Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pocatello - Again (and again and afreakin' ain)

And we were so close. 

In May of this year Pocatello held an election to see if the community supported an ordnance that had already passed through the city counsel last year.  Pocatello officials state that 4,943 Pocatellans voted to keep the ordnance intact, with 4,863 people voting to rescind the law.

There are two sides to this issue.

"Yes Pocatello" says that it is a property rights issue. As in "you can't force us to allow certain people to use our public restrooms".

"Fair Pocatello" says that the ordinance protects certain people from being discriminated against, as in "certain people can be told they can't use a public restroom".

As if there was any doubt as to who the certain people were. Let me say that NPH couldn't find a pot to -- well, you know -- in Pocatello, especially if he was dressed like Hedwig of Broadway fame.

On their way to Pocatello
To pee or not to pee.

Frankly, I don't care who goes to the bathroom in public facilities. I don't have any germ phobias or the like.  And even if I did, a transgendered person would have no more germs than anyone else. Generally speaking I have a small container of Handy wipes that I have at my disposal for disposal wherever I am -- so to speak.  I highly recommend them for bathroom occasions, and would recommend them to Yes Pocatello, Fair Pocatello and everybody in between.

All this energy spent on where transgendered people can urinate has got me wondering. Shouldn't we, as people -- not just Pocatellans, be spending our time on really important issues, like changing the Pocatello High mascot to the Prepy the potato, or whether gay people can be married or not. If Pocatello doesn't want gay people urinating down town, then stop trying to attract their business.  If they spend money down town, odds are they are going to have to pee.  So just ban them outright and they won't come downtown let alone be there to leave anything behind.

By the way, if we earnestly wanted to vote on ordinances that would do some real good, let's vote on whether or not Mormon's should be allowed in public areas. I personally am tired of cleaning up after all those kids. And their parents clog up the drive-through at McDonald's like you wouldn't believe. It makes it hard for me to get my Big Mac fix for the day having to wait after those big families.

Let's just go back in time to when white people only fountains and bathrooms were the norm. Those were the good ol' days when men were men and heels were cads or bounders and not stilettos.

For the last few months public restrooms all the way around. Yes Pocatello wants a recount. Yes the margin of victory was that small that it would make sense to ask for a re-count. If I was wearing that shoe, I would probably ask for a re-count as well. However, I am not wearing that shoe.

Regardless of my personal feelings towards the person who may ask me -- as a business owner -- to use my restroom, I think I would have allowed for customers of my store -- or patrons of a public or civic area -- to use the john regardless of whether they wore eyeliner or cowboy boots.  Shouldn't we all should have the right to pee?  Or is that not in the constitution?

The recount, which was ordered on last month's vote that retained an ordinance banning discrimination against folks because of their sexual orientation or gender identity starts tomorrow morning. It was made necessary due to the insistence of those who opposed the city ordinance approved by the Pocatello City Council in June 2013, which was upheld by 80-ish votes on May 20 of this year.

May those 80-ish votes be enough.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Kate Kelly is facing communication. She is the founder of Ordain Women, a Mormon women's group that has been supporting/promoting women receiving the priesthood.

In a report made three hours ago in the New York Times, Kelly said she was "shocked, dismayed and devastated" when she received a letter from her bishop of her congregation this Sunday passed informing her that a disciplinary hearing had been set for June 22.
I ran upon the article quite by accident.  I was reading about the Tony's from Sunday ceremony. How's that for gay.  There I was trying to decide if Sutton should have worn violet instead of whatever color that was when this story pops out of newsland.
Sister Kelly is, as stated in her letter, accused of "apostasy, defined as repeated and public advocacy of positions that oppose church teachings".

John P. Dehlin received a letter from his bishop on Monday.  As per the same article, Brother Dehlin has been given until June 18 to either resign or face excommunication.  Brother Dehlin has recently made commented that he no longer believes some of the fundamental teachings of the LDS church.
Excommunication.  The word gives me pause.  Huge, great, vast and silent pause.  Of course, If I had just kept my mouth shut about being gay back when I started this blog I wouldn't be as concerned as I am. And it is too late to back-peddle now -- even if I wanted to take that path.
So, what do I believe that would be grounds for one of my church leaders to question my own membership in the church?
That I am gay?  People don't get excommunicated for being gay. They don't get disfellowshiped for being gay either.  Before I was married I was disciplined in a church court, one that I chose not to attend. I asked my bishop to represent me honestly and I believe that he did -- but it was not for being gay. 
I was disfellowshiped for having made covenants of chastity and then breaking them.  And I understood the logic of the action -- though I was pained and embarrassed.  I found my letter of reinstating in a box a year or so ago and I relived that time all over again.
Do I think that gays should be able to marry?  Is it telling that I chose not to pursue a relationship with a man and, instead, married a woman.  Is it telling that I am trying to keep my covenants?  Probably not telling enough.
If I had a gun pointed at me I might have to say that I can't make that decision for anyone else.  Regardless of my personal belief, I couldn't say that I believe I have the right to marry someone I love, but someone else does not have that right. Whether I think it is moral or not, whether I believe it will be a chink in the armor that protects families or not, I am not comfortable telling someone what choice he needs to make. 
From what I understand about the pre-existence and the war in heaven, the same issue was put to a vote.  According to established church doctrine -- and using my very presence on earth as back-up -- I chose the side that wanted to make choices and not tell people what to do and how to do it.
Of course it is easy for me to say that because I write under a pseudonym.
What would I write if I didn't?