Wednesday, November 26, 2008

L.A. Film Festival director - and Latter-day Saint - resigns over Prop. 8 protests

The anti-Prop. 8 assault on Prop. 8 supporters continues, and its latest victim is Richard Raddon, director of the L.A. Film Festival and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The L.A. Times reports that when Raddon's donation of $1,500 became public almost two weeks ago, the gay community began inundating Film Independent with criticism for having Raddon among its ranks. Raddon's initial offer to resign was countered with a vote of confidence from the board, which includes Don Cheadle, Forest Whitaker, Lionsgate President Tom Ortenberg and Fox Searchlight President Peter Rice.

However, according to one Film Independent board member, "No on 8" supporters also berated Raddon personally via phone calls and e-mails. He offered to resign again, and the board accepted the second offer.

Raddon issued this statement:

"I have always held the belief that all people, no matter race, religion or sexual orientation, are entitled to equal rights. As many know, I consider myself a devout and faithful Mormon. I prefer to keep the details around my contribution through my church a private matter. But I am profoundly sorry for the negative attention that my actions have drawn to Film Independent and for the hurt and pain that is being experienced in the GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender] community."
It's unfortunate that he basically has to apologize for his beliefs; however, gay couples ALREADY HAVE all the same rights. I applaud how Raddon stands by his faith while empathizing with the hurt and pain felt by the GLBT community.

Here's more from the L.A. Times piece:

Raddon's support for Proposition 8 has sparked debate within both the gay community and Hollywood, as many publicly worry about punishing people for free speech, even speech they deemed hateful, and his departure has already provoked ambivalence.

"I'm personally saddened by the outcome," said Film Independent board member Bill Condon, the writer-director of "Dreamgirls." "Someone has lost his job and possibly his livelihood because of privately held religious beliefs. I think the organization was ready to tough this out, but Rich ultimately decided it wasn't worth the cost. I'm not sure he was right."

What a shame. How many more careers are going to be derailed because of bigoted hatred against those who supported their faith-based beliefs?

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Responding to Karger's claims of "hate"

While working in Laguna Beach, I dealt on several occasions with Fred Karger, who fought heartily on the No on 8 side as leader of "Californians Against Hate."

Fred is just as passionate as I am on causes he supports, so I can appreciate his fervor, even if I am often personally opposed to them.

Well, he added me to his "Californians Against Hate" mailing list forever ago, and I've just overlooked his emails - my inbox is so glutted these days, I pretty much ignore anything but personal correspondence.

Anyways, Melissa posted about the probe into the LDS Church's Prop. 8 donations, and lo and behold, Fred was leading the charge! I couldn't help but to respond to him personally - and I wanted to share my response with y'all.

It is so difficult when our views are so diametrically opposed to those of people with whom we interact on a daily basis. I hope that we can all continue to respect one another, regardless of where our beliefs fall.
Fred, please remove me from your mailing list. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I find it deplorable that so much hate and anger is being focused at my faith when its members (myself included) were joining in the political process in honor of a cause that aligned with their beliefs.

We are in America - we are welcome to our beliefs and should not be punished in a McCarthy-esque witchhunt. Latter-day Saints make up a mere 4 percent of the California population, and half of those are children. While we put much effort into this effort, it was as a part of a broad coalition of faiths and as individuals.

Furthermore, while some may have "hate" toward the LGTB community, I should hope that our work together in Laguna Beach made it clear that I, for one, do not fall into such a hateful category. In fact, most of those with whom I worked in favor of Prop. 8 have no hate for the gay community. One of my best, best friends is gay!

The fact of the matter is that civil unions have ALL the same rights as hetero couples in California under section 297.5 of the California Family Code, and that is something I would happily support in every state. However, when you change the definition of a fundamental term such as "marriage," you enforce a chilling effect on religious and personal freedoms - in effect, you push for a state church of relativism and irreligion. The Founding Fathers wanted freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. I believe strongly that we can all happily work together to make our nation the best it can be - without trampling over rights on either side of the fence.

I'm sure your views differ, but I wanted to give you insight into another perspective. I wish you well, all differences aside. Take care, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

All my best,

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"We are all Mormons," proclaims Rabbi Shifren

I received this via email and thought it was definitely worth sharing - enjoy!

by Rabbi Shifren
November 21, 2008

We are living in an era of insanity! Witness the latest attempt to remake the nature of our country, founded and established on certain principles that have been the envy of the entire world. The latest assault on our country and its values comes in the form of vicious and criminal violence against the Mormon church in Westwood, California

Interesting how the selective self-righteous indignation on the part of the radical Gay activists is played out here: they bewail the blow to freedom and justice! But I thought we just had elections, where the majority of Californians expressed their views in a free and open manner. Are we not a nation of laws? Dare we relive the McCarthy era, where Americans were harassed and threatened with the loss of their jobs for believing in a certain way? If the Gay radicals should have their way, untold numbers of Americans would live under the threat of the Gay-Lesbian "thought police," where individuals that reject the Gay lifestyle would be sought out and have sanctions brought against them.

It's bad enough for those working in the entertainment industry here in Los Angeles, where a fog of political correctness and a bending over backwards to accommodate, even promote Gay lifestyle is in full gear. Let none dare say that this type of activity is anathema to our country, our morality, and the debauchery of our young people.

Let it be stated unequivocally: The radical Gay attack on the Mormons is the shot over the bow against the United States of America. There was a time when what a man did in his bedroom was sanctified between himself and G-d. Now we are being served an "in-your-face" smorgasbord of smut and licentiousness as being between people who only "want their civil rights."

Hogwash! We are dealing with the equivalent of a moral takeover of the country that has as its bedrock a belief in G-d and His promise for humanity. They don't want civil rights! What they desire is quasi Gay/Lesbian hegemony, where a huge "bookburning," reminiscent of the Nazis, will purge any remnants of the "Christian, White, mainstream America" that has given ALL AMERICANS the most profound scope of freedom, liberty, and justice that Mankind has yet to experience.

People have perhaps wondered: why the Mormons? Answer: they are a small, yet vocal Christian minority. They have been selected by the mobs as vulnerable, a group that might not have such massive support among America's Christians.

We who are friends of the Mormons, their patriotism, their family values, will not falter in our continued support of these dear Americans. Let us recall the Christian minister Niemoller, whose admonition during those dark years of Nazi Germany moved us to our core:

"When they came for the gypsies, I said nothing, because I wasn't a gypsy. When they came for the homosexuals, I said nothing, because I wasn't a homosexual. When they came for the Jews, I said nothing, because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I said nothing, because I wasn't a Catholic......then they came for me, and there was no one left to defend me."

My fellow Americans, in the coming battle for the heart and soul of America and everything we cherish, may this call to arms be the mantra of every concerned patriot:


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Probe into LDS Church's Prop 8 donations going forward.

This comes from

California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) confirmed Monday that it will investigate allegations that the LDS Church failed to report nonmonetary contributions to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign.

An independent nonprofit organization, Californians Against Hate, called for the investigation after the measure passed earlier this month, effectively ending same-sex marriages in that state.

"They read my letter and I guess came to the conclusion that there's something worth looking into," said Fred Karger, who heads Californians Against Hate, which was formed to track donations in support of the ballot initiative. "I'm hopeful that the LDS Church will cooperate and share all the records and all the information they have about their activities in the Proposition 8 campaign."

Karger, a retired political consultant, alleged in his complaint that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints failed to report money invested to organize phone banks, send out direct mailers, provide transportation to California, mobilize a speakers bureau, send out satellite simulcasts and develop Web sites as well as numerous commercials and video broadcasts.

In the aftermath of Proposition 8's passage, outcry over the LDS Church's active role has included demonstrations outside temples in California, Utah and New York protesting what critics see as Mormons' contribution of a disproportionate amount of the measure's financial backing. By some measures,

Latter-day Saints are believed to have contributed as much as $22 million to the cause.

The LDS Church did not comment on Monday's latest development but said earlier that Karger's complaint had "many errors and misstatements," that the church had "fully complied with the reporting requirements of the California Political Reform Act" and that "any investigation would confirm the church's full compliance with applicable law."

Karger, however, sees the fact that FPPC is moving forward as a good sign. He said his political attorney told him the commission looks into fewer than 5 percent of complaints, an indication in his mind that "when they do it, it's pretty serious."

But Roman Porter, executive director of FPPC, urges against jumping to conclusions. He wouldn't say how often investigations unfold and insisted that comparing complaints, which all have unique characteristics, would be inappropriate. He also said an investigation is nothing more than an investigation.

"We haven't made any determination about wrongdoing," Porter said, and he encouraged people to "reserve judgment."

Porter said no time line has been set for the investigation and he would not speculate on when the public will know more. But he did say if the FPPC determines fault, the commission could fine "up to $5,000 per violation," and in some cases might also file a civil lawsuit, which could lead to remedies amounting to "three times the amount of unreported or misreported contributions."

Monday, November 24, 2008

The never-ending battle over gay marriage

This comes from the L.A. Times' Jessica Garrison:

Proposition 8: The endless campaign over gay marriage

In normal political campaigns, election day -- win or lose -- signals the end.

Not so with Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman that was approved by 52% of California voters Nov. 4.

Instead of settling the question of gay marriage in California, the election merely ushered in a new, and in many cases more heated, phase of the campaign, with both sides looking ahead to 2010, when the matter could be back on the ballot.

This could happen no matter how the state Supreme Court rules. The court announced this week that it would review the legality of Proposition 8 in response to several lawsuits filed by cities and gay couples.

If justices uphold the proposition, gay marriage backers plan to put their own measure before voters perhaps as soon as 2010 to re-amend the state Constitution to allow the marriages.

If the justices toss out Proposition 8, some gay-marriage opponents have talked of putting something on the ballot themselves, either to again ban gay marriage or to oust Supreme Court justices or both.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Five minutes well spent

If you've got five minutes, please watch this video, which is beautifully done. The speech from which it draws is one of my favorites, especially in light of Prop. 8. How prophetic - it gives me chills to think this was first given 30 years ago, and what Neal A. Maxwell discusses is precisely the world in which we live today - and I'd like to think we were an example of "wakening a slumbering majority" in this instance.


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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Prop 8 involvement a P.R. fiasco for LDS Church

(Laura's note: I wildly disagree with this article but am not at all surprised it was in the Salt Lake Tribune this morning. If you feel so inclined to go over there and comment, the link's at the bottom.)

Prop 8 involvement a P.R. fiasco for LDS Church
The campaign offered fuel for critics
By Peggy Fletcher Stack

The Salt Lake Tribune

Updated: 11/22/2008 07:33:46 AM MST

Although they live a continent away from California, LDS Church members Gregory and JaLynn Prince, of Washington, D.C., still have felt the backlash from their church's involvement in the traditional marriage initiative known as Proposition 8.

Their daughter, Lauren, a Boston University student, has lost friends over the issue, while their son, an LDS missionary in San Bernardino, Calif., has had a disproportionate number of potential converts cancel appointments.

About two weeks ago, during a first-ever class on Mormonism at Wesley Theological Seminary, where the Princes have built bridges for years, students pointedly asked them: "What was your church thinking?"

"We are not taking sides on the issue, but the way this was done has hurt our people and the church's image," JaLynn Prince said. "It reminds me of the naive public relations strategy we had regarding the Equal Rights Amendment."

In some minds, the so-called "Mormon moment" heralded at the start of 2008 has stopped short.

Just 10 months after the death of LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley, who spent nearly 70 years burnishing his church's public image, goodwill toward Mormonism that culminated during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games seems to have faded in a haze of misunderstanding and outright hostility.

Mean-spirited critiques of Mormonism during Mitt Romney's unsuccessful presidential campaign were followed by persistent news-media reports linking Latter-day Saints
to the FLDS polygamous sect raided by Texas authorities. Now, angry opponents of Proposition 8 are demonstrating at Mormon temples, accusing the church of being anti-gay.

New President Thomas S. Monson faces a daunting public-relations challenge. He follows the well-respected Hinckley, who observers say had an intuitive gift for balancing the church's need to speak out on moral issues with the need to avoid appearing too extreme.

"The Olympics had this nice afterglow for Mormons and, boy, is that gone," said Sarah Barringer Gordon of the University of Pennsylvania, who studies LDS history and culture.

LDS Church apostles declined to be interviewed for this story, but the public affairs office did respond to questions.

"All in all, 2008 has been a particularly good year for the church," LDS spokesman Scott Trotter said. "The church dedicated four temples and announced eight more. Membership topped 13 million worldwide with over 52,000 missionaries in the field. While some of the protest activity we have seen has been deplorable, there are others who have taken the time to fully understand the church's position on marriage and home to respect this principled stand."

Gary Lawrence added his own optimistic view.

"These protests will help us. It puts a spotlight on us," said Lawrence, a leader in the Proposition 8 campaign and author of How Americans View Mormonism: Seven Steps to Improve Our Image.

"Which is worse -- antagonism or apathy? I believe apathy is our bigger enemy."

Following the pattern » In a 1997 memo about the LDS Church's involvement in the campaign against gay marriage in Hawaii, the late Loren C. Dunn, then a general authority, noted that Hinckley approved Mormon participation but said "the church should be in a coalition and not out front by itself."

In the case of the Proposition 8, which supported a constitutional amendment to define marriage as solely between a man and a woman, the LDS Church only joined the Coalition to Protect Marriage in June after being asked by Catholic Archbishop George H. Niederauer of San Francisco, who presided over Utah Catholics for 11 years. The LDS First Presidency in a letter urged all California Mormons to give their time and money to the effort.

Ostensibly just part of a broad-based coalition, the Mormon faithful soon led the drive. They donated nearly half of the $20 million raised by Yes on 8, canvassed neighborhoods and staffed phone banks. Because the LDS Church routinely asks its members to give time and money, Mormons are "uniquely situated to be mobilized into politics," said David Campbell, a political science professor at the University of Notre Dame. "But they only get mobilized when a match is lit, and that doesn't happen very often."

The Mormon push for Proposition 8 reinforces what people already think of Mormons, he said, "that they have a lot of money and are willing to work for a socially conservative cause."

That image may hurt the LDS Church with a wide swath of the American public.

Mark Silk, professor of religion in public life at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., thinks the visceral opposition to Proposition 8 is much more consequential for the LDS Church than either the Romney campaign or the perceived association with polygamy.

LDS officials decided to inject themselves in the fight to protect traditional marriage "in a big money way," Silk said. "That raises the specter not just of Mormon weirdness but also Mormon power as far as cash on the barrel."

Mormons could be forgiven for underestimating the opposition, he said. They likely thought they were on the winning side. After all, marriage initiatives have passed in about 30 states. But California is not an average state.

"People expect anti-gay referendums to pass -- and they do -- but it's California, for crying out loud," Silk said, ". . . not Zion."

Benefits of battle » On the opposite side, are observers such as Kirk Jowers of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics, who think the LDS Church actions may help it win friends among Evangelicals.

"Other members of this coalition may realize the significant role that LDS Church members played," and see that it took a disproportionate share of the opposition's arrows, he said.

The Rev. Jim Garlow is one of those evangelical allies.

Last week, Garlow, of Skyline Church in San Diego, was so outraged by the protests against Mormons that he e-mailed 7,200 California pastors urging them to "speak boldly" in defense of the LDS role in passing Proposition 8.

"We were not going to stand by and be silent while there was anti-Mormonism in the streets," Garlow said Friday. "Our theological differences with Mormonism are, frankly, unbridgeable, but these are our friends and neighbors and attacks on them are unacceptable."

The Proposition 8 campaign deepened his relationship with Mormons, he said, and the protests have solidified it.

It is not clear, however, whether the LDS Church will soon jump into another political fray.

"Politics is a tough game, especially at this visceral level where one side is talking about religion and the other about rights, " said Gordon, the Penn scholar. "I would be surprised to see them do this again. They really need to heal some wounds."

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

eHarmony forced to provide same-sex dating service

The Boston Herald reports that, thanks to a court settlement, the online dating service will now offer a same-sex matching service, CompatiblePartners.

While not directly a Prop. 8 story, I thought this was an interesting case of how the same-sex "agenda" (for lack of a better word - I know that's painting with broad brushstrokes, but I'm blanking on a better term) has forced a private business to cater to its wants, regardless of the business's interest:

TRENTON, N.J. — Gays and lesbians seeking partners now may join an affiliate, under a settlement announced Wednesday by the state Attorney General’s Office.

Membership to the same-sex matchmaking service will be free for up to 10,000 new users in the first six months, according to the agreement. The charge usually is about $150.

The announcement came more than three years after Eric McKinley of Monmouth County, N.J., filed a suit claiming that the matching service violated the state’s Law Against Discrimination because it did not offer same-sex services...

Theodore B. Olson, the lawyer for eHarmony, said the company believed the lawsuit "resulted from an unfair characterization of our business," but decided to settle because "litigation outcomes can be unpredictable."...

Neither the company nor co-defendant Neil Clark Warren — its founder and pitchman in eHarmony’s widespread television and radio ads — admitted liability. Pasadena, Calif.-based eHarmony agreed to pay the state Division on Civil Rights $50,000 to cover its costs, and to pay McKinley $5,000 and provide a free 12-month membership...

Furthermore, will post photos of homosexual couples, include such couples in its advertising and post a link to the same-sex site. It also may post a disclaimer pointing out that its matching system is based on research involving heterosexuals. The Compatible Partners site must state that it is affiliated with eHarmony.

Note that while eHarmony was heavily touted by the Christian community at its inception, its lack of same-sex services had nothing to do with Christian morals. Rather, the research that serves as the basis of the system's compatibility testing was conducted with heterosexual couples. Warren said he didn't feel he knew enough about same-sex relationships to offer a similar service.

I like how blogger Michelle Malkin points out that this lawsuit is "akin to a meat-eater suing a vegetarian restaurant for not offering him a ribeye or a female patient suing a vasectomy doctor for not providing her hysterectomy services."

It's a private business that didn't refuse to do business with anyone, but merely provided a limited scope of services. Someone in the gay community could have very successfully capitalized on the concept to create their own match service.

Should I be able to sue JDate because it won't match me up with LDS men? It's the same principle.

eHarmony has also famously refused to hook a married man up with an adulterous, extramarital affair. Should that be altered, too?

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What happened to the Mormon segment on Anderson Cooper?

I missed the first half-hour of Anderson Cooper last night, but my roommate said there was no mention of the LDS Church - and the part that I did catch was just about the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the case and some (ridiculous) quotes by Gavin Newsom.

So what does this mean for the much-hyped "Mormons pushed Prop. 8" segment?

Well, according to a poster on CougarBoard (and yes, I realize how "reliable" of a source that is), it's been rescheduled to Friday.

My Google searches haven't turned up any more reliable information - anyone know something I don't?

I'll let you know what I can find...

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CA Supreme Court to hear Prop. 8 lawsuits

BREAKING NEWS ALERT - Wow, it sure didn't take long for the No on 8'ers to force their cases to the state Supreme Court, did it?

The Associated Press's Lisa Leff reports:

SAN FRANCISCO – California's highest court agreed Wednesday to hear several legal challenges to the state's new ban on same-sex marriage but refused to allow gay couples to resume marrying before it rules.

The California Supreme Court accepted three lawsuits seeking to nullify Proposition 8, a voter-approved constitutional amendment that overruled the court's decision in May that legalized gay marriage.

All three cases claim the measure abridges the civil rights of a vulnerable minority group. They argue that voters alone did not have the authority to enact such a significant constitutional change.

As is its custom when it takes up cases, the court elaborated little. However, the justices did say they want to address what effect, if any, a ruling upholding the amendment would have on the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages that were sanctioned in California before election day.

Gay rights groups and local governments petitioning to overturn the ban were joined by the measure's sponsors and Attorney General Jerry Brown in urging the Supreme Court to consider whether Proposition 8 passes legal muster.

The initiative's opponents had also asked the court to grant a stay of the measure, which would have allowed gay marriages to begin again while the justices considered the cases. The court denied that request.

The justices directed Brown and lawyers for the Yes on 8 campaign to submit arguments by Dec. 19 on why the ballot initiative should not be nullified. It said lawyers for the plaintiffs, who include same-sex couples who did not wed before the election, must respond before Jan. 5.

Oral arguments could be scheduled as early as March, according to court spokeswoman Lynn Holton.

Both opponents and supporters of Proposition 8 expressed confidence Wednesday that their arguments would prevail.

But they also agreed that the cases present the court's seven justices — six of whom voted to review the challenges — with complex questions that have few precedents in state case law.

The lawsuits argue that voters improperly abrogated the judiciary's authority by stripping same-sex couples of the right to wed after the high court earlier ruled it was discriminatory to prohibit gay men and lesbians from marrying.

"If given effect, Proposition 8 would work a dramatic, substantive change to our Constitution's 'underlying principles' of individual on a scale and scope never previously condoned by this court," lawyers for the same-sex couples stated in their petition.

The measure represents such a sweeping change that it constitutes a constitutional revision as opposed to an amendment, the documents say. The distinction would have required the ban's backers to obtain approval from two-thirds of both houses of the California Legislature before submitting it to voters.

Over the past century, the California Supreme Court has heard nine cases challenging legislative acts or ballot initiatives as improper revisions. The court eventually invalidated three of the measures, according to the gay rights group Lambda Legal.

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Anderson Cooper takes on Mormons over Prop. 8 tonight

Here's the teaser on Anderson Cooper's Web page for tonight's show:

They make up just 2% of California’s population, but Mormons more than pulled their weight in the battle to ban same sex marriages. How they made Prop 8 pass, tonight at 10 ET.
Although I admittedly have not seen much of Cooper's coverage of Prop. 8 for CNN (I'm more of a glued-to-the-Web kind of gal than a glued-to-the-TV type), I've heard that his reports have been overwhelmingly against Prop. 8 (surprise, surprise - after all, Cooper has never "come out" but is reported to have made veiled references that he is, in fact, gay).

Here's a clip from the show last week, when protestors targeted the Manhattan LDS Temple:

A friend made the point to me that we Latter-day Saints should be willing to take some of the heat since we were very actively involved (the fact that I'm out of cell phone minutes on my 900-minute plan attests to that - thank you, Prop. 8 calls!), it still rubs my journalistic instincts the wrong way to hear reporters get the facts so wrong or to be so blatantly biased.

Do we notice that he refers to the LDS Church as "spearheading" the efforts? That's incorrect - the Church was invited to participate in a broad-based coalition of faiths. He also talks about how Yes on 8 had a "massive" ad campaign, but in all reality, the No on 8 side had more ads, more money - and, in fact, more money that came in from out of state, too.

Cooper's guest, Dan Savage, says that you have to expect a reciprocal punch if you go into the public square and "slime people, malign people, demagogue against people"; he also says that the Church "politicized" itself. Again, this is totally wrong. The Church has never said anything that maligned gay people but has constantly encouraged kindness and respect for all.

(PS: Notice how he totally also messes up the vocabulary... not to nitpick, but if you're going to discuss the Church, know what you're talking about. The "First President" didn't have a letter read in temples - it was read in meetinghouses or chapels. I know I'm just being particular here, but I'm an editor/writer. So sue me.)

Savage refers to the gay community as a "vulnerable minority" - this sets the Church up to be a bully. Cooper and Savage turn a blind eye to the violent protests; Savage continually interrupts Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council (and when Cooper steps in to stop the overtalking, Cooper lets Savage finish his thought - not Perkins).

Also notice how Savage rips on the Church as "shoving" this through, and that older people basically are homophobic and need to die off. He even goes as far as saying straight people redefined marriage from being a patriarchal contract to a love relationship!

And then Cooper asks if we're on the "wrong side" of history, and that the majority of young people favor same-sex marriage.

Well, when you've got a liberal education system that has indoctrinated Gen. X and Gen. Y for the last 40 years, and decades of so-called "liberation" that has created a tremendous social experiment that has promoted individual selfishness at the expense of children, then how can you blame my generation for not being able to see the forest from the trees? We don't remember what it used to be like in the "good ol' days" - not to say that every family was like the Cleavers or Bradys back in the day, for sure, but once upon a time, marriage lasted, families were a haven where children were nurtured, and parents cared about their families more than about "having it all." Now people wonder why Gen. X/Y can't figure out the basic traditions of courtship and marriage. We threw the baby out with the bathwater and are just beginning to see the overwhelming mess that has left.

Sorry for that last little rant. Anyways, tune into Anderson Cooper tonight - I'll blog what I can from it!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Jerry Brown: Let Prop. 8 take effect - but let it go to the Supreme Court, too

Ironic, isn't it, that the man whose office is tasked with enforcing and defending measures approved by the people is the one advocating that the vox populi be reconsidered in the courts?

Of course, this is the same man who also reworded its info on the ballot from being the Marriage Protection Act to being a ban on same-sex marriage.

The L.A. Times's Maura Dolan reports:

Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown urges high court to let Prop. 8 take effect
Brown's office, which has the responsibility of defending the initiative, said it's in the 'public interest' to let the gay-marriage ban take effect while lawsuits are reviewed.

Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown today urged the California Supreme Court to review lawsuits that seek to overturn Proposition 8, but to permit the measure to take effect during that review.

Brown, whose office is supposed to defend the initiative, said the lawsuits raised issues of statewide importance that should be addressed by the state's highest court.

"But, due to the potential uncertainty that may be caused in important legal relationships by a temporary stay, the public interest would be better served by allowing Proposition 8 to remain in effect while expediting briefing," Brown's office said.

Opponents of Proposition 8 argue that it was a sweeping constitutional revision, which can be put on the ballot only by the Legislature, instead of a more limited constitutional amendment, as supporters contend.

A wide array of groups and local governments have urged the state high court in five lawsuits -- the latest filed today -- to overturn the measure. The lawsuits maintain that Proposition 8 illegally revised the constitution by altering fundamental constitutional principles.

The court voted 4-3 on May 15 to overturn a state ban on same-sex marriage, but Christian groups gathered enough signatures to place Proposition 8 on the Nov. 4 ballot. It passed with about 52% of the vote.

Liberty Counsel, which has fought same-sex marriage, also filed papers with the California Supreme Court today and urged the court to reject the lawsuits. The Christian legal group said the court should protect the democratic process.

"The people of California have spoken by affirming traditional marriage, " said Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. "It is time to move on. Fourteen words that reaffirm the historic and common sense definition of marriage are not a radical revision to the Constitution."

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Miracles happen when faiths stand together

This amazing video brought tears to my eyes! It's from Singing in the Reign, a blog written by a couple of theology professors, and the video expresses gratitude by the Catholics for the Mormons on their shared Prop. 8 efforts.

I've appreciated and been amazed at the great interfaith relations that have come out of Prop. 8. We may all have differences in terms of theology, but when you drill down to it, all of us have a common foundation of a love of God - and a love of our faiths, which we feel we should be able to practice without being labeled "bigots" or "intolerant."

Again, Prop. 8 was about the government creeping into religion - not the other way around.

I really liked this comment left by an anonymous poster on Singing in the Reign:

I have to admit that I doubted the idea that there was anti-religious bigotry behind the No on 8 crowd. I just thought separation of church and state should be followed. Prop 8 seemed to violate that.

But then I saw the ad this video highlights. I was shocked by the bigotry. What an eye-opener!

And then in the interviews after the election the truth really came out--the curtain was lifted and the real hatred came spewing forth. One gay rights supporter told a reporter they were going to go after "all the churches."

Now--and having read more on this--I have no doubt that legalizing same-sex marriage is really just a way to shut down religious groups and force them to violate their beliefs.

I am now relieved that it passed.

It's saddened me to see the hate and vitriol targeted at religion by the No on 8 crowd. They have to do what they feel they have to do, I guess, and I can respect that - but it makes me sad to think of people turning against God so fully, and how that must make Him feel. It gives me all the more incentive to treat them with nothing but love, respect and kindness, since they are God's children, even if they ignore Him.


As a sidenote, a friend just emailed me this anecdote that shows this same thought:

So I was talking to my mom the other day and there was a group of men from the stake that was down at the temple when all the protesting broke out. (It was our stake's temple day, so a lot of them got there before they knew what was going on.) They helped out with everything going on there.

The next day one of them saw that a restaurant was being boycotted because the owner had donated $100 to the Yes on 8 Campaign...can you believe that! $100. So the men that were at the temple decided that they'd go and eat lunch at the restaurant and thank the owner.

While they were there, they saw one of the big Catholic priests in Southern California...I can't remember his name...come in with a bunch of other Catholic priests, thank the owner, and they all ate lunch. I thought that was just awesome. It totally warmed my heart. I hope it warms yours too.

It definitely warms my heart! :)

For more information go to

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Intimidation in action: El Coyote

I'm sure that some of you have heard about El Coyote Restaurant in L.A., which is currently being targeted by the gay community for supporting Prop. 8.

But let's clarify: that instance of "supporting Prop. 8" was the manager's personal donation of $100 to Yes on 8. It had nothing to do with the restaurant!

Anyways, if you want a full post on the issue, see BeetleBabee's post on El Coyote.

Meanwhile, here's a YouTube vid from the meeting where the restaurant owners gave free meals to the gay-rights activists so they can talk out the situation AND offered to donate $10,000 to two gay-rights groups.

Which, mind you, is 100 times what Marjorie's donation was to Yes on 8.

And it isn't enough for the gay-rights activists.

They want Marjorie to give $100 of her own money to repeal the amendment - and they won't let it go, either:

Such intimidation is reprehensible - and over a measly $100? Seriously?!

The gay community is acting unreasonably with this! They're enacting a witch hunt against Yes on 8'ers, and it's just. plain. wrong.

Send the Coyote a supportive message:

For more information go to

Friday, November 14, 2008

Prop. 8 press conference denounces harassment and intimidation from No on 8'ers

From the reports of my friends, today's press conference in Santa Ana was inspiring, seeing how much support there is for Prop. 8 and for those of us who vocally and prominently supported it.

Those who attended were encouraged to sign the petition at and to write a letter to the California Secretary of State and Governor. All the info and sample letters posted at

Here's the O.C. Register's (left-leaning, as usual) report on today's press conference:

SANTA ANA - Proposition 8 leaders gathered today to denounce their opponents' post-election tactics as harassment, intimidation and – in the case of white powder sent to two Mormon temples – "domestic terrorism."

Ten days after the Prop. 8 ban on gay marriage was approved by voters, protests and lawsuits by gay marriage opponents show no signs of abating. Indeed, several dozen protesters were on hand outside the Santa Ana hotel where the pro-Prop. 8 press conference was held, and at least two more Orange County protests are planned for the weekend.

Prop. 8 leaders were quick to acknowledge that demonstrations and lawsuits were the right of protesters – but other tactics that were out of bounds.

"What they don't have the right to do is harass and intimidate people," said Frank Schubert, director of the Prop. 8 campaign. "They don't have a right to blacklist and boycott our supporters."

Schubert listed three businesses that had been boycotted or threatened with boycotts by Prop. 8 foes.

Newspaper accounts have specified at least three more. Cinemark Theatres, which
has cinemas in Orange County, has also been mentioned as a possible target.

Leaders of the battle against Prop. 8 and protesters interviewed outside today's press conference condemned the use of violence, threats of physical harm, and the mailing of an unidentified white powder to two temples of the Mormons, who contributed significantly to the Prop. 8 campaign.

Trust me, I have love for the Reg, my former employer and all, but their Prop. 8 stories are so skewed, it drives me batty! Go add your comments!

And, by the way, here is a statement from Salt Lake issued today:

Since the people of California voted to reaffirm the sanctity of traditional marriage between a man and a woman on November 4, 2008, places of worship have been targeted by opponents of Proposition 8 with demonstrations and, in some cases, vandalism. People of faith have been intimidated for simply exercising their democratic rights. 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.

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. 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.

That, to me, is true class.

For more information go to

Some wise counsel

It amazes me how much great stuff makes it to my inbox these days! All of it is, of course, stuff that comes my way so that I'll pass it on to you.

So, here's the latest - some true words of wisdom:

As all of you know, the protests from the No on 8 side will continue this weekend.

We are counseled not to hold counter-demonstrations. The other side will be looking for confrontations and if they get them, guess how the attending media will spin villains and victims?

Please counsel our people to stay away from the demonstrations and let the police handle things. Especially encourage our most passionate supporters to stay at home. The more the other side demonstrates, the more their temper tantrums help us.

Let's not do anything that detracts from their visual stupidity.

Keep things in perspective: We can paint over graffiti on ourbuildings and we can plant new flowers on our temple grounds, but it's more difficult to repair a reputation that has been tarnished because some member loses his temper.

Be patient and kind. Turn the other cheek. This too shall pass.

For a further good read along these lines, check out "Christian Courage," Elder Robert D. Hales's conference talk from the October General Conference. It's one that a few friends have sent my way in the midst of all this craziness, and I think there's definitely a reason why he gave it when he did.

As he says, "One of mortality’s great tests comes when our beliefs are questioned or criticized. In such moments, we may want to respond aggressively—to 'put up our dukes.' But these are important opportunities to step back, pray, and follow the Savior’s example. Remember that Jesus Himself was despised and rejected by the world."

For more information go to

Press conference today and some other go-and-do's

Hey, all -

This email is a bit long and info-packed, but I felt it was worth passing along.

Of note is a PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY at noon in Santa Ana, at the Doubletree Hotel Ballroom (201 East MacArthur Boulevard, Santa Ana). If you can make it, by all means, go!!!

Also be aware that there will be a protest at the Newport Beach temple on Sunday. I mean, I don't think we should be counter-protesting - truly, I think that would be counter-productive - but I just wanted to give all a heads-up.

A friend of mine emailed me this morning about how perhaps it's the wrong attitude for us to say that we didn't do it alone. While it's true that many faiths banded together on this effort, we should keep our heads high in defending the work we've done instead of shrinking away from the critics or feeling injusticed. Of course those "fiery darts" would come - and let them! We know that they that be with us are more than they who are against us.

Stay strong, friends!


It is incredible how many are asking how they can besthelp to strengthen the ties we've developed in theAfrican American and other ethnic communities since our efforts in victory with Prop 8. As you can see the fight is not over, and one of the most critical things we can do at this point is to solidify the relationships with our new coalition.

Here are some things that we can do right now,without much effort. Will you please send this email to all you know? Notice this is now a national and international fight.


Nancy Kraemer who is involved with the Republican Headquarters and is very knowledgeable on this said we needto encourage ALL who can to email or write letters to ALL the State Assemblymen and State Senators encouraging them not to put into process the overturning of Prop 8.

She said even just an email saying "Do not overturn Prop 8" is good, as they don't read any full letters; they just take note if you're for or against. And to not just limit it to the Assemblymen or Senator who represents your area, but send it to ALL in the State....and there is an urgency in getting it done always.

1. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger -
2. Sam Annestad - State Senator
3. Doug LaMalfa - State Assembly
4. Rick Keene - State Assembly

Note that some, including an earlier email from me,are saying that we've lost momentum since 2000 when we received 61% of the vote on prop 22 and 53% on prop 8. At second glance we had 4.3 million votes in 2000. This year we added a million + to that number, 5.3 million. The opposition just had more involved on their side, which reduced the %.

Missionaries are reporting the everyone in the Black communities are much nicer to them, rooting them on. One ofthe many blessings of the Black & LDS communities coming together on Prop 8.

There are those who donated money or stood up publiclyin the media who are now being targeted by the opponents of traditional marriage. They are attempting to bankrupt businesses because some chose to vote differently. There are few things that I can think of that are more un-American than this tactic, while American tries to recover from the worst financial and economic crisis since the depression.

So we will stand with those who stood with us. As you find businesses that are being boycotted and picketed, please share them so that we can support them. We're asking that where possible, we make an extra effort to support these businesses to sustain them as they sustained us. Let's show our love and support with a visit to this targeted business:
EL COYOTE MEXICAN CAFE since 1931, family owned andoperated (City's Best Winner - 2007), 7312 BEVERLY BLVD., LOS ANGELES, CA 90036-2535. Reservations: 323-939-2255.

There will be a press conference held in Orange County in response to the nationwide attacks, boycotts, and intimidation of U.S. churches, businesses, and individuals associated with the effort in California and throughout the country to preserve traditional marriage. All who can attend are encouraged to do so, from all communities.
SANTA ANA DOUBLETREE HOTEL BALLROOM201 East MacArthur Boulevard, Santa Ana, CA

Some have asked for scriptural references in relationship to homosexuality being a sin. Here are a few:

  • Genesis 19:1-5, 24-25
  • Leviticus 18:22
  • Leviticus 20:13
  • Daniel 11:37
  • Deuteronomy 23:17
  • Isaiah 3:9
  • Romans 1:27
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9
  • 1 Timothy 1:10
  • Jude 1
  • See also Gen. 13: 13; Gen. 18: 20; Isa. 3: 9; Ezek.16: 50; 2 Tim. 3: 3; 2 Pet. 2: 10; 2 Ne. 9: 40.


Much love and gratitude,

Marvin Perkins
“All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing”

For more information go to

Thursday, November 13, 2008

L.A. Mormon temple closed after suspicious envelope arrives in mail

Even if this stuff turns out to be powdered sugar this is outrageous. The Salt Lake Temple also received a white powder filled envelope this afternoon. A worker opening mail accidentally spilled it on his hands but so far shows no signs of illness.

These are not protests, these are cowardly attacks and it's pathetic. The individuals and groups doing this are crossing serious lines and people are taking notice. While reading comments on an LA times ad last night I saw two out of probably 40 or so that I read where people said they wish they could go back and vote Yes now that they've seen the hypocrisy of those "protesting" this decision. Part of me hopes they keep this up to some degree. I've read several places where protesters are saying that they are done being patient, that this is the last straw and that they are going to start really fighting now for their rights. I'd say if they keep this going we may just get that 61% majority back in 2010 when they swear this will be back on the ballot.

While I'm sick of hearing about "the church's deceitful campaign" I do have to give props to the LA Gay & Lesbian center for denouncing this type of thing. I love how the author of this article mentions what happened at the temple and then takes the opportunity to point out the latest jab at the church. Quite ironic if you ask me.

"The Mormon temple in Westwood was closed Thursday afternoon after an envelope filled with an unidentified white, powdery substance was delivered to temple employees, Los Angeles police said.

About 3:30 p.m., a hazardous-materials team was sent to the temple at Santa Monica Boulevard and Overland Avenue, said LAPD Officer Karen Smith.

The temple has recently been the site of protests by opponents of Proposition 8, though it is unclear whether the envelope was related to protests over the gay marriage ban, officials said.

"It is unknown who it's from or who it's addressed to, or any of that," Smith said.

Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Los Angeles office, said agents were investigating.

A similar letter was received at the Salt Lake City Mormon temple about 3:30 p.m. local time today, said Juan Becerra, a spokesman for the FBI's Salt Lake City office.

"Our hazmat team as well as Salt Lake City Fire Department responded, collected the evidence, and it is now at the lab," he said.

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center in Los Angeles issued a statement late Thursday decrying the incident.

"While the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center organized a peaceful demonstration against the involvement of the leadership of the Mormon Church in the deceitful Yes on Prop. 8 campaign, we decry the use or threat of violence. Just as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community seeks the right to be treated equally under the law, all Americans should have the right to live lives free from fear and violence," the statement said.

Meanwhile, a gay rights activist submitted a formal complaint to the enforcement division of the California Fair Political Practices Commission alleging that the Mormon church failed to report the value of the work, including phone banks, commercials and other services, done to support the Proposition 8 campaign.

Proposition 8, which amends the state Constitution, was approved by voters last week."

For more information go to

Are Mormons being unfairly targeted? - A Prop. 8 poll

This came from my buddy Jared:

Are Mormons Unfairly Targeted?

This article is posted on SFGate, pointed out by Bro. Ray Froess, Saratoga Stake DPA. When you click on the link you will see a movie down toward the left of the page--there is a poll right under that which asks about whether Mormons are unfairly targeted. We need to get many people to vote on this poll before it goes off line, so please take time to click--and then pass the link to as many others as you can. (Only works once per IP address, so you don't be surprised if you only get one vote per household...move it along outside your four walls :-) .

Go vote!!! Make your voice heard!!!

For more information go to

Man ousted from job for Yes on 8 support

Oh, this just makes me sick!

Remember Scott Eckern, whose job as artistic director of California Musical Theater was on the line for supporting Prop. 8?

Well, according to the Sacramento Bee, Eckern resigned yesterday:

More than 100 people gathered outside the Music Circus today to support Scott Eckern, the theater director who resigned amid controversy over his donation to
support the ban on same-sex marriage.

Carrying signs that read "You Made a Circus Out of Freedom" and "A Sad Day for Sacramento Theater," supporters from throughout the region showed up for the hastily arranged rally.

Many of those gathered say Eckern was treated unfairly.

"This is a witch-hunt," said Lance Christensen, who says he's a regular patron of the theater and took off work to show his support for Eckern. "This man has devoted 25 years of his life to theater in Sacramento."

Eckern resigned from his post as artistic director of the California Musical Theater this morning after harsh reaction to news he donated $1,000 to the campaign to support Proposition 8.

What a shame. It takes years and years of grueling work to attain artistic director status, especially at a major venue.

Again, what of "equality" and "tolerance"? As another blogger put it, this shows the No on 8'ers to be "heterophobic."

A true shame - and we have only seen the beginning, I think...

For more information go to

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Some LDS Members Leaving the church.

I thought this article was interesting. I actually found it on a gossip site!

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The strong backlash against the LDS Church over Proposition 8 is taking a new twist. LDS members - sometimes whole LDS families - say they are now leaving the Church because of its opposition to same-sex marriage.

On just one anti-prop 8 website, they reportedly number in the hundreds. Some say they've already resigned; others are apparently about to.

Linda Stay from St. George is one of those resigning from the LDS Church, and is doing so because the Church opposes gay marriage, like the one her son Tyler is in.

Andrew Callahan, a LDS member who has been very vocal speaking out against Prop 8, told ABC 4, "It's very clear to me that many, many people are resigning over this gay marriage issue and the Church's involvement in it."

Now, the last time Utah saw Andrew Callahan, he was delivering anti-Prop 8 petitions to the LDS Church in October, but now, on Callahan's website, “Signing for Something,” there is a new section.

It's reserved for those resigning from or leaving the LDS Church.

And Callahan tells the story of one heartbroken LDS woman in California.

"She doesn't want to be associated with the bigotry and she doesn't want, in any way, to be responsible for teaching the young children to be bigots," said Callahan.

Callahan estimates on his website he's heard from hundreds of resigned or resigning LDS members.

This includes not just Linda Stay but also nine other members of her family.

Callahan also says it includes his 16-year-old daughter but not yet him.

He says, "I am disgusted as everyone else, but, because they asked me to resign, I don't want them to feel they got what they wanted."

And Callahan's website also includes a link to something called

This site includes step by step instructions for leaving the LDS faith.

Now, perhaps, some of the LDS members leaving the church would have done so anyway, but Callahan says since the Salt Lake Temple protest Friday, more than 200 LDS members on his website have made it clear they're now resigning as well.

For more information go to

I always knew I liked Elton John for a reason...

USA Today's recent interview with Elton John reveals some of the singer's thoughts on Prop. 8:

NEW YORK — Sir Elton John, accompanied by his longtime partner David Furnish, had some choice words about California's Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage that passed on Nov. 4.

In December 2005, John and Furnish tied the knot in a civil partnership ceremony in Windsor, England. But, clarified the singer, "We're not married. Let's get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage."

John and Furnish, and their two cocker spaniels Marilyn and Arthur, were in town for Monday's annual benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

"I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership," said John. "The word marriage, I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships."

I agree with John. Equal rights, for sure - just don't call it "marriage," since it's not the same thing, and doing so opens a Pandora's box of consequences.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Singled out

So, do any of you remember the MTV show Singled Out?

That was a fun way of being singled out - unlike what's happening in this Facebook group I received:

Scott Eckern, Artistic Director of California Musical Theater, is unjustly being singled out and attacked for quietly supporting the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. We do not all agree on Prop 8, but decades of successful work in the theater have shown that Mr Eckern is a kind and accepting professional.

Still, there is a small but extremely vocal and assuming movement demanding that he be fired from his job because of his private choice of values, political opinion, and religion. It is imperative that no one in the United States of America be harrassed or intimited for their vote, or hunted out of their job for being different. He has been the focus of constant hate-mail and slanderous blogging for several weeks without being afforded the chance to speak. A protest has been planned to demand that Mr Eckern be fired from his job.

Mr Eckern donated an equal amount of money to a civil rights group and still he is being attacked. As a gesture of peace, help ease his burden by joining the group for the Support of Scott Eckern's Privacy and Right to Work. Furthermore, as an artist or a patron make known to him your interest to work at his theater and to see the shows he produces.

Please show your support by emailing on Mr. Eckern's behalf at or visit; a Facebook group for his support is online, if you want to join it - "Support Scott Eckern's Privacy and Right to Work."

Part of what makes America great is that we can vote our conscience and still abide peaceably with colleagues and friends of differing views. I'm sure this is one of hundreds or thousands of instances of discrimination against Yes on 8'ers from those who claim to extol "tolerance" and "equality."

Please help us make a difference - if you know of other similar support campaigns, please leave them as comments, and we'll post a roundup.

Thanks for your awesomeness!

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Prop. 8 weekend roundup

Happy Monday!

Here are some articles about Prop. 8 weekend protests throughout California - read, click, comment!

L.A. Times: Anti-Prop. 8 protests spring up in California:

More than 20,000 protesters spilled into the streets of Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and even Modesto on Saturday in mostly peaceful demonstrations over passage of Proposition 8, the statewide ballot measure that bans same-sex marriage.

The unfolding street scenes underscored the racial and religious tensions that have surfaced since Tuesday's vote threw into question the legality of 18,000 marriages of gay and lesbian couples and foreclosed the option for any more.

Police estimated that 12,500 boisterous marchers converged about 6 p.m. at Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards in Silver Lake near the site of the former Black Cat bar, which the city recently designated a historic-cultural monument for its '60s role as home of the local gay rights movement.

Police guided the demonstrators through the streets for more than three hours without major confrontations. No arrests were reported.

Other demonstrations, including one that attracted up to 10,000 people in San Diego, popped up across the state. At each rally, participants vented frustration and anger over the ballot item that amends the state Constitution to declare that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized" in California.

O.C. Register: Prop. 8 protests continue in O.C.

LAKE FOREST – Hundreds gathered in front of Saddleback Church and on the streets of Rancho Santa Margarita, Anaheim and Laguna Niguel Sunday to protest the recently-passed gay marriage ban.

Holding signs reading "Shame on Rick Warren" and "Preach Love not Discrimination," the crowd chanted "Equal rights now."

Some said the protest was akin to the civil rights movement, bringing out both heterosexual and homosexual people. Others said that it wasn't too late to voice their opinion and make a change.

This article is pretty one-sided, which, as a former Register reporter, really bugs me. After two and a half years of working there, I can tell you that even in Orange County, oft considered a bastion of conservatism in Southern California, pretty much ALL the writers are liberal. So that whole "liberal bias" in the media? So true!

Thank goodness I don't have to keep my mouth shut in order to get along anymore! I honestly don't know how I could have sat through this whole Prop. 8 thing in the newsroom.

But I digress...

San Diego Union-Tribune: Thousands protest gay-marriage ban:

SAN DIEGO – Frustration and outrage over the passing of a ban on same-sex marriage intensified in San Diego yesterday as thousands of protesters took to the streets and vowed to continue the fight for equal rights.

An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people marched from Hillcrest to North Park behind a giant rainbow flag in protest of Proposition 8. The measure, approved Tuesday by 52 percent of voters, overturns the state Supreme Court ruling in May that legalized gay marriage.

“I don't want anyone to take away my right to marry,” said Ken Hagen, a University City newlywed who marched down University Avenue alongside his partner, John Young.

Chants for equality were sometimes drowned out by drivers honking their horns in support of the passing crowd.

Signs waved and bobbed in the air with slogans such as “We Shall Overcome” and “Not Gay, Love You Anyway.”

Sacramento Bee: Thousands at Capitol rally back continuing fight against Prop. 8

More than 3,000 opponents of Proposition 8 roared their approval Sunday as speaker after speaker exhorted them to fight to restore the right to same-sex marriage.

The rally on the west steps of the state Capitol, one of several anti-Proposition 8 protests around the state, set the stage for renewed opposition to the measure on Tuesday's statewide ballot.

"This fight is not over," Elana Metz, Oakland-based organizer of the Sacramento rally, told the spirited crowd. "We will demand our human rights."

With an estimated 3 million vote-by-mail and provisional ballots still left to be counted, Proposition 8 was leading 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent. It amends the state
constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

S.F. Chronicle: Backlash against Prop. 8 grows

The backlash against the state's new ban on gay and lesbian marriage intensified over the weekend, with thousands of people gathering around the Bay Area and California during mostly peaceful protests.

Supporters of same-sex marriage questioned whether they had done enough before Tuesday's vote on Proposition 8 and expressed hope that it would be tossed out by the state Supreme Court. They also promised to take the issue back to the ballot.

About 2,500 people gathered on the Capitol steps Sunday afternoon after a noisy, three-hour rally against the marriage ban. About 400 assembled outside Oakland's Mormon Temple, forcing Highway Patrol officers to temporarily close two Highway 13 ramps to protect the marchers.

"I didn't see it coming," said Joe West, who traveled from San Francisco for the Sacramento demonstration. "It was like a punch in the gut. We worked so hard to bring change in this election, and then this happens."

"If I'd known if was going to be so close, I would have made more phone calls," added Brendan Bishop of Sacramento.

This article, at its end, mentions that some LDS services in the Bay Area were moved on Sunday to avoid conflicts.

That, to me, is a real violation of our First Amendment rights to freedom of religion. Which is actually in the Constitution, unlike any "right to marry."

For more information go to

Sunday, November 9, 2008

No on 8 protestors vandalize LDS chapel

This article comes from a Sacramento news station:

ORANGEVALE, CA - The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department says they don't have any early leads on who spray paint-vandalized a Mormon church in Orangevale. The graffiti, sprayed sometime late Thursday or early Friday morning, was on the church's front sign and nearby sidewalks.

In red lettering, it read, "No on 8."

"Paint washes off and we're just thankful there was no major damage done," said LDS Church spokeswoman Lisa West.

For the church, the damage is more emotional than physical. They, along with other religious organizations, had encouraged followers to support Proposition 8.

"This is a very emotionally charged issue and we understand it goes to the core of people's lives," West said.

She said all they can do is let the vandalism go and move on. But moving on does not seem to be on the agenda for many No on 8 supporters.

"If you strip somebody of their rights, nobody's going to let go of that," said No on 8 protester Jason Word.

"It's more than just marriage for us. It's very personal for us in that we feel attacked," said Darnell Fray-Stephenson, also demonstrating for No on 8.

For the third night in a row, No on 8 protesters gathered at the State Capitol to voice their frustrations over the ban on gay marriage.

Some have taken it further.

A Bay Area group has started the Mormons Stole Our Rights Web site. It accuses the church of advocating for the Yes on 8 campaign, and says they should have their status as a religious organization stripped.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS did not donate any money to Prop 8, but supported the measure, and encouraged members to go out and give up their time and their means," said West. "The (church) members themselves did donate."

At the Friday night Capitol protest, many of those in opposition to Prop 8 said they weren't familiar with the Web site. They also said they're outraged that someone vandalized a church on their behalf.

"We certainly don't agree with that," said Fray-Stephenson.

"I think that rallies we've been having here have been real peaceful," said Word, "I think that's the message we should use."

Many of the No on 8 protesters said they're looking ahead to Sunday afternoon, saying it's going to be their biggest rally yet. They say it could include protesters from across the state, convening at the Capitol.

The Sacramento Police are planning for a large crowd.

For more information go to

From the Front Lines

I got this email from the wife of a Bishop of a young-adult congregation in LA. Ben is a member of that congregation.

As additional information for those who missed the news, Mormons have been targeted by the gay community in California as having been the main impetus behind the passing of Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage in the state. Although the population of the state voted on the passing of the constitutional amendment, I will proudly agree that most of footwork was carried out by us. It's funny that our opposition knows where the credit is due, but that's another topic for another day. In light of the gay community's frustration in the passing of the proposition, our temple came under attack. I was at the Los Angeles Temple assisting in the security efforts and it was quite an experience. Our temple is safe and no damage was done on the grounds. It was a sight I never expected to see. At one point we had let in about 20 police vehicles through the gates because they were afraid their vehicles would be damaged as civilian cars were being vandalized. I removed the Utah plates from my truck just so I could drive through the mess and park blocks away. My roommate and I traveled on foot after we had changed out of our dress shirts and ties so as not to be targeted.

Two full squads of LAPD in riot gear set up their base inside the temple grounds while SWAT vehicles and hundreds of officers followed the crowds run up Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards. I've heard that the crowd was estimated to be over 2,500. When I arrived, all of the gates were shut and a small group of members had to remain outside the grounds as the direction was to turn away others who had come to assist. After about a half an hour two sister missionaries ran up the drive to the East gate. I would have made more jokes with them, asking them trivia questions to prove they were LDS before opening the gate, but they were obviously nervous and had left on their name tags as they wandered the streets. When the crowd turned back towards the temple from West Hollywood, we opened the gate to those members still outside so they would not be trapped in the crowd. The officers inside the temple grounds made a line on the front lawn by the fence. At one point, with 7 news and police helicopters overhead, the crowd began to climb the fence and it looked like there was going to be a lot of trouble. We had it seemed a good forth of a Polynesian ward there so it could have gotten very interesting very fast.

With lines of motorcycle cops with sirens wailing up and down the street with the latest outbreak, helicopters continually circling with spotlights cutting through the sky, and the crowd roaring being led my megaphones shouting every synonym they could think of that went along with "evil" almost seemed like the very end was at hand. My dad called me every few minutes to give me updates from live news through the Internet because we did not have TVs and the police did not even seem to be informed on the movement of the crowd up and down the streets. I relayed these updates directly to the head of temple security so we could anticipate when to be ready.

While I was there, I was not aware of anyone actually breaching the fence, but we were asked to move far across the parking lot as they were anticipating the need to shoot tear gas canisters. I never thought I would see the day when police officers would sit perched on the spire of our temple as lookouts. All of this happened at about 7:30 pm. It should be remembered that most likely many of the law enforcement were not in favor of our stance on Proposition 8, but nevertheless, the men and women were there doing their duty and protecting our property. For that we are grateful. And yes, there was an incident with some of our members who had gone to remove the protest signs from the front fence. One of the protesters did initiate physical contact with one of our sisters so the details are uncertain as to whether the response was fully justified. The lesson to be learned is that it's important to anticipate and avoid such confrontational situations. Remember the world is watching our reaction and the media is everywhere. In the end, when we keep our cool, the video footage speaks the truth regarding which side is really intolerant and appears hateful when we simply do not respond or do so in a loving and controlled manner.

In all the commotion, I had the chance to sit alone by the side of one of the fountains and take in all that was happening. It may seem strange to say, but despite the adrenaline rushing in my blood ready for the next incident or next bit of news from my dad; I felt a tremendous peace. It came over me in a wave as I looked up at the spire topped with Angel Moroni. I can testify that I felt the presence of others protecting the temple tonight..those we could not physically see. I would even go as far to say that I felt the presence of someone personally related to me who was there for my safety. We were not alone. We were protected and our Father in Heaven is mindful of our efforts and willingness to withstand persecution. As I later read a quote from Brigham Young, it made more sense why this did not have to be a fearful experience- exciting yes, in a urgency sense, but very clarifying as we were able to glimpse into things as the really are, truth as is really exists, the adversary's war as it really is raging. I wish everyone of you reading this could have been there just to be reminded as I was how real this war is. The great sadness is that so many of our brothers and sisters are unknowing participants, manipulated and deceived by the grand schemer of it all. The issues may be presented as complex, but the adversary's agenda was as clear as day. Be prepared friends and family, it's bound to get much worse before it gets better, but take council from a prophet:

“You that have not passed thro’ the trials and persecutions, and drivings with this people from the beginning, but have only read them, or heard some of them related, may think how awful they were to endure, and wonder that the saints survived them at all.—The thought of it makes your heart sink within you, your brain reel, and your body tremble, and you are ready to exclaim, ‘I could not have endured it.’ I have been in the heat of it, and never felt better in all my life; I never felt the peace and power of the Almighty more copiously poured upon me than in the keenest part of our trials. They appeared nothing to me."-Brigham Young (Deseret News Weekly, 24 Aug. 1854, 83). (L. Aldin Porter, “‘But We Heeded Them Not’,” Ensign, Aug 1998, 6)


I have Ben's email if you wish to make further contact. ~Heather

Why the push for gay marriage? - by Al Rantel, a gay conservative thought-leader

I found this article Dated 2/11/2004, through a friends blog. It's a statement by Al Rantel an LA radio talk show host where he expressed his thoughts on why gay marriage is not good for our society. You'll see he has a unique perspective on the issue:

"The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling by four of the seven justices that the state must allow gays full marriage rights by May 17th raises a myriad of questions that some are afraid to ask in this time of political correctness run amok.

First and foremost of those questions is who said gays want to get married in the first place? Lets look at the numbers. The highest number of same sex households in America is ironically in Massachusetts, however even then it is under 2 per cent of all households. If gays make up five to ten per cent of the population as is often claimed, one would expect this number to be five times larger.

As distressing as the state of the American family is today with the high rate of divorce and adultery, the situation is far less stable among gays. This is not a slur against gays as individuals, but rather the reality of what occurs when you have what I call the all gas and no brake environment of male/male sexuality. I should know. I am a gay male.

To say that unfortunately the gay world is in a general state of hyper-sexuality that is not conducive to relationships which marriage was intended to foster is to put it mildly. Further, almost all of the issues the gay left claims it is justifiably concerned about like property, health, and financial partnership issues have already been dealt with by many states and can be dealt with through further legislation as needed. Such legal changes would encounter far less political opposition.

Why then the seeming obsession by the gay left and their activist judicial allies like the Massachusetts justices to force gay marriage on an unwilling public?

There is an answer.

Forcing a change to an institution as fundamental and established by civilization as marriage is deemed by gay activists and other cultural liberals as the equivalent of the Good Housekeeping seal of approval for homosexuality itself. The reasoning goes that if someone can marry someone of the same sex then being gay is as acceptable and normal as being short or tall.

While I certainly do not think people should be judged by who they choose to love or how they choose to live their lives, the cultural liberals in America are after more than that. They want to force others to accept their social view, and declare all those who might have an objection to their social agenda to be bigots, racists, and homophobes to be scorned and forced into silence.

The gay left has still not matured into a position of self-empowerment, but is still committed by and large to the idea that the rest of society must bless being gay in every way imaginable. This includes public parades in all major cities to remind everyone else of what some people like to do in their private bedrooms while in the same breath demanding to be left alone.

What more certifiable blessing than state sanctioned marriage of two men or two women, even for a group that has offered no indication that most even desire to enter into the kind of commitments that marriage ideally entails, or that serves the real purpose of marriage. Marriage exists in order to create a stable and structured environment for couples to reproduce and raise their offspring.

And so we have come to yet another chapter in the story of those who would portray themselves as victims in need of another sanction from the state. This time the price of social acceptance of gays is the redefinition of an institution that is thousands of years old and a cornerstone of society. Does that really seem like a wise and prudent choice for America to make at the wish of a handful of judges, and at the behest of those whose real goals are more political than anything else?

Al Rantel is a radio talk show host on Los Angeles' KABC."

Al's views seem to sharply contrast with the flood of messages coming out about life-time commitments, and wanting to settle down with a family. I don't think it's fair to say that Al's experiences represent those of all gay individuals or relationships but this is an inside view from someone who opposes gay marriage and I think he brings up some factors that warrant careful consideration to any society considering this issue.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

"Mormons Stole Our Rights"

This article makes me sick to my stomach. Why are we the ones being attacked when we weren't even the majority of the yes votes. I thought you guys would want to read this. They made a whole website called They're trying to start a petition so we lose our tax-exempt status! Does anybody know what we should do to fight this?

"Mormons Stole Our Rights"

On May 16, 2008, the California Supreme Court affirmed that the state constitution, AS IT WAS WRITTEN BY THE FOUNDERS OF THIS STATE MORE THAN 150 YEARS PRIOR, provided official government recognition of all marriages between all couples, regardless of gender.

On November 4, 2008, Proposition 8 amended this constitution to explicitly deny this right to same-sex couples. Nowhere else in either California's constitution or the Federal Constitution are a specific class of rights restricted, to any minority group, for any reason.

Why did this proposition pass? Was it because Californians genuinely believed that granting rights to a minority group undermine the fabric of society? No.

Was it because Californians failed to recognize the similarity of Proposition 8 with the bans on interracial marriage last century, once considered "controversial" but now universally recognized as wrong? No.

Was it because Californians no longer saw their constitution as a foundational document that is amended carefully, but a document as pliable as putty and subject to the whims of a narrow majority? No.

How, then, did Proposition 8 become law?


For the past six months, Mormon volunteers, directed by the Mormon Church, misled Californians about the effects of the Supreme Court ruling.

They told us we would lose the right to participate in our children's education. Lies.

They told us the California state public school curriculum would be modified to teach sex education to kindergartners. Lies.

They told us churches would lose the right to free speech. Lies.

If this is the way Mormons treat gays and lesbians of California, let us ask:

How has America treated Mormons?

The Mormon church began in 1830 in New York. The first Mormons were persecuted by the American majority, and were compelled to emigrate to Utah where they could live unmolested, much like gays and lesbians who lived in the urban ghettos last century. Mormons had alternative views of what family meant, and were excluded and marginalized from the political process. In their arguments against the majority, Mormon Prophet Brigham Young wrote:

Marriage is a civil contract. You might as well make a law to say how many children a man shall have, as to make a law to say how many wives he shall have. (Journal of Discourses, 11:268-9)
Much has improved for the Mormon people since then. Today, Mormons have powerful representation in the Senate, and ran a nationally viable candidate for the United States Presidency in 2008.

The Mormon story is possible because our country is a tolerant and forgiving place. America believes in the rights of its citizens to determine their own fates, and grants rights to individual communities to determine their own norms and values. The Mormon people have been able to flourish because of this country's generous spirit.

But now, history has reversed, and it is the Mormons who have become the oppressor.

The Mormons began with the Boy Scouts of America, originally a children's club meant to introduce boys and girls to the natural beauty of America. Mormons took financial control of the Boy Scouts by sponsoring 28% of national scout troops. Gays and lesbians are barred from participating in this group not just in Mormon troops, but nationwide, thereby turning our children into a political football.

Some Mormons send their own gay teenage children to "conversion camps," where these children are forced to endure shock therapy and given psychotropic drugs. The emotional stress of such experience drives many to contemplate suicide. The Mormon Church has yet to repudiate these activities.

Now the Mormon Church has set its target on gay and lesbian adults of California. They have started by amending our constitution to deny equal protection to gays and lesbians.

Ask the Jews about how freedoms are lost. The concentration camps were not built in a national referendum. They were the product of a systemic reduction of freedoms, year after year, one at a time.

We as citizens of California, Americans, and persons of various beliefs and faiths will not allow this to happen.

Are all Mormons against rights for gays?

Absolutely not. So far, 300 Mormons and 1 Mormon celebrity have stood up against their church to support gay rights. We respect the challenge of standing up to a majority, especially when those 301 stand in the face of more than 13.1M Mormons worldwide. You can see stories of these courageous Mormons at Mormons for Marriage.

To the rest of those silent Mormon protesters, one can offer the words of Elie Wiesel:

"I swore to never be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides, Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim, silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
How can we stop this agenda?

To restore the right stolen from us, we must correct the amendment to California's constitution. To do this requires another statewide proposition. Yet how will we avoid another election season of deception, when the Mormon Church can use vast tax-free money into advancing their platform?

Strip the Mormon church of its status as a religious organization.

According to IRS law,

Section 501(c)(3) describes corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literacy, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in section (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

From IRS Publication 1828 Page 5,

Substantial Lobbying Activity
In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.
Was the letter of the law violated?

We have spoken with experts on this matter, and the answer is unclear. The Mormon Church is not only a 501(c)(3), it is also a church, which grants them special rights. They are still prohibited from direct involvement in campaigns for a specific political office as well direct lobbying of legislators.

Was the spirit of the law violated?

Yes, absolutely.

Read this email from a mormon church coordinator:

...As mentioned in the broadcast, the coalition approached the Church about getting involved. With a mere difference of 400,000 votes, I am certain had the Church not been involved this proposition would not have passed...

Because it is already illegal for churches to support candidates or lobby, we must close this loophole and make it illegal for churches to support propositions, which are for all intents and purposes identical to legislation.

We must clarify our tax law to prohibit this behavior.

The United Kingdom has taken preliminary steps to strip the church of its tax-exempt status.

Through Prop 8, the Mormon Church has shown its true colors as a political group with specific social ends. Political speech is fair and legal here; such speech under the guise of religion is not. The playing field must be leveled. Though many religious groups were involved in Prop 8, the Mormon Church made this a far more substantial part of its activities than any other.

Californians will vote on future propositions to correct this flawed amendment next year, and every year, until we achieve our rights under the state constitution. We must be assured that our advocacy organizations are on an equal legal and financial playing field as those of our opponents.

Ultimately all religious groups are subject to the same laws - Catholics, Jews, Muslims, etc. The Mormon church, however, has shown itself to be most egregious in pressing a political agenda while registered as a church. We are starting with the biggest to effect the most change.

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