Friday, November 14, 2008

lay off the mormon church

OK. You've vented your anger. Now do something appropriate and effective in the marriage equality fight.

The Mormon church is not our target. The Mormon church does not decide who gets married or not in the State of California. It will be a long time before any gay couples get their marriages sealed in the Mormon Temple and who cares? What we want is for the State of California to recognize our marriages, so why are we protesting in front of the Mormon Temple?

Yes, I know, they funded maybe 40% or so of the Yes on 8 campaign. That's infuriating. But it's not illegal for churches to be involved in political issues (not candidates and only up to 5% of their church budget including time spent). And individual church members can give as much of their personal money as they like - just like anybody else. It doesn't help our cause to make churches a target when we have progressive, liberal churches on our side who we want to help fund and organize and speak out on this issue. We need to be seen as the people who are supporting rights, not taking them away. The right of churches to be minimally involved in politics helps us at least as much as it hurts us. Don't eliminate that right.

Instead let's be visible at government offices. Let's have sit-ins at the marriage license window so that no heterosexual couple can get a marriage license without stepping over 6 same-sex couples holding up signs that say "Why can't we be married?"


Joel Monka said...

People are angry at the Mormon church because it forced parlor pinks to face the fact that they talk big but act small. The Mormons put their money where their mouths were, and their boots on the pavement; those of us who were against Prop 8 didn't- it's as simple as that. You're quite right to call for us to be more active.

Steve Caldwell said...

Joel -- I'll ignore your "parlor pink" insult and suggest another reason that people are angry with the Yes on 8 folks.

They lied and got away with it.

Debra W. Haffner said...

Ricky, I agree. I've gotten the petitions about the IRS and the Mormon church, and I've wished I thought it made sense to sign them. But it doesn't. IF only the UUA and the UCC and the Unity, Fellowship, and MCC churches had had that kind of money to put into this. The fact is that we were out organized in California, Arizona and Florida. The religious leaders who are anti-gay began earlier, spent more money, used their pulpits more effectively, and in California's case at least, involved many more churches and filled stadiums. We were still disagreeing about tactics while they were already holding meetings in churches throughout the state. We didn't convince enough allies why this is our issue as well. We can, must, and will do better.

Anonymous said...

I don't see this as an either/or proposition. I say picket and criticize the hell out of the Mormon church (and any other church or group that supported P8, including black churches). I think exposing the bigotry is important. AND the equal rights community can work harder to raise money and awareness in other ways.