Rolly: Saving traditional marriage doesn’t always work


The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: January 15, 2014 09:30AM
Updated: January 15, 2014 09:21AM
Paul Rolly

Left-leaning Mother Jones magazine has posted on its website 72 pages of notes from an LDS Church anti-same-sex-marriage committee’s monthly meetings in 1998.

The notes detail legislation or proposed measures to ban same-sex marriage in various states and each month has updates on the progress of those efforts. They also talk about the contacts in each state working with the church and their respective legislatures to pass the bills.

What caught my eye was a note on Page 29, during a March meeting, that talked about an LDS attorney who was helping on a bill to ban same-sex marriage in Wyoming. The note said the lawyer’s motive was not to be against anyone, but to “preserve marriage.” It also said he was being assisted on the marriage-preservation project by his former wife.

Talk about karma • The infamous meeting indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson taped with former Attorney General John Swallow that helped spur the probes leading to the Republican officeholder’s resignation had an eerie twist to it.

The April 30, 2012, encounter was at a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop in Orem. Johnson was complaining to Swallow, who at the time was deputy attorney general and a candidate for the top job, that he had received nothing for the money he gave to a Swallow associate to stall a federal investigation.

The tape turned over to House investigators details Johnson’s assertions that Swallow could be in trouble because of his actions in the deal.

At about the time Johnson mentions the possibility that Swallow could be indicted, the song playing in the background at the shop began: “Nah, nah, nah-nah, nah, nah nah-nah, hey, hey, hey, goodbye.”

Eat first, shoot later • The entire Utah Legislature has been invited by the Weber County Commission to a dinner and a shoot Jan. 28 at the Swanson Tactical Training Center.

The dinner starts at 6 p.m. The shooting begins at 7 p.m., so nobody will be pulling a trigger on an empty stomach.

The invitation tells lawmakers to bring the whole family. Guns and ammo will be provided or legislators can bring their own.

Holin Wilbanks, who is coordinating the event for the commissioners, said the evening is being funded partly from the commission’s budget and donations.

She said the event is to showcase the training center, which has two shooting ranges and a mock village where police stage crime-scene scenarios that test their officers’ decision-making abilities.

Weber County got the idea from Tooele County, whose leaders invite legislators to participate in a team event in which they lasso calves. The team with the most penned calves wins.

The tactical center in Ogden was built in 2007 by the Swanson Foundation, which saw a need for a training center for law enforcement. The county is considering buying the center, appraised at $11 million to $14 million, and would need state help.

So legislators will get a firsthand look at what kind of bang Utah and its law enforcement agencies would be getting for the bucks.