Monday, November 24, 2008

California to investigate Mormon aid to Prop 8

AP story here.

California officials will investigate whether the Mormon church accurately described its role in a campaign to ban gay marriage in the state.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission said Monday that a complaint by a gay rights group merits further inquiry.

Executive director Roman Porter says the decision does not mean any wrongdoing has been determined.

Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate, accuses the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of failing to report the value of work it did to support Proposition 8.

A representative from the Salt Lake City-based church could not be reached for comment.

See here also.

While conservative churches are busy trying to whip up another round of culture wars over same-sex marriage, Rodriquez says the real reason for their panic lies elsewhere: the breakdown of the traditional heterosexual family and the shifting role of women in society and the church itself. As the American family fractures and the majority of women choose to live without men, churches are losing their grip on power and scapegoating gays and lesbians for their failures.

See here also.

You might think that an organization that for most of the first of its not yet two centuries of existence was the world’s most notorious proponent of startlingly unconventional forms of wedded bliss would be a little reticent about issuing orders to the rest of humanity specifying exactly who should be legally entitled to marry whom. But no. The Mormon Church—as anyone can attest who has ever answered the doorbell to find a pair of polite, persistent, adolescent “elders” standing on the stoop, tracts in hand—does not count reticence among the cardinal virtues. Nor does its own history of matrimonial excess bring a blush to its cheek. The original Latter-day Saint, Joseph Smith, acquired at least twenty-eight and perhaps sixty wives, some of them in their early teens, before he was lynched, in 1844, at age thirty-eight. Brigham Young, Smith’s immediate successor, was a bridegroom twenty times over, and his successors, along with much of the male Mormon √©lite, kept up the mass marrying until the nineteen-thirties—decades after the Church had officially disavowed polygamy, the price of Utah’s admission to the Union, in 1896. As Richard and Joan Ostling write in “Mormon America: The Power and the Promise” (2007), “Smith and his successors in Utah managed American history’s only wide-scale experiment in multiple wives, boldly challenging the nation’s entrenched family structure and the morality of Western Judeo-Christian culture.”

“MORMONS TIPPED SCALE IN BAN ON GAY MARRIAGE,” the Times headlined the week after Election Day, reflecting the views of proponents and opponents alike. Six and a half million Californians voted for Proposition 8, and six million voted against it—a four-point margin, close enough for a single factor to make the difference. Almost all the early canvassers for the cause were Mormons, but the most important contributions were financial. The normal political pattern is for money to get raised in California and spent elsewhere. This time, Salt Lake City played the role of Hollywood, rural Utah was the new Silicon Valley, and California was cast as flyover country. Of the forty million dollars spent on behalf of Prop. 8, some twenty million came from members or organs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. . . .

Aside from the fact that people shouldn't be allowed to vote away other people's Constitutional rights, which is a sham, this just isn't right.

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