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sábado, noviembre 15, 2008

Let's Fight Hate

In the continuing post Prop 8 fall out, the Mormon Church is ramping up its attacks on gay people, slurring gay people and even accusing them of domestic terrorism. The campaign of hate continues to rage, just as it simultaneously continues to claim that it is a victim of attacks. Let's fight back.

I know. The Mormon Church denies that this was ever a campaign of hate. There I pointed that out. In a wonderful circumlocution, the Church even denies that its work on Prop 8 is anti-gay. No, it's about being "pro- marriage," they say.

Jump with me across the broom.

Oh, it's "pro marriage" all right:
Suggested talking points were equally precise. If initial contact indicated a prospective voter believed God created marriage, the church volunteers were instructed to emphasize that Proposition 8 would restore the definition of marriage God intended.

But if a voter indicated human beings created marriage, Script B would roll instead, emphasizing that Proposition 8 was about marriage, not about attacking gay people, and about restoring into law an earlier ban struck down by the State Supreme Court in May.

“It is not our goal in this campaign to attack the homosexual lifestyle or to convince gays and lesbians that their behavior is wrong — the less we refer to homosexuality, the better,” one of the ward training documents said. “We are pro-marriage, not anti-gay.”

Right. It's about being pro-marriage, but only for certain, selected people. As I've said before, you can put all the whip cream you want on dung, but it doesn't make it a dessert. Similarly, with Prop 8, you can circumlocute and equivocate all you want, but it's still about barring gay people from their pursuit of marital happiness, and it's about imposing on those who are married an involuntary, state constitutionally based divorce, their families and children be damned.

This morning's New York Times reports that Mormon involvement in Proposition 8 was huge, even for them:
“We’ve spoken out on other issues, we’ve spoken out on abortion, we’ve spoken out on those other kinds of things,” said Michael R. Otterson, the managing director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormons are formally called, in Salt Lake City. “But we don’t get involved to the degree we did on this.”

Also, we learn that the Mormons were a large percentage of early volunteers, and, of course, that they gave gigantic amounts of cash to the Prop 8 effort. And then we have this obvious anti gay slur:

[T]he extent of the protests has taken many Mormons by surprise. On Friday, the church’s leadership took the unusual step of issuing a statement calling for “respect” and “civility” in the aftermath of the vote.

“Attacks on churches and intimidation of people of faith have no place in civil discourse over controversial issues,” the statement said. “People of faith have a democratic right to express their views in the public square without fear of reprisal.”

Mr. Ashton described the protests by same-sex marriage advocates as off-putting. “I think that shows colors,” Mr. Ashton said. “By their fruit, ye shall know them.”

That's a nice, biblical touch, paraphrasing Matthew 7:16 (in the King James and elsewhere it's not fruit, it's "You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?") apparently to call gays "fruit". I'm not alone, I see, in noting the slur. I hope I'm not being hypersensitive; I'm just sensitive to discrimination in its many disguises.

And then we have this accusation, apparently made without the benefit of any proof whatsoever that "teh Gay" are terrorizing the Mormon Church:
A day after it received hoax mailings containing a white powder, the Mormon church on Friday blamed opponents of California's gay marriage ban for recent "attacks" while an allied group condemned "acts of domestic terrorism against our supporters."

Investigators have not publicly cited any evidence that the mailings were linked to the Mormon church's support of the measure, and a gay rights group in Utah denied that gay protesters were involved....snip....

Church leaders released two statements Friday, one saying they were disturbed the church was being singled out for taking a position on the California amendment, the other assailing "attacks" and vandalism of church property by "opponents of Proposition 8."

"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.

This is out of control. And it's been out of control for far too long.

I'm on the wrong coast, thousands of miles away from California, and I'm infuriated. This battle shouldn't be supported only by GLBT people, it should be supported by all of us. Prop 8 isn't going to affect my hetero marriage of 30 years. But this kind of discrimination and oppression is something that all of us, gay and straight, all of us should be fighting tooth and nail.

I've already gotten out the check book, and I'm going to have to do it again. I'll give money to those fighting Prop 8 in the court. I'll do what I can to support organizing and protests.

Please join with me in this. I omit the obligatory quotation from Pastor Niemoller to frighten you into helping. Let's just do this because it's the right thing.

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