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Mormon Church Makes Unsubstantiated Accusations Against Gays

Timothy Kincaid

November 16th, 2008

During the Yes on 8 and Yes on 102 Campaigns we learned that the leadership of the Mormon Church has little respect for honesty in campaigning. Although they were planned, funded, and implemented by religious groups, mainly Mormons, these campaigns were astonishingly dishonest.

Now the willingness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to make baseless claims has moved one step closer. I guess once you get comfortable with deception it becomes all the easier.

In the past week, someone sent envelopes with a non-toxic white powder to two Mormon Temples. Due to the timing, some speculate that this could be the result of the exposure of the Mormon Church’s involvement in the Yes on 8 Campaign. However, it could also be an evangelical that thinks Mormonism is a cult.

At this point, we just don’t know. But we do know that no gay organization has endorsed the effort and that the community has soundly condemned the action, whether it was by a gay person, an evangelical, an ex-Mormon, or just some mentally ill person. That, however, hasn’t stopped the prophet of the Mormon Church from using this incident as an opportunity for anti-gay propaganda. (AP):

Church leaders released two statements Friday, one saying they were disturbed the church was being singled out for taking a position on the California amendment, the other assailing “attacks” and vandalism of church property by “opponents of Proposition 8.”

“We call upon those who have honest disagreements on this issue to urge restraint upon the extreme actions of a few,” church President Thomas S. Monson said in a statement.

This is beyond offensive. It assumes that gay people are guilty, that we all know who did it, and that we are choosing to excuse their behavior.

Comments

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Zeke
November 16th, 2008 | LINK

We also don’t know if it might have been a Mormon who wanted to make it look like the LDS church was the victim of a terrorist attack by those “hateful”, “intolerant” gays.

Don’t forget how much Mormons and Evangelicals LOVE to play victim.

Aaron
November 16th, 2008 | LINK

A call for mutual respect and civility is “beyond offensive”?

The statement released by LDS leaders makes no mention of the white-powder incidents.

Unless I missed it. Have another look:

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/first-presidency-urges-respect-civility-in-public-discourse

It mentions “attacks.” There have been an unusual number of attacks on LDS church property since the election. At least 10 churches vandalized in Sacramento, 7 in Utah. Seventeen incidents in 10 days; serious enough to merit a hate-crime investigation by the FBI:

http://www.sacbee.com/crime/story/1399018.html

At least one meetinghouse was explicitly tagged with “No on 8″ graffiti.

http://cbs13.com/local/Vandals.Strike.Orangevale.2.859342.html

Let’s say Prop 8 had failed, and within a week or two, the headquarters of the Courage Campaign, Equality for All, and GLAAD had their windows shot out, their walls defaced with obscenities, and their mailboxes filled with potential toxins. Would a press release from “No on 8″ urging an end to intimidation and non-peaceful protest be outrageous? Beyond offensive?

You’re right — there’s no conclusive proof that the faux anthrax stuff came from anyone connected with the gay community. I think that’s why the LDS Church was so measured here.

Me, I’m a Mormon with an “honest disagreement” with my church on this issue. There are lots like me: members who consider themselves better people for their association with this faith, yet disapprove of the church’s endorsement of Prop 8.

But your insistence that every utterance from my church oozes malice and deception — even the most benign calls for civility — is simply off-base.

David C.
November 16th, 2008 | LINK

My message to all Mormons that have a fundamental disagreement with the LDS stand on and support of barring same-sex marriage, or the entry of the LDS Church into politics and virtual “extortion” of political contributions, is that they consider using whatever is most effective in getting their voice heard and taking back some measure of control of their Church.

If they are afraid to do that, of If the result of that action is excommunication, then they should know that they are dealing with an organization that has lost touch with its roots in Christianity and they are better off finding another fellowship anyway. A Christian Church is its people in the body of Christ, not the organization, Council of 12, or the Priesthood. Christ is found in the heart, not bricks, books, or tyrannical leadership.

cowboy
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

I have been taking the public transportation in Salt Lake City for a bit when the cost of gasoline was making a dent in my spendable income. Therefore, I am part of a group of regulars who take the same train/bus each day.

The other night we were somewhat stressed by the lateness of our train. It was because authorities shut down a major part of downtown SLC around Temple Square because of that faux anthrax scare. One fellow commuter made mention that gays are ruining it all for everyone. He did make reference to the bb-gun vandal(s) too. I calmly mentioned it might not be gays at fault. He just scoffed at my suggestion.

I came unglued. I had a lengthy discussion about this and it devolved into heated accusations. I guess I’m now officially “out” to my fellow commuters.

But the prevailing feeling by most Mormons is: The freaks are taking over. We can’t have our lives back the way it was. We had to close down the Temple during the demonstrations and that really messes with our livelihood.

werdna
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

“But the prevailing feeling by most Mormons is: The freaks are taking over. We can’t have our lives back the way it was.”

Well, I hope that in time most Mormons will begin to see this less as an issue of “the freaks taking over,” and more of equality for all, but they’re right that things aren’t going to be the way they were. Things never are going to stay the same anyway, but in this case a big part of what they’re complaining about is due to the actions of the LDS leadership.

Also, I think Aaron makes very good points here. The AP article conflates several incidents and statements without making it clear which incidents are addressed by which statements. Timothy, do you really think Thomas S. Monson’s plea is so outrageous given the examples that Aaron cites? Let’s not let our strong feelings about the role the Mormon Church played in the election overwhelm our ability to discern reasonable statements simply because of their source.

Here, for example, are the last two paragraphs of the LDS statement (which, it should be noted doesn’t single out gay people, but is directed at “opponents of Proposition 8″, the large majority of whom are not gay):

Attacks on churches and intimidation of people of faith have no place in civil discourse over controversial issues. People of faith have a democratic right to express their views in the public square without fear of reprisal. Efforts to force citizens out of public discussion should be deplored by people of goodwill everywhere.

We call upon those who have honest disagreements on this issue to urge restraint upon the extreme actions of a few that are further polarizing our communities and urge them to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other.

Which parts of these paragraphs are offensive? One might parse the meaning of “reprisal” or “civility” in this statement, and we certainly need to keep pointing out the responsibility of the LDS Church for “polarizing our communities” in the first place, but overall it seems to be a very straightforward endorsement of important democratic values of freedom of speech, conscience and expression. It’s one thing to criticize the LDS leadership for hypocrisy when it’s merited, it’s another to condemn every statement, no matter how reasonable the content, as “offensive”.

Timothy Kincaid
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

Aaron and werdna,

It is fair to ask specifically what I find offensive. So I will take the unusual (for me) task of parsing the statement:

Since the people of California voted to reaffirm the sanctity of traditional marriage between a man and a woman on November 4, 2008, …

At no point during the campaign did any Yes on 8 ads discuss reaffirming sanctity. This reference to religion was completely omitted and is only now reintroduced because it suits the interests of this press release.

…places of worship have been targeted by opponents of Proposition 8 with demonstrations and, in some cases, vandalism.

We do not know that vandalism is based on the 8 campaign. That is an accusation without substantiation

People of faith have been intimidated for simply exercising their democratic rights.

False. This is just the oppressor playing the victim. This has nothing to do with “exorcising democratic rights” and there is no attack on “people of faith”. This is about church heirarchy, money, power, and lies.

These are not actions that are worthy of the democratic ideals of our nation. The end of a free and fair election should not be the beginning of a hostile response in America.

It is offensive to me that they think that protests and demonstrations against their evil actions are not “worthy of the democratic ideals of our nation”.

I am no less American than is Monson. And I’m sure he would protest me if I took a fundamental right away from Mormons, as would be his democratic right.

A righteous man always has a hostile response to oppression, discrimination, dishonesty, and the institution of religious supremacy.

The Church is keenly aware of the differences of opinion on this difficult and sensitive matter. The reasons for this principled stand in defense of marriage have already been articulated elsewhere. However, some of what we have seen since Californians voted to pass Proposition 8 has been deeply disappointing.

Attacks on churches and intimidation of people of faith have no place in civil discourse over controversial issues.

Again with the arrogant assumption that churches – his church in specific – should be given privelege status. He should be free from “intimidation” at the same time that his associates ran a campaign of lies. They can run ads on TV saying “gay marriage, think about it!!!” but we can’t carry a sign outside the temple?

People of faith have a democratic right to express their views in the public square without fear of reprisal.

Really? No reprisal for your behavior?

THAT IS BEYOND OFFENSIVE to me.

Efforts to force citizens out of public discussion should be deplored by people of goodwill everywhere.

And yet that is what he is seeking. He wants to silence the voices that are accusing him of bigotry, discrimination, and dishonesty.

We call upon those who have honest disagreements on this issue to urge restraint upon the extreme actions of a few that are further polarizing our communities and urge them to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other.

This one really gets me.

This goes back to the idea that there are “good gays” and “radical militant homosexual activists”.

What Monson is saying here is that the Good Gays (or maybe their more responsible heterosexual allies) should get those radicals to stop protesting at Temples. Those militants are polarizing and the Good Gays should get them to all calm down and be nicey-nicey.

It calls on us to assume the responsibility for behaviors that may not even be coming from our community (the vandalism, the faux-anthrax). And it calls on us to denounce the protests and the marches.

But most offensively of all, it calls on us to behave as though losing a fundamental right is just a “disagreement” and to concede that protest is disrespectful and uncivil.

It call on us to denounce our right to equality and treat this as just a matter of opinion.

That offends me deeply.

Mikey9a
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

Now who’s playing the victim?

We call upon those who have honest disagreements on this issue to urge restraint upon the extreme actions of a few that are further polarizing our communities and urge them to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other.

Perhaps they are saying don’t jump to any conclusions and let’s have both sides treat each other with respect.

Take it easy.

You take the headlines of the NY Times and accept it as fact. Not once does the message infer or make direct accusation of Gay’s.

If you want to make Mormons out to be bad people go ahead, but most people know that Mormons are really good people. We were asked to help this proposition pass and we did. It passed and life moves on as it had back in January when Gay marriages weren’t valid.

Mormon’s sent money to a campaign to help get out the vote. They nor the church itself did not have access to any type of scripts or creative rights to commercials. We are an easy target because we are an obscure people and most Christian’s say our name with Disdain. They look at what we are going through and hardly say a thing in solidarity. They, (who were the majority of voters who voted for this proposition) sit back and think “glad it’s not me.”

The funny thing is that here in Arizona we did the same thing this year, without hateful protests outside our Temples. I got news for you…. 20 other states have the same law and the Federal Government has made if very difficult to make any Federal headway as well.

Mormon’s should be proud that they took part in the Democratic process. “No on 8″ out spent “yes on 8″. Which means that most people had already made up their minds.

The Church has expressed it’s opinion that it does not oppose gay couples having equal rights to benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy. This is a matter of keeping the principle of Marriage (Mormons believe Marriage to be a principle.)sacred and not being redefined.

You may say that we should keep religion out of politics. I say, we all vote the way we belive. Whether those beliefs are based on some sort of religious teachings or they are based on personal philosophy we all vote how we believe.

The People have spoken, they do not want Gay marriage. Maybe you should be mad at the people of California.

Mikey9a
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

Timothy,

You just interpreted this the way you wanted. If you have ever heard Thomas S. Monson speak or know anything of the man, he has no Malice in him whatsoever. He does not speak out against homosexuals nor did he infer that homosexuals were the source of the threats.

You are hypersensitive on this issue. You read into comments they way you wish.

Yes, a person can expect to vote and not be harassed about that vote. That is intimidation and infringes on the rights of others.

If you want to stand outside the Mormon Church Buildings and protest, by all means do so as long as you follow city ordinances for protesting.

But what you can’t do is make threatening comments toward individuals. The moment that happens you are guilty of intimidation and depending on the comment, assult.

At first i was as defensive as others about the flack Mormons are receiveing. Now… I don’t mind it. Most of my gay friends know who I am and what I believe and how I voted. They understand why I voted and while they disagree with me, they know my heart and that I love them.

Most of you who are so angy can’t understand why someone would vote for this prop. Well did you ever stop to think about it from any other point of view.

Can you look at a Mormon and say…This person takes marriage very personally and they have distinct beliefs about it. They have made no disparaging comments about homosexuals (individuals, aside) and have no hate literature or comments from the church itself. Perhaps these people voted out of faith in God. Their God and their belief.

Mormons aren’t asking you to believe what they believe. They just voted and worked hard for something they believe. That is why in the reports you read in all the major newspapers all they can give are numbers and no malice. The Mormons don’t hate gays, they love marriage.

Jason D
November 17th, 2008 | LINK


The Church is keenly aware of the differences of opinion on this difficult and sensitive matter. The reasons for this principled stand in defense of marriage have already been articulated elsewhere. However, some of what we have seen since Californians voted to pass Proposition 8 has been deeply disappointing.
Attacks on churches and intimidation of people of faith have no place in civil discourse over controversial issues.

Really, what about the people that YES ON 8 intimidated?

Timothy, let’s not forget there was an OFFICIAL letter from the Yes on 8 campaign sent out to businesses who donated money to No on 8. The letters were blatant blackmail attempt. So apparently, it’s okay for them to send these letters out, to officially, and blatantly call people to the carpet for their donation – but it’s not okay for individual marriage equality supporters to do the same thing?

Here’s the link to the letter, as re-published(for the second time) at Good As You
http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/11/just-so-all-you.html

This point keeps getting lost. Let’s stop letting that happen.

And Mikey9a doesn’t understand something inheirantly unequal about his post:

The Church has expressed it’s opinion that it does not oppose gay couples having equal rights to benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy. This is a matter of keeping the principle of Marriage (Mormons believe Marriage to be a principle.)sacred and not being redefined.

They can’t be equal to each other if the government regards only one of them as sacred.

We would then end up with two institutions Marriage and Civil Unions (or whatever name) — one of which is sacred, the other of which is not. That is not equal. If the sacredness of marriage is the reason for a seperate institution, then that institution is not equal. If sanctity is something that the government concerns itself with, then both types of couples deserve it. If the two institutions are exactly equal, there is no reason to seperate them. But there is a reason, one is sacred, the other is not. Thus we come to the point made years ago by the supreme court. Seperate But Equal is, by it’s very nature, unequal.

The whole argument for “civil unions are equal” is flawed because clearly the advocates don’t see Civil Unions as equal. They stress that marriage should not be redefined, that it’s sacred and important. If it’s sacred and important, what exactly are Civil Unions and why on earth would anyone want a non-sacred, unimportant institution like that?

Timothy Kincaid
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

Mickey9a

The Church has expressed it’s opinion that it does not oppose gay couples having equal rights to benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy.

I’m glad you brought that up.

Because after the Church put out that “opinion”, Equality Utah asked them for support for the rights they had just opined about. And it turns out this “opinion” was only good for California and not Utah.

Perhaps this can serve as an example to you, Mikey, that while there are many many very good people in the Mormon Church, your current leadership is not being honest. And you have to decide where you fall on issues of integrity and honesty.

It’s up to Mormons of good will and integrity to tell Monson, “Either we believe in civil unions or we don’t. We can’t speak out of both sides of our mouth on this issue.”

Ken R
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

The Church has expressed it’s opinion that it does not oppose gay couples having equal rights to benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy. This is a matter of keeping the principle of Marriage (Mormons believe Marriage to be a principle.)sacred and not being redefined.

I disagree with you Mikey9a. Its not all about the definition of traditional marriage that Mormons want to protect. They also don’t want (as many other so called Christians don’t want) is the legal recognition of gay relationships at all. They simply point to the Bible and state its a sin and gays/lesbians should repent. This has been repeated over and over again by the Religious Right, Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Catholics and to some extent Mormons.

If the Yes on 8 campaign straight out told everyone that gay marriage was immoral, sinful, and should be stopped according to their interpretation of the Bible, they would have had much less support and No on 8 would have won hands down. Easily.

Ken R
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

Because after the Church put out that “opinion”, Equality Utah asked them for support for the rights they had just opined about. And it turns out this “opinion” was only good for California and not Utah.

You’re exactly right Timothy. And any public support from the Mormons for gay civil unions would paste an even more insidious picture of Mormons for conservative Christians.

Mormons made headway with traditional conservative Christians for supporting Yes on 8. Are they willing to lose that by supporting gay civil unions?

I think not.

cowboy
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

So typed Mikey9a:

[Proposition 8] passed and life moves on as it had back in January when Gay marriages weren’t valid.

Could a statement about civil rights be any more flippant? Would that suggest we should not fight for equality? Should Rosa Parks give up her seat in that bus because the majority voted to keep her segregated?

Mormons can be proud? Proud of using the democratic process to take away someone’s civil rights? History will not be kind to this example of being proud.

And why are we skeptical that Mikey has any real gay friends.

johnson
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

Mikey, please spare us the “we don’t hate gays, we love marriage” (we don’t hate the sinner, we hate the sin) Garbage! Name one instance in which your church has ever went to bat for gay couples legal status–the truth is, you can’t. They have always fought against it–Every time, every state. And what legal status do gay couples in Utah have? None–due to a nasty amendment the Church heavily endorsed in 2004. And please remind us all of how well your church has treated it’s gay members thoughout the last decades. We already know the answer, of course, but I’m sure we’d like to hear your take. We’re waiting…

Ken R
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

This article just proved my point in my previous comments above about it being more than the definition of marriage they are trying to preserve. Its about stopping legal recognition of gay relationships in all forms.

http://www.sj-r.com/homepage/x1772950620/Gay-marriage-foes-to-try-again-in-Illinois

A Quote from Ralph Rivera, a lobbyist for the Illinois Family Institute:

“If we don’t prohibit it, a marriage in another state will be accepted in Illinois,” he said. “It’s very important, because the people of religious belief in this state do not want their government to sanction an immoral activity and immoral behavior.”

If the Yes on 8 campaign was a bit more honest in public like Mr. Rivera above is Proposition 8 would have lost horribly at the polls.

Benjamin
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

I recently saw a very intelligent suggestion that we go do sit ins at Government buildings where the laws are decided. People, this obviously is not over. I am confident that the California Supreme Court will make a strong statement in defense of a legitimate minority and dismantle prop 8 as unconstitutional and just plain wrong. You wait and see the firestorm after that happens. Many of the Churches including the LDS Church and others like Focus on the Family organization, that gave over 1/2 million to this cause and then hypocritically turned around and let 20 percent of their staff go because of the economy, will be outraged. We have got to be strong, and as Jesus said in the Bible “wise as serpents yet gentle as doves.” We need to be firm and deliberate in what we do and how we go about doing it. We also have got to be one in resolve and professionalism form here on out. I am very hopeful that when the Supreme Court deliberates that they call the LDS Church and other religious institutions who supported Prop 8 out on the carpet regarding the lies that swayed the electorate. It is imperative that we have a strong and solid wall between religion and the state and the religious institutions need to know that they will never get away with even attempting to take away the rights of a minority. They also need to know that they are protected in their beliefs and worship that the state will never force any of them to marry anyone they don’t believe should be married, etc.

Benjamin
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

I have to bring this issue to the forefront because the Church should have learned by now that nothing in this modern techno savvy world is beyond possible scrutiny. This video clip from the Church leadership was not only appalling to me I was so deeply disillusioned that I cried because it just hurt so terribly to see the brethren (LDS General Authorities) saying these kinds of things. It was very difficult for me to get through this video as it brought so much of the shame, guilt and fear that took me many years to work through. The video I am writing about is the second video on this blog. It is entitled Excerpts from Proposition 8 Broadcast for California Latter-day Saints.

http://blackblogwatch.com/v1/index.cfm?method=blog_aggregate_read&entry_id=30326&lr_token=83651890&search_criteria=Presidency

This broadcast sealed the deal with me that I now realize how passive/aggressive and in denial the LDS leadership is on these issues and how willing they are to deceive and tell blatant lies in order to get their point across. I thought the Church had grown out of the old habit of “lying for the Lord”. Old habits die hard.

When I say “blatant lies” I am talking specifically about some statements made in this broadcast including the one that “people in private institutions with beliefs that oppose same sex marriage will be…subjected to legal penalties.” That’s a blatant lie. The constitutions protects religious institutions who refuse to marry certain people. Orthodox Jewish Rabbis are not forced to marry non-Jews with another Jewish person. Also Catholic priests are not forced to marry a couple who have been previously divorced as the Church vigorously opposes marrying couples wherein one partner or both were previously divorced. The LDS leadership used the lie (and others) about the Church being subjected to legal penalties in order to promote fear so that people who have mixed feelings about the issue or who are religious will vote yes on prop 8. The people of California should be livid about any religious institution meddling in their political affairs by promoting lies in order to influence the electorate. Had the Church used ethical means in order to get their point across there would not be an issue here but they did not.

I think that this video clip Excerpts from Proposition 8 Broadcast for California Latter-day Saints should be shown before the California Supreme Court as one of the exhibits that show just how the LDS Church influenced its California membership to go out and promote the Yes Vote on Prop 8. I’m very serious about this. I hope that someone will submit this to the High Court of California. Heaven knows that Gay LDS people have been subjected to decades of horrible church courts having our very beings placed into question. Some of us have not been able to handle it and have chosen to take our lives. I am praying that the spirit of Stuart Matiss and other gay Mormons who have taken their own lives over this insanity will help us in our quest for justice.

This video (to me) is like learning that your dad and other family members were involved in a huge conspiracy behind your back in order to do serious emotional harm to you. It just sickens and angers me to no end.

Benjamin
November 17th, 2008 | LINK

I have another comment to add to this previous one. Much of what these Elder’s statements say are sugar coated with love. This is what almost drove me insane with inner conflict and incredible debilitating anxiety. When he uses the terminology “same sex attraction” as though it were some condition to either be endured or overcome it makes me want to yell at the top of my lungs because I’m so sick of this bullcrap that held me bound into such a state of fear and shame. I endured it for decades and now that I’m a decent distance away from it these kinds of statements just pull me back into that horrible place. The LDS Church has never taken responsibility for their dismal failure with their GLBT members, especially the GLBT youth. Now they need to be taken to task because their bigotry is absolutely unacceptable. When he says “private institutions” he speaks ambiguously because he could be just talking about local businesses, corporations, etc. or he could be speaking about the private corporation of the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many LDS people will take the latter approach and interpret it to mean the LDS Church will be sued and harassed for not supporting same sex marriages or performing them. My sister who lives in Idaho told my mom that is what she had heard through the LDS grapevine. The leadership has done nothing to stop this because they are promoting it. All of this just keeps division and separation up in society and these are things that Jesus fiercely taught against.

This whole situation is extremely sad. I know that we have tremendous hope and support on our side though. We have a great President elect who is our ally and the greatest presidential ally we have ever had. He calls us by our name and calls us to take our place in the fabric of the United States of America. We have some great breathing room because of our great president Barack Obama!

cowboy
November 18th, 2008 | LINK

Benjamin,

Right now I’m afraid to watch the video clip. I’m afraid it will destroy any and all vestiges of hope I had for the LDS Church…more specifically how I will react to some of my liberal-minded Mormons and more importantly: my immediate family. Maybe with some time, I will watch it.

You express a real fear I share: That the California Supreme Court will make an opinion about the Proposition 8 this week and it will flare up the controversy. (Much like the fires in Santa Barbara.)

I need to be prepared. I need to calmly defend/debate the issue with my co-workers and family. I need to show tangible proof civil marriages are second-class marriages in the eyes of our legal system. I know I can debate “separate but equal” is a fallacy. I want to know when we fight for civil marriages will our legal rights be tantamount to a marriage performed in a Mormon Temple.

You’ll appreciate this sign that was in some rally:

Leave your Doctrines out of my Covenants!

werdna
November 18th, 2008 | LINK

“You express a real fear I share: That the California Supreme Court will make an opinion about the Proposition 8 this week and it will flare up the controversy.”

The California Supreme Court has not yet accepted for review any of the various (and multiplying) lawsuits that have been filed against Prop 8. At most CASC might issue a stay this week or next which would suspend the implementation of Prop 8 until it can rule on the cases, but it’s not at all clear that it will. There are good reasons for them not to issue a stay and the decision about the stay shouldn’t be read as an indicator of which way the court will rule on the cases themselves.

The high court hasn’t heard (or scheduled) any arguments on the challenges yet, and it won’t issue its opinion for some time after that. I think it’s safe to assume the court is going to take great care in this ruling, even while making every effort to be expeditious. If Prop 8 is overturned there will be some heated reactions, but we have some time to prepare for it. The demonstrations and debates of the past few weeks have been really inspiring and I think we’re going to be in a better position in terms of public opinion that we were after the court’s previous ruling last May.

cowboy
November 18th, 2008 | LINK

Thank you wernda for the clarification! I’m not up on all the legalese involved.

But..If they do issue a stay, it will be controversial. You know how overreactive some people are.

werdna
November 18th, 2008 | LINK

Yes, a stay would likely further inflame things. I suspect the court won’t issue a stay based on the balance of potential harm. If they don’t issue a stay and then overturn Prop 8, the only harm done is that some folks will have to postpone getting married. An inconvenience perhaps, but a situation that we’re accustomed to (that is, not being able to marry our same-sex partners).

On the other hand if they issue a stay and then uphold Prop 8, any couples who are married between the election and the ruling end up in a particularly ambiguous legal state. This could lead to further litigation and much more upheaval and distress for the couples involved than if they are simply made to wait for a final ruling.

Monica
November 18th, 2008 | LINK

I am sympathetic to everyone struggling to deal with this issue. I know that this is an excruciatingly difficult topic for so many people.

I want to address the comments made here about the way the Mormon church has responded to the post-Prop 8 protests, etc. I don’t understand how a call from Mormon leaders for restraint and respect as people protest is in any way “anti-gay propoganda.” It is simply a request that things not get out of hand on either side. The church has given similar instructions to its own members, urging them to be respectful and courteous toward sthose opposing Prop 8.

And for anyone who wants to think that Mormon leaders are blowing things out of proportion, I can tell you from personal experience they are not. I live in Utah, and 7 or 8 Mormon churches in the area where I live had their windows smashed or shot out in the week after Prop 8 passed. I’m not saying that I know this was a result of Prop 8, but there were no church windows getting smashed before it passed, and now there are.

cowboy
November 18th, 2008 | LINK

Monica,

If I may, the source vandalism is purely speculative right now. I could point out examples of vandalism on LDS property which occur during a normal course of everyday life. A great deal of it has been pranksters. I tend to believe the bb-gun vandalizing could be categorized as juvenile pranks. You might make the members of the FLDS sect suspects too. They were in the news protesting the seizure of their sacred land during this time.

Who knows?

The burning of the Book of Mormon sounds like it could be any number of people, including disgruntled ex-Mormons or radical Evangelicals in that area or some sort of ritual when we had that harvest moon.

Again, who knows?

I’ll agree, the pronouncements by the LDS leadership to use restraint were not anti-gay per se. And in the same manner, the pronouncements of Equality Utah are not being anti-Mormon. Both sides are making statements deploring the acts of vandals. That’s the point: We both can have disagreements and both sides of this issue can and should demonstrate their beliefs in a civil manner.

But I, for one, am tired of feeling fear that someone would paint the “F” word on my house. And least we forget, the one murderer of Matt Shepard was Mormon. Can I make a sweeping generalization? Maybe. So, please, we can’t generalize about the acts of a few delinquents as proof the whole is at fault.

Timothy Kincaid
November 18th, 2008 | LINK

I know that this is an excruciatingly difficult topic for so many people.

Actually, Monica, this is not a difficult topic at all. It is really amazingly simple – everyone gets the same rights as everyone else.

It only gets difficult when one tries to justify to oneself the idea of keeping governmental rights and priveleges for oneself while denying them to others. Then, yes, it can get excruciatingly difficult.

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