Sunday, November 09, 2008

California Same-Sex Marriage Backers Protest Against Mormon Church

Angry that California's Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage passed, on Thursday some 2000 protesters demonstrated outside the Mormon Temple in Los Angeles. The Mormon Church was particularly active in campaigning for passage of the ballot measure. (See prior posting.) Reporting on the demonstrations, Britain's Independent says that a public relations war against the Mormon church is planned, with demonstrations likely across California, including during Mormon services today. A report on Thursday's demonstration from LifeSiteNews says one protester urged taxing the Mormon church and others carried signs with slogans such as: "Don't teach hate" and "Mormons have 10 wives - I can't have one?" Some argue that the LDS church and other religious groups violated principles of church-state separation by backing Tuesday's ballot measure. However the Episcopal church in California supports same-sex marriage and says it will continue to work to validate it.

Beyond California, on Friday, according to the New York Times, a rally and march around the headquarters of the Mormon church took place in Salt Lake City (UT). Speaking at the rally, Utah State Senator Scott D. McCoy, one of three openly gay Utah legislators, told the crowd of 2000: "The way to deal with this problem is to love more, not hate."

Meanwhile today's Los Angeles Times reports on more general protests around California over the passage of proposition 8.

UPDATE: On Nov. 7, The LDS Church issued a statement decrying the protests against it, saying "it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process." The Roman Catholic diocese of Sacramento also issued a statement, saying: "Bigoted attacks on Mormons for the part they played in our coalition are shameful and ignore the reality that Mormon voters were only a small part of the groundswell that supported Proposition 8."