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Friday, November 7, 2008

The Villains in the Piece

posted by on November 7 at 14:11 PM

Talk of a boycott against Utah grows louder

Utah’s growing tourism industry and the star-studded Sundance Film Festival are being targeted for a boycott by bloggers, gay rights activists and others seeking to punish the Mormon church for its aggressive promotion of California’s ban on gay marriage.

It could be a heavy price to pay. Tourism brings in $6 billion a year to Utah, with world-class skiing, the spectacular red rock country and the film festival founded by Robert Redford among the state’s popular tourist draws.

“At a fundamental level, the Utah Mormons crossed the line on this one,” said gay rights activist John Aravosis, an influential Washington, D.C-based blogger. “They just took marriage away from 20,000 couples and made their children bastards. You don’t do that and get away with it.”

Salt Lake City is the world headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints….

[Aravosis is] calling for skiers to choose any state but Utah and for Hollywood actors and directors to pull out of the Sundance Film Festival. Other bloggers and readers have responded to his call.

“There’s a movement afoot and large donors are involved who are very interested in organizing a campaign, because I do not believe in frivolous boycotts,” said Aravosis, who has helped organize boycotts against Dr. Laura’s television show, Microsoft and Ford over gay rights issues. “The main focus is going to be going after the Utah brand. At this point, honestly, we’re going to destroy the Utah brand. It is a hate state.”

The Mormon church put up four out of every five dollars spent to ban same-sex marriage in California. More than 18,000 legally married couples in California were forcibly divorced on Tuesday thanks to the members of a church founded by a polygamist and a pedophile with more than a dozen wives. Since all Mormons-in-good-standing must tithe 10% of their earnings to their church, some part of any dollar you spend in a Mormon-owned business—and they’re almost all Mormon-owned businesses in Utah—flows toward an anti-gay church that wages anti-gay political campaigns. Ski Colorado, Washington state, and British Columbia. Don’t ski Utah.

Honest to God: My boyfriend and I were talking about taking a trip to Utah this winter to go snowboarding. We’ve heard great things about the resorts there, and our kid wants to go, and we’ve never been. But you know what? We’ve never been to Whistler either. Or Bear Mountain in California. Or to any of the resorts in Colorado. So fuck you, Utah—we’re going to big, blue Colorado.

Oh, and the leaders of the Mormon church—which financed all the bigoted distortions of the “Yes on 8” campaign (gay people recruit children! they’re going to teach gay sex in schools!)—are out there calling on people to treat each the with “civility, with respect and with love.” Uh-huh.

Sorry, douchebags, but you can’t throw a punch like that and scream “play nice!” or “you can’t be mean to us—we’re a church!” You wanna play politics with peoples’ lives? Fine. But they game’s on now and remember: you started it.

Utah is the new Coors. Pass it on.

RSS icon Comments


Dan, Did you happen to attend either of the marches on washington in 87 or 93? Some folks are trying to get another aimed at Obama's campaign promise of overturning DOMA and his support of civil unions to counteract this attack on our rights. I went to the 93 one and it was life-changing.

Posted by Jersey | November 7, 2008 2:17 PM

Someone mentioned KIRO in a comment thread the other day, but does anyone know of any other Mormon-owned businesses in the area? Restaurants, retail, etc? I don't want any of my money ending up as part of some Mormon's tithe, so I really would like to know.

Posted by Hernandez | November 7, 2008 2:17 PM

I wondered, back when I thought California was better than that, whether it would be feasible to organize a gay travel boycott of places like Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, or really anywhere that treats us like shit. Florida, in particular, gets quite a lot of money from gay tourists, but repeatedly passes asshole legislation. It's like they're daring us not to go there.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Massachusetts, Connecticut, Canada, Spain, The Netherlands, South Africa and Norway are very nice places with lots for a tourist to do and see.

Posted by MacCrocodile | November 7, 2008 2:18 PM

Aspen has the, I believe, the country's oldest and largest gay ski week. 30+ years I think. I used to live there and I recall it being the second biggest money making event for the town all year. It's the anti-Utah. And the skiing is great too.

Posted by skier | November 7, 2008 2:19 PM

Telluride loves gays!

Posted by COBlue | November 7, 2008 2:22 PM

If it's Alta or gay marriage, I have to say that I'll pick Alta any day of the week. Best snow anywhere.

Posted by john cocktosin | November 7, 2008 2:22 PM

where is the shirt we can buy that says simply:


Posted by bb1334 | November 7, 2008 2:22 PM

Oh my god. I am so sorry about this. I couldn't be more disgusted with my state. I wish you were coming here, Dan. I'd love to run into you on the slopes. I wish our kids could board together. But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. If I could spend the winder boarding in Colorado, I would.

Posted by Utah Democrat | November 7, 2008 2:23 PM

It would be great to get a list of Mormon-owned (or majority owned) companies to ensure I do not use my hard-earned dollars on them. Anyone know of such a list? I'll keep it right next to the list of companies that experiment on animals.

Posted by SmellyBeagle | November 7, 2008 2:24 PM

I appreciate that boycotting Utah is a good outlet for everyone's frustration, hurt, and anger. But think twice about grand claims that this could destroy its economy. There have been more than a few Slog posts making fun of the fundies for claims that they can impact the bottom line of a multinational corporation with some announced boycott.

Posted by giantladysquirrels | November 7, 2008 2:27 PM

"The Mormon church put up four out of every five dollars spent to ban same-sex marriage in California."

Source please? All I was able to find is that the LDS donated about $2,500.00 at one point.

Posted by josiethefiend | November 7, 2008 2:27 PM

Don't forget about Montana, not always the most tolerant state, but compared to Utah, it's fucking San Francisco.

Also, to all those who "claim" that Utah has the best mountains and snow; go to Montana and see what a real paradise is (only some of them are hillbillies, but regardless, there's not that many of them).

Posted by KM | November 7, 2008 2:28 PM

Is there any talk of boycotting California? After all, it was Californians who approved Prop 8.

Posted by Bub | November 7, 2008 2:28 PM

Some of the most liberal people I've ever met lived in Utah, fighting the fight from the inside.

I understand the decision to vacation elsewhere, and in general if you want to avoid giving Mormons money, then avoid Utah. But I emphasize that the LDS church is the enemy here - not all Utahns. There are good people living in Utah, liberal people, gay people - who are braver than any of us in our liberal Seattle bubble.

Posted by matt | November 7, 2008 2:29 PM

Weber Gaming is owned by Mormons, but not LDS.

Posted by joykiller | November 7, 2008 2:29 PM

I think it would be phenomenal if Sundance pulled out of Utah. Even if it's only for this year. It would have a significant economic impact, but more importantly, it would get huge coverage in the media. I wonder how realistic of a goal that is...

Posted by Julie in Chicago | November 7, 2008 2:30 PM


Aspen Gay Ski Week is played out. You spend all of your time around gays anyway. That's why you take vacations. If you want the BEST powder skiing in CO, head to Steamboat. It's a great little town (although a little cowboy-esque). Or hit up Vail. The back bowls on a weekday after a snowstorm are near perfect. Aspen is for poseurs.

Posted by P to the J | November 7, 2008 2:32 PM

If you want to target the Mormon Church I think that Safeway is owned by the Mormons, or a Mormon family at least.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | November 7, 2008 2:33 PM

I have friends who work for the festival. Am I breaking confidence if I say that this conversation is making them uncomfortable? And I think that's a good thing.

Posted by Utah Democrat | November 7, 2008 2:33 PM

you've NEVER BEEN TO whistler? it is the absolute best, biggest resort on the planet.

WTF, don't go to friggin colorado - the loonie is down again!

Posted by max solomon | November 7, 2008 2:34 PM

Retaliatory economic sanctions rarely affect the ruling class they are intended to weaken (Mormons) as much as they hurt the already struggling groups who really need support from outside institutions (non-Mormon businesses in Utah, anyone?).

The Mormon church is the problem. Not Utah. What Utah needs is more non-Mormons, not a dearth of them.

I grew up in Colorado, and there are PLENTY of Mormons and Mormon-owned businesses there, not to mention a pretty high degree of homophobia - it wasn't so long ago that they voted in an Amendment to exclude gays from anti-discrimination ordinances (fortunately it was later ruled unconstitutional).

Targeting an entire geographic region over a clearly identified institution? I don't understand.

Posted by Meg | November 7, 2008 2:36 PM


Book of Mormon in every room.

This hate campaign should not be focused on Mormon people by default (although I'm sure a lot of them agree with the Elders). The Big Meddling Hate Machine that is the Corporate monster based in SLC has got to realize that they have way overstepped it.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | November 7, 2008 2:37 PM

I was thinking of planning a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park in UT this summer. I have since decided against it because of all this Prop 8 business. I plan on sending the hotel I thought to stay at, the National Park itself and any other establishment I might have used a very specific letter about my reasons for not going anymore. I recommend everyone else who is planning on canceling their Utah plans to do the same.

Family Values values every family.

Posted by Lobot | November 7, 2008 2:42 PM

Being from Utah, tis makes me sad. The Mountains and Sundance are absolutely amazing. But I also feel it the the Mo's out of all people should understand what it is to be different from others and to have some sort of compassion towards other that are different from them. Bring on the boycotts!

Posted by JJ | November 7, 2008 2:43 PM

Also, little known fact:

The mayor of Park city is a GAY MAN.

Posted by Utah Democrat | November 7, 2008 2:44 PM
Posted by pox | November 7, 2008 2:44 PM

Sorry Utah, this is a guilt by association thing. You are the Mormon stronghold, the place that launched this attack. If you don't like the boycott? Suck it up, or move. Those are your choices.

Are there any gays in Utah? What do you think about living there, knowing that your own money has been funnelled into the fight against your civil rights? Do you think the Mormons will simply stop at California?

Posted by Lavode | November 7, 2008 2:46 PM

Also, the biggest bummer on this is In-n-Out Burger is owned by a Mormon family. I wonder if there is a way to check to see if they donated to Yes on 8. If so, that would be a serious drag. Of all the fast food companies, they are the ones that use the best free range beef, offer GREAT compensation to their employees (managers make over $60K a year, I believe) plus benefits, and their food is fantastic. The fries are made in front of you using fresh potatoes. I hope hope hope they had nothing to do with 8.

Posted by P to the J | November 7, 2008 2:47 PM

I'm with 11, I need sources---not because I don't take Dan's word as the gospel truth but because I'm sure I'll need to defend this in the near future. Help?

Posted by kristen | November 7, 2008 2:48 PM

Is there any evidence of boycotts like this being effective? Not trying to be a troll here, genuinely curious. It's a little difficult for me to imagine that if every homosexual and their families avoided Utah that it would make much of a difference to their bottom line.

I could see it harming Sundance a bit... while the state at large certainly enjoys the money that comes in from it, I imagine that the church sort of wishes that the whole institution would pick up and move to South Park or something...

Posted by Eric J | November 7, 2008 2:48 PM

My bad: Safeway is NOT owned by the Mormons or a Mormon family: continue to shop at your local Safeway on 15th and John.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | November 7, 2008 2:49 PM

I'm with 11, I need sources---not because I don't take Dan's word as the gospel truth but because I'm sure I'll need to defend this in the near future. Help?

Posted by kristen | November 7, 2008 2:49 PM

Not my idea, but no taxation without representation could be a good argument to bring here. Melissa Etheridge endorses the idea,

Posted by Jaye | November 7, 2008 2:50 PM

i like the idea of boycotting the largest mormon corporations like marriott and safeway. i don't like the idea of boycotting the whole state of utah. yeah, there are plenty of non-mormon cool people there, working for the park service, etc. let's not punish them, please.

Posted by ellarosa | November 7, 2008 2:52 PM

You can look up donors for and against Prop 8 here:

Four-out-of-five dollars:

As a result, the Salt Lake City-based church gets the credit and the blame for leading the cause. According to Californians Against Hate, Mormons have donated more than $19 million to the cause - nearly four out of five dollars raised.

Posted by Dan Savage | November 7, 2008 2:52 PM

Now is the time to lure Sundance away from Park City, UT. There are so many other beautiful mountain places to hold it. Bend, OR? Spokane, WA, Coeur d'Alene or Sun Valley, ID (red state, maybe not).

Posted by Tom | November 7, 2008 2:54 PM

i still really don't understand why we aren't more pissed at california. i was thinking about moving there in a couple of months, and it would make my mom happy as she lives in CA, but i told them not until they fix this mess. she, and everyone i know there voted against prop 8 and are shocked at this.

Posted by um | November 7, 2008 2:54 PM

Eric J #30, have you heard of the Montgomery Bus Boycott? You ask if boycotts work, the answer is yes IF AND ONLY IF EVERYONE takes part and sticks with it to the end.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | November 7, 2008 2:57 PM

31, thanks, that's good to know. didn't safeway used to be owned by mormons, though? or has that always been a myth?

Posted by ellarosa | November 7, 2008 3:00 PM

Boycotting california, when it is still one of the more gay friendly states in the union, wouldn't make a whole lot of sense if the message is for gay rights progress. Boycotting a state who's foundation is all about the hate though, does. It definitely makes sense to target those who disseminated all the misinformation that made the difference in this election. I've talked to a lot of parents who honestly thought that prop 8 was some kind of education initiative to teach gay marriage in kindergaten, thanks to the Yes on 8 lie campaign, and they thought thats what they were voting against.

Posted by Karey | November 7, 2008 3:00 PM

Moscow, ID is pretty liberal...

Anyhoots, Utah had those "Ski Utah!" plates. Someone photoshop it into "Skip Utah!"

Posted by AJ | November 7, 2008 3:00 PM

This month in 'mo magazine we spotlight our top four gay ski weeks/weekends. None of them are in Utah. We recommend Whistler's WinterPRIDE, Mammoth Lakes' Elevation2009, Aspen's Gay Ski Week, and Vermont's Winter Rendezvous.

We also happen to list 18 other gay ski weeks around the globe, two of which are in UT. Avoid those and support the ban.

Posted by Michael | November 7, 2008 3:01 PM

@26 - Thanks for the link.

@30 - I guess for me it doesn't matter as much whether a boycott is effective in financially crippling a company (or state). What matters more is that none of my money will be used to support the LDS church and its bigotry.

Posted by Hernandez | November 7, 2008 3:04 PM

You can always come to Canada! We have skiing - and gay marriage!

Posted by Hazel | November 7, 2008 3:04 PM

I am an angry Californian who will NEVER be polite about the Mormon 'religion' again.

I am livid at the Mormon Church for coming into California and pouring money into a (sadly successful) effort to take away civil rights from Californians.

Here's one (straight) Californian who resolves to never, ever again pretend that Mormonism is a legitimate religion worthy of respect.

Mormon missionaries at my door? I'll tell them exactly how stupid they are to be followers of a cult started by a con man. And, I'll tell them that Joseph Smith was NOT killed by an anti-mormon mob, but rather by Mormon elders who had just discovered that Smith was having sex with their wives, after convincing them to 'spiritually marry' him.

Romney runs for president again? I will litter the internet with my posts calling him too stupid to be president, evidenced by his membership in the Joseph Smith cult. If Romney can be duped into believing that the book of Mormon was written on gold plates found and translated by Smith (but never seen again), he obviously doesn't have critical thinking skills.

The Mormon 'church' is as ridiculous as the 'church' of scientology. I will state it loudly to any Mormon I encounter.

No more politeness from me, when it comes to the Mormons.

Posted by Woodrose | November 7, 2008 3:07 PM

Safeway Mormon? I googled it and it is owned by some conglomerate, I had been told several times it was owned by a Mormon but apparently not. I did forward Dan this link

that lists LDS owned or affiliated companies but it is not working for some reason. (perhaps too much usage or the data was removed?)

We should boycott any local business that is owned by members of the LDS Church though.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | November 7, 2008 3:07 PM


protest in SF tonight.
Use my fawsome sign

Posted by cpt.tim | November 7, 2008 3:10 PM

I invite you all to read the comments the Mormons are posting on Prop 8 articles in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Disgusting group of people!

Posted by GoodnNuff | November 7, 2008 3:11 PM

As a gay man and a snowboarding addict, I'm really, REALLY having a hard time with this. Utah's my favorite place for snowboarding on the planet, and I can't help trying to come up with rationalizations or schemes where I try to figure out a way to go there while avoiding giving my money to Mormons. *sigh*

But what's up with your alternatives? You're considering going to Bear Mountain in California? Why would you skip Utah but go to California, where people actually voted for Proposition 8? Or Colorado? Just two years ago, voters there passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and opposed a referendum that would have given gay couples many of the same legal rights as straight married couples. Maybe the wound isn't as fresh, but the discrimination is just as real.

I say go to Whistler. British Columbia has legal gay marriage, and Whistler is very gay-friendly, including hosting the largest gay ski and snowboard event in the world the first week of February.

Posted by cromulent | November 7, 2008 3:14 PM

Don't forget about Wyoming when you think great skiing.... IMHO, the snow at Jackson Hole or Grand Targhee ski resorts is a bit better (read: drier [read: fluffier {read: better}]) than their neighbors on the other side of the Rockies in Colorado... plus, they are less toursity, which I consider a good thing when I go to ski. :)
I'd be glad to be your tour guide on the trip Dan ;)

Posted by Clint | November 7, 2008 3:16 PM

I understand the reasons for wanting to boycott Utah, but hurting Sundance and the ski industry probably does more damage to the brave non-Mo's in Utah than those who funded Prop 8.

If you really want to get even (and possibly change some minds)? Go to a Mormon church for their Sacrement Meeting. As a former Mormon and former Utahn, I promise you that nothing would cause more disruption in the LDS church than gay couples showing up for services and politely asking why they hate gays so much. Sit in the front row. Wear a suit. Bring you kids. Ask questions. Mormon church is only an hour long (and incredibly boring), but the church is completely unequipped to handle people showing up and asking honest questions. I would blow their minds.

Posted by nater | November 7, 2008 3:17 PM

I know this isn't the boycott slogan thread, but I was kind of proud of this one, and it's relevant:

Discrimination: Utah's biggest export

Posted by piminnowcheez | November 7, 2008 3:23 PM

Sundance doesn't have to be hurt if it moves out of Utah. I'm sure Redford has enough money to relocate it somewhere where fewer bigots are.

Posted by Jersey | November 7, 2008 3:25 PM

Um @37, I hope you were coming from Massachusetts or Connecticut. If you won't consider moving to california until it sorts out prop 8 and makes gay marriage legal, got about 47 other states you need to boycott as well. Especially ones that won't even consider the idea of making gay marriage legal, never mind providing domestic partnerships. The boycott is about the purposeful campaign of lying like crazy done by the mormons to influence our election.

Posted by Karey | November 7, 2008 3:27 PM


I worked for Sundance in '07 and I'll tell you, it will never leave Utah. They have built a campus of offices in Park City out of old ski houses and such and have sunk millions upon millions into it.

Posted by JJ | November 7, 2008 3:28 PM

As a straight, non-mormon Utahn, I am APPALLED that the damn Mormons stuck their nose into politics. Especially since they always say they decline to be political (total BS by the way...)

But just remember in your boycott, Salt Lake County and Summit County (home of Park City) are blue dots in a red state. In fact, Salt Lake City has a domestic partnership registry which was the best thing they could come up with after our dumb ass state leaders passed the "Traditional Marriage" definition. And Salt Lake County government is looking to add benefits to partners next year.

So don't blame the whole state, after all some Utahns also gave money to defeat the bigotry bill. In fact there has been a movement to not acknowledge Mormon marriages by a local reporter.

oh and the SLC Gay Pride Parade is the best parade, so come and visit and watch the parade next summer!

Posted by Jenni | November 7, 2008 3:28 PM

Morman companies:

Or just do a Google search.

Nothing jumped out at me. And I don't ski anyway...

Posted by Ayden/VA | November 7, 2008 3:30 PM

How about this instead - we all MOVE to Utah. Swarm them and take it over, and make it the gayest state in the nation.

Posted by Another idea | November 7, 2008 3:30 PM

Sundance is held at Redford's ski resort, and Park City, the most gay-friendly place in the entire state. The money spent at Sundance largely goes to non-Mormon businesses and the pot-smoking ski bums who work Utah's restaurants and ski resorts. These are the hard-core people who live their lives with a giant middle-finger extended towards the LDS church at all times.

Boycotting Sundance is like refusing to patronize businesses on Seattle's Capitol Hill because Washington has a DOMA law.

Posted by nater | November 7, 2008 3:32 PM

Sargon #38 : But that was a boycott by the people of Montgomery against a Montgomery service. I have a really hard time imagining a gay boycotting Utah being any more effective than Jews boycotting bacon.

At any rate, I wish this project luck. I've personally been boycotting Utah since I moved out of that shithole eight years ago, so I dunno if I can make more of an impact than that ;)

Posted by Eric J | November 7, 2008 3:36 PM

@41: Moscow isn't just Liberal (one of only 3 counties in the state that went for Obama) but the College here actually for Dan out to give a talk recently (I went it was great and what led me to reading the Slog daily). We've also got a very active gay community including a couple in the area who puts on monthly drag shows here and put out a lot of safer sex material.
Not all of Idaho's the conservative bastion it's known as and we do have a lot of great skiing in the panhandle. Schweitzer Mountain up in Sandpoint has some of the best skiing in the area and a lot of great tourist spots in the area year round as well as the flagship Coldwater Creek store (an Idaho based company that's very pro-gay, I used to work for them and all of their employee benefits are extended to domestic partners no matter the gender, they also had a lot of cute gay boys in the merchandising department, it was one of the funner places I've worked over the years).

Posted by David | November 7, 2008 3:36 PM

Boycotting Utah, because of a two-bit religion that should command as much respect as Bill O'Riley, makes as much sense as condemning video games and Marilyn Manson after Columbine.

Posted by Ryan | November 7, 2008 3:37 PM

A weak boycott doesn't work, and just ends up making the backers look silly. But a properly focused boycott can be very effective. It just depends on the publicity, the firmness of our convictions, and follow through.

Look at the boycott of Ford in 2005. Ford pulled all it's advertising out of the Advocate and sponsorship of various gay events, caving in to the AFA. John Aravosis made a big harry deal out of it. Started a letter writing campaign. It went viral. The whole thing blew up in Ford's face. It worked. Ford reversed itself, committing to support gay organizations and events, and continue targeting gay-friendly advertising to a gay audience.

The long term boycott of Coors did eventually work.

It is too early to see if a Utah boycott will be effective. It depends if word spreads and a significant number of people join in. And past boycotts were against corporations, not a religion or a state.

Still, I'm certainly not going to knowingly spend a dime in any mormon establishment ever again.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | November 7, 2008 3:38 PM

the albertsons (as in the grocery store) are mormons. also, a list of various mormons and their respective businesses:

Posted by caito! | November 7, 2008 3:42 PM

Targetted boycotts - good.

General boycotts - tend to end up hurting people already on your side.

We need a guide that tells us which places are ok to go to if we do go there. And obviously, anyone who donated to No on 8 should be on the list.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 7, 2008 3:47 PM

Oh, and as for the Mormons now wanting "civility"...


Fuck you. Just fuck you. You just bankrolled the dissolution of the civil rights of a minority. If this is your idea of religion, then fuck you. The next Mormon that knocks on my door will be lucky to get off my property without a beating.

Civility? Kiss my ass.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | November 7, 2008 3:50 PM

1. Remember when the Baptist church tried to move everyone to boycott Disney because of Gay Days? If a fundamentalist organization like the Southern Baptist Convention that has millions of members who aren't encouraged to think independently can't get their members to quit going to see Mickey Mouse, do you really think our diminutive boycott is going to hurt UT? Seriously?

2. Reading some of these posts you'd think this was the very first time the mean old Mormon church ever got involved in politics. Remember Prop 2 in 2000 that got gay marriage banned in CA in the first place? The Mormon church was behind that to. They're fundamentalists, people. This isn't news.

Posted by Lee | November 7, 2008 3:58 PM

Dan -- my husband and I launched a call for a boycott of Virginia in 2004 after they passed their incredibly restrictive anti-gay-marriage law (which arguably denied gays the right to ALL civil contracts). It wasn't fun and in retrospect I'm not sure it was strategically the right thing to do. You guys covered "Virginia is for Haters" at the time and my name on this comment links to a lot of our blog posting. This time around, I think a REVERSE boycott would be better ;)

Posted by jay | November 7, 2008 4:02 PM

The issued this statement, if you can believe it:

It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election.

Members of the Church in California and millions of others from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation who voted for Proposition 8 exercised the most sacrosanct and individual rights in the United States — that of free expression and voting.

While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process.

Once again, we call on those involved in the debate over same-sex marriage to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other. No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information.

Posted by Cry me a river | November 7, 2008 4:08 PM

We could just send all of the pitt bulls to Utah.

Posted by Sam Pulford | November 7, 2008 4:12 PM

Safeway is not owned by the LDS. Albertson's is.

Posted by Joseph Singer | November 7, 2008 4:13 PM

All this energy directed against the mormons is great. They deserve to get spanked. I'd love to see some of this kind of energy go towards lobbying legislators in Olympia to get off their asses and pass some gay marriage laws right here in Washington State. Because even if Prop 8 is're still not married here in Washington. I'm going to start with letters to my reps and then visits with them if possible. Let's get this ball moving!

Posted by zephsright | November 7, 2008 4:29 PM

I think Robert Redford is a good guy and if enough people asked nicely, he might move the Sundance Festival to another location.

Posted by elswinger | November 7, 2008 4:30 PM

Whoa! A statewide boycott on Utah is NOT the answer. Sure we are the home of the LDS church - but it was the Californians who went to the polls and voted, not Utahns. To give all of us who are liberal and disgusted at the church and California voters the same punishment as those who donated to pass Prop 8 is just as biased. As a small business owner a state boycott could destroy all I've worked so hard for and really dishearten the progressive members of our community, including our glbt community. Let's boycott California - no more Disneyland trips or winter getaway trips, skip San Fransisco and LA...that seems far more appropriate.

Posted by anna | November 7, 2008 4:45 PM

I have relatives in Utah (St. George, way down south), so boycotting isn't really a possibility. But the relatives (and I, when we visit) do boycott their tragic, awful liquor stores and buy all our hooch illegally over the border in Las Vegas or Mesquite, NV (nice and blue, now).

Posted by Fnarf | November 7, 2008 4:53 PM


are you Anna P.?

Posted by JJ | November 7, 2008 4:57 PM

I still support a boycott of Sundance.

Sam Harris, in The End of Faith made the point that moderate religious believers were largely responsible for enabling Fundamentalist religious believers.

I know Sundance probably as much as anyone on this list, live in Utah for 8 years, have attended the festival, have friends who work for it, friends who have screened films there. I fully understand the nature of Park City as a liberal outpost. I understand that Robert Redford is a swell guy.

But, Sundance bolsters Utah Tourism in the most targetable way. Only a targeted, narrowly focused boycott can work. While it may seem counter-intuitive, I think the upside is there. If you force the hand of a successful organization like Sundance, and force them to move out of the State of Hate, that sends a strong message.

It certainly doesn't solve anything, nor does it change any minds in Utah. But, it gives us a place to focus, and a tangible goal to achieve. The film industry is populated with gay individuals and supporters of the gay community, and it's time to take our support away from Utah. If Sundance feels it can't leave Utah, then we can leave Sundance. If Sundance wants to appeal for financial assitance in leaving Utah, then I'm confident this community would kick in.

...and skiing in Utah should never happen again, best snow in the World or not.

Posted by Timothy | November 7, 2008 5:29 PM

I suspect this train has already left the station whether we quite realize it - Utah will be boycotted.

As to the effectiveness of boycotts, I still don't drink Coors and probably never will ever. Rational or not it's a done deal. And Coors has has implemented some great LGBT employee policies because of the boycott.

I think a boycott of Utah could be worth doing pecisely because it will affect everybody in the state. When all your neighbors start blaming you for their economic losses it can get be difficult to do business as usual. When your (non-mormon) business partners start to keep their distance it can make you rethink your choices. And this all drives home the point that we are inter-connected, and that you can't shit in a neighbors yard without it showing up on your doorstep.

As for mormons calling for civility and truthfulness, especially now, WTF!? At least have the courage to believe your convictions enough to ownthat you believe that its okay lie and bear false witness against the gays.

Now if only we gays could be as effective at running an issue campaign as we are at running a boycott . . .

Posted by I am your Mother | November 7, 2008 5:48 PM

Since Sundance is in the depth of winter and takes place at 7000 feet, I have still never attended. It would be great if they moved it for at least a year, and it would give a once revolutionary institution going moribund a neccessary shakeup.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | November 7, 2008 5:49 PM

WOOF woof woof WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF woof woof WOOF woof woof woof woof WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF woof WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF woof woof WOOF woof woof WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF woof woof WOOF woof woof WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF woof woof WOOF woof WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!

Posted by Pit Bull from Provo | November 7, 2008 5:59 PM

first time reader, straight, ex-mormon (i hate that designation), california resident that voted no on prop 8. i don't have any particular reason to feel strongly about prop 8 - no gay relatives, only a few gay friends, none of them close - but it's just eating me up.

but mormonism is just one piece of the ugly puzzle. the Salt Lake Tribune says 4 out of every $5; npr says the Mormon church raised 45%. whatever. it's putting a face on the enemy. protest away.

but i see the problem as twofold: one, sophistry. pro-prop 8 ads made the issue not about inherent rights but protecting children. i have a one year old and feel just fine about her being taught about gay marriage in school. whatever that means.

second, religion itself. there's not a single pro-prop 8 person who hasn't invoked faith or the bible. the sooner people realize what the bible is - an ancient way of looking at the world, not a holy mandate - the sooner our nation will progress. boycott utah? seems silly to me.

Posted by placebo | November 7, 2008 6:06 PM

Dan, you gotta go to Colorado! I am and I'm going to Telluride. Snow is just as good, apres-ski is way better, and you know- screw Utah! World-class snow doesn't make up for a state of 99% deluded bigots.

Posted by roland303 | November 7, 2008 6:20 PM


Here are some of your favorite LDS businesses!

Posted by idaho | November 7, 2008 6:43 PM

And Grand Targhee is awesome. You'd also be staying in one of the two counties in Idaho that went blue this election (Teton). Great place.

Jackson Hole, on the other hand, is where Dick Cheney spends a good deal of this time. I don't know if he skis, but do you really want to be that close to him?

Posted by idaho | November 7, 2008 6:47 PM

Seriously, don't any of you people realize that Colorado is as bad as Utah on these issues? Amendment 2 anyone? Focus on the Family headquartered in Colorado Springs? If you're going to boycott, you would have to boycott both I would think. Yes, Colorado is blue right now, but that doesn't meant that a gay rights amendment would pass there (fyi, one just failed there a couple years ago while a marriage ban passed). Target the Church, not the state, otherwise there are almost no states that you could justifiably go to.

Posted by Ed | November 7, 2008 6:56 PM

Thanks for the list of Mormon-owned businesses. I don't care if it doesn't hurt them if I don't shop there- I'll feel better about not giving money to causes I don't agree with.

And on behalf of fair-minded Arizonans, I'd like to apologize for my state. My city (Tucson) is pretty reasonable and has some interesting things to do, but unfortunately, there are a lot of homophobes here too.

Posted by J. | November 7, 2008 7:05 PM

** i like the idea of boycotting the largest mormon corporations like marriott and safeway. i don't like the idea of boycotting the whole state of utah. yeah, there are plenty of non-mormon cool people there, working for the park service, etc. let's not punish them, please. **

I guess - in a way - boycotts are sorta like terrorism. They hurt the good guys as well as the bad.

On the other hand, they can be quite effective. Capitalism overrides religion. If the businessmen are losing money - even a little bit! - they try to change the situation. Money is always powerful.

How about coming up with a pamphlet - short, easy-to-read - that actually battles the fear-monger arguments? Make them available everywhere. Be proactive. EDUCATE people.

Posted by Ayden/VA | November 7, 2008 7:27 PM

what every person who can/cares should also do is become legal residents in Utah, register to vote and work to "overthrow" the Mormon Church in Utah .. Salt Lake has a very progressive mayor, it's possible.

Posted by tec | November 7, 2008 7:31 PM

Boycotts have proven to be both successful and unsuccessful in the past. Remember that the worldwide boycott of South Africa was instrumental in bringing down apartheid. But that required the cooperation of everyone including world gov'ts. As an Alaskan (my apologies about Palin, at least I didn't vote for her for governor) I can say that periodically animal rights advocates will announce they are organizing a national boycott of Alaska because of the state's wolf kill policy. Don't think it ever effected tourism for people to notice. Just like I doubt Disney is effected much by the fundies boycotting them for being "gay friendly." I have a better idea: how about all of us liberals (gay and straight) instead of boycotting Mormons and other conservative religious bigot strongholds, instead actually move to Utah? A mass migration. Let's make Salt Lake City the second San Francisco! Hey, mass migration is how the Mormon's ended up in Utah themselves. We'll just be the second wave. Can you imagine what a liberal majority and a large gay population in SALT LAKE CITY would do the church elders in the LDS church? Their heads would explode!

Posted by Jennifer | November 7, 2008 8:53 PM

hey, we have great skiing in oregon, too! bachelor! (at least tom @36 noticed) but also hood! and we are the world capital of microbrews, compassionate euthanasia, and medical dope! any of which, alone, would be reason enough to visit. but heck, we even have "rogue" county commissioners who are willing to recognize the legal and human rights of gays to marry! even if they were defeated (temporarily we hope) later by a long list of religious bigots. (you had to laugh reading mr. moore's 'arguments in favor' in the voter's pamphlet that year, i'm sorry i didn't keep it.)

anyway, oregon is a blue state fighting for reason, even though we occasionally lose a round, so get your sorry-ass tourist dollars down *here*, man, we need the jobs!

Posted by happyhedonist | November 7, 2008 9:38 PM

SLC is actually pretty darned queer. And only 42% of the city is Mormon.

What would be wise is if the gays in SLC/Park City put together a list of thoroughly LGBT-friendly (or owned), non-Mormon businesses out there so people who want to still visit SLC/Park City can do so without giving a dime to the bigots. In fact, you can go protest outside the LDS headquarters and stir up a ruckus and then go chill out at the very LGBT-supportive Hotel Monaco, and then party at all the gay bars/clubs like Sound.

Those LGBTs in Utah could certainly use our cooperation and they'd love to be part of this movement to get back at those absurd, hateful Mormons.

Posted by L | November 7, 2008 9:57 PM

Shit, KeyCorp (Key Bank) is owned by Mor(m)ons. Such an awesome time have to switch banks (after almost 10 years!)- thanks a lot, Latter Day Shithead homophobes. I'll be cancelling my Key Visa too.

I'm shocked at some of the businesses on this list:

In addition to the previously mentioned Dell, Diebold, Marriott and Amex:

Black & Decker
La Quinta Properties, Inc

Posted by Shelley | November 7, 2008 10:25 PM

Dan, you have to do Steamboat in Colorado - a beautiful location, beautiful skiing, and nice and blue.

In fact, if you look at the voting by counties in CO, you'll see that the counties with the best skiing are blue (Steamboat is in Routt County, a nice little blue rural county with red on either side).

Posted by switzerblog | November 7, 2008 10:41 PM

@26, @92: the "mormon stock market index" apparently includes any company that has "a Mormon executive on their management team", according to the website. These are NOT Mormon-owned companies; they are publicly-traded corporations. I'm not sure what the point of the index is, but IMO it's silly to boycott a company just because it (supposedly) employs a Mormon in an executive level position. In fact, I just checked quickly, but several of these companies did quite well on HRC's equality index for 2009:

For instance, American Express, Dell, and Marriott International Inc all earned 100% ratings.

Posted by lady_cow | November 7, 2008 11:56 PM

@9-Every single pharmaceutical you have ever taken was tested on animals. No medicine for you!

Posted by ams | November 8, 2008 3:23 AM

SLC and the ski areas are populated by laid back libs. Boycott Robert Redford? WTF? I DO think you should go on tripadvisor and rate the san diego hyatt and other hotels owned by one of the largest prop 8 donors. but boycot utah? silly

Posted by gregg | November 8, 2008 7:03 AM

SLC and the ski areas are populated by laid back libs. Boycott Robert Redford? WTF? I DO think you should go on tripadvisor and rate the san diego hyatt and other hotels owned by one of the largest prop 8 donors. but boycot utah? silly

Posted by gregg | November 8, 2008 7:03 AM

No, Fuck you, Dan ... and the rest of you brave Utah boycotters, too.

I met Dan in 1976 when my newspaper, Salt Lake City Weekly hosted the annual convention of the association of alternative newspapers. The Seattle Stranger is a member. Just prior to that convention, a young high-school student, Kelli Peterson, was standing nearly alone against the Salt Lake City school district that had banned her and others from meeting on school district property in the form of the East Hight School Gay/Straight Alliance, a gay and lesbian support group. When news of that spread, I began to get many calls that people, particularly gays, in our industry would "boycott" the convention since Utah was not friendly to gays. As many as I could, I called back and said this: "You fucking chicken shits. Here's a 17 year old fighting in Utah and you can only scold from your friendly and safe Ivory tower in (fill in the blank), She has more courage in her little finger than you will ever have. You need to come and support her, not just cry about it."
In the end, they came with tails wagging, including Dan. At the Salt Lake convention we hosted the first ever (and maybe only) gay caucus for its members. Local gay leaders spoke to the group, including Kelli Peterson. The result was satisfying and positive. I asked Dan how he now liked Salt Lake. He said, "I hate Salt Lake. You have better gay bars than Seattle." We laughed.
But, it's not funny. Salt Lake City and Park City are progressive cities, and in Salt Lake's case, home to a thriving and growing in influence gay community. They could all leave, too--but they stay. They fight and they persevere. This is where the real issues of gay rights are being talked about, waged, and won--not in some comfortable Seattle or San Francisco coffee shop.
So take your dollars. Yeah, Colorado--pretty red until this year. Wyoming--remember Laramie? California--uh, uh, they just voted. Canada? Yes, please do and stay, crybaby.
You know, all you boycotters are something. I don't remember any of Dan or any of you coming to Utah's support when the American Legion, veterans, religious right groups and conservatives waged a similar protest against Utah. They all wanted to punish us with a boycott due to the anti-Bush speeches of Salt Lake's former outspoken mayor Rocky Anderson, and the for the backing given him by Salt Lake City. So, both the left and the right want to boycott us.
Yep, you all have really nice and comfortable. Congratulations. Meanwhile, I think I'll print up my own T-shirts:
Where Dan Savage and Sean Hannity came together in marriage.

Posted by John Saltas | November 8, 2008 7:15 AM

Typo Alert---I met Dan in 1996, not 1976, as incorrectly posted above.

Posted by John Saltas | November 8, 2008 7:34 AM

I'm looking really hard, Dan, but I don't see you in these pictures or videos. Nor Aravosis.

How's your latte today? Feeling comfy?
Still online checking out non-Utah, non-threatening ski options? You got it rough, man.,5143,705261463,00.html

Posted by John Saltas | November 8, 2008 8:28 AM
Posted by John Saltas | November 8, 2008 11:55 AM

Needs to be said. Your facts are wrong. The Mormon Church didn't give money to Prop 8, it urged members to give (and they did). No tithing money was spent on this.

Posted by mattcable | November 8, 2008 12:35 PM

From the "press release":

It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election.

In fact, an organized religion does NOT have a democratic right to speak up on a political issue, as long as it wants to keep its 501(c)3 tax exempt status. The argument against (admittedly probably futile) attempts to have 501(c)3 status revoked is that it wasn't the church that got involved, but its members. This official statement seems to say otherwise, though. Interesting...

Posted by Bubba | November 8, 2008 1:52 PM

Screw Utah - - ski Vermont!!!! Afterall, it was the first state in for Obama......

Posted by Matt | November 8, 2008 2:26 PM

I grew up in Utah and have been living in Vermont for a few years now. While I've fallen in love with Vermont, I miss a few things that Utah provides: big mountains, desert, and something to rebel against. With that said, here are my opinions on the discussion:

Utah isn't the problem. I wish it were as simple as just blaming one state. Ignorance- and fear-based ideology is everywhere in varying levels. It's already been said, but I don't know if everyone has accepted this point yet: If you boycott Utah, you should be boycotting the long list of other states passing discriminatory legislation. Here's a glimpse at how limited your domestic travel options will be: Same Sex Marriage In The USA - Map

Progressive people in conservative states need your help. Unless you want to give up on the entire region of the country between the north-east and west coasts, you should keep this in mind. Speaking for Utah, I think John Saltas brought up a great point; Salt Lake City high school students who formed the East High School Gay/Straight Alliance in 1996 could have used as much national support as possible. Still today, the last thing we (liberal Utahns) need is liberal Californians or New Yorkers not only hanging us out to dry but boycotting our economies (keep in mind the ski, snowboard, and general outdoor recreation crowd are the only substantial group visiting our state for any reason that is not Mormon-oriented).

Sundance isn't going anywhere. Just believe it. On a personal level; why would you want to take this away from us? Many Utahns are trying to grow a more diverse cultural presence in the state. We aren't willing to allow such beautiful geography to be the unchallenged dominion of the LDS church.

Don't venture east of the Rockies for skiing or snowboarding. This is not meant to denigrate the value of the eastern U.S., but to acknowledge regions' real strengths and weaknesses in relation to each other. If you're serious enough about skiing and/or snowboarding to get on a plane, then you should be going west or—this seems obvious—staying west. Come to Vermont in the summer or fall!

Posted by Zak | November 9, 2008 8:38 AM

Oh, and to Matt in Vermont: unfortunately President Elect Obama doesn't support gay marriage either.

Posted by Zak | November 9, 2008 8:42 AM

sing with me:

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait / Don't you know...

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You'd better free your mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow / Don't you know...
All right, all right...

Posted by Rachel | November 9, 2008 10:39 AM

it is unclear, at this point, whether prop 8 invalidates the marriages that already occurred or whether it is prospective only. there will undoubtedly be litigation over that issue, but you shouldn't take away, with rumormongering, what prop 8 might not have touched.

Posted by Andrew | November 9, 2008 12:09 PM

SKI FANS: If you are going to boycott Utah ski sites, consider Sun Valley, Idaho - even though Idaho has a lot of Mormons, Sun Valley is not Mormonville, and it is pro-gay, super liberal, very welcoming and the skiing can't be beat. There are rumors that they will lower some prices to help pick off Utah skiiers.

Posted by Eva Grecius | November 9, 2008 12:25 PM

Call Sundance Catalog as well...I just did...probably ruined my Christmas. 1-800-422-2770

Posted by AllesK | November 9, 2008 2:06 PM

Seconding KM from above - come to Montana. Not only do we have great skiing, but our courts are supporting the parenting rights of lesbians (even when their ex-partners have decided to go straight and freeze out their former lovers with court orders).

Posted by Audra | November 10, 2008 7:48 AM

Wow, I've never seen sour grapes like this. And the amazing part is this: Mormon's make up 2% of the voting population in California. Even if all the Mormons in CA voted (and they didn't), they still only accounted for a tiny fraction of those who voted Prop 8 in. I'm not sure why you're not boycotting Catholics, Hispanics, Blacks, Old People, or Evangelicals, all of whom voted for Prop 8 in substantially greater numbers than Mormons. It's hilarious how it's not ok to disagree with gays (a minority), but it is ok to discriminate against Mormons (a minority). Who made up that backwards rule?

Posted by B. Neilsen | November 10, 2008 9:22 PM

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