Friday, November 14, 2008

It Finally Hit Slog

[Prop 8 Fallout] I'm a faithful reader of Slog, the Seattle Stranger's news & arts blog. So I've been anticipating this Slog entry about City Weekly's discontinuation of Savage Love.

If you're not familiar with the matter, here's a brief rundown. (If you already know what's going on, might as well skip the green section.)

This executive decision was made in response to Dan Savage's call for a general boycott of Utah which, itself, was an (understandably) angry and disappointed reaction to California's deplorable approval of Proposition 8, funded mainly by the LDS Church and its members. (Whew! Diagram available upon request.)

As punishment for this action, City Weekly subsequently received a sound scolding from The Village Voice's Roy Edroso--who apparently assumed that, as Utahns, we must obviously be so backward, conservative and homophobic that we had to "defenestrate" Savage for holding such strident pro-gay views.*

(Such a butch, active verb: to defenestrate. It seems to imply that Saltas, like all us red-state yahoos, is prone to violence.)

In fact, pro-gay views are not unknown among City Weekly staff (from what I can tell, such views may be pretty much universal, if I can gauge by my co-workers' considerate treatment of me), and it became evident that blue-staters such as Savage and Edroso may sometimes fail to recognize just how scrappy we red-state lefties and liberals really are.

Later, everybody pretended to misunderstand Saltas' MLK reference. (It was meant to imply that, traditionally, civil-rights leaders never abandon battleground states.)

I'm starting to recognize this whole thing as an example of how the left continues to devour itself.

Let me offer that we're all well and duly pissed off by the California vote. I know that, for me, the passage of Proposition 8 has made it difficult to fully celebrate the Obama victory--which, along with 2008's huge Democratic wins in Congress and the implosion of the Gingrich revolution, represents the greatest, most decisive political victory the Left has had in my lifetime. I'm sad that so much of my mental energy must be expended on resenting the Mormons and the California voters who were so easily swayed by lies.

I want to focus on the good. Because, disregarding for a moment Proposition 8--which will most likely be overturned by the courts anyway--this election was so fucking good I can hardly stand it.

Dave and I will get married someday--and it will be fully legal, and no out-of-state idiots will have any say about it. Until then, I'm going to remember that this election was good news, and it can only bode well for gays and lesbians--as well as for:
  • blacks
  • women
  • the troops
  • Latinos
  • workers
  • average taxpayers
  • responsible media
  • privacy rights
  • young people
  • intellectuals
  • the middle class
  • the environment
  • community organizers
  • public schools
... and everybody else who has been mocked and villified for the past eight years for not toeing the rich, heterosexual, elitist, neocon, evangelical Christian line. That is, this election will be good for the country in general.

And we'll get California back.

Here's the response I left on Slog.

(Brandon Burt)

* Meanwhile, I was quietly dying inside. Dave and I chose to wait until Proposition 8 was soundly defeated before getting married, reasoning that our relationship's legal status is too important to be subject to the vagaries of unreliable California voters. I'm glad now that our family has not been reduced to a political chit--but I'm sad, and I wonder, in the words of Laura Nyro via Marilyn McCoo, if I'm ever gonna see my wedding day:

(Will there ever be a band as simply sweet as the Fifth Dimension?)


  1. brandon- your comment on slog was written beautifully. well done. too bad not everyone gets it.

  2. Brandon,

    Your response on Slog was eloquent and articulate. It truly saddened me when I learned of Savage's call to ban Utah. The protests here by those that wish to repeal Prop 8 should speak volumes to anyone watching this movement and this state. But sometimes people can't see what is so plain.

    It is disheartening to have our state painted in such broad strokes. Not all Mormons feel that because you are gay you are somehow "unworthy" of rights. As one of my male Mormon friends put it, "It's not right that I can have health insurance just because I am into women."

    All I can think as I consider this situation is how unfortunate it all is. I would have hoped that the gay and lesbian community in Utah would be receiving support from other communities, especially now. There are already so many in this state that oppose gay marriage, why would anyone want to damn those that are fighting the good fight here in Utah? Why not aid those on your side when they are already experiencing so much hostility in their own city, state and even families?

    With the holiday season - a time for peace and celebration - so near, things are looking grim. One of my dearest gay friends is reconsidering attending Thanksgiving with his family. He is positive that everyone will thank the lord and praise Jesus that the Prop passed. They'll say it was God's will. There will be insensitivity for his feelings and hopes for the future. I am having similar thoughts about my family gatherings. I don't want to be the dissenting voice, the cause of contention, but I'll be damned if I stand by and let people claim the world has been righted by a stripping of freedoms. Perhaps I will just reserve the right to walk out.

    I agree with Scott Renshaw who has written that the win by Obama has not been a complete celebration because of what has happened in California. It seems ironic that as we elect a black president - a symbol of just how far we have come - we take a million steps back by denying the right to love and live with whomever we choose.

    Ultimately I am saying, please don't give up on Utah. Please help and support each of us as we struggle in a place that spits in the face of diversity and acceptance. We need those that share our beliefs now more than ever.

  3. Brandon,
    Your (and John's) notes in Village Voice were excellent.
    Sorry you guys are just now catching on to the cold, cruel truth: Savage, V.V. and the like are hatemongering bigoted cretins.
    Have been forever.
    Sorry, there's not really a Santa, either.
    It took getting your own ox gored to slam you in the side of the head with the reality of it but don't forget the lesson.
    Go look up the old Savage clippings; you'll see them for the perverse BS they are.
    Welcome to the RW.

  4. You and Saltas really haven't thought this through -- or refuse to open our eyes. You -- and other non-Mormon Utah residents seem to be in denial about the LDS role in this and other issues. If a boycott of Utah helps people like you (who have a responsibility as journalists to keep the heat on the LDS) to expose the lies, then great. But your lame attempts to defend the LDS or play down their role in this illegal campaign are unfortunate.
    Your decision to drop Savage Love is absolutely laughable. It is another example of how you are complicit with the LDS to let them limit free thought/speech etc. in Utah and elsewhere -- even as you deny it.

    You guys really blew it. You should be ashamed. Atone. Stop apologizing for the Mormons.

  5. Get a clue, James.
    A boycott won't hurt Mormons.
    They won't shed any tears if Gays don't come to Utah.
    The boycott will disproportionatly harm Gays and Gay-friendly businesses, including a big piece of CW's advertisers.
    An out-of-business City Weekly won't keep the heat on anybody.
    No one is apologizing for Mormons.
    No none is limiting your "free thought",
    you just don't seem to have any.

  6. City Weekly censors free speech.

  7. Reading this stuff makes me feel like I'm in the 3rd grade all over again.

  8. Brandon, You are against a boycott of all of Utah, yet, you had no problem branding all mormons as for proposition 8??? I guess that broad brush cuts both ways. Hummmmmmm And you state that, "it's still legal in Utah to discriminate against gays." I have seen the descrimination alive and well, but in what way were you referring to that it is legal???

  9. Robert: The way in which job and housing discrimination against gays and lesbians is legal in Utah is that there are no Utah laws which forbid such discrimination.

    That is, if you're an employer in Utah, and you learn that your employee is gay, it is perfectly within your legal rights to fire that employee for no other reason.

    The employee has no legal recourse, since the Republicans in the Utah Legislature refuse to adopt non-discrimination laws, fearing that such laws will somehow "promote" homosexuality, which they perceive as a societal evil.

    As for "all Mormons" being for Proposition 8, if you read what I've written, you'll find that I have never made such a statement.

    In fact, my own mother-in-law--or, I suppose since it's illegal for my partner and I to be married, she is my "mother-out-of-law"--is a temple-working, tithe-paying, churchgoing, visiting-teaching Mormon lady. She opposed Amendment 3, and she opposed Proposition 8. She loves me, and wants nothing more than for her son and I to be legally married.

    She was pressured by her spiritual leaders to donate money to the Proposition 8 campaign--and it tore her emotionally. I think that pressure was a form of spiritual abuse, and that's one more thing I'm angry about. And I know that there are many more members of the church who have genuinely compassionate and tolerant views.

    I'm just sorry that the church authorities cannot give those members more of a voice.

  10. "She was pressured by her spiritual leaders to donate money to the Proposition 8 campaign"

    That says a lot. Even the ones that don't support prop 8 still end up supporting it. So again... boycott Utah.

  11. "Spiritual Abuse!"
    cry me a river.
    People associate with a religion for spiritual guidance and counsel.
    If they don't like or can't accept what they receive they can walk.
    Or whine to their homosexual "son-in-law".
    Your M-in-L (and a lot of others) is/are missing some important aspects of being a Mormon.
    There is a place for those who are not valiant in their testimony of Christ, those who want to believe only on their own terms, but the LDS Church is not it.
    Don't torture yourself.
    Let your feet take you where your heart already is.

  12. Emotional abuse of an entire sub culture....hey, maybe Im confused here about the mormons, but don't we as a society send abusers to prison?


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