Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Will the Mormon Church decide who gets married in California?
October 23, 2008 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Prophets and politics. "The Mormon Church works to ban gay marriage in California, even as gay people in places like Rexburg, Idaho, come out of the LDS closet."
posted by homunculus (87 comments total)

 
A lesson about Prop. 8: Despite what proponents say, its defeat would not change what California's schools teach.

California's Top Educator Exposes Prop 8 Lies in Tough New Television Spot
posted by homunculus at 12:34 PM on October 23, 2008


If anyone's interested, there will be an anti-8 demo at the Oakland Mormon Temple on Sunday at 9 AM.

Before anyone decides to set me aflame for suggesting demonstrating in front of a church, let it be known that I have better things to do with my Sunday than trying to get a peek at some homophobic LDS garments (and I'm more interested in defeating prop 6 at the moment anyhow) but I thought some folks here might like to go.
posted by serazin at 12:40 PM on October 23, 2008


"My husband is a phone banking coach for the local No on 8 campaign. Tonight, at an update meeting, they confirmed a rumor that was circulating around the phone banking session last week: Yes on 8 supporters are calling members of gay and lesbian communities and telling them that if they support same-sex marriage, they should vote yes.

Again, for people in the back - anti-same-sex marriage people are telling people in same-sex couples to vote yes on 8. Their case is so weak that their strategy is now to just confuse people. Now, we don’t know how widespread it is, and obviously the Yes on 8 campaign would deny it if asked. But our campaign has received multiple reports from people saying they’ve been called.

The bad news is that now we have to divide our efforts between calling undecided voters and calling our own supporters to undo the damage. The good news is that we’ve raised enough money to expand our efforts.

Still, please, donate donate donate and volunteer volunteer volunteer. Have we mentioned yet that prop 8 is a constitutional amendment? Meaning that if it passes, it’s virtually impossible to reverse it?

And for California residents who may have gotten here through Google - if you support same-sex marriage, VOTE NO ON 8."
posted by rtha at 12:42 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


So the TV series "Big Love" was taking liberties then?

(I seem to remember the plot at one point explored the strange common ground of getting multiple and same sex marriages recognized?)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:46 PM on October 23, 2008


Mormon Thugs Terrorize Gay Man in Public City Park Over Prop 8.
posted by ericb at 12:49 PM on October 23, 2008


Californians Against Hate has released figures regarding the amount of money Mormons have donated to the anti-gay marriage efforts:
"Despite tough economic times, an amazing 59,000 Mormon families have succumbed to substantial pressure from church elders, and have given huge amounts of money to California's Yes on 8 campaign. These Mormon families have given a staggering $18.6 million since June 1st and the total grows daily. This represents 77% of all money raised and 88% of all individual money raised (not including funds from the big out of state organizations). In Arizona where a gay marriage ban is back on the ballot after losing just two years ago, Mormon families have contributed nearly all of the $6.9 million to the Yes on 102 campaign."
posted by ericb at 12:51 PM on October 23, 2008


I guess the "pro-family" folks see same-sex marriage as a threat against their right to disown their gay children.

Or something.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:52 PM on October 23, 2008 [4 favorites]


WSJ: Mormons Boost Antigay Marriage Effort
"The top leadership of the Mormon Church, known as the First Presidency, issued a letter in June calling on Mormons to "do all you can" to support Proposition 8....Some Mormons who declined to donate said their local church leaders had made highly charged appeals, such as saying that their souls would be in jeopardy if they didn't give. Church spokesmen said any such incident wouldn't reflect Mormon Church policy....The Mormon Church encouraged its members to send their donations to a separate post-office box set up by a church member, said Messrs. Schubert and L. Whitney Clayton, a senior Mormon Church official involved in the campaign. Mr. Clayton said the church didn't keep track of how much individual Mormons donated, just the cumulative total. He said members bundled the donations and forwarded them to the campaign....The prominence of Mormon donors in the Proposition 8 fight has also led to alliances with evangelical Protestant groups and other Christian religions, some of which have deep theological differences with Mormons."
posted by ericb at 12:56 PM on October 23, 2008


anti-same-sex marriage people are telling people in same-sex couples to vote yes on 8. Their case is so weak that their strategy is now to just confuse people

It's worth noting the confusion exists across the board -- I've personally encountered people who are against same-sex marriage who believe that a vote for prop 8 constitutes support for it. I can't, however, speculate on if that's intentional or just unthorough reading.

So the TV series "Big Love" was taking liberties then?

I don't think Big Love was even premised on the characters being connected with the official LDS church.
posted by namespan at 12:59 PM on October 23, 2008


So the TV series "Big Love" was taking liberties then?

(I seem to remember the plot at one point explored the strange common ground of getting multiple and same sex marriages recognized?)


I've only watched the first season so far, but the family is not LDS, but rather of a fundamentalist Mormon belief. When people say "Mormon" these days, they mean LDS, even though it's essentially a splinter group that dropped fundamental beliefs of the religion for political expediency. Ever since that schism, LDS Mormons have taken a hardline stance against polygamy and certainly wouldn't be trying to get it legalized.

Non-LDS Mormons certainly might attempt to have it legalized by virtue of analogy to same-sex marriage, but that is also a good way to get your compound raided.
posted by explosion at 1:03 PM on October 23, 2008


You know what's really special?

Getting a "Your marriage has been annulled" letter from the state. We got one in 2004.

Like the 6th grade, it's an experience I would really rather not have again.

The idea that there are so many "pro-marriage" people out there who would force me to get divorced is so incomprehensible that I really can't wrap my brain around it.

I can hardly bring myself to read the latest poll numbers (even though PPIC's latest look good, but still), or articles (or their comments) that run in the local papers about this proposition.

Spending the next two weeks feeling panicky and sick is going to be really fun.
posted by rtha at 1:07 PM on October 23, 2008 [17 favorites]


I think this is the church's revenge for the fact that the the greatest dramatic work of the the last thirty years was about a gay Mormon.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:08 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I can't, however, speculate on if that's intentional or just unthorough reading.

I've seen people get confused when talking about it (the whole supporting-gay-marriage means opposing-the-amendment thing means "support" and "oppose" trip some people up).

However, I'm hoping that at the ballot box this should be pretty clear, as it reads: PROPOSITION 8: ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. (capitalization theirs).

That seems pretty clear...
posted by wildcrdj at 1:09 PM on October 23, 2008


As an unofficial former LDS member (joined by my parents but haven't considered myself LDS for about 18 years; unofficially former because I haven't filed the darned paperwork; am bad person), let me just say: sigh.

And another sigh for all the "Yes on 8" signs in the "nice" neighborhoods in my city. It just doesn't seem very nice to me to want to keep other people from getting married.

As long as people from out of state are getting so involved to pass the thing, people from out of state can also get involved to stop the thing and preserve equal rights. Information is here.

P. S. Thanks, explosion; that's my new catchphrase. "Coffee after 6 PM? That's a good way to get your compound raided."
posted by wintersweet at 1:11 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


rtha, you have my deepest sympathy. Isn't there something in the Constitution regarding bills of attainder? Wouldn't that apply in your case?
posted by infinitewindow at 1:18 PM on October 23, 2008


You know what's really special?

Getting a "Your marriage has been annulled" letter from the state. We got one in 2004.


Gavin Newsom decided he had the power to interpret the law, and you paid the price.

He should have sued (or found a test couple whom he could deny a marriage license to comply with the letter of the law, and had that couple sue), and then we wouldn't have had this yes-no-yes-(no?) bullshit.
posted by oaf at 1:26 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


So the TV series "Big Love" was taking liberties then?

I don't think Big Love was even premised on the characters being connected with the official LDS church.

Thanks for the courteous correction, explosion and namespan.

(I actually watched the show a fair amount and it did indeed make the point about the illicit nature of polygamy in the modern church - so my question really was stupid on reflection.)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:29 PM on October 23, 2008


Isn't there something in the Constitution regarding bills of attainder? Wouldn't that apply in your case?

It doesn't sound like the government of California ordered rtha arrested for having married someone of the same sex.
posted by oaf at 1:30 PM on October 23, 2008


I don't think Big Love was even premised on the characters being connected with the official LDS church.

Derail, but I've watched most of it. Bill and Barb were LDS members in the past, but left the church, which creates considerable tension between Bill and Barb and the oldest son ... Ben, who were both pretty active in the church. And Barb's mom (Ellen Burstn), who's disowned her daughter (of course, because she's going to hell and mom won't see her in the afterlife).

I assumed one of the major reasons they left LDS was because of their polygamous family.


Anyway, ugh. I honestly care much less about Obama winning the presidency as I do the defeat of props 6, 8, and 9 in california. Then Bruce Lunsford over Mitch McConnell. Then McCain losing. Then prop 2 winning. (my priorities may be slightly biased by what i perceive as a snowball's chance in hell for mccain).
posted by mrgrimm at 1:30 PM on October 23, 2008


Gavin Newsom decided he had the power to interpret the law, and you paid the price.

I am not a Gavin Newsom supporter. I did not vote for him in either election. However, we wouldn't even be where we are now without him.

The Supreme Court's decision was made because of Gavin Newsom, and it may destroy his larger political ambitions, so I have to give him some serious credit for what he did back in '04.

Unfortunately, it's pretty much the only significant thing he's done in his entire tenure, aside from disastrous development policies.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:33 PM on October 23, 2008


I don't know, infinitewindow. I suspect that even if prop 8 passes, there will be some years of legal wrangling to determine the status of those gay-married during the period when it was constitutionally permissable.

And oaf, yes, you're technically correct. I should absolutely go blame Newsom for standing up for my civil rights, even though he was legally not permitted to do what he did.

In any case, I think we'd still have this yes-no-yes etc situation. The CASC said a few months ago that gay marriage was not unconstitutional - so there's a "yes." And now we have this constitutional amendment proposition ("no"). If Newsom had found someone to sue, that presumably would've ended up in front of the CASC, and let's pretend they decided that, yes, gay marriage was not unconstitutional, and then we end up....right back here.
posted by rtha at 1:35 PM on October 23, 2008


And yeah, we just got annulled. We didn't get arrested. But IANAL.
posted by rtha at 1:35 PM on October 23, 2008


It just doesn't seem very nice to me to want to keep other people from getting married.

I don't want to speak ill of any ones religion here, but is it just me, or have the Mormons been kinda hateful lately?

I was ok with their kooky beliefs, because I find that most churches have quite a bit goofiness under the hood, and my feeling is that whatever you believe is your business as long as it doesn't impinge on anyone else. But keeping people from marrying would fall pretty heavily into the impinging category and that makes me suddenly a whole lot less ok with you as an entity. So yeah, Mormons of California, you aren't being very nice.

You should do something about that.
posted by quin at 1:38 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


have the Mormons been kinda hateful lately?

They have a history of racism, they're matched only by Roman Catholicism in their refusal to allow women to ascend the ranks of the clergy, and their policy on homosexuality is far more severe than the Vatican's "hate the sin, love the sinner."

All the same, their hatefulness just goes even further than that: they forbid their followers from imbibing alcohol or caffeine. No beer? No coffee? I almost think I'd rather be dead than Mormon.
posted by explosion at 1:44 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


we wouldn't even be where we are now without him

I don't think we'd end up with a very different result if he'd invited everyone to whom he was legaly bound to deny a license to turn around and sue the city and/or the state. That would have eliminated the first yes (Newsom) and the first no (the state correctly determining that he didn't have the power to legalize same-sex marriage).
posted by oaf at 1:47 PM on October 23, 2008


FYI, I occasionally listen to the local right-wing am talk station (research/lulz), and there they are presenting this ugliness as a series of unprovoked attacks on Mormons and Mormonism by the gay mafia.
posted by Mister_A at 1:48 PM on October 23, 2008


I don't want to speak ill of any ones religion here, but is it just me, or have the Mormons been kinda hateful lately?

A group of them was also pretty hateful back in 1857, when they slaughtered 120 members of a wagon train and then tried to blame it on the Paiutes. It's known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and it was a pretty vile episode involving tricking people into surrendering and them ambushing them once they were unarmed.

I heard about this when I was a kid, and for a long time thought it was some kind of western myth, but it actually did happen.
posted by OolooKitty at 1:59 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think this is the church's revenge for the fact that the the greatest dramatic work of the the last thirty years was about a gay Mormon.

I don't remember Dark Ride having a gay Mormon in it.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:05 PM on October 23, 2008


I heard about this when I was a kid, and for a long time thought it was some kind of western myth, but it actually did happen.

And it's brought up in every single thread that even, ever so tangentially, mentions Mormons here, as if it's completely relevant to things going on today. Americans, as a population, were doing all kinds of nasty to shit to all kinds of people within our own borders back then. You know, like slavery.
posted by LionIndex at 2:13 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


In about 30 years or so, someone high up in the Mormon food chain will receive a revelation that same-sex marriage is okay.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 2:17 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Before anyone decides to set me aflame for suggesting demonstrating in front of a church,

If they do, they need to grasp that Churches who wish to play in politics don't have the right to play cry-baby when they don't like the outcomes.
posted by rodgerd at 2:20 PM on October 23, 2008


Evangelicals will have to decide who they hate more. The gays, or the evangelicals.

Also, I wonder how this will play out with minority voters who tend to be less supportive of gay rights, given the Mormon church's History.

I have to say, though, if there was an issue I didn't have a position on, I'd be very opposed to voting for it if I knew an outside religious group was it's major backer.
posted by delmoi at 2:21 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]



And it's brought up in every single thread that even, ever so tangentially, mentions Mormons here

As every thread about Catholics mentions either pedophiles or the Inquisition. It's part of the history, and when a church as a whole is acting like an ass, I think it's fair to point out that they don't have the greatest history of tolerance.
posted by OolooKitty at 2:27 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


> It's known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre

Interestingly, this happened on September 11, 1857. Wake up sheeple! etc.
posted by cj_ at 2:29 PM on October 23, 2008


I think this is because they are especially upset about all the publicity around the fundamentalists right now and think that denying other people the right to marry will make people forget about their polygamous past and the fact that the Mormon religion still includes polygamy in heaven.

They may also be afraid that if gay marriage is legalized, polygamy could be too and that would put them in a very awkward theological position that would threaten their wholesome image.

The arguments for polygamy and gay marriage are pretty much identical (with the exception that when you involve extra parties, you could have immigration issues. that could be solved by allowing immigration for just one spouse on plain old fairness grounds).

Anyway, while I do believe that patriarchal polygamy as practiced is always harmful to women and children, I don't think that polyamory outside that context would necessarily be so.

But if you are going to prosecute religious polygamists, you have to prosecute polyamory and plain old adultery if the people have long-term-relationships outside of marriage-- otherwise what you are doing *is* religious discrimination.

So it's quite complicated. I am currently co-writing a book which is the memoir of Warren Jeffs' nephew who was raised in the fundamentalist church-- so I have been very much immersed in this issue lately.
posted by Maias at 2:30 PM on October 23, 2008


And it's brought up in every single thread that even, ever so tangentially, mentions Mormons here, as if it's completely relevant to things going on today. Americans, as a population, were doing all kinds of nasty to shit to all kinds of people within our own borders back then. You know, like slavery.
posted by LionIndex at 2:13 PM on October 23


Blacks weren't even thought of as human by Mormons until 1978. That's not a typo. You can't blame the culture at large for the incessant message of hatred Mormonism preaches. Also, a hundred and fifty years of pedophilia, child rape, and polygamy. it's just a great, wonderful religion.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:31 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


In about 30 years or so, someone high up in the Mormon food chain will receive a revelation that same-sex marriage is okay.

I hope so. I hope this is all about a Prophet who's a little long in the tooth.

Why is this even an issue for the LDS? They don't allow gays in their church, therefore there are officially no gay Mormons, therefore it's absolutely, positively, 100% none of their damned business if gays want to get married. Plus, don't they have a policy about forcing their beliefs on others?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:35 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


yep, Sys Rq, it was Lucifer's plan in the preexistence to force everyone to be good. It was Christ's idea to give everyone free will. There was a big war in heaven and the 1/3 that sided with Lucifer were cast out.
posted by sineater at 2:47 PM on October 23, 2008


Sys Rq, this is because, to a certain mentality, the mere existence of certain things beyond their control is hateful and threatening. This is called morality. Sometimes it has a loose overlapping with the ethics of some, but not all. The very notion that other people might be doing something that people of morality find icky is simply intolerable. If asked "whom does this action harm?" it might be society, or the sacred institution of marriage, or God, or "the children," but what may actually be happening is harm of a worldview.

As far as I can tell, this is why people wish to exercise the ability to teach their children practically anything — your worldview becomes more real if you have people who believe almost identically to you. Get a whole bunch of "right-thinking" people together and you have a vision of a Utopia. It's our ranch, and it's our home.

People who are running about, doing things which repel you means that there's an alternative to your world. This is frightening. The response is either to go on the attack by passing laws and setting things on fire and getting on school boards, or to retreat into ranches and become secessionists. Destroy the thing which threatens via repression, or build a safe conclave and declare all which lies without it to be heathen.

They're called retreats for a reason.
posted by adipocere at 2:56 PM on October 23, 2008


I can't resist the chance to link to this scene from the movie "Latter Says." Cute Steve Sandvoss as Mary Kay Place's gay son has been retrieved from sin and is back home getting protected from his sexuality. A peek into Mormon thinking on gayness. At 4:30, Mary Kay Place really starts to chew the scenery.
posted by longsleeves at 3:20 PM on October 23, 2008


He said the surge in support has been an attempt to boost the church's social standing among the greater religious community.

"For whatever reason, they're trying to get some respect from other religions," he told The Advocate Tuesday. "They've always been looked down upon by the Christians, the Catholics, and evangelicals." Success with the marriage amendment would give the church credibility, Karger said.


So basically the Mormon Church is an insecure junior high school bully trying to push other kids around to impress the other insecure junior high school bullies. Except this bully has hundreds of millions of dollars and significant political clout and a potential future president among their ranks.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:23 PM on October 23, 2008


a potential future president among their ranks

Ha!
posted by Sys Rq at 3:36 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


this scene from the movie "Latter Days."

I want to second that. Great acting on the mom's part.
posted by ao4047 at 4:00 PM on October 23, 2008


I honestly care much less about Obama winning the presidency as I do the defeat of props 6, 8, and 9 in california

Even though I absolutely believe that marriage equality is a civil right, I'd much rather have Obama win and Prop 8 pass than have Prop 8 not pass and Obama lose (ideally I'd like Obama to win and Prop 8 to fail). Between Loving v. Virginia, Lawrence v. Texas , the Equal Protection Clause, and the Supremacy Clause, I believe that the US Supreme Court will eventually rule that gays and lesbians have the same rights to the civil benefits of marriage as straights do*. That's especially more likely if Obama wins because the next president will be picking several Supreme Court justices. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

* Which is similar to the rationale behind the California Supreme Court ruling that was made by a court with a 6-1 majority of Republican appointees.

I don't want to speak ill of any ones religion here, but is it just me, or have the Mormons been kinda hateful lately?

Maybe they're grumpy because McCain didn't pick Romney.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:04 PM on October 23, 2008


"Video Only -- A threatening letter has sparked a new controversy here in San Diego surrounding the gay marriage debate. Donors who gave money to the No on Prop 8 campaign say they received blackmail letters demanding money, and the Yes on 8 campaign now says the letters were sent by their employees."

For fuck's sake.
posted by rtha at 4:16 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd much rather have Obama win and Prop 8 pass than have Prop 8 not pass and Obama lose (ideally I'd like Obama to win and Prop 8 to fail)

Agreed, although we Californians have the luxury of not really worrying about the Presidential election in our state, and so many of us are focused on statewide issues. Obama's going to win California, neither he nor McCain are really campaigning or running ads here (I only see campaign ads when Stewart runs them on The Daily Show). So in terms of personal focus, I think a lot of people here are paying more attention to the propositions than to the presidential election.

And prop 8 is definitely at the top of that list -- the vast majority of political signs I see here are either pro- or anti- prop 8.

At this point, I'd also argue that in terms of donations, the no on Prop 8 campaign is far more in need than Obama, who could ride out the campaign without a single additional dollar and still outspend McCain dramatically. I withheld some of my political money for the year until late to see where it was most needed at the end, and decided that was Prop 8 (a few months ago, it looked like Prop 8 was going to lose easily, and Obama was in a tighter race, so this is a big change).
posted by wildcrdj at 4:17 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


it was Lucifer's plan in the preexistence to force everyone to be good. It was Christ's idea to give everyone free will. There was a big war in heaven and the 1/3 that sided with Lucifer were cast out.

And this 1/3 would be henceforth be known as ....

Wait for it, people.

The Mormons!
posted by cjets at 4:22 PM on October 23, 2008


With all due respect to Gavin Newsom, he also stood up in public and said, "The door's wide open, whether you like it or not." Yes on 8 found that video on the web and put it front and center in their TV ads. They couldn't have dreamed of better publicity for their case.
posted by blucevalo at 4:30 PM on October 23, 2008


it was Lucifer's plan in the preexistence to force everyone to be good. It was Christ's idea to give everyone free will. There was a big war in heaven and the 1/3 that sided with Lucifer were cast out.

And this 1/3 would be henceforth be known as ....

Wait for it, people.

The Mormons!


Actually, I believe that 1/3 became...wait for it...black.

For reals.
posted by padraigin at 4:46 PM on October 23, 2008


Gah, wait, misread that. I was thinking of the 1/3 who wouldn't take sides.
posted by padraigin at 4:49 PM on October 23, 2008


PROPOSITION 8: ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. (capitalization theirs).

Since AG Jerry Brown re-wrote the initiative, it could be his capitizalization.
posted by troy at 5:28 PM on October 23, 2008


With all due respect to Gavin Newsom, he also stood up in public and said, "The door's wide open, whether you like it or not."

I didn't say he wasn't a jackass. That's sort of a given. He had an affair with his campaign manager's wife. I know everyone fucks up from time to time, but that's pretty egregious.

Good points from kirkaracha and wildcrdj. I admit that much of it does have to do with the fact that Obama's pretty much already won California. I'll probably vote Nader. The Supreme Court is the biggest reason to hope Obama wins the national election, of course. I agree there completely. I'd say thank god W. only got Roberts and Alito, but hell, that's quite enough.

Also, time to put my money where my mouth is, I suppose, and donate what I can to No on 8. I hate donating to political campaigns, though. Such a waste of resources just to convince people to do the right thing.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:43 PM on October 23, 2008


Recap of Mormon efforts to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970's

FOR A CRASH course in Mormon political power, consider the important role the LDS Church played in the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have guaranteed women equal rights under the law. Passed by the House in 1971 and by the Senate in 1972, the ERA enjoyed widespread national support and seemed destined to succeed. By 1976, 34 states had ratified it; only four more were needed to make it part of the Constitution.

Then the Mormons got involved. In October 1976, the LDS Church’s First Presidency — consisting of the church’s three highest-ranking members — issued a formal statement opposing the ERA: the amendment, the First Presidency warned, might "stifle many God-given feminine instincts" and lead to an uptick in homosexual activity. This denunciation had a near-immediate impact in Idaho, home to a relatively large Mormon electorate. The Idaho legislature had previously given the ERA the requisite two-thirds approval, but this was undone by a January 1977 referendum in which a popular majority opposed the amendment.


Next, the LDS Church turned its focus to the state-level International Women’s Year (IWY) conferences taking place around the country. These gatherings had no formal role in the amendment process, but served as highly public barometers of female support for the ERA. As Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn recounts in a forthcoming anthology, God and Country: Politics in Utah (Signature Books), LDS women in numerous states worked to block pro-ERA resolutions at IWY conferences. The process was top-down, and controlled by the Church’s (male) leadership. In Hawaii, for example, Mormon women received these written instructions: "Report to Traditional Values Van, sign in, pick up dissent forms. Sit together. Stay together to vote. Ask Presidency for help if needed." At other state conferences, male Mormon coordinators staked out various rooms and informed their compatriots when a particular vote was pending; the Mormon women in attendance then rushed in to participate. This kind of discipline and cohesion allowed the Saints, as the Mormons call themselves, to dominate conferences in states where their total numbers were quite small. For example, Mormons represented about four percent of the total populations of Washington and Montana, but accounted for half or more of the women attending each state’s IWY gathering. And in both Washington and Montana, every proposed pro-ERA resolution was defeated.

In addition, under the guidance of Gordon Hinckley — then a special adviser to the First Presidency, and now the president of the LDS Church — Mormon-led civic groups were set up in a dozen states. Anti-ERA speakers were invited to speak in LDS Church buildings, and massive letter-writing campaigns were launched. Here, too, the Mormons’ limited numbers belied their ultimate effect: by one estimate, Saints generated 85 percent of the anti-ERA mail sent in Virginia, where they made up only one percent of the population. Ultimately, after a promising beginning, the ERA was defeated. And while it might be going too far to say the LDS Church killed it, it certainly put the amendment on life support. True, Mormons made common cause with conservative Catholics and Protestant fundamentalists in their battle against the ERA, a collaboration that paved the way for the political sector now broadly known as the religious right. But without the LDS Church’s timely intervention and efficient opposition, the amendment probably would have passed.

posted by Brian B. at 5:52 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Reading about their tactics just got me to donate $100 to No on 8.

I almost donated $500.

Seriously, you Mormon assholes. You not only can't stay out of people's personal lives, you have to come into my state to do it? Fuck you.
posted by flaterik at 6:30 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't want to speak ill of any ones religion here, but is it just me, or have the Mormons been kinda hateful lately?

I was ok with their kooky beliefs, because I find that most churches have quite a bit goofiness under the hood, and my feeling is that whatever you believe is your business as long as it doesn't impinge on anyone else. But keeping people from marrying would fall pretty heavily into the impinging category and that makes me suddenly a whole lot less ok with you as an entity. So yeah, Mormons of California, you aren't being very nice.


Let me start by saying IALDS. :) I live in Arizona and we have Prop 102 being shoved down our throats. My aunt is gay. She's the awesomest person I know. EVER. I have no issues with her lifestyle or that of anyone else.

This issue is huge around here and I've found that most of it is based on FEAR. My neighbors have Yes for 102 signs in their yards. Most discussions in my peer group are based around this topic. We are being encouraged to vote to pass this proposition.

The fear comes in that most people that I know are terrified of having homosexuality taught to their children in schools. They think that by redefining marriage will in fact "impinge" upon them by allowing schools to teach homosexuality and have it be fair game for teaching. This is THEIR argument. They are afraid. How often do we hear that hate is often the product of fear?

I am blessed to have a gay aunt - she has brought so many people into my life that I would never have known. I feel privileged to have her in my life. For me, it's not a big deal that my children may learn that some people have two fathers or two mothers. Because, right now, my kids have two aunts. This is a topic I will discuss with them but for others who have really no contact with gay people - it doesn't warrant a discussion with their children and so they avoid it at all costs.

I think people think that if this prop is passed then the whole issue will go away . . . but you know what? Timmy is still going to have two dads and Johnny is still going to have two mommies. And what do we teach our children when these children come to school with their two mommies? IT STILL HAS TO BE DISCUSSED. We still have to say that some children have two daddies and that's ok.

Any hatefulness I believe comes from a fear - fear of the unknown if marriage is redefined, unknown of how schools will handle the subject, fear that if marriage is redefined will their church not be allowed to teach what they deem is correct doctrine for fear of being accused of hate crimes/speech?

The fear may not make sense to you, but please know, that these are real fears that these people are carrying around with them.

Just thought I'd throw out my 2 cents since IALDS and live in a very LDS community with people who think these things. I feel like I get to see both sides of the issue, a side not many LDS people get to see. And for that, I am very gratefeul.

They aren't trying to be hateful. They are just afraid.
posted by Sassyfras at 6:47 PM on October 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


Sassyfras, that is a worthy first comment in my humble opinion, I hope you don't wait another two years for your next one. Your Aunt sounds awsome.
posted by longsleeves at 7:31 PM on October 23, 2008


"[Mormons are] matched only by Roman Catholicism in their refusal to allow women to ascend the ranks of the clergy"

Umm... the Orthodox, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the Amish, the Presbyterian Church in America, Orthodox Judaism, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Jehovah's Witnesses, arguably Southern Baptists (and others).
posted by Jahaza at 7:52 PM on October 23, 2008


But if gays are allowed to marry then even more people will be allowed into Heaven by way of posthumous-special-undergarment-marriages in the Temple. Just think of all the new gods that would be created! So you'd think they'd be all for it. How am I wrong?
posted by Wash Jones at 8:10 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


it was Lucifer's plan in the preexistence to force everyone to be good. It was Christ's idea to give everyone free will. There was a big war in heaven and the 1/3 that sided with Lucifer were cast out.

And this 1/3 would be henceforth be known as ....


...1/3rd is about the same as the support levels for Bush in recent history. I guess Lucifer has the Republican Party.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:56 PM on October 23, 2008


(and others)

Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod too. I was raised in that church, they're even more conservative than the MO.

When I was in eighth grade my (single, poor) mother was pressured to send me to the (many miles away) church high school. She was assured that she would not have to worry about transportation or tuition, which in hindsight I can't believe would actually have been the case unless one of the wealthy parishioners took me on as a charity case (and that is distinctly possible).

As a good sport, I checked out the course catalog. I was already studying my second year of French, which wasn't available there. So, okay, I'll take Spanish...no, only two years of Spanish there, and I'd already taken two years of Spanish. No interest in the two years of German offered. But hey, there are four years of Latin, that could be useful. Oh, sorry, Latin's really only for the BOYS who are planning to go to seminary.

I went to the very excellent public high school, which surpassed the private school in every way. I also ended up an agnostic, in part because I couldn't really get my head around a god who thinks so little of women.
posted by padraigin at 9:01 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


They aren't trying to be hateful. They are just afraid.

A LOT, if not nearly all, of "bigotry" can be explained thus. People get inculcated into cultural chauvinism, bigotry, and prejudice, and once they check in, it takes a lot for them to escape this.

Adding religion into it brings appeals-to-authoritay, and the wonderful opportunity to cherry pick whatever "hateful" BS biblical-based dogma/doctrine you want to apply to the Others.

My mom has a dear childhood friend with a gay life partner for the past 40-odd years. She's still voting for 8 because teh gey is devil-generated sin and we as a society can't condone that without putting ourselves in mortal peril of bad juju from the invisible sky man.
posted by troy at 9:56 PM on October 23, 2008


I still don't get why anyone would give any credence to a "religion" like LDS. The only difference between them and TimeCubism is in the number of people they have fooled. It's interesting that even "religions" like The Family who have historically taught as a precept the inclusion of children in sexual "rituals" always proscribe homosexuality. It boggles the mind.
posted by sluglicker at 9:56 PM on October 23, 2008


First a link to my favorite cartoon on the subject, This New Yorker Cartoon.

From there I say control the language and one controls the subject. By allowing The LDS and all other groups involved to define marriage one can't win. Next thing you know we will be led to believe that a guy died then came back to life then flew away to who knows where. Forget about having a religious group sanctify your decision, that is for a man and a women only it says so in the bible silly. Let them have it I say and all the other creepy trappings of religious faith.

If Prop 8 succeeds force your lawmakers to define and create a non secular definition of a pair of adults who wish to grow old and miserable together with the same laws and benefits granted by marriage. You may not be able to call it marriage but you will be able to suffer along with us.
posted by pianomover at 10:16 PM on October 23, 2008


For all intents and purposes, my own "marriage" is just a civil union between two individuals who wished to legalize their partnership. I assure you there was no deity involved whatsoever. Why is this so hard? "Marriage" is simply a word that happens to mean, etymologically, a uniting of two things. It is not a term with mystical or sacred properties. All's I did was sign a paper that meant my partner and I were recognized by the state (and therefore, by all states and countries) as a legal partnership. Why does it matter that my partner's a male and I'm a female?
posted by padraigin at 10:43 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Mormons are plenty corrupt. They're known for kidnapping children, with the church itself getting involved in the process.

I have a friend who is bisexual, polyamorous, and a lapsed Mormon.

When she got pregnant the first time with her non-Mormon male partner, her family did their best to constantly push her to come back to Utah to visit, visit... and when she did, she was repeatedly guilted, prayed over, and encouraged by senior people in the LDS church to sign papers agreeing to put her baby up for adoption. She was even essentially offered a bribe to do so. They even did their best to see to it that she didn't leave, with her car being "unexpectedly" vandalized in the middle of small town Utah!

It's no surprise why she doesn't like her mother visiting much anymore, and won't leave her children unattended with her.

Every time I visit this link, I see a "Yes on 8" ad at the bottom of the page.

All I can say is... click fraud has never been a more worthwhile idea.
posted by markkraft at 10:59 PM on October 23, 2008


...oh, and did I mention why she left the church in the first place?

She was raped right inside the actual church itself, by someone she should have been able to trust... and then the Church did their level best to hush the incident up!

Needless to say, she was a bit messed up from the whole ordeal. I'm glad about one thing though... her and her sister got the hell out of Utah!
posted by markkraft at 11:28 PM on October 23, 2008


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
posted by Talez at 1:06 AM on October 24, 2008


Gavin Newsom decided he had the power to interpret the law, and you paid the price.

I will admit upfront to not reading your profile. Are you from CA? If you aren't, you can be forgiven for not knowing the timeline. Newsom legalized gay marriage in 2004. Then there was a lawsuit from christian folks against the city of S.F. This eventually found its way to the state supreme court who ruled, earlier this year, that homosexuality is a protected class under the state constitution (huge deal). Given that fact, they held that the state could not constitutionally deny gay couples the same right to marry that straight couples enjoy.

This is why prop 8 is an amendment as opposed to a statute. A statute has already been deemed unconstitutional, so this is the next step for the homophobes. The fact that 51% of the voters of my state can amend the fucking constitution is crazy, but you take your state as you find it I suppose.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:58 AM on October 24, 2008


The fact that 51% of the voters of my state can amend the fucking constitution is crazy

If it actually required 50%+ of the adult citizens, that would be substantially less crazy than in the real world where you just need more people to vote for it than against it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:42 AM on October 24, 2008


Calif. gay marriage ban backers target businesses
posted by homunculus at 12:06 PM on October 24, 2008


Apple donates $100,000 to "No on 8" campaign

Cult of Mac vs. Cult of Mormon!
posted by homunculus at 2:29 PM on October 24, 2008


Groovy new No on 8 ads.
posted by rtha at 3:47 PM on October 24, 2008


Those new No on 8 ads - they are cute, they are clever, but they leave me with a nagging bummer that in an ad that exists to get people to support gay marriage, they refuse to show a gay couple. ):

I like this one better (I think it's from Massachusetts).
posted by serazin at 10:44 PM on October 24, 2008


Is Mormon Church involvement in Yes on 8 violating tax-exempt statutes?
posted by homunculus at 12:14 PM on October 26, 2008


The Blackwater Connection To Yes On 8
posted by homunculus at 10:15 AM on October 27, 2008


Are you from CA? If you aren't, you can be forgiven for not knowing the timeline.

Sorry, but I do know the timeline. I guess you can be forgiven for not reading.

Newsom legalized gay marriage in 2004.

No, he didn't; that wasn't within his power as mayor.
posted by oaf at 12:52 PM on October 27, 2008


Mormons face flak for backing Prop. 8
posted by homunculus at 10:40 AM on October 28, 2008


Prop 8 Spokesman Says Defeating Gays is Like Defeating Hitler
posted by homunculus at 3:21 PM on October 30, 2008


Word cloud of Prop 8 supporters' occupations.
posted by rtha at 4:09 PM on October 30, 2008


Sensible human says Prop 8 Spokesman is a puss-filled douchenozzle.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:33 PM on October 30, 2008


Prop 8 Spokesman Says Defeating Gays is Like Defeating Hitler

Sure it is.

Defeating gays is like defeating Hitler at his own game. Defeating gays is like out-Hitlering Hitler.

VOTING YES ON PROP 8 IS LIKE FEEDING THE SUPER HITLER.


I'm sure that's what he meant.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:01 PM on October 30, 2008


Jumping The Broom
posted by homunculus at 10:36 AM on October 31, 2008


Great new ad from the No on Prop 8 campaign -- and this campaign is making James Dobson cry
posted by homunculus at 2:51 PM on October 31, 2008


LDS mothers of gay children plan anti-Prop 8 vigil
posted by homunculus at 2:57 PM on October 31, 2008


Mormons Will Invade Your Lesbian Houses If Prop 8 Passes
posted by homunculus at 7:40 PM on November 2, 2008


Dude, that Mormons invade Lezzie Houses ad is totally going to fuel my fantasy life for the next several months: Honey, this time you play the outraged lesbian yuppie and I'll be the Mormon missionary digging through your panty drawer!
posted by serazin at 8:34 PM on November 2, 2008


Sacha Baron Cohen's "Bruno" Crashes Prop 8 Rally
posted by homunculus at 12:20 PM on November 3, 2008


« Older Ikons...  |  Olle Hemmingsson´s Trio. Quart... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments