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Mormons and California’s Prop 8

Timothy Kincaid

September 17th, 2008

We noted that a significant percentage of the supporters of Arizona’s Prop 102 are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons).

Well, according to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune, that is also the case with California’s anti-marriage proposition.

The Web site, Mormonsfor8.com, tracks contributions to ProtectMarriage.com daily and tries to determine whether donors are LDS by scouring the Internet and asking visitors to the site to help identify any Mormon donors.

So far, the Web site has determined that about a third of ProtectMarriage.com’s donors are LDS, with their contributions totaling close to $5 million.

“If we could identify every Mormon, I think that probably 85 to 90 percent of the donors would be Mormon,” said Cedar City resident Nadine Hansen, creator of Mormonsfor8.com. A member of the church herself and a former Californian, she considers the site to be informational and neutral on the issue of Prop. 8.

Hansen may think that it is a selling point that Mormons are bankrolling Prop 8. But I believe that anti-Mormon sentiment in California is strong – especially among those inclined to support the amendment – and tying the campaign too closely to the church could result in a strong rejection of the proposition by the voters.

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Joel
September 17th, 2008 | LINK

Mmmm.. theres ia group of mormons at my college whcih i attended for some old testament classes and they seem like a simple and likeable bunch. It saddens me that they have this urge to fight against a ‘morally perverted society’ with such fervor, although i understand whilst disagree with them.

Jarred
September 17th, 2008 | LINK

While I certainly hope that tying these campaigns too closely to the LDS church hurts their chances of success, I have my doubts that will be their case. I suspect that far too many people who oppose marriage equality would simply see a temporary alliance with the LDS as a lesser and necessary evil in order to effectively combat the greater evil of the “homosexual agenda.”

After all, I seem to recall many of the anti-LDS evangelicals rallying behind and encouraging a recent inductee into the public ex-gay ranks despite the fact that said individual found his “freedom” through the LDS church. I seem to recall a few of his supporters even rationalizing the need to support him despite his involvement in what the speaker considered a false religion. I’m sorry for the lack of details. I’m hoping someone else has a clearer recollection of the person and incidents I’m referring to.

cowboy
September 17th, 2008 | LINK

Back in the 1960s when Mormons were dogmatically racist they had to contend with colleges and universities who refused to play BYU in football or basketball. It was not only a monetary setback for BYU but it was embarrassing for the whole university.

It would be nice for diversity-friendly universities to protest BYU and not play them in intercollegiate games…especially this year when the “Y” football team is doing so well. Too late for UCLA but it could really raise a stink if a university refused to play BYU. It might have been better if UCLA had not played in Provo last weekend.

Oh…that’s right…it was a shellacking (59 to 0). It is as if UCLA didn’t play. But, that’s another story.

I bet a few UCLA alum do not appreciate the Mormons right now. You might hit some Bruins-fans up for donations to fight the Prop 8 in California right now.

Goodianton
September 18th, 2008 | LINK

Whatever the people at mormonsfor8.com think, anyone who knows a Mormon who is on their list should go to the website and ID the Mormons they know. The website is “outing” Mormon donors, whatever its purpose.

Jay Adair
September 18th, 2008 | LINK

Well I wasn’t a donor but from reading your comments I now am and yes I am a Mormon so please add me to your list. Thanks

rusty
September 18th, 2008 | LINK

although I shouldn’t do repeats. . .but

Ex Mormon Bruce Bastian has donated $1 mill to NO ON 8. . . .

Put that on your list Mr Adair.

http://www.sltrib.com/faith/ci_10494347

Rob Johnson
September 19th, 2008 | LINK

When did the Knights of Columbus convert to Mormonism?

http://www.californiansagainsthate.com/

Ben in Oakland
September 19th, 2008 | LINK

Jarred–The person you are looking for is michael glatz. When he found his pseudo salvaiton thru the LDS, his “victory” was scrubbed from severeal websites that trumpeted it.

Timothy Kincaid
September 19th, 2008 | LINK

Rob,

As we’ve mentioned before, in California it seems to be an alliance between the leadership of the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church.

The church leaders of other denominations including the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and other mainline churches have denounced the efforts to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Alan in SLC
September 19th, 2008 | LINK

It baffles me how many people think it is completely okay for any religion to put their noses in state or federal issues. I myself am a gay man, and I don’t want to get married anytime soon. However, I do feel that there should be no say by anyone on whether or not I can live my life the way that makes me happy, as long as I am not forcing my views on someone else. I may want to get married one day or to be recognized as having a civil union. I don’t want to limit anyone who isn’t gay from living a happy life, so why would anyone want to do that to others?

I do not judge, as it isn’t my place. If you are a christian, you should know that it is only GOD who is allowed to judge, yet every christian church does pass judgement as if speaking for GOD. Last time I checked, GOD isn’t wasting his time spreading hate like the churches are. I feel GOD sends me love through many methods which tells me that being gay isn’t something to be ashamed of nor something that I should be limited by. In fact being gay has openned my life up to many opportunities that has lead me to more joy and spiritual connections than has ever come from trying to live what I feel was a lie as a straight man. By the way, I was raised LDS.

I am greatful for people like Bruce Bastian and most recently Brad Pitt who have put their support to make Equality the issue, not misunderstandings and hate. Hopefully more people will come out of the works like these two who will stand up to the hate and discrimination. If people would look past that, they would see that there are more important things to worry about than what I or anyone like me feels in their own hearts. How about start worrying about what is going on in the world that is really affecting all of us like war, the housing market, corruption in Washington, etc…. There are far worse things than this issue.

Patrick ONeill
September 20th, 2008 | LINK

I am amazed at how few people are offended that the Mormon church wants to write our State Constitution.

In this case I have found the “religious freedom” argument more effective than any other.

Their church is not threatened if a gay couple gets married in the United Church of Christ, but they are trying to use the law to enforce their doctrine on other religions.

cowboy
September 20th, 2008 | LINK

And now comes a news blurb that Evergreen (Mormon’s version of Exodus) is having their annual convention in Salt Lake City this weekend…right smack on the Church’s HQ property.

And they’re loading up with 300 planned attendees and spokespersons to argue the Pros for Proposition 8 and a speech from a General Authority from the LDS Church.

Want to make a bet that one or more of those 300 will be trying to “diminish their same-sex attraction” by going out tonight and visiting one of the gay bars in town.

Amy
September 27th, 2008 | LINK

Religions can voice their opinions about politics just like any other group or individual. They are just stating what they believe and trying to convince others to think the same way. The NO on Prop 8 campaign is doing the same thing. It is politics and it has worked this way forever.

I am for equality and will be voting that way come November. I am just really baffled by the hate-filled words coming from both sides. It seems hypocritical to stand up for what you believe by dragging your opposition through the mud. Hatred doesn’t solve anything. Our political system is set up to have opposing sides so that there can be discussion of the issue and eventually balance.

All of this anti-Mormon sentiment is reminiscent to antisemitism pre-WWII. And no one wants the extreme that happened there. We really should make sure our emotions are in check — even when considering those that are different than we are.

cowboy
September 27th, 2008 | LINK

(cough cough)…the supposedly anti-Mormonism you read here is nowhere near the anti-semitism of pre-WWII. Not even close. Re-read all of the comments. You will note not one that I am aware of has said for Mormons to shut up or telling them they can’t speak their political opinion. In fact, the monitors of this website take great pains to correct the comments and commenters.

But, I have noted the awful things that have been said of Bruce Bastian (on other websites) for his contribution to stop the Proposition 8. Do I need to recite some examples?

Jim Burroway
September 27th, 2008 | LINK

Amy,

If you can find examples of “anti-Mormonism” here, please point it out.

Criticism of LDS political activities is no different from criticism of anyone else’s activities. No organization gets a free pass by dint of religious affiliation. That isn’t “anti-Mormonism”, that’s just criticizing a powerful organization, one of many that we have criticized over the years.

Besides, we are more than happy to report positive developments concerning the Mormon church whenever we can find them. Unfortunately, such steps are rare and small.

If you know of positive news from an LGBT perspective, then please, by all means, pass them on and we’d be happy to post it.

Amy
September 27th, 2008 | LINK

My only point is that it would be nice to find more discussion of the actual issue and why it is important instead of the mud slinging that happens when you only talk about the opponents.

In the article, it says “But I believe that anti-Mormon sentiment in California is strong.” I hope that California can be a place that isn’t “anti” anyone.

And I agree – the horrible things said of Bruce Bastian and other supporters on other websites is awful.

Ben in Oakland
September 28th, 2008 | LINK

Amy– first, thanks for your support.

but you shouldn’t be baffled. Hate-filled words have been coming from the AXIS powers (Anti-eX-gay-Industry-Slander) for years, decades, centuries, millenia. we have been blamed for plagues, earthquakes, child molesting, the fall of empires, the destruction of the family, and on and on and on.

for some people, it may be hate. I think for many, it is just plain old anger.

Jason Marble
September 28th, 2008 | LINK

I appreciate the comments of all on the site. Mutual respect can go a long way in clarifying misunderstanding. Each side has a constitutional right to voice it’s opinion. Those who respect the opinions of others even though they may disagree will have much more influence in their cause than those who do not. Keep the respectful dialogue going.

Rhonda in California
October 7th, 2008 | LINK

As a proponent for Proposition 8 I must say that you are missing the mark entirely as to why I as well as others are against it.

If Prop 8 doesn’t pass we know that our religious freedom is at stake. For instance in Massachusetts, the Catholic church had an adoption agency and were sued because they would not allow same-sex couple to adopt. The couple won. What happened to religious rights and freedome?

Another example: in Massachusetts an OBGYN was sued and he lost because he would not do artifical insemination on a gay couple because “of his religious views.”

Another example: In Massachusetts the children starting from the age of Kindergarten are being taught about same-sex attraction, same-sex couples, bisexuality etc. in the public schools regardless of parental view. Who will protect the children? What happened to parents right to teach their children about sexuality? What happened to religious freedome and rights?

This issue is much more than the same sex marriage. This will truly devistate our state as it has Massachusetts.

To all my friends and family who have embraced the same-sex lifestyle, you know how much I love you and understand the need to protect children, our religious freedoms and rights.

Timothy Kincaid
October 7th, 2008 | LINK

Rhonda,

You are astonishingly misinformed.

Catholic charities in MA was publically funded (though that may not have been the only issue) and the decision had NOTHING to do with marriage but only with non-discrimination laws.

The OBGYN story is really about a California couple that were denied medical services by the only provider that their insurance covered. Again, nothing to do with marriage.

Your school “example” is simply a lie. Yep, just a big fat lie. (David Parker’s nonsense notwithstanding).

But Rhonda, you don’t care enough about the examples to even get the facts correct. Which suggests that this isn’t really about protecting children or religious freedoms.

Nope.

You have some other motivation.

Rob
October 7th, 2008 | LINK

ctually Rhonda, if Prop 8 DOES pass your religious freedom is at stake. Prop 8 enshrines discrimination in your constitution. Where does that end? Then next step is that ALL children must be taught only one religion (and what if it doesn’t happen to be yours?), then ONLY people with blue eyes will be allowed to marry (and yours are brown… sorry, but really it’s just a right isn’t it?)

Your last paragraph is completely disengenuous. “You know how much I love you”? Trust me Rhonda, you do not love them, or you wouldn’t be trying to dictate who they can and cannot love.

Stefano A
October 7th, 2008 | LINK

If Prop 8 doesn’t pass we know that our religious freedom is at stake. For instance in Massachusetts, the Catholic church had an adoption agency and were sued because they would not allow same-sex couple to adopt. The couple won. What happened to religious rights and freedome?

Wrong!

They were sued because they receive federal money and by law if they do so they may not impose religious beliefs upon those seeking services provided.

If they wish to give up their federal funding, they’re more than welcome to only cater to those who share the same religious belief.

Another example: in Massachusetts an OBGYN was sued and he lost because he would not do artifical insemination on a gay couple because “of his religious views.”

Wrong again. The case was in California. Again they last because they cannot pick and chose to whom they’ll provide the service. In this case they were providing the exact same service to some but not to others. In this instance it must be all or nothing.

Another example: In Massachusetts the children starting from the age of Kindergarten are being taught about same-sex attraction, same-sex couples, bisexuality etc. in the public schools regardless of parental view.

Wrong yet again! For sex education parents have to sign approval or sign an opt out form. And sex education is not taught children of that age.

What happened to parents right to teach their children about sexuality?

Nothing. You’re perfectly free to teach your children whatever limited information you wish to provide. Being well-educated about sexual relationships and consequences does not require the imposition of biblical religious viewpoints by the schools.

What happened to religious freedome and rights?

Again, nothing. You are perfectly free to guide your own life by your own religious values. You are prefectly free to practice that relgion. And you have perfectly free to either home-school your child or enroll them in a religious parochial school of your choice. (Which, I might add, in some states for which you can acquire a government subsidized school voucher which is funded by all tax-payers.)

This will truly devistate our state as it has Massachusetts.

Facts only please. And keep in mind that Massachusetts has one of the lowest heterosexual divorce rates in the country. It’s the highly conservative states with the higher divorce rates.

To all my friends and family who have embraced the same-sex lifestyle, you know how much I love you and understand the need to protect children, our religious freedoms and rights.

Please spare us the guise of fauxe embraces when you aren’t even educated enough about these topics to know the facts, or that sexual orientation is NOT a life style. There are as many diverse life styles among gays and lesbians as there are among heterosexuals. So when you speak of the “gay life style” which life style exactly do you mean? That of the singles, those who are coupled and living the exact same life-style as a heterosexual couple excepting the sex of their partner? What you and your husband do in bed is NOT a life style.

Stefano A
October 7th, 2008 | LINK

BTW:

Also please drop this smoke screen of “protect the children”. These anti-gay movements from banning foster care to adoptions, to depriving the children of gay couples of the services and benefits heterosexual couples are eligible for does nothing to PROTECT children. The only thing it does do is provide you with a smug sense of self-satisfaction and rationalize reserving your own sense of personal entitlements in order to deprive other similarly situated individuals who do not happen to share the same faith-based doctrine even within various denominational sects.

cowboy
October 7th, 2008 | LINK

Stefano is right on the money.

I don’t think the Prophet T. S. Monson would be too proud of the way the anti-gay marriage people are presenting their case. Their justifications are weak, lame and deceitful. I’m not sure, but I think President Monson should offer another letter to be read from the pulpits…at least to chide some of the Saints. That would be honorable thing to do. (I doubt you will see one, though.)

This, I repeat, is a black-eye on the LDS Faith no matter the outcome this November.

**footnote: I’m back in civilization for a bit. No internet access nor even cell phone! (gasp!) But I love these Canadians I’m with. They have better issues to deal with in their election coming soon.

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