What a field day for the Heat, a thousand people in the street (Prop 8)

Wrapping up my day with a birthday visit with my daughter, I decided to drive up State Street and see how the protest was going. It was amazing. Traffic was barely creeping along. I could only get as far as North Temple and the police directed me to the east. But I was able to see hundreds of people with signs. I could hear the cheers and the chanting. It was the 60s all over for me. I wanted to be there, but turned away and trapped in traffic, I finally made my way home and decided to write instead.

UPDATE: KSL.com reports that

Though the crowd started out small, police estimate it has grown to somewhere between 2,000 and 5,000 people.

This is democracy in action. People have been denied some very basic rights. Many readers here do not agree. Tough. Your religion has no right to dictate what rights other people get.

I’ll repeat what an earlier post here called this: “Devastating” for the Mormon Church. Why? Today’s protests in Salt Lake and in LA yesterday should make that clear. The church will suffer long-term negative public opinion because of its overt actions. And this is just the tip of the ice berg. Californians are angry that money from Utah poured into their state to support this issue. This will not die quietly in California nor here.

Gordon B. Hinckley, the master mind of public relations for the church will be turning over in his grave. Years of heartwarming public service announcements are all undone with one little issue that just will not be quiet.

Postscript: Olbermann says he will have a special comment on Monday on this issue entitled “What’s It To Ya.”

UPDATE 2: Channel 4 reported that some people are calling for boycotting Utah as a tourist destination along with the Sundance Film Festival. Blogs and social network sites are promoting the boycott.

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  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on November 7, 2008 - 9:41 pm

    I got there just before six, and it looked like 500 people were there. A half hour later, it was at least 2,000. I had to leave around 7 pm, and by that time who knows how many, and a small counter-protest was going on across the street. I passed a lot more folks just arriving.

    Paul “your opinion doesn’t count” Mero inspired me to go tonight, and I’m glad I was there with the real Americans of Utah. Those of us who believe in the Constitution.

  2. #2 by Leo Brown on November 7, 2008 - 10:05 pm

    I wonder if black churches and Catholic churches will be similarly targeted or if this is strictly an anti-LDS themed campaign.

    People have a right to demonstrate both for and against the outcome on Prop 8, but causing traffic jams isn’t usually a good way to win friends.

    In the sixties, the slogan was “power to the people.” Now the anti-8 forces want to deny power to the people as expressed in the election results. I don’t see Republicans marching in the streets to protest the results of the presidential election, yet the popular mandate for President-elect Obama was the same percentage as for Proposition 8.

    As Jennifer Roback Morse put it, the people of California want religious groups to be free to operate within their own value systems. People don’t want to unleash discrimination suits and other forms of legal harassment against religious bodies which hold that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    The attacks on the Latter-day Saints are bringing many religious leaders to our defense, for which I am thankful.

    Bishop Stephen Blaire, the President of the California Catholic Conference decried [a recent anti-LDS] advertisement from opponents of Proposition 8 as “a blatant display of religious bigotry and intolerance. “ He expressed dismay that any public media outlet would give it an airing. “The YES on 8 campaign is not about discrimination and intolerance; it is about restoring the traditional definition of marriage for the good of society and children,” said Bishop Blaire. “All individuals and groups, whether religious or not, have both a right and a responsibility to participate in a civil debate about this important issue. From the beginning of this campaign the Catholic Conference has stressed the importance of mutual respect and denounces this type of religious bigotry.”

    “As the Prop. 8 battle [came] to a head, the smear tactics from the ‘No on 8’ campaign have become shameful,” said Pastor Miles McPherson of the Rock Church in San Diego. “While the opposition to Prop. 8 claims to be tolerant, this ad is a prime example of the great lengths to which they will go to deceive the public. This is an alarming offense to the Mormon church,” McPherson added.

  3. #3 by Richard Warnick on November 7, 2008 - 10:13 pm

    Leo– I’m not trying to make friends. Anybody who advocates taking away the civil rights of Americans is no friend of mine. I was brought up in the Roman Catholic Church, but I always reserved the right to disagree when they are wrong. Many members of the LDS Church also opposed their own religious leaders on Prop 8.

    Religiously-motivated intolerance and suppression of the rights of Americans is wrong, no matter which religion is guilty. But 80 percent of the financing for this campaign came from Mormons, $6 million from Utah alone. I really wonder how the holier-than-thou crowd justifies the lies that were told to pass Prop 8.

  4. #4 by James Farmer on November 7, 2008 - 10:31 pm

    BREAKING: Folks here in San Francisco are just getting warmed up tonight on their way to the Castro. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/08/us/08protest.html Stay tuned.

  5. #5 by Becky Stauffer on November 7, 2008 - 10:32 pm

    The Mormon church’s complaint that it is unfair to target them when they were part of a coalition (i.e., others ought to be targeted, too), reminds me of the schoolyard bully that pushes down a little kid, and then cries big tears when the little kid kicks him in the shins.

    The church made itself a fair target by becoming the high profile promoter and financeer of Prop 8. It is entirely fair that those whose rights are now violated should use every legal means available to them to restore those rights. If the church wanted no part of that fight, they shouldn’t have waded into it.

  6. #6 by Becky Stauffer on November 7, 2008 - 10:35 pm

    James, is there any chance the California Supreme Court will strike down this law as it has previous laws? Are lawsuits planned?

  7. #7 by C av on November 7, 2008 - 10:53 pm

    ‘The Church’ either had to get enlightened, or get busted. They chose the latter. Now will their attitudes about war, nuke wastes and such be locked behind the temple doors as they cringe against those who would marry someone too much like themselves

    Stay tuned.,

  8. #8 by Becky Stauffer on November 7, 2008 - 11:03 pm

    Though it’s off-topic, your mention of war, Cav, reminded me of Gordon B. Hinckley’s response when asked if it was right to invade Iraq. He said, “Sometimes regime change can be good.” I’ll never forget that.

    P.S. I mean I’m veering off topic here momentarily, not you.

  9. #9 by Obama the Paul on November 7, 2008 - 11:10 pm

    i think GBH died a liberal at heart. the guy actually got and believed in liberal thought, but he was so deep into the organization he refused to let it show.

  10. #10 by WP on November 7, 2008 - 11:10 pm

    They did absolutely make themselves a target by their very spirited support of Prop 8. I have no sympathy for their complaints and wish I could have been there myself.

  11. #11 by Obi wan liberali on November 7, 2008 - 11:35 pm

    I posted a very spirited and angry post regarding the LDS Church’s support for Prop 8 and then deleted it. I get so angry about it, I fear sounding shrill and dogmatic in my opposition to LDS Church Leadership. I was always taught that when you are angry, that is not the time to write anything. But I haven’t found myself capable of writing with any sense of dispassion regarding this issue. The idea of supporting a campaign to remove rights previously held by people by a tax exempt organization just feels truly repugnant. I once sustained Thomas S. Monson as a prophet seer and revelator by raising of the right hand. But I can say with every fiber in my being, that he is no prophet, but a harbinger of intolerance and should be despised by all rational thinking people. He myopically believes he is serving his God, but ultimately, he is harming human beings who meant him no harm. Ultimately, the LDS Church’s decision to support Prop 8 was his. If you could impeach a prophet, he certainly deserves it. Mormons may consider my position as blasphemy, but as an atheist, I sincerely believe, that blasphemy is a victimless crime.

  12. #12 by Becky Stauffer on November 7, 2008 - 11:50 pm

    Well said, Obi. You are always welcome to vent here.

    Thanks, WP, for weighing in on these comments too.

    I know it’s hard for those who were raised in the church to speak against it. And it makes it all the more courageous that you are willing to do so.

  13. #13 by glenn on November 8, 2008 - 1:03 am

    So Becky, whose birthday? Yours or your daughters? Either way, it is mine today as well, which if it is your birthday, sounds like it was a happy one!

    Scorpios…, see right through the BS, and beware the sting…so I have to figure it is your daughters birthday, because I am not getting that ability to see things transparently from you. Could be the effect of the medium used, this impersonal device.

  14. #14 by Larry Bergan on November 8, 2008 - 1:12 am

    Do unto others was thrown to the dogs by the church. If California had sent millions here to pass an initiative they disagreed with, “the sacred ones” would have blown a gasket. Suck it in and take your medicine, you brought this on yourselves. You tainted an otherwise wonderful election with your fears and intolerance.

  15. #15 by Richard Okelberry on November 8, 2008 - 8:16 am


    Was this protest centered around the LDS Temple or did it also move up the way to the Catholic Church? What I am asking is; are the protestors also going after the Catholic Church who was equally involved in supporting Prop 8? Or is this and anti-Mormon protest?

    To be clear, I am not LDS and I personally opposed Prop 8 because I don’t believe the government should use marriage to establish a preference for one religion over another.

    Also, I haven’t once read on this site a single admonishment of Barack Obama who is a strong opponent of gay marriage. Did any liberals here consider not voting for Obama because of this issue? Just curious.

  16. #16 by Ken on November 8, 2008 - 8:40 am

    As I recall millions of dollars came from out of state to defeat school vouchers and I didn’t ever hear anyone on the left complain about it. Also, there have been many initiatives introduced by the left that required you to vote no when you were for something and yes when you are against something and I still don’t recall liberals complaining about that either.

    Money coming from out of state was completely legitimate because this issue does not just effect California. The next step to force the entire country to legalize gay marriage is to sue the individual states to recognize gay marriages performed in other states using the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution. that is the stated goal of the pro gay marriage movement.

    As for the Church getting a black eye over this, just remember that in poll after poll it is shown there is overwhelming opposition to gay marriage and in every election that has had gay marriage on the ballot not one has passed anywhere regardless of Blue State or Red State. There is no place in America that allows gay marriage that was passed by any legislature or popular vote. They have all been imposed by activist judges.

    It is also disingenuous to say that all who oppose redefining marriage are doing it with malice or hatred towards gays. The Church did not support the Amendment with hate in mind but to protect the traditional definition of marriage. There are many people who support gay causes and agree (including myself) that gays should be allowed many if not all the same legal rights as married couples but do not support redefining marriage.

    There is a question I have for the gay community? If you believe that marriage should be available to all people who are in a committed loving relationship then why have you not been just as vocal in supporting polygamists? It seems that you are demanding your own rights but are not willing to defend others that are demanding similar rights? When the FLDS were under attack by the Texas government I don’t recall seeing any pro gay marriage people standing in solidarity with polygamists? To me it shows you have an attitude of rights for me but not for thee.

  17. #17 by Ken on November 8, 2008 - 8:50 am


    Read this very interesting article about the division between African-Americans and gays in regards to Proposition 8. I guess they are all bigots and haters too. When will the protests be held in front of predominately black church’s?

  18. #18 by FRED on November 8, 2008 - 8:56 am

    The only thing the protests are doing is pissing of LDS people who see gays as Democrats and now will never vote in the politicians that might be able to help on this issue.

    THE militant LGBT Crowd is simply fucking brilliant! NOT!

  19. #19 by Cliff on November 8, 2008 - 9:08 am


    Obama heartily supports equal rights for everyone including gays.

    However he described his position during the election, it was carefully worded to trick people like you.

    …and let be honest, you are easily tricked. Bush tricked you everyday for a good 6 solid years.

  20. #20 by Cliff on November 8, 2008 - 9:14 am

    This is funny. The old men (high priest of the Temple) just don’t get it. Does really takes an ex-Mormon to see clearly?

    Church officials are “disturbed” that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was “singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election,” said LDS spokesman Scott Trotter earlier Friday.
    “Millions of others from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation who voted for Proposition 8 exercised the most sacrosanct and individual rights in the United States

    Yeah? And so did we, last night.

  21. #21 by Richard Warnick on November 8, 2008 - 9:22 am

    Barack Obama opposed Prop 8 as early as last July. He supports “fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law.”

    I think it’s amusing that LDS Church leaders are now trying to claim victim status, and hiding behind the skirts of Bishop Weigand. Cowards.

  22. #22 by Ken on November 8, 2008 - 9:29 am


    So you are saying Obama is a liar and will tell one group one thing and something else to another to get their votes? Maybe he is doing the same thing when he says he’s not a Marxist, or when he said he barely knows William Ayres, or when he said he didn’t know “Reverend” Wright is a racist? I guess we can’t believe anything Obama says.

  23. #23 by Cliff Lyon on November 8, 2008 - 9:59 am

    Ken, Sounds like your definition of lying has suddenly narrowed.

    You probably need to know the truth now. The modern American campaign has become so distorted by the right-wing, and half the country are so uninformed, that certain tactics have taken a Machiavellian hue.

    But when you find your integrity and decide to apply your newly narrowed definition of lying to the last eight years of the Bush administration, tell your children.

    They more than I need to understand the ‘many shades of Dad.”

  24. #24 by Jesse Harris on November 8, 2008 - 10:15 am

    “Gordon B. Hinckley, the master mind of public relations for the church will be turning over in his grave.”

    I think you have your history confused. The First Presidency, under the direction of that same Gordon B. Hinckley, also endorsed marriage amendments in California (Prop 22), Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Idaho (among other states) and encouraged members to volunteer their time and money for those efforts.

    My father-in-law got to witness some of the “tolerance” yesterday as he drove by an LDS meetinghouse covered in red spray-painted “no on 8” graffiti. And my mother-in-law was witness to attempted murder as someone tried to run over someone holding a “yes on 8” sign. I don’t recall any civil rights leaders encouraging those kind of behaviors, yet I’ll bet there’s dozens of apologists here who will tout the “they had it coming” line. Protest if you want to, get angry if you want to, but engaging in criminal activities is not going to make your case. It’s my experience that anyone who has to resort to vandalism and violence to make their case may not have been arguing from a position of strength.

  25. #25 by Cliff Lyon on November 8, 2008 - 10:25 am

    Hey Jessie,

    You may not with any integrity ascribe the conduct of individuals to the rest of the movement any more than you would like people to ascribe the behavior of individual ‘members’ to the entire church?

    As such, I will assume you describe these few, isolated incidents for our benefit?

    How does Jessie feel about Jessie’s church making such a big deal about something that has nothing to do with Jessie, but just hurts gay folks and makes the rest of us question the authority of the church leadership?

  26. #26 by Ken on November 8, 2008 - 10:28 am

    Some of these protesters are committing what would be considered hate crimes if it was against any other group. Any vandalism or attempting to disrupt a house of worship is a federal crime and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

  27. #27 by Richard Warnick on November 8, 2008 - 10:31 am

    I was only at the demonstration for the first hour, however the anti-Prop 8 people I saw were all in a happy mood and the signs they carried advocated tolerance and equality for all Americans. There were plenty of Mormons at the demonstration. Our side is going to win this, and if there are people feeling bitter over the passage of Prop 8 they should re-think the situation.

    Who was angry? The tiny knot of pro-Prop 8 demonstrators were screaming mad, but most of us ignored them.

  28. #28 by chanchanman on November 8, 2008 - 10:46 am

    President Monson said, “May we be good citizens of the nations in which we live and good citizens in our communities, REACHING OUT to other faiths as well as our own……..As we build unity from people of vastly different backgrounds, the children of God have more in common than they have differences….”
    To me, personaly, this does seem conflicting with the counsel given by the prophet to support porp.8.

  29. #29 by Obama the Paul on November 8, 2008 - 10:46 am

    As I recall millions of dollars came from out of state to defeat school vouchers and I didn’t ever hear anyone on the left complain about it.


    This has to be one of the most uninformed statements you have ever made. You, yourself, I am certain, have characterized the NEA as a left-leaning organization. The NEA is “on the left” and complained loudly re out of state money – e.g., from the Waltons – with its own money.

  30. #30 by Lucky13 on November 8, 2008 - 10:48 am

    I took that talk as “don’t judge others”, “don’t persecute others”, but we absolutely have the right to defend anything that threatens our belief system. And despite the “poor us”, “victim” role that so many groups take, Gays and Lesbians are not Victims! They are simply trying to change the laws and therefore public acceptance of their misdeeds.

    Homosexuality is ethically, morally, and legally wrong and even changing a law or Constitution will not change those facts. I can’t stand ANY group who tries to change the “rules” in order to justify their actions. Homosexuality is a CHOICE – face that fact and then you can move on with your life :).

    And no, I’m not irate, just firm in my conviction of this

  31. #31 by Cliff Lyon on November 8, 2008 - 11:14 am

    Whats this? A discussion between 2 members about a Monson speech?

    Apparently he did not deliver a clear message. Perhaps the ambiguity is out necessity born of contradiction?

    Full serving of apologetics.

  32. #32 by Don on November 8, 2008 - 1:06 pm

    Hmmm, Jesse, I don’t see too many apologists for those committing crimes against the Church or its supporters.

    Vandalizing Church property and perpetrating physical violence are unacceptable.

    Now, would you care to retract your statement?

  33. #33 by Richard Warnick on November 8, 2008 - 1:24 pm

    Lucky 13– You managed to pack a lot of misinformation into your comment. “Gays and Lesbians” did not change the law, it was Prop 8 that revised a 150-year-old section of the California state constitution. You can’t attack other peoples’ civil rights and then claim victim status for yourself!

  34. #34 by C av on November 8, 2008 - 1:31 pm

    I have noticed occasional instances where Kens’ thinking clarifies to such and extent that It actually stuns me. His ‘liberal education’ may be having some impact.

    I will continue to pray for him.

  35. #35 by Becky Stauffer on November 8, 2008 - 5:18 pm

    Ok, I’m way behind, and it looks like most questions directed to me have been adequately answered. I’ll just add two more cents:

    Ken, you are deluded to think the church isn’t getting a black eye over this. But go ahead and think that way.

    RO, I don’t think the Catholic church was “equally” involved with the Mormon church. Besides being responsible for 80 percent of the funds donated, the Mormons also have an amazing top-down organization geared for disseminating information from the top to every last member in short order. When they kick into gear, there’s no-one who can compare with that organization to rally troops on the ground.

  36. #36 by Cliff Lyon on November 8, 2008 - 5:25 pm

    You missed it Becky, Glenn got so bad today, I had to moderate him and delete a couple of comments.

    I’ll warn you again. You definitely do not want to give this guy any more access to you than this. He does not fight fair and has zero respect for anybody.

  37. #37 by Michael on November 8, 2008 - 8:26 pm

    This is a sad day for my church, With all of the many different things that the leaders could focus on, things that would improve the world, they chose to focus instead on divisiveness and prejudice. They are looking backward, but are doing so in such a way that they fail to see their move from being persecuted over their marriage practices to being the persecutor. It is sad, sad, sad. If this is how they interpret Jesus Christ’s teachings, well… I am seriously considering finding a new spiritual home.

  38. #38 by Becky Stauffer on November 8, 2008 - 8:41 pm

    Indeed, Michael. I feel your sadness.

  39. #39 by glenn on November 8, 2008 - 9:57 pm

    A Cliff way to cover your ass, the people that needed to see it did.

    You can spin it anyway you want, but you damn well know you are merely trying to protect yourself from being outed as someone that is just presenting themselves.

    The things that need to be known about you will come, I mean really Cliff, most people see you for what you are. Like I do. I am just trying to clue Becky in, she seems nice enough.

    For you to say i don’t fight fair is ridiculous, you don’t even fight, your entire schtick consists of ad hominem, and it gets worse as you age.

    Anything untrue Cliff about your environmentally careless life? That is what I thought. I don’t have any respect for you Cliff, and where do you think I learned the tactics. Check your mirror. What comes around….

  40. #40 by glenn on November 8, 2008 - 10:02 pm

    it’s your karma.

  41. #41 by glenn on November 8, 2008 - 10:05 pm

    and by now, who would believe anything you say, but the believers that post their hopes here?

    It is going to be a fun 4 years. Remember Cliff I learned this from watching you operate.

  42. #42 by C av on November 9, 2008 - 1:41 am

    I missed the killed comments, But I’ll say that censorship is a pisser (especially when it happens to ME). When it’s obvious, it creates a lurch I don’t really know how to step into.

    Glenn, if that is your name (I confess I preferred ‘Cassandra’, or ‘The rope of liberty’ or what-ever), many a time there’s been complaints about Stars and ‘Personality politics’. It’s not for us. It’s lame. I think that distaste applies to blogg ‘personalities’. (another good reason for anonimity). It’s the forum, and shared notions that stimulate me. I don’t see anyONE poster, named or anon, who’s incapable of blowing it now and again. Same for the title-holders. It’s a free-speech zone where we’re liable to get dragged in altogether unforseen directions, and in so doing, grow. Trolls and troll-like behavior come with the territory. We just write what we write, to inform, to bait, to question, or to crack a smile. I know it’s painful to have comments killed. I’ve had a few.


    Can you just lay out your points, as you do so well, without harshing Cliff so much? Your inputs are much too valuable to be kill-filed ’cause of some grudge from god-knows-when.

    I will say no more.

  43. #43 by glenn on November 9, 2008 - 9:42 am

    Here is the point Cav.

    The tactic makes the strategy in this case. The fact that you even do not know if I am really glenn, by the continuous use of personas is simply beautiful. The exercise has come full circle and has proven the point. On the web, who a person is doesn’t matter. What they are saying does. I am glenn, I am not glenn, now what? Read the content.

    Cliff dislikes anonymity as it makes it impossible to simply dismiss people’s opinions based upon a characterization of their personality. Knowing who is writing a post gives him and others the ability to simply dismiss the thoughts of those of a republican/conservative etc. The progressive following here will happily dismiss such without question once the the person is branded with a label.

    I don’t think you could get anymore “tribal”, as cliff so likes to define groups using this kind of behavior.

    Most progressive ideology is pretty superficial in its analysis of what is going on. It generally just catagorizes thought into “good” or “bad”.

    Cav I could make a very able progressive poster demonizing the “others”. I do not disagree with much progressive thought, but joining in with the glad handers here isn’t what is needed. What would be the point? What the exercise has done is show the weakness of progressives in the competition of ideas. Easier to attack the person as the ideas, as we see here all too often. Sadly, the lesson is lost for the most part on the “true believers”.

    It is why there are a multiplicity of personas, each one describing a particular “true believing” point of view. This is the exercise. It is pretty difficult to label “blessed rope” or dismiss their points to a causation in their personality isn’t it? That is the intent, among others.

    There you go, post that up Cliff, or er, moderation man, dare ya, guess you have to now, or look foolish, though when have you minded that? I don’t grudge you your handicap, you well need it.

  44. #44 by Kevin Owens on November 10, 2008 - 12:35 pm

    “Gays and Lesbians” did not change the law, it was Prop 8 that revised a 150-year-old section of the California state constitution.

    Richard, this is not correct. Proposition 8 inserted a new section into the California state constitution, it didn’t revise an existing section.

    Also, I think it’s intellectually dishonest for you to imply that Proposition 8 changed a 150-year legal tradition. It didn’t. In fact, it clarified the constitution to support that 150-year tradition of only recognizing heterosexual marriage. Gay marriage there is a very recent invention.

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