Last week I told you about Trestin Meacham, a 35-year-old Utah man who is vowing to starve himself until marriage equality goes away.
Apparently, he's not the only Utahn willing to resort to desperate measures: dozens flocked to Highland City Community Center yesterday for a standing-room-only gathering billed as a "call for an uprising" against same-sex marriage in the Beehive State.
The main speaker at the event was Richard Mack (right), a former Provo (Utah) police officer and former sheriff of Grantham County, Arizona who, like Meacham, thinks states should be able to ignore federal laws they don't like.
Mack's views are so far-out that he's tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors radical extremists, domestic terrorists, and hate groups across the United States. According to the SPLC, Mack believes county sheriffs "have supremacy over other law enforcement agencies and even the federal government."
Indeed, Mack told Salt Lake City's KTSU-TV that since Utah's (incredibly anti-gay) Governor Gary Herbert wasn't doing enough to stop same-sex couples from getting married, it was up to law enforcement officers and concerned citizens to do the job themselves:
"The people of Utah have rights, too, not just the homosexuals. The homosexuals are shoving their agenda down our throats... State sovereignty supersedes what this judge did. The governor needs to get some courage and grit."
Mack continued, falsely implying that the freedom of same-sex couples to enter into legal civil marriage is tantamount to an attack on the freedom of everyone else:
"The way you take back freedom in America is one county at a time. The sheriffs need to defend the county clerks in saying, 'No, we're not going to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals.'"
Event organizer and conservative blogger Cherilyn Eagar agreed. "We need people to stand up and speak out; we need to get noisy," she said. "We need some outrage. It is about the sheriffs now, coming out to protect the people [against same-sex marriage]."
Gay documentary filmmaker Kendall Wilcox, who attended the meeting, said in a post on his Facebook page that the crowd numbered at least 200 and noted that it included many elected officials. He reported that the event had a distinctly theocratic tone, with participants talking about "building the case for state insurrection 'in the name of the Constitution and the Prince of Peace,'" and calling for "[putting] the federal government on notice, in the holy cause of Liberty."
A "push back" meeting to further organize against the federal court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah was reportedly scheduled for Wednesday, January 9 at 10 a.m. at the Provo Library.
A TV report from KTSU about the "uprising" meeting is after the jump.