In the last few days, things in California have gotten kind of ugly. Both those in support of Prop 8 and those against it have accused the other side of misrepresenting the truth, and both are actively trying to sell their points of view. As the Church has stepped up its efforts, they have been increasingly spotlighted and targeted by those who oppose Prop 8. The Daily Kos got hold of a published list of LDS donors and have called on readers “to see if these donors have contributed to… shall we say… less than honorable causes, or if any one of these big donors has done something otherwise egregious. If so, we have a legitimate case to make the Yes on 8 campaign return their contributions, or face a bunch of negative publicity.”
In addition, while at least one man vocal in his opposition to the Church’s efforts faces possible excommunication, protesters of Prop 8 in California have been reported to disrupt visitors to the Oakland temple. Mormons and ex-Mormons also recently delivered letters to church headquarters to protest the church’s involvement.
Seem like I’m painting a dramatic picture? Perhaps, but the Mormon opposition in California has been visible enough to draw attention of Article IV bloggers, Townhall.com commentator Hugh Hewitt, and Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan. It’s not pretty, and I think I can safely predict it’s not going to get any better before the final vote–at least not while support of and opposition to Prop 8 is neck-and-neck in the polls, with a slight but consistent lead for those who support the proposed amendment.
Meanwhile, the Church has added even more resources to its new PreservingMarriage.org website, which has a sleek resign that’s a little less conspicuously LDS, though still with the Church logo emblazoned at the bottom:
What?s the harm?
If Proposition 8 fails, religious liberties and freedom of speech may be curtailed. Included are the rights of religious organizations to speak out against positions they view as harmful and the rights of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.
Does Proposition 8 take existing rights away from same-sex couples?
No. All the rights gay couples have in current civil unions will still be in force.
Don?t gay and lesbian couples deserve to be happy?
The argument of happiness is really just a diversion. Proposition 8 is about protecting the legal definition of marriage and religious freedoms.
Didn?t we already vote on this?
Yes, we did. In 2000 over 61% of Californians voted in favor of preserving traditional marriage. But because that vote did not amend the state constitution, four judges were able to overturn that vote.
Can?t the courts just overturn this again?
No. Proposition 8 amends the state constitution directly, meaning the courts cannot overturn it like a regular statute.
There aren?t many people supporting Proposition 8, right?
Actually, a number of national and local organizations and individuals have formed a broad-based collation to support Proposition 8.
Isn?t Proposition 8 about intolerance?
Proposition 8 isn?t about hating gay couples or their lifestyle. It?s about protecting the institution of marriage.
In addition to the Church’s and other media out there, there’s been no shortage of Latter-day Saint blog entries on the subject. Here’s a sampling from the last week:
Hugh Hewitt Goes to Bat for Mormons
Dave’s Mormon Inquiry – October 22, 2008
Mob Disrupts Attendees at Oakland LDS Temple
My Man Mitt – October 22, 2008
California?s Proposition 8: Open Season on Mormons?
Article IV Blog – October 21, 2008
Prop 8 opponents target Mormons for smear campaign
Millennial Star – October 21, 2008
Targeting Mormons on Proposition 8
A Soft Answer – October 21, 2008
Leftwing website targets Mormons on Prop 8?!
My Man Mitt – October 20, 2008
Prop 8 comment (that is now a Prop 8 post)
New Cool Thang – October 20, 2008
Messenger and Advocate – October 20, 2008
Voting for Proposition 8 And Against Same-Sex Marriage Is Not Irrational
Sixteen Small Stones – October 20, 2008
What happens in California and Vermont when same sex couples divorce?
Mormon Mentality – October 20, 2008
Prop 8 and the End of Marriage?
Feminist Mormon Housewives – October 19, 2008
Why this? Why now?
By Common Consent – October 18, 2008
The Compassionate Ones
Mormon Matters – October 18, 2008
Messenger and Advocate – October 18, 2008
Yes on Prop. 8
Millennial Star – October 17, 2008
Using Video: Proposition 8
LDS Media Talk – October 17, 2008
Times and Seasons – October 17, 2008
Who IS In A Family?
Feminist Mormon Housewives – October 17, 2008
Same-Sex Marriage and Proposition 8
LDS Newsroom – October 16, 2008
I Support Proposition 8
Lehi’s Library – October 16, 2008
A Reason the Church?s Prop 8 Stance Might Just be Inspired
Feminist Mormon Housewives – October 16, 2008
More Videos About Proposition 8 and Same-sex Marriage
LDS Media Talk – October 15, 2008
Connecticut Judges Require Gay Marriage
Times and Seasons – October 15, 2008
“Bride” and “Groom” are optional
A Soft Answer – October 15, 2008
How Same Sex Marriage Affects Traditional Marriage
Mormon Mentality – October 14, 2008
What Is Marriage?
Mormon Soprano – October 14, 2008
Utah County Prop 8 Events This Week (+ Musings)
Mulling and Musing – October 14, 2008
Why the gays need Chris Buttars
Feminist Mormon Housewives – October 14, 2008
California Marriage Amendment
Latter-day Saint Philosopher – October 13, 2008
Preserving Marriage Media
Times and Seasons – October 13, 2008
Diverging points of view on traditional marriage
Millennial Star – October 12, 2008
Whether You Like It Or Not (Or Gay Marriage Day For 1st Grade)
Messenger and Advocate – October 12, 2008