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Friday gay rights rally on Capitol steps planned

by Jesse Fruhwirth
- Posted // 2010-02-11 -

There's been buzz all day that a protest was in the works regarding the "truce" or "compromise" between Legislative Republicans and the political leaders in the gay rights community. Local activist Eric Ethington has called for a 4 p.m. Friday sit-in to protest Sen. Michael Waddoups' words in recent weeks, which Ethington has called censorship.

"Right now there's a lot of anger and frustration in the [LGBT] community over Waddoups' comments both last night and last week," Ethington said moments ago.

At issue is Senate President Waddoups' post to the Senate Site blog last night, where he wrote, in part, "I also encouraged activists on both sides of this cultural divide to avoid behavior that would polarize." That feels like censorship, Ethington said, because "the issue is already polarized. The only way our community has seen any success is by drawing attention and showing we are proud of who we are." Ethington has more to say at his Pride in Utah! blog. 

What: Don't Step Over Our Rights Sit-in for gay rights

When: Friday, Feb. 12, 4 p.m.

Where: State Capitol front steps

Bring: According to Ethington, "mouth gags if possible, but if nothing else, just one big sign out front with a 'don't step over our rights' message."

If you're just tuning in: Equality Utah and Rep. Christine Johnson, both well respected in the community, signed onto a so-called "moratorium" in which Republicans promised no anti-gay bills this year if the gay folk agreed to not push "the gay agenda" for one year. In the interim, they were going to "study" how the brand-new Salt Lake city and county workplace and housing non-discrimination ordinances would play out; both were facing preemption--read: death--at the hands of the Republican majority. The non-peaceful truce has turned out none too popular with several prominent activists in the gay community. Tonight's LGBT Community Forum is one manifestation of that unhappiness; the sit-in another. More here.

I'll be live-Tweeting the forum. To tune in, click the pretty blue box: follow_jesse.jpg

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