Mistaking the battle with the war | Buzz Blog
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Mistaking the battle with the war



Equality Utah's Will Carlson made some great points during his Thursday interview with CNN's Kyra Phillips (see below), particularly in his observation that:

There is a time to find common ground and a time for division, and, on the issue of marriage equality, we still disagree with the position of the LDS Church. But, in a state like Utah, where you can still lose your job for being gay or be evicted just for being transgender, we appreciate what the church has done, and we praise them for the support that they have offered.

Right on, Will. 

I recently criticized some folks for failing to recognize the positive aspects of Wednesday's unanimous vote by the Salt Lake City Council to bar housing and job discrimination throughout the city, and the LDS Church's endorsement of the measure.  Apparently, this makes me a collaborationist quisling in some eyes.

Like I said, the church's endorsement doesn't make up for its continued efforts to thwart marriage equality. But I'm surprised that so many people seem to be ignoring what actually happened:  

  1. Salt Lake City finally passed an anti-discrimination ordinance, and
  2. LGBT leaders' efforts to establish a dialog with LDS Church officials finally seem to be succeeding. 

Now, regardless of anybody's feelings regarding the church, the anti-discrimination ordinance has been a long time in coming. Its passage is definitely cause for celebration. Twenty years ago, we would all have been dancing in the streets.

So why are some people disregarding the good news and jumping right into anger mode?

It comes from mistaking the battle with the war. 

Yes, I remember how devastating Prop. 8 was. And, in its aftermath, I think our community's outpouring of anger was natural, healthy and appropriate. 

But it would be a mistake to forget that the LGBT movement is not a conflict with the LDS Church. It is a struggle for equality.

In that struggle, it's never difficult to find something to be angry about. Those who oppose us say hurtful things -- that we're "a threat to families" or we're "perverts" or "worse than terrorists."

But we know better. People only say these things because they're misguided. They know nothing about us. And it's only when they get to know the truth that they stop spewing those hateful lies.

Likewise, those who claim the LGBT movement's goals somehow threaten the LDS Church are likewise misguided.  

That's why it's so important to keep lines of dialog open. As Carlson said:  

The talks and the conversations that really changed the perspective of the church, I think, are the conversations that happened in families and in homes across the state of Utah.

And, in the end, if we can't enjoy a good, solid victory anymore, then the homophobes truly have won.