No 'backlash' for handcart pioneers and gays analogy

In an Oct. 13 speech, Elder Dallin H. Oaks made an analogy comparing the "effect" of Proposition 8 protests on Mormons to the chilling effect on African-American political participation felt during the civil rights era. The media went out of its way to manufacture a "backlash" only hours after the speech had been delivered.

Fast forward to this week to the actions of a group which is critical of the LDS Church's position on same-sex marriage. During a handcart trek Nov. 4 in Salt Lake City from This is The Place monument to church headquarters, supporters, dressed in pioneer garb, pulled a handcart and delivered a petition of "reconciliation."

I don't know about other Latter-day Saints, but to me the whole show was disrespectful. Yet, local reporters didn't make much of the analogy. Some didn't even mention it. But only weeks earlier, journalists told readers of their Elder Oaks report that seeking out reaction to a controversial analogy was just "how they do it."

Beyond the reporting, the online video of the Reconciliation Foundation, likens gays with Mormon roots to the pioneers of the Willie and Martin handcart companies. Activists, invoking the words of President Brigham Young, insist that the plight of Mormons with same-sex attraction is similar to those handcart pioneers stranded on the plains.

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