Salt Lake Weekly Fires Dan Savage for Utah Boycott; Voice Protests
People outraged at Mormon support of California's anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8 have started boycotting Utah, home of Prop-8-financing Mormons. Now Utahns are striking back: The Salt Lake City Weekly is dropping sex columnist and fierce Prop-8 opponent Dan Savage.
The Weekly is mad that the popular syndicated author has flipped off the Beehive State and announced he and his boyfriend won't be vacationing there ("Fuck you, Utah -- we’re going to big, blue Colorado").
The Weekly says "all Utahns aren’t to blame," points out that noxious gay-hater James Dobson runs his Focus on the Family Forum in Colorado, and says Savage should, for the good of his cause, spend more rather than less time in Utah -- "Imagine Martin Luther King Jr. not marching in Selma" -- before announcing that "If you're a fan of Savage's column, you won't find it on our Website any longer... there's no point in us playing in his sandbox by sending him a regular check."
Runnin' Scared and the Voice are astonished that the paper would defenestrate Savage on the basis of his views -- especially when those views are entirely predictable from the tenor of his previous work. (Did they actually expect Savage to be gentle about a major gay-rights issue?) We can't think of another alt-weekly that would do such a thing and, till this happened, never expected it of the Weekly. The Voice retains the services of Nat Hentoff, an out-and-proud abortion rights opponent, even though nearly everyone on our editorial staff is ferociously pro-choice. And though Runnin' Scared itself has advocated arboricide and rodenticide, we have not been dismissed to spare the feelings of our tree-hugging, PETA-supporting readers, management or advertisers. That will come later, when they see our expense reports.
We protest the Weekly's decision and stand with Dan Savage, and offer to replace the Weekly on his client list if he will accept cereal boxtops and drink tickets as payment.