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Friday Protests Planned at Salt Lake City Temple and Several California Cities

Jim Burroway

November 6th, 2008

A protest is planned for 6 p.m. Friday at the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City. The protest is intended to show solidarity with those protesting in California over the Mormon church’s heavy involvement in Prop 8.

The Utah protest is being organized by Jacob Whipple, a 29-year-old former LDS Church member who served a mission in Argentina. Joining the protest will be Valerie Larabee, executive director of the Utah Pride Center.

Update: Other protests are planned for Friday night, including:

  • San Francisco: 5:30 p.m., from the San Francisco Civic Center (Market/7th), with a march to Dolores Park.
  • Long Beach, CA: 6:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Broadway and Redondo.
  • Santa Barbara, CA: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., 700-756 De La Guerra Plaza St.

Update: San Diego: 9 p.m., at Laurel and Sixth, with a walk to City Hall.

If you know of any more protests, please let me know either by email or in the comments.

Comments

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AJD
November 6th, 2008 | LINK

There should be a “magic underwear burning,” sort of like the bra burnings the feminists used to do.

Lynn David
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

They ought to mock them by pointing out all that Mormon/Focus on the Family money spent on Prop 8 was spent meaninglessly as Prop8 will be overturned by the California Supreme Court (see my comment: http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/11/06/5941#comment-22114)

Lynn David
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Ok… I’ve read my own comment two different ways. I guess marriage can be denied even if gays an lesbians are a protected class. Which is sorta wierd….

Nevermind….

werdna
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Lynn-
From Chief Justice George’s comments in that article I can see two possible outcomes. One is that if same-sex couples are excluded from marriage then nobody can get married. This seems unlikely as it would be an incredibly radical ruling and I don’t think the court (despite some people’s cracked opinions) is any where near that radical. Plus, I’m pretty sure someone would have to file a challenge arguing that the marriage laws themselves are now unconstitutional before the court could rule on it.

The other, more likely, outcome is that the court can find that because Prop 8 addresses issues that extend beyond the narrow issue of marriage, it constitutes a revision rather than a simple amendment to the constitution. As I understand it that (the revision/amendment distinction) is the crux of the petition filed by the ACLU/Lamba/NCLR coalition. It rests on Prop 8’s conflict with larger constitutional principles (which is what George talks about in the interview), but it’s focused on the procedural error of the way Prop 8 was put on the ballot.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

What is the point of these large protestss being held now?

I do not begrudge the protests nor am necessarily opposed to holding them as a means of bolstering morale, but…

Aside from acting as a release vent for our disappointment in the election results providing some counter-folcrum to a sense of “helplessness” in the election results what is to be achieved?

The time for these protests was before the elections when such protests against the interference with religion in a secular matter might have had an impact.

Linda Rich
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

We aren’t children here. Let’s show some maturity and respect.

Joel
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

I agree with stefano on one hand… WE LOST!, whats all the outcry about now!? You knew what couldve happened and you did not care then. The outcry is overrated imo. Be a good loser from time to time.

On the other hand, if one looks at it from the position of human rights, then fighting for our rights before or after is irrelevant. Especially when they were taken away.

If this amendment(or revision) DOES pass, then i guess that ANY human right protected in the constitution can be amended by a simple majority. I can’t come up with one right now that, with a majority, could be amended, but i guess it could come up in the future. The closest one could be one that deals with the tax exempt status of religion.

AJD
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Joel and Stefano,

I know the protests won’t make the amendment go away, but it’s important to let these people know that they’ve injured us, and we’re going to let them keep injuring us.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Joel said:

I agree with stefano on one hand… WE LOST!, whats all the outcry about now!? You knew what couldve happened and you did not care then. The outcry is overrated imo. Be a good loser from time to time.

On the other hand, if one looks at it from the position of human rights, then fighting for our rights before or after is irrelevant. Especially when they were taken away.

For clarity, I’m not implying that fighting for human rights, more specificaly “our civil rights” should be irrelevant at any time. What I’m questioning is what the goal of these protests are?

Is the goal a scape-goating of the Mormon’s? A scape-goating similar to the way white supremecists scape-goat economic woes onto blacks and immigrants? The same way religious extremists scape-goat gays and lesbians as being the cauase of all social evils?

Such scape-goating of the Mormons is the impression such protests and the appeal of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center in setting up a website called InvalidateProp8.org to solicit donations to fund the overturn of the referendum are creating when they write “Send a message to the Mormon Church, whose members raised more than $15 million to fund the deceitful advertising campaign for Proposition 8, the initiative that takes away the right to marry for same sex couples in California!”.

I’m not underestimating (or attempting to act as an apologist for) the impact those of the Mormon faith had on this election, but it seems (to me) our frustration is bordering on Mormon’s being made the scape-goat and in such a way that it sets them up to be “honored” by religious extremists as martyrs for religious social movement against gays.

What I’m asking is wouldn’t it be more productive to focus the protests on what allowed for such religious interference in secular matters rather than using a specific sect to be the scapegoat?

I’m simply unsure was to what these protests specifically against the Mormon’s is supposed to achieve.

Willie Hewes
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

I kind of agree with Stefano as well, they seem to be protests without a possible “win” outcome.

On the other hand, it’s good to be visible and loud in the aftermath of this setback. Comments on prop 8 from the opposition tend to go along the lines of: “you’ll never get what you want, you lost, shut up and go back to the closet”.

It’s important to make the point that this fight isn’t over until equality is achieved, that this defeat will make us louder, not make us go away.

werdna
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Stefano-The protest in Utah seems to be about making visible the opposition of people who have relationships with the LDS Church to the church’s involvement with Prop 8. It’s not about non-Mormons scapegoating Mormons, it’s about divisions among Utahns, Mormons, and former Mormons about the issue.

The upcoming protests in California aren’t directed at the LDS Church (although I’m sure there will be many attendees who do point out the contributions of Mormons to the campaign). In my quick scan, I didn’t see any mention of Mormons or the LDS church on the sites linked above. The protest yesterday in Westwood obviously did focus on an LDS Temple, but that’s not what this post is about.

I think these protests in California are a perfectly natural and healthy way for people to express their disappointment, shock and anger at the grave injustice done to our community. If I was back in SF now I’d be at Market and 7th at 5:30 today. It’s not going to change anything right away, but it shows that we’re not going to sit back and take it.

cowboy
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

I think I’m going to the rally because we need to put a face on the people they (the Mormons) are hurting. I’m not sure what that will accomplish either but Stefano is probably right about the scape-goating. In the end, this will all be a news-blip on the TV tonight and nothing much else will be accomplished.

Willie: The loud noise will not be coming from our chants at the rally. That loud noise will be the small inner-voice within the Mormons that will constantly nag at them about how wrong they are. That inner-voice inside all good people who know that this Proposition 8 was wrong and that it means inequality. The truth has a way of nagging its way into your inner thoughts until it is LOUD. You and I know it. I pity the Mormon who has to be reminded each day of the inequality they have tried to foist upon us. They won’t be able to rid themselves of the constant, loud, inner voice that says they were wrong.

Chino Blanco
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Too many on the Yes side entered the polling booth convinced by their ecclesiastical leaders that they weren’t taking anything from anyone, but rather merely making a statement affirming their religious beliefs.

Such folks need to be made aware that their vote did in fact bring consequences, and hurt, and anger.

Protest long, hard and peacefully and there will be those who will learn a lesson.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Willie said:

It’s important to make the point that this fight isn’t over until equality is achieved, that this defeat will make us louder, not make us go away.

I agree that it is important to make the point that this fight isn’t going to go away. But more importantly is to highlight the reasons why the fight is so important.

Although I am having difficulty formulating how to word my thoughts in a coherent manner without becoming entangled in semantics, the gist of what I’m trying to get at is this.

Rather than protesting directly against a specific group or directly against religious beliefs “about” homosexuality, focus the protests on more tangible realities.

Instead of protesting directly against the religious contention of the purpose of marriage and for the specific right of marriage in a discourse focused on terms of a civil rights argument, and targeting specifically a religious sect, take a more indirect approach by protesting for a social policy that in the process creates a perception of shame for Christians not endorsing marital recognition indirectly by highlighting the need for including same-sex families in marriage recognition. For instance, protest for marital recognition by protesting the billions of dollars spent convincing voters across our country to deny us equal access to the legal and financial protection of marriage by focusing on the needs of such individuals as “Thomas” and his providers as illustrated in such stories as can be found here: http://nofo.blogspot.com/2008/11/proposition-hate.html

Weredana said:

I think these protests in California are a perfectly natural and healthy way for people to express their disappointment, shock and anger at the grave injustice done to our community.

None of which is relevant to my comments about the protests and comments being made to and about the Mormons as reflected the protetsts against Mormons for funding the proposition or direct attacks such as the quote I provided by the LAG&L Center seeming to directly “blame” Mormons.

I’m not calling for an end to protests generally or writing against their effectiveness. I’m questioning the wisdom of focus of those protests toward specific sects singularly, in this case the Mormons.

Jim Burroway
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Scapegoating is when a “person or group [is] made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.”

Given what we know about the extremely heavy and direct involvement of LDS leaders in the California and Arizona amendment battles, how is calling out the LDS leaders’ actions scapegoating?

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Sorry for the screwed up blockquote quoting at the end of the above post.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Jim:
I’m not underestimating (or attempting to act as an apologist for) the impact those of the Mormon faith had on this election, but it seems (to me) our frustration is bordering on Mormon’s being made the scape-goat and in such a way that it sets them up to be “honored” by religious extremists as martyrs for religious social movement against gays.

I’m addressing in a generaly way the “perceptions” being created.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Many commenters here having been making comments directly about Mormon beliefs, calling them a “cult”, etc., and in other ways demonizing and mocking Mormons and Mormon beliefs specifically under a guise of criticism for their contributions.

I’m not saying criticism is without merit.

But what I am trying to say is that rather than “attack” specific beliefs” or this particular sect, protest the religious social movement more broadly for its policies and their negative social results in a way which points out how this specifc religious movement social policy is contrary to all other “so-called” religiously based priorities.

Jim Burroway
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

You keep uysing the word “scape-goat”, so I’ll ask this again:

Scapegoating is when a “person or group [is] made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.”

Given what we know about the extremely heavy and direct involvement of LDS leaders in the California and Arizona amendment battles, how is calling out the LDS leaders’ actions scapegoating?

We have had no problems in the past calling out religious fundamentalists, evangelicals and Catholics for their direct actions against the LGBT community.

I’m baffled at the resistance among some who want to treat the LDS church with kid gloves. We can peacefully protest other religious groups, but the LDS church is off limits? Why the special treatment? What are we afraid of?

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

More specifically, Jim, this isn’t a “Mormon” issue any more than this is a “gay issue”.

Human rights transcend self-interest motivations in so much as they are issues that effect everyone regardless of their sectarian “beliefs” regarding marriage in this case.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

And once again, please point out where I said, for instance, the LAGLT center was scapegoating? Since you’re obsessing on that rather than on what I was speaking about which was the creation of perceptions in general.

Also, you seem to be taking this personally as a criticism regarding Box Turtle on current events, when my comments has nothing to do with your endeavors of highlighting in general involvements of groups and contributions and their effects but the reactionary actions and comments of specific actors and the possible resulting perceptions.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Please, reflect on what I actually said:

<b.I’m not underestimating (or attempting to act as an apologist for) the impact those of the Mormon faith had on this election, but it seems (to me) our frustration is bordering on Mormon’s being made the scape-goat and in such a way that it sets them up to be “honored” by religious extremists as martyrs for religious social movement against gays.

“Bordering on” is pointing out the dangers of a line that should not be crossed, not saying the line was crossed.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Scapegoating is when a “person or group [is] made to bear the blame for others

Some actors have been bording on, in my opinion, blaming those of the Mormon faith for our loss, when the blame doesn’t lie solely with the Mormon’s.

The Mormon’s are not the only ones who supported this particular social policy, but many commentaries and media created perceptions focusing on the conflict between gays and the Mormon church involvement run the risk of creating the perception that the entire reason we lost on Prop 8 (or 102 or the Arkansas adoption ban) is all the fault of the Mormons. I’m simply trying to provide a reminder that is not the case. It was not the fault of any single actor but a multitude of actors, a religious social movement which it just so happens is easy to symbolize by pointing at Mormons.

AJD
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

I’m not going to lie: I think Mormonism is a cult in the classic sense of the word. Golden tablets that only Joseph Smith could see and that miraculously flew off to Heaven after Smith was done dictating the Book of Mormon? People getting their own planets when they die? Only Scientology can top that.

I fully understand that a lot of people will read this and think my comments are offensive and inappropriate.

And, however not-nice my comments may be, I do appreciate those few Mormons who opposed Prop. 8. However, they should really start asking themselves: At what price does the luxury of their LDS membership come? Their membership in the church, which requires them to pay a tithe, gives it strength as a political force and helps to feed the church’s bigotry. If I were a Mormon who had opposed Prop. 8, I would be seriously thinking of either leaving Mormonism altogether or starting my own, gay-friendly breakaway Mormon church.

The LDS church has decided to inject itself and its religion into a political debate and use its religion as an ideological basis for oppressing people who have done nothing to hurt them.

Having done that, they have opened their religion to public scrutiny, particularly by those whom they have hurt through their actions. It makes no logical sense to think that the LDS church should get to screw gay people over, yet remain immune from criticism, even harsh criticism that strikes its very core.

They have abolished our right to marry in a bellwether state and helped to set off what will undoubtedly be a nationwide effort by the religious right to roll back even more of the rights we have won for ourselves. If they can strip away my freedom, then I reserve the right to call their religion a cult.

Their feelings may be hurt, but they asked for it.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

They have abolished our right to marry in a bellwether state and helped to set off what will undoubtedly be a nationwide effort by the religious right to roll back even more of the rights we have won for ourselves. If they can strip away my freedom, then I reserve the right to call their religion a cult.

Whether or not you think they are a “cult” and Catholocism (for instance)is a “legitemate” religion is irrelevant.

The issue is not the particular sectarian theology, the issue is broader, and that is the religious social movement social policy across denominations regarding gay relationships.

This

They have abolished our right to marry…

This is a good example of the type of commentaries that I’m saying borders on scape-goating the Mormons. Yes, those of the Mormon faith contributed millions, but “they” did not abolish our right to marry. That right was abolished by many more actors than just Mormons, not the least of which would be the American Family Association and it’s affiliated partners, for example.

To accuse Mormon contributions to being the sole reason we lost makes about as much since as saying (if we had won) that it was the sole result of the HRC Campaigns financial contributions (or whomever on our side made the greatest contribution).

It’s important to remind that I am NOT saying their involvement did not have important ramifications for the outcome.

AJD
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Don’t get me wrong — I’m fully aware of the role that Protestant and Catholic groups played as well. And I think they deserve all the same protests and scrutiny as the LDS church.

I’ll call LDS a cult, just as I’ll call Catholicism authoritarian (and I come from an Irish Catholic family, mind you) and the AFA a bunch of semi-literate rednecks.

Trust me: I don’t afford any one of them more kindness than the other. I just singled out the Mormons here because that’s what this post is about.

kevin
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

There’s also a protest against the kinder, gentler gay defamer Rick Warren at his Saddleback megachurch:

http://saddleback8protest.blogspot.com/

werdna
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

“I think Mormonism is a cult in the classic sense of the word.”

Actually what you’re thinking of is the more recent, colloquial sense of the word “cult”: a strongly cohesive religious group with unorthodox beliefs, usually centered on a charismatic leader. The classic sense is neutral, referring to any system of religious beliefs, or a set of particular practices.

As for the substance of what you’re saying, to me it seems the main thing that separates LDS theology from what are considered more mainstream beliefs is the passage of time. Sure they seem kinda kooky to non-believers, but so do Catholics and Protestants and Hindus and just about any organized religion… Though some of the smaller offshoot sects might fit the bill, the main LDS Church just isn’t a cult in the way that Aum Shinrikyo or the Peoples Temple were. Given the history of oppression and demonization that LGBT people have faced I’m pretty uncomfortable with attacking people’s deeply held beliefs in a careless and disrespectful way.

Now that Stefano has made his point a little more clearly, I’m see I’m actually in agreement that the issue shouldn’t be the peculiarities of Mormon theology. The issue is our lives and families. We’re fighting for civil recognition of our marriages, not the marginalization of a religion. It’s important to note the involvement of the LDS Church in this campaign and to try to find productive ways to respond to that, but we don’t need to get sidetracked on a futile mission to exact revenge.

P.S. side note to Stefano: there is no hyphen in scapegoat.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

AJD:

Then rather than saying “they” are the reason we lost…

Or to use another illustration from a recently posted Washington Blade article in which a perception is attempted to be created that blame is layed upon a single group . . .

Outside the gates of a Mormon temple, Kai Cross joined more than 2,000 gay-rights advocates in a chorus of criticism of the church’s role in a new statewide ban on same-sex marriage.

Once a devout Mormon who graduated from Brigham Young University, the 41-year-old Cross was disowned by his family and his church after he was outed as a gay man in 2001.

“They are on the losing side of history,” Cross said Thursday of the church’s opposition to gay marriage. Cross and other protesters blame leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for encouraging Mormons to funnel millions of dollars into television ads and mailings in favor of Proposition 8.

What I am saying is resist trying to lay blame on any one group. Rather, these are anecdotal illustrations that exmemplify the larger issue.

Again, this is not to say that, as in this example, criticism of the Mormon leaders for the involvement of “the faithful” is unwarrented. I think we all agree that such involvment of religion (i.e. the imposition of a particular religious belief in secular law for no reasons other than prejudcial ones and lack any legetimate argument for state in interest in the matter) deserves criticism. All that I am saying, and you concede, is that the Mormons can only act as a symbol (or exemplify) by annecdote the larger problem, not the “they” solely are the problem.

Just sayin’…

kevin
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

I’ve been following loosely the comments here and would just like to add my two cents.

The Mormons represent a small number of people in this country who are religious. By contrast, Evangelicals make up somewhere between 35-40 percent of Americans, which is a much larger number than Mormons.

And yet, 4 out of every 5 dollars to support Prop 8 came from Mormon-identified contributors…not Evangelicals or Catholics. As California is heavily Catholic, especially Latinos, only half of Latinos voted yes on Prop 8, which is to say that there’s not even a consensus among Catholics to get behind Prop 8. As for Evangelicals, they certainly were visible in the rallies but how many of them actually gave money or other support to Prop 8, other than placing a sign in their yard?

But the Mormons did much more. Mormon individuals on average gave thousands of dollars to pass Prop 8 AND volunteered much of their time to phonebank and go door to door.

So Prop 8’s victory, decided mostly by non-Mormons, was actually attained by the Mormon Church and its followers.

Are the Mormons responsible for seizing the California Constitution to write discrimination into it? The facts of their involvement shows us as much.

Like Jim said, there’s no need to use kid gloves with them. They are fair game now.

Timothy Kincaid
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

I’ll say it:

Members of the Mormon Church, at the “request” of leadership, contributed as much as $20 million to the campaign. LDS members were, by all news accounts, the majority of bodies walking precincts and waving signs at rallies. They were the only faces seen in Yes on 8 advertising. They were to a large extent in control of the message of the campaign.

The proposition passed by 4%, a win that all acknowledge was to a large extent based on the fear about schools, ala the Mormon family the Wirthlins.

Say what you will about scapegoating. But without the above activity, Proposition 8 would not have passed. I don’t think there is any credible way to argue otherwise.

I have no problem blaming the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for funding, manning, and directing a campaign of deceit and lies and for being primarily at fault for my loss of civil rights.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

… and perhaps in a round about way this comes closer to answering my original question of what is to be achieved by the protest?

Is the goal to protest the breakdown of the separation between religion and state? If so, then let’s make that clear and not ambiguous about that is what is being protested.

AJD
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Stefano, I’m not trying to lay blame on one group. I already said the other religious organizations are just as much to blame themselves. I even blame the No On 8 campaign for its tepid campaign and failure to make this about gay people, especially gay people who are racial minorities.

The bottom line is, members of the LDS church are required to tithe; by tithing, even those Mormons who spoke out against Prop. 8 have helped to fund the Yes On 8 campaign. A far more effective protest would have been for them to say publicly that they would stop tithing, even if they were excommunicated.

cowboy
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

AJD,
It wasn’t tithes that were used for the Pro-Proposition 8…unless it was to pay for airfares and stipends of LDS Leaders who went to California. The bulk, if not nearly 99.9%, of the money from Mormons was from INDIVIDUAL donations. Which is remarkable! These Mormons are still expected to pay their full tithe by the end of the year when they all will meet with their local Bishops and do their Tithing Settlement.

In summary, the donations were above and beyond the call of tithing.

Millions of dollars could be raised in such a way is truly remarkable in spite of our economy.

I doubt Mormons are going to be buying much for Christmas this year. This has hurt monetarily the Mormons.

(Though, I suspect some Mormons will make the case their donation is their tithe for this year.)

And, I quite agree: When Mormons said they have every right to enter politics when it involves moral issues…they agreed to be criticized.

Timothy Kincaid
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

I doubt Mormons are going to be buying much for Christmas this year. This has hurt monetarily the Mormons.

“Honey, I know you wanted a new bike for Christmas but Mommy and Daddy got you this nice Yes on 8 poster instead.

“We’ll just take the tassles off your sister’s old bike and that will make it a ‘boy’s bike’. No one will care that it’s pink.”

AJD
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

cowboy, that’s true; I wrote that without thinking. Still, the tithes help to keep the machinery running. On that, we can all agree.

cowboy
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

me: <—had a pink bike when I was growing up. Maybe that’s why I’m gay. NO…I was gay before that.

I don’t need to mention what is obvious: Mormons are resourceful. More resourceful than you can imagine.

I have a hard time in saying the LDS Church is a cult because I am so close to them. I’m resisting that term because it can have a very negative connotation (as in the the Kool-Aid-drinking, mindless, sheep-like devotion) but…I might be willing to say a portion of the LDS Church membership is a cult.

This is a dangerous thing, and Mormons should step back and nip this cult image in the bud. Fortunately, there are Mormons willing to think. They do exist.

Mark F.
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Timothy:

Do you think the “No on 8″ campaign’s strategy of not putting gay couples in their TV ads or mentioning the word gay or using the term “same-sex marriage” was a good one? It seems like they were trying to put gay people in the closet to win this election. How do we get people to be tolerant and accepting if we stay invisible? Just viewing the TV ads, you would have no idea who was being discriminated against.

gordo
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

even though the prop 8 donations were “above and beyond” the tithe, they will still take it as a deduction on their Schedule A.

Patrick
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Let’s be clear, we are always playing defense. We simply try to bat away their volleys, while we play nice. It’s time to go at the roots of their prejudice in addition to batting away their volleys. They are liars, we need to shout that from the mountain tops, providing clear examples along the way.

In America we have a hands-off attitude when it comes to religion, even when the religion is based on a demonstrably fictional book (eg Book of Mormon). Because we feel religion is off-limits many of us have allowed them to practice their faith without interference. We now know the fruits of our tolerance.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Werdana:

Now that Stefano has made his point a little more clearly, I’m see I’m actually in agreement that the issue shouldn’t be the peculiarities of Mormon theology. The issue is our lives and families. We’re fighting for civil recognition of our marriages, not the marginalization of a religion.

Indeed.

In our fight, we have to respect the civil rights of our opponents.

I know the following is rambling, and I’m not at all sure the point I’m trying to make will be clear, or even appear coherent. (So, just consider this “thinking aloud” or a bit of evenitng). But…

Firstly, we are confronted with a multitude of complex “problems” that all impact and inform one another, so trying to limit comments to one “problem” is a difficulty in and of itself. However, all of these complex problems we face are defined by and fall under and within the overarching problem of homophobia.

In confronting this multitude of issues which our encounters with homophobia impact, dealing with the individual “problems”, we employ a multitude of tactical methodologies from legal challenges, political activism through protests, transformational activism and it’s use of education, etc.

However, sometimes in, for instance, our attempt to address the marriage equality issue, we conflate in our discussions for marriage and become bogged down with the criticism of belief systems because of how they perpetuate homophobia in general.

For instance, as you mentioned, the peculiarities of Mormon theology (or any theology) are relevant in a discussion about homophobia, what leads to its perpetuaton, and the impact it has on individual behavior and when institutionalized its impact on social policy.

In the marriage equality discussion, such commentaries are not so relevant excepting with regard to acting as exemplifiers of how homophobia is impacting decisions and the damage homophobia can cause.

To combat that, one methodology is the efforts of those within a particular faith belief working within their faith for a rexamination of that faiths theology and religious scriptural interpretations, or the inter-faith inter-denominational discussions which take place for example. But those efforts lay outside the civil rights discussion in so much as they remain interfaith-based attempts at internal change rather than external calls for governmental impositions or involvement.

However, in the fight for the civil right of marriage, for instance, while again what we are confronting basically is homophobia, we have to respect the beliefs and the rights of those people to hold and express those religious beliefs, which is what makes direct attempts to suppress or change those beliefs — from an attitude that we are confronting “homophobia” and its expression — problematical in our marriage (civil rights) discussions.

Which is why I was questioning the protests against the LDS church with regard to what exactly the protest goal was.

Are you protesting that faiths’ homophobia by protesting their right to their beliefs and expression of those beliefs; that is, directly trying to interfere with the practice and expression of that religion? Or is what you are really protesting not the homohobia and doctrinal beliefs per se but protesting the sense of entitlement that such beliefs gives them or what I’ll refer to as a sense of a “right of imposition”?

For me, these protests against the LDS church should not attempt to confront the homophobic beliefs of the church or question their beliefs, as by right they are entitled to hold and express them; rather, such “protests” are better made in a different context, that is, as you mentioned earlier, Mormons confronting Mormons over their internal theological discrepancies; instead, our wider community protest with regard to marriage, e.g., should, in my opinion, be more concerned and focused with protesting the breakdown of separation of church and state rather than the “beliefs” of the church.

That is, our commuinity concern is directly confronting the civil rights breaches such as separation of church and state issue, the false claims regarding First Amendment Rights (which includes what churches and schools would/must do, e.g.), protesting for rights in such a way that highlights (as in my “Thomas” example above I linked to) how SSM supports families, etc. and highlight those issues rather than becoming sidetracked in religious doctrinal arguments.

I think, a review of my comments here will reflect a respect for everyone’s rights to hold certain beliefs and to practice their faith (whether or not it is considered a cult or legetimate faith) and limit my criticisms about “faith-based” beliefs to specific claims (junk science re: repartive therapy claims e.g.) but otherwise limit my arguments regarding marriage equalty strictly to issues of separation of church and state.

To be frank, what bothers me about the Mormon fund-raising is not that they were able to motivate their members to be the “face” in this fight by aligning themselves with others in the religious social movement, what infuriates me is our governments allowance in the first place to allow the imposition of religious beliefs to influence public secular policy at all.

Which is why I wouldn’t be focusing my efforts against church members practicing their faith in this tangible way as much as my gripe lies with the US government allowing itself to endorse a religious belief contrary to all argumentation demonstrating how the state has no legitimate interest for refusing gays marriage.

I reserve the confrontation of church members not to the discussion of civil rights but the work toward the irradication of homophobia.

I want to protest against the government for it’s constitutional breaches of the exclusionary clause. That is what causes me the greatest degree of anger.

In sum, as you eloquently stated, “We’re fighting for civil recognition of our marriages, not the marginalization of … religion.”

Timothy Kincaid
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Gordo,

Political contributions are not deductible on Schedule A of your 1040. I’m assuming that any LDS members that made significant contributions will have professional tax assistance and will not make that mistake.

Mark F,

I do not know whether using gay couples in advertisements would have helped us or hurt us. I assume that there was testing of commercials before they were aired but I don’t know for certain.

It’s tempting to assume that because we lost that means that our commercials were ineffective. But I don’t know whether or not this is the case. Considering the other side’s willingness to lie, I don’t know what would have worked best against them.

AJD
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Patrick,

My thoughts exactly.

I’m with Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Bill Maher on this matter.

If these guys were willing to just keep their homophobic garbage in their churches but still vote on the basis of respect for individual differences and rights, I wouldn’t care. But no, they have to shove their beliefs down our throats.

When they use their religion to oppress us, when it’s clear that their religion is based on fiction, then they forfeit their entitlement to respect and tolerance.

[Ed.: comment removed]

AJD
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Let me add, just for clarity, that I would never try to vote away religious freedom. But I’m not going to afford any respect for these people’s beliefs.

I’ll tell evangelicals what I think of their beliefs. I’ll tell Catholics what I think of theirs. I’ll tell Mormons what I think of theirs. And I don’t care if they don’t like what I have to say.

Louie
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Perhaps by the No on 8 campaign putting us back in the closet is what caused so many LGBT to not vote in San Francisco this election vs. the 2004 election.

From shandrew.livejournal.com
In the 2004 election, 360,000 San Francisco voters, around 75% of registered, voted.

2008 was predicted to have similar or higher turnout in SF. However, San Francisco ended up with only 50% turnout, 240,000 San Francisco voters! 1/3 less than in 2004.

In comparison, turnout was 64% for Santa Clara county, 55% in San Mateo county, 69% in Santa Cruz county, 63% in LA, 66% in San Diego. Nationally turnout was 64% and in California it was 60%, far below estimates of 70-80% that the Field Poll predicted.

Seems fairly credible to me. Perhaps these were people (gays) that wanted Clinton and refused to vote Obama and just skipped voting altogether?

Or those gays that don’t believe in marriage at all and didn’t want it for gays, especially.

cowboy
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

…protesting the breakdown of separation of church and state rather than the “beliefs” of the church.

…and highlight those issues rather than becoming sidetracked in religious doctrinal arguments.

…our governments allowance in the first place to allow the imposition of religious beliefs to influence public secular policy at all.

…the state has no legitimate interest for refusing gays marriage.

Thanks Stefano A. I see what you mean.

CLS
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

The Mormon church did fund this campaign, saying so is not scape-goating.

Protests against this cult are warranted. One reason is that the sect is very deceptive in how they do things. They wanted a stealth campaign where they fund it but Catholics front it. Publicity is what they didn’t, and don’t want. Such publicity is bad for them and raises the costs of their actions. Higher costs on their part, in the form of bad publicity, will make them less likely to do it again. At the very least they will have to consider a very big downside for the sect, which is very conscious about their PR image.

As for Mormon theology, which is very bizarre even by religious standards. It is fair game as well. The Mormons are well outside Christianity with their beliefs that Mormons will become gods. Other religious groups they worked with are uncomfortable with Mormon theology. Publicizing Mormon cult teachings makes it harder for these other Christians to work with the sect in antigay campaigns. Highlighting Mormon teaching helps splinter the Religious Right coalition.

Since Mormons told lies to win their campaign I see no reason we can’t tell the truth.

Timothy Kincaid
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Let’s stop with the “cult” talk.

Louie
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Taking the “cult” path will deviate our message about their majority funding of Prop. 8 and Prop. 102. About their medling with “State” policy vs. staying on their own holy turf.

Cult or not, we shouldn’t care. That’s not the point.

Getting involved in taking people’s civil rights away because of their religious belief (cultish or not) is the point.

Stefano A
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Exactly, Louie.

And I’m glad you were able to understand what I was trying to communicate, cowboy.

cowboy
November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Yes, Stefano, you have helped me understand:

I’m not going to accomplish anything by debasing the tenants of the Mormon religion. There is not one gay person I know who cares about LDS Church and its “next-life” Temple marriage and baptism for the dead.

(pffffth!)

But when they step over the line by promoting laws that take my civil rights away I want to fight back. I get into that automatic “lashing-out” mode which is just juvenile. The intelligent way to fight this is by showing the flaws in their logic (legal-wise), quell their baseless fears and educate them on where civil marriage is an equality issue.

The money that has been spent on this issue was a big waste. That’s what is so insane. The answer was so simple. Let gays marry and have the same choices and benefits as their heterosexual neighbors and I won’t step one foot onto an LDS Church property. I promise.

But…I can’t wait to tell people about the “no deduction for political contributions” IRS rule. Mormons can only get a tax receipt from their Tithing Settlement. (Thanks Mr. CPA Kincaid!) That made my day.

I’m about to gloat. I shouldn’t but I am.

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