Tom Hanks Sorry He Called Mormons “Un-American” for Prop 8 Vote

Tom Hanks has apologized for remarks he made last week calling Mormons who voted for Prop 8 “un-American”:

Tomhanks“Last week, I labeled members of the Mormon church who supported California’s Proposition 8 as ‘un-American. I believe Proposition 8 is counter to the promise of our Constitution; it is codified discrimination. But everyone has a right to vote their conscience; nothing could be more American. To say members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who contributed to Proposition 8 are ‘un-American’ creates more division when the time calls for respectful disagreement. No one should use ‘un- American’ lightly or in haste. I did. I should not have.”

Hanks made the remarks at the HBO premiere of Big Love, a series centered around a fundamentalist Mormon family that practices polygamy.


  1. says

    Unfortunately, Hanks misses the point here and instead falls into the trap most of the conservative morons who pushed this legislation have set-up. The majority should NEVER vote on the rights of a minority. This isn’t a “voteable” issue. But the conservatives would like everyone to believe that GLBT rights imped on everyone else’s rights and therefore the majority should have the ability to vote to outlaw pro-GLBT legislation. I was proud of Hanks for his strong words and am disappointed in his reversal.

  2. Eric says

    Um, yeah. Nice. With all the conviction of a wet egg noodle, Tom Hanks clearly speaks his mind…depending on which way the wind blows. Seems to be blowing pretty hard at Fox News these days. The spin cycle seems to be off-balance again.


  3. says

    Oh, Tom. Why apologize for telling the truth. What they did was distinctly un-American. Sadly they like to play the persecuted Christians when they are the persecutors. They buy the California constitution and steal our rights then pretend they are the victims.

    Un-American is the least offensive thing one could call them.

  4. Jay says

    I get his point – if we’re going to rational about this, we should label actions and not people. And he made clear his belief about Prop 8. We need to stop attacking everyone who isn’t going all militant over these issues. It’s not helping.

  5. Jim says

    So… let’s say that thousands of gay men and women spend tens of millions of dollars to promote a law banning the religious practices of Mormons in Utah… and WON!!! Would we say that it was “un-American” to deny tax paying citizens of the US their right to practice the religion of their choice??? You bet we would say that THAT was un-American!! I’m sick of being treated like our lives, our choices, and our pursuit of happiness doesn’t matter! Shame on you Tom Hanks! You sell out!!!

  6. says

    “respectful disagreement”?

    you got to be fucking kidding me. I guess hanging a black man from a tree in the 50’s just needed to be viewed as a “respectful disagreement”.

    fuck you, hanks

  7. George says

    Aah yes, “Angels and Demons” is opening in theaters in a couple of months. He must have got directives from Dir. Ron Howard and Universal Films to apologize.

  8. Retired Tom says

    Sadly enough, many bright & (dare I say) worldly Latter Day Saints I met in Washington, DC, during my young life after law school 20 years ago were inquisitive, compassionate, funny & engaged in life without trying to impose their “exclusive” beliefs on me as their friend. It was evident that I was one of those “newly open” gay guys who clerked for federal judges. Nonetheless, my introduction to the family values of LDS believers, whom I actually relished as non-judgmental and truly affectionate friends, seemed to outshine the values of my own Roman Catholic Irish/Italian family that couldn’t have been happier that I moved miles away from them, from my hometown.
    So much has changed since then as to maliciously intended cultural wars. Was it transformed to hide the plain fact that Mormons are not, and never will be, Christians in any sense that Christian theology ever since the time of the Romans has described? Jesus is just a name, oftentimes given to innumerable ordinary Hispanic men. The adept LDS Advertising Agencies who assisted the LDS Church become more “mainstream” some time ago suggested emphasizing in much larger print the “hook” of the renown name of “Jesus Christ” in the logo of this cult that believes “their” Jesus is the live, “flesh & blood” brother of Satan residing on another planet in some adjacent sector of the Universe, copulating endlessly with innumerable virgins to send “Spirit Babies” to Earth to inhabit our hapless corporal human bodies. It’s almost as entertaining a yarn as Hubbard’s Scientology fiction, huh? Well, what they both share as a fundamental tenet is that faggots & lezzies are an ultimate threat to their “transcendence” into multitudinous individual Godheads! If someone stood between you & your goal of being GOD, how irrelevant would you render his or her mere “humanity”, huh? We’re talking GODHOOD here. Go to hell all of you queer obstacles! Even if you’re our own flesh & blood brothers & sisters, die. You die; go to hell & die, as Mr. Garrison might put it! Would that all theologians, earnest or otherwise, were required to watch South Park to see how truly hypocritical are all self-righteous self-promoters.

  9. ChadSF says

    George, I agree with you. He has a movie coming out and I am assuming that the studio must have told his publicist to retract what he had said earlier. I am not defending his retraction, it is disappointing but let us not forget that Tom Hanks has been a great advocate of our community with films like Philadelphia, his acceptance speech when he won for Philadelphia, and more importantly, Splash.

  10. Retired Tom says

    Hey there, BOZEMANMONTANA!
    My previous post about the LDS’s “Jesus” is not just a humorous conjecture on my part. Although LDS folks say Jesus is the Son of God, what they mean differs from mainstream Christianity in that Jesus is not God as part of a Trinity. The “real” (and only) God is about nine feet tall, has many physically existing sons, including Satan (as well as our familiar “JC” of Christmas & Easter fame) who sit at His table on this planet (I think it’s called Elion, or some such name) welcoming all of the Brand New LDS Mini-Gods who arrive back from Earth after ridding themselves of all those nasty Earthen ways, like loving & supporting your gay children as much as your straight ones! Really, honest, swear on my belovedly funny & brilliant Mom’s grave! It’s a 19th century version of Scientology, without a doubt. This Joseph Smith guy was actually convicted of fraud on numerous occasions for faking checks & the discovery of gold by “divining” it. He was a charlatan looking for adulation, and his followers used to be slaughtered by real Christians (Catholics in the forefront of their persecution) for their bogus blasphemies. Nowadays, however, to distract the masses from the male & female rape of children by 100’s of Roman Catholic priests, the Roman Church has jumped into bed with the Wing Nuts to hide their multi-million dollar fines for organized pedophilia, as far up in the “Church” as this Cardinal Ratzinger guy who now goes by the name of Pope Benedict, who has personally protected his longtime French priestly friend who has been charged with the rape of dozens of underage minors! You just can’t invent fiction as twisted as this tragic truth. Oh how I wish that their version of hell really does exist, only to someday see them all there either as fellow eternal inmates, or the warming coals keeping my celestial toes toasty in the lofty clouds.

  11. 2nd Class Citizen says

    Members of the GLBT community are considered “un-American” for expecting equal rights. Creating a sub-class is a Christian and American thing to do? Voting against Prop 8 was the right thing to do?

  12. Dyke 1 says

    Tom Hanks is a dork — always was, always will be. This manufactured actor “everyone should love” has reconsidered his self-aggrandizing moralizing. How market savvy of him. How come he didn’t blame California’s black voters for voting against gay marriage overwhelmingly? Statistically it’s proven African-Americans overwhelmingly voted against it and that’s a fact. An Obamanation?

  13. says

    Yes, I get it. Organized religion gets to act politically and never have to consider the consequences. It’s their special right, the conscience utterly conscience-free. We have to respect them for attacking other people. Ain’t that America!

  14. Glass Houses says

    Retired Tom, with all the respect in the world that I can muster, you are totally off base when it comes to Mormon theology. You have no idea what you are talking about, so you should stop talking about it.

    I disagree with the position that the Mormon Church takes regarding gay marriage, and I am sad and angry that they participated in the defeat of prop 8, but come on, vilifying them doesn’t get us anywhere. It feeds their persecution complex and it just makes everyone else dig their heels in. We, of all communities know how fundamental and powerful a persecution complex can be.

    I understand everyone’s anger, but enough already. There are more constructive ways to deal with conflict.

  15. TANK says

    Like my way? Trust, anything retired tom said…oh, it’s a beaut compared to what I’ll say about mormonism. If it were up to me, the mormons would be rounded up and shot for being mormon (I have that in common with a great many mormons who wish the same for gays)…that’s why it can never be up to me. LOL! I, unlike them, realize that.

  16. duane harrison says

    Tom I agree dont apologize for your beliefs. They have never apologized for being unequal. Equality is an American value. Tom I believe in you please believe in us.

  17. Nathanial says

    I have *always* thought that “un-American” is a stupid, made-up “word” that relies on unthinking jingoism and propaganda more than logic or common sense. You don’t hear about “un-Italian”, “un-Spanish”, “un-Japanese”, “un-Australian” or “un-English”. In fact, you never heard “un-Canadian” either, until Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s boot-licking Yankee-wannabe minions started spreading the meme a few years ago (and thankfully, it hasn’t managed to infect our country too badly yet.) Another American import that we DO NOT NEED (or want).

  18. lwoolf says

    Yes, Nathaniel, “un-American” is epithet that should never be used. It assumes that the speaker is the definer of what “American” should be. It is always a losing game to use the phrase.

  19. TANK says

    Unamerican would be any action any person or group takes to undermine the u.s. federal government. Treason is an unamerican activity and punishable by death. Of course it gets abused and hijacked by people and groups with agendas to villify opposition to those agendas that do not undermine the government…but that doesn’t imply it’s meaningless.

    Putting rights up to vote undermines a rights based democracy (though is perhaps legal in CA); is inconsistent with the equal protection clause and substantive rights.

  20. Stats says

    ” All studies show that African Americans in California voted in favor of Prop 8 in higher percentages than any other ethnic group. ”

    Jus’ the facts man

  21. Nathanial says

    Tank —

    Y’know who invented the term “un-American”? HUAAC — the House Un-American Activities Committee — and Senator Joseph McCarthy.

    I think about as much of the people who throw this “word” around today as I do about THAT particular exercise in “democracy”.

    ’nuff said.

  22. Marco says

    Fuck Tom Hanks. What they’re doing is Un-American. He got heat from wingnuts and religious zealots and folded while we scorch under that same heat every day of our lives.

  23. Nathanial says

    From that same Wiki article: “Due in part to these historical associations with political abuses and jingoism, the attitudes of Americans toward the pejorative use of “Un-American” are often critical or suspicious.”

    As I said, jingoism. And that is *precisely* how it is almost always used today — the same way McCarthy used it.

    What does it tell you that NO OTHER grown-up nation is so insecure and paranoid that it has had to resort to making up such a “word”? Let me tell you, it does *not* reflect well on anyone who uses it; it speaks volumes more about those who cast the aspersion than it does about those who are accused of the so-called charge.

  24. TANK says

    No, you said it was invented by HUUAC and joe mccarthy, and it wasn’t. Interesting about the history of HUUAC pre mccarthy, too.

    Further, that is but ONE connotation, which I already addressed. Anyone who uses the word today isn’t necessarily being jingoistic…Christopher Hitchens has used it in that manner, but nonetheless, context of the term should determine that, and we shouldn’t immediately discredit someone who uses the term; notice it says “pejorative use”. In this case, I feel it’s more than justified and is not jingoistic.

    And please, if you’re operating under the delusion that no other country but America has resorted to groundless nationalism in the service of political agendas and has come up with words like “unamerican,” then you’re mistaken again…milosevic…jean marie le pen, for examples… Yes all the world’s woes were created by the united states and if only there weren’t white european males, we’d be living in eden.

  25. Mike says

    As many other posters have commented: WTF! Tom Hanks is the latest victim to fall into the right wing trap of deflection. Of course voting to take someone’s rights away is un-american and as I think we are going to find out shortly – unconstitutional. A notorious Fox News / right wing tactic of endlessly whining about anything if they don’t get their way. I wish people would just fricken wakeup and stand their ground. Geez…

  26. says


    Please, don’t think that way. Our friends and supporters have to stop betraying us. They have to stop pretending that bigotry against us is inside the realm of decent behavior.

    Ton Hanks is a Warrenizer, a straight ally who sells gays out at the drop of a hat.

  27. Retired Tom says

    I am not “vilifying” anyone. If I were to sarcastically describe what Charles Manson truly believes, would you label that “vilification”, too? When I was privy to the friendship of straight and (covertly) gay LDS members for two years while living in Washington, DC, years before these well planned Culture Wars were launched in order to divide & conquer the small percentage of eligible voters who still go through the motions, I learned from the source some “inner secrets” from married straight LDS folks who were truly dismayed at the absurd clash of their insular Utah originated beliefs once they came to understand & enjoy the East Coast’s pluralism. “Know Thyself” & “Know Your Enemy” are ancient Greek & Chinese maxims of philosophy. Many Mormons are more intolerant of “others” than any of the many Muslims I ever have happened to meet. That’s anecdotal, I know, but my years are adding up & I have traveled throughout North America & Europe, sometimes for durations of 6 months at a time. It continues to amaze me, however, that some of the most vile people in our midst are protected by well-intentioned folks simply because the criminals belong to some “culturally” recognized institution. After all, Adolph Hitler was an altar boy!

  28. David W says

    Please reread Tom’s “apology.” He did not retract his comments, he simply stated that calling someone un-American causes more division when the time called for respectful disagreement.
    Tom was absolutely correct in his comments that Prop 8 is codified discrimination and contrary to Constitional gurantees.
    I admire Mr. Hanks for expressing the truth that those who voted for Prop 8 are un-American.
    Discrimination in any form is un-acceptable in a free country.
    Equal treatment for minorities should never be put to a vote by the majority. Were the issue of inter-racial marriage decided by the voters, Our new President parents would never been allowed to marry.

  29. says


    Think about the times in which gay people live.
    They do not, do not, do not call for “respectful disagreement.”

    Obama is dead, dead, dead wrong on this.
    They call for calling bigotry bigotry. Tom Hanks should apologize for giving bigots an out. So should the president. And gay people should stop making excuses for fair weather friends.

  30. GregV says

    I might agree that “unamerican“ is not the word to use. But “respectful disagreement“ is NOT what the anti gay side is employing.
    “Respectful“ disagreement would look more like this… “I don`t agree with…(fill in the blank with same sex marriage Joseph Smith Catholicism wearing baggy pants having dark skin etc.}… so I will (fill in the blank with “not marry a same sex spouse not join the Mormon or Catholic church wear the clothes I like wear sunscreen etc.
    “Respectful“ disagreement does NOT allow that sentence to finish with “… “and I will fight to have the government treat you as inferior and to take away your legal right to be different.“
    There is nothing respectful about prop 8.

  31. Roo Sparks says

    What percentage of voting Californians voted for Prop 8? ANSWER 52.2% What percentage of Californians are Mormon? ANSWER 2% (over half being too young to vote). Without even one Mormon voting Prop 8 does not pass.

    70% of African Americans voted for Prop 8. Are Blacks unamerican? It would be rediculous to call them Unamerican.

    If the GLBT community including Hanks wants to be taken seriously then stick with intellegent arguements rather than unload with anger on a small sub-group that through peaceful political process uses thier constitutionally derrived ability to influence others.

  32. Retired Tom says

    Dear Roo Sparks, I’m not really sure to which small “sub-group” you are referring. If it’s African-American Californians, then I’m with you. The exit polls are suspect & the influence of fundamentalist Christian bigoted preachers goes right up the white populated spine of California as well. We might as well note, too, that the Roman Catholic Church here has a great deal of members who are immigrant Hispanics to whom the LGBT Community & the State Democratic Party needed to reach with a respectful education about civil law vs. religious canons here. Being dictated to from pulpits by members of the Pedophilia Protection League, especially from the same ancient pulpits that once preached the paid-bounty demise of Native Peoples, and the pulpits in California’s Missions that once “pacified” both Spanish & Native Peoples into a feudal form of agricultural enslavement. We as members of a movement fell well short of our possibilities.
    On the other hand, if that small “sub-group” you’re trying to defend as “constitutionally” peaceful advocates, then I must in amazement state that only a right wing self loathing & fearful hater of the true tenets of democratic civil equality would ever try to defend how a group comprising only 2% (by your estimate of California’s LDS registered voters) of the electorate could ever call across state lines for 10’s of millions of dollars to strip fellow citizens of their “constitutionally derrived [sic]” ability to civilly marry their single beloved other. The Nazi’s in Germany passed very peaceful laws requiring all sorts of “sub-groups” to merely wear patches of variously colored cloth on their outer garments when in public. This was a few years before the commencement of the mass export & extermination of these “merely peaceably patch wearing” Jews, Christian Scientists, Communists & Homosexuals.
    Were it not for the Right Wing Wealthy bias of the US Supreme Court these recent past decades, the vast expenditures of a few millionares to drown out the electioneering of many thousands of less affluent voters would not be “protected” as free speech. Just as many human voices can be drowned out by one person with an expensive sound system, it flies in the face of empirical observation that a million dollar “voice” is in any way “equal” to the 10’s of 1,000’s of voices without financial influence in this democracy. But, I guess that’s the kind of “derivative constitutionality” you hold so dear to your egalitarian political heart, right?

  33. Roo Sparks says

    Retired Tom, In response to my post you used the following labels to describe Mormons:

    Bigot, fundamentalist, white, right wing self loathing, fearful hater, Nazi, wealthy, egalitarian political heart.

    In looking at your previous posts you used the following labels to describe Mormons:

    Charles Manson,insular Utah originated beliefs, intolerant (compared to Muslims), vile, criminals, culturally recognized institution, Hitler. Wing nuts, eternal inmates, maliciously intended, cult, copulating endlessly with innumerable vitgins, go to hell and die, truly hypocritical, self-righteous self-promoters.

    You are being mean.

    Mormons are not as you describe them.

    When people read your long intellectual prose they are entertained. And because of your undeserved name calling they discount its validity.

  34. Retired Tom says

    Dear Devout Latter Day Saints Everywhere: Let me make this as short & direct as possible. When any organization has secret sanctums, texts & rituals; needs addled old men to tell them that Africans are indeed human, too; when magic underwear is a required tenet of their “theology”; when their founders practiced patriarchal polygamy for generations, while many members of their organization still do with impunity; and finally, when certain rituals demanded of certain members that they demonstrate symbolically slitting their throats & disemboweling themselves before they’d ever tell the “unbelievers” these secret “divine truths”, then I could care less how their supporters try to attack me as the messenger of multiply recorded facts, while they misread & twist my words to the effect that I “describe” them by my sarcastic juxtapositions & analogies. Go ahead & just lump all the buzzwords together & out of context like ROO SPARKS infantilely did. Please continue to be self-imposed religious simpletons, comic book versions of “theology” akin to the self-serving financial farce of Scientology. Don’t even publish for all to understand your rituals, edicts, tenets, proclamations & “revelations” as even the Roman Catholic Church does. I have no respect for anyone who still “believes” the world is flat, either. And by the way, these are those words people use when exercising that “other” less reverent First Amendment Right: Free Speech, without which the varied regressive religious bigots that seem to proliferate in this frontier country would be up shit’s creek without a paddle or a prayer.

  35. Roo Sparks says

    You are unkind.

    You are also un-informed.

    I hope we have an audience here because actions will always speak louder than words. We all have friends and nieghbors that are Mormons and the lives they live do not reflect the descriptions you label them with. You discredit yourself by saying unkind things and dismiss it as sarcasm.

    More Labels, You Just can’t help but call names: Here are the most recent.

    “Self-imposed religious simpletons, comic book version of theology, believes the world is flat, regressive religious bigots, wears magic underwear”.

    Funny, YES but at best mislead.

    Mormons are nice people. Stop being mean.

  36. Retired Tom says

    Those Nice Mormons (by the Way, they really don’t relish being called “Mormons” FYI) are certainly at their friendliest best when they reject their own flesh & blood homosexual sons & daughters by kicking them to the curb at 14 or 15 years old. Check any male prostitution zone in almost any major American city, and swing a dead cat: you’re bound to hit some homeless queer kid still wearing magic undies. Then, the LDS “folks” get so gosh-oh-gee heart warming when they completely ostracize them from the most important unit of Latter Day Saint society, the kids own families, as if the kids died. So that’s when they really turn on the charm as the families must vow to never mention their names again, nor (Heaven forefend!) to even look at or speak to them. But wait, there’s even further everlasting Norman Rockwell moments because a central tenet of LDS “theology” is that all families of true believers reunite in the afterlife, except for those depraved queers who so shamed the “God Almighty” family in this life. Those gay souls are forever cast adrift parentless, siblingless & just less; forever, which is so very much longer than the miserable remaining lifetimes of those godless stubborn & ungrateful brats who chose to be gay in defiance of God’s Law! Yeah, that’s my kind of “nice” alright! (Gotta say that I suspect, ROOS SPARKS dear meekly outraged defender of all persons nice & self-righteously condescending critic of all people mean, that you keep lobbing me those slow balls because there’s something fraudulent about you. For instance, why do you not even know that these many, many nice LDS people you claim to know really squirm under the common moniker of Mormons? Very curious indeed!)

  37. Roo Sparks says

    You now accuse me of being outraged, self-righteous, condescending, and fraudulent.

    You don’t know me. None of these labels describe who I am.

    Your approach of making unfounded accusations and libel are obvious as you describe Me, Mormons, Tom Hanks, and surely any other person that beleives different than you do.

  38. Retired Tom says

    Buh-bye ROO SPARKS! Try spell check & some thoughts deeper than a momentary reaction, okay? Have a “nice” life free of any criticism you shovel out coming back at you ten fold. Buh-bye!

  39. says

    I can see what Tom is trying to say. You wont change any opinions by calling Mormons “UnAmerican” or any other name. It detracts from the real issues by giving the other side ammunition. Mormons have the right to their opinion, as do gays. What’s the issue at hand is the right to live and act upon that opinion. Tom did the right thing. The best thing however would have been to have not done any name calling in the first place. And that’s the best advise for all of us.

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