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Author Topic: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage  (Read 2324 times)

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Offline ElayneTopic starter

Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« on: June 19, 2010, 12:19:02 PM »
Quote
Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
David Daniels/Red Flag Releasing

In the documentary “8,” exploring the Mormon money trail, Reed Cowan interviews Chris Buttars, a Utah State senator.

By STEPHEN HOLDEN
Published: June 18, 2010

Reed Cowan’s polemical film “8: The Mormon Proposition” examines the successful campaign against gay marriage in California that was heavily financed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is implacably opposed to homosexuality. The highly emotional documentary is narrated by Dustin Lance Black, the screenwriter for “Milk,” who, like Mr. Cowan, is gay and grew up in a Mormon household.
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The degree to which money influences politics is suggested by the passage of Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment, enacted in November 2008, stating that “only a marriage between a man and woman is valid or recognized” in the state. The proposition overturned the California Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

Gay marriages that took place between June 16, 2008, and Nov. 5, 2008, remain legally recognized and retain full state-level marriage rights except for recognition of the legal term “marriage.”

After the proposition passed, San Francisco’s mayor, Gavin Newsom, an advocate of gay marriage, declared he was disturbed by California’s being the first state in the United States to take rights away from people by changing its constitution.

The film dives angrily into the fray. It uncovers the classified church documents and the largely concealed money trail of Mormon contributions that paid for a high-powered campaign to pass Proposition 8. The Mormon involvement, the film persuasively argues, tilted the vote toward passage, by 52 percent to 48 percent, in its final weeks.

That involvement was concealed under the facade of a coalition with Roman Catholics and evangelical Christians called the National Organization for Marriage. Mormons raised an estimated $22 million for the cause. In the final week of the campaign, the film says, $3 million came from Utah. The money financed a sophisticated media barrage that involved blogs, Twitter and YouTube videos, as well as scary (and, according to the movie, misleading) television ads, and an aggressive door-to-door campaign whose foot soldiers were instructed on how not to appear Mormon.

The film personalizes the issue with interviews with Tyler Barrick and Spencer Jones, a gay couple from Mormon backgrounds, who married in San Francisco in June 2008 and were devastated to find their marriage legally delegitimized.

The documentary is really two films roughly stitched together. The first two-thirds tells the history of Proposition 8; the final third is a wrenching exploration of the effects on gay Mormons of the church’s strict taboo on homosexuality. We meet gay teenagers who were exiled from their families and are told about a rash of suicides at Brigham Young University. The reason Utah’s suicide rate is the highest of any state, the movie suggests, is the Mormon church’s absolute rejection of homosexuality, which one church elder calls “contrary to God’s plan.” Chris Buttars, a proudly homophobic Utah state senator, compared male coupling to bestiality. The movie shows the depth of religion-based loathing of homosexuality, like that of abortion, to be primal.

In the meantime the struggle to repeal Proposition 8 is under way.

8

The Mormon Proposition

Opens on Friday in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Honolulu; Houston; New York; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Salt Lake City; San Diego and Washington.

Written and directed by Reed Cowan; narrated by Dustin Lance Black; directors of photography, Mr. Cowan and Chris Volz; edited by Steven Greenstreet, John Kinhart and Brian Bayerl; music by Thomas Chase Jones; produced by Mr. Greenstreet, Mr. Volz and Emily Pearson; released by Red Flag Releasing. Running time: 1 hour 20 minutes. This film is not rated.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/18/movies/18eight.html
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1484522/


A really interesting documentary on how the Mormon Church helped push through Proposition 8 in California.   According to the film, 71% of the money spend on pro-Prop 8 adversting, some 22 million dollars, came from Mormons, who make up only 3% of California's population. 

The Mormons in theory opposed Gay marriage for theological reasons that come out as this :  People who are married (Sealed) go to Heaven as an eternal family.  Gays are sinners and can't go to Heaven.  However, if Gays got married, then they'd be Sealed and would go to Heaven.  Because of this theological paradox, the Mormon community in Utah got involved in defeating Californa's acceptance of gay marriage.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 12:20:15 PM by Elayne »

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2010, 12:48:06 PM »
I'd say that the Mormons (or at least the 'multiple marriage' part of the church) would be using this as a way to justify legalizing plural marriages.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2010, 01:25:32 PM »
Pull their tax exemptions at the Federal Level for getting clearly into a matter of politics. They can speak out all they want they spend a penny or more to fund a political move its clearly in violation of the statutes regarding religious organizations.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2010, 01:37:26 PM »
I'd say that the Mormons (or at least the 'multiple marriage' part of the church) would be using this as a way to justify legalizing plural marriages.

How so?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2010, 01:57:21 PM »
I'd say that the Mormons (or at least the 'multiple marriage' part of the church) would be using this as a way to justify legalizing plural marriages.

The multiple marriage part of the Mormon Church (the 'FLDS')  is, according to everything I've seen, a fringe group that the main LDS church would like to just go away.

Offline ferrousaemyr

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2010, 05:33:28 PM »
Church and State / Never wanted to be married

I'm always so appalled when I look at things like this. The lack of compassion is just so outrageously hypocritical and harmful to human unity.

But religion tends to be about exclusion over unity, so--

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2010, 06:12:34 PM »
Pull their tax exemptions at the Federal Level for getting clearly into a matter of politics. They can speak out all they want they spend a penny or more to fund a political move its clearly in violation of the statutes regarding religious organizations.

For once, I agree with RubySlippers. An organization should be allowed to fund any political standpoint it wants, no matter how repugnant. But to do so while trying to maintain the protections and privileges of a religious organization shouldn't be allowed to fly. Of course, the penalty for their crimes is absurdly small, meaning that they will be in no way deterred in the future.


Offline Synecdoche17

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2010, 09:14:55 PM »
Why is this film not opening in San Francisco? I couldn't think of a more receptive market.  ???

Nate Silver at 538.com ran the numbers on CA's generational splits and changing electorate; his bet was on 2014 for California to repeal this amendment, and from what I've seen I think he's right on the money.

Offline Brandon

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2010, 02:33:42 AM »
Interesting article. Im not sure how I feel about major funding from any religion influencing laws or elections but my first thought is this kind of thing shouldnt be allowed.

Church and State / Never wanted to be married

I'm always so appalled when I look at things like this. The lack of compassion is just so outrageously hypocritical and harmful to human unity.

But religion tends to be about exclusion over unity, so--

Some religions can be exclusionary but not all are. Cheif amoung those that are not is voodoo and Wicca. Even then there are people that work within religious organizations that try to change things for the betterment of all mankind.

Offline Huginn

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2010, 07:51:18 AM »
The Mormons in theory opposed Gay marriage for theological reasons that come out as this :  People who are married (Sealed) go to Heaven as an eternal family.  Gays are sinners and can't go to Heaven.  However, if Gays got married, then they'd be Sealed and would go to Heaven.  Because of this theological paradox, the Mormon community in Utah got involved in defeating Californa's acceptance of gay marriage.

-Cough- Not exactly true. The whole Mormon/LDS heaven thing is a lot more friendly then what you might think. Pretty much everyone is getting in, outside of the sort of people who have known god personally and denied him. That said, they do believe that it requires all the proper steps to receive the best grade of heaven. This often has caused contention as it is the churches stance that to help everyone possible. This is where the whole baptism for the dead/ doing the other rights and ceremony for the dead.

Lastly, Please remember, like any group, they are not all nut jobs like glen beck. Plenty support gay marriage, you just never hear about them.

Exish-LDS

PS. The whole polygamy thing is a whole nother debate but although it is a part of the past of the church, they do not currently promote it nor do they seek its return. There are fringe groups that do infact still practice and yes, the LDS church wishes they would go away.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2010, 07:53:38 AM by Huginn »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2010, 09:17:26 AM »
Oh - another thing on the 'Sealed' thing:  I was watching one of my forensics shows, and heard that getting 'Sealed' is a whole separate ceremony from getting married (in other words, you can get married on Earth without going through the process of getting 'Sealed' to be also married in Heaven.)

Offline consortium11

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2010, 09:17:48 AM »
Why is this film not opening in San Francisco? I couldn't think of a more receptive market.  ???

Nate Silver at 538.com ran the numbers on CA's generational splits and changing electorate; his bet was on 2014 for California to repeal this amendment, and from what I've seen I think he's right on the money.

The singe biggest factor to consider in why Prop 8 passed was the Obama effect. Due to Obama high numbers of African American and Mexican voters who traditionally don't vote voted... and as Prop 8 was the same day they voted on that as well... and voted for it by a huge majority. Without Obama running for President Prop 8 wouldn't have passed and as long as any vote to repeal it doesn't fall on the same day as the Presidential Election it should e successful.

Offline ferrousaemyr

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2010, 01:56:47 PM »
Interesting article. Im not sure how I feel about major funding from any religion influencing laws or elections but my first thought is this kind of thing shouldnt be allowed.

Some religions can be exclusionary but not all are. Cheif amoung those that are not is voodoo and Wicca. Even then there are people that work within religious organizations that try to change things for the betterment of all mankind.

That's why I qualified it with "tends", since there are definitely exceptions, and more than what you listed.

Most religions define their adherents as being the "in" club, with non-believers being part of the "out" club - and they obviously don't get to join the afterlife party.

Some people are really nice about how they treat the "out" club, while some people are really mean about it, but the distinction itself, which is inherent in many religious followings, is detrimental to inclusive stance and policy. That leads to a lot of brutal, cruel, and ignorant action.

Offline Synecdoche17

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2010, 05:07:09 PM »
The singe biggest factor to consider in why Prop 8 passed was the Obama effect. Due to Obama high numbers of African American and Mexican voters who traditionally don't vote voted... and as Prop 8 was the same day they voted on that as well... and voted for it by a huge majority. Without Obama running for President Prop 8 wouldn't have passed and as long as any vote to repeal it doesn't fall on the same day as the Presidential Election it should e successful.
This is a brutal piece of misinformation. CNN polled exactly three areas in Los Angeles before coming up with that story; when you look at the margin of Prop 8's passage and compare it to the number of African-Americans in California, it becomes clear that even if African-Americans voted disproportionately against Prop 8, they couldn't have affected the vote to that degree.

Running a Prop 8 repeal in an off-year election would be a bad idea because the off-year elections (like the one coming up in November) attract only the 'hard-core' voters; most of those are old white people. Seriously, Prop 8 is a lot like Prop 167, the one that attacked Hispanic immigrants - it's a last gasp from the old guard before they're swept away. And just like 167 tilted the Hispanic population of CA against the GOP, Prop 8 will tilt many young people away from the GOP. We just need to wait a couple of years before the demographic shifts make it inevitable.

When casting blame for Prop 8, by the way, we ought also to take a good hard look at activism within the GLBT community and its straight allies. Gavin Newsom's declaration that gay marriage is coming "Whether you like it or not," was a classic example of shooting yourself in the foot; you'd never see rhetoric that divisive coming out of MLK's mouth, and it gave the anti-equality brigade a lot of ammunition for scary commercials. Then there was that teacher in San Francisco whose coworkers took her 5th grade class on a surprise field trip to her lesbian wedding - while it must have been a very sweet moment for her to step outside with her bride and find all those children cheering and throwing rice in celebration, the footage played right into the hands of the lunatics declaring that the children have to be protected from the queers who are going to seduce them.
Finally, the anti-8 coalition was sclerotic at best - I saw practically no advertisements against 8, and very little in the way of door-to-door canvassing or demonstrating; one of the largest pro-8 rallies in the state was held near my house, and only four people showed up to oppose it. Frankly, we took victory for granted and got sucker-punched for it - and I'm including myself in that statement, because I could have done much more to fight Prop 8 but felt it was guaranteed to fail. I did convince one Republican to vote against it, but he forgot to register to vote. :(

The funny part is, because the Constitution bans ex post facto laws, Prop 8 couldn't do anything to annul the 20,000 gay marriages that occurred between the Supreme Court's decision and the passage of Prop 8, meaning that 40,000 gay people are married right now in CA (including George Takei!) and the fundamentalists can't do anything about it. The mere existence of those marriages works every day to erase the legitimacy of the anti-equality position.

Offline Huginn

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2010, 06:22:23 PM »
Oh - another thing on the 'Sealed' thing:  I was watching one of my forensics shows, and heard that getting 'Sealed' is a whole separate ceremony from getting married (in other words, you can get married on Earth without going through the process of getting 'Sealed' to be also married in Heaven.)

This is true. Most widdows/widdowers tend to have non sealing marriages. Also why people like me dont understand the churches position on this whole thing. -Frown-

Offline Oniya

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Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2010, 06:29:38 PM »
I imagine the whole thing might derive from an Old Testament tradition in which - if a man died without a child - his brother would marry the widow, and the first son would carry on the father's bloodline.  There was a New Testament parable where the question was put forth of a woman who went through this seven brothers (what luck! :P), and to whom would she be married to in Heaven.

The answer in the New Testament was that that the dead may neither marry, nor be given in marriage, but ol' John Smith seemed to be all about having big families.   ::)

Offline ferrousaemyr

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2010, 06:56:51 PM »
This is a brutal piece of misinformation. CNN polled exactly three areas in Los Angeles before coming up with that story; when you look at the margin of Prop 8's passage and compare it to the number of African-Americans in California, it becomes clear that even if African-Americans voted disproportionately against Prop 8, they couldn't have affected the vote to that degree.

Running a Prop 8 repeal in an off-year election would be a bad idea because the off-year elections (like the one coming up in November) attract only the 'hard-core' voters; most of those are old white people. Seriously, Prop 8 is a lot like Prop 167, the one that attacked Hispanic immigrants - it's a last gasp from the old guard before they're swept away. And just like 167 tilted the Hispanic population of CA against the GOP, Prop 8 will tilt many young people away from the GOP. We just need to wait a couple of years before the demographic shifts make it inevitable.

When casting blame for Prop 8, by the way, we ought also to take a good hard look at activism within the GLBT community and its straight allies. Gavin Newsom's declaration that gay marriage is coming "Whether you like it or not," was a classic example of shooting yourself in the foot; you'd never see rhetoric that divisive coming out of MLK's mouth, and it gave the anti-equality brigade a lot of ammunition for scary commercials. Then there was that teacher in San Francisco whose coworkers took her 5th grade class on a surprise field trip to her lesbian wedding - while it must have been a very sweet moment for her to step outside with her bride and find all those children cheering and throwing rice in celebration, the footage played right into the hands of the lunatics declaring that the children have to be protected from the queers who are going to seduce them.
Finally, the anti-8 coalition was sclerotic at best - I saw practically no advertisements against 8, and very little in the way of door-to-door canvassing or demonstrating; one of the largest pro-8 rallies in the state was held near my house, and only four people showed up to oppose it. Frankly, we took victory for granted and got sucker-punched for it - and I'm including myself in that statement, because I could have done much more to fight Prop 8 but felt it was guaranteed to fail. I did convince one Republican to vote against it, but he forgot to register to vote. :(

The funny part is, because the Constitution bans ex post facto laws, Prop 8 couldn't do anything to annul the 20,000 gay marriages that occurred between the Supreme Court's decision and the passage of Prop 8, meaning that 40,000 gay people are married right now in CA (including George Takei!) and the fundamentalists can't do anything about it. The mere existence of those marriages works every day to erase the legitimacy of the anti-equality position.

I don't have anything to add, but I wanted to point out that I really appreciated your take on this and how you explained your rebuttal. Well done.

Offline Serephino

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2010, 10:22:30 PM »
I really don't feel that a religious group should be allowed to donate to a political cause.  Individuals, sure... but a church?  That is clearly a violation of separation of church and state, and I too agree with Ruby for once, that if they want to pull this shit, they should have their tax exemption pulled. 

Mormons scare me.  One of my best friends grew up Mormon, and the things she told me...  They like have her entire life on a network database.  When she was finally able to divorce the asshole her father sold her to, she went to her church for aid, and they looked her up and found her parents' contact information when they lived in a different state!

I know that seems a bit off topic, but really, these people shouldn't have any political influence. 

Offline Trieste

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Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2010, 10:27:37 PM »
Churches themselves should not have political influence. The job of a church is to preach moral and spiritual guidelines to its congregation, and then it rests on the congregation to vote with their conscience and beliefs. That is the complete extent of the political influence that any church should have.

Period.

Offline ferrousaemyr

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2010, 10:48:07 PM »
Churches themselves should not have political influence. The job of a church is to preach moral and spiritual guidelines to its congregation, and then it rests on the congregation to vote with their conscience and beliefs. That is the complete extent of the political influence that any church should have.

Period.

Even with such a ban in place, it's currently far too easy for any group to funnel money into the political system through propaganda and lobbying and get away with not being visible and transparent until it's far too late.

Which is really terrible and saddening.

Offline Huginn

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2010, 11:24:51 PM »

Mormons scare me.  One of my best friends grew up Mormon, and the things she told me...  They like have her entire life on a network database.  When she was finally able to divorce the asshole her father sold her to, she went to her church for aid, and they looked her up and found her parents' contact information when they lived in a different state!


Entire life is a stretch at best. There would have been documents about what branches she attended, When and where she was baptized/married/confirmed and possibly what roles she served in the church. Yes, enough information to track someone to their family. The information is very very basic, and honestly, no more then the eagles club, or any centrally located organization would keep
As for selling her. I can't begin to explain why that is not kosher in the LDS faith. It is enough to say that it calls for excommunication. The Church doesn't tend to play around with issues like that.

If anyone else has stories like this, I can give you the actual policy or facts on things. I know basic policy and debated it endlessly with seminary teachers and bishops before I left the faith. I am not trying to discredit or devalue what has happened to people, but I can explain what the official stance is.

Offline Torch

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Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2010, 09:25:40 AM »
Entire life is a stretch at best. There would have been documents about what branches she attended, When and where she was baptized/married/confirmed and possibly what roles she served in the church. Yes, enough information to track someone to their family. The information is very very basic, and honestly, no more then the eagles club, or any centrally located organization would keep

The Roman Catholic Church maintains the same sort of information. Dates and locations of all the sacraments a person has received (Baptism, First Eucharist, Confirmation, etc.) Also, if one attended a school run by a particular parish or religious order, that information would be recorded as well.

I guess the Catholics are just as scary as the Mormons.  :P

Offline ElayneTopic starter

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2010, 09:33:17 AM »
-Cough- Not exactly true. The whole Mormon/LDS heaven thing is a lot more friendly then what you might think. Pretty much everyone is getting in, outside of the sort of people who have known god personally and denied him. That said, they do believe that it requires all the proper steps to receive the best grade of heaven. This often has caused contention as it is the churches stance that to help everyone possible. This is where the whole baptism for the dead/ doing the other rights and ceremony for the dead.

Lastly, Please remember, like any group, they are not all nut jobs like glen beck. Plenty support gay marriage, you just never hear about them.

Exish-LDS

PS. The whole polygamy thing is a whole nother debate but although it is a part of the past of the church, they do not currently promote it nor do they seek its return. There are fringe groups that do infact still practice and yes, the LDS church wishes they would go away.

Fair enough.  What I'm saying in my little write up is a summary of what motives the film ascribes to the Mormons, not an actual statement from the Mormon leadership.  However, Religions in general are not comfortable with gays;  Judaism, Christianity and Islam as institutions are not gay friendly.  That attitude is changing amongst many branches of those religions, but as institutional bodies, I think we can agree that at least some of the people opposing gay marriage are doing so because of religious reasons in their own minds.

The Mormon Church in specific was fined money for late disclosure of campaign donations in California against Prop 8.  So, I can't read the minds of the people who run the Mormon church and say 'This is exactly what they were thinking at this point.'.  But the money trail indicates that the Mormon Church DID get involved in the Prop 8 campaign.

Make of that what you will.

Offline ElayneTopic starter

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2010, 09:40:20 AM »
I guess the Catholics are just as scary as the Mormons.  :P

:)  As a former Catholic school girl, trust me, they have their moments.  I think all institutions do, from the Catholic Church to the Post Office.  It's just a question of tracking those institutional motivations are and determine what effects they are trying to have on the community as a whole.

Offline Huginn

Re: Marching in the War on Gay Marriage
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2010, 06:08:36 PM »
Oh, no doubt about that. The LDS faith is not friendly in that regard at all, nor do they have any good way for dealing with sexuality/gender issues outside of, "Tough it out, forever" So I totally agree with that criticism there. Its well founded and very close to home.

For anyone wondering about what they have put out about this.
http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/church-clarifies-proposition-8-filing-corrects-erroneous-news-reports was put out around the time of prop 8
and
http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/statement-regarding-fppc-settlement
was put out in regard to this settlement.
As will all news stories remember to take them with a grain of salt yadda yadda, you know the story.