First, a history. Set back, little kids, while Mr Bob tells you a story.
Once upon a time, way back before I was born, there were a group of people. They were a happy people. However, some people hated them. Those mean people would start fights with them. They had to move. But every time they moved, there were more mean people who fought them because of what they believed. One time, some of the mean people even killed their leader. The happy people moved west one last time, to the middle of the dessert, where noone lived. No mean people came to desturb the peace, and they lived happily ever after. The End.
OK, so now that the storytime is over, what can we learn from this story? Well, most of you recognized that this story was of the early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The early Saints were the first "Utahns" who were victims of hate crimes.
Now, we have had legislation for several years that would eneact harsher penalties for people who comit craimes based on hate. It wouldn't be hate based on hating one person, but on what that person is. For instance, let's say I hated people with red hair (soory Shaun). I tell everyone of my hatred, and write about it on my blog. Then one day, I see a redhead walking doown the street, I yell "death to all redheaded stepchildren," and beat the snot out of Joe Redhead. Then, until I am caught, all Redheads are terrorized (making me a terrorist), fearing they may be next.
Many Utah legislators feel that this terrorism is not a reason for enhancing my penalties. Others feel it is, unless I'm beating up on gay people.
Last year or the year before (I can't remember which), the LDS Church issued a statement which said that they support hate crimes legislation. Usually, when the Church says that they are for/against something, it passes/fails. Well, Gayle Ruzika, appearantly thinking that somehow enough people had died that she became Prophet, declared that the Chrch didn't mean that they supported the bill, but that they opposed it. There was a second statement from Church Headquarters, which said that they knew what they were saying and that Sister Gayle doesn't speak for the Church. The Bill failed anyway.
So, this brings us to the story I found that caused this post. According to BYUNewsNet, the Church has once again made it's views know on the subject.
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abhors hatred, intolerance and abuse of any individual or group," said the brief statement from the church released to The Associated Press. "As it has stated consistently over the last three years, the church does not oppose hate crimes legislation, including (House Bill) 90 as drafted."
We'll see if the legislature is listening.