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salt lake Issue 198 January 19, 2012
LDS Church statement to Minn. churches
IRCONU Empress found dead
NOH8 Campaign coming to SLC
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4 NATIONAL NEWS
JANUARY 19, 2012
first person Wedding belles and beaus
by Michael Aaron, publisher
HIS IS ONE OF MY favorite times of the year not because it’s a “rebirth” time for resolutions, and certainly not because of the weather, but this is the time of year we give away a gay wedding to a deserving couple. I should put wedding in quotes, because we all know that the state chooses not to participate in our rituals, but we all move on with our lives anyway and, to some, this particular ritual has been in their dreams for many, many years. But this year is a bit different. At the time that we were trying to determine our winning couple, we were also trying to figure out how we can celebrate our own milestone — our 200th issue coming up next month. We had narrowed the field from a dozen letters to two couples — not an easy task in itself. We asked our finalists to come into the office and meet with us because, frankly, we were evenly split on whom to award. Both couples sat with us, told us their dreams, got misty-eyed while talking about their partners and families, and in the end, we were still evenly split. Each couple had a compelling story. Each had reasons they couldn’t pull a wedding off on their own. Each were adorable. We weighed the pros of each couple (we could find no cons). A tie. We wondered who would be easier to work with. A tie. We wondered who needed us most. A tie. Then it hit us. To celebrate our second hundredth issue, we could give away two weddings. We wondered aloud whether we could pull it off. We decided that the community is, indeed, able to do so. You see, it’s not only us who gives away weddings. It’s the many people and businesses that pull it off, from caterers to florists, officiants to bakers, photographers to planners. Yes, it takes a village. So we have a male couple and a female
publisher Michael Aaron editor Seth Bracken arts & entertainment editor/ofc mgr Tony Hobday graphic designer Christian Allred sales Gus Garcia contributors Chris Azzopardi, Lynn
couple who are our lucky and deserving winners. THE BOYS This couple first met when they were in their late teens, and they each developed a crush on the other but didn’t say anything. Fate waited 10 years before friends introduced them and they realized it was actually a reintroduction. They’ve been inseperable since. They are also pregnant. Well, their surrogate is with child. Their plans of funding a wedding turned into plans to fund a child when they found that
their first try at insemination unexpectedly took. THE GIRLS This couple went to the same high school but really didn’t know each other. They later met at a club and realized not only that they knew each other, but they were destined to be together. Their trials have included unemployment, the death of a close family member, a move to a new city, health issues and, most recently, a miscarriage. They have stood strong together and are continuing to attempt to have a child. So, we offer a hearty “congratulations” to RUSSELL SNIDER AND OWEN CLUFF and SEGNA BATTY AND ELECIA HARDY, our two winning couples who will receive a wedding, courtesy of QSaltLake and our sponsors. Watch for our next issue when we bring you their engagement photos and the letters that earned them the party of the year and each issue after as we watch their progress toward the big day. Q
Colorado governor endorses civil-unions bill Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper urged state lawmakers to pass a proposed civil-unions bill that would extend certain rights to gay and lesbian couples. While falling short of full marriage equality, gay rights organizations are heralding the movement as an important step forward. “It’s time to pass civil unions,” Hickenlooper, a Democrat, said during his State of the State address on Jan. 12. “As we strive to make Colorado healthier, we believe in equal rights for all regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation. We don’t believe we should legislate what happens inside a church or place of worship, but government should treat all people equally.” Democratic Senator Pat Steadman reintroduced the civil-unions bill on Jan. 11. The same bill passed the Democratically controlled Senate last year, but died in a Republican-controlled House committee. In 2006, a voter-approved Constitutional amendment defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Tony Hobday, Christopher Katis, Annalisa Millo, Petunia Pap Smear, Anthony Paull, Steven Petrow, Ruby Ridge, Ed Sikov, A.E. Storm, Ben Williams, D’Anne Witkowski distribution Ryan Benson, Peggy Bonn, Michael Hamblin, Nancy Burkhart publisher
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Hickenlooper cited Colorado’s accepting nature as a reason entrepreneurs and business owners would relocate to the state. He encouraged lawmakers to do everything possible to ensure Colorado is seen as a fair and open-minded state to accept all businesses. “If there were ever a time when Colorado needed to spur greater support for entrepreneurship to create and attract new business, it is now,” Hickenlooper said. The state faces an uphill battle this year with a $700 million budget shortfall during an election year, which tends to bring more partisan fighting than off years. However, the governor asked legislators to rise above the party and find common ground to work together. “Cynics say it’s an election year and partisan fights will drown out any hope for success,” he said. “We believe the cynics are wrong.” Democrats are looking for a Republican sponsor for the civil-unions bill in the House, but none has been announced yet.
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Quips & Quotes ❝
“I’m a historian and I look at civilizations, I study civilizations, I read history every night. And I see it’s an attack on the family, I think it’s an attack on traditional families. That’s the way I see it.” —Democratic Maryland Senate President Mike Miller speaking about a marriage equality bill
“This guy thinks about gay sex more than any gay man in America. There’s a guy down in West Hollywood working down at Dorothy’s and Dildos who does not think about gay sex as much as Rick Santorum.” —Bill Maher on Chelsea Lately
“While the president does not weigh in on every single action taken by legislative bodies in our country, the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples. The president believes strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.” —White House spokesperson Shin Inouye said about Barack Obama’s position on the proposed repeal of marriage equality in New Hampshire
“Oh, but what about them? He chooses a party that supports his values. They’ve chosen a party that supports their income — a party that denigrates them and treats them with disrespect.” —Nancy Pelosi on gay Republicans mocking Rep. Barney Frank
“Let’s get real here! No major spokesman or leader in America wants to hurt gay people, or deny them the civil rights we all share. The right to redefine marriage is a made-up right, it’s not real; it has no roots in our constitution, our history, our traditions, or common sense. Being denied the right to call a same-sex relationship a marriage is not like what happened to South Africans, or African-Americans.” —Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage
JANUARY 19, 2012
LDS leaders read letter to Minn. churches on anti-gay marriage amendment The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints read a letter to all Minnesota wards on Sunday, Jan. 15 reminding church-goers that “the family is the fundamental unit of society” and urged them to re-read the “Proclamation of the Family,” which begins, “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” Church members were also asked to “prayerfully consider how to get involved,” according to the author of the blog, Key Lime Piety. The letter “concluded with a reminder that church buildings and directories are not to be used for political purposes — with this caveat: unless otherwise directed,” the article continued. “Marriage between man and woman is esBobby Montoya, who identifies as a girl, but later rescinded the decision. Bobby’s sential to His eternal plan. Children are entifamily is supportive of her decisions and tled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, her desire to participate in the Girl Scouts. and to be reared by a father and a mother “Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If A Michigan man was arraigned on a second a child identifies as a girl and the child’s felony sex offense after telling police he was family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts HIV positive and was intentionally infectof Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout. ing as many people as he could over the past Our requests for support of transgender three years. Two alleged victims have so far kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colobeen identified, according to police. rado is working to best support these chilDavid Dean Smith, 51, turned himself in dren, their families and the volunteers who to Grand Rapids police saying he intentionserve them. In this case, an associate deally had unprotected sex. livering our program was not aware of our Court documents say that Smith claimed approach. She contacted her supervisor, to have had sex with “thousands” of partwho immediately began working with the ners with the intent to kill them by infectfamily to get the child involved and supported in Girl Scouts. We are accelerating ing them with HIV. Health officials issued a warning that our support systems and training so that we’re better able to serve all girls, families “hundreds of people may have been exand volunteers,” the Girl Scouts of Colora- posed to HIV,” and urged potential victims do said in a statement about the eventual to be tested. Police say a female victim was diagnosed admittance of Bobby into her local troop.
Girl Scout organizes boycott for accepting transgender kids A 14-year-old Girl Scout is organizing a boycott of Girl Scout Cookies after a controversial decision to admit a 7-year-old transgender girl to a Colorado troop. The California girl organizing the boycott, identified only as Taylor, said in a YouTube video that the Girl Scouts are catering only to the views of the few and called for a boycott of all Girl Scout Cookie sales. “The real question is why is the Girl Scouts of America willing to break their own safety rules and go against its own research institute findings to accommodate transgender boys? Unfortunately, I think it is because GSUSA cares more about promoting the desires of a small handful of people than it does for my safety and the safety of my friends and sister Girl Scouts, and they are doing it with money we earned for them from Girl Scout cookies,” Taylor said in her video. “I am asking you to take action with me and boycott Girl Scout cookies.” Last October, a Denver chapter of the Girl Scouts originally denied entrance to
who honor marital vows with complete fidelity,” according to the proclamation. The statement is in response to a ballot initiative which will be voted on this November which would amend Article XIII to read, “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.” The initiative was spearheaded by former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch (RBuffalo, Minn.) who recently stepped down after the revelation that the married senator was having an “inappropriate relationship” with a male staffer. After the affair was made public, gay Minnesotan John Medeiros issued a statement of apology from Minnesota’s gay community, “On behalf of all gays and lesbians living in Minnesota, I would like to wholeheartedly apologize for our community’s successful efforts to threaten your traditional marriage. We are ashamed of ourselves for causing you to have what the media refers to as an ‘illicit affair’ with your staffer, and we also extend our deepest apologies to him and to his wife.”
Man may have infected thousands with HIV
with HIV in October, 2008. She said she knew it was Smith, whom she met on a Yahoo! personals site, and who infected her. She called him a “predator” and “sociopath.” The woman also said Smith texted her that he was going to turn himself in to the police, saying, “Turning myself in to the law, my life is over. Take care. Always love you.” Court records show that Smith was admitted recently to a mental hospital for a suicide attempt. The hospital determined Smith was “sexually aroused by causing pain to females.” The woman granted an interview to NBC station WOOD saying Smith told her he had sex with as many as 3,000 men and women. “He hits drifters,” the woman told WOOD. “He hits people who are young.”
Landis Salon is proud to recognize Alaina Edginton for 5 years of exceptional service. Alaina specializes in hair cutting, hair extensions and has many other talents. She has an infectious laugh and a beautiful 5 year old son. Thank You Alaina.
Richard Surber CEO - Landis Salons, Inc.
6 LOCAL NEWS
JANUARY 19, 2012
IRCONU Empress found dead Imperial Rainbow Court of Northern Utah Empress XII Andy Davis (aka Alexis Devo) was found dead on Monday, Jan. 16 after performing Saturday night at Investitures where the reigning emperor and empress handed down titles to supportive mem-
PHOTO: KAY HARVEY
sancti of maiage Cheating wife faces jail time An Arizona woman is facing a month in jail or a large fine under a state law that outlaws adultery. Traci Banks admits to having two affairs, but her husband of 17 years is sure she’s cheated on him several more times. He has asked police for years to investigate her possible infidelity, but local authorities only recently agreed to do so. David said he first started suspecting his wife after he noticed condoms were being used and since he had a vasectomy, he said there was
bers of the organization. No other information on the cause of death was available at press time. After 15 years of involvement in the Imperial Court System, Davis was elected Empress at the group’s coronation on Nov. 17. He was studying integrated studies at Weber State University. On New Year’s Eve, Davis wrote on his Facebook wall, “This year I will dedicate to my self to my happiness, my joy, my higher self, and to the service to all people! This year I will wake up and start in the gratitude by which I should always be in. I will smile more! I will manifest more good things, and .... I will allow me to be present in my life. I will let go of all things that do not serve me for the better, and I will Shine!” His death was announced on his Facebook page by a family member: “We have received some terrible news this evening. We lost our son Andrew. At this time we do not have any information and the entire family is grieving and trying to understand how it will be possible to take this in. Please at this time respect our privacy, we will update as soon as info comes available.”
no reason for her to use them with him.
Divorce could mean earlier death The risk of dying at a younger age is 23 percent higher among divorced adults than married couples, according to an Arizona University study. Researchers found the risks associated with divorce are similar to other health risks, such as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, not exercising, being overweight and drinking heavily. Divorced men were at a significantly higher risk for early death than divorced women. While there was a correlation between divorce and
early death, the study did not make a conclusive statement about divorce definitively leading to an early death.
Sinead O’Connor splits with husband, again After just 18 days of being married, singer Sinead O’Connor announced she was leaving Berry Herridge. She then announced she was reuniting with him after a “beautiful evening of love making.” But the latest chapter in this chronicle of the sanctity of marriage, O’Connor has called off the marriage for a second time. The couple tied the knot in Las Vegas in December of last year. It’s O’Connor’s fourth marriage.
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NO H8 Campaign to visit Utah By Seth Bracken
The nationwide NO H8 Campaign raising awareness about equality in its many forms through photographs will stop in Salt Lake City on Jan. 24, 4 p.m., at St. Paul’s Church, 261 S. 900 East. The project was born early one morning when Jeff Parshley and Adam Bouska wanted to express a more personal side of the effects of the recent passage of California’s Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage in the state. “When the majority can vote on the rights and squash the rights of a minority, there’s a problem,” Parshley said. “After we took the photos we had this snowballing effect where everyone wanted to know about the photos and why we took them. After we explained why we supported marriage equality, other people wanted to get involved.” The NO H8 Campaign was born shortly after and now has more than 20,000 photos, including many actors, politicians, business people and singers. The impressive list includes Cindy and Meghan McCain, Larry King, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Gloria Allred, Jeff Probst, Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, Zach Wahls, Gene Simmons, Slash, Rebecca Black, Sara Bareillas, Jane Lynch, Lisa Ling, Russell Simmons, Rebecca Fox, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Kathy Griffin, Courtney Love, Drew Carey, Karina Smirnoff, Paris Hilton, Valerie Bertinelli, Tom Bergeron, Emma Roberts and many more. “The response has been overwhelming and we are so grateful for all the support we’ve received,” Parshley said. “But the photos are for everyone and creating the dialogue within your own family and friends is just as important. If you can help educate even one person, it can make all the difference.” Parshley said he hopes the photos can help create conversations in Utah and show the nation that Salt Lake City has many fair-minded citizens. However, the
decision to bring the photo campaign through one of the most conservative states in the nation was not made lightly, he said. “We asked our supporters where they still wanted us to visit and the response from Salt Lake City was overwhelming. We were astounded at how many people said we need to visit Utah,” he said. “We are very aware of the connection Utah has with Proposition 8 and the Mormon Church, and that did play a part in our decision.” While a large portion of the message with the NO H8 Campaign is about marriage equality, the message has spread to include all types of awareness, including gender inequality and gender identity discrimination, Parshley said. Everyone is invited to participate in the photo shoot and add their part to the global movement. Charles Black, music director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where the shoot will be held, said in a press release, “I have long admired Adam’s photography for the NOH8 Campaign. His stunning images of everyday people lending their silent support to the message of equality is inspirational to me. I’m so excited to welcome NOH8 to Salt Lake City and especially to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where the ideals of tolerance, inclusion and equality are celebrated. I plan to be first in line to add my photograph to this important part of our history.” NOH8 photos cost $40 for a portrait, and $25 per person for couple or group photos. Interested volunteers should contact the NOH8 Campaign via email at info@NOH8Campaign.com. Additional details can be found at NoH8Campaign.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Those that cannot attend the event in Salt Lake City can still participate in the program by uploading their own photos on the NO H8 Campaign website. Q
JANUARY 19, 2012
Monthly transgender health clinic opens in Midvale
A transgender and gender-queer clinic will be held monthly starting Jan. 27, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Greenwood Clinic, 7495 S. State St., Midvale. The clinic will be presented by Dr. Rixt Luikenaar, a Netherlands native, who is a practicing physician in obstetrics and gynecology and has extensive experience with transgender patients. All trans and gender queer paDr. Rixt Luikenaar tients are invited to attend, including male to female, female to male and those that simply identify out nof the normal gender binary. e “We are creating a safe space for trans ,and other queer people to receive the care that they so badly need,” Luikenaar said. y“We want to have that place where even just waiting in the room to receive care is friendlier. You’ll be surrounded by love and
support instead of having to wait between two pregnant women.” From hormone treatments and lab work to recommendations to other specialists and therapists, the clinic is perfect for an annual checkup or for more comprehensive care. “I think that people who identify as transgender or gender-queer often find themselves afraid to visit the doctor for fear of rejection or they just aren’t sure whom to visit and who can best help them without being judged,” she said. “Also, there are other health factors and risks that trans people face that others simply don’t have. I want to help with that.” Luikenaar’s clinic accepts many types of major insurances and for those that are uninsured there is an offer for the lowest-cost care possible. To participate, call 801-213-9400 and mention the transgender clinic. “From the moment you book to the time you are seen, you’ll see the difference in the way you’re treated,” she said.
QSALTLAKE IS SEEKING A
Safety Counts offers free HIV testing, other programs
h n -
- As part of a Utah Department of Health o project, the Safety Counts program serves g as a sexually transmitted disease reduc- tion program. With free HIV testing Mon- day through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the d program serves a unique role in Salt Lake City for gay and bisexual men. . “Our role is to help reduce and prevent t the transmittance of disease, especially in e the men who have sex with men and Latino communities,” said Andrew Leasy, a f community outreach coordinator for the - program. “Studies have repeatedly shown those are the two communities impacted most by HIV and other STDs.” Safety Counts is located at 154 E. 700 South and along with free testing, it offers water, a microwave, a warm environment to get out of the cold, bleaching kits for needles and pipe covers. Because needlef sharing is prevalent and is one of the most common ways STDs are spread, bleachd ing kits are given away for free to at-risk Utahns. The kits are not illegal to carry and e are simple to use. -
t l g n
“We’re not encouraging drug use in any way,” Leasy said. “We just don’t live in a fantasy world where it doesn’t happen. We all know someone who is using or has used. These kits can help stop the spread of disease from you to others or from others to you. If you’re going to use, at least do so safely.” Rubber pipe covers can prevent users from burning their lips, potentially spreading blood and diseases such as hepatitis from one mouth to another. The Safety Counts offices are judgmentfree and everyone can feel welcome. Group classes about setting goals and overcoming addiction are offered with a $10 reward for participating. The classes will start after three people are interested and the lessons focus on setting small goals to try to help encourage people to get their lives back on track. “We really want to get the word out about Safety Counts. There are so many great resources here, but not very many people are taking advantage of it,” Leasy said.
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JANUARY 19, 2012
Women-only travel company serves a purpose By Seth Bracken
Finding off-beat vacation destinations, enjoying some of the most well-known and iconic sites in Europe and other locations, is just the start with the queer-friendly Sister’s on Purpose tour company. Travelers will have the chance to go on a truffle hunt in Italy and tour a schnapps factory in
Germany. But it’s the female-empowering collection of moments, meditation and spiritual connection that make these women-only tours more than just a vacation. “We want to offer that special experience for women everywhere,” said Debbie Turner, one of three founding members. “I’ve seen that women can be so hard on each other and so mean to one another. But in our tours we are offering a true, female-empowerment experience to build up womanhood.” The company was started by three sisters, who are native Utahns, Turner, Sylvia Lamb and Katy Montrone, and who gathered every year around springtime to catch up and enjoy each other’s company. But after decades of the family-only tradition, the sisters decided to share their experiences with other women, and the company, Siblings by Chance – Sisters on Purpose, was born. The women have extensive travel experience in Europe, particularly in Italy and Germany, where their first tours took
place. And while the major sites, such as The Colosseum and Vatican City are explored, it’s the more personal and local flares that make the trips so memorable. After crossing off the major tourist stops, the group of no more than 12 travelers make their way to the countryside, visiting
safe environment where we help everyone see they have a place and that they’re beautiful,” Turner said. The tours have maintained their familylike closeness and from morning moments sharing thoughts to family-style meals, the group brings everyone closer. The next tour will be in Sedona, Ariz., March 22-25, and will include hiking the monumental red-rock formations, a spa treatment, spiritual discovery and more. Other trips include Refresh in Germany, April 29-May 7, Revive in Seattle, Aug. 9-12, Replenish in Italy, Sept. 16-24, Rekindle in Zion, Oct. 11-14 and Rejoice in the Christmas Magic of Germany, Nov. 25-Dec. 3. Sisters on Purpose also has a Build Your Own Trip option where participants can select a location and the sisters will help tailor a unique experience to fit each group. “Before we do any planning on the Build Your Own Trip we’ll talk with you and find out what you want to get out of the trip,” Turner said. “Maybe you want to work on living in the moment and being happy with what you have. Or maybe you want to move on after losing someone close to you. Whatever the case, we can help create an experience to fit you and the members of your group.” The sisters are also available for service trips that might include, for example, four days of service in orphanages in Costa Rica and four days of a spa retreat. The tours are designed to help make each participant feel welcome, enjoy the sites and cultures of the locations and grow as women. “We all have different roles to play in life, and that’s particularly true in my family and that’s what makes our tours so different and special. Sylvia is the embracingyour-now sister. She will help you realize that you are complete and full right now. You don’t have to change anything. My role is the infinite possibilities, helping you see things with new eyes and staying open to new options. And Katy is the passionateliving sister,” Turner said. “We want to share what we’ve learned and learn from each other in every moment of the trip.” Q
villages and taking part in activities that are the culmination of years of traveling and networking, Turner said. When women sign up for the tour, a member of the group will contact them to discuss what they want to take from the trip. With a complete itinerary, along with a journal for thought and record-keeping, travelers will have the chance to make the trip into something more than just a typical vacation. “We cater and change every trip to fit the needs and desires of the women who are traveling with us,” Turner said. “If our group members find that they’re more interested in art history, or old churches, or whatever other site, that’s what we’ll do and find. We really want to make this an experience to remember.” The women often become very close in the eight-day international, or four-day local, trips and many remain friends after the tours, she said. For more information or to book a tour, go to “We want to bring women together and sistersonpurpose.com. celebrate our identity. It’s an affirming and
Quni F Annual Gay Utah o Pageant
The Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire presents the annual Mr., Miss and Ms. Gay Utah and Mr., Miss and Ms. Gay Youth Utah Pageant. Doors open at 7 p.m., and cocktails will be served in the bar area. However, those under 21 years old will be in the showroom mixing and mingling. The contest is open to RCGSE members and non-members. WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. WHERE: Club Sound, 579 W. 200 South INFO: RCGSE.org
Pleasant Grove Bingo The Fabby Award-winning Utah Cyber Sluts will be hosting a very special bingo engagement in Pleasant Grove, Utah. The bingo will be held and sponsored by the Pleasant Grove Eagles. The group is already raising money for the 2012 Christmas. WHEN: Friday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m. WHERE: Pleasant Grove Eagles, 220 N. 600 West, Pleasant Grove
Maiden Voyage to Fabulous Las Vegas Enjoy a weekend getaway in fabulous Las Vegas on the maiden voyage of Pride Tours USA, a locally owned queer-inclusive bus tour company. Take part in the cocktail and dinner party at the New York, New York Hotel and Casino and a fabulous night tour. With affordable prices, there’s no excuse to not enjoy a fantastic weekend away. WHEN: April 6–8 INFO: PrideToursUSA.com
Salt Lake City Prison Divestment Campaign Teach-in and Protest Join the group of concerned citizens in Salt Lake for a meeting at the Salt Lake City Library on Jan. 21 and a protest of Wells Fargo on Jan. 24. The group is preparing to take action in solidarity with the National Prison Industry Divestment Campaign to expose the for profit prison industry in Utah and the connections to immigration, legislation, Wall Street, tax dollars and our community. WHEN: Teach-in: Jan. 21, 2 p.m. Protest: Jan. 24, 11 a.m. WHERE: Teach-in: Salt Lake City Library, 400 S. 200 East, Protest: Salt Palace, 200 S. West Temple INFO: Salt Lake City Prison Divestment Campaign on Facebook
JANUARY 19, 2012
Former Bishop of Utah reflects on homosexuality and faith
By Seth Bracken
After 60 years in the clergy, including 40 years as an Episcopalian bishop, Otis Charles, 85, was one of three openly gay bishops within the faith, he said. Although, when he first entered seminary in the 1950s homosexuality was not talked about, let alone embraced, by many in the church. “I never would h ave i m ag i n e d how far we’ve come — in the church and in general. It’s a different world. I never Otis Charles would have imagined, when I was first entering seminary, that I would be able to be married to my husband and enjoy all the benefits that come with that,” Charles said. “In my lifetime I’ve seen the onward movement from being outside of the movement into the ongoing life of the community in ways that I
never would have imagined.” After graduating from the seminary, Charles served as a priest in Connecticut until he was elected as the Bishop of Utah. He married and had five children while focusing on peace-positive issues, opposing Utah as a launching location for the MX missiles. He served as the chair of the Prayer Book Committee and was a member of the Bishops’ Committee on Racism. He later became Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in 1985. After he retired in 1993 he came out as an openly gay man, the first Christian bishop to do so. In 2004 he and his partner held a ceremony in San Francisco and in 2008 the couple wed legally during the brief window where same-sex marriage was legal. The path to arrive as a happily married, accepted bishop was more than three decades in the making; the issue of openly gay clergy members was first raised in 1976 during a general assembly where Charles testified about the need to accept gay clergy members, although he was not
open about his own sexuality. In 1979 he was a member of a coalition of leaders who signed a letter in opposition to the newly enacted policy prohibiting gays and lesbians from being ordained into the ministry. Charles, along with eight members from the Utah delegation, opposed the church’s new position, which led to Utah having a liberal reputation. “We were kind of a place of refuge for gay or lesbian individuals who wanted to be ordained and their home bishop wouldn’t accept them or recognize them,” Charles said. “The authorities in the diocese of Utah supported more than one such person. And so the dioceses in Utah have a spirit of openness for a long time.” And while the situation has generally improved and Charles is welcomed by most religious leaders within his church, there are still barriers to overcome. Charles was selected as part of a group of gay and gay-friendly priests to speak at the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco’s Castro district last month. However, Archbishop George Niederauer told the parish to rescind the invitations
to Charles, Rev. Jane Spahr and Rev. Roland Stringfellow due to their pro-gay positions. The Most Holy Redeemer is normally seen as queer-friendly and, due to its location, often sees gay and lesbian patrons. This experience is unusual, Charles said, and the world is slowly moving toward acceptance. “This is something everyone is dealing with. If you look at the Catholics, the Methodists, the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, the Jewish faith and even the Muslims, they are all facing the same issue,” Charles said. He will be featured in the upcoming Sundance Film Festival documentary, Love Free or Die. And on Sunday, Jan. 21, the day before the premiere of the film, there will be a 10:30 a.m. worship service at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Park City. It will be followed by a short coffee-hour reception and a discussion about helping conflicted people of faith support same-sex marriage with many of the national movement leaders from organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Center for American Progress. Q
Dabakis staying put as Demo. chair The head of the Utah Democratic Party, Jim Dabakis, will not be taking over the helm of the Human Rights Campaign, he said in a press release. Dabakis was included as a possible candidate by the HRC steering committee to replace outgoing president Joe Solmonese. “I am flattered and honored to have my name mentioned together with the Human Rights Campaign, however, the last six months of being the Chair of Jim Dabakis the Utah Democratic Party have been the most interesting, challenging and rewarding time of my life. The association with so many Democrats across our beautiful state has been a singular honor, and I will not leave my job half done. I would rather work for free in Utah then pile up cash in D.C.,” Da-
bakis said. “And frankly, even though we disagree regularly, often with ferocity, it has been rewarding to work with Republican leaders in the state like Gov. (Gary) Herbert, State Senate President (Michael) Waddoups and Republican Chairman (Thomas) Wright. Utah Republicans and Democrats have the ability to separate out the brutal, thuggish partisanship that so permeates paralysis in Washington, D.C. and concentrate on policy issues without making the politics personal or too disagreeable. This is what the people of Utah demand and deserve.” Dabakis is the first openly gay head of a major party in Utah. He was one of the founding members of both the Utah Pride Center and Equality Utah. While the salary of the HRC president is nearly $400,000, Dabakis is currently accepting only a $1 a year salary to work for the Democrats. “I look forward to serving the people of Utah for the next one and a half years and am confident that I will enjoy spending time in Washington County much more then in Washington, D.C.,” Dabakis said.
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SNAP: Orlando opens domestic partnership registry Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was on hand on Jan. 12 as dozens of gay couples lined up to register with the city as domestic partners. While the registry does not provide all the same rights and privileges as marriage, activists are calling it an important move. Florida has a Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and Orlando is the first city in the Sunshine State to open such a registry. After just a few days of operation, more than 100 gay couples registered with the city. The registry allows them to visit one another in hospitals asnd jails, make health decisions and plan funerals for each other. Insurance companies that offer domestic-partner benefits also recognize the registry as legal.
SLAP: Gay commissioner files suit against Iowa governor
om the editor Is Salt Lake City really the gayest? By Seth Bracken
ITH MORE THAN A DOZEN gay and lesbian bars, along with multiple queer-inclusive hotels, Portland, Ore. is a shining bastion of gay light on the Pacific Northwest. The City of Roses is pinker than most and is often rated one of the most liberal cities in the nation. It’s the country’s second-largest city with an openly gay mayor. And while gay marriage is not legal in the state, the capital city of Oregon is as queer-inclusive as any. The city is chock-full of newspapers, magazines and nightlife guides. But one of the most popular and professional queer magazines, not unlike QSaltLake, was called Just Out. It started printing in 1983, highlighting the queer news and entertainment of the Portland area every two weeks. Every other Friday the magazine was distributed to coffee shops, restaurants and bars for the perusal of gay and straight readers alike. But after 29 years of operation, solidifying its position as one of the most trusted
queer publications in the region and in the nation, Just Out closed its doors. While thanking the loyal readers, the biweekly publication issued a statement thanking the readers explaining that the toll of the recession destroyed the advertising dollars of the paper. “To maintain credibility articles online still must ... be researched, edited, copy edited, fact checked and filtered of opinion and bias. This work is done by professional writers who merit a decent wage for their work. Revenues to pay staff comes in the form of ad sales, be it print or web. In Portland at least, there are not sufficient revenues from any newspaper website to support expenses separate from the print issue — and nearly all of these are struggling,” the statement from the paper read. The loss of the paper was a significant blow to Portland and the Northwest. As a firm believer in the role of journalism and especially niche journalism, I have to believe that Salt Lake City, unlike Portland
has the support necessary for a queer newspaper. No one was more skeptical about The Advocate’s rating of Salt Lake City as the Gayest City in America than I. Though I understand the desire to highlight cities that are not traditionally seen as gayfriendly, to label Salt Lake City gayer than San Francisco felt like a slap in the face. Despite the lack of Folsom Street Fairs and Pride Festivals that attract hundreds of thousands of attendees from around the world, Salt Lake City has a niche market, and we here at QSaltLake could not feel more grateful to you, our readers. Advertisers will only continue to support Q as long as you do. Frequenting establishments and using services that are advertised in Q is the only way for us to stay afloat and continue to serve the needs of the community. Saying a quick “Thank you,” to those that carry our paper and advertise in it can help them know how effective their ads and encourage them to continue advertising. So, thank you, readers for picking up the paper or clicking on our website. And let us know if there’s anything we’re not doing that you’d like to see. From letters to the editor to just a simple reminder of an upcoming event, we welcome emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Q
Iowa’s Workers Compensation Commissioner filed a lawsuit against Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad saying the governor asked him to resign twice and cut his salary in half because he is gay. The claim from commissioner Chris Godfrey asks for $1 million in compensation, which is common in these types of cases. The governor’s office issued a statement saying Godfrey was requested to resign because there was an increase in workers’ compensation insurance. Godfrey said he will not be bullied and promises to make a stand against the governor.
SNAP: Marriage equality in Illinois, Washington? Both Illinois and Washington are taking steps forward to become the next states with full marriage equality. State representatives have been meeting in Illinois to organize a plan to pass a bill that would extend full marriage to gay and lesbian couples. However, it will most likely not be introduced until 2013. In Washington, state lawmakers are organizing and trying to collect the votes needed to push the marriage equality bill through the legislature this year. Gov. Christine Gregoire has promised to sign the bill.
JANUARY 19, 2012
the straight line Now is the time By Bob Henline
OR ANYONE THAT HASN’T BEEN paying attention, the 2012 presidential campaign season is in full swing. We’ve already seen a near tie in Iowa between Mitt Romney and Rick (Google it) Santorum, and by the time this column hits the streets the New Hampshire primary will be a thing of the past. While many Americans tend to ignore this pregame show as something that belongs in the purview of political wonks, like me, now is the time where you really should be paying attention. Especially to the ass-clowns vying for the GOP nomination. Right now, those idiots are slugging it out with each other trying to claim the title of “Mr. Conservative” (now that Michele Bachmann is out), and in doing so, they’re showing the rest of us just how little they care about the Constitutional principles of freedom and equality to which they pay lip service in their 30-second soundbites. Not a single one of those wannabe champions of the Constitution support actual equality for America’s LGBTQ community, not even our own beloved former Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. He has, in the past, supported same-sex civil unions, and Mitt Romney ran a state that allows same-sex marriage, but you won’t hear either of them talking about that on the campaign trail. Instead you hear Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Santorum yapping about the evils of homosexuality and the need to have an amendment written into the Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Anything else, and you fall into Newt (I’ll screw anything that will hold still long enough and not file charges) Gingrich’s definition of a “war on religion.” While this isn’t my primary point today, I’m going to delve into marriage for a second. If these clowns are right, and marriage does belong in the realm of religion, then why is there government benefits associated with marriage? I’m fine leaving the “marriage” term in the purview of churches, but if we do that then all legal recognition of marriage needs to disappear and fall into the civil unions category for which all Americans have equal rights. Want to bet the GOP doesn’t really want the consequences of marriage belonging to religion? Anyway, back on point. When the
general election rolls around the eventual nominee will be running around the country spouting about the evils of spending and Barack Obama, and then try to distance himself from the outrageous shit he’s been spewing in order to ingratiate himself with the extreme right wing of the Republican base. And that nominee is likely to be Mitt (never met an issue I didn’t like both sides of) Romney. What that means for you, me and all of us is that up through the GOP convention these guys will be pandering to the crazies and laying out all kinds of hatredfilled vitriol about the evil gays and their liberal allies that want to destroy religion in America and destroy American families and blah blah blah. Then the nominee is going to try to move to the center and ignore that hatred, in an attempt to appeal to a much more moderate general electorate. In Utah this becomes even more problematic. Imagine what happens if Mitt is the nominee. How many idiots are going to flock to the polls in this state and punch a straight Republican ticket to support “our boy Mitt?” While in the grand scheme of presidential politics Utah is completely irrelevant, think about what that does for other local candidates. Due to his local ties and his religion, Mitt is likely to dramatically increase the turnout of voters in Utah, which in my opinion is a good thing. I’m always a fan of higher voter participation. What scares me, however, is how many of those voters will be punching straight Republican tickets without bothering to think of the other races involved. That’s where the rest of us come in. We all need to be paying close attention to what these yahoos are saying right now, and hold them accountable for that hate speech come the general election. We need to all be registered and get to the polls on Election Day to ensure that our voices are heard in the midst of the Romney love fest. You may think that your vote doesn’t matter, but look at recent races — every vote matters, especially in the local and state races. Unless you want one of these clowns deciding for you that you are a second-class citizen and not entitled to the full rights and liberties of being an American, you need to exercise those rights and responsibilities and get your ass to the polls. Q
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counter point The meaning of words By Paul Mero, president of Sutherland Institute
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of guest editorials from people who normally wouldn’t write to QSaltLake. We’ll hear from conservative leaders, groups and individuals as an attempt to build bridges rather than burning them. Email email@example.com to participate or to voice a counter opinion on the issues discussed.
AST YEAR, SUTHERLAND Institute hosted a public debate at Thanksgiving Point on immigration. The room was large, filled almost to capacity seating with more than 700 people, and raucous. The air in the room was electric. Opposing teams were filled with heavy hitters in the debate. My role was “the closer.” By the time I stood to share my prepared remarks the crowd was heated, loud and disruptive. I knew that what I was about to say wouldn’t calm them down. In fact, I knew it would inflame them. I second-guessed myself momentarily, thinking I ought to bag the prepared remarks and adapt my comments to the mood of the crowd. But no, sometimes the toughest words are the best — as long as the words are truthful and delivered with a constructive spirit. Of course, those qualities are always up for debate. In the end, I said what needed to be said in front of those who needed to hear it. The topic of homosexuality in law and policy requires the same directness and clarity, in my opinion. Sutherland Institute has published extensively on the subject. Sutherland staff members have spoken extensively on the subject. And in every case we’re conscious of, and perhaps surprising to some, sensitive about, the words we use. The push for nondiscrimination ordinances in Utah is a case in point. Sutherland’s opposition to those ordinances centers on specific words — “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “perceived as.” Words have meaning. Sexual orientation has a tangible meaning under the law, or it doesn’t. The same goes for gender identity. Sexual orientation cannot have a circular meaning, as defined in these nondiscrimination ordinances, and still have tangible meaning. We cannot say, “It means what it means.” We cannot reasonably say that sexual orientation means homosexuality, for instance, unless we then define homosexuality (which the ordinances do not do). It is no coincidence, or bit of irony, that sexual orientation (let alone gender identity) is touted mostly as feelings and attractions. Both concepts are subjective and vague. Sutherland has argued that such definitions cannot possibly be argued satisfactorily in a court of law — and, when
someone is accused of violating someone’s feelings or attractions as the ordinances permit, those accusations are impossible to defend against, except maybe to say, “Nuh-uh!” Add the “perceived as” language and we have created unequal rights in the name of equal rights — giving ever more credibility to the position that “gay rights” are simply special rights not afforded other human beings. The meaning of words can unite or divide people. We know that specific usage of words can bring people together or drive them apart. But we don’t give enough attention to how the meaning behind the words can have the same effect. At a memorable debate at the University of Utah between Sutherland Institute and Equality Utah nearly three years ago — part of which was subsequently memorialized in the movie 8: The Mormon Proposition — I stated that I couldn’t see any common ground to be found between our two sides. Not because I didn’t want to find common ground, but because both sides were looking at the same thing and seeing it differently. Both sides can see homosexuality. From Sutherland’s legal and
policy perspective, our side necessarily sees homosexuality as sexual behavior, a tangible “measurement” of identity. From a personal vantage point, the other side sees feelings and attractions more than behavior. As opinions go, to each his own. But as laws are made, both sides find themselves unavoidably separated by the meanings behind the words. The war of public opinion in Utah demonstrates this point. When public opinion polls survey Utahns about homosexualityrelated topics, sentiments swing one way or the other based on the words used to form the questions. Words such as “gay” or “sexual orientation” or “discrimination” or “equality ” prompt sympathy. Words such as “homosexual” or “sexual behavior” or “special privileges” prompt antipathy in these surveys. There are specific meanings underlying these words. This reality is precisely why advocates of homosexuality push for tolerance (which also has multiple meanings, it seems) and what some of us refer to as “politically correct” language — and why “nice” people tend to embrace such appeals. Who wants to be unnecessarily unkind? Certainly no one associated with Sutherland Institute wants to be unkind to anyone. Surely our reasonable efforts in the immigration battle have demonstrated
that. In fact, at the immigration debate previously mentioned, I shared these remarks: “Justice is most often served when we leave people with some hope. People without hope can become desperate and will resort to anything to survive. Undocumented immigrants might have come to Utah in desperation, but we shouldn’t want them to remain desperate while they’re here. Take their hope away, especially in a punitive manner, and we’ll see many more problems before we ever see any lasting solutions.” I understand that for many people inside and outside of homosexuality, hope is more than important — it is essential. Sutherland’s efforts to address these issues legislatively, whether proactively or reactively, focus on what it means to be a human being, the meaning of freedom and a free society and, last but not least, the meaning of family. Words have meaning because life has meaning — and this is why hope matters at all to human beings. Truth undergirds it all. Pontius Pilate is infamous for the cynical question to Jesus, “What is truth?” as if truth was nonexistent or meaningless. If Utah is to come to unity on issues of homosexuality and “gay rights,” we should seek truth or, at the very least, agree on the importance of the meanings behind the words we seek to memorialize into law. Q
We cannot say, ‘It means what it means.’
lipstick lesbian Playing school By H. Rachelle Graham
Y FAVORITE GAME AS A kid consisted of desks, a chalkboard and pencils. Forget the Barbie, baby dolls or any other girlie toy. I often volunteered to be the teacher, and was occasionally denied by my older siblings, but more so by my youngest, who enjoyed being in charge. Still, I wished one day I’d be the teacher, then I could write on the chalkboard and grade papers. Maybe someday. The reason we have so much school material and desks is my mother. She’s a sixth grade teacher and scheduled to retire in a few months. When asked if she would teach all over again, she said, “Yes, but I would transfer to a New England state.” Even with that childhood dream, I decided not to be a teacher ... probably because watching my mom on normal weekdays was draining. Spoiled kids, 33 of them in a class, and she rarely, if ever, stopped work-
ing. She worked during prime-time television, dinner and in between. That was on the days she came home at a reasonable time. A few years back, I chose to become a teacher’s aide at my mom’s school. I enjoyed teaching kids new things and reading out loud to them, especially a child who only talked when he was reading out loud. But I found it difficult maintaining order in the three- and four-child group sessions, especially since some of them refused to speak English. I can’t imagine what it’d be like to maintain 10 times as many students. I found my income didn’t quite match my job description. I quit because I could never get the kids to listen to me. What a talent my mom, and many other teachers, has to walk into a classroom and get order. Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds;
enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.” If we want to fight bigotry, the best place is when people are young and teachable. Teach kids to not hate other kids. We can’t afford that in our society. With the rise of bullying and the need to look further into this detrimental problem, we need the best teachers out there destroying ignorance on impressionable minds. Elementary school teachers are among the lowest wage earners with a four-year degree. Secondary school teachers in Utah are dead-last in the nation for income. We have to ask what it is about the role of teaching and what it plays in our society that makes many of our lawmakers not want to pay or consider teachers worthy of higher salaries. We live in a deeply religious state and yet there’s still something that devalues teachers in our society, which seems counter-intuitive to me. A society is only going to do as well as they treat their teachers. It hurts the future of all kids. Despite the negative sides to teaching, many women and some men brave the rough terrain and do their best with what they’re given; they are real heroes and heroines. Q
JANUARY 19, 2012
thinking out loud Lessons from Egypt By Abby Dees
011 WILL BE KNOWN, in large part, for the Arab Spring. From my Los Angeles home, I felt such camaraderie with those brave, ordinary people who, as if on cue, came together to oust dictators and call for democracy. In Egypt, the eword “Tahrir,” which once meant only the -busy downtown square of cell phone retailers, restaurants, tony hotels and the grand oEgyptian Museum, now refers to the revoslutionary fire that brought down Mubarek and continues to burn -into a profoundly uncertain future. I’m fortunate that I actually got to see Tahrir last month — both the place and the expresssion on Egyptian faces tas they debate hotly over bubbling Sheesha spipes and sweet, thick black coffee about what -comes next. Egyptians dare impassioned and opinionated about most ethings and their new democracy is definitely not coming quietly. I’m hopeful, but like everyone I spoke to, also very worried. Tahrir is definitely inspiring. How can I not compare it to our American origin story? We are taught that democracy is synonymous with freedom and progress. e Now that anything is possible in Egypt, LGBT rights must be part of the discust sion, right? f They’re not. As I traveled discreetly with my partner, calling her “my friend” through clenched teeth and looking vainly for subtle signs anywhere that we weren’t the only gays in g town, I felt like I’d time-traveled to the ’50s. r Egypt rightly prides itself on its sophish tication and comfortable coexistence of different ideas. Homosexuality is not, per se, illegal. But Egypt is a Muslim country as a matter of law. Subjective notions of s what is indecent or offensive to Islam have been used to randomly imprison LGBT people. You might remember the “Cairo 52,” half of whom were sentenced in 2001 , to hard labor for partying on a boat while gay. Dozens have since been arrested and brutally sentenced for crimes as innocue ous as posting on dating sites. There are worse places to be gay (Uganda springs to , mind), but few countries match Egypt for e its total suppression of mere conversation about LGBT rights. But everything that came before January
2012 could change tomorrow. While the military, for now, retains a tenuous grip on things, elections have begun for the country’s new parliament and who will best represent the needs of the people in drafting the new constitution. Democracy is not magic, as our high school textbooks suggest. Democracy in a country with dwindling resources, crushing poverty, 25 percent illiteracy and a nonexistent government infrastructure (detritus of countrywide corruption) looks a lot like mob rule. The liberal party’s talk of secularism and vague freedoms means little when you can’t afford propane to heat your food, and the only people who seem willing to help are the religious groups canvassing your village and providing discount fuel. Freedom implies choice. To most Egyptians, there are no real choices. Except perhaps the choice between the fundamentalist Salafists, who would remove women from public life completely, and the much more moderate Muslim Brotherhood who have, more or less, promised to maintain the civil rights status quo. The Muslim Brotherhood are in the lead, mostly because they have their act together and it’s better than the alternative. But the Salafists are not far behind with a shocking 30 percent of the vote. Remember that only a generation ago, few Egyptian women even covered their heads. I’ve always believed that LGBT rights are inextricably connected to women’s rights and the end of rigid gender roles. As I watch Egypt retreat into more conservative religiosity for a sense of security, I know a reversal of women’s rights is inevitable. I’m unable to imagine how LGBT rights in this environment could be anything more than a secret dream for now. Already knowing the answer, I asked my Egyptian guide if I was being pessimistic. He said no. Egyptians just aren’t ready. At home, I’d dismiss such a statement as mealy-mouthed cowardice. Not so in Egypt, or likely any place with a desperate and uneducated populace — I see that democracy can fast-track regression just as easily as it can bring progress. How can I not see the same fact at play right here at home? But, I hope I’m wrong. Inshallah Q
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living in Q utah Utah or Boo-tah: A legislative preview
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By John Hales
TOOK A DEEP BREATH BEFORE looking at what this year’s legislative session might hold in store. As I scrolled through the bills (available at le.utah.gov/session/2012/bills.htm), I said a little prayer: “Please, dear God, for the love of all that’s holy, please let there not be anything that will make Utah the laughingstock of the nation — again.” We’ve come to expect a good degree of ridiculousness to emerge from the Legislature. Consider: • The law that makes sure we know our government is not actually a democracy, giving lawmakers justification for blatantly disregarding the will of the people. • The law establishing an ofﬁcial state murder weapon (OK, it just designated a state gun, but honestly!) • The parade of legislation telling federal government, in various terms, to “shove it where the sun don’t shine.” (Of course, the federal government would find that place crowded with the heads of several Utah legislators.) • Speaking of no sunshine, the attempt to massacre the state’s public records law. • And, of course, can you say, “liquor laws?” (No, because I’m pretty sure even saying “liquor” in Utah is prohibited). Yes, underneath the Capitol dome there’s a lot of capital DUMB. This year appears to be no different. Of the 120 or so bills written so far, a few deserve some preemptive jeering. (To be fair, there are some good ones, too.) Here’s a selective take on some of this year’s legislation, along with my subjective “Utah” or “Boo-tah” rating:
HJR 1, UTAH — This encourages school districts to “consider ways to establish green schools in the state of Utah.” Given environmental and energy concerns, and the fact that green energy (along with the businesses/jobs that will develop around it) is becoming the wave of the future; it would be good for Utah to be ahead of this curve.
HJR 10, BOO-TAH — Seeks to amend the state Constitution to allow legislators to run for election in district’s where they don’t reside. This happens in federal congressional districts, and is ridiculous even there. Let’s not encourage it in the state Legislature. The idea defies the very notion of representative government.
SB 31, UTAH — Limits classroom size in grades K-3. It’s a good idea, beneficial to both students and teachers. However, it will only be effective if there’s commensurate increased funding to hire more teachers or para-educators, which leads me to ...
HB 59, BOO-TAH — Education funding should probably not come from the sale of alcohol, as this bill would provide. Something just seems wrong about this. And if we really want to create revenue for education in Utah, let’s tax green Jell-O. Although, this does provide a nice excuse for imbibing — Drink up! It’s for the children.
HB 199, BOO-TAH — This would eliminate Daylight Savings Time in Utah. Utah’s farmers would strongly disagree with this, as would outdoor recreation enthusiasts. My guess is that it’s a way to poke the federal government in the eye, much like ...
SB 34, BOO-TAH — This would make it a crime to enforce any federal law or regulation on food HB 28, BOO-TAH — Creates an “economic de- wholly produced and consumed within Utah, velopment task force” composed of eights apparently because such products shouldn’t legislators, four businesspeople (two of be subject to interstate commerce laws. Fedwhom are selected by legislators), and some- eral law and the Supreme Court don’t agree, one from the Governor’s Office of Economic and the Legislature’s own legal analysts say Development. Legislators would get paid for the bill puts the state on a taxpayer-funded their work on the task force, but no one else. legal collision course. Such a task force would be good, but should be under the direction of GOED, who could SJR 6, BOO-TAH — Seeks to require two-thirds make recommendations to the Legislature. vote of the Legislature for tax or certain fee The task force should primarily be of econom- increases. California did this, and as a result ic-development interests with token Legisla- that state’s budget is in shambles. ture representation, not the other way around.
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SB 37, UTAH — Would require the Department SJR 5, BOO-TAH — Seeks to dismantle the of Workforce Services retain data on “interUtah State School Board and put education generational poverty.” Gathering factual data directly under the Governor’s office. One key about a problem — like chronic poverty — is to better education is more local, nonparti- the first step in figuring out how to solve it. san input and control, not less. The governor HB 64, UTAH — Would provide the domestic already has too much of a say, in that he uni- partners of public employees to be covered laterally selects candidates to run for state under health-insurance plans, like married spouses. Yes, please — and thank you. Q school board.
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By Ben Williams
OLY HELL! THE ADVOCATE NAMED Salt Lake City the Gayest City in America based on nine arbitrary criteria, and you would have thought we had pissed in everybody’s Cheerios! I couldn’t believe the rants on why it was so wrong to consider Salt Lake City the gayest city. What really ticked me off was that so many of the negative comments were from people that live, or have lived, here. Geez, what crawled up their butts? When did being gay stop meaning having a sense of humor? The silly, nonscientific survey by Matthew Breen chose arbitrary norms such as how many concerts since 2009 The Veronicas, The Cliks and Gossip had performed within the city limits; whether the city had nude yoga; and how many International Mr. Leather Contest semifinalists came from the city. I was pleasantly surprised that we had all three. But we were robbed in two other areas! The author of the survey overlooked the fact that we have a gay elected official in the city, Stan Penfold, and we do have an Imperial Court System. Even though we were robbed of two extra points, we still won. How did we win? OK, more by luck than anything else. After adding up the points it was then decided by the city’s population. Even without the Imperial Court and elected LGBT official points we received 3.9 compared to runner-up Orlando, Florida’s measly 2.9 points. Denver which was in 15th place came in at a mere 1.5. They must feel mortified. I hate to think that Salt Lake City won only because our scant population of 186,440 pushed us over the edge, but I think it was so. Thanks are due to all you queers that left the city for Sunrise and points south. Without your exodus, we could not have done it without you. Well the survey was fun, but it seems to me that it gave a lot of people a reason to “diss” our community rather than celebrate it. These negative people have no idea how fast and how far Salt Lake City has grown over the decades. Perhaps if they participated in community organizations and volunteered at the Pride Center they wouldn’t be such kill-joys. Here in Salt Lake City we are in a unique position by being a small city. There is no anonymity here for people coming out as there is in big coastal cities. Everything we have accomplished in Salt Lake City was fought for, inch-by-inch, with blood, sweat and tears by people willing to put it all on the line. The ripple effect of the gay struggle in Salt Lake City spread to Cache Valley, Ogden, Utah County, Iron County and Washington County. Salt Lake City did not have a welcome mat for homosexuals. There was no open-door policy for the gays. What we take for granted
today — an LGBT community center, Pride parade, Equality Utah, and so much more are here because someone fought for gay rights. When I came out of the closet it was illegal to rent a one-bedroom apartment to two men. There was no legal recourse for job discrimination. If you were gay-bashed, the official position was that you had it coming. In 1969, a handful of gay men and women formed a Gay Liberation Front. They brought their message to the University of Utah campus at the same time Brigham Young University had a program of terror for gays on its campus. By 1972, only four years after it had been founded in California, a Metropolitan Community Church was established, and it has been a presence here the past 40 years fighting for social justice. The Imperial Court system was established in 1975 as well as the first gay community center. In 1976 and ‘77 came Affirmation and the University of Utah Gay Student Union. In less than a decade Salt Lake City had a thriving gay community. The 1980s saw an explosion of gay support groups, health organizations and political awareness. The Salt Lake Men’s Choir was formed in 1982. We had a local, gay radio program. The Gay and Lesbian Community Council, formed in 1986, organized bigger and better Pride Days, built a relationship with the Salt Lake police department, and was the main clearing house for issues affecting our community. By the 1990s we were strong enough to create a permanent community center and flex our political muscle. We held our first Gay Pride Parade in the capital city. Salt Lake City’s East High hosted the first Gay Straight Alliance club and membership in Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians exploded. The first homosexual state representative was elected by the end of the decade. Gay and lesbian Democrats were called a powerhouse. The 2000s saw the formation of Equality Utah, and the election of a gay man to the Salt Lake City council. We elected our first gay state senator. Anti-discrimination laws were first enacted in Salt Lake City and then in city after city across the state. I have lived in Salt Lake City since 1985. I have seen this community change so much that I can hardly recognize it. While it’s fine to recognize our failings, I think they are truly insignificant compared to the great strength of our people. We are still here. We are still standing. We are even thriving! So yes, I believe that Salt Lake City is the gayest city in America because of all the fabulous people I have had the privilege to know while living in the city I call home. We are the gayest city in America through the oldfashioned way: We earned it. Q
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By D’Anne Witkowski
T’S ALWAYS SAD TO WATCH a person self-destruct, especially when that self-destruction is happening in that person’s pants. Minnesota Senator Amy Koch recently o stepped down as Senate Majority Leader after b it was discovered that she had been messing e around with a man who is not her husband and . -who actually worked for her. The relationship ywas deemed a conflict of interest. y Koch, not incidentally, is an opponent of marmriage equality. She and her fellow Republicans rpushed hard to put an anti-gay marriage amendrment on the 2012 ballot. - Back in May, 2011, Minnesota Family Council sPresident Tom Prichard, Koch’s political ally, etold the Star Tribune about the ballot initiative: .“[O]ur goal is to not make it personal. I think we dcan have a respectful discussion and conversaytion on the importance of marriage in our state, dwhere there’s widespread support that the best .environment to raise children is with a loving amother and father.” Is this where I mention that Koch and her thusband have a little girl? l s o y r p d -
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And just what does Prichard mean about not making it “personal?” I’m not sure what’s more personal than a marriage. And campaigning to deny someone the right to make such an intimate, public commitment is, certainly, personal. And so when Koch dropped her panties for a penis she was not married to, Minnesota’s gays and lesbians couldn’t help but take that personally. Writer John Medeiros issued an open letter to Koch that has gone viral. In it, he apologies on behalf of gay Minnesotans for ruining her marriage: “We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love have cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry.” Yes, it’s a shame. Gays are the worst. But when it all boils down, this is yet another anti-gay Republican caught having an extramarital affair. Yawn. Blah, blah, blah ... I mean, sure, there’s a twist because this time it’s a female, but it’s really nothing new. Aren’t we tired of hearing this story?
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We shouldn’t be. Whether we’re talking about Koch, Mark Foley, George Rekers, Ted Haggard, David Vitter, Larry Craig or any of the others, it matters because repeated hypocrisy should be alarming, not numbing. We cannot and should not accept that the very people fighting against us are using a set of so-called “values” that they, themselves, do not truly believe in. Picking up the mantle of “marriage defender” when you’re screwing around on your wife or husband should be grounds for public humiliation and shame. This isn’t about the sanctity of marriage. This is about dehumanizing LGBT people so that we may be used as political scapegoats. This is about furthering a right-wing conservative agenda by any means necessary. By scaring folks with the threat of the “gay menace,” Republicans get folks to vote against their own economic, personal and societal interests. We forget that at our peril. So let’s keep calling ’em as we see ’em. And calling them out until this kind of shit doesn’t fly anymore. Koch, you’re a creep. And sadly you’re surely only the first of many in 2012. Q
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JANUARY 19, 2012
2012 Utah Legislative Preview R By Seth Bracken
EBOUNDING OFF OF SALT LAKE City being crowned the Gayest City in America, the pronouncement will be put to test in the upcoming legislative session. Utah lawmakers will convene on Capitol Hill Jan. 23-March 8; with topics ranging from reforming the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control to statewide nondiscrimination ordinances, there’s plenty to watch for this year at the Legislature.
Nondiscrimination Ordinances The drive to protect employees and tenants from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity started in 2008 by openly lesbian Rep. Christine Johnson, D-Salt Lake City. The bills were part of the Common Ground Initiative, sponsored by Equality Utah, focusing on legislation that would be seen as fair and just by most Utahns, regardless of political party. At the height of tension between the queer community and the LDS Church due to an effort to ban same-sex marriage in California through Proposition 8, EU and others fought to find common ground with the Mormon Church and Republican legislators. The bills never made it to the floor or even into a committee in 2008 or 2009. After Salt Lake City passed similar ordinances in December 2009, with the blessing of the LDS Church, the momentum to have statewide protections was palpable. However, in a controversial move, Johnson chose to table the bills as part of a compromise with Republican leaders. As part of the agreement, all queer related bills were put on hold in exchange for allowing Salt Lake City and other municipalities to keep their own measures. More than a dozen Utah cities and counties have since enacted nondiscrimination ordinances, which forbid landlords with four or more units and employers with 15 or more employees from eviction, termination or refusal to hire based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. However, religious organizations, such as the LDS Church, are exempt. Johnson did not seek another term after the 2010 session and moved to lead Equality South Carolina. Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake City, who replaced openly gay Sen. Scott McCoy in late 2009, took up the bill and tried to take it to the floor in 2011. Despite repeated efforts, McAdams, a straight, married member of the LDS Church could not get any traction and the bill was not debated.
“I think there is room in our Utah community to offer protections at work and at home for members of the gay community that doesn’t compromise the values of other members of the Utah community,” McAdams said. “I think we can have protections and we can value religious liberty at the same time.” This year, McAdams and other Democrats are hoping to take a more bipartisan approach and are looking for a Republican sponsor in the House. Recent polling data indicate that three out of four Utahns support extending the protections statewide. “We are very committed to make sure that (the nondiscrimination bill) gets a hearing,” minority leader Sen. Ross Romero said. “It’s my job as a minority leader not to carry a lot of bills because it’s my job to make sure my caucus’ bills get heard.” The anti-bias ordinances have not been drafted and are not scheduled for any hearings.
Second-parent Adoption Since 2000, unmarried Utah couples, including same-sex partners, have been unable to legally adopt children. Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck has opposed this measure, and in 2008 she introduced a bill that would allow for second-parent adoptions. It was defeated in committee that year and in 2009. In 2010 the bill was tabled as part of the compromise Johnson struck with Republicans. The same bill was run in 2011 and was openly debated in committee; however, it was killed by the Republicans and one Democrat, Sen. Pat Jones, voted against it. Jones’ opposition to the bill labeled her a traitor by some queer-rights activists. “I hear the horrific stories of where a child knows two individuals and the biological mom or dad dies and this other partner, who this child knows, has no legal right to that child,” Chavez-Houck said. “I can’t imagine being in that situation, having lost one parent and the other parent isn’t your parent. I think that’s a horrible thing to do to a family.” While the law still affects straight couples who are not married, they have the right to marry, unlike their gay counterparts.
Romero pledged to push for another hearing of the second-parent adoption bill, which conservative groups such as the Sutherland Institute and the Utah Eagle Forum strongly oppose. “It’s important to bring families up because communities are affected by the challenges we have in the statutes,” Sen. Romero said. The bill is not drafted, but will look similar to last year’s bill.
Financially dependent adult designees Newly appointed Rep. Brian Doughty, who is currently the only openly gay legislator, is taking up a campaign promise to provide benefits to financially dependent adult designees of state employees. Under this bill, if a state employee is not using his or her spousal insurance benefit, the option to select another financially dependent adult as the designee of those benefits will be made available. While this would benefit gay couples living together, it could be used by unmarried straight couples or other family members. In order to qualify for the benefits, recipients must demonstrate financial interdependency, which is frequently done through a shared bank account, and they must have shared the same residency during the previous year. “It’s time for a bill like this for state employees and it wouldn’t just be a free-for-all to put your roommate on the insurance. There would be regulations and it would be monitored,” Doughty said. This bill is not yet drafted.
Liquor Law Reform Because Democratically sponsored bills are often dead on arrival to the Utah Legislature, Sen. Romero and Rep. David Litvack, D-Salt Lake City, lead a panel discussion on Jan. 10 for input from the public concerning Utah’s liquor laws. A board of industry professionals, along with state legislators, were present to hear concerns from the public; more than 140 attendees were present to voice concerns about the spectrum of Utah’s unusual liquor laws. From alcoholic content of beer to the ratio of alcoholic beverage and food sales in restaurants, those attending the meeting spoke passionately
about liquor law reform. Despite paying a 95 percent tax on liquor and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on inventory, David Morris, owner of Piper Down Pub in Salt Lake City, said he still doesn’t receive any wholesale discount and is tired of being micro-managed. “Tell the people on The Hill that I make a better drink than they do. Quit telling me how to do it,” Morris said. Last year, Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, sponsored a bill overhauling Utah’s liquor laws. The bill banned daily drink specials, reinstated the “Zion Curtain” and allowed for club licenses to be sold, among other changes. Valentine has filed for an amendment to his bill that was passed and signed by the governor over protests from the Utah Hospitality Association, who is pursuing legal action against the state due to the bill. However, the wording and specifics of the amendment have not been released. Doughty has pledged to fight for logical and reasonable liquor reform, including requiring that two of the five DABC board members be consumers of alcohol and stop the executive branch from appointing the organization’s chair.
Overview While there are a myriad of bills drafted and proposed, there is still time for legislators to file new bills and the entire momentum of the legislature could be shifted overnight. However, the Senate is gearing up for one of the most conservative movements in recent history. “The (Legislative Research and General Counsel) can’t reveal yet what bills have been filed, but they did say they have never seen the Senate so conservative. They said there are programs, organizations and departments they plan to tear down completely,” Doughty said. With the promise of conservative posturing during an election year, Democrats are preparing for an uphill battle. “The Republicans have a monopoly in the executive branch and completely control the legislature,” Jim Dabakis, the state Democratic Party chairman, said. “For too long groups have tried to work with the extremists in the legislature and they don’t get anywhere. We’re looking to 2012 and trying to get more Democrats in the legislature and get Peter Cooke in the executive.” With issues such as family programs and education, the Republican Party is failing Utahns, and while this is a conservative state, it is not as extreme as the elected representatives. “We need to get people voting and electing Democrats. That’s really the only way to stop the extremist agenda that the Republicans will be pushing this session,” Dabakis said. Q
JANUARY 19, 2012
Legislative Calendar JAN. 23: First day of the session. FEB. 1: Last day for the Legislature to either pass or defeat each base budget bill by noon. FEB. 2: Last day to request bills or appropriations without floor approval by noon. FEB. 24: Last day for legislators to prioritize fiscal note bills and identify other programs for new funding. MARCH 1: Last day for Executive Appropriations Committee to complete all decisions necessary to draft the final appropriations bill.
MARCH 2: Any bond bill shall be made available to legislators by noon and final action must be taken by calendared closing time. MARCH 2: Last day to pass any bill with a fiscal note of $10,000 or more. MARCH 5: Last day for a motion to reconsider.
MARCH 5: Last day to consider bills from own house. MARCH 6: General appropriations bills, supplemental appropriations bills, and school finance bills shall be available to legislators by calendared floor time and final action must be taken on each bill by calendared closing time. MARCH 8: The final appropriations bill shall be made available to legislators by calendared floor time and final action must be taken by noon. MARCH 8: Last day of session. MARCH 28: Last day governor may sign or veto bills. MAY 7: Last day a veto-override session may begin. MAY 8: Normal effective date for bills. MAY 8: First day to file bills for the 2013 General Session.
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Testifying before a legislative committee
ITIZEN PARTICIPATION in committee hearings impacts government policy. Legislative committees are the heart of Utah’s legislative process. Committee meetings are open to the public and provide a forum for citizens to express views about proposed legislation, budgets and other publicpolicy issues. Public testimony may influence the committee’s actions. It also becomes part of the permanent record and may be used in future research. Well-prepared public testimony before a legislative committee can be exciting and fulfilling. Four Suggestions to Enhance Your Appearance before a Legislative Committee:
Know Your Audience The members of the committee are “citizen legislators.” In addition to their public service, they have full-time jobs. They are farmers, public employees, doctors, lawyers, homemakers, craftsmen, and a host of other occupations and professions. They are a cross section of Utah’s society. They are your neighbors and friends. Be courteous. Don’t accuse committee members of causing your particular problem. Resist the temptation to scold, put down, or insult the decision-makers or witnesses. This tactic will likely alienate them from your cause.
Know the Issue Support personal opinions with clear, understandable facts. Be knowledgeable of the “other side of the story.” You may be asked to discuss the differences. Draw from your own knowledge and experience.
Be Familiar with the Committee Process Know the schedule. Meeting times and loca-
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tions are found on the meeting agenda. Agendas are posted 24 hours in advance on the third floor of the State Capitol Building or they can be found at le.utah.gov. Verify the issue you are following has not been removed from the agenda. Agenda items may not be heard in the order in which they appear. Contact the staff policy analyst in advance of the meeting to request permission to testify and to be placed on the committee chair’s list of those wishing to speak. If possible, attend a committee meeting before you testify to become familiar with the process.
Prepare Your Written Testimony and Oral Presentation Give copies of your testimony to the committee staff before you begin your presentation. Begin your presentation by addressing the chairperson first, then members of the committee. “Chair ____, members of the committee ...” For the record, state your name, address and the organization or group you represent. State your purpose for testifying. Do not read your testimony to the committee word for word. Prepare an outline. Be prepared to summarize your testimony in one minute — that may be all the time you are allowed. Thank the committee members and offer to answer any questions. When a member asks you a question, respond: “Chair (last name) or Senator/ Representative (last name), the answer to your question is ...” Relax. The committee understands that this can be an intimidating experience — they don’t expect a perfect presentation.
JANUARY 19, 2012
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AN IDEA IS DEVELOPED. A
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legislator draws from numerous sources in deciding what should be introduced in the Legislature as a bill. Major sources of ideas come from constituents, government agencies, special interest groups, lobbyists, the Governor, and the legislator.
THE BILL IS DRAFTED. The idea is submit ted to the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, a nonpartisan legislative staff office, in the form of a bill request. The assigned bill drafting attorney reviews existing law, researches the issues, and prepares the bill in proper technical form. The bill is given a number. A fiscal review is conducted and a “Fiscal Note” is attached. The bill is also reviewed for statutory or constitutional concerns. THE BILL IS INTRODUCED. The bill is introduced into the Legislature and referred to the Rules Committee.
THE BILL RECEIVES STANDING COMMITTEE REVIEW AND PUBLIC INPUT. The Rules Committee recommends to the presiding officer the standing committee to which the bill should be referred. The standing commit tee, in an open meeting, reviews the bill and receives public testimony. The committee may amend, hold, table, substitute, or make a favorable recommendation on the bill.
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THE BILL IS DEBATED IN OPEN SESSION. The bill is debated in open
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session. During floor debate, the bill can be amended or substituted. It can be held (circled). In order for a bill to pass the House of Representatives, it must receive at least 38 votes. The bill must receive at least 15 votes in the Senate in order to pass.
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THE BILL PASSES BOTH HOUSES IN THE LEGISLATURE. After the bill has gone through both houses, it is signed by both presiding of ficers (the Senate President and the Speaker of the House).
THE BILL IS PREPARED FOR THE GOVERNOR’S ACTION. The Office of
Legislative Research and General Counsel prepares the bill in final form. This is called the “enrolled” bill.
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THE BILL RECEIVES THE GOVERNOR’S ACTION. The enrolled bill is sent to the Governor for his action. He can either sign the bill, veto it, or allow it become law without his signature.
THE BILL IS RETURNED TO THE THE BILL BECOMES EFFECTIVE. A FLOOR. Following the committee hearing bill enacted by the Legislature is effective the bill is returned to the full house with a committee report. The committee reports the bill out favorably, favorably with amendments, substituted, or that the bill has been tabled.
60 days following adjournment, unless another date is specified in the bill.
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Source: State of Utah
For more information on getting active in the political process, see the Equality Utah website at equalityutah.org
JANUARY 19, 2012
22 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
AUGUSTANA See Jan. 24
Through the centuries By Tony Hobday
Christmas 2011 was a bit more unusual than what is typical. You see, my parents were getting new family-room furniture for Christmas and apparently it was to be delivered before Christmas so they proactively had the old furniture removed and chosee not to put up the Christmas tree. I found it perplexing; I asked myself, why would Santa bring Christmas early and how could he possibly get the furniture down the chimney? Then, on Christmas day I scuttled downstairs at 5 in the morning and found under the imaginary Christmas tree in the barren family room nothing but several nonwrapped, cardboard UPS shipping boxes, and no new furniture ... it was perplexing! Plus, I think the cat drank the White Russian I left for Santa.
THURSDAY — Five Broadway stars light up the stage for 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY. Sandra Joseph, Andrea Rivette, Chuck Wagner, Danny Zolli and Lawrence Clayton recreate favorite moments from some of the best Broadway musicals from over the last century, including Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific, Guys and Dolls and My Fair Lady. Sounds gayer than a two-headed penis ... arrgh, I mean penny.
UPCOMING EVENTS Feb. 14 Lady Antebellum ESA
Mar. 20 Kelly Clarkson Maverik Ctr
Jul. 5 Foster The People Saltair
Aug. 4-5 “8” The Play (reading) Rose Wagner Center
SATURDAY — Taking
place in 16th century Italy is Giuseppe Verdi’s classic opera RIGOLETTO; an intriguing piece of operatic theater featuring a duke, a countess, a huncbacked jester, an assassin and a curse. The Utah Opera brings this tragic story to the Utah stage for a limited engagement. If you miss it, the curse is on you!
7:30pm through Jan. 27 & 2pm on Jan. 29, Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South. Tickets $16–85, 801355-ARTS or arttix.org.
Q Join producers Sugar Space and SB Dance for the 4th annual THE SUGAR SHOW. This adjudicated series of works 7:30pm, Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle, UofU. Tickets $19.50– by five emerging artists is presented by 29.50, 801-581-7100 or kingtix.com. dance-makers of unique backgrounds Q Returning to the Jewish Community Center is another dose and styles. The audience and a panel of experts give feedback and vote to choose of DINE WITH WINE. Hostess Judith Christensen will guide the winner. The series provides opportuguests through an evening of food and wine pairing, cooking nity, exposure, mentorship, support and and socializing. After a cooking demonstration, enjoy great food, wine and company. Plus, learn some creative new recifinancial awards to performing artists pes and which wines complement the dishes. Personally, I like making new works. This year’s artists a good Chianti with frozen fish sticks, just sayin’! are Efren Corado, TransfusionHype, Nell 6:30pm, Jewish Community Center, 2 Medical Dr., UofU. Tickets $35–50, call Suttles, Joni Tuttle, and fivefour/Cortney 801-581-0098 to register. Mcguire and Leah Nelson.
FRIDAY — Highlighting work that pushes the
boundaries and the moving image, NEW FRONTIER at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, formerly the Salt Lake Art Center, celebrates the convergence of film, art and new media technologies as a hotbed for cinematic innovation. As part of Sundance Film Festival, the program presents ongoing media installations as well as multimedia performances, transmedia experiences, artist lectures and more. Featured artists include Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison, Marco Brambilla, Nonny de la Peña, Hank Willis Thomas and Chris Johnson in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair, and more.
Hours vary, UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple. Free, 801-328-4201 or utahmoca. org.
8pm, Black Box Theatre, Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. Broadway. Tickets $15, 801-355-ARTS or arttix. org.
TUESDAY — The cute guys of the indie rock band AUGUSTANA, including new member David Lamoreaux, are in Salt Lake City tonight. With four albums under their belt and hit singles like “Boston” and “Steal Your Heart,” this is sure to be a fabulous concert. 7pm, In The Venue at Club Sound, 219 S. 600 West. Tickets $15.50 adv/$18.50 day of show, 801-467-8499 or smithstix.com.
FRIDAY — Join SB Dance for the return of last summer’s hit THE BEAST OF SB DANCE. In this “remix,” the incredibly talented cast, including Juan Claudio Carlos, Kate Crews and Nathan Shaw, reinvent some of the fast-paced, intrinsic pieces as well perform new numbers that are sure to leave you awestruck. Please ... there’s mild nudity, who wouldn’t be awestruck. Tehehe!
8pm through Saturday & 4pm on Sunday, Black Box Theatre, Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. Broadway. Tickets $12, 801-355-ARTS or arttix.org.
Q Experience the “Victoriandustrial” sound of EMILIE AUTUMN on her Fight Like A Girl Tour that’s in Salt Lake City tonight. This self-identified asexual, glam rock singer, musician and poet will wow the crowd with her talents on the paino and violin, as well as with her dramatic vocal range. Plus, she wears exciting diva-esque outfits. 8pm, The Complex, 536 W. 100 South. Tickets $18 adv/$20 day of show, 801-467-8499 or smithstix. com.
Q When it comes to cunning, clever and sometimes creepy-crawly characters, Glenn Close is the go-to-gal. The awardwinning actress is going all manly, (big stretch) in the new flick ALBERT NOBBS ... tehehe, nobs! Anyhoo, Close (who also co-wrote the screenplay) plays a woman passing as a man in order to work as a waiter in a hotel and survive in 19th century Ireland. Some 30 years after donning men’s clothing, she finds herself trapped in a prison of her own making when she falls for a younger woman. The sexy Johnathan Rhys Meyers costars. Opens today, hours vary, Broadway Centre Cinemas, 111 E. Broadway. Tickets $6.25–8.75, fandango.com.
JANUARY 19, 2012
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
A great show for the whole family!
SUNDAY — In celebration of Bisexual Awareness Month, Bi-Utah, a social and community-action group, is throwing a COMING OUT PARTY. For all those Utahn out there that identifuy as bisexual, b-queer, bi-burious, transgender-bi, bi-friendly and questioning, and their fabulous allies, this is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and to celebrate, with oodles of pride, the best of you.
portraits on a black, studio backdrop, the subjects of the film face the camera and, with a direct, even delivery that belies the emotional topics, ask things they always wanted to know about their fathers but never voiced. Hours vary, through May 17, UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple. Free, 801-328-4201 or utahmoca.org.
WEDNESDAY — Kicking off the spring season earlier this year, to accommodate their European tour, is Odyssey Dance Company’s annual SHUT UP & DANCE. The 6–9pm, Utah Pride Center, 355 N. 300 West. Free, moving and remarkable “Romeo + Juliet” utahpridecenter.org. returns with So You Think You Can Dance TUESDAY — Made in col- stars Tadd Gadduang and Ryan Di Lello, laboration with New Yorkas does the popular “Sledgehammer!” based filmmaker Petter program. This year’s “Dancescapes” Ringbom, the exhibit KARL highlights five pieces by renowned choHAENDEL: QUESTIONS FOR reographers Dee Caspray, Mandy Moore MY FATHER is a document of the inquiand Justin Giles. ries, doubts and reservations of a genera- 7:30pm, Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle, tion of men who came of age in the late UofU. Tickets $20–40, 801-581-7100 or kingtix. com. 20th century. Arranged like a series of
save the date
Sundance Film Festival
Gay Day at Hogle Zoo
LGBTQ Youth Summit utahpridecenter.org
SAGE Garden Party utahpridecenter.org
Pride Center Golf Classic
Utah Pride Festival
Elevation Park City Gay Ski Week
Utah Arts Festival uaf.org
Pink Dot Utah
Big Gay Fun Bus to Wendover
Damn These Heels Film Festival
EU Allies Dinner
UAF Oscar Night
A LW I N N I KO L A I S Under the Artistic Direction of Alberto del Saz of the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance
February 3-4, 2012 7:00 I 2:00 PM
Tickets: $30 adults, $15 students/seniors, $45 family of 5
QSaltLake Lagoon Day
Emma Eccles Jones Foundation
JANUARY 19, 2012
24 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Traci Lords: From ‘Penthouse’ to Sundance B By Tony Hobday
ARRING A TUMULUTOUS PAST — many who say she brought upon herself — Traci Lords, 43, has become a wife, mother, “legitimate” actress and budding songtress. Nearly 30 years since a quasi “kiss-off” to the world: running away from home, posing nude for Penthouse at the age of 15 and lying her way into porn movies, Lords is still, in a sense, kicking and screaming — only now with a better, healthier outcome. She is holding her own, making positive strides for herself and hopefully in the process helping others who are tortured by their past. Lords will be in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival promoting the horror flick Excision, the debut film by writer-director Richard Bates Jr., and co-starring everyone’s fave camp-horror phenom, John Waters. Not too far removed from her own life, Lords plays a tormented mother of two daughters — one with a wildly dark and morbid imagination and the other suffering a long-term chronic disease. Four midnight screenings of Excision will be held in Park City and Salt Lake City between Jan. 21 and 28. In the direct fashion that is Lords, she speaks briefly with us about her new film, her music career and her predisposition for pretty girls. First, let’s talk about your film, Excision, that made it into the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The movie, by writer/director Richard Bates Jr., is a feature-length adaptation of his 2008 short film of the same name. In your opinion, are there any major changes, other than the cast, to the plot of the film or did Bates simply expand on his original vision for the film? The plot of the film remains the same. But the emotional core of the film is stronger. Ricky really focused on the relationship between the characters. We get to see and feel their struggles. The short version of the film garnered accolades while on the festival circuit in 2008, which can sometimes be difficult to achieve by a first-time director like Bates, particularly in the Horror genre. Please give us a synopsis of the film and why you think moviegoers have applauded it. Excision is about a delusional and disturbed teenage girl who has aspirations of
a career in medicine. It’s about the pain of growing up and feeling totally isolated and alienated from everyone and everything around you. I think because we are living in a time where more and more children are doing horrible things (shooting up schools...etc...) this movie resonates. Let me just say that Bates is a good-looking, sexy man. What is he like in person? Is he an easy, fun, or difficult director? You’ve worked with director John Waters, who is also in the film — how are the two alike and how are they different since they are both Horror savants. Ricky will be pleased to have made your “hot” list! And John will be insulted not to have! (laughs) Ricky and John are both passionate, creative people who love film. They have that in common. They differ in most other ways — John has a twisted, sarcastic sense of humor and wisdom that comes with age. Ricky is young, hungry and very straight! They are driven by different things. Both are wonderful to work with and both are actor-friendly. Tell us about your character in the film, and how you prepared yourself for the part. I play the tormented mother of two teenage girls. My life has not turned out as I had planned. My youngest daughter suffers from cystic fibrosis and watching the disease take hold of her is more than I can stand. On another subject, tell us about you music career, how it came to be and how far you’d like to see it go. Also, I recently watched your new video of “Last Drag” — very hot! It seems to be receiving a lot of positive buzz, so congratulations! There are snippets of you engaging in subtle girl-on-girl action in the video; so, are you bisexual or, as they say, bi-curious? My music career started in 1995 with the release of my album 1000 Fires. I’ve had three top 10 hit songs. My latest is “Last Drag.” It feels amazing to be at the top of the charts with Katy Perry and Beyoncé. My video is a fun romp about temptation. It’s about pointing the finger at your own vices ... owning them, conquering them and getting on with it! As for the girls ... who doesn’t like pretty girls? You have quite the storied past, full of hardships, emotional struggles and controversy — yet you have risen above and turned your life into something positive. Tell us about that journey. Also, you’ve said, and I’m paraphrasing, that “you can run but you can’t hide.” What precisely are you referring to? “You can run but you can’t hide” means exactly that ... wherever you go, there you are. At the end of the day, we all have to be “OK” with who and what we are to be happy. Will this be your first visit to the Sundance festival and/or Utah? What are you looking forward to most? This is my second visit to Sundance, but the first time with a film. I’m excited and really looking forward to freezing my ass off! (laughs) Q
JANUARY 19, 2012
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
GLAAD to host queerinclusive panels at Sundance
HE GAY & LESBIAN ALLIANCE AGAINST DEFAMATION will host Bishop Gene Robinson, director Ira Sachs and other filmmakers during the third annual cineGLAAD at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The program works to raise awareness about films with queer content and amplifies the voices of filmmakers who highlight the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender experience. “The Sundance Film Festival has been a starting point for some of the most prominent films with LGBT stories. It’s these images that are building support for equality by helping Americans understand the common ground we all share,” Mike Thompson, acting president of GLAAD said in a press release. “GLAAD is proud to help raise the profile of those films and filmmakers who highlight the LGBT experience as an official Institute Associate at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.” The cineGLAAD panels will be held at the Sundance Film Festival’s Filmmaker Lodge located on the second floor of the Elks Building, 550 Main St., in Park City. Panel discussions are free and open to the public. Guests must RSVP. Priority entry will be given to 2012 Sundance Film Festival pass holders. Guests should RSVP at glaad.org/cineGLAAD.
PANELS AND EVENTS Relying on the Kindness of Strangers: Funding Film Through Social Media Saturday, Jan. 21, 4 p.m. For aspiring independent filmmakers, one of the most daunting parts of the process is raising the money needed to make a film. Particularly for films with queer content, there is often a dearth of investors willing to take a chance on new talent, but the advent of online social networking has opened up new fundraising strategies for film that are quickly becoming the norm. This panel will address the often difficult road that queer-inclusive and independent films have to travel before and after getting made and a how to reach a wider community willing to open their wallets to help see these unique stories told. Panelists include Adam Chapnick (Chief of Distribution, IndieGoGo), Maria Lynn (President, Wolfe Video) and Erin Greenwell (Writer/Director, My Best Day).
Keep the Lights On: What Modern Queer Cinema Looks Like Monday, Jan. 23, 4:30 p.m. Keep the Lights On examines a decadelong relationship between two men in New York City. Though the film deals with issues facing the contemporary gay community, including fidelity and addic-
tion, it also tells a deeply personal story that plays out with sometimes startling authenticity. Join writer and director Ira Sachs (who previously brought the award-winning Forty Shades of Blue to Sundance) and others for a discussion on the film’s creation and its place in the queer cinema canon. Panelists include Zachary Booth, Mauricio Zacharias (Co-writer) and Thimios Bakatakis (Director of Photography).
Love Free or Die: Bishop Gene Robinson and the Evolving Church Tuesday, Jan. 24, 4:30 p.m. In 2003, Gene Robinson became the first openly-gay man to be elected to bishop in the Episcopal Church, resulting in both cheers of celebration from progressive Christians around the world and angry condemnation from the church’s more conservative sects. Robinson’s appointment touched off a movement that has changed the way the church relates to queer people, which has long been an emotionally-charged and complex relationship. The new documentary Love Free Or Die takes a closer look at this relationship through the eyes of the man whose appointment found him at the center of the storm. Join Bishop Gene Robinson, director Macky Alson and others as they discuss making the documentary and what’s next in the often unpredictable saga of LGBT people and the church. Panelists include Bishop Gene Robinson, Director Macky Alston and Director Sandi Dubowski (Trembling Before G-d). Moderator: Kyle Buchanan (Film Editor, New York Magazine)
cineGLAAD Lounge Tuesday, Jan. 24 — All Day Filmmakers reception at 1 p.m. LGBT and allied festival-goers are invited to the cineGLAAD Lounge at The Sky Lodge, 201 Heber Ave., Park City, where guests can enjoy coffee and free internet while networking with other professionals in a relaxed setting.
Cocktails with cineGLAAD Tuesday, Jan. 24, 8 p.m. GLAAD will also host a cocktail reception as a networking opportunity for LGBT filmmakers and allies. ‘Cocktails with cineGLAAD’ will also be held at The Sky Lodge. Attendees will receive a one-year membership to GLAAD and hosted cocktails, courtesy of Bud Light and RÖKK Vodka.
More information on GLAAD’s presence at Sundance can be found at glaad.org/cineGLAAD. QSaltLake will also be tweeting during the panels and parties @QSaltLake.
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JANUARY 19, 2012
26 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Wanting More By Tony Hobday
BOUT BOY BANDS: They come and go like a good night’s sleep, leaving a dull fogginess of whether you actually liked them or if you were just infatuated with them for a short period of time. After a surge, in the ’80s and ’90s, of sweet-faced boys banding together in matching outfits, singing about unrequited love and broken hearts, and dancing synchronzied routines — N’SYNC and The Backstreet Boys most notably — boy bands pretty much disappeared, breaking hearts of millions of teenage girls and a comparable amount of gay guys. For teenage girls today ... and some gay boys, there is a new light on the horizon; a light to hit Salt Lake City on Feb. 2. Out of the land of Brits is an up-and-coming new kind of boy band called The Wanted. This five-member group formed in 2009 after a grueling nine-month audition process ... so the band was born more than formed. Bandmate Jay McGuiness, 21, said that at times when they got down to the five winning people, it wasn’t a right fit and so they would re-audition. “They would cut it down to 30 people, then 20, then 18,” recalled Jay, the self-proclaimed loon of the group, “then 12 and then down to the final five. But then back up to 12 and then 18 again. It was really stressful. I didn’t know anyone, it was just me and new people straight away.” The final run of auditions brought together five boys, who started out as strangers and quickly turned into friends, to become The Wanted. Along with Jay, the tall curly-haired boy with a dancer’s background and a hot, geeky sexiness, the other mates that make up The Wanted are Max George, 23, the smoldering one with a footballer’s physique; Siva Kaneswaran, 23, the statuesque model, Nathan Sikes, 19, the cute, boy-next-door type; and Tom Parker, 23, who has the face of a “‘Gillette: The Best A Man Can Get’ model.” The “stressful” audition process appears to have panned out; The Wanted, in only two years, have released two well-received albums and several chart-topping singles, including “All Time Low” and “Glad You Came,” the song that Jay attributes to the feeling that “things are changing for us, getting bigger.” Their success, according to Jay, stems also from not taking themselves too seriously. “When it comes to music, you have to take it seriously,” Jay said. “The politics with record labels and management can be stressful, so we can’t take ourselves too seriously; we try to make each other laugh. I think that’s what gets you through the day.” Having shared a flat in London for 10 months could possibly be attributed to their success as well. “We lived together though we weren’t required to,” said Jay. “And now we know each other better than our own families. We know all the amazing stuff and all the horrible stuff.” Jay said he’s grateful for Max, Nathan, Tom and Siva.
“I have four new ... well, not really new anymore, best friends,” he shared. “I lost a few friends when I started this, but I think your best friends are always your best friends no matter what you do or who you are.” Though there are rumors already swimming the Internet about who in the group “is the next Lance Bass,” Jay said that being part of a boy band means that you “have to be ambiguous about your sexuality.” “You can’t get offended by it,” said Jay, referring to the rumors of homosexuality. “You just have to roll with it.” According to masculine but affectionate Max, who appeared naked on the cover of the British gay magazine AXM, for its 2008 Naked Issue, none of the bandmates will face the issue of being rumored as gay. Although, research on the web has alledgedly revealed that Max’s favorite band is Queen and his favorite movie is Brokeback Mountain. And Nathan, the youngest member, said he is proud that he looks like a feature on the website lesbiansthatlooklikejustinbieber.com. Though they’ve been to the U.S. before, Jay said they are excited to return, this time to “try
and sell themselves” to the American market. “We do have fans organically but now we want it to change a bit,” said Jay. Touring and promoting their second album Battleground, a very different piece of work than their first, Jay said they hope the show will be interactive. “We want the crowd to get involved,” he said. “I mean if a person jumps on stage we’re not going to shove them off. We get very excited about
Local DJ blends darker sound with top-40 hits By Seth Bracken
HE SWITCH FROM A classically-trained clarinet player to a Top 40 disc jockey at some of the hottest clubs in Salt Lake was a simple one for DJ Sergio \V/. “I’ve always been musically inclined. But it wasn’t until recently that I was introduced to house music and started to really love it,” Sergio \V/ said. “I started learning in January of 2010 and it sort of consumed my life. Each week I spend hours preparing for my set.” He uses the Billboard Top 100 and listens to various other deejays to prep for his regular nights as a frequently featured DJ at PÜRE at
Club Sound, one of Salt Lake’s most popular gay clubs on Friday nights. He got his start opening for DJ Mike Babbitt on ‘Blackout’ Thursday nights at JAM. His beats and reputation launched him into the resident Friday night DJ position at JAM and he began filling in occasionally on Saturday nights as well. “I learned a lot at JAM. Every night is different and the Friday night and Saturday night crowds are like night and day sometimes. They’re completely different and a song that kills it on Friday might empty the dance floor on a Saturday,” he said.
our live shows and we jump around on stage like we’re rock stars. We are actually shaking backstage after each show. We act like fools, so if fans come expecting a perferct routine, they might be confused.” Q
The Wanted play In The Venue at Club Sound, 219 S. 600 West, on Feb. 2. Tickets are $12.50 in advance and are available at smithstix outlets, smithstix.com and at 801-467-8499. Each set and each night is different and while there may be some predetermined direction of songs, Sergio \V/ tries to let the crowd dictate a lot of the music and the request list is one of his most important tools. The request list guides his set and pushes him to find ways to connect the dots between each song, which can be a challenge. “I’m always thinking three or four songs ahead. I have to know how one song is going to lead into the next and make sure everything fits,” he said. “But finding the direction for the set to flow through the requests can be tough. I don’t just play each request immediately after I get it. I have to find a way to make it work.” Another challenge he faces is blending his own darker, more brooding style into a top-40, more above-ground club mix. Finding just the right remix for the latest hit might take hours, but landing that perfect signature sound is worth the effort. With inspirations and influences like Dave Audé, Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold, Thrill Seekers and many more, Sergio \V/ has developed a unique sound that is unlike other deejays in Utah. His stage name is inspired by his full name, Sergio Valentine Ramos, and his graphic design reflects his personal, unassuming but largerthan-life style. “I would absolutely say performing is an artistic outlet. It’s awesome to have a chance to do something I love and share that. It can serve as a distraction from real life,” he said. “I was recently fired from a job because I’m gay, and while I’m still working on finding another, which is really tough, I’m so happy to have my DJ work to help.” Sergio \V/ has performed in Washington, D.C. for Capitol Pride at the Zigfeld’s/Secrets Complex during their pride weekend closing party. He also performs occasionally at PÜRE at Club Sound on Friday nights and has performed at other local gay clubs. To stay up to date on all his gigs, find DJ Sergio \V/ on Facebook. Q
JANUARY 19, 2012
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
she culture The Gayest City? Let’s own it By Annalisa Millo
HE RECENT ANNUAL GAYEST CITIES in America ranking by The Advocate has caused quite a stir. Most are aware by now, but in case you missed it, the nation’s longest running LGBT publication ranked Salt Lake City as the “gayest” city in the country, ahead of some other, more obvious, cities. The response from locals has mostly been positive, with substantial excitement surrounding it. However, there’s also a good amount of criticism about it that would lead skeptics to suppose that the surrounding buzz may be undue. How did we get to that position in the rankings, what exactly does it mean to be the gayest city in the country, and is it even relevant or useful information? First, I’d like to preface this by noting that this is just my own speculation. The factors that were calculated include items like number of LGBT elected officials, nude yoga classes, transgender protections, WNBA teams and more. These were then divided by the population of city limits. Is that the urban city limits, metro city limits or otherwise? Why does the number of nude yoga classes or studios affect how “gay” a city is or not? Can’t heterosexual people enjoy nude yoga too? One thing can be mostly agreed upon: it seems the general consensus is that the rankings were calculated on per capita. I received a response from a resident in Seattle, and who has been with his partner for 17 plus years. As an outsider to Salt Lake City, his take on it covered some very valid points: “As a former resident of Salt Lake City, I strongly disagree with The Advocate’s ranking of gayest cities. The fuzzy math is inherently flawed in that large cities like New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco are penalized for having too many people, which gives them an apparent low ‘concentration of gayness.’ In a separate Advocate article, the writers admit to being subjective and that the data was determined by completely unscientific methodologies. I mean, one lesbian-owned wine bar, three gay bars plus the Sundance Film Festival does not make a city the gayest. Do you, in all sincerity, agree with the article? These reviews and rankings are typically meaningless and self-serving.” Though I do agree with him, to an extent, I also believe that because I’ve been hearing
Salt Lake City’s high ranking as such for the past four or five years, consequently there is most likely more to it. I believe that this suggests vast social and political change has been happening in the country for the past few years toward LGBT rights and equality issues, particularly our fair city in the Beehive State. Furthermore, I also believe Salt Lake City is at the forefront of this debate, as we may be the only city in the country with such a large LGBT presence in a setting where we face so much obvious and, some would argue, almost proactive opposition. The LDS church may or may not intentionally have become mostly the face of that opposition, particularly when we consider the Proposition 8 debacle, but I believe that many parts of the country look at Salt Lake City and how our queer community responds to our opponents because of the unique demographics here. So, while we may not be the “gayest” city in the country, whatever that means, Salt Lake City just may be the most relevant city in the country when it comes to LGBT and equality issues, both politically and socially. We could dissect this to pieces and analyze what is probably a very subjective ranking, but I think it would be best to remember what is most important here. Equality issues are hopefully some of the last human and civil rights matters that need to be fully addressed and dealt with in our country; our nation still experiences a large amount of oppression and discrimination, sometimes on a daily basis, based on sexual orientation and gender identity. With the 2012 Presidential Campaign on the horizon, equality issues will likely play a major role, right up there with the nation’s economic status and foreign policy. But what I believe this all comes down to is the fact there are many members of our queer community, myself included, who are, or who have been, incredibly discouraged, frustrated and/or discriminated against because of the fact that we are the minority and we are the counterculture of a city that is so discernibly overshadowed by an enormous religious dominance. Considering, it’s nice to be able to call this “gayest city” thing our own and claim a small victory for the queers of Salt Lake City. To the many skeptics and critics out there, just let us embrace this one. Q
Can’t heterosexual people enjoy nude yoga too?
more events at gaysaltlake.com pule solutions
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Cryptogram: His name is Victor, he’s kind of everything that I’ve ever looked for and aspired to be in a relationship with.
28 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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anagram An anagram is a word or phrase that can be made using the letters from another word or phrase. Rearrange the letters below to answer:
NAME THE CHILD ACTRESS OF THE 80S WHO RECENTLY CAME OUT
MILKY CROTCH SIN ______
JANUARY 19, 2012
JANUARY 19, 2012
Qhealth Are you a binge drinker? By Lynn Beltran
ECENT REPORTS FROM THE CENTERS for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that binge drinking is actually a bigger problem than anyone realized. Statistics recently reported by the CDC indicate that one in six adults in the U.S. binge drinks an average of four times a month. Yikes! This statistic, in and of itself, is both surprising and concerning. Binge drinking is defined, for a male, as drinking five or more alcoholic drinks in a short period of time, and, for a female, the number of drinks is four. A night out at the bar or at a party certainly will constitute a short period of time. Surprisingly, the research does not show an association between binge drinking and alcohol de-
pendency or alcoholism, however binge drinking does seem to come with its own set of problems. The research showed that no demographic seems to be immune to binge drinking. Not surprising is that more than 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by underage drinkers is consumed during binge drinking. What is surprising to me is that people 65 years and older are the ones who binge drink most often. Also surprising is that the income group that is made up of the most binge drinkers is the group earning more than $75,000 a year. Some of the biggest byproducts of binge drinking are increases in certain types of cancers, injuries, diseases
including sexually transmitted diseases, as well as increases in car crashes and premature death. The financial consequences of binge drinking are often significant to both the individual involved, as well as the community. It is estimated that binge drinking cost the United States about $223 billion in 2006 or about $746 per person. I must admit that this is a common factor that comes up in conversations with patients who have recently been diagnosed with an STD, although we don’t formally refer to it as binge drinking. We know that alcohol reduces social inhibitions and impairs judgment. Many of my patients simply say this is exactly what they are seeking — a lack of inhibition. The alcohol allows them to loosen up, which often leads to a sense of, “I don’t really remember what I did” or, “I really only do that when I am drunk but I need to drink to be able to talk to a guy.” Many seem to feel that a risky behavior that leads them to a trip to an STD clinic is more acceptable or even excusable if they can say, “well, I was just really drunk.” I think that we can all agree that dependency on alcohol in order to meet,
talk to or hook up with a guy is a slippery slope and although it doesn’t necessarily lead to alcoholism, it is still a slope that commonly ends up in any of the above consequences. The real question though is what is the solution to binge drinking? Even the CDC states that there is not an association between binge drinking and alcoholism; therefore it is not an addiction that should seek conventional treatment. Perhaps it is not a recognized disease but it is a behavior that may require some formal intervention in order to prevent it. The CDC recommends that in order to prevent it people can choose not to binge drink and help others to not binge drink as well. Wow, yes that sounds right but c’mon now, that’s all you’ve got?! I think it is important to look at what makes a person think they need the alcohol impairment in order to interact socially. The next time you go out, count how many drinks you have — if it’s five or more then you technically meet the definition of binge drinking. Then ask yourself, what is it about the alcohol that gives me the confidence or courage to engage with a really cute guy? Is there a better or healthier way for me to get what I want out of my social life? Q
What is surprising to me is that people 65 years and older are the ones who binge drink most often
G E T YO U R V I Q C A R D AT
JANUARY 19, 2012
30 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Each Sudoku puzzle has a unique solution which can be reached
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español exprés Who wants to be ordinary? by Gus Herrero
HE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER on the other side of the fence,” reads a well known quote. Even thought I have heard that saying many times, it seemed that it had no or a little impact on me. You see, it seems that human beings are always in the need of something, whether it’s goods, possessions, love — and let’s not forget that “Adonis” body the media feeds us everyday. A few days ago, I watched a documentary called The Adonis Factor. This documentary portrays gay life and its eagerness to “fit” into a certain pattern: work out all day long so they can be muscular so other men will find them attractive, hang out with “the right people” and attend the right social events just to fit in. I never got the memo. Yes, I didn’t know that I also had to be a certain way to fit into the gay community. I’ve been trying all my life to set myself apart from everyone else. I don’t need someone to tell me what to wear, how to look, or what social events to attend in order to fit in. We, gay and lesbian people who strive to
¿Quién quiere ser normal? by Gus Herrero
L GRAS SIEMPRE ES MAS verde en el otra lado de cerca,” dice un conocido dicho. A pesar de que esta aseveración ha rondado mi vocabulario por mucho tiempo, parece que no ha tenido mucho impacto en mi forma de pensar. Verán, parece que los seres humanos estamos siempre buscando la manera de satisfacer nuestras necesidades, ya sean bienes materiales, posesiones, amor y no olvidemos la tan abrumante idea del cuerpo de “Adonis” que los medios publicitan tanto cada día. Hace unos días atrás, vi el documental The Adonis Factor. Este documental muestra la vida gay y su exasperación para poder “encajar” en cierto estilo de vida. Ustedes saben: estar en el gimnasio todo el día, estar rodeado de la “gente apropiada” y asistir a los eventos sociales acordes solo para poder encajar. Nunca recibí el memorándum!, No sabia que también tenia que ser y encajar de alguna manera en el estilo de la comunidad gay. He tratado toda mi vida por ser diferente a los demás. No necesito de nadie para decirme que es lo que debo de usar, como debo de lucir y que eventos sociales asistir. Nosotros, los gays y lesbianas quienes peleamos por encontrar los mismos derechos
achieve equal rights, stab each other in the back when someone doesn’t meet the “standards” of gay life. But what is that standard, anyway? I say screw it. Be who you are. If others don’t like it, it’s their lost. Is looking like an “Adonis,” partying and drinking all weekend and having a JLo butt what it really means to be gay? I don’t think so. If it is, I think I’ll surrender my gay card at the nearest DMV. To me, being gay means so much more than looking good. Let’s face it, we all like to look good, but we don’t need to go to extremes. I know, magazines and media always give us all these models that portray the ideal image of a man or woman. But how many of them really look like that in real life? How much Photoshop did they use on that model to look like that? After a long talk with my pillow I realized that we don’t need to change who we are in order to fit in. The gay life is not a pattern that someone else has set for you. You make your own life. If I you want to hang out all day long in a pair of sweats and an upside-down tshirt, I say do it! If you don’t want to go to the socialite events these weekend and instead repair that old faucet in your bathroom, I say do it. Who wants to be like everybody else? Who wants to be ordinary in this crazy mixed up world? I don’t . Q
iguales a cualquier ciudadano, casi siempre nos vemos clavándole el puñal por la espalda a alguien que no tiene los mismos “estándares” que nosotros. ¿Pero de que estándar estamos hablamos? Digo, que les valga, sean como son. Si a los demás no les gusta, bueno es el problema de ellos y no el tuyo. ¿Es acaso lucir como “Adonis,” ir de farra y tomar hasta caer al suelo y tener el trasero de JLO lo que significa ser gay? No, no lo creo, y si es así creo que dejare mi tarjeta de identificación gay en el mas cercano DMV. Para mi, ser gay significa mucho mas que lucir bien. Lo se, a todos nos gusta vernos bien, pero no necesitamos ir a extremos. Se, que las revistas y los medios nos muestran modelos idealizados de hombres y mujeres. Pero cuantos de estos modelos lucen así en la realidad? ¿Cuanto de lo que vemos es la realidad o Photoshop? Luego de una larga meditación con mi almohada me he dado cuando de que no temeos que cambiar quienes somos para poder encajar. La vida gay no es algo que alguien mas ha fijado para nosotros. Cada uno de nosotros hacemos y formamos nuestra propia vida. ¡Si quieren estar todo el día en sus pijamas Háganlo! ¡Si no quieres salir este fin de semana y darte una súper farra, no lo hagas! ¿Quien quiere ser igual que los demás? ¿Quien quiere ser ordinario en este mundo loco? Q
JANUARY 19, 2012
Be ready for anything, Taurus By Jack Fertig
Mars is turning retrograde and will backtrack through Virgo until April 13. In this period, recent pet peeves, critical arguments, bitchy outbursts and intestinal inflammations will come back to haunt you. Keep an eye on self-improvement without beating yourself up.
ARIES (March 20–April 19) Your ruler, Mars, turning retrograde in Virgo is likely to make you cranky, even aggressive, especially with colleagues, in the next few weeks. Obsessing over details can distract you from bigger issues and dangers. But do heed details that concern your health!
TAURUS (April 20–May 20) Being _too_ nice can come off as saccharine and manipulative. Use your overactive charms to deal with problems in a straightforward fashion. Resist the urge to gloss over them. Flirtations can lead a lot further than intended.
GEMINI (May 21–June 20) Disagreements at home are likely to get out of hand, and especially when you thought you’d just settled the problem. Be as patient and diplomatic as you can. Your attention will soon turn to more interesting problems.
CANCER (June 21–July 22) A new passionate fling probably seems a lot more serious than it really is. Or less. Either way it’s sure to surprise you–and probably a lot more people than you’d like to have know about it.
LEO (July 23–August 22) It’s too easy to react to others. Your natural instinct is to be a control queen, but more productively, try to see why your nerves are so raw. Vigorous exercise will help your balance and insight.
VIRGO (August 23–September 22) A conservative, cautious approach to a creative problem will provide a key to
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much more imaginative possibilities. Take that inspiration to work and you’ll find more ideas pointing to new methods. With a solid grounding, dare to advance bold new techniques.
LIBRA (September 23–October 22) Hitting a plateau in whatever you’re working on is a natural stage. Don’t let it discourage you! Keep at whatever you’re doing, although if you can figure out why you’re stuck you may find better ways of doing it.
SCORPIO (October 23–November 21) Frustration with co-workers has more to do with your expectations than with them. Brace yourself for recent problems to come back at you. You need to mouth off. Save it for your friends who can help you develop a better perspective.
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SAGITTARIUS (November 22–Dec. 20) Talk with relatives about family health issues. Better to get rude surprises from your family to prepare your doctor than the other way around! Brush up on skills and get updated on technology that will help you at work.
CAPRICORN (December 21–January 19) Recurrence of old arguments may highlight your need to reconsider ideals and tenets you’ve long taken for granted. Be careful that shrewd insight doesn’t push you to disillusion friends. You can be realistic and respectful.
AQUARIUS (January 20–February 18) The impulse to demonstrate your debonair wit could easily backfire. The line between incisive epigrams and rude bitchiness is too easy to stumble over. If you need to be naughty, find an appropriate partner and a room.
PISCES (February 19–March 19) Venus is in Pisces boosting your charm and seductiveness. It’s very easy to talk your way into a hot little affair, but you may soon find it harder to get out of. Be sure of where the exits are before you step into anything! Q
Jack Fertig, a professional astrologer since 1977, is available for personal and business consultations. He can be reached at 415-864-8302, starjack.com, or QScopes@ qsyndicate.com.
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JANUARY 19, 2012
32 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
cocktail chaer The Kir Royale By Ed Sikov
AN AND I GOT MARRIED on Saturday. This news may be surprising, given my little peccadillo with Jack Fogg and the uproar when my stunned partner — now husband — found out. But it led to the talk we should have had years ago; a discussion too personal for even me to write about. Let’s just say that we came to an understanding, then made up, then out, and then finally came — in a very different sense of the word. We’re beyond being best friends. My faults still register with Dan, but there’s a trace of a smile when I tell the same jokes I always tell. And I’m proud of being married to the world’s greatest klutz. (Life with Dan: bang, crash, “shit!”) We’re genuinely intertwined in ways we weren’t four years ago, when I. ... Well, the fact is that I have Parkinson’s disease. I haven’t mentioned it before because it hasn’t been part of any of the stories I’ve told. It’s no fun, but I live with it, and you’d never guess I had it unless you happen to catch me doing the last three reps of a weightlifting set.
That’s when I tremor. Dan has been there for me throughout the whole bad trip, and I’ve been there for him, too. (The six months leading to his promotion to V.P. at CogniTech was practically as traumatic as my PD.) So when New York granted gay people marriage equality, we went for it. The scene: the beach house. The characters: our friends Gary and Heath, Dan and I. The state legislature was taking its time. I checked the news just after 11 p.m. “It passed!” I yelled. We toasted with what was left of the dinner wine. Then we set the date: Me: “We gettin’ married?” Dan: “Yeah.” Me: “When?” Dan: “December!” We’re clearly not into the top-of-the-Empire State Building stuff. So we got married. There were eight guests, including the judge who married us, who happened to be Dan’s father. We reserved the private dining room of a terrific restaurant in our
neighborhood. The ceremony was one minute long. We said we loved each other, and Dan’s father said, “I now pronounce you married.” Then lunch. We left immediately for the beach, arriving rather late. I brought a rack of lamb to grill, some vegetables and two cupcakes. But yechhh! the only champagne in the refrigerator was not very good. (We keep some in there all the time — like Mary Richards and her can of artichoke hearts would say — “just in case.”) “I hate that swill,” Dan said. “There’s no need to fear,” I replied. “Underdog is here!’” We had Crème de Cassis, a blackcurrant
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liqueur. Undrinkably sweet on its own, it’s the perfect solution to bad, mediocre champagne. I grilled the rack of lamb, roasted some fingerling potatoes and sauteed Brussels sprouts in butter. We drank two bottles of bad, bad champagne transformed into Kir Royales. The rest of the night I’ll leave to your imagination.
The Kir Royale 1 bottle of bad champagne Crème de Cassis Add a few drops of Crème de Cassis to each glass, then fill with champagne. Use cheap champagne. Don’t ruin a good bottle of bubbly by adding anything at all. Q
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JANUARY 19, 2012
34 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
the dating diet House of Love by Anthony Paull
ID I MISS THE MEMO? Since when is it all right to solicit sex in the middle of the day without offering food or money? I mean, I know that I look hot and virginal in my skinny jeans but come on. I’m not going to sleep with you just because you’re homeless and shake your nuts at me when I’m walking on Main Street. I mean, I might sleep with you if you had a sleigh bed or a spiffy shopping cart, but a bicycle? How am I supposed to get off on a bicycle? “Remove the seat,” says my friend Matt. Walking beside me, he laughs as a homeless guy flags me down, boasting his penis. For some reason, the guy thinks I give a hoot. Like I’m an amateur who gets off on measurements. I mean, big is fine but I don’t need to be murdered by it. “Is this really happening?” I question aloud. Avoiding eye contact, I cross the street. Still, the homeless man circles me with his bike. “Did I do something wrong?” “Just ... keep ... walking,” Matt instructs. “Do not engage.” I fill with anxiety, pulling my hoodie over my head. “Good lord, am I so gay that some dude thinks it’s okay to tell me he’s going to screw me in pure daylight?”
We take the long route to my car, through the library, making a pit stop at the local coffee shop. I have a meltdown over peppermint tea. “Just relax. The guy’s crazy,” Matt states. “Probably,” I agree. Still I’m upset. “I mean, it wouldn’t be a huge deal but it’s the holidays,” I explain. “I’m having a hard enough time with all of my friends having babies and my dad telling everyone that I inherited the gay gene from my mother. I’m lost enough. I don’t need this shit.” “You’re just feeling what everyone feels around the holidays.” “What’s that?” “Completely fucked,” he says. “I mean you’ll be okay. Everyone gets sad this time of year. We’re all in the same boat.” I nod. However, I don’t think all of my friends are being propositioned by homeless men and puking at police stations at the stroke of midnight. Yeah, that happened too. But this is the life of a socialite. I try to wear my crown with pride but I’m beginning to wonder if being superficial is really worth the headache. I mean, shouldn’t I be having a Hallmark moment sometime soon? I thought that I would turn 30 and give a shit about something other than being a
total heathen. I guess not. Oops! Maybe dad’s right. Being gay is just one party ’til the next. But it’s not my fault. Remember, I inherited it from mom. Therefore, I roll with the punches, refusing to bat an eye when Matt receives a text, stating there’s an orgy at his house. I kind of expect it. On vacation, he left his place, two hours away, in the hands of a loser ‘friend.’ Thankfully, he had another friend advise him of the situation. The Craigslist ad indicates his gate code and address. “Is this part of the holidays too?” I ask him. Bolting, he tells me he has to drive home. He left his dogs at his house, and what if they’re involved in this? I mean, at this point, how low can it go? I join him to see. “The ad says to take off our clothes at the door,” Matt winks, as we drive to his place. “Someone is supposed to escort us to the master suite.” “You mean, your room?” I reply. “Yeah,” he says, making a joke of it. “You think this is funny?” “Kind of,” he says. “It’s not a big deal. We’ll just kick them out.” I strain a laugh, trying to make sense of it. Here we are, battling holiday traffic, where Christmas trees are neatly tied to car roofs, where families head to unite with loved ones. Meanwhile, we’re en route to see lovemaking
strangers. It’s going to be a white Christmas, yes, but splashed on some random guy’s back. The image makes me feel faint. “I just want to be normal,” I admit. “No you don’t,” Matt returns, refusing to feed my drama. “You’d be bored with normal. With having a baby and sitting home every night. That’s okay for other people. Not for you.” “Why not?” “Because you’re a writer. You need a story,” he says. “That’s all this is, just a story. Can’t you enjoy it?” We pull into his perfect green subdivision, everything manicured, and I let out a breath. I don’t feel right, engulfed by such perfection. I feel bored, excited only about what waits beyond the bend. “I could take you to your dad’s house,” Matt says. “You can spend the whole day blaming your mom for this. Is that what you want?” I grin, telling him to go straight or gaily forward and together we laugh as he presses on the gas. Q
Good lord, am I so gay that some dude thinks it’s ok to tell me he’s going to screw me in pure daylight?
Anthony Paull’s new book, Outtakes of A Walking Mistake chronicles the romantic entanglements of an ‘out’ gay 16-year-old boy named Tyler Morris, who auditions for a student film to win the heart of Billy Greske, the school’s celebrity thespian. It is available at Amazon for Kindle.
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