Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why do Mormons in Utah affect votes in California?

The Salt Lake City Tribune reports over $2.7 milliion in support for Prop H8 from Utah Mormons, the next biggest state involvement to California.
Utahns and the LDS Church spent significantly more than previously reported on last-minute efforts to push passage of California's ban of same-sex marriage, newly filed financial disclosures show. ....More than half the Utah donations poured in during the final three weeks before the Nov. 4 election, totaling about $2.5 million.

Officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also have filed new disclosures detailing at least $134,774 in previously unreported nonmonetary expenditures to help Prop. 8 proponents, much of it in staff time by church employees. Only $55,000 in LDS Church donations had been reported before, by California-based ProtectMarriage.com, the main pro-Prop. 8 group.

Between them, the filings add new dimensions to Utah's heavy involvement in California's same-sex-marriage ban, which carried 52 percent of the vote and now is being challenged in state courts. Encouraged by church leaders, Mormons across the country gave money to the campaign...
Along the same lines, the Bay Area Reporter has discovered (H/T James)
two 11-year-old documents authored by Utah State University professor Richley Crapo, Ph.D., which describe the genesis of the church's HLM (defined by Crapo as "Homosexual Lesbian Marriage") strategy.
Crapo's timeline begins in 1988 when the LDS, under then-President Gordon B. Hinckley, hired the marketing firm Hill and Knowlton to "monitor and promote the church's stance on gay issues in state legislatures and the U.S. Congress."
Crapo also described how the LDS first reached out to Catholics at the genesis of its HLM strategy in Hawaii, inviting then-Honolulu Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo to vacation with Hinckley at the palatial LDS estate on the island. This was the beginning of a dialogue that eventually recruited the U.S. Catholic bishops to the LDS cause, according to Crapo, whose chronology calls into question the recent assertion by San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer that he invited the Mormons to become involved in the Yes on 8 fight.
So, a few questions.
1) Was it the Catholics who co-opted the Mormons, or vice versa?
2) Why are out-of-state Mormons providing funding for California constitutional issues?
3) If a church can instruct its followers to donate money to a cause, is that a religious issue, or a political one?

By the way, the "no-on-8" donation lists are also public. You haven't heard of people trying to hide their donations for equality. As we've discussed before here, the Yes-on-H8 folks tried to blackmail the opposition back in October, presuming they'd be ashamed of their contributions. THe response was "publish and be damned". Telling, that, don't you think?

Update Cany points us to some reflections on the response to the Mormons on her blog. The magnitude of the LDS involvement (newly revealed) as well as the long history show us that the LDS church is an implacable foe to GLBT marriage rights, moreso than the Catholics or any other group, and any campaign to restore our rights is going to have to neutralize their threat.


Erp said...

Strictly speaking some California propositions could affect out-of-state people and so those people should have a voice. (E.g., raising the tax rate for income earned in California by out-of-state residents.)

The connection seems pretty weak in the case of Utah and prop 8 though I suspect many Californians would send support for a pro civil unions bill in Utah (or more likely against an anti-LGTBI bill in Utah).

However we can know the opposition though realize that not all Mormons support their church on this issue.

It is useful to remember there are liberal Mormons (or at least liberal for Mormons).

Feminist Mormon Housewives

Cany said...

IT, dear, you don't get the LDS church.

It's not Utah. It could be Mars. But the fact is that LDSers are committed like nothing you have ever seen. They virtually control UT politics (except in Salt Lake, ironically).

And had you read my blog and taken the words of TX Mike (Lavender Wolves) for fact, you would have already known this stuff about HI and so on.

Tsk Tsk. (kidding.. don't fall off the edge here, I didn't know either!).

I refer you here, to his responses to my initial post:


This goes back to Nov. 8, 2008.

David G. said...

If I was a Physicist, ..the things I could do,... but I'm not.

This OLD SCHOOL thought that standing still makes sense is sad and sick, especially since most of these people are industrialists, ....who espouse Forward Thinking in thier business practices,..um...HELLO!!!

Anonymous said...

I know the history, Cany, and I think I "get" the LDS

However, many people don't know it. It doesn't hurt to stress the history even repetitively . it's useful to keep this front and center because it is an ongoing issue for GLBT rights across the country. Prop8 is not a one-off.

The magnitude o the donations,many in the last weeks of the campaign, is also new info.

I'm sorry I missed the post, I will link it in an update.


IT said...

Erp, liberal Mormons are voiceless in their church which is a massive institution implaccably opposed to gay rights. I'm sorry for them the same way I'm sorry for liberal Catholics but in an authoritarian institution, their liberality is no help to us.

dr.primrose said...

I wonder how long out-of-state Mormons in places like Utah and southern Idaho will be willing to throw their hard-earned money at something like this in California.

Because in California it's going to come up over and over again until marriage for same-sex couples is restored (and maybe even afterwards if there are further attempts to roll it back again).

Maybe once. Perhaps twice. But I don't think Utahns and Idahonians are going to give big money connected with California ballot measures forever, particuarly if they throw away their financial futures in the process. Regardless of what their bishops say.

it's margaret said...

Back to the boycott of all things Mormon yet IT?

I, for one, will continue to do so.

IT said...

New information shows that as an institution, Focus on the Family spent more than the "official" Mormon church. So much that they had to lay people off.

Of course, the Mormons were able to mobilize their faithful for everything from donations (quite substantial) to precinct-walking. Mormons were disproportionately involved. All that money pro-8 from Utah, you don't think they were Wiccans do you?

James said...

Well, how about that, IT.

IT said...

It is not a surprise, James. The Mormon CHURCH admits to spending less that $200,000 and only admitted that under duress. But we know that they exhorted their members to cough up, and thus tried to keep their institutional fingerprints off the campaign. How many cases in the hysterical aftermath did you hear of Mormons threatened by boycotts at work bleating that they only donated because their church told them to?