Proposition 8 protests heat up

templedefacedSo the protests against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of its support for Proposition 8 are continuing and receiving quite a bit of mainstream media coverage. Proposition 8 passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as an institution involving one man and one woman. Stories involve everything from Mormon churches being vandalized to large-scale protests in urban areas.

The story is so big that it has even crossed the pond. Here‘s the Independent‘s lede:

Daniel Ginnes carried a banner declaring: “No More Mr Nice Gay.” Brian Lindsey held up a sign billing Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, as a “prophet, polygamist, paedophile.” Hundreds of others simply chanted: “Mormon scum.”

The story is fairly balanced for a British paper but fails to articulate why Mormons are being singled out from all the many religious and other groups that supported Proposition 8. (Although it looks like evangelicals are being targeted as well — here’s an Associated Press report on large-scale marching on Saddleback Community Church. Mosques, Roman Catholic churches, Orthodox churches, Orthodox synagogues and most Protestant churches are as yet untouched, interestingly.)

CNN mentioned a religious angle in its write-up of the protests:

In Palm Springs, a crowd of several hundred gathered in front of the city hall, chanting “Civil rights” and “Tax the Church.” One sign read: “We will not give up.”

Several protesters surrounded an elderly looking woman, an apparent Proposition 8 supporter, and shouted at her. No arrests were reported at any of the demonstrations.

In Salt Lake City, Utah, about 2,000 demonstrators gathered at Temple Square to protest against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormon church strongly supported Proposition 8, which amends California’s constitution to define marriage as legal only between one man and one woman.

Proposition 8 opponents say the Salt Lake City-based church donated a majority of the money raised in support of the measure.

The LDS Church believes it should not be singled out when other groups also supported the proposition.

“It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election,” the church said in a statement Friday.

It’s great that this story mentions that the LDS weren’t the only ones to support the proposition, but this needs to be fleshed out much more. And this tidbit about a majority of the money being raised in support of the measure coming from Mormons? How would anyone — supporters or opponents — know whether that’s true? Do you now have to list your religious affiliation before contributing funds to be engaged in the democratic process? And, since you don’t, how is this figure being calculated? And if the opponents of Proposition 8 were spending their time investigating the religious affiliation of donors to the proposition, did they just seek out information on Mormons or did they investigate other groups as well?

Even when talking about funding, it’s important to provide some context. How many stories mention that the opponents of Proposition 8 out raised the supporters? Or that the California branch of the National Education Association donated $1.25 million to fight the proposition? The LDS, while encouraging members to support the proposition with votes and donations, didn’t give any money to the cause.

At the same time that Mormons are being targeted for their support of Proposition 8, black voters are as well. They overwhelmingly supported traditional marriage. As in 70 percent supported it. The Los Angeles Times devoted a story to the matter:

Los Angeles resident Christopher Hill, 50, said he was motivated by religion in supporting Proposition 8. Civil rights, he said, “are about getting a job, employment.”

Gay marriage, he said, is not: “It’s an abomination against God.”

One complicating factor was that both sides in the campaign had plausible reason to claim Obama’s support. The president-elect strongly stated his opposition to the proposition, calling it “divisive and discriminatory.”

But he has also said in public speeches that he opposes same-sex marriage.

Certainly Obama’s coattails helped pass this proposition. The Washington Times had a really thorough piece about how it passed:

Blacks voted 70 percent in favor of Proposition 8, and slightly more than half the Hispanic voters backed the measure, according to exit polls released by the National Election Pool.

And those voters were adamant.

“We shouldn’t do anything to jeopardize the future of our family and our children,” said Frederick K.C. Rice, an elder with the Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles, which joined a thousand other black and Hispanic congregations with about 3 million followers in public support of Proposition 8.

protester  antimormon
The article also notes that Prop 8 opponents are hoping to litigate away the people’s vote. There’s an interesting discussion there.

But these article about whether to credit/blame minority voters or religious voters for the passage could also explain why we’re not seeing protests in Arizona, Florida or any of the 30 states that now have passed amendments or propositions defining marriage traditionally. And for people looking for the most insane entry into the blame game, you could do worse than check out the reliably offensive Mark “Obama is a lightworker” Morford in the San Francisco Chronicle: he blames God and voters in the area where I grew up — the San Joaquin Valley:

Or maybe it’s all those sad, white, central portions of the state, the huge chunks of voters who live in places without much culture or perspective or major universities, who only hear certain strains of spiteful rhetoric and thin fearmongering, whose general lack of education means they apparently still believe certain flavors of love will poison everyone’s soup and ruin the sanctity of the time-honored 50-percent heterosexual missionary position Christian divorce rate.

Ah, feel the love. One thing that mainstream media does fail to indicate in these reports is that not all gay-marriage advocates are calling on the IRS to revoke churches’ tax-exempt status or to otherwise attack religious groups. Some see this is as fulfilling the claims of traditional marriage advocates that same-sex marriage is an attack on religion or otherwise harming the cause of gay marriage.

Another angle that’s been untouched is a comparison of the fallout on the Proposition 8 vote with that of other propositions. Social conservatives lost Proposition 4, for instance, which would have required that parents of underage children be notified before said teen aborts her child. It lost by the same margin that Prop 8 passed. It’s interesting to note the different reactions of the pro-life community from the same-sex marriage advocates as well as the different coverage of same by the mainstream media.

Photo of protests on defaced Mormon temple grounds via Beetle Blogger.

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  • Mike Hickerson

    Has anyone connected this to the reaction to Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy? Here’s what I mean: Mormons are an easy target for these protests, because they are seen as outsiders to mainstream America, and most Americans know very little about their beliefs and practices. I have a feeling that the same suspicions that came up during Romney’s candidacy are at play in these protests – either on the part of the protesters or by playing to the general public’s suspicion of Mormonism.

  • Q-Mum

    Hate Crimes and Vandalism are never right! BTW I know of at lease a dozen of my relatives who are Lutheran , Baptist and other Christian Faiths who voted for Prop 8. What a disgrace this puts on the face of Gay right activists to be so ugly and totally disregard the majority of all voters in the state of California. I don’t see much good coming out of such disrespectful, illegal behavior.
    Appalled in CO

  • Mollie

    Please focus comments on media coverage rather than personal feelings about the violence or anger.

  • John

    The focus on the Mormon church was already there even a couple of weeks before the election. Many of it’s members were already speaking out about how they didn’t like what their church was doing, in terms of going out of their way to donate 70% of the Yes on 8 money, fly armies of Mormons to California for the Yes on 8 campaign, and making phone calls from Utah to Californians, trying to get Yes votes. If you look at archived stories from the Salt Lake City newspapers, you’ll find stories of the backlash against the Mormons from Gays and disapproval from Mormon members, a couple of weeks before the election.

    It’s one thing to be for Prop 8, like the Catholic church was, but if a church goes insanely so far out of it’s way to try and put down another group like the Mormons did, they deserve to receive most of the protest from people unhappy about the results. The Mormon church can’t have it both ways! Nobody asked the LDS leaders from Utah to butt-in California’s politics!

  • Greg

    But these article about whether to credit/blame minority voters or religious voters for the passage could also explain why we’re not seeing protests in Arizona, Florida or any of the 30 states that now have passed amendments or propositions defining marriage traditionally.

    What do you mean?

  • Scott M.

    Stop lying, John.

    Just because press reports have often implied that, it is still false.
    The LDS church donated exactly $0.00 to the Yes on 8 campaign.

  • John

    Scott – How do you know that the LDS church contributed $0.00 to the Yes on 8 campaign? The LDS church itself has already said that they did contribute a few thousand, that it wasn’t the church itself that contributed the millions, but it’s their members. Mormon members that were unhappy what their church were doing were already vocal about it even before the elections, causing riffs within LDS members. One unhappy member even created a website to track the contributions of LDS members to Yes on 8 –

  • csmith

    According to the AP reports:

    Ed Todeschini, a Human Rights Campaign volunteer, accused Saddleback in particular of helping propagate what he called misinformation about the Supreme Court ruling, including that gay marriage would have to be taught to kindergartners.

    A message seeking comment left at the church’s main office, which was closed Sunday, was not immediately returned.

    “They told such obvious lies. They used their lies to deceive the public,” Todeschini said of the church, which gained national attention in August when its pastor, Rick Warren, brought Obama and McCain together to discuss their religious faith. The two candidates embraced during an often-contentious presidential campaign.

    I’d really like to see some tangible support for the claim that Saddleback – or another church – told “obvious lies” to deceive people into voting for Proposition 8. I’m a little surprised that the AP would publish a report making that claim with absolutely no substantiation for it.

  • Mollie


    Please take your anti-Mormon bigotry elsewhere. We discuss


    Nothing more. Nothing less.

    If you don’t understand what those words mean, just leave.

  • John

    csmith – I understand what you mean about tangible proof. Although, we did get bombarded by the Yes on 8 campaign with TV and radio ads here in California that turned out not to be true. At one point, our state’s school superintendent even had a press conference to let people know that the ads stating that kids will be taught about same-sex marriage at schools is completely untrue. Other churches here have also expressed that the ads stating churches can be sued were not true. There were also robo-calls made here that claimed Obama is for Prop 8, eventhough he’s already made it clear that he is against it. Our governor, senators, and mayors were all trying to disclaim these ads as well. I can’t blame these deceitful campaigning on churches here, but more on the “Yes on Prop 8″ people themselves.

  • Mollie

    Congratulations, John.

    I deleted your last comment and all future comments will be moderated to ensure they remain on topic.

  • Perpetua

    Now in this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle they are blaming San Francisco Catholic Archbishop George Niederauer as the man who got the Mormons involved.

  • MJ

    Dear John,

    I didn’t know there’s a limitation on how much a church can participate in an election, but it’s most certainly OK for the No on Prop 8 people to accept donations from outside California which it most certainly did & encouraged. The church officially spent $2k on the initiative. The members exercised their rights to contribute to whatever campaign they wanted to. Maybe if you talked to someone who voted for Prop 8 you would then find out why they voted. Why would any church who interprets marriage to be between a man and a woman vote contrary to their belief? It’s not about putting “another group down”, it’s about standing up for what we think is right or moral. You have that same freedom.

    Where are these armies that were being flown to California by the church? I live in SoCal and never saw any out of state “armies” nor heard from them, and if members flew in…then who cares…it was their own money, not the churches. LDS leaders are not leaders of a “Utah” church. There are more LDS members outside of the US than inside. Just like leaders of the “No on Prop 8″ were looking at California to be the state that said no to a state amendment & then influence other states, why can’t another organization look at it similarly?

    As far as some Mormon’s questioning their church’s own involvement, that’s fine, they are free to do so and exercise their right to vote. The church has indicated its position and encouraged their membership to vote likewise, but in the end, the individual members make up their own minds. They are not compelled.

    I know gays, and I don’t look down on them. The gay community has come a long ways in getting society to look at them in a different light and treat them like human beings with love and tolerance. I don’t hate gays. I love my religion and my god. And that’s why I voted for Prop 8. In the last week the gay community has lost a lot of that goodwill they’ve built up by targeting or “putting down” a religious group (or groups) who simply didn’t agree with their viewpoint.

  • Dave G.

    At the same time that Mormons are being targeted for their support of Proposition 8, black voters are as well.

    I’m sorry, perhaps I’m in too much of a hurry, but were there examples of this ‘targeting’ of black voters in any of these articles? I haven’t seen any on the TV news, nor read of any in our local papers. Just curious. Most seem to agree that since the Mormon church was outspent by the opponents of Prop 8, the tipping point was actually the influx of black voters who voted yes. FWIW, I would like to know why beyond ‘they support traditional marriage’. Is that the only reason? A black pastor I knew a few years back resented the ease with which the gay movement has likened itself to the plight of African Americans. Is there any reporting that is digging deep into this part of it? Again, just curious.

  • Mollie


    This isn’t the place to defend the Mormon church either.


    Got it?

  • Seth

    Of course the LDS donated precisely $0 to the pro 8 campaign. They aren’t (ed. — deleted for hatefulness), well at least not totally. But they did actively and aggressively, with official church communications, encourage their members to donate. This marches right up to a fuzzy line in the law and you can be sure that the LDS legal staff knew it. In all likelihood, revoking their status will not occur, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try it, because drowning the IRS in paperwork may well encourage them to revise the rules to discourage churches from engaging in such rule bending in the future. If organizations of (ed — deleted for hatefulness, poor grammar, and being off topic), rather they be (ed- deleted) or the Mormon Church, want to have tax exempt status, then they have to stay out of politics, otherwise they can pay taxes like the rest of us, and have full rights for having done so.

    Editor — and as a bonus, we have another person who gets to enter moderation.

  • Ivan Wolfe

    A comment with a refreshing focus on the media coverage:

    I’ve heard various arguments online and off about the possibility/validity of revoking tax exempt status of the churches. However, I’ve seen relatively little coverage of both sides of this in the media. Perhaps I’ve haven’t been looking in the right places. Do any media sources interview any lawyers about whether these challenges could actually work or not? Or do I have to rely on the Volokh conspiracy?

  • Scott M.

    There was a report about a recent demonstration (Westwood, maybe?) where the N-word was thrown about at passing African-Americans.

  • Stoo

    Haha “fairly balanced for a British paper”.

  • Jerry

    For anyone who wants to do research will allow you to search by state, city, zip, name or all that supported or opposed the proposition. You can take the result and sort by amount if you like.

    But I think there are two reasons CA is the focus. The first, and I think most important, is that gays believe something was taken away from them. They expected CA to have been more positive toward their wishes, so there’s a serious disappointment factor. The second is that due to discrimination being worse elsewhere, there is a more activist gay environment in CA.

    I do hope we see at least some news reports that are at least relatively balanced.

  • Mollie

    All off topic comments are being deleted.

  • Dave

    The Gay People’s Chronicle, an Ohio newsletter, reported that $70 million was spent by both sides of the Prop 8 campaign, and $22 million of that came from Mormons, orchestrated by their church. I don’t know the source of their numbers, but I imagine it came in part from Internet research and in part from gay Mormons who got urgings from their religious leaders.; the print headline is “Marriage Lost.”

    If those numbers are anywhere near accurate, or even believed to be so, the current focus of protest on the LDS church is no surprise. That’s a separate question of whether it is wise to do so, and whether the protests under way are being conducted decently and in accord with core American values. I reluctantly agree with MJ that this could burn through a lot of good will the gay rights movement has accumulated over the past few years.

    Afaik all talk of LDS tax exemption being in jeopardy is something I’ll save the editor the trouble by censoring myself. Prop 8 was an issue, not a candidate; churches can wade in on issues to their souls’ content.

  • Carol

    Protesters surrounded a little old lady and shouted at her…? (edited for hateful comment) With behavior like this I don’t imagine that they’ll be changing their minds anytime soon….

  • Eric


    The couple of thousand “donated” by the LDS church was to refund Prop 8 for a plane ticket that was purchased for an official to visit them. Net zero.

    If you guys really hate the Mormon Church so much, I wonder why you are going to such great efforts to have the rest of the country sympathize with them?

  • beetlebabee

    Actually regarding the kindergarten education, it happened not only in Massachusetts, but also in Hayward California. The Hayward incident was remarkable because the parents were kept in the dark about the schools’ Coming Out Day. They were given no opportunity to opt out and when they asked they were actually TOLD they could not opt out.

  • Dave

    Eric, if the cost of that plane ticket would otherwise have been absorbed by the Yes on 8 campaign it’s not net zero; it’s a net $2,000 contribution to the campaign.

  • Jerry

    It’s a bit off the religion topic, but I think worth noting that one of the legal questions that will come up will, I’m sure, generate comments by religious leaders. But if this argument prevails, I’m 100% sure we’ll hear yells of outrage about how the courts are subverting the will of the people. If it fails, different people will be shouting. I left off the opinion part:

    Article 18 of the state Constitution provides that the document can be changed by amendment or by revision. An amendment may be enacted by initiative with a majority vote, whereas a revision must first be passed by two-thirds of the Legislature before being submitted to the voters…

    Does Proposition 8 qualify as a revision? Under the case law, it’s a revision only if it “substantially alters the basic governmental framework set forth in our Constitution.”,0,3337879.story

  • Dave

    Dave G (#14) asked about any stories of African Americans being targeted in the manner the LDS church is.

    We can be confident that black gays have communicated to the gay community that African Americans are, as a demographic, socially conservative on issues that do not involve race, to a point of immunity to arguments based on a parallel with race.

    We can also be confident that gay journalists have conveyed this to their journalistic colleagues.

    Thus it is unlikely that gay protests will target blacks, or that the MSM will give much coverage to black support of Yes on 8, for the same reason: It’s not new, so it’s not news.

  • tmatt

    I have jumped in to help with the spiking of hateful and off-topic comments. Focus on the content of MZ’s post, people.

  • FW Ken

    I haven’t seen it in the MSM, but here’s a blog entry on the black vote. The original, offensive post has been removed from the blog, but is preserved here. There are are other resources in the comments.

  • Holli

    I love what Q-Mum in Colorado says. I am not Mormon, but I am from Utah. I had a vacation planned to California in 2 weeks. I have canceled my reservations, and I will now be vacationing for a week in Glenwood Springs. I will not be traveling to a place because I might be targeted for a hate crime because my license plates says “Utah”. Gay people are shooting themselves in the foot by all the anger and hatred. They are singling out people that may not even be against their cause, and they don’t even seem to be clear on those people that are against their cause. And although I am not Mormon, I am also not for their cause, and I will never be part of any cause that threatens harm on people.

  • Jeff

    I’m not sure we’ll see an analysis of Prop 4 vs. Prop 8. In part because it may be more complex than most papers will be willing to spend ink on. There was opposition to Prop 4 even within the pro-life community, mostly due to the potentially dangerous case law that could spring up around a constitutional amendment that institutionalizes family court hearings without most of the family present.

  • Guy in SF

    “And this tidbit about a majority of the money being raised in support of the measure coming from Mormons? How would anyone — supporters or opponents — know whether that’s true?”

    The Mormons are tracking the donations from their members and can be viewed at the following:

    (ed. — link removed for inappropriate content)

  • Mollie


    That’s a link to an anti-Mormon group.

  • Greg

    That’s a link to an anti-Mormon group.

    By what definition are they “anti-Mormon”?

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Unmentioned anywhere that I could see (except talk radio-Laura Ingram) was the biased coverage of the violent Gay antics outside the Saddleback church. One tape she played a few times was of a Los Angeles TV or radio reporter on the scene clearly (and erroneously) implying that both sides were behaving the same way there.
    No wonder the MSM and liberals want to crush talk radio and let the liberal MSM become our Soviet Pravda with maybe a lone Fox allowed to marginally function by our new “ruler” (as an Obama spokesperson described our new president today–but I thought rulers were in monarchies and dictatorships and that elected officials “governed.”)

  • Scott M.

    Far left admission of racist attacks on African-Americans

    That sadness has turned to outrage at the speed with which some white gay activists began blaming African Americans — sometimes in appallingly racist ways — for the defeat of Proposition 8

  • Mollie

    The whole point of the site is to target Mormons publicly in retaliation for their support of Prop 8.

    It’s pretty obvious, frankly.

  • Mollie

    Private message to Unitarian Rob:

    Yep, you did get deleted! And you got a one-way ticket to our moderation queue. Congratulations!

  • Scott M.
  • Mollie

    I went ahead and removed the link to the anti-Mormon site, given the intent of that site and the threats of violence, etc.

  • Eric

    What hateful comment…?

    I think our culture is becoming emotionally illiterate. English has the largest vocabulary of any language on the face of the earth, and yet the only word many people can think of to describe the motivation of a person who disagrees with them is “hate.”

  • Pete

    Wanna know who’s really to blame for the passage of Prop 8? PSSST, come closer because I don’t want anyone else to hear what I’m about to say. The guilty party is San Francisco’s famous, underground saint – San Andreas – who, BTW, is on the verge of getting a big jolt out of all the faults of SF’s leaders. If you’re puzzled, Google “Zombietime” and land on “Up Your Alley Fair” where spectators include smirking, non-arresting SF cops and non-smirking, serious-looking little kids! When St. Andreas makes his move, think of all the parade-goers and festival-goers who will remember too late that, yes, they had kinda ignored him and actually forgotten him and not given him his richly deserved honor! So there you have it – it was the SA beneath the SF that was the real culprit! Pete

  • John Pack Lambert

    The “rifts” within the Mormon membership over Proposition 8 are largely imaginary.
    Most of the people who have attacked the church on its stance on this issue are people who have already abandoned the church some time ago.
    The Church’s position on this issue is consistent with the position taken on Proposition 22 in 2000. It is also consitent with the LDS Church’s support of similar measures like Proposition 2 in Nevada in 2000 and 2002, a similar measure in Nebraska (where the ACLU essentially tried to argue the high amount of LDS activism for it invalidated it) measures in Utah, Hawaii and Alaska, and I am pretty sure a measure in Oregon as well as in all likelyhood measures in several other places.
    Much of the attacks on the church’s stance on this position comes from a vocal and at times professional anti-Mormon group who attack the church with mean spirited and vitrolic comments on any issue they can bend to support their unending hate for the church.

  • John Pack Lambert

    Sorry if my last post was too off topic.
    I think one thing most media coverage of the LDS position misses is an attempt to understand why Latter-day Saints feel so deeply about this issue.
    The issue can not be understood unless you understand how central to church doctrine marriage is. “The Family: A Proclamtion to the World” is often cited as an explanation of this. However, even that document is best understood in the context of Doctrine and Covenants Sections 131 as well as several other scriptures.
    A good explantion of the doctrinal issues that has been totally overlooked in the media as far as I have seen is the talk by a member of the quorum of the twelve, Russel M. Nelson, in October General Conference. The talk did not specifically mention Proposition 8, but it did explain the importance of preserving and defending marriage.
    There is another interesting occurance. This article in the Deseret News owned Mormon Times, talks about possible reasons why the LDS Church is targeted.
    Although this is not quite “mainstream media”, they miss an issue that is even more ignored than in other publications. The protests at the temples are particularly ironic because one of the major things that goes on in the temples in marriages.

  • John Pack Lambert

    Ivan Wolfe,
    I believe it was in the San Francisco Chronicle, but I am not sure since it was five months ago about, at the time the LDS Church First Presidency sent the letter to members in California, that they looked into the issue.
    The conclusion then was that the Church could not loose its tax exempt status for taking a position on a ballot proposal.
    I also saw someone post a claim on a discussion board that the LDS Church should loose its tax exempt status, but they supported it with a quote allegedly from the tax code that clearly stated the issue was supporting candidates, not supporting issues.

  • John Pack Lambert

    Here is a transcript from 680 News radio
    Thes protests seem to be unfocused. The odd thing is the phrase “A heavy push from churches outside the state.” This incorporates the attempts to delegitimatize LDS participation by claims of Utahness, while not being specific enough for the claim to even be analized.

  • FW Ken

    I don’t see this linked above; sorry if I’m duplicating.

    Anyway, the blame game is starting to include the Catholics.

  • John Pack Lambert

    I noticed in the AP article on the planned boycott of Utah that the article went straight from discussing the percentage of Utah residents who are LDS to discussing how the leaders of the church urged support of Proposition 8 by church members.
    They failed to point out that the letter urging this support was only read in California, and that the vast majority of money and man power donated by LDS Church members was done by members in California.
    The AP articles seem to represent a consistent attempt to portray the church as an organization foriegn to Calfornia, whose members were brought into California specifically to support this measure.
    This odd notion is only reinforced by failures to discuss how temples (which have been the focus of most protests) differ from LDS chapels as well as failures to discuss the fact that the Los Angeles Temple is larger than the Salt Lake Temple.

  • John Pack Lambert

    This article from the inquisitr has many issues,
    First off their claim of a “slim margin” is obviously showing a bias.
    Secondly, their claim that the admendment makes “GLBT marriage illegal” is a questionable use of the term. Most people connect illegality with criminal status, which is not the case here. Beyond the fact the admendment only states “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid in California”, the rhetoric of illegality brings to mind the penalties connected with polygamy, but no criminal penalties have been allowed against same-gender sexual relations since 2003.
    The claim in this article that the admendment invalidates those same-sex marriages already performed is not clear. There are atorneys who claim the admendment is not rhetroactive.
    This issue also goes to another part of the AP article on the boycott of Utah. Quiting a DC based blogger’s claim that Proposition 8 made the children of same-sex couples in California “bastards”, not only ignores the lack of a legal meaning of being a legitimate child in California and the fact that same-sex couples do not have children naturally, but it makes a claim about the effect of Proposition 8 that is not even agreed on by all lawyers.

  • John Pack Lambert

    I have to admit that the inquistr probably is not mainstream media, but here is an article they ran about what happened at the protests by the Los Angeles Temple along the lines of anti-African American rhetoric.
    These are the attacks being hurled at people who in some cases are unquestionably opposed to Proposition 8. The theories of guilt by association seem to be alive and well in some sections of the country.

  • John Pack Lambert

    Well, here is a transcript from NBC San Diego where they admit the calls for an end to tax exempt status are a bunch of empty rhetoric.

  • John Pack Lambert

    Mr. Bresnahan,
    I have to agree, most of the coverage I have seen has made the anti-8 protestors seem peaceful.
    The pictures, with their hate insighting signs, are another matter, but the actual reports seem really lacking.

  • John Pack Lambert

    I hunted this image out of a long set of LA Times. One involved a bloodied hand from a “confrontation with a car with a pro-8 poster”. My guess is in breaking a window the guy got his hand bloody.
    This link is to another where angry protestors have surrounded a pro-8 car.,0,937229.photogallery?index=19

  • John Pack Lambert

    One last lead.

    This article from abc does at least admit the existence of civil unions at the end. It also emphasizes the total disrespect for the law and lack of order among protestors.
    It is inaccurate to bring up federal benefits though. Since federal law specifically defines marriage as between a man and a woman for federal purposes, to claim that these benefits are not granted by domestic partnerships is true, but misleading because it makes it seem that they would be granted by same-gender marriage which is a false assertion.

  • Jerry

    For what it’s worth, here is an “open forum” post in the SF paper about why the polls were wrong and specifically included commentary about the Catholic vote that I found interesting:

    The final paragraph sums up the contention:

    My take is that regular church-goers, and especially Catholics, were more prone than other voters to be influenced by last-minute appeals to conform to orthodox church positions when voting on a progressive social issue like same-sex marriage.

  • Greg

    It’s pretty obvious, frankly.

    So identifying the origin of contributions in a statewide initiative is “anti-Mormon,” which assumes a hatred or bias against Mormons? I assume you’d be willing to call, then, any targeting of ant-Prop 8 funders is “anti-gay”?

  • Doc

    As Americans, we all have the right to express our convictions and opinions which is covered under the Freedom of Speech. Any church or private organization has the right to practice religion according to the dictates of its doctrine just as any atheist group may not choose to believe in the existence of God. As a member of the U.S. military, I sacrifice my time, my life, and talents to ensure all people have these freedoms. I expect others, regardless of whether they are hetero or homosexual to respect my right to believe in God. I expect others to preserve my right to believe that marriage as traditionally defined, is a sacred relationship between a husband and wife.
    One of God’s most important commandments is to love thy neighbor as they self. As a member of a Christian church, I harbor no malice toward homosexuals, and they would be, in fact, welcomed with open arms to investigate the teachings of our church. I really don’t care what homosexuals do; it’s none of my business. However, I do ask them to respect my beliefs supporting the benefits and blessing of marriage as originally defined. The Gay Rights protests of Proposition 8 demonstrates an enormous lack of respect for many churches and individual beliefs by the homosexual community.
    One more point, as Americans we all have the freedom to support political campaigns by the donation of time and/or money. Regardless of where the money comes from or how much is spent, both sides of an issue are heard. Everyone gets only one vote. In the end, each individual decides what is best for the country and the direction we should take. The people of California have spoken and its time that we honor the results of the California voters otherwise, we have no democracy at all.

  • J. Moldovan

    It is not just Mormons and Catholics who are out there in defense of prop. 8. California’s “Eastern” Orthodox bishops also came out in support of the proposition. …

  • tmatt

    We’re trying to edit out all statements of rumor and off-the-cuff hearsay. Hang in there with us folks.

    URLs, please, for your claims of info.

    Mere statements of opinion on OTHER blogs do not count, either.

  • tmatt

    A key point.

    If the LDS leadership sends letters asking members to donate money to Prop 8, that is not the same thing as the Mormon Church donating millions to the cause. It means MEMBERS of the LDS gave millions to the cause.

    Now, if someone produces evidence that LDS congregational or national leaders are PUNISHING people who did not make donations (as opposed to openly taking stances attacking the church’s teachings), you would have a very interesting story, indeed.

  • Scott M.
  • Chris in Los Angeles

    The Mormon Church consciously chose to use its places as worship as a political machine center, churning out voters, passing out signs and pressuring church memmbers for cash. Can anyone really think that these same political/sacred centers are somehow immune from the political response to their politic activities?

    If anyone has sullied the Mormon temples, it is the Mormons themselves. Jesus threw the moneylenders out of the temple, I suspect he would have thrown the political campaigners out too. Religious bodies everywhere need to reflect on how far it is appropriate for churches to enter into the political realm.

  • FW Ken

    Some interesting video from one of the protests:

    Here’s directly from the TV news site. Scroll over on the horizontal listings at the top and there are two reports.

    The second can be viewed here without the advertising.

  • Dave2

    tmatt, if the Mormon church had sent letters requesting donations in the hopes of passing a proposition outlawing interracial marriage, these fine distinctions about funding probably wouldn’t make much of a moral difference to you. Well, then, I hope you can see why, for those of us who see gay marriage as an issue of fundamental human rights, it doesn’t make much moral difference whether the church provided funding itself or merely requested that members of the church provide funding—either way, from our perspective, the church has gone out of its way to embrace injustice.

  • tmatt


    Yes or no.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has established that, for group protected status, self-definitions by people of their gay status is the same thing as race?

    My point is this: At this moment there is no clear definition of homosexuality or its status in science and/or law. Would you agree on that? Would you agree that, in U.S. law, sexual orientation does not — yet — equal race?

  • Dave

    Terry, Dave2 was not equating sexual orientation with race under law in comment #65. He was challenging people who firmly believe in marriage rights along one axis as to how they would react to a major church lining up against them, in an effort to make understandable the reaction of people who believe in marriage rights along a different axis under parallel circumstances.

    In any event, the status of homosexuality does not need to be defined to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples, any more than heterosexuality needs to be defined to make that right available to opposite-sex couples.

    The paramount question to me is how the gay rights movement will survive the ugly reactions of some protesters. I am reminded of a moment in civil rights history, when a northern city secured shelters for classrooms in an effort to avoid desegregation orders relative to their schools. Activists burned down those shelters one night. Arson and vandalism in a good cause are still arson and vandalism. But the civil rights movement survived that ugly moment. This, too, shall pass.

  • Eric

    It’s dissapointing how people behave with mob mentality when they don’t get their way. Liberal politics demand free speech and freedom of thought, freedom to believe anything you want,and yes to love whomever you choose,so long as those views and beliefs are in line with the liberal ideology. No one should spread hate through words or actions. To maintain a value judgment that a group doesn’t agree with does not necessarily constitute hate! A better example of hate would be attacking protesters verbally or otherwise. Just as hatefull as the the ridiculous statements, 1/2 truths, lies, or just plain malicious defamation that comes from these protesters. The mormons that felt passionate enough to defend their definition of marriage were among the 52% of the California voters that wanted this to be law. A crumb for the angry prop 8 supporters: it’s just a matter of time before you succeed! Until then you will just have to rely on old tactics- find a judge to stifle the will of the majority.

  • Eric

    Correction on previous post: A crumb for Prop 8 opponents- sorry.

  • wootmama

    Gay Activists Use Donor List for Targeted Persecution

    Scott Eckern, 25 year veteran of the Music Circus performing arts theatre in Sacramento has been forced to resign after being targeted by gay activists who used public records to “out” proposition 8 supporters. Eckern donated of his time and means to the tune of 1000.00 of his personal savings to the cause. Though his personal beliefs and efforts on behalf of proposition 8 did not cross into his professional life, he is now being forced to resign his position as his company bows to pressure from the gay community who are looking for revenge in the wake of California’s passage of the gay marriage ban.

    This kind of political bullying is unconscionable. Pleas from the community on behalf of the longtime director fell on deaf ears as the news spread of the pressure for his resignation. A letter campaign in support of Eckern was heart felt, but came too late.

    Who is next? Where is the image of love and tolerance now?

  • Eric

    This is a perfect example of the poor behavior that resembles hate. I don’t agree with the distinction of “hate” crime, because anytime someone is attacked they certainly are not being greeted w/ with friendship, but this seems to fall under the category of a hate crime- does a person being attacked because of their religous beliefs fall in the category of hate crime?

  • karen

    the problem, perhaps, is that a minority group’s capacity for love is being deemed unworthy of respect and protection. we can have whatever religious beliefs we choose; in a civil society, we just can’t impose those on everyone else. some things can’t be put up for a vote.

  • Dave2


    As Dave pointed out, I was discussing morality, not US law, in an attempt to make clear why those distinctions that might seem so significant from one side of the issue seem very insignificant from the other side.

    To your direct questions, my first answer is No, and my second answer is Yes, I agree that science and law face a lot of unsettled questions with respect to homosexuality. However, when it comes to morality, I think the questions relevant to this political drama have answers that are crystal clear.

  • Dale

    However, when it comes to morality, I think the questions relevant to this political drama have answers that are crystal clear.

    So, because the answers are “crystal clear” to you, you’re willing to bypass the legislative process and have the courts impose those answers upon the majority of California voters? Are you prepared to have someone else’s “crystal clear” answers to moral questions imposed by the courts when you and a majority of citizens don’t agree? If the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, because it’s “crystal clear” to 5 justices that it’s immoral and thus can’t be legalized, the Court has exercised its legitimate power?

  • Dave

    Dale, the whole concept of civil liberties and equal protection under the law means that sometimes the majority, which is the foundation of the legislative process, has to be restrained from trampling the rights of the minority.

  • Dale

    Dale, the whole concept of civil liberties and equal protection under the law means that sometimes the majority, which is the foundation of the legislative process, has to be restrained from trampling the rights of the minority.

    That doesn’t answer any of the questions I asked.

    The Constitution explicitly sets forth the limits placed on the rule of the majority. It does not appoint the Supreme Court Justices as absolute judges of what is or is not moral, and give them the power to amend the Constitution if they think a moral issue is “crystal clear.” If people think that the protections contained in the express terms of the Constitution are insufficient, they can either pass legislation or amend the Constitution, but it is not the role of the justices to short-circuit the system to impose their own will.

  • Dave

    Dale, you are arguing against a role the courts have had since Marbury v Madison, a role that brought about desegregation of public schools. Would you strip the courts of that function?

  • Dave2

    Dale wrote:

    So, because the answers are “crystal clear” to you, you’re willing to bypass the legislative process and have the courts impose those answers upon the majority of California voters? Are you prepared to have someone else’s “crystal clear” answers to moral questions imposed by the courts when you and a majority of citizens don’t agree? If the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, because it’s “crystal clear” to 5 justices that it’s immoral and thus can’t be legalized, the Court has exercised its legitimate power?

    Dale, I was never praising (or even evaluating) the reasoning of the courts, for I’m no expert on California’s state constitution and how best to interpret its equal protection clause. What I was doing was evaluating the moral issues related to Prop 8, and (by extension) criticizing those who voted for Prop 8.

    I mean, even if I thought California’s Supreme Court had erred in their In re Marriage Cases decision, I would still think it’s obviously immoral to support a proposition taking away the marriage rights of gay citizens. Think about it from my perspective: even if you were of the opinion that the federal constitution had nothing to say pro or con about interracial marriage (so that Perez v. Sharp was wrongly decided), what would you think about those who voted for a proposition taking away the marriage rights of interracial couples? One’s opinions concerning constitutional law, after all, shouldn’t distort one’s sense of basic justice. And as you probably recognize, it’s a good idea to keep one’s legal reasoning and one’s moral reasoning at a healthy distance from each other, lest one find in the law whatever one thinks ought to be there.

  • FW Ken

    I would still think it’s obviously immoral to support a proposition taking away the marriage rights of gay citizens.

    Amazing how a judicially created “right” of less than a year’s standing has becoming a moral issue. Nice to know that Dave has a pipeline to the Divine Will and constitutional law. Obviously…

    Anyway, the right to marry isn’t the issue, but the right to marry whoever I want to marry. And that’s not a right in any society I know of: I can’t marry my mother, my sister, or any close cousins, no matter what romantic feelings I may experience for them. I can’t marry more than one person at a time. And so on.

    I recognize that persons afflicted with predominantly same-sex attractions bear a special burden in a society which regards celibacy as a lesser, if not sick, way of life. And of course, those who chose to enter into private arrangements (homosexual or heterosexual – or incestuous, to a degree) can do so at will. The issue is whether the rest of us should be made to pay for Dave’s notions of “morality”.

  • Jay

    If anyone has sullied the Mormon temples, it is the Mormons themselves. Jesus threw the moneylenders out of the temple, I suspect he would have thrown the political campaigners out too. Religious bodies everywhere need to reflect on how far it is appropriate for churches to enter into the political realm.

    I can assure you, no Mormon Temples have ever been used for political purposes, to pass out signs, or to promote prop 8. There is a big difference between a Temple and church meeting houses. Temples are being used as a nice prop by the Proposition 8 protestors.

    Also, I’m surprised there has been no play in the MSM regarding the Theatre director in Sacramento forced to resign his job because of his support for Prop 8. There should be a discussion on whether he was forced to resign because of his right to free speech, or his religion.

  • Dave

    I can’t marry my mother, my sister, or any close cousins, no matter what romantic feelings I may experience for them. I can’t marry more than one person at a time.

    This line of argument inevitably gets trotted out in a discussion of marriage equity. It simply shows the need of opponents to change the subject.

  • ThinkAboutIt

    Recently and not so recently, we continue to hear that Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered people are an abomination to society because religion says so. It seems to me that many are casting stones that they have no right to cast. Most religions teach the same overall ideas, one of them being “Love Thy Neighbor”. Feel free to reword that to fit your specific religion, either way it’s the same message. Why do we not see this religious teaching from those out there that are restricting Human Rights while defending their position behind a Religious Curtain?

    And I will be the first to admit that my religious knowledge is quite limited, but by performing some simple research you would find that there are many things that religion has documented, taught and even still teaches, that is just plain out-of-date. Most religions over time have even changed their teachings to fit what they want to advertise to society and their members; or to fit their interpretation of ancient writings.

    One example of this is the following: “(Exodus 34:11-17) “Be sure to observe what I am commanding you this day: behold, I am going to drive out the Amorite before you, and the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. {12} “Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst. {13} “But rather, you are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their Asherim {14} –for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

    Basically what it says is that the Bible forbids marriage to people from those Nations (or of those nationalities). Is that a religious belief that should once again be enforced and turned into a law that is enforced across this nation? The answer is pretty simple. And if a law like that was passed by “the majority” wouldn’t protesting and fighting to have it overturned be completely acceptable and justified? Again, the answer is simple.

    The point is just because a religion or a group of religions teach that you should believe in something doesn’t mean you have the right to make your belief the law when it restricts the Human Rights of others.
    And YES, we want ACCEPTANCE, not tolerance. That obviously is the ideal goal for any group of humans, to be accepted, and not just tolerated. And really, are you not doing the same exact thing, except with the goal being to make your RELIGIOUS BELIEFS to be ACCEPTED and ENFORCED as the LAW. We only want our HUMAN RIGHTS to be ACCEPTED and ENFORCED by the LAW. We only want to be treated as First Class Humans, rather than Second Class Humans.

    And since when should TWO CONSENTING HUMAN ADULTS OVER the AGE of 18 be denied the same HUMAN RIGHTS that TWO other HUMAN ADULTS OVER 18 have been granted? Notice, I’m not talking about “What If” situations that involve 3 or more adults or children or animals or any other examples that have been thrown out there in defense of stripping away basic human rights. I’m talking specifically about 2 Human Adults of Legal Age in the United States of America.

    On one final note I will end with this. I thought that we, as a Great 21st Century Nation built on the foundations of continually adjusting to support and defend the Equality Rights of All Humans, was finally past a time where we openly supported Sexual Discrimination. And yes, that is what this comes down to; we have a law that states: because you aren’t the “Correct” Sex, you aren’t granted this Human Right. And before you bring up the defense of “There are private clubs and organizations that specifically allow access only men or only women and nobody attacks them”, let me squash that right now. The difference is that they are PRIVATE clubs and organizations and there is not a LAW ENFORCING those specific beliefs on EVERYONE. And no, we are not trying to force churches to perform Gay Marriages. Court Houses can perform marriages too, it happens all the time. We just want to same Human Right to those marriages as everyone else so that we can show, feel and support the same things that so many other Americans are legally able to do on a regular basis.

  • Briantim

    This is what these people want in every city and in every classroom…

  • Dale

    Dave wrote:

    Dale, you are arguing against a role the courts have had since Marbury v Madison, a role that brought about desegregation of public schools. Would you strip the courts of that function?

    No, I’m not. I’m arguing that judicial review has limits. The Court in Brown v. Board did not argue that there was an unwritten constitutional right to equal treatment of the races; it found that the express protection of equal treatment was violated by the segregation of public places; that separate was inherently unequal. The majority of the opinion is filled with sociological and psychological evidence to prove that Plessy v. Ferguson, which established the “separate but equal” standard, was factually wrong. The issue of whether the country would provide equal protection of the laws to all races was determined by constitutional amendment.

    The problem with current court decisions regarding same-sex marriage is that courts are reading an unchanged constitution and finding in it new constitutional rights. They continue to use a theory called “substantive due process,” by which the court discerns “fundamental rights” that aren’t in the constitution, but nonetheless have the same force as if they were expressly stated in the Constitution. That effectively gives an appellate court carte blanche to amend the Constitution to fit its own ideology, and it’s a different kettle of fish than judicial review.

    The process is getting even more absurd–if I’m reading correctly, the court challenge to Proposition 8 will claim that it’s unconstitutional. How can an amendment to a constitution be unconstitutional? Will the courts now claim for themselves the power to reject amendments adopted by the electorate?

    Not that you’d know any of this by reading the media coverage.

  • FW Ken

    This line of argument inevitably gets trotted out in a discussion of marriage equity.

    Because it’s the relevant issue.

    It simply shows the need of opponents to change the subject.

    Absolutely. The issue as presented by gay propagandists are bogus.

  • Dave

    FW Ken, the subject that opponents of gay marriage need to change, is second-class citizenship. Gays are a population of California whose couples are no longer allowed to marry. That’s second-class citizenship.

    Dale, you’re focusing on the trees and missing the forest. The situation as I just outlined it to FW Ken is a classic instance of the tyranny of the majority, curbing which is a classic role of the courts in the US.

  • Dave2

    FW Ken wrote:

    Amazing how a judicially created “right” of less than a year’s standing has becoming a moral issue. Nice to know that Dave has a pipeline to the Divine Will and constitutional law. Obviously. . .

    FW Ken, I’ve already said I’m not talking about constitutional law. And I certainly don’t think morality depends on the divine will (if God commanded cannibalizing one’s children, I don’t think we would suddenly be obliged to do so). What I’m talking about is morality, and (as any pro-lifer should recognize) fundamental human rights obviously do not stand or fall with court decisions or amendments to state constitutions.

  • JoeMama

    Hey Think About It…

    Your intention to use “Love thy Neighbor” is hilarious and misguided. You obviously don’t understand the context or the real meaning of the phrase. It has nothing to do with tolerating immoral and alternative lifestyles. If you really want to use the Bible as a reference, maybe you should look up Genesis chapter 19.

    Every law is based on a set of beliefs and assumptions. When people disagree on those issues, they vote on it. Californians voted and Proposition 8 passed. The gay and lesbian community want to distract the public from the importance of the majority vote

  • JoeMama

    Besides, marriage is for two consenting adults who want to create children. Last time I checked, this can only be done between a man and a woman.

  • FW Ken

    That’s second-class citizenship.

    Again, that’s a bogus issue. Marriage as some sort of fundamental human right, and “being gay” as some sort of normal variant of our humanity have no basis in science, history, law, or theology. You are making it up, Dave, which is fine.

    Here’s the real problem: whatever your personal theological convictions, claims of “morality” and matters being “obviously immoral” are appeals to transcendence. In other words, you are making religious claims, Dave. You are shoving your religion down our throats and imposing a tyranny of the minority.

  • JB

    Here is a link to an article posted by NPR back in June which I think explains why Mormons,etc. feel they needed to define the definition of marriage…which is what Prop. 8 does. It’s about when “Gay Rights and Religious Liberties Clash.”

  • Nook

    Interesting that when Prop 22 was overturned and Same-sex marriage proponents raced to the court houses (not churches) to get married, the Yes on 8 supporters did not protest. They began quietly formulating their next steps. If any group were to vandalize a government building the way that the mormon temples have been vandalized, the Press would have a heyday. Today students in a Southern Ca, University (State funded) walked out to protest the school boards decision to stay Nuetral on Prop 8. Where is the news coverage that really portrays the No on 8 campaign for what it is, unwilling to allow anyone the option of disagreeing with them, even if it’s to remain nuetral which a state funded school should do! Where was the huge media coverage about the Unions puoring money into No on 8 without the permission of thier members? Where is the media coverage of the Yes on 8 peaceful rallies like the one I attended for @Skyline Church in El Cajon. In fact I don’t recall any real news media outlets covering this event even though it was well attended in the middle of a workday by students as well as working families. The media systematically supports the No on 8 campaign in my opinion, no overtly, but a little at a time by not covering things equally and tilting the violence and outrage into passion and being upset.

  • Dave

    FW Ken (#90):

    I think you are mixing up your Dave’s here, conflating what I said and what Dave2 said.

    The issue of second-class citizenship could not be clearer. Gays are a part of the California population whose couples are not allowed to marry. That’s second-class citizenship. Whether you think that’s a moral or immoral state of affairs, and whether you think it comports or flauts divine will, and whether you think there is or isn’t a scientific rationale for this discrimination, are all derivative from the plain fact that it clearly is second-class citizenship.

    I’ve taken the unusual step of following this discussion onto the board’s second page because the discussion is still ongoing. I won’t do it forever.

  • ccmcgee

    Second class citizenship? I think not. You people need to get a life. This country was not founded for special interest groups.

  • Dave

    ccmcgee wrote:

    This country was not founded for special interest groups.

    Surely you jest. This country was founded by and for the benefit of white male landholders, many of whom were also slaveholders. The arc of American history has been to get the country to live up to those guys’ best ideas, as opposed to their interests. Marriage equity is but the latest issue in that overall thrust.

  • Doc

    You people are missing the whole point. God is a loving Heavenly Father who want us to live happily and righteously. He gave us commandments to live by so that we could rise to our highest potential if we choose to do so. The duty of the church and its priesthood is to help people reach their full potential and achieve joy in this life. Just as a parent teaches the difference from right and wrong out of love for their child to avoid harm, the church teaches us what we need to do to return to live with Heavenly Father. God also blessed the inhabitants of earth with the gift of free agency as a test of their degree of faithfulness. While people are free to be homosexual, that still does not change the fact that God intended for marriage to be a sacred bond between a husband (male) and a wife (female). It is the duty of the church to teach God commandments, not alter them for the sake of convenience of its members. Any loving parent would try his/her best to correct the deviant path of a wayward child. Churches have the same obligation to us to keep us spiritually focused in the right direction. To do otherwise would be a great disservice to the members of its congregation(s). God does love you whether you are homosexual or not; there is no argument there. However, gender difference was an essential part of God’s plan to perpetuate the family organization as originally intended. There’s nothing immoral about a large majority of people wanting to hold on to traditional family values, teach our children correct principles to live by, achieve greater happiness, and to prepare ourselves to live with God. This nation was founded by a population of people who wanted to live this American dream.