What they are about
This past Tuesday, we had the opportunity to vote on a variety of things. California of course, voted on the infamous Prop. 8 which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. It passed with approximately 52%, which is cutting it pretty close.
As a result of this, many supporters of the gay rights movement and others are attempting to rally a “Boycott of Utah”. What does this mean? Utah brings in about 6 billion dollars annually in tourism. Utah doesn’t have many other industries as nothing is really produced here to be considered on this scale. Michigan makes cars, Idaho makes potatoes, and Utah, well we have pretty rocks. Many business owners depend on tourism to keep them afloat. The Sundance film festival is a world renowned event, which brings many people (and their money) to the state each year.
Why boycott Utah? The theory is that since Utah is about 60% LDS, and the LDS church contributed millions of dollars and man hours to supporting proposition 8, boycotting Utah would send a message to the church, who is headquartered in Salt Lake City.
Why they are wrong
One angle that could potentially be successful is if everyone put a chokehold on Utah’s tourism industry, it might sway those suffering to petition to punish the LDS church by removing their tax exempt status. This is a very round-about way of doing it, but is the angle that they would like you to subscribe to.
The people who would suffer from this boycott, are likely the main group of people in Utah who didn’t support Prop. 8. Those of the artistic community and tourism industry are part of a demographic that is known for being more liberal and open minded than their rural Utah counterparts. For instance, does a chicken farmer in rural Utah care about prop 8 besides making sure that it passes? No. He probably doesn’t even know anyone it would effect. Someone who has roots in other states and is part of the film industry is more likely to know people it would directly effect, and have a more educated opinion on the topic.
This is also supported by the fact the SLC is only 40% LDS, despite the rest of the states percentages being much higher.
Those who the boycott would effect, are actually the people who likely sympathize with those who disagree on the result of the vote in California.
Not to mention…
IT WAS CALIFORNIA WHO VOTED ON 8, NOT UTAH.