(After the defeat of ALL the Common Ground Initiative bills I had some questions for those that were instrumental in their failure. This is the email sent to the hearing committee, my representative Chris Buttars, Gayle Ruzicka, The Utah Eagle Forum mailing list, and Mike Waddoups)
In your rush to proclaim The Common Ground Initiative a trojan horse for gay marriage did you once stop to think about the living, breathing, feeling people you're disparaging. In your cursory dismissal during the hearing committees did you ever stop to listen to the gay men and women that showed up to tell you their stories? Do they register as people worthy of empathy by you? Do they register as fellow citizens of this state?
Or are they an amorphous nameless faceless group to you? "Common knowledge" and "tradition" already tell you where to stand on the issue and further introspection and inquiry isn't required?
Even LDS church spokesmen have come out and said they support equal rights for the gay community yet you, our elected officials, are unwilling to even grant them protection from being fired or evicted for the simple fact that they're gay. It doesn't even matter if you agree that being gay is a choice or not. Religion is a federally protected class and that is most definitely a lifestyle choice.
Thirty years from now do you want to look back on newspaper clippings with your names listed as those who were on the wrong side of history. Not so long ago the Utah Legislature was promoting miscegenation and segregation, quoting scripture and church leadership as reasons why we should support those ideas. We now say Brigham Young and Ezra Taft Benson were speaking as men when they proudly declared racism from the church pulpit. In thirty more years the church may say Thomas Monson was only speaking as a man when he encouraged members to give time and money to standing in the way of gay marriage.
When Chris Buttars empahtically declares that gay marriage will destroy this country, he's no more prophetic than you or me. How does he know it will destroy this country? Did God witness to him the truth of that claim? What if the rest of us didn't receive that confirmation? What if some of us went to vote on the Utah marriage amendment four years ago and felt sick when choosing to secure "traditional marriage"?
All I'm asking is for you to consider people. Not tradition, not scripture, not authority. Consider the men, women, and families that come to tell you their stories, that live in your districts, that want the same things you all want. To build a life, raise kids, and grow old with the person they love.