I've been a member of the St. George Dixie Elks Lodge for five years and must express my opinion on the recent changes of the Elks lodges of Utah.

Recently one woman (who probably wants to change the way the Earth rotates) filed a discrimination suit against us. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear our case, so it was left to the Utah courts to determine the outcome.Through the Utah courts and this one woman, all 15 of the Utah Elks lodges no longer serve alcoholic beverages. A few have leased their building to open private clubs that are not a part of the Elks.

The Elks lodge has been a men's fraternal organization for over 125 years. It is a nonprofit organization that is all about charity and helping local communities. The Elks lodges are second only to the U.S. government in awarding high school scholarships.

The Dixie lodge alone contributes over $42,000 a year for scholarships and 150 Christmas baskets to the needy families each year for Washington County. The Dixie lodge netted more than $250,000 a year in its sales of alcoholic beverages, which it used for the community.

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Now I ask you, did the Utah courts decide against the sale of alcohol and the tens of thousands of our local residents we serve, or did they make a judgment for this one woman and her gender?

I say let's put the Elks back where they were or some of our high school students and some needy families at Christmas can just kiss it all goodbye.

John L. Chapman

St. George

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