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Local LDS leader arranged outside attorney on LGBT ordinance

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:21 am | Updated: 9:03 am, Fri May 17, 2013.

   POCATELLO — Local leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was responsible for bringing an attorney from the American Religious Freedom Program to town April 4.

    It was the Regional Public Affairs Director for the LDS Church, Larry Fisher, who first contacted Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad about giving an audience to Jacki Pick of the Washington-based conservative group so she could talk to city officials about the proposed anti-discrimination ordinance to protect members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • DC NYLA posted at 6:27 pm on Fri, May 17, 2013.

    DC NYLA Posts: 91

    More questions than answers. If the meetings were staggered between Ms Pick and the City Council/Mayor, one has to assume that it was at the request of Mayor Blad, and that he didn't want a paper trail. No "public meeting" notice required, no quorum, no minutes.

    Why? What was/is he trying to hide?

  • gp_idaho posted at 8:18 am on Fri, May 17, 2013.

    gp_idaho Posts: 24

    If the LDS church is registered as a 501(c)(3) organization and Larry Fisher just acted within his duties as the regional director of the LDS church, his actions are suspect as a violation of 501(c)(3) organizations according to the IRS and therefore the church should be investigated by the IRS and a lost of it's status as a "so-called" non-profit should occur. The LDS church should lose is non-profit exempt status because of his actions in this matter.

    And by no means should anyone ever refer to the LDS church as a "non-profit" or "promotes equality".

  • Sierra G posted at 7:49 am on Fri, May 17, 2013.

    Sierra G Posts: 3

    Your comparisons are a bit wrong. Peta vs Beef is about the closest you are coming, but still you are leaps and bounds away. Try these comparisons:
    Would you force a white person to provide services to a black person if they didn't want? How about a man providing services to a woman?

  • Firefly posted at 11:56 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Firefly Posts: 44

    Good questions. But, most of these questions could have and should have been easily answered by the ISJ. It is the responsibility of the press to verify information before publishing it. Why did they not file the information request? As far as the City not correcting the misinformation, there are two possibilities: they either didn't or they did and it was not published. The ISJ in my experience has a long history of misinformation and mistakes. Perhaps like many of our citizens, the City has simply given up on our local press providing an unbiased view which hasn't been selectively edited or which contains mistakes. This article has at least one factual error in it that could have been easily verified before being published. It may be ISJ's error or it may have been the City's error. To the reader, it is still an error. Maybe we should start a Poky - report the errors blog page. It would probably be popular and have daily entries.

  • gasman posted at 11:10 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    gasman Posts: 69

    I have to agree with Shelley, not all is being told here. Why were the meetings staggered? For scheduling only, or so a "quorum" would not be present and "no notes were kept"? Who was the unnamed city official who reported to the media that an attorney from the Heritage Foundation had met with council members? When the media ran the story that it was indeed the Heritage Foundation who had met with council members, why did it take several days for the truth to come out, and only then did it surface because the Heritage Foundation itself contacted the media to tell them the story was untrue? Of the long list of city officials and religious leaders who met with Ms. Pick, including the Regional Public Affairs Director of the LDS church, why did not one individual lift a finger to correct the false reporting? Why has it taken over six weeks for the public to learn who sponsored the ARFP attorney, and only when records had to be "requested" by a resident? A simple press release or even a five minute phone call to the media six weeks ago would have certainly cleared up all of the misinformation that's surrounding this issue. It has indeed become a controversy, unfortunately because of the way our leaders have chosen to withhold information from us. A public affairs director who sits by and does nothing while false information is being broadcast by the media should no longer hold that position. Unfortunately it's beginning to look like that's the reason he does hold that position.

  • maggie6 posted at 6:24 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    maggie6 Posts: 568

    A "matter of conscience" was the reason given by the Sanhedrin when they crucified Christ.

    A "matter of conscience" was the reason the Puritans tortured and then hung people at the Salem witch trials.

    A "matter of conscience" was the reason the Mormon Church practised child bride slavery in the polygamous Great Basin.

    A "matter of conscience" is the blind groundwork for "slavery' that killed a million people in the American Civil war.

    What Pocatello needs is "The American Civil Liberties Union" and a viable chapter to break the hypocritical strangle hold of bigotry
    in Southeast Idaho.

    "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored."

  • Stand Up Pocatello posted at 5:20 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Stand Up Pocatello Posts: 17

    The newly revised Ordinance is NOT going to please anybody. The Council should reject it. BOTH sides are opposed to it albeit for different reasons. The new ordinance's revisions do not protect religious liberty. Even though it adds a religious exemption for small businesses with 5 or less employees, that exemption will not protect business like Arlene's Flowers in Richland, WA who has more than 5 employees. This Ordinance is not about commerce. It's about conscience. Both sides have a right to their beliefs and a right to not have to violate their conscience. Would we pass a law that forces a Jewish baker to design a cake that celebrates Hitler or by force of law make a vegetarian or PETA member produce a video encouraging the consumption of beef? Of course not. We would also not force a LGBT florist to arrange flowers for a NOM celebration either. There are plenty of willing bakeries, florists, videographers, photographers, etc. to provide these services for the LGBT community in circumstances that overlap committment ceremonies marriage. Pocatello should not be passing a law that will force people to violate their conscience. This is not an argument for blatant discrimination. By the proponent's own admission, any blatant discrimination will be nearly impossible to prove due to the highly subjective nature of the law. Pocatello should not pass a law that harms freedom, religious liberty and does not address the core issue of discrimination especially when it is lacking in clear documented evidence that a serious problem exists. ENDA legislation has been introduced in nearly every Congress since 1994 and after 19 + years of battling over it, it still hasn't passed due to the many problems created by creating a special class based on a behavior (a key point of contention between the sides and one that won't likely be solved any time soon). Congress has far more resources and experts, etc. than our City does and many do not believe it is even the proper role of local government to be creating these types of laws. Pocatello is wise to seek a law that balances the rights of everyone and would best serve its citizens by voting against the current ordinance. Working with both sides, they can create a neutral or at least far more balanced study committee perhaps with police representation to document /investigate actual discrimination to determine the extent of the problem before moving forward with any new ordinance proposals.

  • Pokeymon posted at 3:04 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Pokeymon Posts: 13

    Well...guess I won't ever be going to either of Larry Fisher's "theme" motels: Black Swan Inn in Pocatello, and Destinations Inn in IF.

  • skifan posted at 2:46 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    skifan Posts: 1

    Separation of church and state?

  • SaraRider posted at 1:47 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    SaraRider Posts: 1

    I find it mind blowing that after around 50 people stood up on April 4th in support of passing the ordinance and only 8 or 9 people stood up and spoke against it but still was voted down. It really makes me feel that the 3 city counsel members and the mayor (all LDS) have no desire to listen to the people of Pocatello. It really made me feel like they have their only agenda going on.

  • Shelley posted at 9:13 am on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Shelley Posts: 23

    The mayor and council NEVER met with the ACLU of Idaho, nor 2great4hate, nor the Interfaith Fellowship. Jacki Pick had all day access to council members, city staff, and the mayor the day of the public hearing. If there was concern by the LDS church about the ordinance, why did they wait until the last minute to voice concerns? And why were only select members of local clergy invited? Why weren't all local clergy invited? Not all is being told here.


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