In-depth NY Times article on LDS involvement in Prop. 8

This article points out the heavy Church involvement in the Prop 8 effort, points out Bro. Ashton’s large donation to protect marriage and in effect says that Church members were the key factor in making sure Prop. 8 won.

Also, please note this release from the Church, which says “people of faith have been intimidated for simply exercising their democratic rights.”

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

10 thoughts on “In-depth NY Times article on LDS involvement in Prop. 8

  1. I saw that article while in the supermarket this morning: front page above the fold, most prominent headline on a slow news day, “Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage.” Some people wonder when the Mormon web logs are going to get tired of putting up stuff on Prop. 8. Well, probably not until at least a week has passed without newspaper articles like this one.

    The article is informative for the most part, but since it’s only about the pro-8 campaign, you almost wouldn’t know there was an anti-8 campaign. In particular, how could they report Alan Ashton’s million dollar donation without mentioning that his old WordPerfect partner Bruce Bastian early donated a million dollars to oppose Prop. 8? I wonder if Ashton felt a special responsibility to make a major donation after Bastian did.

  2. To add, while I think we should be tolerant and let others vote the way they want at the same time I think we have to be tolerant of demonstrations against a result. While many prop-8 opponents made the comment in jest I do wonder how Mormons would react if our marriages were made illegal. (I’m actually fairly confident we’d react much better than the prop-8 opponents – but I think we would be riled up)

    We can’t get involved in the political arena without people reacting. It’s ridiculous to assume we ought.

    Now I do think we are being singled out unfairly and the idea that money alone decided the issue adopts a fairly cynical view of politics. (Should we assume Obama only won because he had more money?)

  3. Yeah, Clark.

    It isn’t so much that there has been a reaction. I think most Prop 8 proponents expected some kind of back-lash. It’s that the reactionaries are implying that the Mormons–and by extension, the whole coalition–did something immoral in the voting process.

  4. But why is that surprising? Let’s say Roe vs. Wade were overturned next fall by the Supreme Court. So there are big referrendums and the majority of people reinstitute it via legislation. Wouldn’t we expect pro-life proponents to call the vote immoral? Wouldn’t we expect a lot of the same kind of behavior. (Actually I’d expect worse)

  5. Clark,

    Are you talking about the issue itself or the manner of mobilization one the part of proponents? I’m fine with opponents having their beef with the issue, but when they start falsely accusing the opposition of unethical practices in the voting process–setting the morality of the issue aside–that’s when my hackles go through the roof.

  6. Clark, I could get my mind around your objection if you used a more realistic scenario.

  7. I do wonder how Mormons would react if our marriages were made illegal.

    Umm, I think we have something pretty darn close to historical records on that. We don’t have to do much imagining at all.

  8. What the supporters of prop 8 did was not immoral. They were defending Marriage. Which is itself a moral union. Gays were not trying to have gay marriage because they believe that sexual relation before marriage was immoral. They were trying to legalize gay marriage because the wanted the government sanctioned benifits that come with marriage. What IS immoral is the way that opponents of prop 8 treated those that were in favor of it. If it was really something that the majority of people did not want to pass – it would not have passed. But it did – because the majority of people in California do NOT want marriage to be re-defined for them.

  9. Umm, I think we have something pretty darn close to historical records on that. We don’t have to do much imagining at all.

    Yeah, but the situation today and in 1890 is pretty different.

    But I think you’re right in that Mormons probably wouldn’t raise too big a rucus but would become deeply suspicious of the Federal government. (And let’s be honest, I think one reason why Mormons are so Republican is the remnant of distrust of government from the 19th century)

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