Utah “Final Solution” Group A Hoax

As suspected, the Patriots For A Moral Utah and their Final Solution was a rather elaborate hoax intended to dramatize the frightening escalation of anti-gay rhetoric by Christianist groups. Two of the hoaxers are members of the Utah environmentalist group Peaceful Uprising, although that organization appears uninvolved. Jesse Fruhwirth at Salt Lake City’s alternative newspaper City Weekly is unamused.

As I reported first via my Twitter feed, the press conference calling for a ballot initiative to remove homosexuals from Utah was fake. At best, the organizers put together improv theater that punked the Utah press corps and maybe got people to think about gay rights for a moment. It’s fashionable to make fools of news media folk such as myself, so, touche. But at its worst, it was an offensive attention-grabbing play on Holocaust-like imagery and language that does little to advance the argument for gay rights in Utah.

The phony press conference is a play out of the Yes Men play book. For example, The Yes Men once punked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by announcing a press conference, then posing as representatives of that group while calling for climate change legisation. It was funny, you see, because the Chamber opposes such legislation. Ha. Zinger. Got ’em.

I’m not sure what Ha-Ha we were supposed to get from today’s action, but I think the point they must have been trying to make is that it is somewhat believable that Utah could foster such a movement of concerned citizens that would openly and publicly call for Nazi-like solutions to the “homosexual problem?” Ha?

Read Fruhwirth’s column for a telling of how the press conference went down and for a lot more indignation. I’m not too bothered by the hoax, although I think it would have played out better if there had been an attempt to gain pledges of solidarity from major anti-gay groups. The sputtering “But, but…we’re not like THAT” responses would have been rich to behold. And points to them for an inspired mashup of both Poe’s Law and Godwin’s Law in a manner that left many quite willing to believe such a group could exist. Scary, huh? Still I can definitely understand how some might take enormous offense to the co-opting of the Holocaust in a theatrical attempt to ridicule our enemies. What’s your take?