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Protest at Mormon Temple in Oakland

by Felix Barrett (revolution.sfbureau [at]
On Sunday, November 9, more than 1000 people supporting the right of gay people to marry demonstrated at the Mormon Temple in the Oakland Hills. The protested targeted the Mormons who contributed over $18 million to the hate filled Proposition 8 campaign that banned gay marriage in the state. Police closed freeway exits and the streets near the temple as angry protesters lined the sidewalks outside the temple.

All progressive people need to take a stand against this attack on fundamental rights.
On election day, November 4, Proposition 8 passed in California. This proposition amended the California constitution to declare only “marriage between a man and a woman” would be recognized in the state—in effect reversing a June 17 California Supreme Court decision that allowed gay marriage. Now, this “Yes” vote on Proposition 8—by a margin of 52% to 48%—has effectively ended that right and, by changing the constitution itself, has made it much harder for the right to be restored.

The reaction to the passage of Proposition 8 has been immediate, and angry.

Los Angeles: Several groups announced a protest meeting in the City of West Hollywood the day after the election. West Hollywood is a city next to LA with a large and visible gay and lesbian population. Speakers voiced support for the election of Barack Obama as president and promised support for the lawsuits that had already been filed to invalidate the hateful proposition. But people in the crowd were impatient and were ready to step out into the streets and resist. An hour into the rally, two young women went into the street, and were arrested by LA County sheriffs. Hundreds, then thousands, of people followed their example, and marched off. With rainbow flags and clenched fists in the air, they marched east into Los Angeles. Homemade signs read “Equality Now!” “No Hate,” “Go to Hell Mormon Church” (the Mormons were among the reactionary religious groups who backed Proposition 8), “What Will They Take From YOU?” The cry went up “Gay, Straight, Black, White, Marriage is a Civil Right”…

Once the march kicked off, several thousand took to the streets and marched on CNN several miles away, and then moved to the tourist destination at Hollywood and Highland where they were met by phalanxes of LAPD riot police. In the face of this, one bold protestor ran through an LAPD police line and jumped onto, and then up and down on, a black and white police car, causing a sensation among the crowds of people. As this was happening simultaneous marches were occurring over a wide area of the city, with many thousands involved, and support growing. The following day thousands marched on a Mormon temple in West Los Angeles.

One man at the protest said gays are among the first targets, but others are going to be next. Another person pointed out that passing a proposition like this in California, which is supposed to be a liberal state, would set a very bad precedent. The defiance, righteous anger, and no business as usual character of this upsurge is a welcome development that needs to spread.

San Francisco: “We Will Not Be Quiet” Chanting, “Whose Rights? Our Rights!” and “We will not be quiet!” more than ten thousand demonstrators took to the streets of San Francisco on Friday evening November 7 to protest the passage of Proposition 8 in California, blocking traffic during rush hour on Market Street, the main thoroughfare through San Francisco’s downtown and filling the streets of the famous Castro District and other parts of the city with a spirit of defiance. A large group of the protesters took the intersection of 9th and Market near San Francisco City Hall for hours, locking arms and refusing to move. The crowd was made up of mainly people in their 20s or younger and of all nationalities. Many heard of the protest on Facebook or via text messages from their friends or from signs posted in subway stations. This was the second protest in San Francisco in the three days since the election.

Around the country: The Salt Lake City Tribune reported that on Friday, November 7, “More than 3,000 people swarmed downtown Salt Lake City to march past the LDS temple and church headquarters, protesting Mormon involvement in the campaign for California’s Proposition 8.” And that after a rally, “the masses headed west…shouting chants such as: ‘What do we want? Equality! When do we want it? Now!’” In Chicago more than 500 people protested the induction of Christian fascist James Dobson into the Radio Hall of Fame – Dobson and his Focus on the Family organization played a major role in getting that proposition onto the ballot and in the campaign for its passage.
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Add Your Comments

Comments (Hide Comments)
by Felix
The Mormon Church donated more than half of the $36 million spent to support this fascist initiative. Their money was used to run hateful messages that came down to gay people don't really have a right to exist or should be invisible. They are part of a movement of Christian Fascists that has a great deal of support within the ruling class and the military and are working to move U.S. society more and more in the direction of a theocracy.

Yes the reasons for the passage of Prop. 8 is more than just the Mormon Church or the Christian right. At the root is the drive by powerful forces in the ruling class to re-assert traditional morality and patriarchal relations. After all, even Obama made a big point of saying that he opposes gay marriage (He also opposed the initiative but didn't make a big issue out of this).

My view is that its not wrong to demonstrate at the Mormon Temple because the role that they played in the initiative.
by Sarah Brimhall
I find it interesting that every article or comment I have come across has said "the Mormon Church has donated..." or "the church contributed..." This information is misleading and I feel this clarification needs to be made: church members donated time and money, not the church itself. While the leadership asked members to do so, they did not make it a commandment, nor did they force any of the members to give of their time and money to the campaign. That was a choice that the members of the church made themselves. In addition there were and are many members of the LDS church who did not support Proposition 8.

When members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decided to support the yes campaign they were protecting their religion. Marriage of homosexual couples goes against the fundamentals of the family, which is a core doctrine of the church. Had Proposition 8 not passed the LDS church would have been forced, by law, to marry homosexual couples, which goes against the beliefs of the LDS Church. Separation of church and state and religious freedom were principles this nation was founded upon. By voting yes on Proposition 8 members of the LDS church were only protecting their rights and beliefs.

Another clarification that needs to be made is that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not polygamists. Should a member of the LDS church practice polygamy they would be excommunicated. The only religion that practices polygamy is the FLDS. Latter-day Saints, or Mormons as they are often referred to, are not polygamists.
by Jan Goodman
Sarah Brimhall is mistaken if she thinks that a Yes on 8 vote supports the fundamental belief about separation of church and state. She took her church's belief that marriage is between a man and a woman and used that belief to take away civil rights from a group of people via the California State Constitution. This is shameful and paves the way for other legislated forms of discrimination based on people's personal religious views.
by Know your allies
Felix Barrett is a open supporter of the RCP. For many years Bob Avakain , Lider maximo of that group , proclaimed that Homosexuality was '' Bourgeois decadent ''! He wrote that Gay Homosexuality was a form of Male Chauvnism whereas Lesbianism was a reaction to Male Chaunvism ! Thus LBGT were barred from membershio in his party .
Now I have heard rumors that a few years ago the RCP finally changed their line . Is that so Barrett ? If not how can you'll protest the right wing homophobes with a ''straight '' face (Pardon the pun ) ?
About 5 or 6 years ago the RCP changed it's erroneous and harmful position on homosexuality. At the time the RCP published a long paper ( as a initial attempt to dig into the political, ideological and methodological reasons for this.

I don't think the position of the Party was ever what was described by "Know Your Allies." The Party has consistently supported full and equal rights for gay men and lesbians and opposed discrimination. For example the RCP played a role in initiating the group Refuse and Resist in the 1980s which fought the ideological political offensive of those years including things like Falwells attacks on gay people. I personally remember taking part in many ACT-UP demonstrations in the early 1980s.

Avakian played a leading role in the RCP in breaking with the serious errors that the Party and the international communist movement had made on the question.
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