Signed in as:
I affirm, unequivocally, and without reservation, that all God's children are created equal and are entitled to the exact same rights as anyone else.
I am 100% committed to equal rights and equal protection under the law for all Utah residents, no matter their race, religion, color, religion, creed, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.
I support the original language of the Equal Rights Amendment.
However, for the strength of the amendment, I do favor a re-ratification process.
Why? Because amendments are typically understood int he context in which they were ratified. Because most states ratified 30 years ago, I worry that any future legal challenges would weaken the law, as the Supreme Court would need to decide when to place the context of the law.
Nevertheless, while the Legislature, and not the Governor, ratifies amendments, if the Utah Legislature did ratify the ERA, I would be supportive and would not stand in the way.
The gender pay gap is real.
Whether it is 30%, as some claim, or 6-8% as others claim, it does exist.
That is bad for women, children, and families -- including men. Any Utahn with depressed wages is something we must all care about.
Here is what I would do about it:
I was raised in a traditionally conservative home. White. Male. Solidly middle class. Christian. Republican.
I never wanted for anything, and nothing in life was ever terribly difficult for me -- certainly I have never experienced any form of cultural or systemic discrimination or obstacle.
My parents did, however, ensure that we knew that all God's children were created equal and that all rights and privileges must be afforded to all people.
I also watched my parents act on their beliefs.
At the Fall of Saigon, my father was sent to Camp Pendleton to look for any members of his church who were evacuated. He met a young Vietnamese boy, Trung, who had lost his whole family. What did my parents do? They brought him home and raised him as their own, until many years later that found his family had survived.
When, as a young boy, we were watching a television program about a severely abused boy in inner-city Chicago, I watched my father pick up the phone and call the show's producers. A few weeks later, that boy arrived at our home and we raised him. We later found out that he was gay and transgender. I remember my conservative, Republican parents holding a family meeting and making it abundantly clear that this boy was our equal, that there was nothing "wrong" with him, and that we were to treat him with every bit of love we could.
These were the examples in my life. I thank god every day for my parents who thought global, and acted local.
A few years ago, my wife and I had the chance to prove whether we had truly learned those lessons from my parents, and she from hers.
An 18-yr-old family friend was going through a tough time. We could tell he was in serious turmoil. After several conversations, he told us he was gay and that he was terribly depressed and scared. He moved in with us the next day.
He has now become a member of the family. We love him like a son and brother. He has brought untold happiness to our home.
I am not trying to sound "woke." I am not trying to lecture. However, what I am trying to do is show why it is that I care deeply about protecting and promoting the rights of all people.
We are all exactly how God made us. None of us are mistakes. We are all entitled to every blessing, right, and gift which God has for his children.
Listen ... it's not hard to be a middle-class, white, male, American. It's basically the jackpot of privilege. I don't need any more help.
However, as I have gotten older and more experienced, I have witnessed sexism disadvantage half of God's children.
I simply think it is time for us to, more than we ever have in human history, embolden and empower women.
It is time to ensure they are paid fairly.
It is time to ensure they are given leadership roles.
It is time to ensure their safety is protected and that thousands of years of domestic abuse and sexual assault end.
It is time to ensure that they have an equal say in any and all laws, rules, and regulations which impact them.
It is time to teach our daughters that they are every bit as powerful as any other person -- it is time for us to show them a path to seizing that power.