I find it interesting that the Mormon Church went to great lengths to not only openly support the passage of Proposition 8, but financed an advertising campaign urging voters to support it which included messages to voters, believe it or not, such as if gay marriage is permitted, kindergärtners are likely to be educated on gay sex acts. The ads were filled with lies and deceptions, particularly at the last minute, and opponents did not have adequate time to respond.
From Alternet News: Why the Prop 8 Gay Marriage Ban Won
Ad after ad told voters that without Prop 8, their churches would be forced to perform same-sex unions and stripped of their tax-exempt status; that schools would teach their children to practice homosexuality, and, perhaps most effective, that a smiling Barack Obama had said, "I’m not in favor of gay marriage." This last bit went out in a flier by the Yes on 8 campaign targeting black households.
From the Deseret News – LDS official lauds work for California’s Prop. 8-Elder Clayton says leaders ‘grateful for the sacrifice’
Elder L. Whitney Clayton, a member of the church’s Presidency of the Seventy who helped lead the church’s support for Proposition 8, told reporters during a press conference Wednesday that he doesn’t have a total for how much money was donated by Latter-day Saints. He did say it was "considerable and generous" and that church leaders are "grateful for the sacrifice" made by members who participated in the campaign.
“We believe it’s a moral issue and we reserve the right to speak out on moral issues. We of course disapprove when people take exception to us having spoken out, but we are well within our rights and we are glad to have done so, we believe it was the right thing to do,” Clayton said.
Here is a link to the "statement" by the LDS church on Prop 8
Yet when it comes to other "moral" issues (the LDS church’s defense on Prop 8 is that it is a "moral" issue) such as the act of killing in war, and in particular the illegal war and occupation of Iraq, the LDS church remains silent.
I cannot find any declaration or statement against the Iraq War from the LDS church. So why, then, is it permissable to remain silent on killing and the violation of human rights by the U.S. and other countries in war and occupation, while supporting efforts to violate human rights on other issues? Could it be that the LDS church has hidden financial benefits to profits from war?
And now, thanks to this campaign to violate the rights of human beings in America, Utah faces a boycott of its tourist industry which will affect citizens adversely.
And shame on other religious communities for marching in step with the LDS church.
The LDS church has overstepped its stance on "moral" issues by bringing this issue into the political arena – an issue that should remain out of politics- thereby violating the principle of separation of church and state. By virtue of its support on the gay marriage issue in the realm of politics, it has demonstrated to the world that an institution’s values can be imposed on a population of people with the right amount of money to influence how people should vote throught the pscyhological impacts of advertising.
I find it interesting what communities have supported to take away the rights of other human beings. Below is a commentary by a latino radio talk show host on the Latino vote for Proposition 8.
Commentary: Latinos should see gay marriage a civil right
By Fernando Espuelas
Special to CNN
Editor’s Note: Fernando Espuelas is the host and managing editor of Café Espuelas, a Los Angeles Spanish-language radio talk show and a media entrepreneur.
In spite of what seems to be sweeping approval for a progressive agenda, Latino support of Prop. 8 has exposed an entrenched bias against homosexuality at once profound and confounding.
A marginalized minority — Latinos — voting to take away the rights of another marginalized group — gays and lesbians — is like the kid who’s picked on in the third grade and only makes some headway when a punier kid comes along to take the punches instead.
Espuelas comments on the blitz of advertising swaying voters to vote against Prop 8 for really insane reasons:
Throughout this campaign, in an avalanche of Spanish-language commercials, Latinos were exhorted to vote "Yes" on Prop 8. A calm voice — a voice that could be selling baby wipes or low-fat cookies — told us that we should check yes "for the good of our families," that we must save everything that is good and decent about America.
Take away the civil rights of gays and lesbians so that we can be safe. But safe from what? The low-fat cookie voice of the radio commercial did not really say.
Latinos were asked not just to look away as these rights would be withdrawn, but to actively vote for the demolition of someone else’s family. We were implored to look at "them" as the unredeemable "aliens" that must be expurgated from our society. And we did.
Once you start the process of taking away other peoples’ fundamental rights — like food and water in a jail cell, or the right to drive and listen to whatever music you like — you must ask yourself where to draw the line, and who will draw it? What — and whose — rights will be next on the chopping block?
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere." You’d think that as Latinos, proud and strong and willing to fight for our own rights,- we’d refuse to turn against the "punier kid," wouldn’t you?
That we might in fact stand up for that kid, tell the bullies to back off, the same way we told the bullies of racism and "the real America" to take a hike — and in the process carried Obama to triumph.