Marriage Equality Updates: California, Mormons, Activism, Prop 8

Cinemark_2road.jpg If you missed my posts yesterday on the march in Evanston outside Cinemark Theatres and the March on Sacramento, you can find them HERE and HERE.

road.jpg Ken Starr to defend Proposition 8 in court?

road.jpg L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Lorri Jean: A Prop 8 FAQ.

road.jpg Join the Impact’s plans for the next three months on marriage equality. Have you written a postcard yet?

road.jpg NYT: Strike Down Prop 8! “Treating Proposition 8 as a mere amendment would set a precedent that could allow the rights of any minority group to be diminished by a small majority. The measure passed 52 percent to 48 percent. In California, sitting judges are subject to elections, and some supporters of Proposition 8 raise the threat of trying to oust justices who do not go along with trouncing on people’s rights and proper constitutional procedure. We trust the court will not be intimidated. The justices’ job is to protect minority rights and the State Constitution — even when, for the moment at least, it may not be the popular thing to do.”

Mormontempleroad.jpg The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) wrote a letter to Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate regarding a sworn complaint CAH filed against the LDS church on November 13. They are investigating: “The sworn complaint by a group called Californians Against Hate contends The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized phone banks from Utah and Idaho and sent direct mail to voters. The complaint, filed four days after Californians voted to end gay marriage in the state, also alleges the Utah-based church transported people to California to walk precincts and distributed thousands of lawn signs and other campaign materials. The church is also accused of establishing Web sites and producing commercials and other video broadcasts geared toward non-members.” Here’s a copy of the letter Karger received.

road.jpg COLUMN: Anti-gay Bigotry in a post-Proposition 8 World.

Kennardroad.jpg Legal experts are puzzled by California Justice Joyce Kennard’s switch decision to vote against hearing the cases brought by those seeking to overturn Proposition 8: “Justice Joyce L. Kennard, a staunchly independent if not stubborn jurist, has a lengthy record of protecting gay rights, including the right to marry, and often sides with the underdog in rulings. In fact, her record is so unwavering that many gay-rights activists and several independent legal scholars surmised that her vote against hearing the legal challenges was procedural — for example, she might have wanted them to be filed in lower courts first — and did not reflect her thinking on the cases. But a close reading of the court’s one-page order suggests that gay-rights advocates may have lost a usually predictable ally in their effort to overturn Proposition 8. ‘It definitely isn’t a good sign,’ said UCLA Law Professor Brad Sears, an expert on sexual-orientation law.” More HERE.

road.jpg Minorities in California fear gay marriage ban may lead to other inequalities: “The entire purpose behind the constitutional principle of equal protection would be subverted if the constitutional protection of unpopular minorities were subject to simple majority rule,” read a brief by black, Asian and Hispanic groups challenging the ban. “This case is not simply about gay and lesbian equality.”

Rodriguezroad.jpg SALON: Why churches fear gay marriage. “While conservative churches are busy trying to whip up another round of culture wars over same-sex marriage, [author Richard] 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.”

road.jpg I mentioned this article earlier, but I’ll include it again here. The NYT reports on Milk and activists who seek to tie the film with the quest for marriage equality.

road.jpg Infighting among anti-gay groups following Prop 8 passage: “Other conservative groups that loudly backed Prop. 8 are being targeted as too extreme and off-putting by, which put the constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot and hopes to help persuade the state Supreme Court to uphold the measure. ‘We represent the people who got things done, who got Prop. 8 passed,’ said Andrew Pugno, general counsel for the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign. ‘An important part of defending Prop. 8 is eliminating arguments not helpful to our concerns.'”

Johnsonroad.jpg Christopher Lisotta talks to Latrice Johnson of the group United Lesbians of African Heritage, or ULOAH, a non-profit that’s been around for nearly two decades promoting the health and safety of Black lesbians, about their interaction with the “No on 8″ campaign: “We weren’t approached, however I did make attempts, as did many of our staff and volunteers made attempts to reach out and let them know we were certainly willing to come to the table and help out. Unfortunately we were not approached. It was almost a dismissive response.”

road.jpg Prop 8 protests helping repair rift within Mormon church? “Ironically, the protests appear to be helping repair a rift within Mormonism caused by the election. The church’s outspoken support for Proposition 8 exposed an unusual level of disagreement in the ordinarily harmonious Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Internet facilitated grass-roots organizing by the minority of Mormons who support same-sex marriage. But a smattering of anti-Mormon acts since Election Day – the burning of a Book of Mormon, a mailing of packets of white powder to Mormon sites, and some anti-Mormon invective expressed on signs and in sloganeering – has helped rally a denomination with a long history of persecution.”


  1. ggreen says

    Go Fred Karger!! Stick it to those filthy Mormon cultists in their magic underwear. The myth of Mormons uniting after a rift is laughable. The Mormon cult does not tolerate ANY dissent so how could there be a rift inside the cult. Its just another of their many and more frequent press releases trying to change the subject. All cults hate being in the spotlight, it lets people know what they really do.

  2. Mike says

    I clicked on the link regarding Kennard and whatever concern that was previously posted is gone now – in fact, the story is more positive to overturning Prop 8 than the contrary. In any regard, I am not going to worry about what the CA Supreme Court will or will not do.o

    Personally, I don’t see how based upon the Marriage case they can do anything but:

    1. Stop all marriages or
    2. Say it is a revision and throw it out.

    But, IANAL and certainly am not a Supreme Court Justice. This is their job and whatever the decision, pro or con I will respect… and certainly not support a recall. The Supreme Court is the final interpreter not anyone else.

    If we lose, we just put up another ballot proposition and keep doing it until we win.

    That said, I don’t think we will lose. How ridiculous would it be to have minority rights subject to simple majority votes.

  3. Yeek says

    The Mormons are half-right. They *are* being singled out because they make ideal targets. They’re already regarded as weird, especially by religious Christians, so few people will really stick up for them. They are overwhelmingly white, so attacking them avoids the “white guilt” issue that would come into play if we criticized heavily AA churches that also strongly supported prop 8. The mormon church also has some very strange history which is at best tangentially relevant to the current issue (i.e. underwear, polygamy that the church disavowed a lifetime ago) but really, really easy to make fun of.

    On the flip side, they picked this fight. We did not go after them – they came after us. They dumped tons of money into the campaign against us (and the Boy Scouts issue a decade ago). We were content to be hated by them as long as they left us alone and didn’t try to intrude upon our lives.

    So, while I freely admit that we aren’t being fair, I can’t see why anyone would expect fairness in a war. They sure as hell weren’t fair to us.

  4. Leland Frances says

    Lorri Jean’s Q&A is her own provided evidence of why SHE and the other “leaders” such as Kate Kendall and Geoff Kors should publicly apologize to the entire gay community for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory…and then, if they have ANY integrity, RESIGN from their positions at LAGL Center, NCLR, and EQCA respectively.

    She reveals that they began working on the campaign THREE YEARS ago and still were running around like proverbial chickens with their heads cut off in the last two months before the vote.

    Her excuse? They suddenly found themselves having to change strategy to respond to the YES lies about children. Well, Jesus Fucking Christ, Jean! WHY was that a surprise to any of you. Have you all been in a coma for the last THIRTY years? That’s what they ALWAYS do. It was the center of Anita Bryant’s campaign to overturn the gay job rights bill in Miami in 1977. “Save the Children!” It was the ENTIRE issue behind the Briggs Initiative IN CALIFORNIA in 1978—gay teachers must be banned because they will influence children. WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU ALL THINKING? That these religio fascists, our AMERICAN TALIBAN, would suddenly play nice?

    And STOP singing your sob story about “we had no idea they would raise so much money.” Buy a clue, you stupid bitch! The Mormons poured money into passing Prop 22. After the favorable Supreme Court decision, seeing as how our side was publicly saying that H8TE was a “tipping point” for gay rights everywhere, not just in CA, don’t ja kinda think THEY got that, too? RESIGN!

    And, finally, should further proves her ignorance by perpetuating the myth that churches and other non-profits can do anything they want in relation to politicing in relation to referenda. Yes, it’s true that the Mormons, the Catholics, are too big for the IRS to ever do anything but send an admonishing letter, but that wasn’t what she claimed. IRS law is VERY explicit that such groups must not do a disproportionate amount of such activity. The rub is in who decides that, and, again, Mormons and Catholics could literally crucify gays on their altars and the IRS would still be too cowardly to do anything significant. But, again, she doesn’t know what the law IS regardless of its failure in implementation and it will never BE properly implemented unless we start the LONG project of DEMANDING that it be.

    Ms. Jean, please take your WHORE FOR COORS Award that LA activists gave you years ago and RESIGN!

  5. David B. says

    Lorri Jean and her FAQ – what a steaming load of crap!

    It is nice to see some names, though. A list of people that run community orgs that are absolutely unqualified to do anything but create the level of bureaucracy that is typical of reactionary, slow moving, off-point social organizations.

    Vetted, qualified ad firms?!! They hired small, unqualified social marketing firms whose only experience was in small roll-out bus-seat ads about gay/lesbian venereal diseases.

    The real crime here is Jean and her cronies, including John Duran of EQ CA, serial-bunglers all, took so much money from those of us that really didn’t have it to give while discouraging and locking out experienced campaign and marketing professionals who knew early on the campaign and the organizational structure was absolutely doomed to fail!

  6. Leland Frances says

    This just in:

    “The Advocate” has revealed that in the middle of the NO campaign, Lorri Jean took a ONE MONTH vacation, and Kors was gone for 2 1/2 weeks. She pooh poohs criticism by saying she’s flattered her presence was considered so crucial.

    Well, BITCH, if it WASN’T then you SHOULD NOT have been one of the Big Four to start with. Nor Kors!

    Imagine half of Obama’s top staff members taking vacation during his campaign!