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January 27, 2010

Protesters Object to Prop. 8 Doc at Sundance

8: The Mormon Proposition greeted by chants of 'Separate church and eight'

About two dozen activists showed up recently for the Sundance Film Festival screening of a documentary depicting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' efforts to pass Proposition 8, the successful 2008 California ballot initiative that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

"We think it's a shame -- a very big shame," demonstrator Joe Baker-Gorringe said. "If [Mormons] would have channeled [their time and money] into something more constructive, they would have helped a lot of people."

Of the film itself, Matthew Lyon, who is gay and grew up in the LDS Chursh, said, "I felt like I was going to bawl the entire time. Mormons say that I can't be something I was born innately [as]."


The sooner this issue gets the U.S. Supreme Court, the better. While it's true that the Constitution doesn't define "marriage," the federal government has a vested interest in married couples for the purposes of tax law and Social Security (among the 1,138 legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities that are automatically bestowed on couples once they marry). This is not an issue that can be left up to the states to decide individually, since it wouldn't do for a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa, for instance, to become automatically UN-married once they decide to move somewhere else.

Religious beliefs are irrelevant, because (1) the United States is not theocracy, and (2) churches will continue to be free to conduct or deny ceremonies to whomever they want.

Procreation and parenting are irrelevant, since couples do not have to marry to have children, and the ability or even desire to have children is not a prerequisite for getting a marriage license.

This is simply a matter of equal treatment under the law. Contrary to what Prop. 8 defender Andrew Pugno would like people to believe, the "domestic partnership" provisions for Gay couples in California are inferior to legal marriage in many ways. In California, separate is most definitely NOT equal. And at the federal level, there is still that pesky Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which is clearly in violation of the 14th Amendment and the "Full Faith & Credit" clause of the Constitution.

The quest for marriage equality by Gay couples has absolutely nothing to do with Straight (i.e. heterosexual) couples. Nothing is changing for them. Nothing is happening to “traditional marriage.” Most people are Straight, and they will continue to date, get engaged, marry and build lives and families together as they always have. None of that will change by allowing Gay couples to do the same. This is really not any sort of a “sea change” for marriage, since the only difference between Gay and Straight couples is the the gender of the two persons in the relationship.