June 2016

LGBTQ Panel Discussion

At our General Meeting on May 12, we were pleased to welcome panelists Leah Farrell, Brian Rogers, Richard Starley, and Emily VanDyke, representing the ACLU of Utah, the Utah AIDS Foundation, SAGE Utah, and the Mama Dragons, respectively. Our LGBTQ and Allies Panel addressed current issues facing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning Utahans. They enlightened us on current events, lawsuits, and programs offering support for LGBTQ elders; people living with AIDS and vulnerable populations in need of comprehensive testing and treatment; protecting LGBTQ Utahans from discrimination in housing and employment; and fierce (mostly Mormon and ex-Mormon) mamas protecting and speaking up for their LGBTQ youth in Utah and across the country. Thanks to our wonderful panelists for their time and expertise!

–Elaine Stehel


President’s Report

I hesitate to start my message with bad news, but I must report that my efforts to have our Humanist of Utah kiosk at the pride festival failed. Too many problems with the registration process and my unwillingness to spend enough time working them out ended with us not having a booth at the festival. I apologize for that; I could have gotten help but didn’t.

Moving on, I think we should do as board member Elaine Stehel suggested and look into participating in the 9th and 9th Street Fair and other opportunities to get our message out into the general public more. The Street Fair was one of the first times we had a booth. It was a learning experience. We had a rather poor canopy and a large umbrella. It rained a fair amount and that made it clear that if you are going to be serious about having a booth, you need a good canopy and other items. With the AHA chapter grant we received a couple of years ago we did just that and purchased a canopy and other equipment. So we have the booth with tables and chairs and coolers and literature and merchandise to sell and we should put it all to use when we can. As a small group we have limited resources for promoting humanism, having a booth at community events are opportunities to do that promoting.

Again moving on, our general meeting this month will be a movie night. We’ll be showing An Honest Liar about “the Amazing Randy.” I met him a couple of times at humanist conferences. He is quite interesting to talk to with his tales of exposing faith healers. But this film is more about his personal life and struggles. I hope you will come and join us. We’ll have lots of junky movie treats and my salty buttery popcorn.

I don’t have a lot else to say this month and I’m sick of the mention of Donald Trump and that I get several emails a day from Hillary. Politics are bought and paid for and the blowhards are so tiresome and hard to take.

One thing that I have been thinking about lately is that the notion that being retired means being less busy is bogus. I guess for some it may be, but for the present I seem to be as busy as ever. I’m going to have to take more breaks…for days at a time.

Hope to see you soon.

—Robert Lane
President, HoU