A reader pointed me to this article in the Sacramento Bee about stepped-up security around Mormon churches as a result of the recent protests. One would hope that law enforcement is there to serve and protect all citizens on an equal basis but according to one LDS official they have embedded officers watching out for them:
“They are hiring extra security to watch over the Folsom temple, and asking members to drive by church buildings late at night. Mormons in law enforcement are keeping track of Internet chatter to find out where protests will be held. ‘Our members in law enforcement know where to look for this kind of stuff,’ said Lisa West, spokeswoman for the church in the Sacramento region. She added that they are doing this on their own time. ‘There’s a lot of volatility in the air, so we’re asking people to keep their eyes and ears open.'”
Our reader writes: “I think this is newsworthy. The Mormon church openly admits that it’s embedding members into police departments then using them to advance their agenda… They’re not saying that they’re working with police like everyone else does, they’re admitting that they’re engaged in a conspiracy to advance their agenda using their police officer members in a possible circumvention of the law, and a definite violation of basic police ethics.”
Here are a couple more related updates:
The NYT published a major article on Friday, highlighting the Mormon church’s significant role in the passage of Proposition 8.
The L.A. Times also noted in a major weekend article that the LDS church is feeling the heat.
It was also revealed over the weekend that the main cinema used by the Sundance Film Festival is a Cinemark cinema. The CEO of Cinemark, Alan Stock, gave $9,999 to ‘Yes on 8’. Cinemark operates the ‘Century’, ‘CinéArts’, and ‘Tinseltown’ theater chains. Sundance won’t pull out of the anti-gay cinema. While Sundance is one issue, Cinemark also stands to profit from showing the Gus van Sant film Milk in its theatres. A group has sprung up online boycotting Cinemark theatres and encouraging viewers to see Milk at an alternative theatre chain.
Utah gay rights advocates oppose a boycott of the state. State senator Scott McCoy: “Now is no time to boycott Utah. Now is the time to stand up in solidarity … We need to show Utahns that we are not going to go away and that we need to be paid attention to. We need rights for our families.”
Tiny but visible counter-protest seen in Salt Lake City over the weekend.
The Mormon church blamed white powder it received in envelopes on gay activists, calling it domestic terrorism: “‘We call upon those who have honest disagreements on this issue to urge restraint upon the extreme actions of a few,’ church President Thomas S. Monson said in a statement. The Utah Pride Center, a gay rights group, put out its own statement calling the powder hoaxes and acts of vandalism ‘deplorable.’ However, the group said, ‘It is false to conclude that yesterday’s suspicious package came from gay protesters. Overwhelmingly, gay and allied Utahns have expressed their pain, frustration and commitment to securing rights through peaceful demonstrations and marches.’ The coalition that ran the campaign to defeat Proposition 8 also issued a condemnation Friday. ‘The NO on 8 campaign was about civil rights and seeking equality for all Californians. We have said time and again that the Mormon church deserves the same respect as any other religion,’ said Ali Bay, a spokeswoman for Equality California, the state’s largest gay rights group. The FBI is still investigating both cases, spokesman Juan T. Becerra said, noting that it’s a crime to release a substance to threaten harm and stoke public fear.”