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Latter day education: When, why, and how do we proceed?

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 6-177Those involved with the No on 8 campaign admit that they didn't know the full depth of the LDS church's anti-equality efforts until it was much to late. But could they have known more? Should they have known more? And will our side be more diligent in the future.

Bay Area Reporter is taking that on:

"My hope is to really be urging our campaign and our community to learn from this experience so that we aren't continually reinventing the wheel so that we aren't getting blindsided by the arguments, strategies, and people that keep appearing from the same group of people," said McKay. "There's absolutely no reason that a strategy can't be made that recognizes this is what they do and this is who they are."

McKay believes more should have been done during the campaign to address the Mormon factor.

"We should have been much stronger in pointing out the LDS positions: barring women from positions of power, opposing stem cell research, opposing reproductive choice, contraception, their historic exclusion of black people from their church until 1978," said McKay, who believes the campaign should have asked California's voters, "When your constitutional rights are at stake, would you rather have the Mormon Church or the California Supreme Court decide what the law requires?"

Prop 8 foes slow to pick up on Mormon involvement [B.A.R.]

Now, the ideal education would be for the Mormon church to realize that we are human beings who shouldn't see our civil freedoms stymied at the hand of personal religious conviction. But since that doesn't seem to be in the immediate cards, we are gonna have to learn how to play the hand we've been dealt. And we need to be be mindful 24/7/365 -- not just once a major campaign highlights our opposition's years of planning!

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Your thoughts

But there are friends in UTAH: e.g. THE GOVERNOR!

(Salt Lake City, Utah) Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) is facing a backlash from fellow Republicans, the powerful Mormon Church and from evangelical Christians following this week’s statement that he would support civil unions for same-sex couples.

Dozens of protesters rallied at the Capitol Wednesday to express their anger. Many of the demonstrators wore T-shirts decrying the “gay agenda” and showing two men kissing.
Huntsman did not show up at his office in the Capitol on Wednesday. He canceled a scheduled news conference and moved several meetings to the Governor’s Mansion prompting several news organizations to speculate there had been threats against the governor, something his office denied.

Inside the legislature, Sen. Chris Buttars (R) - a longtime foe of gay rights - circulated a statement claiming civil unions in Utah “would threaten marriage and religious freedom.” He wants other lawmakers to sign the statement to then forward it to Huntsman.

Other Republicans suggested Huntsman’s position is little more than lobbying the Obama administration for a federal job. The governor speaks fluent Mandarin. A spokesperson for Huntsman dismissed the speculation saying he is happy being governor of Utah.

Wednesday night gays and their allies staged a candlelight vigil outside the Governor’s Mansion to show their support for the governor and to urge passage of LGBT rights bills before the legislature.

Posted by: LOrion | Feb 12, 2009 5:31:41 PM

Arf yeah! I say we go for it in Utah then. 83 *can imagine all the ticked off faces if it were to pass, or even the thought that it MIGHT* Ah, I shall have sweet dreams tonight...

Posted by: Clicky the Fox | Feb 12, 2009 9:05:10 PM

If the Mormon church were to involve itself in another campaign in future, it might be interesting if their opponents were to set aside an hour on one Sunday to attend a Mormon church service.

I mean, now that we know it's been the Mormons who've been bringing the ground game, we should take advantage of the fact that Mormons are actually very easy to find, and then make a point of meeting them on the ground: it's as easy as going to maps.lds.org and locating the nearest LDS chapel in your area.

Not much point in considering this now, but it seems like it could be potentially useful early in any campaign in which Mormons have decided to insert themselves.

Posted by: Chino Blanco | Feb 13, 2009 12:27:51 AM

I think we need to recognize some strategic mistakes. First, we grossly and unforgivably underestimated the Mormons. The LDS, with roughly the same per capita as the LGBT community and with just as high negatives in polling as the LGBT community, has (even with the loss of Smith in Oregon) 5 U.S. Senators. How many do we have? None. It has a dozen congressmen. How many do we have? two? We're not politically smarter or more savvy than the LDS, we're just smug. And our leadership, especially the HRC, has gotten away with being inadequate because we've not used any standard to measure them by. We need to measure them by the Mormons. No U.S. Senators? The Mormons have 5. Not Good enough. How many congressmen? The Mormons have 12. Not good enough.

While we sit and glower at the LDS, we ought also to take a moment to admire them. To understand how they operate and to fight smarter, not harder. They used prop 8 to build relationships and connections with the evangelicals. That's smart. We need to recognize that. The Mormons spent money well. Mitt Romney didn't have the support he needed from the religious right to win. So the Mormons used us to gain support. We need to recognize that. We need to find the cracks in the religious right's relationship with the Mormons and with each other and help to widen those cracks into chasms. We need to use every battle of ours to build alliances with minority communities and labor, for example. Did you know the Mormons have been historically racist, and didn't allow black men to be bishops until 1978? We should have used our fight in California to reach out to the African American community and educate them about the LDS, pushing the baptist community away from the LDS and toward us. If not toward us, then at least away from the LDS.

Posted by: notsosure | Feb 13, 2009 10:00:32 PM

Chino Blanco said, "If the Mormon church were to involve itself in another campaign in future..." With all due respect, and Chino Blanco is one of the best bloggers on the issue of Mormons... the thrust of this article is that there should be no doubt that the Mormons will involve themselves. They will do anything to stop same-sex marriage. In the first article, it stated the Mormons gave their Marketing firm in Hawaii "unlimited funds" to stop marriage equality. The LDS had established a strategy 2 years before the first case was heard in Hawaii. I read an article in the Utah "Deseret News" - I think through Chino-Blanco's blog, that quoted LDS president Monson saying the "Texas Polygamist Ranch story" was terrible press for the church. Prop 8, I believe, was the LDS wagging the dog, diverting U.S. interest away from the polygamist Mormons who'd impregnated more than half of the underage girls, in the name of Fundamentalist Mormonism. Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped, remember that? She was kidnapped by a fundamentalist Mormon. Prop 8 gave the church newsroom much-needed relief from the real issues concerning whether or not the LDS is a cult. A racist, woman-subjugating, cult.

Posted by: notsosure | Feb 13, 2009 11:34:11 PM

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