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Prince Research Excerpts on Gay Rights & Mormonism – “29 – Alta Club Dinner & Tabs”

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29 – Alta Club Dinner & Tabs


“On a frosty December night last year, about two dozen guests slipped into the Alta Club, a century-old private retreat a block away from the temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that dominates Salt Lake City.

Two men, who didn’t know each other, were the reason for the dinner: church lobbyist Bill Evans and gay rights leader Rick Jacobs. Evans was a point man for the church’s successful effort to pass California’s gay marriage ban, known as Prop 8, in 2008. Jacobs, leader of Courage Campaign, produced a 2008 commercial against the ban showing Mormon missionaries ransacking the home of a lesbian couple.

Politics was not on the agenda – just getting to know each other. ‘The two hit it off,’ said host Greg Prince, a medical researcher and church member who had come to know both men. He noted that less than a month before the dinner, the church had launched a website with a major change in its view of gays: the site said homosexuality was not a choice.

‘There has been a shift of some tectonic plate somewhere,’ Prince said.…

The night in Salt Lake City left little doubt things had changed since 2008. After the dinner, the gay rights leaders all headed over to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas spectacular. It was the hottest ticket in town and, as guests of the church, they had VIP seats.” (Peter Henderson, “Insight: Silent or supportive, conservatives give gay marriage momentum,” Reuters, March 25, 2013)