Progress happens where it happens, not necessarily where it’s expected. From the Guardian, “‘It’s a revolution’: polygamist sect loses power over Utah town for first time”:
A fundamentalist religious sect that commands its women members to wear pioneer-era dresses and that became infamous for mass polygamy and child marriage appears to have had its power over a small town broken for the first time in its history.
Three non-fundamentalist council members are reported to have won against incumbents loyal to the sect “by a landslide” in Hildale, southern Utah, on Tuesday night.
And, in a closer race, an all-but-official majority of voters have chosen a new mayor, who also ran as an “outsider” to challenge the authority of the fringe religion over the isolated community.
Donia Jessop fully expects to be confirmed as the new mayor once a small number of outstanding postal ballots are counted in the next week. Her ascendence will be a potent symbol of a new era in the community.
“It’s a great leap, a revolution,” Jessop told the Guardian on Wednesday morning.
Majority control on the town council of Hildale is now set to transfer away from the outlaw church group known as the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), which has controlled the town since they settled more than 100 years ago…
“The most important thing is that the wider world now understands that Hildale is changing,” said Jessop, who nevertheless lives unofficially but openly as a polygamist. At least one of the three other non-fundamentalist candidates tolerates polygamy, while rejecting the strict theocracy imposed by the FLDS, which dictates that the word of Jeffs is divine law.
Hildale has a population of fewer than 3,000 and just over 365 registered voters. “I’m ahead by 25 votes and I feel really good about the result. I’m pretty confident this will be confirmed,” she said.
It was a mail-in race and the town has until 14 November to count all the ballots. Jessop had expected a mayoral landslide over incumbent Philip Barlow, who is loyal to the FLDS.
“But a lot of ex-FLDS men who said they would vote for me didn’t; they voted for the man. The entire state of Utah is very patriarchal,” said Jessop…
Apart from taking delight in the wins, wherever we find them, what’s on the agenda for the day?
In other news, Brad Paisley co-hosted the Country Music Awards last night, and later perceptive Canadian Journalist Daniel Dale sneakily outed him…