thoughts

I know you meant your last statement as snark, but didn't Mormon-owned Cinemark theaters ban "Milk" as indecent?

Posted by: Gavin | Dec 29, 2008 4:57:44 PM

Well Gavin, with most all "culture war" snark there is always the possibility that it will come true. The facts are sometimes more absurd than anything we could come up with!!

Posted by: G-A-Y | Dec 29, 2008 4:59:53 PM

Could be a sign that the LDS leadership is more than a little bit worried about losing their tax-exempt status. It was a stroke of genius to add that IRS complaint form for anyone to sign and send in... probably also the biggest reason that the ad was pulled.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 29, 2008 5:46:58 PM

This is a case where any publicity is good. More people will take note of this ad even if it is not published in the papers. Smart move by Bruce Palenske!

What's at play here is: You don't taunt the big Ape in the room unless you have good reason. And if the Church did use its influence on newspaper policies, I don't think it bodes well for the Salt Lake Tribune. The Deseret News is not worth the discussion in this debate. It is an oracle for the LDS Church masquerading as a legitimate newspaper.

I'll be watching the community reaction closely.

Posted by: cowboy | Dec 29, 2008 7:39:53 PM

Have you seen any other use of this IRS complaint form? This is the first I have seen of it. Like you I don't want to blame the passage of Prop 8 on one group but we should hold any and every one responsible for getting it passsed - individuals and institutions alike. This sounds like another tool we can use.

I think the LDS flock is second only to the Jehova's Witnesses in blind obedience to their leaders. Strangely, though this is one time I will side with the Watchtower gang; they are very against mixing politics with their religion - and isn't this what we are fighting for? Even if I disagree with them, they have every right to hold their own beliefs and try to convice others by "witnessing". But not to campaign like the LDS church did. My tax dollars paid for that bigotry (and that letter to stake members) and I'm not standing for it. Those leaders need to be held liable for their actions in any creative way possible.

Posted by: Sykler | Dec 29, 2008 7:39:54 PM

Although not the only religious group opposing same-gender marriage, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has received a great deal of attention concerning their active opposition to marriages for same gender couples. This website (http://GayMormon.net) seeks to help people understand the Church’s stand on this subject, and on marriage in general.
Marriage was ordained by God from the very beginning of time. He created two people, a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. They were married by Him, not just during this lifetime, but forever. Together, they were told to begin a family and raise their children together. From the first days of the earth, God set the pattern for family life—a man and a woman, and, if possible, children. This basic family structure creates an appropriate foundation for all other units of society and for an eternal life.

Mormons teach that gender is an essential part of who we are, and that it was determined long before birth. However, they do not teach that having homosexual inclinations is a sin. Only the practice of homosexuality is a sin. Feelings are not sinful; practice of inappropriate feelings can be.

Members of the church with homosexual inclinations who choose not to act on them or advocate for the acceptance of such actions can be members of the church in full standing. They may hold any role in the church that may be held by any other unmarried person of his or her gender, which means that most positions are open to them.
The church teaches its members to love and to respect those with homosexual inclinations, just as they do anyone else, and make it clear that mistreatment is not tolerated. However, this does not mean they feel inappropriate behavior must be condoned. Churches are, by nature, in the business of defining right and wrong. If they refuse to do so, to remind people of God’s teachings on any given moral subject, and to stand for something, they have no real reason to exist.

With this in mind, the Mormons, as representatives of God, must take a firm stand on anything that affects the sanctity and well-being of the family, one of God’s most sacred creations. This site will help you understand more about this eternally critical subject.

In order to entirely understand why Mormons object to changing the legal definition of marriage, one must understand a number of critical doctrines of the church. With a complete understanding of these doctrines, while you might still disagree, you will better be able to understand why we feel obligated to fight for the traditional family. Please follow the following path of articles to help you build a foundation for your study.
Child of God—Mormons know that what you consider to be your defining characteristic has a powerful impact on your life. Mormons with homosexual feelings do not consider same gender attraction to be what defines them. They consider the primary defining factor to be that they are a child of God.

Gender was determined prior to birth. What this means to Mormons struggling with same-gender attraction.
Gay Mormons:
A summary of what the church believes about homosexuality

Attitude Toward Trials

Mormons and Marriage: How Mormons view marriage and why they don’t want the legal definition of marriage changed.

Mormons and the Same Sex Marriage Battle

Can Churches Participate in the Political Process?

Is Polygamy a Valid Gay Marriage Argument?

The remaining articles on the site (

http://GayMormon.net ) are about basic beliefs of Mormons, for those who want to know more, and they may be read in any order

Posted by: Bot | Dec 29, 2008 8:39:10 PM

fBot - the LDS church can, thanks to the first amendment, practice whatever they choose in their religion. Personally I think it is a shame how repressive these teachings are toward gay people, but that is because my religion teaches something different. In fact, the country's third largest christian denomination (and President-elect Obama's church) the United Church of Christ, is working toward marriage equality for all people.

But equality for gay people, including in marriage, is not waiting for LDS's approval. Non-Mormons are not required to live under Mormon laws in this country, just as we are not required to be Jewish, Atheist, Buddhist, or Islamic. Gay marriage is a CIVIL RIGHTS issue. Civil Marriage is what gay people are pushing for. Neither the LDS church nor any church has the right to deny my civil rights, and I have no right nor desire to change their teachings (though it might do them some good to go through a period of introspection.)

Note that the ruling yesterday in New Jersey shows, yet again, that religious freedom stands proudly alongside civil rights; one does not trump the other. Religions are free to be as racist, homophobic, or masogynist as they want; others choose to be loving, welcoming, and inspirational in the light of God's magnificent and unknowable creation. But the minute a church starts using tax dollars (and in the case of the Jersey ruling, benefiting from tax breaks by providing a public accomodation) they are subject to the same rules as anyone else.

I would suggest that were the tables turned - a gay-owned town refused to allow a Mormon wedding on their boardwalk - the Mormon church would protest just as vociferously, and rightly. That is why our country is so wonderful: I may not like you or agree with your religious lifestyle, but we live side by side and I respect that your right to exist is equal to mine.

Posted by: Sykler | Dec 30, 2008 8:47:39 AM


Kindly provide the name of an openly gay Mormon, who is celibate, who has a Priesthood leadership role. Name one. Just one.

Your stance about celibate gays having a equal footing in the LDS Church is disingenuous. You know it. You don't mention that most (if not all) leadership duties in the LDS require you to be married. But you won't let gays get married. But you accept their tithes just the same.

And your position that gays have only a problem with "attraction" is rude, ignorant and insulting.

Try finding some gay friends. Not acquaintances...but friends. YOU might learn something.

Posted by: cowboy | Dec 30, 2008 11:47:28 AM

It's not only the prop 8 case that needs to be brought before the court against the LDS Church's involvement in opposition of GLBT civil rights; there is a host of evidence of the LDS Church's direct involvement in many similar state campaigns (i.e. Hawaii, Alaska, etc.) over the years since as early as 1992 as far as I know. This is something that needs to be seriously investigated by the IRS.

Posted by: Benjamin | Dec 30, 2008 12:32:55 PM

"Mormons teach that gender is an essential part of who we are, and that it was determined long before birth. However, they do not teach that having homosexual inclinations is a sin. Only the practice of homosexuality is a sin. Feelings are not sinful; practice of inappropriate feelings can be."
That is a true OXYMORON if I ever read one...and there are many in religious tracts. If our gender is determined before birth they God made us just the way he wanted us to be in all our LGBTQA splendor!!! And we can love and live under His Laws just as we want, not having to do so based on the fears of a homophobic ex-Nazi or cult Elder.

Posted by: LOrion | Dec 30, 2008 2:09:48 PM

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