November 1st, 2009

The Improper Price of Proposition 8

photo credit: nathanielperales

A recent article by the Heritage Foundation provides an exhaustive and compelling list of instances in which supporters of California’s recent Proposition 8 were targeted, harassed, and violently abused by individuals in the opposing camp. While certainly not complete in its documentation of every such occurrence, it nevertheless paints a picture of the persecution suffered by many who donated and worked to support the “traditional” version of marriage.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, the reactionary hostility exhibited by those who decry others for being instigators of “hate”, “fear”, and “bigotry” is hypocritical to the point of saturation. Such individuals undermine their own campaign, of course, by demonstrating themselves to be the very thing that has been suspected of them all long: liars willing to do whatever it takes to impose their will on the majority. Rather than conceding defeat and respecting the will of their peers, they spew their fomenting rage onto easily-identifiable targets, like the stealthy leopard pursuing a vulnerable gazelle in hopes of an easy feast.

Many of the individuals opposing Proposition 8 would consider these acts of protest and persecution to be the "just deserts" of their adversaries—the “price” that is theirs to pay for getting involved the way they did. This intellectual cop-out is simply an attempt to justify the opposition’s abusive and caustic retaliation towards those who voted differently.

The fact is, each person has the ability to choose how they will act and react. There is no fixed price for political involvement, nor any natural consequences to be meted out by those who did not succeed. The underlying claim of “he had it coming to him” is not only incorrect, but the complete opposite of reality. A person who votes a certain way does not do so with the understanding that a person who disagrees with him will throw a brick through his window, defecate on his doorstep, or stage a boycott protest outside his business.

The reactions to those who contributed to and voted for Proposition 8 are neither justified nor necessary. Protesters, vandals, and angry mobs were not fulfilling some cosmic destiny decreed for the donations made or votes cast. Instead, they were acting of their own accord, choosing to violently intimidate other people without any compulsion or pre-defined order of justice mandating it be done.

This “price” for voting in support of Proposition 8, then, is akin to a mechanic working on your car who rips you off and damages your vehicle because of something he disliked. When you dropped off your car to be worked on, you had no idea that the mechanic would horribly object to the radio station you chose, the drink sitting in your cup holder, and the color of the car’s interior you fell in love with at first sight. In his anger, he decided to spill your drink all over the inside of the car, draw obscenities with markers all over the seats, and cut the wires that powered the radio—and then charged you five times the previously-agreed-upon price.

The mechanic and opponents to Proposition 8 alike have chosen on their own to be instigators of violence and vandalism. The human element of this savage response and all the uncertainty it created in the political aftermath of Proposition 8 no doubt led the Heritage Foundation to include these words in its final analysis:

Indeed, no matter who is to blame for the hostility surrounding Prop 8, one lesson of Prop 8 cannot be denied: Individuals or institutions that publicly defend marriage as the union of husband and wife risk harassment, reprisal, and intimidation — at least some of it targeted and coordinated.

The risk mentioned in this quote is introduced by the unpredictability of the hostile response—based in “hate”, “fear”, and “bigotry”—launched by individuals who are hypocrites, liars, and uncivil participants in the political process. Theirs is not the path of justice being meted out as a result of a cast vote, but of a tantrum-throwing juvenile crowd who will kick and scream until they get their way. This is neither just nor American, and should be repudiated by all who esteem the ballot box as being the best method of governing ourselves and determining a proper course of action for our communities.

37 Responses to “The Improper Price of Proposition 8”

  1. Clumpy
    November 1, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    Agreed, and naturally any violent or mean-spirited response against any individual is never constructive, though to do a report on this specific story is much akin to profiling caucasians who have been turned down for jobs due to affirmative action. It neglects a much bigger story to focus on bad behavior on the part of the opposition.

    Witness (according to the FBI):

    In 2007, law enforcement agencies reported 1,460 hate crime offenses based on sexual-orientation bias. Of these offenses:

    * 59.2 percent were classified as anti-male homosexual bias.
    * 24.8 percent were reported as anti-homosexual bias.
    * 12.6 percent were prompted by an anti-female homosexual bias.
    * 1.8 percent were the result of an anti-heterosexual bias.
    * 1.6 percent were classified as anti-bisexual bias.

    Factor in the much smaller proportion of homosexuals to Prop 8 supporters, as well as the relatively short “fame” period granted to Prop 8 supporters who were “outed” when compared to lifelong homosexuals without that luxury and the relative danger and situation is quite clear: a clear, comfortable majority (or at least enough people to build up into a majority to pass legislation) supported Prop 8, while year after year the undisputed “minority” in this case faces pretty continuous persecution (most involving threats and vandalism, a smaller proportion actual assault).

    Nobody ought to face any fear of threat or persecution for any reason, and the delicious irony of some people ostensibly opposing a “hate”-centered law and then themselves turning hateful is difficult to resist, though it’s only a small part of the picture. A tiny part that, out of context, may seem significant enough to focus on, though a group as ubiquitous as “social conservatives” or as prevalent as even “Mormons” hardly have anything to fear in a general sense.

    The wider point – that few people are violent and most hold their political positions without resorting to stupid personal attacks or assault – seems the most important. Listing every incident of mean-spiritedness on the part of the opposition to build up “karma” for your side (I’m talking to Heritage) is tempting, though it’s inherently fallacious and ultimately says nothing about the debate.

  2. James
    November 2, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    You just love playing devil’s advocate here, don’t you clumpy?
    I guess there needs to be opposition in all things…

    While the Heritage article may not directly address the gay marriage debate, it indirectly illustrates a scary growing trend of traditional marriage supporters being verbally and physically attacked by those who have opposing beliefs. I think that says a lot about the debate. It says that the opposition isn’t up for a fair debate. It’s their way or the highway, and maybe a black eye to boot.

  3. Jesse Fruhwirth
    November 2, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    I’m a staff writer at Salt Lake City Weekly who reads Connor’s Conundrums. I wrote a counter-point to Connor’s views.

    I hope you’re interested.

  4. Clumpy
    November 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    James, I tend to play devil’s advocate and frankly don’t mind others doing the same for me :). I hope I don’t ever come across as bullying or belligerent.

    I suppose my bottom line was that while nothing in the story is untrue, it’s an incomplete picture. I’m extremely suspicious in the value of vignettes to tell a story, so condemning individual cases of bullying as necessary seems better than attempting to build up some karmic case when almost nobody on either side is really violent :). Violence is more of a human problem than something indigent to either side of this or any debate, and ignorance or hate (which the Prop 8 opponents in the story clearly show) is hardly particular to left- or right-wingers.

  5. Connor
    November 2, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    My argument is not so much that violence is or is not a human problem (indeed, it is), but that it is being used (whether in actuality, or threatened) as a tool of intimidation and retribution for participating in the political process.

    Elder Oaks’ recent address says it better than I have here.

  6. Clumpy
    November 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    Elder Oaks’ recent address says it better than I have here.

    I probably focused only on physical threats or direct harassment in my comment, and neglected the role of this kind of intimidation in creating a hostile political climate. I do understand some anger and frustration, though only a few fundamentalists are really the slobbering trolls that progressives think all of us are. Any vehemence shown to a group (such as Prop 8 supporters or religious folk in general) merely for their opinions or vote squashes political expression.

  7. Connor
    November 3, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    Here’s a must read article regarding the tactics used by the individuals I mentioned above. Absent these disclosure requirements, politically-motivated intimidation by these individuals would have only been possibly if they personally knew of those whom they chose to harass.

  8. M
    November 3, 2009 at 4:39 pm #

    Interesting comments and criticisms. I stand firm in my belief that marriage is ordained of God, that it must not be redefined, and that it should only be between one man and one woman. I don’t think we truly understand what the consequences would be of a social experiment like legalizing same gender marriage nor can we underestimate the threats it poses to first amendments rights, particularly religious freedom. I hope religious people, mainly Christians, stand firm in their principles, are slow to anger, and seek God’s guidance regarding the best course of action regardless of threats or violence. I hope that Christians follow Christ’s example and that they extend the olive branch to those with misguided political views and immoral behavior. Yet, Christians ought to be prepared to defend themselves (hopefully through peaceable means) should the threats and violence (hate crimes against people of faith) grow more “targeted and coordinated”.

  9. Clumpy
    November 3, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    An important thing I think to keep in mind in the name of evenhandedness and civility is that our opinions say nothing about our personal selves. It’s easy for angry people to say that all Prop 8 supporters are bigoted, blindly religious “homophobes” just because some are, while in reality somebody may have a wide range of reasons for any belief. Likewise, it’s even more ridiculous to think that proponents of gay marriage are involved in some kind of concerted attempt to destroy American society or bring about some kind of projected societal collapse.

    For this reason I’ve tried to learn to judge an individual based on their reasoning, rather than their opinion. I’ve heard good, well-reasoned arguments in opposition to many of my firmly-held beliefs and had to respect the individual’s intellectual honesty. If I can quantify the reason I disagree with the individual (I place more importance on one thing than the person, or disagree with some of the conclusions) then I can conclude we’re both genuinely in search of truth and can amicably disagree. I wouldn’t blame Prop 8 opponents for thinking that many of the bill’s supporters were perhaps insensitive or thoughtless to a persecuted minority, but to ascribe actual hatred to them or insult is pretty ridiculous and seems to go against the ostensibly populist motivations of progressive philosophy.

    Now, if the person is unable to coherently state their reasoning or demonstrates actual hypocrisy or hate, it’s fair game on an individual basis :).

  10. M
    November 4, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    Clumpy, I can tell that you think very deeply. What I am not sure of is that you think clearly. Some of your posts are confusing to me and too wordy. But, that’s just an opinion, judge ye.

  11. Clumpy
    November 4, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    I think my arguments are kind of meta to the discussion sometimes which can be confusing. My mind actually works that way, unfortunately, so I can’t fix that.

    It’s definitely not my style to go with really heady, difficult arguments, though I tend to use a lot of linking punctuation (dashes and colons, parenthesis etc.) which can lead to long sentences that might be difficult to parse. I don’t think my thoughts are unclear per se but I could work at making them more relevant to the specific thread at hand.

  12. Sidney Carton
    November 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    The most problematic thing here is that those who opposed Proposition 8 do not realize that their actions are actually damaging toward democracy. The argument that one will vote differently if one realizes that there are public consequences to public advocacy is not new, nor does it have the most pleasant of histories.

    Whenever violence or vandalism replace the ballot and debate, we slide from democracy into mob rule, in which those who can most effectively intimidate their opposition rule. Furthermore, those who have most loudly advocated these actions as “deserved punishment” in the case of Proposition 8 would, (and likely will) be the ones to most loudly complain if such tactics were utilized against them.

    And indeed they ought to take note, for civility in political matters is easily lost, and rarely regained, the next time around intimidation might well run both ways. If such a thing occurs, wo be unto us all, for the real loser has been democracy.

  13. Connor
    November 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    Along the lines of my previous comment, here’s what the campaign manager for Maine’s “No on 1” (which was defeated last night, making it the 31st state in which the people through popular vote have decided against same-sex “marriage”) said last night:

    In a defiant speech to several hundred lingering supporters, No on 1 campaign manager Jesse Connolly pledged that his side “will not quit until we know where every single one of these votes lives.”

    “We’re not short-timers; we are here for the long haul,” Connolly told the crowd, some of whom wiped away tears as he spoke. “Whether it’s just all night and into the morning, or next week or next month or next year, we will be here. We’ll be fighting, we’ll be working. We will regroup.”

    If this isn’t an outright threat for voter intimidation and harassment, I don’t know what is.

  14. Jimmy
    November 4, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    If you recall blacks rioted during the civil rights movement in the 1960’s in relationship to segregation. Do you think this is proof that there was something inherently wrong with the civil rights movement? Keep in mind that not all blacks were involved or agreed with such actions.

  15. Jimmy
    November 4, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    LDS people use the arguement that homosexuality is a sin, that is why they are opposed to legal marriage. Idoltry is considered a sin, so shouldn’t the LDS people be opposed to the building of Hindu temples? What about alcohol, coffee, tea, or working on sunday? Shouldn’t these also be legally enforced?

    You state, “…nor can we underestimate the threats it poses to first amendments rights, particularly religious freedom.”

    What about the religious freedom of the Metropolitian community church?

    Redefining marriage? Its been redefined many times before. It used to be considered a lifetime commitment, but Americans now marry and split up at an incredible rate. Some liberal countries actually have a more stable homelife with cohabitation than with americans with marriage.

    Interracial marriage was not fully legal in the United states until 1967 when the Supreme Court deemed anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. However, some people still see only same race marriages as ideal and moral.

    Some cultures saw arranged marriages as being the best. The notion of romantic and self selection of marriage partners is a redifintion for some cultures. Some cultures also practiced wife sharing. The notition of exclusive monogamy is a redifintion for them.

    Then there is polygamy, the LDS church redefined marriage as having one husband and multiple wives, and then changed it again when stopped the practice.

  16. Jimmy
    November 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    “Along the lines of my previous comment, here’s what the campaign manager for Maine’s “No on 1? (which was defeated last night, making it the 31st state in which the people through popular vote have decided against same-sex “marriage”) ”

    About popular vote…couldn’t the popular vote and opinion overturn laws against slavery? The number of blacks and their power would prevent that from happening.

    However, you could take a more volunerable group, say the eskimo people. I am pretty sure that there are less Eskimos in the united states than there are gays. You could make a motion to pass a law that allowed ownership of eskimo people, and congress could pass a constitutional ammendment which made this legal. The very small number of eskimos probably could not prevent this from happening, especially given that the economic and political clout is probably pretty low. That is possible in theory using popular vote. Someone could produce a film like “the eskimo agenda” which slanted public opinion on the matter. Brought to you by the same people who made the god makers!

  17. M
    November 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    Jimmy, thanks for sharing your views, but you really aren’t making any arguments. All that you’ve written is nuance. In all of the examples on marriage you shared, marriage is still being defined as one man and one woman, except for the polygamy example. Even then the women are married to the man and not each other. If people fail to keep their marriage vows and His other commandments then they will have to answer to God. I cannot speak for them.

    I’m just a simple person and in my opinion some types of discrimination are acceptable and actually should be promoted. For example, the physical requirements for fire fighters. I don’t want a firefighter who is unable to carry me out of a burning build and yes I am at a healthy weight. As it applies to marriage and family, I believe that the traditional family as I described previously is better for the rearing of children than any other alternative.

    What about the religious freedom of the Metropolitian community church or the Mormons, or the Hindus, or the Catholics, etc.? What about them?

  18. M
    November 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    Clumpy, thanks for your reply. Experience has taught me to be careful of those who tend to and even like to play the devil’s advocate. I hope that you are not an advocate for the devil, intentionally or otherwise.

  19. Clumpy
    November 4, 2009 at 6:05 pm #

    M, you know that’s just an expression right? 🙂

    I would be a “devil’s advocate” if I took contrarian positions to stir up debate, though I use the expression in a more mellow way (in fact, didn’t know the full definition until I just looked it up). I’m very unconfident at my ability to really understand a situation, and so I do try to bring context into my reasoning and point out context such as I can in the reasoning of others. It’s really just who I am so the alternative would be not to join interesting discussions ;).

  20. Jimmy
    November 4, 2009 at 10:07 pm #

    Nuance? I don’t think so. What if the law only recognized arranged marriages, and you had to present a document by a government approved match maker? In addition some cultures required the approval of all family members of each person getting married. Thats not necessarily what most people in the modern world think is ideal for marriage.

    Excluding legal recognition of racially mixed couples is not nuance, thats a big deal. Accoding to the law at the time my parents did not have a legal marriage. I don’t know how this could affect me, or them because their marriage was not legal. Some laws apply retroactively, and some do not. I haven’t the slightest if legal recognition eventually applied to them.

    “In all of the examples on marriage you shared, marriage is still being defined as one man and one woman”

    You didn’t read close enough, or did not think about it. The example of the wife sharing is primarily about a man and woman, but may include many other men and women. In many cultures this is viewed as adultry, but these wife sharing cultures did not consider this a violation of the marriage.

    “I believe that the traditional family as I described previously is better for the rearing of children than any other alternative.”

    And what about couples who cannot have children, or do not plan on ever having children? Are you saying these marriages serve no purpose? My brother and his wife do not have children, and they do not want to have any. I have not questioned them about that, but rather respect their choices, and respect their marriage.

    “What about the religious freedom of the Metropolitian community church…”

    The Metropolitian Community church performs same sex marriages, for a time California recognized this, but now they have been repealed with prop 8. Some other states may have also recognized these marriages. Denying legal recognition denies them benefits that mix gender couples enjoy.

    “If people fail to keep their marriage vows and His other commandments then they will have to answer to God.”

    This is a legal issue, in theory a person could marry and divorce dozens of times in their life, or more and the law in theory could recognize all of them. The las vegas style drive through marriage is legally recognized. That would make the marriage part pretty easy, the divorce process would slow things down, but who knows maybe that process will be accelerated in the future.

  21. M
    November 5, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    Jimmy, you have a very good imagination. I find your hypothetically constructed situations amusing and thank you for pointing out so many examples of ridicules and sinful social and cultural practices. It makes proving my point much easier.

    I do not buy the cultural arguments. They are nonsense and do not apply to my culture. Additionally, I do not view all cultures as having equal value. For instance, some cultures place little value on life, mistreat and abuse women and children. Should this be accepted for diversity’s sake? God forbid!
    Cultural behaviors that are offensive to God should be stopped by helping the people to recognize their errors and giving them a chance to repent. If they don’t repent then God’s judgments will be upon them. I look down on sinful social and cultural practices with contempt. God teaches us to hate sin (bad behaviors), but that we should recognize everyone as a child of God. That means not accepting/ not condoning sinful behavior, but tolerating it when there is no other option than to tolerate it and keeping the door of repentance open to the unrepentant prodigals. Men need to bring their laws into alignment with the laws of nature and nature’s God.

    Lastly, for the rearing of children, it is inarguable that a marriage of one man to one women is the best. Again, you are only bringing in nuance (how and if children come into the marriage) and really have no arguments against this point.

  22. M
    November 5, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    Yes, just an expression with a very negative connotation that I would never want applied to me. It’s OK to express your point of view, but my unsolicited advice to you is to do it out of your personal convictions, not for the sake of creating or participating in “interesting discussion” and certainly never as a devil’s advocate. As for obtaining truth, God will give it if you work toward it and it is your heart’s sincere desire.

  23. Clumpy
    November 5, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    M, thanks for your clarification :). I’m quite fascinated by a thoughtful debate or an “interesting discussion” for a couple of reasons:

    It’s my sincere belief to attempt to consider alternative explanations, context and evenhandedness when considering an issue, particularly when it will affect others. I can’t imagine anything worse than, and believe it would be morally and intellectually wrong to, act in a harmful way or advocate a potentially harmful direction because of my confidence that I fully understand the situation.

    So “devil’s advocate,” when the goal is truth, compassion and intellectual honesty? Certainly not. The expression may be a little tongue in cheek, I’ll give you. Still, a healthy understanding of ambiguity and a lack of unshakable confidence in one’s human abilities to reason a situation from possibly incomplete information is anything but devilish. All of us come from exactly one foundation of experience and, without quoting Alma to you, our abilities are pretty limited. I’m not referring to this specific issue and certainly not to you personally, though moving forward with a great deal of confidence and conviction and frankly no idea of where we’re going can’t end well.

  24. dave
    November 5, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    Thank you Connor. My family and I are LDS and donated to protect marriage. We were attacked online especially through the homosexual’s blacklists and deathlists for anyone that donated to protect marriage. Our addresses with map directions were published online by homosexual groups to allow homosexual retribution against us. Although these hateful attacks have not resulted in personal violence to us, the virtual attacks are troubling to say the least. I think they fringe on violating our amendment rights when some group is threatening our lives. Unfortunately the church has had hundreds of chapels shot at, vandalized with homosexual propaganda, and a few burned just before and after the election. It is sad that homosexuals responded with hateful attacks and destroyed hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars worth of private property because they didn’t get their way.

  25. jimmy
    November 5, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    “For instance, some cultures place little value on life, mistreat and abuse women and children. ”

    Why do you think the federal government stopped the LDS church from practicing polygamy? And more recently took action against the FLDS church. From what I understand however, the some of the governments approach to the situation was inappropriate.

    What has the LDS scriptures said about condemning any sin?

    ” 41 No apower or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the bpriesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; ”
    D&C 121:41

    There isn’t anything there about a legal battle.

    The 11th article of faith,
    “11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

    There isn’t anything here about using the law to enforce any LDS value.

    “Men need to bring their laws into alignment with the laws of nature and nature’s God.” Who is determining this? Charles Darwin? Pope Benedict? the koran? Thomas Monson?

    “I do not buy the cultural arguments. They are nonsense and do not apply to my culture. Additionally, I do not view all cultures as having equal value. ”

    No they aren’t nonsense. Your statement displays ignorance and arrogance. Dare I ask you to list all cultures in the world according to your perceived value?
    More knowledge and sensitivity to other religions and culture could actually help the LDS movement. That is what makes the persuasion mentioned in D&C 121:41 possible.

    “It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.”
    D&C 131:6

    In the context of the LDS faith this would mean ignorance of LDS principles. However, I think it could be applied to ignorance of things outside of the LDS faith.

  26. jimmy
    November 5, 2009 at 8:46 pm #

    “It is sad that homosexuals responded with hateful attacks and destroyed hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars worth of private property because they didn’t get their way.”

    Are you applying this as a general statement about homosexuals? Are you also making the statement that this indicates that there is something inherently wrong with anyone seeking marriage equality? (hetrosexual or homosexual?)

    The riots in the 1960’s around segregation caused a lot of damage to property. Do you think that this indicates something inherently wrong with the civil rights movement? Keeping in mind that not everyone seeking equality participated or agreed with these activities.

  27. M
    November 6, 2009 at 10:23 am #

    So now I’m ignorant and arrogant? Or do I have a completely different world view than you and am firm in my convictions? When someone makes personal attacks it is a sure sign that he doubts the virtue of his own beliefs. Jimmy, you are attacking me and not just my arguments. That shows poor taste and a propensity toward the thoughts that lead to the actions that resulted in attacks against Prop. 8 Supporters. You are adding insult to injury with your words to Dave. Again poor taste.

    At the heart of the issue is this. Marriage is not a simple contractual agreement. Rather it is an institution and the structure through which God sends his spirit children to earth. Parents have an obligation to care for each other and their children and in love to teach them good morals (think 10 commandment and sermon on the mount). For the rearing of children, a marriage of one man to one woman is the best. It is the ideal. It follows God’s plan. There is no argument against this point and once you concede to this truth then you will start to bring your other beliefs into alignment. Are you going to stay mute on this point? Are you going to deny the truth? Same Gender Marriage is morally wrong.

    Please read and ponder The Family, A Proclamation to the World. I would urge you to prayerfully study this document, repent of your sins, and bring you life into alignment with God’s will. I hope you find peace and healing in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

  28. jimmy
    November 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    You said the following:
    “Additionally, I do not view all cultures as having equal value. ”

    That statement sounded arrogant and ignorant to me.

    “You are adding insult to injury with your words to Dave. ”

    In what way? I think Dave can speak for himself, he may not feel that way.

    “For the rearing of children, a marriage of one man to one woman is the best. It is the ideal. It follows God’s plan.”

    That is your spiritual convictions, what right do you have to use the law to enforce your point of view on others?

    I might be projecting here, but don’t LDS people feel that prostitution is also a moral danger? Has the LDS church ever tried to make it illegal in Las Vegas? Even with that danger being legal, that hasn’t harmed the LDS church, it has enough members in the area to support a temple in Vegas.

    Adultery is also a danger in the LDS view.(again I could be projecting) Shouldn’t the LDS people be promoting laws which sanction ‘snitching’ on people who violate there marriage? You could refuse to recognize the marriages of adulterers. Perhaps they could be forced to wear a large letter “A” so everyone knows that they are a possible danger to society. This is what is possible if an organization uses the legal system to enforce moral values.

    Is divorce an evil for the LDS church? its certainly a danger to a marriage. Shouldn’t that be illegal, given that its a danger to the family unit?

  29. jimmy
    November 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    I read the suggested document. Its definately an LDS point of view. There are a number of doctrinal statements made which are particular to the LDS faith. Not everyone which is against same sex marriages share this complete view.

    There is one statement which seems not particularly life giving. Some people are sterile or born with birth defects which do not allow for reproduction. This command is not reasonable because it cannot apply to everyone that has come to earth.

    “We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.”

    What is the next step for Mormons? To make a law that everyone must reproduce, or at least try to?

  30. Connor
    November 6, 2009 at 3:53 pm #


    You are comparing things that have no relation to the issue at hand. The LDS Church (and the many other churches who participated in Prop. 8) are not seeking to make sin illegal—nor are people trying to enshrine these sins in law. Nobody here has sought to make homosexuality a criminal offense punishable by law.

    The society-accepted institution of marriage, however, is different. Working to confine it to a man/woman dynamic in no way is an attempt to infuse religion in politics, theology into public policy, or any other backwards claim you’ve made here.

    Finally, a friendly warning: keep your anti-LDS points in check, or else you will be banned from participation on this blog. I have no problem with you opposing something or questioning it, but your derision and rudeness layered on top is quickly wearing out your welcome.

  31. Michael Fisher
    November 10, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    I thank you for your opinion on this matter. I think every reasonable person does and should denounce such terroristic activities such as sending white powered envelopes to LDS church buildings, vandalism, harassment, etc. What is missed by those promoting such harassment is that Mormons aren’t to blame for the travesty of passing Prop 8 (though they are using clerical power to influence civil elections–something the LDS scriptures themselves frown upon). The problem was that something held unconstitutional by a superemen court was allowed to go to the public. The public then used their own personal beliefs and prefereces to vote for something that effected only those who did not belive as they did. That is what is wrong, and the LDS church and its members need to be held accountable for mixing church with state, but not for Prop 8. But you are right, no violence should have ever taken place.

  32. M
    November 11, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

    Michael Fisher, please read the United States Constitution. You are somehow misinformed. Specifically read the first amendment. It states very clearly that government shall not infringe upon religious rights. Quote:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…”

    Creating laws that allow same-gender marriage would lead to government infringement upon religious rites and rights.

    I read an interesting article in the paper today that shows the LDS church’s support of a nondiscrimination ordinances in Salt Lake City. This is very consistent with past statements made by the church.

    Michael, I would encourage you to gain a better understanding of the LDS church’s stance on the issue of same-gender marriage and the US constitution before being critical of Mormons.

    People of faith have as much right as anybody else to participate in the political process and express their views. The people have a right to amend their state constitutions. These two points are inarguable.

    As far as being accountable, well we are all accountable to God.

  33. Clumpy
    November 12, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    M, wouldn’t free exercise of religion only be constrained if religions were forced to solemnize these marriages? You could argue that one may lead to the other but they aren’t inherently one and the same.

  34. James
    November 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm #


    Aside from forcing religious organizations to ‘solemnize’ gay marriages (as in perform them), which seems unlikely to happen any time soon, there are many other constraints that will be imposed, affecting the free exercise of religion. Look at where gay marriage is already law, and how religious leaders are censored in their speech. Look at how school texts already in circulation are contradicting the core beliefs of the children forced to read them. Look at the fertility doctors who have to decide between their job and their religious moral standards.

    It looks like the government has already got a good start on “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion in some areas.

  35. Clumpy
    November 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm #


    I’m actually pretty certain that many people will read religious acceptance of gay marriage as somehow legally obligable (or gay marriage’s opponents as more backward than they already believe they are) if/when gay marriage is legalized. Still, organized religion already opposes many things that are legal – abortion and promiscuity among other things – so while this legal change would definitely have a large social effect I don’t think it’s necessarily religious discrimination, though it would certainly lead to some. It’s a difficult area.

  36. M
    November 14, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    Clumpy, you are correct. This is why the ordinance in Salt Lake City is supported by the Church because it does not impose upon the church’s hiring practices. Essentially, it allows the church the ability to not hire or to dismiss from employment people who willfully choose not to live in accordance with the standards of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

    You are also incorrect as James pointed out many real life examples. This is my point regarding laws around marriage and/or hate crimes. They will lead to religious persecutions and infringement upon religious rights granted in the constitution. A line needs to be drawn somewhere. At some point you must make a stand for what you believe. Do you know where to draw the line?

    Next to murder, sexual perversions are the next most heinous sins. Abortion is the culmination of these two sins – immoral sexual behavior leading to an unwanted child leading to desires of abdication of parental responsibilities leading to the escape of parental responsibilities through the murderous act of abortion (killing a defenseless human being). Homosexual behavior is only one vein of the evils of perversions. You could add to your list, pornography, etc.

    Don’t neglect to think about the unwritten laws that govern our society. Unwritten laws related to civility, etc. It was not that long ago that immoral behavior was looked down upon and led to dishonor of oneself and family. Now the world embraces it and as you pointed out looks down upon people espousing principles of moral integrity as backward and stupid. Is this a turn for the better? You cannot legislate moral character, but without it society crumbles. Why should we as a society condone behavior that leads to the destruction of the traditional family and ultimately society? However, in our society anyone speaking out against the societal ills of immorality is persecuted and mocked. If same-gender marriage is allowed the “new unwritten laws” that seem to govern our society will only be given more credence and people of faith will be further isolated from public debate, ridiculed, etc.

    I am reading the book Standing for Something by Gordon B Hinckley. At the end of the book is an epilogue entitled “The Loneliness of Moral Leadership” I am looking forward to reading that chapter.

    I am also looking forward to reading the conference address of Elder Dallin H Oaks entitled “Love and Law”.

    Read and ponder.

  37. Sheri
    August 28, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    So do I understand correctly that for most of you it’s okay for citizens to strip a minority population (gays in this case) of their constitutional right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to deny them equal protection under the law, to force them into second class citizen status, and then cry fowl when said minority fights back? How would you feel if your right to marry the person you love was stripped from you.

    Civil rights should never be put to popular vote. The will of the majority should never take away the rights of any minority, otherwise mob rule, rules. The small number of people who lashed out after prop 8 passed was nothing compared to the millions of people who bullied and persecuted an already vulnerable population at the ballot box.

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