By Bill Maher
Approximately 62% of Utah is Mormon, compared to less than 2% nationally. But it's one of only four religions in the US that are actually growing, and if you need to see what life will be like in the United States of Mormonism, Utah's a great place to start.
Utah is not a theocracy. It's just a place where the centralized Church has a huge amount of influence, laws are passed that reflect the Church's values, and no politician can ever do anything that would really anger the Church. But the government isn't literally run by the Church. It just trembles in its shadow.
This comes out in the liquor laws, which are about as repressive as you can get. The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has run the show since 1935, and the state has a monopoly on the sale of certain liquors. For instance, beer that has over 3.2% alcohol content (which includes many, many popular beers) can only be sold at State Liquor Stores. You want a Sierra Nevada? You can buy that from the government. That's right, socialism, right out in the open!
Pornography is restricted in Utah as well. According to the Attorney General's website, it is illegal to distribute, transport, transmit, produce, broadcast, or mail pornographic material. Also, all semen that results from use of pornography must be saved, tagged, registered, baptized, and then stored in a cold vault beneath the Salt Lake Temple.
Sodomy? Not in Utah, gay or otherwise, until 2003, when the federal government struck down all sodomy laws. Utah's law has it as a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine. And it's still on the books. You might say that it's an arcane regulation that hasn't been touched because it just doesn't matter anymore, but in point of fact a gay state senator named Scott McCoy tried to get it off the books in 2007 with his creatively titled "Sodomy Amendments." The bill failed without consideration.
Utah also gives married parents preference in matters of adoption. Which, because gays can't get married in Utah, nor can they get their marriages recognized, means "Sorry, homos, no baby for you!"
The bottom line is that no matter how much the LDS and Mitt Romney mouth the word "freedom," the United States of Mormonism would be a much less free place than the country we're living in now. But it would be so clean and nice that nobody would care.