By Whitney Borup | April 15, 2010

As far as I’m concerned, “8: The Mormon Proposition” has its heart in the right place. But, I’m coming from a very biased position. “8” attacks the church in ways that will be construed as manipulative and underhanded and, therefore, will end up preaching to the choir. Then again, Mormons are up to the same techniques in their political corner, so maybe you have to fight fire with fire.

To start, I need to come right out and say that I was raised Mormon, but haven’t attended church regularly since 2002. It has been a long 7 years, full of drama and tears, and I could relate to the ex-Mormons in the film more than I can express in writing. A lot has changed in the church since I was a member, but these particular issues were raging 7 years ago, too. I’m familiar with the hurt and fury behind the issues of gay rights as they concern the LDS church. I could never write an objective review.

That said, I could still recognize the factually…um….iffy…moments in the film that will decrease its validity to those in the know. As far as I know, for example, Mormons don’t believe God had multiple wives. And it is not established doctrine that there will be polygamy in heaven. That said, it’s not gospel principles that are really the subject of the documentary (though the filmmakers certainly use their interpretations of these principles as forms of manipulation). And the information they give surrounding Proposition 8, as far as I’m aware, is accurate.

With a subject as dividing as this one, presentation is key, and “8: The Mormon Proposition” does not seem to concern itself with any attempt at conversion. The first image of the film is a creepy, distorted video of prominent Mormon leaders discussing what they see to be an important moral issue at stake in 2008’s election. The video streamed via the internet through a perfectly clear webcam, so the distortion is on the part of Cowan and Greenstreet, who use such a removed, foreign image to automatically position viewers politically. “8” continues to utilize sound distortions and eerie music to manipulate viewers into thinking that the LDS church is more than just an extremely conservative group: it’s a criminal organization, akin to the mafia.

What’s frustrating is that the film is convincing enough without all the transparent manipulations. The facts stand up on their own! The Mormon church was the leading organization behind the “Yes on Prop 8? campaigns. They contributed the most amount of money. This led to many LGBT supporters to finally leave the church. Chris Butters is an a*****e. Many LGBT kids in Mormon families suffer tremendously. The interviews with the families affected by this issue should be enough without all the conspiracy theories, and would provide a much more compelling/convincing approach to a delicate issue.

“8: The Mormon Proposition” will be effective on both sides. On my side of the fence the film produces righteous injustice; and on the other side it produces… righteous injustice. While this kind of ranting and raving can be very therapeutic, I doubt that this is the documentary that will promote policy change.

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  1. Marlene says:

    I am all for gay marriage, I am a strait 26 year old woman. I grew up in the LDS Church. I see no reason that ANYONE should have the right to tell another person who they can love. and if you are against it for religious beliefs, fine, just let them be married and if you believe God will punish them then leave it at that!

  2. David says:

    @ Phil;so let me get this straight.We’ve had our right given and taken away several times,all on the whims of those who have the funding to throw around,and we’re supposed to be civil and kind? We’ve tried that for almost sixty years.And it’s gotten us the short end of the stick again.You speak of Mob mentality yet guess who works mob mentality the most?*Gasps* Why it’s religion! The Spanish inquisition,The Crusades,the Salem witch trials.All very fine examples of churches whipping their followers into a frothing at the mouth mob.And mind these aren’t mobs raised by other religions just the one’s preaching “Jesus’ teachings.” All because they felt they had the right to force their believes on other people.You say we need to compromise with them.We’re tired of trying,Compromise with any sort of church mean the get to do whatever they want while the “Lesser”party gets trampled on and is supposed to thank the church for it.That is not what this country was founded on,our fore fathers came here and settled this land to bring religious freedom to the people.not to enforce their kind of religion on everyone else.The modern religions have lost sight of this fact,sadly.I don’t commend the actions following the prop 8 vote.But I can hardly blame people for wanting to express their out rage of being stepped on by church teachings again.It doesn’t matter what religious texts and scriptures say,they should have no hold over what goes into the law books.Let me ask you this, They got into our homes,how long do you think it will take until they start coming after yours?I’d rather not see them gain any more foot holds in the up hill battle they’ve chosen to wage.

  3. Marc C. says:

    One only needs to watch the trailer to see what a one-sided piece of propaganda trash this film is.

  4. Phil says:

    This stupid movie and its supporters are a good example of why our entire civilization is at risk of failing. Mob mentality is at the forefront of this movement. Look at the history of mob mentality and you’ll see that the symptoms are identical:
    1) They twist the motives and beliefs of their perceived enemy, making them appear evil in their efforts to demonize and dehumanize them.
    2) They take bad examples and present those as the norm, making it appear that their enemies are encouraged to be bad by their leaders, totally ignoring all evidence to the contrary.
    3) They stoop to inventing false information and using that as additional “evidence”.
    4) They twist the motives of their enemies, making them appear sinister and totally refusing to acknowledge or consider their enemies’ true point of view.
    This sort of mob mentality is exactly what has caused all the wars, persecutions, and hate between peoples and groups throughout all history.
    Granted, this type of mentality can creep into both sides of a conflict, this movie only seeks to spread hate, lies, anger, and conflict, rather than trying to come to some kind of compromise. You don’t persuade your opponent to come to understanding with this kind of attitude. Why would I want to watch this piece of garbage, when by all indications it fits the whole mob mentality of the anti-proposition 8 crowd, which has been prevalent among that group through this whole campaign? I have seen little or no compassion or understanding from anyone in the anti-prop-8 crowd. They constantly accuse the pro-prop-8 crowd of “hate” and “bigotry” without ever trying to look at it from our point of view without demonizing us.

  5. Ben says:


    People who believe in equality are not gathering signatures to make being Mormon illegal. On the other hand, LDS men and women gathered signatures and financed a campaign to make certain kinds of marriages illegal. You are a part of a group that took away existing civil rights from another group a American citizens. Think long and hard about what that means. Our church attacked the civil rights of others–and it sounds like you are OK with that. I am not. If you have a belief, great. Have that belief. When you force that belief upon someone else, however, that crosses a line.

    The church looks bad because they did a bad thing. The leaders had every right to gather money from the members and to make open donations to the P8 campaign–but they chose not to do that because they knew their involvement would likely doom the effort. The lies and the cover-up are what smell here, not people exercising their right to be involved in the political process.

    Prop 8 was the Mormon proposition. Without the church, the initiative would have gone nowhere. And when the measure did pass, it did so with a very slim margin, a margin that will continue to shrink. The church is on the losing side of this civil rights issue and as opinions continue to change, the church will look more and more out of touch. I have to go with Rob on this one and “side with love.”

    Go and see the film, and then come back and post your thoughts.

  6. Tibby says:

    I am glad we have the freedoms we do have.
    I am not sure why the people are picking on the LDS church. There are many people against Same Sex marriage and that is something that is a belief. It does not mean that the people are going to destroy all people who are same sex partners, but it does mean that the LDS church has a right to believe what they know to be a principle of the Gospel. That Marriage is ordained of God and it is between a man and a women. This is something that is not going to change, just because some people are upset about it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not change, because some one wants it to. Truth is constant. I do not personally believe that people are born Homosexual. I do know that in many societies there has been homosexuality and that these societies have different religious believes, and the DNA strand of these people who practiced this could have been genetically passed down from generation and the brain chemicals changed to adapt to the social rituals of the tribes that practiced Homosexuality. However, I think that the brain chemicals can change and people make a choice to be homosexual. Love is something that is constant as well and does not change. A man can fall in love with a women just as much as he could fall in love with a man. It is the personality and soul of the person that they love. Homosexuality is not something that I believe in, and personally I do not believe it is good, but just because that is my belief does not mean that someone needs to look down on me, because I do not treat anyone different because of who they are or what they believe. These people are attacking a personal belief system that is linked to a spiritual connection that will not change. In a way it is doing the same thing to the church as they believe the church is doing to them.

  7. Rob says:

    I saw the film at the Santa Cruz film festival last night. Watching the film was excruciating. I so wanted the Church leadership to have not made those rash and vitriolic statements about gay people and sin.

    The most telling argument in the film was that the side for P8 saw it as sex, perversion and sin. The side anti P8 saw it as about love.

    There was a panel discussion afterward where the principles in the film answered questions. The two young men were charming and obviously in love.

    I side with love.

  8. Sundance Wig of Shame showcased in a huge funny Lady Gaga inspired Head Dress and Veil the Haters of LGBT Civil Rights. The WORMS WHO OPPOSED LGBT RIGHTS (no offense to earth worms) were showcased with names by a worm on the bridal veil. The Sundance 2010 Wig of Shame was worn by a nasty looking big drag queen in Park City Utah and at a venue during the screening of 8 TMP 8 The Moromon Proposition Movie ( as seen on Facebook)

    Is it right to treat Citizens who are LGBT as Second Class Citizens lacking in the same rights as other Heterosexual Citizens? Absoulutely Not! The Founding fathers of the United States fought and made it perfectly clear that there should be a Fundamental Separation of Church and State. Everyone is allowed to practice his or her own religion in the United States; however a non profit entity such as an established religion may not use millions of dollars to influence political issues. Individuals within an organized religion may do as they wish with their own money, it crosses a federal established legal boundary when it is used to influence votes! Millions were spent on Proposition 8 Hate Campaigns. I challenge all Christians and LDS who stood behind the protection and sanctity of marriage to do what the churches should have done instead of wasting money on hate campaigns: Adopt all orphans out of orphanages so that LGBT Couples who have clean backgrounds and good finances cannot adopt them. Secondly be sure to get rid of all the pedophiles in your established churches and church related organizations which do not allow LGBT membership. Properly fund education and after school programs and teach openly STDs and how teenage sex can end in STDs and pregnancy at a time when a girl is not ready. Mandate that all established religions in the United States teach an extensive marriage class which eliminates more than 50 % of the extensive divorce rate in the United States. Furthermore if I am LGBT I will not have to pay for your many children attending public school unless I get the same tax deductions for having so many kids!

    Just some thoughts about what depriving LGBT RIGHTS means. We are currently 2nd Class Citizens, we will no longer be second class citizens!

    Thank you to all active and past LGBT Millitary members.

  9. Ben says:

    Sounds like people are commenting on the film who have not seen it. The film was well-rounded and I felt it did a good job in exposing the LDS church’s actions in influencing the election process in both California and Hawaii.

    The film stands on its own.

    Please keep posting in this forum. We need to get the word out to everyone and the more that active LDS men and women post here, even if their posts are angry rants, the more publicity will be generated within the LDS community.

    The church did a bad thing. “8: TMP” brings those dealings to light. Go see the film when it opens in June, then log back on and talk about it.

  10. Clint says:

    First of all i think its wrong to single out an entire religion just because of what some members are doing in one or two states. not everybody in the religion thinks the same thing. mormons are not all bad. everybody thinks they’re a cult when all they really do is try and teach everyone they can to be good and caring people. and plenty of people in this country who are NOT mormon believe that gays shouldn’t be married. so why single out the mormons just because they dont believe in it. each mormon member is a single individual of this country and all the right in the world to believe whatever the hell they want. thats whats so great about this country, we’re all free! we can have whatever opinion we want! and just because some people dont believe in gay marriage doesnt mean they’re crazy or anything, they just believe what the bible tells them and thats not wrong. and its also not wrong to believe in human nature, its basic human plumbing. theres in-holes and out-holes. if everyone was gay it would be the end of the human race. it started with adam and eve not Adam and Steve. and if you believe in evolution instead of adam and eve then it all started with a MALE and a FEMALE monkey. I think we should all be grateful it wasnt two male monkeys. but thats just my two cents.

  11. Evan says:

    Alan wrote:
    “I was raised Mormon but the Morman Church decided they don’t want me after I told them I would not stop sleeping with my partner.”

    So, are you angry that after saying that you don’t want to abide by the rules, you got kicked dout of the club, but it was their fault?

    codiferous writes:
    “Mormon folks have inherited a rich tradition, that they are squandering, to proselytize against gay people so that they should never enjoy the legal responsibilities and benefits of marriage: This is a social doctrine of exclusion and homophobia and one that should not have discourse in a civic arena”

    Actually, what we have inherited is the commandments of God. Why should we squander those away on _your_ say so? The LDS church has positively indicated that it supports civil rights & legal protections for gay couples – just as they would not disagree with de facto rights, even though they teach against out-of-marriage sex. It is the concept of ‘marriage’ that is the issue. The Mormons believe that God has said that ‘marriage’ is between a man and a woman. That’s the end of the story.

    ben wrote:
    “The LDS leaders did not think about the long term consequences of their antigay activities in Hawaii and beyond.”

    What ‘long-term’ consequences? The LDS church did nothing wrong. A measure was put to the civilian population, and it passed. It’s interesting to note that all the hate-filled gay speech since then has been directed primarily at the LDS church. So they contributed the most money, but why aren’t you decrying the Catholic churcj for its support?

    The fact is that homosexuality is wrong both theologically and in practice. It is a gross distortion of nature and sex itself. It is based in lust. The concept of modern monogamy in homosexual relationships is very recent. But beyond that the LDS believe that it is contrary to God’s commandments. Deal with it and stop wasting out time.

  12. codiferous says:

    As a gay man that left the Mormon church, I still am someone that looks for the bridges that we can build towards understanding each other and come to some rational consensus towards living together and loving each other as the unique human beings that we are. If we only join groups that bond with each other, because we share a consensus of what life is about but we never build social capitol towards equitable living, we have failed.

    I am proud of my Mormon heritage and the ethical lessons that have structured my character; for the spark that ignited a movement of beleaguered people, faults notwithstanding, to sacrifice all for a principle. Mormon folks have inherited a rich tradition, that they are squandering, to proselytize against gay people so that they should never enjoy the legal responsibilities and benefits of marriage: This is a social doctrine of exclusion and homophobia and one that should not have discourse in a civic arena

    I have to wonder what involvement this person really had in the Mormon church when he makes such statements as this: “As far as I know, for example, Mormons don’t believe God had multiple wives. And it is not established doctrine that there will be polygamy in heaven”. This was doctrine that was taught to me from an early age on through my teenage years and is one of the major components of Mormon doctrine. This was a major cause of the angst I felt as a gay man.

    Whatever faults this documentary has (and all documentaries do, being driven by a “message”), a good work is being done to educate those who have an insular vision dictated by their erroneous beliefs about gay people.

  13. Guy Briggs says:

    Translation: I’m making good enough points without having seen the movie.

  14. Ben says:


    It seems silly and disingenuous that you are commenting on a film that you have not seen.

    I saw both “8TMP” as well as “September Dawn” and there is no comparison. I was disappointed with “SD” because doctrinally the film was off and it went for the sensational instead of the real story of the murders, which was really the point of the film. And from your post over the weekend, you will forgive me for taking seriously Orson Scott Card’s call to overthrow the Federal government; with 120 murders to their name and a habit of taking away people’s civil rights, Mormons aren’t exactly harmless.

    “8TMP” contains personal stories of people who were impacted by the proposition. The film also provides evidence of Salt Lake’s involvement in the Hawaii effort back in 1998. The memos and documents exist and they say what they say. I remember the Hawaii effort and the information presented in the film is in line with my recollection of how things unfolded.

    Prop 8 was a public relations disaster for the church. The fact that the conversation continues a full year and a half after the election demonstrates the strong feelings that exist regarding the issue. The church is on the wrong side of this important civil rights issue and having seen the film, I think 8TMP makes that pretty clear. I don’t think the movie will change minds in and of itself; but it will keep the conversation on the front burner and will be an important part of the broader conversation.

    When you see the film and can comment based on your own experience instead of on the borrowed light of others, we can continue the conversation. Until that time, I am done with you.

  15. Guy Briggs says:

    Ben wrote:

    So, if I understand you correctly, 18 documented cases of graffiti, glue-filled locks, and broken windows constitutes persecution and hate crimes. Wow. 18 incidents up and down the entire west coast of the United States. Yep. The masses are rioting.

    Along with the faux-anthrax incidents and the death threats and Google Maps mashups of where contributors live and work, etc.

    All from the good folks who use “No on H8” as a campaign slogan. You don’t see some tension between the words and the actions?

    I wouldn’t have even brought it up except for the very first comment, above, “I hope they [the Mormons] pay a big enough of a price that any religious organization will think twice before doing it again.”

    That is voter intimidation, plain and simple, and I see it as the same attitude, 18 months down the road, that provoked the acts of vandalism in the first place. Your mileage may vary, slightly lower in California.

    “In a democracy that is free and robust, an opinion is no more disqualified for being ‘religious’ than for being atheistic, or psychoanalytic, or Marxist, or just plain dumb.” — Richard John Neuhaus

    I agree with you that any incidents of Mormons physically attacking Gay Rights advocates are equally wrong. Which is interesting, given that one of the themes of the movie, apparently, is blind obedience to Church leaders – and one of those leaders recently spoke at BYU-Idaho:

    “First, we must speak with love, always showing patience, understanding and compassion toward our adversaries. We are under command to love our neighbor (Luke 10:27), to forgive all men (Doctrine and Covenants 64:10), to do good to them who despitefully use us (Matthew 5:44) and to conduct our teaching in mildness and meekness (Doctrine and Covenants 38:41).”

    If we are the mindless robots portrayed on the official 8:TMP website (“Reed Cowan – One of my sisters told me Prop. 8 was God’s will and that if the prophet told her to cut her arm off and paint herself orange she would do it because as she said: ‘It comes from God.'”) then the LGBT community should be feeling nothing but love from us, right?

    Can you say, “Cognitive dissonance, boys and girls? I knew ‘ya could!”

    I am missing what YOU thought of the film. What part of the movie did you feel was propaganda?

    I did not have the opportunity to see it at Sundance. My opinions, as strong as they might be, are based on the news reports, the various blogs, and the official 8:TMP website.

    What part do I think is propaganda? From the official website: “Through gut-wrenching accounts, 8:TMP gives a voice to people who say the church worked behind the scenes to unseat political leaders who advocate for marriage equality …”
    That alone leads me to believe the film is long on emotion and a little short on facts. Even the review above, the reviewer sitting on your side of the aisle, mentions “a creepy, distorted video of prominent Mormon leaders” and some “iffy” doctrinal statements.

    Perhaps I’ll change my mind after I’ve had the opportunity to see it. For now, it appears to belong on the same shelf as September Dawn

  16. Ben says:


    So, if I understand you correctly, 18 documented cases of graffiti, glue-filled locks, and broken windows constitutes persecution and hate crimes. Wow. 18 incidents up and down the entire west coast of the United States. Yep. The masses are rioting. I am not arguing that those incidents are wrong. I will say that given the divisive nature of the P8 campaign, that I am not surprised that this sort of thing happened–kind of like I was not surprised when active Latter-day Saints beat up the protesters at the LA Temple. That was not correct, either.

    I am seeing you talk around the issue and bringing in lots of information and opinion on various Mormon topics–all of which is good and interesting…but I am missing what YOU thought of the film. What part of the movie did you feel was propaganda? You obviously disagree with God having plural wives, and yet the movie correctly portrayed the concept of heavenly father that I was raised with. I had no problem with that topic being discussed. A polygamous god is not inconsistent with the doctrines that I was taught and believed in.

    What other parts of the film did you enjoy or not enjoy? Did you see it at Sundance?

  17. Guy Briggs says:

    1) Wishful thinking about the severity (or lack thereof) of certain crimes does not make it so. And in common usage, 18 documented cases is a bit more than “a couple”.

    2) Regardless of what our retention rate might be, neither it nor our conversion numbers have been impacted by the backlash from P8, which was the point I was trying to make.

    3) I am not associated with FAIR, although I go to their website from time to time. I am flattered, however, that you would think I was.

    IMHO, the film is propaganda plain and simple. Like all propaganda, it is designed to invoke an emotional response so that critical thinking can be checked at the door. Though he didn’t say so explicitly, Borup seems to be of the opinion that 8TMC should have been less propagandistic.

    Whitney missed the boat on at least one doctrinal point: In the Mormon scheme of things, marriage is designed to last thru eternity – as opposed to “until death do us part.” Given that belief, there must logically be one of two follow-on doctrines; (1) strict monogamy, is which case remarriage must be forbidden (since the marriage is still valid, even after the death of a spouse), or (2) there must be some provision for plural marriage.

    We believe the 2nd, ergo there will be some plural marriage in heaven. It is established doctrine.

    Perhaps Borup meant that all men will have multiple wives when he wrote “it is not established doctrine that there will be polygamy in heaven.” If that was the intended meaning, then I have no quibble with the statement. It is spot on, because polygamy – in that sense – is strictly non-doctrinal.

    Regardless of intended meaning, our teachings on plural marriage are not germane to the issue at hand. The sole intention (again, IMHO) of including them in the film – along with the old Gods-has-many-wives chestnut – was to invoke the emotional response. But the other edge of that sword, as Borup correctly points out, is to lessen the film’s validity to those in the know.

    The point should be made the the corporate Church did not donate money to Yes on 8. They did provide use of buildings and transmission facilities, which would have been worth around $200K if rent had been charged. It urged members to make private donations, but did not force them to do so.

    For my part, even though I’m a TBM (true believing Mormon) I donated neither time not money to the campaign. I make it a personal rule to vote against all initiative measures whether I think they’re a good idea or not. I do not believe citizens should be writing laws. Four reasons: (1) Most of the time (No On 8 being an exception) the side with the most money wins. (2) The money could be better spent on pressing social needs. (3) On the whole, they end up not being very good laws – occasionally, they don’t even pass Constitutional muster.

    Finally, (4) we have the best politicians money can buy; let them write the laws. That is the form of government we live under, after all.

  18. Ben says:


    Even in the aftermath of Prop 8, glue-filled locks and a couple of cases of graffiti remain petty crimes. As someone associated with FAIR, you also know that the vast majority of converts fall away quickly, and that the majority of LDS members are inactive. There are other blogs and discussion boards that are more appropriate for general conversations about Mormonism. The conversation on this site is about 8TMP.

    First off, I am glad that an organization like yours is monitoring/creating discussion about the film. Please tell your friends about it and continue posting so that the word gets out to as many people as possible. The more discussion, the better.

    And speaking of discussion, getting back to the topic at hand, what did you think of the documentary? What part of the film did you agree or disagree with? Do you feel that Whitney Borup’s review did the film justice?

  19. Guy Briggs says:

    Whereas glue-filled locks and graffiti are petty crimes, Bro. Card’s calling for the overthrow of the federal governement is a different matter entirely.

    Glue-filled locks and graffiti are petty crimes when done by teenagers looking for kicks on a Saturday night. When “motivated by hostility to the victim’s race, religion, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender” it falls under the legal definition of a Hate Crime.

    These conversations will continue and the church’s image will continue to erode, adding to the church’s struggles here in California. P8 was a bone-headed move on Salt Lake’s part.

    Looking at the statistical report for 2009, I see that the LdS Church added about 400,000 new members last year, compared with 390,000 the year before.

  20. Guy Briggs says:

    How long will it be until Gay Rights advocates realize that the rhetorical question asked by a popular science fiction writer was not, in fact, a call for the overthrow of the federal government?

  21. Ben says:

    Guy, I am aware of the anonymous death threats and petty acts of vandalism. A few isolated instances, annoying as they may be, are not a trend and certainly do not rise to the level of persecution that many members would like to believe.

    You need to be careful in quoting Orson Scott Card, unless you happen to agree with his view that the US government should be overthrown should same-sex marriage be legalized. Whereas glue-filled locks and graffiti are petty crimes, Bro. Card’s calling for the overthrow of the federal governement is a different matter entirely. The fact that his comments were published in Mormon Times and that they were never retracted would suggest that we really do have something to fear from active church members.

    Keeping this discussion on topic with 8TMP, Proposition 8 was a public relations blunder for the church and I think the film demonstrates that. Almost a year and a half later, people are still talking about P8, including the discussion we are having now. These conversations will continue and the church’s image will continue to erode, adding to the church’s struggles here in California. P8 was a bone-headed move on Salt Lake’s part.

  22. Guy Briggs says:

    Ben wrote:

    I have not heard any person who was involved in the No on 8 campaign call for the vandalism or destruction of church property

    You’re a tad under-informed.
    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protests_against_Proposition_8_supporters
    “Before the vote, Alan Autry (the mayor of Fresno) received an email containing death threats against both himself and Cornerstone Church Pastor Jim Franklin. This caused police to assign the pastor officers for his protection and motivated the mayor to obtain a bodyguard. According to Fresno’s Police Chief Jerry Dyer the email “did state as to why that threat was made and it was stemming from prop 8.” Both Autry and Franklin were prominent Proposition 8 supporters. As of August 12, 2009, no arrests have been made.[25][26]
    In the ten days following the November 4 election, seven houses of worship in Utah and ten buildings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in the Sacremento area were targets of vandalism, such as graffiti and meeting house glass doors shattered. According to the LDS spokesperson for the Sacremento area, the vandalism that they experienced in the ten days after the election was more than they usually get in an entire year.[4][27][28][29] A copy of the Book of Mormon, an LDS religious text, was found burning at the front of a meetinghouse.[27][29] The FBI is investigating these events to determine if a violation of civil rights has occurred.[28]
    An affiliate group of the Radical Trans/Queer organization Bash Back!, claims credit for pouring glue into the locks of an LDS church and spray painting on its walls. A Web posting signed by Bash Back!’s Olympia chapter said: “The Mormon church (just like most churches) is a cesspool of filth. It is a breeding ground for oppression of all sorts and needs to be confronted, attacked, subverted and destroyed.” [30]
    According to the Chicago Tribune, the acts of vandalism against the LDS church appear to be in retaliation for support of Proposition 8.[30]”

    It was bad enough that even the Anti-Defamation League got involved. See: http://news.prnewswire.com/ViewContent.aspx?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/11-10-2008/0004922404&EDATE=
    The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, based in Washington, D.C., paid for a full-page New York Times advertisement. It was run titled “No Mob Veto”. A portion states, “When thugs … terrorize any place of worship, especially those of a religious minority, responsible voices need to speak clearly: Religious wars are wrong; they are also dangerous.”
    Kevin Hamilton, a seminary (LdS classes, taught before regular high school classes, usually at a local church) teacher in California, asked his students a couple of days after the election if any of them had been treated with hostility because they were Mormon. Every hand went up. See http://www.mormontimes.com/mormon_voices/orson_scott_card/?id=5002
    Just my opinion, but if it’s bad enough to draw the attention of groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the Beckett Fund, then it has crossed the line.

  23. Ben says:

    I have not heard any person who was involved in the No on 8 campaign call for the vandalism or destruction of church property. I heard about a broken window at a chapel in Northern California and about a chapel in Colorado that was vandalized, although in that case it was probably tied to the missionaries who desecrated a Catholic shrine and who took pictures of themselves doing it, and not a Prop 8 protest. The idea that there was widespread vandalism of church property or persecution of LDS members is inaccurate. The “white powder” incidents are pretty weak. I am not excusing the whack job who sent the powder. The reality remains, however, that two incidents is hardly a trend. Also, it is entirely possible that an active LDS man or woman sent the powder to create sympathy for the church.

    The LDS Church was the perpetrator in the Prop 8 campaign; the church was not the victim. The church leaders and members seemed surprised at the backlash, but they shouldn’t have been. When someone votes to eliminate the civil rights of others, they should expect that group to push back. This is not persecution. I have never heard of anyone losing a job because of their support for P8. I know of two people who voluntarily resigned, and their voluntary actions suggest to me that they were ashamed of what they did. I actively fought against P8 and was proud to do so. I don’t care who knows, and I certainly had no intention of resigning my position, even though I live and work in a very conservative community where P8 passed with a healthy margin. Furthermore, if anyone could prove that they lost a job due to their feelings about P8, regardless of the side that they were on, that would open all kinds of legal issues for the employer.

    There was no harassment of church members, there was no persecution. The church willingly entered the political fray and pressured (read: forced) the members to do the same. If people do not want to be politically involved, then they should not be; but once a business owner stands on a street corner advocating the revocation of another person’s rights, I have the right to spend my dollars elsewhere. Those of us who opposed the campaign have done just that.

    Prop 8 was devastating to the church and it will take decades to repair the church’s image here in California–assuming that that repair is even possible. Regardless of the good things the church has done in the past, going forward, Latter-day Saints will be known for Proposition 8. The campaign was and is a public relations nightmare.

  24. Guy Briggs says:

    Don R. Lewis wrote:

    I guess the Mormon stance is “well, you guys did it to us with polygamy so lets see how YOU like it!!”

    Erm, no. That would be an example of two-wrongs-make-a-right thinking.

    It is said that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. During the last half of the 19th century we learned that when the US Government doesn’t particularly like your religious beliefs, it can exert some pretty strong pressure. Up to and including sending the standing Army to your border to ensure you comply.

    We are seeing the stirrings of that same sentiment again.

    For example, the Yogyakarta Principles, adopted in November of 2006, states (in part), “States shall ‘Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure the right of persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, to hold and practise religious and non-religious beliefs, alone or in association with others …'”

    In other words, the State shall force Religion to believe in a certain way.

    Didn’t the original settlers of America leave England for that very reason?

  25. Guy Briggs says:

    Ben wrote:

    … the peaceful demonstrations against the church by those whose rights were taken away are not persecution or harassment.

    The peaceful demonstrations I have no problem with.

    What I /do/ have a problem with is vandalism of Church property; intimidation that costs people their jobs and businesses in a down economy; the mailing of white powder to our temples.

    Not terribly fond of death threats, either.

    Example: the LdS Meetinghouse that was trashed up in Olympia, WA, the group claiming credit declaring, “Let this be a warning to the Mormon church, dissolve completely or be destroyed. The choice is yours.”

    Polemical, anti-Mormon screeds like the movie we’re discussing? Well, it’s a free country, isn’t it? Death threats and vandalism? Democracy shouldn’t tolerate it.

  26. Daniel says:

    The media has grossly overestimated the Mormons’ role in the whole Prop 8 thing. No on 8 raised more money and got fewer votes. Supporters of LBGT marriage are just looking for any reason that they lost other than that the majority of Californians disagree with them.

    That said, as an 8th generation Mormon, (does the number of generations really matter?) I can tell you that the Church does not teach that God has multiple wives, but it does teach that marriages can be eternal. So, theoretically, if a man marries a woman who passes away and then marries another woman, in the afterlife he would be married to both (assuming everyone still wanted to be married, God’s not going to force you into a marriage you don’t want to be in).

  27. M.F. Luder says:

    Yeah, only the AUDIO of the “Mormon elders” was available. You tell your readers that the video was “streamed online”. This is not true at all. Only 4 minutes of a ONE HOUR long video broadcast was made available online. Because of that, I think it’s disingenuous to claim the filmmakers “distorted” an existing video when, in fact, the video never existed. Only the audio paired with an original visual aesthetic.

  28. Don R. Lewis says:

    Sooo…I guess the Mormon stance is “well, you guys did it to us with polygamy so lets see how YOU like it!!” What a terrific way to live your life, eh Pete. An eye for an eye religions always bode well for everyone.

    Plus, you have a choice in what religion you practice, you don’t have a choice in who you love or what your sexual persuasion is.

  29. Ben says:

    Doctrinally speaking, the film is accurate. As a 7th generation Mormon, I am well versed in Mormon theology and we were always taught that polygamy had been suspended on earth yet remained an eternal principle. LDS men are able to be sealed to more than one woman for eternity. The fact that only one wife can be alive at any given time is irrelevant since the marriage bond continues on beyond the veil.

    I have seen the film and I thought it was fair. The film certainly has a point of view and is told from the director’s perspective. No surprise there. The LDS leaders did not think about the long term consequences of their antigay activities in Hawaii and beyond. Being a bully is not a good way to build one’s positive image or to spread goodwill in the community. The LDS community is not the victim of Prop 8, it is the perpetrator; and the peaceful demonstrations against the church by those whose rights were taken away are not persecution or harassment. My Mormon ancestors were driven out of the United States due in large part to their belief that marriage included more than just a husband and one wife. Some were murdered and others died on the journey to Salt Lake. That was persecution.

    Proposition 8 is a stain on the Mormon community. In a short four month campaign, the church’s image was set back decades. P8 took a heavy toll on the LDS community. It divided families, and created a rift among the church members. This film sheds some light on that issue, but the reality runs far deeper and is a more complicated discussion than any single film can convey.

  30. Pete says:

    I love it – the insanity continues, even 18 months after 8 passed. I find it incredibly amusing that Mormons who disagree with the concept of gay marriage are considered haters while gay people who disagree with the LDS church’s right to express their opinion are considered “exercising their free speech.” Ah, the irony of it all. What makes it even more ironic is that 120+ years ago Mormons were persecuted, hated and ostrasized for their practice of polygamy – to the extent of being expelled from the USA. They practiced a different lifestyle then and people were up in arms. I realize times have changed, but the fundamental rules about treating Mormons have not – they are to be hated no matter what. Never mind the hundreds of millions they give to disaster victims while the rest of us sit in our chairs pontificating about how evil they are. GROW UP PEOPLE!!

  31. Guy Briggs says:

    Tori Tanner wrote:

    I hope [the Mormon church] pay[s] a big enough of a price that any religious organization will think twice before doing it again.

    Ah, there’s the rub. Attempting to persuade the opposing viewpoint through intimidation is the very antithesis of the way things are supposed to work in a free democracy that values both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion.
    It’s also somewhat out of character for the side that pretends to be against h8.

  32. MrNirom says:

    It is the same ole thing… over and over and over again. Prop 8 was about the definition of Marriage. It has always been defined as an institution between a man and a woman… and nothing else.

    I could care less if the world wants to give rights to any two people.. man or woman.. as far as the “rights” of what is currently given to those who now enter marriage.. but they certainly don’t have to call it marriage. Call it Garriage!! But I do not want the definition being changed just to accommodate a subset of people wanting to imitate what the relationship is between a man and a woman and trying to call it the same thing. It is not the same thing.

    When I am asked.. are you married.. and I answer the question.. yes I am.. there is an understanding that I am in a relationship with someone of the OPPOSITE sex. I do not want the next question to be.. so.. to a man or a woman?

    But if they asked me.. so.. are you married or garried? Answering married would still imply it is to someone of the opposite sex.

    I was opposed to changing the definition.. and I still am. But I have no problem with extending all the rights that go with marriage to same sex couples.. just go find your own word for it.. don’t steal my name and then change the definition of it.

  33. AlanW says:

    Can’t wait to see the movie. I was raised Mormon but the Morman Church decided they don’t want me after I told them I would not stop sleeping with my partner (we met as Mormon missionaries in Switzerland) and BTY Mormons do believe that there will be polygamy in heaven, it is taught in the Church. Mormon men may marry any amount of women in the Mormon temple. (Not at the same time, however if a wife dies a man may marry another woman and be sealed to her for eternity, just as he was to his first wife) However a woman cannot be sealed to more than one man.

  34. I can tell you as a 5th generation Mormon that polygamy is a vital part of the teachings concerning the after life and that God had multiple wives as well.

    My understanding is that yes there was a “secret satellite broadcast” streamed into the church buildings all over California and the film maker obtained the video from someone in that meeting because “the church” would not release it to the public.

    As far as your comment on the film not creating any policy change, it already has in Salt Lake City when the LDS church made an official statement in support of the proposed anti-discrimination ordinance there, which then passed and went into effect this month. An independent poll done in Utah after that statement by the church showed a major swing in favor of rights for the LGBT citizens of Utah.

    I was amazed at the volume of active Mormons that attended the film when it premiered at Sundance who had the courage to stand and comment, saying “I had no idea how this happened and the lives it affected… I’m sorry”

    There is a reason that the film has received 5 minute standing ovations at each of the screenings there. It is powerful and I believe active Mormons everywhere will Netflix this film and watch it in the privacy of their homes. And they will be moved.

  35. Kent Parsons says:

    Nonsense. The LDS Church did nothing wrong at all. It is not a crime to stand up for traditional marriage. Why should we adopt gay marriage anymore than we should sanction incest or polygamy? The rights of the LDS Church have been repeatedly violated by thugs and other anti-Mormon bigots. Mormons are sick of the lies and slander coming from pro-gay sources. It is sad to see hatred and anti-Mormon bigotry thinly disguised as pro-gay advocacy.

  36. Tori Tanner says:

    It is criminal what the Mormon church did with Prop 8, and I hope they pay a big enough of a price that any religious organization will think twice before doing it again.

    You must have not been a very active Mormon, if you really believe that: “Mormons don’t believe God had multiple wives. And it is not established doctrine that there will be polygamy in heaven.” Today, in an effort to appear mainstream, the LDS Church tries to distance themselves from those teachings by not talking about them, but they are still in their books.

    Your statement that: “The video streamed via the internet through a perfectly clear webcam” is true but it is not available in that form since the webcast. The filmmakers stated that all they had access to was a distorted audio that someone recorded at one of the broadcast locations.

    My only criticism of the film is that the synthesizing of the voice with the eerie music was a distraction and reduces credibility. I hope its new owners re-do it before theatrical release.

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