Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gays vs. Mormons

The Mormon Church donated as much as 80 percent of the funds raised to pass Proposition 8 in California. You have to admit that's somewhat ironic coming from a group that has famously had its marriage rights attacked. Mormon groups from Utah helped to finance a misinformation campaign that scared some Californians into voting for the measure by falsely claiming that without it schools would be required to teach about same-sex marriage, that parents would have no control over what their children learned about sex in school, that churches would be forced to change their doctrine, and that people could be sued for anti-gay beliefs.

There have been numerous groups that have recently suggested punishing the Mormon Church in some way. A number of activists and blogs, such as America Blog, have begun doing research into the possibilities. Gays have already showed their displeasure at a protest at the headquarters of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City on Friday night.

A few other ideas retaliatory ideas have been floated. Mormons Stole Our Rights, a new website, is dedicated to revoking the Mormon Church's tax-exempt status as a religious institution. The law says that religious institutions must refrain from significant lobbying efforts and trying to affect legislation. However it isn't clear if the Mormon Church violated the letter of the law, since it did not give money to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, just encouraged its members to do so.

Another idea is to take our displeasure out on Mormon-owned businesses, a surprisingly long list of large corporations, including American Express, the Marriott Hotel, Dell Computer, Novell and Priceline.com. Check the Mormon Stock Index for a complete list.

The most extreme notion that I've heard is a boycott of the entire state of Utah. Utah rakes in a lot of money each year through tourism and some gay activists think that boycotting Utah ski resorts, national parks and the Sundance Film Festival might send a powerful message to the Mormons.

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