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Focus on the Family vastly outpaced Mormon spending on Proposition 8
Ministry, related donors spent $1.25 million on anti-gay marriage measure

Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family gave $727,250 in cash and services to the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 campaign in California, according to records released by the California secretary of state, including a $100,000 check in late October, just days before the evangelical media empire announced it planned to lay off nearly 20 percent of its employees. While there has been public scrutiny of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its attempts to influence the campaign to reverse a California Supreme Court ruling allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, Focus on the Family and related donors pumped more than six times as much as the Mormon church did into the ProtectMarriage.com campaign, records show.
Altogether, donations supporting Proposition 8 from Focus on the Family, one of its major benefactors and an offshoot lobbying organization totaled more than $1.251 million — just shy of the $1.275 million contributed by ProtectMarriage.com’s largest donor, the Knights of Columbus, the Connecticut-based political arm of the Catholic Church. In addition to $727,250 reported by Focus on the Family, major backer and board member Elsa Prince, the billionaire heiress of Holland, Mich., donated $450,000 to ProtectMarriage.com in two cash chunks and the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, a Christian-right lobbying organization spun off from Focus on the Family and founded in part by Prince’s foundation, chipped in $74,400.

The Mormon church donated $189,000 in nonmonetary expenditures — mostly staff time and airline tickets — to help pass the ballot measure, according to the latest disclosure from the California secretary of state. The church remains “under investigation” by the California Fair Political Practices Commission after a complaint was filed against the church by the anti-Proposition 8 group Californians Against Hate, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Monday.
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Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?
Of course not, yet the religious opponents of gay marriage would have it be so.


Military Asks Foreigners to Fill Vital Roles Instead of Gays
In other words, the military is forced by law to recruit non-Americans for these "vital" positions over patriotic Americans who happen to be gay. Consider, the Pentagon says it has a "chronic shortage" of linguists. But the military forced out 58 gay Arabic linguists in 2007. And now, they’re attempting to replace those 58 trained, gay linguists with foreigners.
Let’s take a look at what’s happening here: As the AP says, the Pentagon is trying to find 1,000 foreigners to fill these positions. But from 2002 through 2006, the military kicked out 3,715 troops under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy. Think any "doctors, nurses, and linguists" were included in there?
Absolutely there were. Here are just three examples of service members discharged after their sexual orientation became an issue--service members who held the positions described above as being "vital to the national interest." These are the people the Pentagon seeks to replace with non-Americans:MORE


Nov. 25th, 2008 05:09 pm
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via: Andrew Sullivan

No on 8 Leaders Scramble to Save Face Amidst Revelations of Month-Long Vacations, Minority Leaders Ignored and Incompetence
The gay and lesbian community is reassessing their efforts in light of a flurry of reports that question No on 8's tactics and commitment and the decision to hold the discussion, as well as the closed off nature of its format, are a tacit admission that the gay community is demanding answers from their leaders.
The Advocate has published a searing new report (see, we say nice things from time to time), revealing that over the summer Lori L. Jean of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center went on vacation for a month and Geoff Kors of Equality California left for two and a half weeks.

In addition LGBT leaders from the black & latino community are hopping mad they were never included in the No on 8 campaign. Jeffrey King, executive director of In The Meantime Men’s Group, a South Los Angeles outreach organization for gay black men told the LA Weekly:
“We told them what should be done. We told them what they shouldn’t do — and they did what they wanted to do. This clearly is not the time to call black folks out and say we were to blame. There was not enough outreach. Period.”
Richard Zaldivar, former City Council Aide, director The Wall Las Memorias Project, who successfully led a grassroots effort to build the first publicly funded AIDS Memorial in East Los Angeles was told by No on 8 staffers that the Latino vote “wasn’t a priority.”
“I drove by the [Our Lady of the Angeles] cathedral on Sunday and I saw young people protesting. But they need to hold the gay and lesbian leadership accountable as much as the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church…If Latinos were playing such an important role in the presidential campaign what was the No on 8 strategy?”
Your editor questioned the Prop. 8 campaign before the election, particularly the lack of a get out the vote effort. The campaign focused on television ads and phone-banking and actively discouraged grassroots efforts to do one-on-one canvassing across the state, even mocking the Yes on 8 campaign's door to door operation.MORE
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Why churches fear gay marriage

The crusade for Proposition 8 was fueled by the broken American family, explains gay Catholic author Richard Rodriguez.
By Jeanne Carstensen
Nov. 25, 2008 |
For author Richard Rodriguez, no one is talking about the real issues behind Proposition 8.

While conservative churches are busy trying to whip up another round of culture wars over same-sex marriage, Rodriquez says the real reason for their panic lies elsewhere: the breakdown of the traditional heterosexual family and the shifting role of women in society and the church itself. As the American family fractures and the majority of women choose to live without men, churches are losing their grip on power and scapegoating gays and lesbians for their failures.

Rodriguez, who is Mexican-American, gay and a practicing Catholic, refuses to let any single part of himself define the whole. Born in San Francisco in 1944 and raised by his Spanish-speaking Mexican immigrant parents to embrace mainstream American culture and the English language, he went on to study literature and religion at Stanford and Columbia. His first book, "The Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez," explores his journey from working-class immigrant to a fully assimilated intellectual -- angering many Latinos with his view that English fluency is essential. "Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father," which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1993, continued his investigation into how family, culture, religion, race, sexuality and other strands of his life all contribute to the whole, a complex "brownness" of contradictions and ironies. "Brown: The Last Discovery of America" completes the trilogy -- but not his insatiable intellectual curiosity, which he is now shining on monotheism.

Rodriguez' stinging critiques of religious hypocrisy are all the richer for his passionate love of Catholicism and the Most Holy Redeemer parish in San Francisco, where he and his partner of 28 years are devoted members. Today, Rodriguez is at work on a new book about the monotheistic "desert religions" -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Ever since Sept. 11, "when havoc descended in the name of the desert God," Rodriguez said in one of his Peabody Award-winning radio commentaries for PBS's News Hour, he has been trying to understand the strands of darkness that run through these religions.

Salon spoke to Richard Rodriguez by phone at his home in San Francisco.

rest of the article for archiving purposes )
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Via: Orion at Pams House Blend

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression." - Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

The NAACP gets it
Kip put it better than I did by simply placing two significant quotes next to each other.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
--Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
Who's going to tell us what a civil right is and what's not? Well, the people will.
--Massachusetts Governor, Harvard Law School graduate (and Christian), Mitt Romney, June 28, 2006
Who? The people?
Like maybe Gladys? Or any of the rest of these folks?
Think about it for a second. If they had a shot at it, which civil rights court rulings would these people like to see overturned? And not just the people in the video, but the far more politically savvy people who get them "angried-up" and out at the polls? The people whose founders, favored politicians, and spokespersons have a peculiar habit of defending America's peculiar institution? The people who could conceivably mount a campaign to repeal civil rights rulings that they are "not against" but that are "no longer necessary"? (I'm just guessing how they might spin it.
Which would you like to see up for a vote:
  • Brown v. Board of Education (school desegregation, major blow against "separate but equal")
  • Roe v. Wade (reproductive freedom)
  • Shelley v. Kramer (racially restrictive "covenants" in real estate - This one's definitely on Glady's list)
  • Bailey v. Patterson (segregation in intrastate and interstate transportation)
  • Batson v. Kentucky (basically says you can't put, say, a Black person on trial and exclude Black people from the jury)
  • Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (defined "hostile work environment" as sexual harassment under the Civil Rights Act of 1964)
  • Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Serv. Inc. (same-sex harassment can be the basis for a sexual harassment claim)
  • Romer v. Evans (overturned Colorado amendment prohibiting protection of LGBT rights)
  • Lawrence v. Texas (decriminalized sodomy, overturned sodomy laws)
  • Grisswold v. Connecticut (overturned law banning contraception, right to "marital privacy")
  • And of course the major civil rights acts of
    • 1957 (established the Civil Rights Commission)
    • 1960 (federal inspection of voter registration polls)
    • 1964 (prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, and national origin)
    • 1968 (Fair Housing Act)
You could almost line them up chronologically and figure out how far people would like to turn back the clock if they could. In a very real sense, even if you're not gay, you could be "next" on their list. MORE
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Via Pams House Blend

Heh heh heh heh heh heh

Focus on the Family poured $539,000 into winning on Prop 8, and now his faithful employees are getting the boot. (Colorado Independent):Focus on the Family is poised to announce major layoffs to its Colorado Springs-based ministry and media empire today. The cutbacks come just weeks after the group pumped more than half a million dollars into the successful effort to pass a gay-marriage ban in California. Critics are holding up the layoffs, which come just two months after the organization's last round of dismissals, as a sad commentary on the true priorities of ministry.
"If I were their membership I would be appalled," said Mark Lewis, a longtime Colorado Springs activist who helped organize a Proposition 8 protest in Colorado Springs on Saturday. "That [Focus on the Family] would spend any money on anything that's obviously going to get blocked in the courts is just sad. [Prop. 8] is guaranteed to lose, in the long run it doesn't have a chance - it's just a waste of money."
...Two months ago, citing Wal-Mart and online retailers as having cut into its product market, Focus announced that 46 employees would be laid off from its distribution department. Late Friday, Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger confirmed that more layoffs are in store, but said the ministry will not release details until Monday afternoon. Schneeberger hinted that some programs may be eliminated entirely, but declined to elaborate.MORE


UPDATE: Focus on the Family announced this afternoon that 202 jobs will be cut companywide — more than 20 percent of its workforce. Initial reports bring the total number of remaining employees to around 950.


Nov. 17th, 2008 05:33 pm
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Via: ?Shakesville

Is Obama Ready To Be A Two-Way President?

The President Elect and India

Petitions are sooooo twentieth century

Colleges Can No Longer Impose Gag Orders On Rape Victims

Yes on 8 Spending Forces Layoffs at Focus on the Family

Will there be new communication channels in the Obama administration?

Obama Remix: Inspirational for Repeal of DOMA and CA’s Prop 8 (Can I just say that I fucking love that tech is this good at this time? This is awesome)

Re:The Auto bailout

What the AP left out about the the UAW Funny how the unions are being maneuvered into the role of villains in the mainstream press.

We are all Flint MI Now What might happen if we don't bailout the auto industry? Nothing very good for the country apparently...

Proposed Funds to the Auto Industry Who is saying what about the bailout and what will their plans entail? Short, to the point and very cogent.

The Auto Bailout: Who Is In Favor of What Whats going on do far.

Zapping the Volt

George Bush Using GM To Screw The Environment One Last Time *sigh* are we surprised?

Obama Writes Letters to Federal Employees About His Goals More nailing down of his positions: pretty good stuff in here.
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First, you get Mad
In the week-and-a-have since proposition 8 was defeated, I've been taken to task for saying that people had the right to be angry after prop. 8 passed. I've read blog posts advising that me that "anger loses." (And, no disrespect to the blogger who wrote that post, but if one more person tells me "We all won," I might just explode. We did not "all win," some of us had very painful losses, even in the middle of all celebrating.) I've heard premature "calls for healing." I even did a double take when I saw a sign on the bus declaring "Anger is false power," but then realized it was a poster for anger management counseling.
Maybe anger management is necessary sometimes, but this time? Fuck it. There are times when anger is a natural, justified, and even powerful reaction.
Where would gay people be without anger? The event that launched the modern gay rights movement was a riot that started when the police raided the Stonewall Inn on the wrong night, queens weren't having it and fought back. Where would we be without that bunch of pissed off queens and dykes, right?MORE

Join the Impact!

Daily Kos MEGA Diary on Prop H8te Protests around the Nation (including tons of blogs and pics) Anti-Prop H8te Protests held Nationwide 10,000 in DC for Equality

Thousands Gather in Austin to Join the Impact

Hundreds Rally in Detroit for National Day of Protest

California Supreme Court Will Hear Challenges to Proposition 8

Use your heads folks. The religious right are watching us

Gays and Straight Allies Protest for Marriage Equality Across Nation

Talkin' 'bout a Queer Revolution Roundup

Via Andrew Sullivan
The View from your Protest Series

Las Vegas, Missoula Montana, Baltimore, Greenville South Carolina, Seattle. Santa Fe, Long Beach, Grand Forks North Dakota, , Chicago, Nashville, New York, Cummington, Mass (Pop. 785). St Louis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Diego. Amsterdam, Salt Lake City, Toronto, Boston, Madison, Wisconsin, Houston, Tallahasee, Philliphedia, Denver, Atlanta, Sacramento, Vermont, Iowa City, Corvallis, Oregon, DC, Minneapolis, Toronto, Amsterdam

Mormon Church Issues Statement on Democratic Process

What The LDS Prophet Told The Mormons About The "Protect Marriage"/Yes On Prop 8 Campaign

Rainbow of civil rights groups petition CA court to halt enactment of Prop 8

Civil rights groups today a petition with the California Supreme Court to stop the enactment of Proposition 8 because it would mandate discrimination against a minority group and did not follow the process required for fundamental revisions to the California Constitution.

In the petition, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Equal Justice Society, California NAACP and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. argue that in order to protect the fundamental rights of all Californians, a higher standard is required to overturn the right to marry. Minority communities cannot be stripped of their fundamental rights by a simple majority vote.

"We would be making a grave mistake to view Proposition 8 as just affecting the LGBT community," said Eva Paterson, president of the Equal Justice Society. "If the Supreme Court allows Proposition 8 to take effect, it would represent a threat to the rights of people of color and all minorities." MORE

More stuff )
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Complaint filed against Mormon Church Prop 8 activities

The story of the El Coyote restaurant
She claims that she loves her gay employees. But she is a Mormon who donated to Yes on H8te. ANd she really cannot understand why they can't just let bygones be bygones. And why are her gay customers boycotting her?

Anti-Gay, Anti-Family

But while Californians march and gay activists contemplate a national boycott of Utah — the Mormon Church largely bankrolled Proposition 8 — an even more ominous new law in Arkansas has drawn little notice.

That state’s Proposed Initiative Act No. 1, approved by nearly 57 percent of voters last week, bans people who are “cohabitating outside a valid marriage” from serving as foster parents or adopting children. While the measure bans both gay and straight members of cohabitating couples as foster or adoptive parents, the Arkansas Family Council wrote it expressly to thwart “the gay agenda.” Right now, there are 3,700 other children across Arkansas in state custody; 1,000 of them are available for adoption. The overwhelming majority of these children have been abused, neglected or abandoned by their heterosexual parents.

Even before the law passed, the state estimated that it had only about a quarter of the foster parents it needed. Beginning on Jan. 1, a grandmother in Arkansas cohabitating with her opposite-sex partner because marrying might reduce their pension benefits is barred from taking in her own grandchild; a gay man living with his male partner cannot adopt his deceased sister’s children.


Most ominous, once “pro-family” groups start arguing that gay couples are unfit to raise children we might adopt, how long before they argue that we’re unfit to raise those we’ve already adopted? If lesbian couples are unfit to care for foster children, are they fit to care for their own biological children?


Read more )
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Why Prop H8te passed

(Ignore the 1 minute video that interviews only white demonstraters against Prop h8te, HONESTLY)
As the United States elected its first African-American president it also passed ballot initiatives in a number of states that ban gay marriage and limit the ability of gay couples to adopt children. According to Richard Kim, Associate Editor of The Nation Magazine, the no on 8 Campaign failed for three reasons. It was disorganized and slow to respond. It didn’t organize in communities of color soon enough. And it fundamentally misunderstood what the yes on 8 campaign was about. You can read Richard’s article on why prop 8 won at The Nation.
Activist and author Jewelle Gomez, Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou author of the forthcoming book Gods, Gays, and Guns: Religion and the Future of Democracy, and Alexander Robinson CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition discuss the role of the black church in organizing around prop 8 and why activists were unable to defeat the measure. There are protests planned throughout the country on November 15 and a demonstration on Wednesday, November 12 at the Mormon Temple in New York City at 6:30 pm. You can find out more about what's going in your city or town at join the impact.

Yes, we are angry. So what do we do about it? )
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Fuck this people to hell

Hypocrisy much? The Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints is unhappy about the fact that the media spotlight is trained on its participation in making Prop 8 happen. In an official statement on the church's web site, bearing false witness and hypocrisy is the order of the day.
It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election. Members of the Church in California and millions of others from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation who voted for Proposition 8 exercised the most sacrosanct and individual rights in the United States - that of free expression and voting.
While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process.
Once again, we call on those involved in the debate over same-sex marriage to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other. No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information.
Bzzt. Wrong answer. The people protesting the church's significant role in an another state's democratic process -- members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave millions of dollars to remove the civil rights of human beings -- are merely exercising their right to free speech to highlight that role. And what is this "erroneous information"?...

No one is telling the church and its membership not to believe whatever they want to believe about same-sex marriage, but they cannot foment discrimination and conflate church and state in their support of Proposition 8. The sole reason for backing the amendment is faith-based. That has nothing to do with civil law or government -- at least not in this country. If the LDS can, in the minds of its followers, be inspired by God to take away the civil rights of people in another state, then gay and lesbian families (wouldn't they also be children of God, or they not human to the LDS?) and their supporters, inspired by the Constitution, can call for the boycott of the state of Utah, where this hate was fomented and bankrolled. Tourism brings in $6 billion a year to Utah -- the state government and businesses in your state will not look kindly upon this rogue mini-theocracy hitting the bottom line of the state coffers.
And the Catholic church is also lying boldly:
Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church was also a target for supporting Proposition 8. "Proposition 8 is not against any group in our society. Its sole focus is on preserving God's plan for people living upon this earth throughout time," Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles, said in a statement Thursday.
WTF? Wait a minute. Prop 8 just removed an existing right from one specific group of people. There's no way to whitewash this. There's no spin that takes away the fact that religious institutions that backed Proposition 8 did so because of their faith -- interfering with the laws of California.
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I've been writing about the racial divide on gay rights and HIV since 1990; there has not been much progress since. And there are still some gay black leaders whose refusal to accept that gays have a huge problem with the African-American population has impeded efforts to foment change.

Andrew Sullivan.

Funny that. Cause I'm sure that there are many minority leaders who would retort that there many LGBT leaders who refuse to accept that their racism and stupidity is splintering the LGBT movement, and this is leading to heartbreaking results for one and all. Now ever since BI read Nate Silver's reasons why exit polls tend to be inaccurate, I have stopped trusting them. But I am getting very tired of several white liberal gay bloggers talking a bag of BS today. So I am about ready to hit someone in the head repeatedly with the number crunched result of their own exit poll as teased out by [livejournal.com profile] biascut Lets pretend no POC had not voted in this election at all Take a good look at the results:

The ban on gay marriage would still have passed with 55% of the vote.

The ban on gay couples adopting would still have passed with 58% of the vote.

Prop 8 would have been defeated by only a small margin of 51% to 49%.

There is currently no exit poll data on race, but 51% of Colorado voters voted to end Affirmative Action. According to the most recent census estimate, Colorado is 90% white.

The ban on gay marriage would still have passed with 60% of the vote.

There is currently no exit poll data on race, but 58% of Nebraskans voted to end Affirmative Action. According to the most recent census estimate, Nebraska is 91.5% white

Read more.. )


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