A bigot is someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with fear, distrust, or hatred on the basis of a person’s race, religion, gender, disability, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation. There is a segment of the American population that cannot, and will not, overcome their bigotry under any circumstances and there is no greater degree of bigotry than that of evangelical fundamentalists and their hatred of gays. As most of America understands that in this country all citizens are equal and entitled to the same rights and privileges as every other American, there are still religious bigots that cannot accept the Constitution’s guarantee of equality for all Americans. In fact, next to racial bigotry, it is safe to say bigotry permeating the evangelical movement is rampant and although Mormons are not exactly evangelicals, they are certainly bigoted against gays; particularly if they want to marry the person they love.
In December a federal judge ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and 1,300 same-sex couples married before Utah Mormons convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay on subsequent marriages. Despite the state of Utah issuing 1,300 marriage licenses to same-sex couples who were legally married, Mormon Governor Gary Herbert asserted his religious bigotry and claimed Utah will not recognized the legal same-sex marriages. Subsequently, Utah bans same-sex couples from adopting children.
The particular case that highlights the deep-seated bigotry against gays, and the extent to which the Mormon Governor and Mormon attorney general, Sean Reyes, will go to punish same-sex couples is the case of Kimberly and Amber Leary. The couple were legally married before same-sex marriages were forbidden pending another waste of court time, and proceeded to file adoption papers for Kimberly to adopt Amber’s natural child. The adoption was finalized by a District Court Judge according to Utah law, but the attorney general told health department officials not to add Kimberly’s name on the child’s birth certificate in a clear violation of Utah law.
According to Utah’s “Decree of Step-Parent Adoption,” once an adoption is finalized, it cannot be challenged or changed by any person, or public official, “under any circumstances.” As with the Mormon governor’s refusal to recognize legal same-sex marriages, the Mormon attorney general refused to follow Utah law. The judge who finalized the Leary’s legal adoption ordered health department officials and attorney general Reyes to appear in court and “show why they should not be held in contempt for their willful disregard and refusal to obey the Decree of Step-Parent Adoption.” Maybe the District Court Judge, Andrew Stone, fails to recognize that he is dealing with extreme bigots who believe their religion supersedes their own state’s laws and court orders. It is unclear exactly what argument the attorney general and health department officials will claim gives them the right to disobey the law, but it is unlikely they will tell the truth that they regard Mormon bigotry as the law of the land.
It is true that Mormon’s in Utah government are not unique in their willful disregard of the law, and that the cretins are too cowardly to admit their bigotry towards the gay community and legal right to marry is borne of religion. Recently in Kentucky evangelicals claimed same-sex marriage bans are legal because they “lead to more stable birth rates,” and in Virginia an attorney argued that banning same-sex marriage is constitutionally legal because Pocahontas married John Rolfe in 1640; one hundred and fifty-odd years before the Constitution was written. In California during the Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriages, Utah Mormons poured millions-of-dollars into campaign ads claiming same-sex marriage destroys traditional couples’ marriages and turned school-age children gay. However, not once in any state or court in the country have religious cowards argued that their bigotry is founded in what they consider is the true supreme law of the land; the Old Testament.
At some point, a judge, politician, or political pundit must make very public statements identifying the opposition to same-sex marriage is founded in the Christian bible and not because of birth rates, state’s rights, or Pocahontas marrying John Rolfe. They also have to finally inform Mormons and evangelical extremists that the Christian bible or Book of Mormon is not the law of the land and that the First Amendment does not give them authority to impose Old Testament edicts on the population by what they consider are their Constitutional rights as religious bigots.
The goal of Utah Mormons, like that of Southern evangelicals, is a nation of theocratic laws, and in lieu of a federal theocracy, are pushing hard for a collection of states ruled by whichever religion predominates the state. Utah Mormons want a state beholden to edicts in the Book of Mormon and Old Testament, and Southern state evangelicals lust for the Ten Commandments and Mosaic Law as statutes every citizen must adhere to on pain of death. What all of the religious bigots yearn for nearly as much as the bible as Constitution is abolishing the 14th Amendment granting all citizens equal rights. That is the intent of the so-called Christians’ Manhattan Declaration Hobby Lobby’s legal team, and Arizona Republicans, used to argue free exercise of religion means anti-discrimination laws are abominations and do not apply to evangelical bigots intending to impose their religious edicts on any American who refuses to comply with evangelical law.
It is long-past the time for the federal government to issue a forceful decree informing the religious right that the U.S. Constitution and not the Christian bible or Book of Mormon, is the supreme law of the land. It will likely come as a shock to religious extremists laboring under the filthy lie that god founded America and hand delivered his deity-penned copy of the U.S. Constitution to the Founding Fathers and Framers replete with the heavenly edict that the nation is to be ruled by biblical theocracy as a Christian nation.
America is infested with bigots that will not be sterilized by pretending the preponderance of hatred targeting the gay community is not founded in whichever religious cult argues gays do not have the same equal rights as religious extremists. Although bigotry against gays predominates states, primarily Southern and Midwest states, adhering to evangelical Christianity, Utah Mormons’ bigotry is particularly egregious because they not only openly defy federal court orders, they violate their own Mormon state laws to punish same-sex couples. It will be interesting to hear what pathetic legal argument Utah’s attorney general and state health department officials use for defying a District Court Judge’s order, but it will certainly not be because they adhere to the Christian bible and Book of Mormon as the supreme law of the land because besides being hateful bigots, they are filthy cowards too terrified of admitting in open court they despise the U.S. Constitution as much as they do gays.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.