Proposition 8 Backlash

LA Photographer T.J. Sullivan documents the Nov. 6 protest march against the Latter-day Saints at the LA Temple for the Church’s support of Proposition 8. The protesters descended on the LDS Temple to remind folks how democracy works and how important it is to avoid hate even when people you disagree with win. Or maybe I’m thinking of a different episode – sorry if I’m confused again. Hat tip to Connor Boyack, whose blog offers several videos about the protest.

By the way, those Temple gates don’t look strong enough to keep out a mob if they wanted to get it. Reinforcements needed for future controversies? Update: For a report on vandalism against the Church by the forces of love, see BeetleBabee.

To those who are confused by the signs littering the Temple fence and wondering if spending money to support Proposition 8 really is the same as “buying hate,” here’s a useful video explaining what Proposition 8 was about. Hat tip to the Findelmeyer Proposition.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

116 thoughts on “Proposition 8 Backlash

  1. Mormons are an easy target but weren’t alone. The anti-8 forces might consider demonstrating in Watts where 7 of 10 blacks voted for Prop 8.

  2. One question: how much money did all of the people in Watts contribute to the Yes on 8 campaign, do you think?

  3. The left is angry, and their reflex is to shut up opposition. Did you hear the minister speaking on one of those videos at Connor’s site? He said it’s OK to have an opinion, but the Mormon Church – and implicitly its members – “have no right” to influence others. This is what the radical left’s agenda is: shut up opposition.

  4. Mark N.,

    It wasn’t the money that passed the proposition, it was the votes. Ironically, if it weren’t for the African American vote that turned out for Obama, it wouldn’t have passed. I guess they didn’t realize Obama was opposed to the proposition!

  5. “Ironically, if it weren’t for the African American vote that turned out for Obama, it wouldn’t have passed.” There’s a certain humor in that.

    Yep, that’s the truth. And no, you won’t see them protesting in any predominantly black neighborhoods.

    There is nothing wrong with Mormon’s contributing to any cause they please. We have something called freedom OF Religion in this country. And no, it’s not Freedom FROM Religion.

    PS – Nothing would make me happier than to see this blog moved to WordPress… so much easier to use and keep up with postings. Blogger is a pain.

  6. I don’t know that Mormon participation in the Yes campaign was as important as everyone is trying to make it. We have about 2% of the population in California and the measure passed 52 to 48. I think Mormons are being disporportionately singled out as being responsible for prop 8’s success. On the other hand, their may have been people like my friend’s uncle, who cast Satan out of the voting booth while he voted. Now that’s influence.

    Currently, the No people are calling for a boycott on all things Utah. Specifically mentioned are the Sundance film festival and ski resorts. Satan is raging.

  7. While Mormons made up a minority of the voting population for 8, they contributed the most money and means to striking down the aspirations of our loving brothers and sisters.

    As a single straight active and believing LDS male with no close homosexual friends or family, I have this to say.

    The Church deserves everything it has coming to it.

    Over the last couple months the LDS church encouraged and mostly funded an effort that struck at, attacked, and defeated something very sacred to the homosexual community: their recently achieved marriage statuses. In doing so, they perpetuated lies and misinformation and used fear and passive hate to hurt many of our brothers and sisters.

    If Prop 8 failed, the results would have been NOTHING. We would have gone on out marry ways and life would continue as normal just as it has in Canada and other places that have legalized SSM. But now instead tens of thousands of homosexual were told a few days ago that because of the extensive efforts of the LDS Church their dreams of getting married to the person they love have just been struck down and spit upon by people professing to be disciples of Jesus Christ. Even scarier 18,000 homosexuals today live with the fear that their marriages they have just made might be dissolved within the coming weeks.

    Think about it. How would you like to be told that you cannot marry the person you love? How would you feel if you were told that your marriage was potentially going to be dissolved because people who believed differently than you didn’t want you to be married?

    They should be angry. They should be very angry.

    And for the LDS Church to have the audacity to ask for peace after they ripped the hearts out of so many???

    We as Latter-day Saints need to prostrate ourselves before these brothers and sisters whose souls and spirits we have pierced and beg for their forgiveness. We need to apologize to them and do everything we can to fix this mess we have caused.

    We belong to the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. Christ’s commandment to us was to love one another. We are to love our neighbors. We are to love our enemies. Homosexuality does not hurt us one bit. The only hurt it does is reveal our disgusting pharisaic self-righteousness that we too easily give power to when we begin to fear someone who is different than us.

    Do you call this loving one another?

    I call it fear and hate.

    We need to apologize for our sins.

  8. o please, get off your high horse

    The Church doesn’t believe in this sort of marriage and prob doesn’t want it to “spread” to other states further disgracing marriage as it should be. Between a man and a woman.

    The backlash is exactly like someone said earlier, liberal backlash. Someone has opposed their wishes to live like normal folks that marry people from the opposite sex. But this right shouldn’t belong to same sex couples.

    Speaking from a legal point of view. This has been voted on by the people of California. 52% of them don’t want it. So guess what? It’s going to be law now. Until the liberal judges make up law from the bench later on. Majority rules? Government by the people for the people? Not government for the gays and paid for by society.

  9. narrator,

    Why am I not suprised you would have a problem with the church’s stance on this issue? Yes, I know you from MH’s blog. If you think nothing would change if prop 8 had failed, you should read what’s REALLY going on in other countries which have legalized same sex marriage, NOT what the gay lobby would like you to BELIEVE is going on. Marriage is losing its meaning, and out-of- wedlock births have skyrocketed to between 50-60% in Scandinavia.

    Some exerpts from an article in The Weekly Standard, titled “The End of Marriage in Scandinavia” by Stanley Kurtz:

    As Danish sociologists Wehner, Kambskard, and Abrahamson describe it, in the wake of the changes of the nineties, “Marriage is no longer a precondition for settling a family–neither legally nor normatively. . . . What defines and makes the foundation of the Danish family can be said to have moved from marriage to parenthood.”

    Kari Moxnes, a feminist sociologist specializing in divorce, is one of the most prominent of Norway’s newly emerging group of public social scientists. As a scholar who sees both marriage and at-home motherhood as inherently oppressive to women, Moxnes is a proponent of nonmarital cohabitation and parenthood. In 1993, as the Norwegian legislature was debating gay marriage, Moxnes published an article, “Det tomme ekteskap” (“Empty Marriage”), in the influential liberal paper Dagbladet. She argued that Norwegian gay marriage was a sign of marriage’s growing emptiness, not its strength. Although Moxnes spoke in favor of gay marriage, she treated its creation as a (welcome) death knell for marriage itself. Moxnes identified homosexuals–with their experience in forging relationships unencumbered by children–as social pioneers in the separation of marriage from parenthood. In recognizing homosexual relationships, Moxnes said, society was ratifying the division of marriage from parenthood that had spurred the rise of out-of-wedlock births to begin with.

    A frequent public presence, Moxnes enjoyed her big moment in 1999, when she was embroiled in a dispute with Valgerd Svarstad Haugland, minister of children and family affairs in Norway’s Christian Democrat government. Moxnes had criticized Christian marriage classes for teaching children the importance of wedding vows. This brought a sharp public rebuke from Haugland. Responding to Haugland’s criticisms, Moxnes invoked homosexual families as proof that “relationships” were now more important than institutional marriage.

    Certainly there are other factors which have caused marriage to lose its meaning in this and other countries, such as the welfare state and the increase in cohabitation among couples, but gay marriage is the final stage in bringing forth the final death knell of marriage.

    This doesn’t even account for the jeopardy that freedom of religion will face if gay marriage is legalized. Do your homework, narrator. Here is a link to a blog page with a large number of articles with reasons why gay marriage is not good for our country. Maybe then you will find a reason to support your own church for a change instead of looking for reasons to bash it.

  10. I am a pro-gay marriage mormon. But how can anybody say the church “deserves” all of this hate and vandalism?

    All the church can do is promote the issue as worthy of the voting public’s attention. They can’t force anybody to vote a certain way.

    I’m sorry, but the people have spoken. They spoke in 2000, and judges opposed their will. Now they’ve spoken again. Activists need to change hearts and minds with civility and reason. Vandalism, violence, and screaming “bigots!!!” at well-meaning people is not going to help our case.

  11. tatbug,

    what is MH’s blog?

    As you admit, your appeal to Eastern European countries as an argument against SSM is very problematic because marriage had already been largely destroyed by heterosexuals. If anything, SSM should be embraced as SSM affirms that monogamous loving relationships should be valued. A better comparison would be with Canada which is far more like the Unites States than those eastern European countries. Even though Canada has far less speech and religious protection than we have in the US, they have not encountered any severe issues. Certainly nothing like the doom and gloom prophesied by Prop 8 supporters.

    And I have done my research. Trust me, I have not taken an opposition stance lightly. I have looked at the arguments from both sides extensively. After reading both sides back and forth and discussing this with friends and family doing law I have come to the conclusions as did 59 of the top legal scholars in California that the doom and gloom arguments against SSM are just false.

  12. The LDS church was very much a part of Yes on Prop 8 and by being so out in public about their opposition to it, are a big target. They certainly do not deserve to have their temples vandalized, nor their members called bigots. Well, bigot would apply to some. 🙂
    This negative image will be hard for the church to repair. LDS Church doesn’t really have a history of being on the cutting edge of social issues like race and gender and sexuality. Wasn’t it just last year that they changed their wording on homosexuality not being a choice you are born with?

    This reminds me of the old saying, Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it. They got 8 to pass, and now they will suffer consequences of it. Time will tell what the consequences are but I am guessing that as before the church was labeled racists and now it will be labeled as bigoted and hate filled.
    Liberal backlash? What nonsense.
    Tide is changing in this country, and I don’t think it is changing in your direction of the church.

  13. BTW, I think the LDS members that were involved in the beating of the protestors are being charged with a hate crime.
    Guess the Samoans didn’t get the memo on loving their brother.
    Nice tats on those Mormon members as well.

  14. I am pretty sure that the prophet and the leadership of the church didn’t just randomly decide to make a stand on this issue. Just because we can’t always understand what will happen in the future doesn’t mean that God doesn’t. I am sure that God knows exactly what would have happened a lot better than some legal scholars. Perhaps there were more ramifications than we have thought of and that’s why they are pushing the issue

  15. After reading the comments i have to say I wish the government would make hunting wolves legal in all 50 states. For those who think this is off topic move along there’s nothing to see here.

  16. As an opponent of Prop 8, I actually have no problem with the church entering the political fray as long as its prepared to accept the consequences of taking sides in a highly emotional, contentious and clearly ongoing issue.

    But I understand why the Church is having such a hard time dealing with this.

    I’d note that the original strength of the LDS movement was its well-focused radicalism — Joseph Smith was an astute genius in co-opting not just the revivalists of his time, but the radicals and leftists like Sidney Rigdon and the Campellites or the New Utopians.

    By contrast, under Hinckley and his immediate predecessors, the Church seemed to adopt a quite successful and maybe essential strategy of identifying itself, to the outside world, as a benign, even anodyne, slightly right of mainstream standard issue Christian denomination — as American and unremarkable as Baptists or Methodists.

    So Monson’s sudden lurch into hard right political activism while well within at least early Mormon tradition, is completely at odds with the brand image the Church has spent several decades and untold billions successfully building. In one move, Monson has remade himself as an LDS James Dobson and placed the Church as a major new antagonist in culture wars.

  17. GMC,

    I would actually like to know how much Monson is behind this. From various statements by those in the hierarchy, I have gotten the impression that this was largely Hinckley’s plans that were being carried out. Beginning with the Church’s efforts in Hawaii in 1998 (I was serving my mission there at the time), the Church under Hinckley has been an aggressive force against SSM. It was well known at the time it was given that the 1995 Proclamation on the Family was crafted specifically to counter SSM.

  18. GMC,

    It isn’t about going against or with the mainstream, or being radicals or traditionalists. It’s about doing what is right regardless of public opinion.


    MH…Mormon Heretic. Does that ring a bell?

    For every lawyer who see no serious problems as a result of SSM, I can give you another who does.

    So the fact that heterosexuals have been responsible for the decline in the sanctity of marriage means that we should just throw our hands up and stop trying to fight to preserve it? We should just cave in to the final outcome by adopting gay marriage laws to not just tolerate sin but legalize and legitimize it?

    And no, Canada does not have much less freedom of speech and religion than we do. In fact, their laws are very similar to ours.

    One thing I would like to point out, since you seem to think that Canada is a better barometer to go by as far as the effects of gay marriage on society, is that at this point, it is difficult to document the effects on society because the law has only been in effect for about 3 years now. Hardly enough time to get a good idea of the effects. Scandinavia, however, has had about 20 years to give us a good idea of the situation we may find our own country in if SSM is legalized.

    But anyway, since you seem to appeal to Canada as a better indicator for the U.S., why don’t we take a look at what Canada is doing or is trying to do. More from Stanley Kurtz in “Beyond Gay Marriage”:

    In 1997, the Canadian Parliament established the Law Commission of Canada to serve Parliament and the Justice Ministry as a kind of advisory board on legal reform. In December 2001, the commission submitted a report to Parliament called “Beyond Conjugality,” which stops just short of recommending the abolition of marriage in Canada.

    “Beyond Conjugality” contains three basic recommendations. First, judges are directed to concentrate on whether the individuals before are “functionally interdependent,” regardless of their actual marital status. On that theory, a household consisting of an adult child still living with his mother might be treated as the functional equivalent of a married couple. In so disregarding marital status, “Beyond Conjugality” is clearly drawing on the work of Minow, whose writings are listed in the bibliography.

    “Beyond Conjugality”‘s second key recommendation is that a legal structure be established allowing people to register their personal relationships with the government. Not only could heterosexual couples register as official partners, so could gay couples, adult children living with parents, and siblings or friends sharing a house. Although the authors of “Beyond Conjugality” are politic enough to relegate the point to footnotes, they state that they see no reason, in principle, to limit registered partnerships to two people.

    The final recommendation of “Beyond Conjugality”–legalization of same-sex marriage–drew the most publicity when the report was released. Yet for the Law Commission of Canada, same-sex marriage is clearly just one part of the larger project of doing away with marriage itself. “Beyond Conjugality” stops short of recommending the abolition of legal marriage. The authors glumly note that, for the moment, the public is unlikely to accept such a step.

    Certainly, these things are not the reality in Canada at this point, but this is where some would like to take it, and it’s entirely possible that it could become reality.

    Here’s some more from various news sources:

    In British Columbia, teacher Chris Kempling has been found guilty — and disciplined — for defending male-female marriage in newspaper opinion pieces. Henry himself has been hauled before the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal for promoting traditional marriage in his pastoral letters. “The human rights tribunals have become like thought police,” he says. “In Canada, you can now use the coercive powers of the state to silence opposition.”

    A Canadian human rights tribunal ordered a Christian pastor to renounce his faith and never again express moral opposition to homosexuality, according to a new report.

    In a decision dated May 30 in the penalty phase of the quasi-judicial proceedings run by the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal, evangelical pastor Stephen Boisson was banned from expressing his biblical perspective of homosexuality and ordered to pay $5,000 for “damages for pain and suffering” as well as apologize to the activist who complained of being hurt.

    The activist, local teacher Darren Lund, filed a complaint, and the guilty verdict from Lori G. Andreachuk, a lawyer, was handed down Nov. 30, 2007. The latest decision involved the penalty phase of the trial.

    “While agreeing that Boisson’s letter was not a criminal act, the government tribunal nevertheless ordered the Christian pastor to [stop expressing his opinion],” Vere reported.

    Andreachuk noted that Lund, who brought the complaint, wasn’t, in fact, injured.

    “In this case there is no specific individual who can be compensated as there is no direct victim who has come forward,” she wrote.

    However, that did not stop her from ordering the payment anyway.

    And as for the future, she wrote:

    “Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. shall cease publishing in newspapers, by e-mail, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals. Further, they shall not and are prohibited from making disparaging remarks in the future about … Lund or … Lund’s witnesses relating to their involvement in this complaint. Further, all disparaging remarks versus homosexuals are directed to be removed from current Web sites