Prop 8: Mind Your Own Goddam Business!


December 9, 2008 by billie789

I’m sure by now that unless you’re living in a cave or Nevada, you know that there is a Culture War being waged on Gay Marriage.

There is layer upon layer to this social conflict and I can only speak as a hetero-man who lives in Mormon HQ.  Let social scientists pull this apart for the history books.       

For the unitiated, Mormons have one of the most heart-wrenching histories of persecution, discrimination and exclusion in white, American history. Locals were killing Mormons for their beliefs in the Midwest before they fled to Utah, where they thinned the indigenous crowd down to a few handfuls of Ute, Piute, Shoshone and other fragement tribes as they “settled” the land…by killing and pushing the residents already here out of their way.

Prozess um Vielehe

And on top of that, Mormons have an amazingly embarassing history of bizarre plural marriage rites and spiritually-fueled oddness. The FLDS herd in Texas is a direct distillation of Mormonism.

You would think, wouldn’t you, that Mormons would be the most forgiving and accepting Christians in the world when it comes to marriage and social persecution. You’d think…

I live in Utah, home to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons.  This particular church “suggested” to its members that they contribute all they could to passing California’s Prop 8 last month, which not only bans gay marriage, it undoes current gay marriages in the state. One news story attributed contributions of $50,000 in life savings donated by some faithful members. This church ended up donating, through its members, over $20 million dollars.

Did Mormons contribute all the money? No, just 70% of the total take.

James Dobson’s Focus on the Family outfit in Colorado invested $600,000 it apparently couldn’t afford and he’s now laying off employees to stay afloat because of it. You would have thought that Baby Jesus would have given them a bag of gold dubloons or some new sandals or a pillar of salt for their efforts. They claim they are representing God’s will. And we all know that God has a sick sense of humor sometimes.

So, imagine marrying your sweetheart and life-space partner in a nice, civilized ceremony, rings, family and all.

Then, a while later, after you and your wife or husband buy a house, adopt kids, meld lives and careers and California places Prop 8 on an election-year ballot. It passes by a squeeker margin and, in the dead of election night, you ain’t married no more! Gone, bye-bye, you are suddenly not married any longer. Bond dissolved. State enforced dissolution of the one, huge thing that you two had together.

That’s what just happened. I can’t describe Dobson’s work because I don’t follow him and I don’t care about him. To me, he’s just another puffed up, religious charlatan pushing his views on the closed population that lets him. A true Christian, I guess.

Here are the arguments that the Mormons and Dobson used to back Prop 8 in California:

1-It’s an unholy alliance described as taboo in The Bible. Unlike murder, incest, rape, robbery and deception in The Bible, this little deal between two guys or two gals is an abomination!

2-(I love this one!) Because gay unions produce no biological offspring, Social Security will someday suffer from not enough payees into the system. The latest numbers on gay population is about 10% of the U.S. population. I suspect that we will all evolve back into dinosaurs before my social security check is threatened by gay marriage.

3-The LDS Church has a large and vibrant adoption initiative. They have agencies all over the landscape and they adopt to Mormon-only families. Get this: Their claim is that gay marriage would really screw with the adoption work Mormons do by rearranging adoption protcol to the point of damaging their adoptions framework. I don’t fully understand this one and I don’t want to. It’s a strawman argument, apologies to strawmen everywhere.

4-The “ick” factor. This, in my opinion, is the real reason. For a bunch of Conservative Christians (conservatives: don’t want the government interfering in private lives of the citizens and Christians: love thy neighbor), these groups are horrified that a man would make love to another man or that a woman would make love to another woman and it doesn’t involve an internet connection, a box of tissues and a wife running errands.

The shout from gay quarters everywhere, including most noticeably Dan Savage, outspoken gay activist and the editor of Seattle’s weekly alternative paper, The Stranger, has called for a total economic boycott of Utah’s tourism industry. The problem is that Utah, ironically, has a fairly large gay community and many, many of them are working in Utah tourism industry that includes resorts, restaurants, hotels, etc. When asked a few years back about Utah, Savage said, “Fuck Utah! They have better gay bars than we do!”

California’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to Proposition 8 sometime this spring.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to have it overturned and all that donated money went up in smoke, that way gay marriages already in place went up in smoke on November 5th?

12 thoughts on “Prop 8: Mind Your Own Goddam Business!

  1. They (JCLDS) have violated their tax exempt status. That is the issue that needs to be hammered by everyone especially civil rights groups. In effect by not paying taxes these faux religions are using thier money to promote legislation to deny equal protection under the law to people who are paying taxes… Is this America? I think not ..It must be America in some distorted parallel universe!!! But no matter, the tax issue is the place to hit these jerks. This is not unprecedented ..there is some legal attempt to remove tax execmtion from the cult of Scientology because certain tenents of their cult creed violate articles and amendments of the US Constitution.

  2. rsr348 says:

    Yep. Same feelings I have about ultra-conservative religious wackos:
    Mind your own business and worry about some of the real problems in the world!

  3. Bot says:

    The anti-Prop 8, pro gay marriage groups ran ads charging this whole idea that public schools will teach gay marriage is just a “lie.”

    The same groups now charging it’s a lie (public schools will teach about gay marriage whether parents like it or not) — were just in court in Massachusetts filing amicus briefs arguing parents don’t have any right to opt their children out of the pro-gay marriage curriculum.

    From the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Amicus Curiae Brief:
    “In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where the right of same-sex couples to marry is protected under the state constitution, it is particularly important to teach children about families with gay parents.” [p 5]

    From the Human Rights Campaign Amicus Curiae Brief:
    “There is no constitutional principle grounded in either the First Amendment’s free exercise clause or the right to direct the upbringing of one’s children, which requires defendants to either remove the books now in issue – or to treat them as suspect by imposing an opt-out system.” [pp1-2]

    From the ACLU Amicus Curiae Brief:
    “Specifically, the parents in this case do not have a constitutional right to override the professional pedagogical judgment of the school with respect to the inclusion within the curriculum of the age-appropriate children’s book…King and King.” [p 9]

    Which side is really telling the truth here about its aims? I suspect the “Yes on 8” folks keep many more of the Ten Commandments (including “Bearing false witness”) than the “No on 8” side (some of whom subscribe to the “Ten Suggestions”).

  4. Allegations of bigotry or persecution made against the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) were and are simply wrong. The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians. Even more, the Church does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.

    Some, however, have mistakenly asserted that churches should not ever be involved in politics when moral issues are involved. In fact, churches and religious organizations are well within their constitutional rights to speak out and be engaged in the many moral and ethical problems facing society. While the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) does not endorse candidates or platforms, it does reserve the right to speak out on important moral issues.

  5. You Picked the Wrong Target says:

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is not that strident in its beliefs on homosexuality. In fact, they counsel full fellowship for celibate homosexuals. There is a congregation in Salt Lake City composed of non-practicing homosexuals who wish to keep Christ’s commandments.

    So far, no gay-rights activist has had the fortitude to burn a Qur’an on the doorstep of a militant mosque where imams advocate the stoning of homosexuals (even celibate ones).

    Oh, I forgot, criticizing Moslems is off-limits for the Politically Correct. The Moslem imams might issue a “fatwa” on all homosexuals.

  6. Bill says:

    Wrong Target

    “Full fellowship for celibate homosexuals” doesn’t sound like acceptance to me. Do any other members of that faith have to alter lifestyle and personal choices to belong?

    I’m fully aware of the non-practicing LDS homosexual groups. I really don’t mean to be rude about this with you because it’s so complicated. Those kinds of groups seem to be for people who have questions about their sexuality or they are terrified that coming out will mean losing their church membership and to them that means the end of the world and the hereafter for them and their families.

    I’ve known, over the past decades, quite a few homosexual men who are members of the LDS Church, with kids, wife, etc. They are not openly gay, but are clearly from that walk of life. I know of more LDS homos than other religions because there are just more Mormons here than other religions. Our large, vibrant gay population is generously populated by former members of the LDS Church who know that trying to maintain their membership would mean a mind-numbing charade.

    I’m sure you are aware of the LDS Church’s on-going iniative to “cure” gay people. I think you would be hard-pressed to find another American religion that’s so intensely focused on that issue. Well, other than that idiot minister who attends soldier’s funerals protesting that the war that killed this individual is God’s way of punishing the USA for condoning homosexuality (WTF?!?!?).

    As far as burning a Qur’an or not burning a Qur’an, I don’t believe gay people went looking for this fight, but when presented with what is surely an uneven portion of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” they are reacting in a variety of ways.

  7. rsr348 says:

    I haven’t heard much about the Mass. public school situation. As a public school teacher and parent, I don’t think we need to teach young children about gay marriage or promote it. We do need to teach them acceptance and provide them with literature that encompasses all cultures and types of families. I would like to find out more about what the Mass. curriculum involves and what age groups it is targeted to.

  8. rsr348 says:

    I’d like to add that I am neither a proponant or opponant of gay marriage.
    I don’t have strong feelings either way. I don’t think it’s going to harm the institution of traditional marriage. I do know there are issues that concern me much more, such as the state of our environment, corrupt government, violence, poverty, genocide……Thank God we finally elected a president that also seems to care.

  9. Stu says:

    When you say there is “…layer upon layer to this social conflict” you aren’t kidding! There are so many dynamics at play here.

    Regardless of the influence of the church and the monies thrown at this proposition, it was voted on and passed by the residents of the State of California. Albeit by the smallest of margins, it was voted through.

    Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is the electorate involved. California is a “Blue” state. California has voted Democratic in each of the last five presidential elections, and recent polls show California to be 61% Democratic. So much for that whole, “Forward thinking liberal” banner they like to fly.

    In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which said that states are not required to recognize marriages performed in another state. This legislation also had anti-gay undercurrents. This was signed into law by Democratic President Clinton.

    Before you jump to the conclusion that the Republican-controlled Congress pushed this through, consider the following numbers: It passed the House by a margin of 342-67, and the Senate by a margin of 85-14. For reference, the House had 198 Democrats, and the Senate 47.

    What’s my point? This doesn’t seem to be a liberal vs. conservative issue. Perhaps then it’s not a political issue either, in so much that there doesn’t seem to be a big dividing line between Democrats and Republicans.

    I don’t pretend to have all the answers – and admittedly, I don’t have strong feelings about it either. California still offers many protections for gay couples under Domestic Partnerships, but these benefits do fall short of those granted by marriage. In the end, whether or not I personally agree with Prop 8, I do support state’s rights…and in California, the liberal democrat majority have spoken.

    Perhaps Lewis Black has the best perspective on the whole gay rights issue:

  10. Da Goddess says:

    First, Stu, forget using the word “liberal” for anything Democrat/Left Wing. And don’t take that as an insult, Bill. It’s not. It’s just that the term has been so misapplied and misused over the years it makes me want to barf.

    Becky, Mass. teachers are NOT teaching about gay marriage any more than they are teaching about marriage period. Same in California. Actually, in California, I’d say there’s more talk in our schools already about gay/lesbian/transgender issues than just about anywhere else. It’s part of our culture.

    I personally voted NO on 8 for the simple reason that I would rather have couples in love be able to get married, regardless of their sexual orientation. Happy people make for happy wage earners, taxpayers, neighbors, and citizens. It makes no sense to exclude a couple because of WHO they love. That’s just ridiculous. As I told my son, all that matters is that there are two consenting adults who want to honor their love and commitment to one another in a legal manner.

    And, let’s not forget that whole “all men are created equal” part of the Declaration of Independence. That pretty much says it all right there.

  11. Bill says:

    I know that Prop 8 and its sister Props were voted on in 30 states and passed in all.

    There seems to be a growing feeling that majority rule is not the best way to look at many things in our cultures and societies.

    Otherwise, aparteid would still be alive and kicking in South Africa.

    This from Wiki: “Although the majority of whites supported apartheid, some 20 percent did not support apartheid. Parliamentary opposition was galvanised by Helen Suzman, Colin Eglin and Harry Schwarz. Extra-parliamentary resistance was largely centred in the South African Communist Party and women’s organisation the Black Sash. Women were also notable in their involvement in trade union organisations and banned political parties.”

    And, in 1990, apartheid went away because it was wrong, not because a majority voted and supported it.

    Nazi Germany was created out of the wishes of a majority, as well.

    And, my God! What grand parades and rallies they had! A 1,000-year Reich was reduced to ashes within 10 years of its start because they were wrong, not because the majority of Germans actaully either supported it or just went along to get along.

    Comparing Nazis to Conservative Christians is nasty business, but so is repressing American citizens who pay taxes, vote and just want to be left alone. Nevermind why they want to be left alone or what they do in the privacy of their homes.

  12. Stu says:

    Apartheid might not be the best example to use, as it was not really majority rule. The ruling white minority oppressed the majority in South Africa. In California, one’s race doesn’t impact one’s right to vote, and the ballot results do reflect the wishes of the majority. Granted, the results reflect the wishes of only those who voted, but the issue appeared on a presidential election ballot with record voter turnout, so I’m ok with the results being legitimate.

    I don’t mean to come off as a proponent of Prop 8 though – I’m not homophobic. And think about the good that could have come from a more positive use of that $20 million. How many homeless people could have been helped? Poor families fed? Health care obtained for those in need? Seems like there’s a misalignment of priorities here.

    I read something, somewhere, once that forwarded the idea that the staunchest anti-gay folks are not motivated by fear and ignorance so much as they are a lack of confidence in their own sexuality, and/or who are bordering (at the very least) on unresolved bi-curiousness. Could it be so?

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