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Mormon Youth Group Mans Utah Phone Bank for Proposition 8

Timothy Kincaid

September 29th, 2008

Students at Brigham Young University are being encouraged to campaign for California’s anti-gay marriage amendment, Proposition 8. (BYU News)

The International Voice for Youth club sponsored an assembly Thursday night to educate students about the possible effects of not passing Proposition 8 in November. After a speech by Lynn Wardle, a BYU law professor, the students got on their cell phones and started calling fellow students from California.

The Mormon youth group will continue to seek to influence the election in California.

The International Voice for Youth will host phone banks each week leading up to the election on Nov. 4. They will also be giving out information on voter registration, absentee voting and Proposition 8 at a booth in the Wilkinson Student Center each Monday and Thursday just outside the BYU Bookstore.

If the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints continues their public activism, they run the risk of Proposition 8 becoming known as the Mormon Marriage Amendment. I think that is likely not to be advantageous to their marketing strategy.

Comments

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Mark C
September 29th, 2008 | LINK

When I was a student at BYU years ago, often I felt shamed when all-things-gay were discussed in my sociology courses. While some students and instructors may have been sympathetic with gay folks, it was not the norm. I felt like I was at a Hitler Youth Rally but instead of hating Jews, they were gay haters.

At the advice of a kind, non-Mormon counselor there, I left BYU early and graduated from another, non-church-owned school. It’s been 20 years and I still am traumatized by my experience there.

Needless to say, it was religious ferver such as what’s driving their participation in Prop 8 that drove students to be so anti-gay and intolerant. Guess some things never change at BYU.

Legolas
September 29th, 2008 | LINK

Is this site really going to go down the Mormon-baiting road? You’d think we as gays, having been subject to gay-baiting for so long, would know better. The end of this post appears to creep up to the very edge of the line, if not over it.

Timothy Kincaid
September 29th, 2008 | LINK

Legolas,

We are not anti-Mormon.

But I don’t think that it is particularly wise of them to tie their identity so closely with that of Proposition 8.

A Catholic Marriage Amendment or a Lutheran Marriage Amendment or a Southern Baptist Marriage Amendment would also be unwise. Tying any amendment to one’s own denomination is tricky at best.

But considering the attitudes of some evangelical Christians about Mormonism (“it’s a cult”) and considering that evangelicals are the amendment’s natural target, it seems particularly unwise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be visibly seen as the motivating force behind this effort.

Yet the Mormon Church has taken it upon themselves to adopt, fund, organize, and nearly control this amendment. And if they’re going to do it, I’m going to report on it.

cowboy
September 29th, 2008 | LINK

I would suggest you read the Deseret News article about Lynn Wardle.

http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700253111,00.html

His assessment about gay marriage is not in a legal sense but in a moral sense. That is: gay marriage is harmful to society much like smoking.

And then he unashamedly uses “we are the victims” because they will have to endure hate-filled labels like: homophobe or bigot.

Typical. I would swear they use political tactics from Karl Rove. Hmmm…maybe it’s the other way around. Karl learned his skills in high school in Salt Lake City. (Read about his antics on the Olympus High School debate team.)

cd
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

“Is this site really going to go down the Mormon-baiting road? You’d think we as gays, having been subject to gay-baiting for so long, would know better. The end of this post appears to creep up to the very edge of the line, if not over it.”

There just isn’t a compromise possible between the objectives of hardline Mormons and gays who wish to live free and worthy lives married to each other in California. At bottom there is an objective and complete incompatibility of desires between the two groups.

It’s regrettable but it’s real. I feel that attitude has been taken on this website and not been exceeded.

Legolas
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

I don’t think there’s a problem, per se, with reporting on what the Mormon Church is doing in relation to the amendment, so long as the coverage of the Mormon Church’s involvement is proportionate and fair-minded. In my original comment I took no issue with the reporting, but with the commentary at the end, which was unclear in its motive.

If the purpose of these comments are to offer genuine, helpful advice to those you disagree with, this seems like a curious thing in this context. Is this site really in the business of offering Yes on Prop 8 supporters advice on improving strategy so that they might have an improved chance to win in November? I hope not.

If the purpose is to critique the overarching involvement of one “special interest” group in pushing a law’s adoption, it would be wise to maintain that clear message in relevant posts. Comments left open to interpretation as concern trolling or Mormon-baiting do not help the “no on marriage amendments” cause to build coalitions across faith groups or sway undecided voters, IMO.

Legolas
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

cd,

Certainly few if any hardline Mormons are going to be convinced in the space of the month we have remaining to change their minds about the marriage amendments being posed. But I’m not sure most Mormons are hardline Mormons.

The Mormon Church’s involvement in attempts to pass these amendments should not be ignored. But, there are ways to show that the efforts by the Mormon Church are problematic while being sensitive to the fact that this group has been and continues to be the subject of fear, disdain, and outright hatred.

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