Friday, December 19, 2008

Gay rights group calls for Mormon Church support

Excerpts from Gay rights group calls for Mormon Church support by JENNIFER DOBNER of the Associated Press

A national civil rights group for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community has launched a national letter writing and e-mail campaign calling on the Mormon church to publicly support equality legislation in Utah.

The two-step lobbying effort by the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign began Dec. 12 with a letter from HRC President Joe Solmonese to Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

That was followed this week with an e-mail from HRC board member and Utahn Bruce Bastian asking the 750,000-plus HRC members to contact the church.

In his letter, Solmonese said Monson can lend "credibility and force" to a November church statement that it does not oppose civil unions or some non-marriage legal rights for same sex-couples.

"While we will always be in opposing camps regarding marriage equality under the law, I ask that you now join our community in supporting legislative change in Utah that offer(s) real protections to LGBT citizens and families," Solmonese wrote.

Five bills that propose equal treatment or establish legal protections for the LGBT community are expected to come before the Utah Legislature for consideration during the session that begins in January.

Three of the bills address equity in employment, housing, hospitalization, medical care or probate rights. A fourth would establish a domestic partner registry and a fifth would repeal part of a constitutional amendment that defines marriage.

The church declined comment when the bill proposals were announced last month by the gay rights organization Equality Utah.

In an e-mail Thursday, church spokeswoman Kim Farah also declined to comment on the HRC letter.

Utah has banned gay marriage in its constitution and previous attempts to pass equality legislation have failed.

Since the ]prop 8] vote, Mormon church buildings have been picketed or targeted for vandalism and the church has been denounced by many as bigoted.

Church leaders rejected the label in a postelection day statement posted on its Web site, saying it "does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches."

As of Thursday morning, tracking by HRC staff showed nearly 26,000 members had used a link on the organization Web site to send a letter to Monson through several public e-mail addresses listed for the church, HRC spokesman Trevor Thomas said. The group is able to track the number because the e-mails are essentially being sent from HRC's server, he said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found a Wonderful site on Isaiah!
The site has free lessons on every chapter.
Very well done and in the author’s own voice.
Every Isaiah Chapter has the Analytical Commentary of Isaiah. Enjoy this personable verse-by-verse commentary of Isaiah by well-known Hebrew scholar Avraham Gileadi.

“Dr. Gileadi is the only LDS scholar I know of who is thoroughly competent to teach the words of Isaiah”—Professor Hugh Nibley, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. (1. 6. 2003)

“It is my testimony that this man has been brought forward and trained at this time to help those inside the Church into Isaiah, and those outside the Church, Jew and Gentile, through Isaiah into the Church” —Arthur Henry King, author, former BYU professor and London
Temple President.

“Dr. Gileadi has achieved a major breakthrough in the investigation of a book of such complexity and importance as the Book of Isaiah”—Professor David Noel Freedman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Dr. Gileadi’s work will render obsolete almost all the speculations of Isaiah scholars over the last one hundred years . . . enabling scholarship to proceed along an entirely new line . . . opening new avenues of approach for others to follow”—Professor Roland K. Harrison, Wycliffe College, Toronto, Canada.

“Only one who is truly at home not only with the Hebrew but with the ancient manner of biblical thought could have produced such an insightful and ground-breaking book”—Professor S. Douglas Waterhouse, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.

“Avraham Gileadi’s unsealing of the Book of Isaiah will forever change people’s
understanding of Judeo-Christian religion, lifting it to heights hitherto known only to prophets and saints”—Arie Noot, corporate executive, Edmond, Oklahoma.

“Isaiah Decoded is a huge breakthrough for the seeker of truth—Jew, Christian, Moslem, and agnostic. From an ancient writing, Gileadi has brought to light eternal truths about the nature of God and our relationship to him that have lain buried for centuries in the dust of time”—Guy Wins, fifth-generation Jewish diamond dealer from Antwerp, Belgium.

“Gileadi is the only scholar I know who has been able to express the Jewish expectation of the Messiah in relation to the life and mission of Jesus of Nazareth”—Daniel Rona, Israeli tour guide, Jerusalem, Israel.

“Dr. Gileadi has clearly demonstrated his mastery of the Book of Isaiah and of the scholarly literature dealing with it”—Professor Ronald Youngblood, Bethel Theological Seminary, San Diego, California.

“Avraham Gileadi’s books and tapes take the casual observer of Isaiah’s words and transform him into an enlightened and lifelong student of the Word of God”—Allan and Nancy Pratt, LDS mission president, Toulouse, France.

“Dr. Gileadi has awakened a whole new depth of my understanding of Isaiah’s prophetic message. His books and tapes illuminate the urgent relevance of Isaiah’s writings to our own day”—Becky Douglas, supervisor and sponsor of three orphanages in India, Atlanta, Georgia.

“Dr. Gileadi’s translation [of the Book of Isaiah] is clear and smooth, allowing the reader to appreciate the power and beauty of Isaiah as conveyed in the Hebrew original”—Professor Herbert M. Wolf, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

“Gileadi has uncovered an amazing message written in a divine code by the prophet–poet Isaiah. This will give comfort, hope, and joy to masses of people as they cope with the perplexing events now unfolding before their eyes”—Fenton Tobler, thirty years elementary school principle, Las Vegas, Nevada.