In the last few days, things in California have gotten kind of ugly. Both those in support of Prop 8 and those against it have accused the other side of misrepresenting the truth, and both are actively trying to sell their points of view. As the Church has stepped up its efforts, they have been increasingly spotlighted and targeted by those who oppose Prop 8. The Daily Kos got hold of a published list of LDS donors and have called on readers “to see if these donors have contributed to… shall we say… less than honorable causes, or if any one of these big donors has done something otherwise egregious. If so, we have a legitimate case to make the Yes on 8 campaign return their contributions, or face a bunch of negative publicity.”

In addition, while at least one man vocal in his opposition to the Church’s efforts faces possible excommunication, protesters of Prop 8 in California have been reported to disrupt visitors to the Oakland temple. Mormons and ex-Mormons also recently delivered letters to church headquarters to protest the church’s involvement.

Seem like I’m painting a dramatic picture? Perhaps, but the Mormon opposition in California has been visible enough to draw attention of Article IV bloggers, Townhall.com commentator Hugh Hewitt, and Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan. It’s not pretty, and I think I can safely predict it’s not going to get any better before the final vote–at least not while support of and opposition to Prop 8 is neck-and-neck in the polls, with a slight but consistent lead for those who support the proposed amendment.

Meanwhile, the Church has added even more resources to its new PreservingMarriage.org website, which has a sleek resign that’s a little less conspicuously LDS, though still with the Church logo emblazoned at the bottom:

What?s the harm?
If Proposition 8 fails, religious liberties and freedom of speech may be curtailed. Included are the rights of religious organizations to speak out against positions they view as harmful and the rights of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.

Does Proposition 8 take existing rights away from same-sex couples?
No. All the rights gay couples have in current civil unions will still be in force.

Don?t gay and lesbian couples deserve to be happy?
The argument of happiness is really just a diversion. Proposition 8 is about protecting the legal definition of marriage and religious freedoms.

Didn?t we already vote on this?
Yes, we did. In 2000 over 61% of Californians voted in favor of preserving traditional marriage. But because that vote did not amend the state constitution, four judges were able to overturn that vote.

Can?t the courts just overturn this again?
No. Proposition 8 amends the state constitution directly, meaning the courts cannot overturn it like a regular statute.

There aren?t many people supporting Proposition 8, right?
Actually, a number of national and local organizations and individuals have formed a broad-based collation to support Proposition 8.

Isn?t Proposition 8 about intolerance?
Proposition 8 isn?t about hating gay couples or their lifestyle. It?s about protecting the institution of marriage.

In addition to the Church’s and other media out there, there’s been no shortage of Latter-day Saint blog entries on the subject. Here’s a sampling from the last week:

Hugh Hewitt Goes to Bat for Mormons
Dave’s Mormon Inquiry – October 22, 2008

Mob Disrupts Attendees at Oakland LDS Temple
My Man Mitt – October 22, 2008

California?s Proposition 8: Open Season on Mormons?
Article IV Blog – October 21, 2008

Prop 8 opponents target Mormons for smear campaign
Millennial Star – October 21, 2008

Targeting Mormons on Proposition 8
A Soft Answer – October 21, 2008

Leftwing website targets Mormons on Prop 8?!
My Man Mitt – October 20, 2008

Prop 8 comment (that is now a Prop 8 post)
New Cool Thang – October 20, 2008

Tolerance II
Messenger and Advocate – October 20, 2008

Voting for Proposition 8 And Against Same-Sex Marriage Is Not Irrational
Sixteen Small Stones – October 20, 2008

What happens in California and Vermont when same sex couples divorce?
Mormon Mentality – October 20, 2008

Prop 8 and the End of Marriage?
Feminist Mormon Housewives – October 19, 2008

Why this? Why now?
By Common Consent – October 18, 2008

The Compassionate Ones
Mormon Matters – October 18, 2008

Dissident Mormons?
Messenger and Advocate – October 18, 2008

Yes on Prop. 8
Millennial Star – October 17, 2008

Using Video: Proposition 8
LDS Media Talk – October 17, 2008

Prop 8
Times and Seasons – October 17, 2008

Who IS In A Family?
Feminist Mormon Housewives – October 17, 2008

Same-Sex Marriage and Proposition 8
LDS Newsroom – October 16, 2008

I Support Proposition 8
Lehi’s Library – October 16, 2008

A Reason the Church?s Prop 8 Stance Might Just be Inspired
Feminist Mormon Housewives – October 16, 2008

More Videos About Proposition 8 and Same-sex Marriage
LDS Media Talk – October 15, 2008

Connecticut Judges Require Gay Marriage
Times and Seasons – October 15, 2008

“Bride” and “Groom” are optional
A Soft Answer – October 15, 2008

How Same Sex Marriage Affects Traditional Marriage
Mormon Mentality – October 14, 2008

What Is Marriage?
Mormon Soprano – October 14, 2008

Utah County Prop 8 Events This Week (+ Musings)
Mulling and Musing – October 14, 2008

Why the gays need Chris Buttars
Feminist Mormon Housewives – October 14, 2008

California Marriage Amendment
Latter-day Saint Philosopher – October 13, 2008

Preserving Marriage Media
Times and Seasons – October 13, 2008

Diverging points of view on traditional marriage
Millennial Star – October 12, 2008

Whether You Like It Or Not (Or Gay Marriage Day For 1st Grade)
Messenger and Advocate – October 12, 2008

11 comments

  1. avatar

    This is a great article with a HUGE amount of information gathered all together into one place. Thanks for the mention, too.

  2. avatar

    daager

    The Church’s political dollar goes much further without having to pay taxes. Those people opposing Proposition 8 aren’t tax free. So either those pro-gay organizations should be tax-exempt or the Church should lose its exempt status. It’s only creating a level playing field.

  3. avatar

    G

    The Savior taught: ?Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.?

    I suppose that’s what frightens me most about the current fervor many LDS members are showing for the role of a public referendum in deciding the rights or privileges of others. Public referenda typically only represent the bias of a group of people rather than enacting the principle that will protect the individual freedom and value of each person within that group.

    So I suppose I see a clash of our own ideologies and principles here. I remember a Seminary movie that said “You must choose what leaves you free to choose again, and again.”

    When I read, “Didn?t we already vote on this? Yes, we did. In 2000 over 61% of Californians voted in favor…” I think of societies even today that vote to bar LDS missionaries or congregations from assembling or proselytizing.

    In giving credence to popular vote, the LDS church, I feel, has weakened its long-held position of praising the U.S. Constitution and system of government that preserves the rights of the individual so long as those rights do not interfere with the rights of others in their pursuit of freedom and happiness.

    Where do we go now if, in four years, some county in Mississippi votes by 61 percent in a public referendum to bar all LDS churches or religious institutes within its border? Sure, we’ll rely on the constitution and benefit of judicial review to overturn this measure, but isn’t that process the very one we seem to be decrying now? It just doesn’t make sense in many ways.

    Besides that, a lot of otherwise nice people have become entirely nasty lately. Hopefully no November 5 everyone can go back to donating their money and time in California to going door to door delivering cookies or something. ; )

  4. avatar

    GFB

    Ty Ray, once again you have done a great job of gathering a ton of stuff together. Thank you.

    Once again I hear over and over the Six Unfounded Consequences. As well if we look at what has happened in countries that have legalized same sex marriage we can see the effects of this on traditional families.
    http://isocrat.org/politics/marriage/statistics.php
    If we read the facts in countries were traditional marriage has decreased for years and the rate of divorce have risen for years as soon as same sex marriage was legalized in these countries opposite sex marriages started to increase and have continued to increase. Also, opposite sex divorce has gone down.

    G I agree with your logic. Under the logic that we need to reinstate popularly voted in laws that have been over turned by the court we need a constitutional amendment that would reinstate Jim Crow laws and lets over turn Brown vs. the Board of Education?

    Yes, be wise, be informed, and vote no on Prop. 8.

  5. avatar
  6. avatar

    GFB

    Jay,

    I think this is black mail. It makes me sick to think the church is tied up in this. We are tied to these actions because our leaders married us to this coalition, but also because members signed this letter.

    To be fair though the opposition has been publishing Mormon donors on the internet for months now. This does not feel as bad because it does not involve a direct threat to get someone to give to a particular side. But in reality I believe it has more teeth because frankly more people think donating to prop 8 is downright bigotry, than really believe it is morally wrong to support gay marriage. That?s way it takes millions poured into adds like Ty Ray posted that are based on complete falsehoods to sway the public. So let?s not pretend that pro 8 is the only side that is using this tactic in fact most of the businesses receiving those letters are likely happy to tell the world they are donating to protect gay marriage.

  7. avatar

    Jay

    I was under the impression that all donations over a certain amount had to be listed on the state site anyway. Not sure if that is true or not. My first thought was, if that is the case, they really aren’t outing these companies because the information is there for anyone willing to do the research. Most of the big contributors such as the gas company, Levi Strauss, Google, etc have already been well publicized.

  8. avatar

    I think they’re targeting smaller companies and business that would suffer significant harm if they were to be boycotted by proponents of Prop 8. Either way, the wording of the letter was pretty disturbing.

  9. avatar

    daager

    Why do you believe that large companies such as Google, et al are so willing to publicize their support for No on 8 while the proponents are not nearly so open to publicity? Who are the large companies which are supporting 8 that are either not religious institutions or supported by a religious component?

  10. avatar

    GFB

    I have been a member of the church all my life. I served a mission; I can count the number of times I have missed church in forty years on one hand. I know how strongly we protest when people say we believe in blind obedience. I have protested along with them. I now wonder.

    As I speak to other Mormons in person and on the net about my answer to prayer I received I received not to support prop. 8 I question this blind obedience thing.

    Mormons know prop 8 will hurt families and children. Still we give millions.

    Mormons read Thurston?s commentary and know every reason for prop 8 is based on lies. Still we give millions.

    Mormons read the evidence that shows traditional marriage actually improving after gay marriage is legalized. Still we give millions. http://isocrat.org/politics/marriage/statistics.php

    We not only still give millions; Mormons try blackmailing people into giving millions too.

    Why do we do this, because God?s leaders said we should do everything we can? We know that through out time Gods leader have made mistakes, but we act as if we are blind to all the facts. We are looking at the sun and saying we cannot see it. And we still say we do not believe in blind obedience.

  11. Pingback: Latter-Day Army: Details of Mormons & Prop 8 | Stop The Mormons

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