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Rolly & Wells: Web site squelches 'Hitler' talk

Published September 24, 2004 2:12 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2004, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Aspeech delivered last February by Deseret Book CEO Sheri Dew has been deleted from Meridian Magazine, an online magazine geared toward LDS readers, after complaints that she compared the gay rights movement to the rise of Hitler.

A story on the Web page of Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons, says that "two weeks after the Human Rights Campaign and the National Black Justice Coalition called on President Bush to repudiate Mormon leader Sheri Dew for controversial remarks posted on the Meridian Magazine Web site, the speech was removed from the site."

Dew had given the prayer at a session of the Republican National Convention, prompting the groups to write to Bush that "featuring individuals on the stage of your convention who compare a group of Americans to Hitler . . . is divisive and irresponsible," according to the Affirmation story.

Dew's remarks on the Meridian Web site implied that the gay rights movement threatened the traditional family, and she warned against complacency, stating that people ignored the dangers of the rising Nazi movement in the 1930s until it was too late.

"At first it may seem a bit extreme to imply a comparison between the atrocities of Hitler and what is happening in terms of contemporary threats against the family - but maybe not," said Dew, who had been considered by several Republican Utah gubernatorial candidates as a possible lieutenant governor running mate prior to the GOP state convention.

Speaking of Deseret Book: Its stores are now selling Mormon action figures like Captain Moroni and soon will offer a Book of Mormon chess game pitting the Nephites against the Lamanites.

Could Barbie and Ken in BYU letter sweaters be far behind?

The mouse that roared? Peter Grundfossen, a local Democrat who served in the Utah Legislature in the early 1970s, has grown tired of feeling like his vote for president is meaningless because of Republican dominance in Utah.

So Thursday, he packed his bags, hopped into his car and was off to Florida, where he has arranged to work on the John Kerry campaign.

As word got around about Grundfossen's adventure, a friend held a fund raiser to help with his expenses and raised $5,600. Grundfossen plans to remain in Florida and work on the campaign until Election Day.

Over-qualified? A federal agent working for the Air Force at Hill Air Force Base is eligible for a resident Utah hunting license because he is active duty military.

A fully accredited federal law enforcement agent, he has qualified as a marksman in his military training, has a valid Utah concealed weapon permit and took a hunter safety course in Michigan.

He is cleared to carry a fully automatic M-16 and a concealed semiautomatic 9 mm pistol which, as a federal law enforcement agent, he is permitted to carry on an airplane.

He has been issued hunting licenses in Michigan and New Mexico.

But because he hasn't taken the 15-hour Utah hunter safety course and shot a .22 for a state instructor, he couldn't get a license to hunt sage grouse last weekend with his father-in-law, Sam Scott of Vernal.

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Paul Rolly and JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells welcome e-mail at rolly_wells@sltrib.com.