Myths About Utah Most Americans Believe Are True
People sometimes think the darndest things about Utah. Growing up an LDS(Mormon) kid in Michigan, I got a lot of the same questions. Things like "Why don't you believe in electricity?" and "How many moms do you have?" As recently as last week I was asked how many Polygamist weddings I've been to. (For those who are curious, the answers are we do, just one, and none.)
Here are some common Myths about Utah that people tend to believe are true.
1) Only Mormons Live In Utah
This is not true. However, it makes sense for some people to come to that conclusion. While Latter-Day Saints(LDS) make up only 0.2% of the world's population, they make up over 60% of the population in Utah. This explains the culture shock for people who move here from other states and suddenly find themselves in a culture that is largely unknown to the rest of the world.
What also feeds into this myth is how much LDS people are disproportionately represented in government. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 out of every 10 seats in the Utah Legislature are occupied by Members of the LDS Church. That may explain why the liquor laws for example are the way they are.
So while it's not true that everyone in Utah is LDS, it is true that the majority of the state is, and the overwhelming majority of the lawmakers are as well. So "everybody" is more of a feeling than a solid statistic.
2) Alcohol is Illegal
This is not true. Of course, drinking is legal in Utah. However, Utah does not allow hard liquor or wine to be sold outside of state-run liquor stores, so we understand how someone can go to the grocery store, not see a liquor aisle, and then think it's not sold anywhere. There are also wonderful bars and tap houses around the state that are definitely worth checking out if you're looking for an adult beverage and atmosphere.
3) Polygamy is Legal
Contrary to what you see on Netflix, Hulu, and Reality TV, Polygamy is not legal in Utah and hasn't been legal since 1890. Although Polygamy still persists in small pockets of Fundamentalist communities, none of them have been issued multiple marriage licenses by the state.
4) Utah is Covered In Snow
While Utah is home to world-class ski resorts and was the home of the 2012 Winter Olympics, the state has a wide range of climates and elevations.
St. George for example has a year-round desert climate much like Las Vegas and will rarely if ever see a single snowflake fall.
5) Dancing is not allowed
I hear this one a lot and I'm not sure where it came from. But if dancing was illegal in Utah, I'd be on death row by now.
What are some myths you've heard about Utah?