It’s almost election time again. Although there aren’t any big races happening this year – though many city and county council seats are up for grabs – it’s a very important time to consider what we’re doing to secure equal rights. What are we doing to change Utah’s political landscape? And why do we stand around complaining about what other people, churches and politicians do to us?
I say: Stop complaining and get involved.
I don’t mean to belittle local races, as these are important and there are a number of mayor and city council races with fair minded candidates. Log Cabin will be visiting with many of these candidates and, like Equality Utah, we will announce our endorsements next month.
I’m just thinking about the bigger picture – what is happening and going to be happening next year. We have the opportunity to be directly involved in the selection of our next governor, a U.S. Senator, and nearly one third of the Utah Legislature. We can cast the deciding votes that will determine who runs for any office, from any party, on the 2010 November ballot. Utah is one of only a very few states that still makes these choices from the grassroots level at county and state conventions. Most states utilize primaries, where everyone can vote, to select the candidates who will run from each party.
My dear friend Jim Dabakis wrote a recent Salt Lake Tribune article about Salt Lake’s unfolding anti-discrimination policy and the plans of many state legislators to overturn that policy in January. His closing remarks are worth repeating: “It will unfold and end this way unless people of courage and understanding from all parts of our community refuse to play their parts as written.”
It is up to all of us to do something to bring about change. But that involves having money and votes, and having people show up. It never ceases to amaze me that we can spend money on great parties, fabulous dinners and drinks at the clubs, but when it comes to actually supporting the organizations that can really make a difference we have a hard time parting with our “party” funds.
Utah Log Cabin Republicans are working vigorously to try and educate our new Governor about the discrimination many within our community face, and why we need laws that will prevent people from hurting their neighbors and fellow citizens. While Gov. Herbert has stated that he doesn’t see a need for antidiscrimination legislation yet, we believe that is because he has not been given all the facts.
However, he has not closed the door on this discussion. He has already met with the LCR leadership once, and we will be meeting with him again in the near future. Last month, Thomas Wright, the newly elected Salt Lake Republican Party Chairman, met with LCR to discuss how we can be more involved and have a greater influence in what happens in the county. He asked us to help him find people to serve as precinct chairs and become delegates. To o make real change we all need to be active in the political activities here in Utah, especially within the Republican Party.
Yup, this is a call to get thousands of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender friends, allies and family members to become involved with the party, and with Utah Log Cabin Republicans. To close his article, Jim asks: “Where are the David O. McKays, Gus Backmans, Harvey Milks and Jon Huntsmans to save us from ourselves? Blessed are the peacemakers — where are they?”
We need to become very active peacemakers. First, by being true to ourselves: by being out wherever possible so that our family, friends and neighbors will recognize that we are hard-working, honest, upstanding citizens worthy of their support and friendship. Second, we must be involved in the political process. The best way to do this is to work with political organizations that have the most direct influence with legislators. Since Utah is predominantly Republican, that means becoming
Republicans, attending the functions that the county and state Republican Party organizations hold, donating time and money to these organizations — especially to Utah Log Cabin Republicans, attending local precinct meetings next March to become delegates, and supporting candidates who support us.
If you are ready to get involved then contact us as [email protected] We have areas throughout the state needing precinct chairs, county and state delegates, and other positions within Republican organizations. Also, we are already planning for this year’s reception at the Governor’s mansion, where we will meet with our new Governor, First Lady, and Lt. Governor and his wife. We will also be inviting many of the state and county leaders.
But remember, this stuff costs money, as do the conventions, luncheons, dinners, etc. that are available for us to attend to become part of the Republican Party. We need your donations and your support. Now is our time to be heard.