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    November 15, 2008

    The Mormons and us on Prop 8

    Posted by: Andoni

    MormontempleBottom line, they fought as if their lives depended on it, we did not.

    Today's New York Times, reveals how the Mormon Church thought it was going to lose Prop 8 with less than two weeks to go before the election. In the 11th hour they pulled out all the stops, marshaling unprecedented money and rallying their troops.... and won. The Times concludes that it was the Mormon Church that tipped the scales on marriage in California.

    The article quotes Mormon leaders saying that Prop 8 was the largest social issue campaign ever undertaken by the church, larger than any anti-abortion effort. They realized what the stakes were for the rest of the country should same sex marriage be validated by the public in California.

    By all accounts, both first hand communications from people in California as well as media reports, our side did not mount the same kind of effort that the people who feared same sex marriage did. The only good news for us is that in spite of all the massive effort by our opposition, we only lost 52 to 48. This bodes well for a proactive measure in the future.

    I think both sides knew that importance of winning Prop 8 in California, but it's sort of like the Super Bowl....the team that wants it more usually wins. It seems as if the Mormons wanted to win more than we did.

    What can we do now to show how much we want this thing? Well today we all go can go to a National Day of Protest rally. They are happening all over the country and you can find one near you here. Maybe if there are hundreds of thousands of people protesting Prop 8 from coast to coast, the Justices of the California Supreme Court will be impressed with how important same sex marriage is to our community...and find the backbone to overturn Prop 8.

    Let's start wanting this more than our opposition. That's the most important key to victory.


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    Comments

    1. Mike Z. on Nov 15, 2008 8:05:33 PM:

      Excellent post. What happened with Prop 8 can be summarized very simply: The Religious Right wanted to take away our rights more than we wanted to keep them.

      Although all of the mobilization and protests over the past week and a half have been very encouraging and inspiring, I have to ask: where were all these people BEFORE the vote?

      Despite all of the fearmongering by the Religious Right, we really have ourselves to blame for the outcome of Prop 8. This vote was ours to lose, and lose we did. Gay Americans should have treated this vote like D-Day and I think a lot of gay people were either too complacent or too ignorant about what was happening in California.

      Yes, the people who managed the No on 8 campaign were quite inept. But once that became evident, gay citizens should have called out these "leaders" and demanded they either run a more competent campaign or step aside. Hopefully the outrage that has emerged now that the vote has taken place will evolve into something productive. I am optimistic, but this was a huge setback, and it will be many years before we turn things around.

    1. Shane on Nov 16, 2008 12:53:04 PM:

      I don't get it - California residents voted on the proposition, not Utah voters. Money was streaming in from all over the country to defeat prop 8 - but it's time to declare war on the Mormon church because they dared donate from out of state to support it? Religious voters of all faiths, all colors and all three genders made their decisions on their own - but you focus your anger out of state - what are you afraid of? All this hatred won't win you a single vote, it'll only reveal the ugliness that voters will remember the next time the gay community tries to change things via the ballot box. But I guess I can see why you're not worried about alienating voters - it's far easier to force your agenda through the courts!

      All this Mormon bashing - what is it really hiding? What is it that you're trying to ignore by changing the subject? In your world, who would you allow to support those you disagree with? Is hypocrisy a fair tactic when it comes to pushing your ideology?

    1. Charlie on Nov 16, 2008 1:27:11 PM:

      Probably because the Mormons decided to align themselves with the extreme Christian right, our long-time enemy, and to make their first big splash as a political entity to be reckoned with by jumping into this fight against us. They've just declared themslves, quite publicly, our enemy, and we have, for once, decided not to take it lying down. It's a perfectly fine strategy as far as I'm concerned. Do everything we can to make them regret this, beat them back, and once we have that momentum, start going after our real enemy, the Evangelical Christians. I really don't care WHO we arbitrarily pick to mobilize against, what matters to me is that we are finally mobilizing.

      And I strongly disagree that hatred won't win us votes. They have used hate against us for decades and decades. It's time to start doing it back, to turn our fairweather friends into true allies and convince them, as they should have seen long ago, that any sort of religious conservatism, be it mormons or christians or gasp, the dread muslims, will destroy this country. They are not just the enemy of gay people, they are the enemy of all free-thinking Americans who remember that our Constitution is supposed to protect us from religious dogmatism. They are a cancer in this country that has been spreading wildly for thirty years, and they absolutely must be stopped.

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