A Hillbilly, a Professor, and a Mormon Mayor Walk into a (Dry) Bar . . .

The experience Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams gained on his Mormon mission helped him bridge economic and political divides. A year of national service could do the same for young Americans. A few months ago I finished reading Hillbilly Elegy, an engaging memoir by J.D. Vance that has been seized upon to explain the historic shift of blue-collar whites from their Democratic roots to voting for Trump in the 2016 election. In it, Vance discusses how many working-class whites, especially those … [Read more...]

If Thomas Friedman were Mormon . . .

The New York Times columnist would love the Church's Global Education Initiative, but Donald Trump wouldn't. I recently finished reading New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s book Thank You For Being Late. It’s a timely examination of three forces whose acceleration is rapidly changing our world: technological progress, globalization, and climate change. Friedman argues that in order to keep up with the breakneck speed of these transformations, government and the private sector will need to … [Read more...]

Stop Praying for us, and Acknowledge That You Helped Create Omar Mateen

Let me give you a run down: 2015 was the deadliest year on record for transgender women, but 2016 could surpass that—since the beginning of the year, 14 transgender individuals have been murdered. Additionally, research shows that 80% of LGBTQ people killed are people of color. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, fought over 200 anti-LGBTQ laws in the first ten weeks of 2016. Advocacy groups continue to fight House Bill 2, also known as The Public Facilities Privacy & S … [Read more...]

Trans Win: Federal Government to Sue North Carolina

The Department of Justice recently announced it will be suing North Carolina for House Bill 2--an anti-trans law that requires individuals to use the bathroom of their assigned gender at birth. This is in addition to the other ways that HB 2 hurts the LGBTQ community, such as invalidating several LGBTQ anti-discrimination measures that local North Carolina governments enacted.Loretta Lynch, who was sworn in as US Attorney General just over a year ago, held a press conference this past … [Read more...]

Ted Cruz’s Weak Islamaphobia

In the aftermath of this morning's tragic terrorist attack in Brussels, each presidential candidate is jumping at the chance to say something profound and earth shattering in defense of all that is good and decent. For Ted Cruz, the word that will change everything is simply "Islam."https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/712253015491645442 In his mind, the Obama administration hasn't described terrorism as Islamic enough. Instead, Obama has lectured us on Islamaphobia, and referred … [Read more...]

How has Obamacare Helped Queer People?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA or colloquially termed ‘Obamacare’) has now defied the odds within America—passing judicial review, congressional arguments, multiple failed Republican efforts to repeal the ACA, and the list continues. The Clinton Administration, and other past presidents, have attempted to pass some form of universal healthcare or reform, with little to no success. The Obama Administration’s push to enact the Affordable Care Act through congress was based primarily within content … [Read more...]

Finding Hope From The Westboro Baptist Church

For years, the Westboro Baptist Church have been synonymous with bigotry. I learned this when they protested at my high school in 2004 over a production of The Laramie Project (documented by my embarrassing teenager blog). A large counter protest was organized, and an event originally sparked with hate turned into a largely positive, jovial affair. The Phelps clan were woefully outnumbered, and they left rather quickly, while the crowd left behind cheered and laughed and prayed together. As an … [Read more...]

Why Didn’t We Do This By Common Consent?

Reactions to the recent church policy changes concerning the children of married homosexual couples (which you can read about here here here here here here here here here here here here here here here and here) have made it very clear that this is an issue of great concern to many members, independent of their orthodoxy in the faith. That is to say, this isn't something that divides cleanly along "active" and "inactive," or "believing" and "doubting" membership lines.What's more, it is very … [Read more...]