This Takes the Cake

A group that calls itself “America Forever” placed full page ads, costing about $15,000, in both major Utah newspapers on Sunday, in an effort to “stop the homosexual movement”, in a last minute effort to thwart the passage of bills that would afford rights to everyone, including domestic partnerships.

Today’s Salt Lake Tribune:

On Sunday, a group called America Forever ran full-page ads in The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News calling on Utahns to “stop the homosexual movement.” The ad also condemns Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. for endorsing the Common Ground Initiative, a legislative push that would offer inheritance and medical-decision-making rights to same-sex couples and make it illegal to fire or evict someone for being gay or transgender.

America Forever, which solicits donations in its print ad, does not have a current Utah business license as a nonprofit nor is it registered as a political-issues or political-action committee, according to state Web sites.

The ad compares being gay to being “druggies and hookers,” labels homosexuality as “anti-species behavior” and concludes that “gays should be forced not to display” their sexual orientation.

Even Gay-rights opponents do not agree with the tactics of this group.

Gay-rights opponent Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, agrees with America Forever’s stance on upholding “traditional marriage” but condemns the group’s tactics and rhetoric, including the ad.

“Everything they’re doing crosses the line,” Wimmer said Monday, noting he helped to eject members of America Forever from an Equality Utah news conference last week after they became confrontational.  “There’s no need to have hateful discourse,” Wimmer said. “Quite frankly, they make those of us who are on the side of traditional marriage — they make a lot of us — look bad.”

It is obvious to most that the tactics employed by America Forever do nothing short of creating a bigger divide rather than doing the diplomatic thing:  engaging in civil discussion about the real issue, basic rights for everyone.

Mike Thompson, executive director of Equality Utah — the advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Utahns that is pushing the Common Ground Initiative — called the ad “inflammatory” and “divisive.”

“It demonstrates what we are up against in having a rational debate,” Thompson said. “There’s no reason to respond directly to the content of the ad because it’s just ridiculous. The conversation should be focused on the Common Ground Initiative and the bills that are part of that.”

What does this group have to fear so much that it needs to take out full page hate ads?


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