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Verfasser: Sappho
Datum: Freitag, den 12. Februar 2010, um 5:59 Uhr
Betrifft: Neues über Proposition 8

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has stated in its official news releases that it acted as part of a “coalition” of faith groups supporting Proposition 8, which amended the California State Consitution to eliminate civil marriage rights for gays and lesbians.
Says Laura Compton, spokesperson for Mormonsformarriage.com: “I’ve always said that it’s a coalition and the Mormons are Goliath.” Documents compiled by Mormon supporters of same-sex marriage—including campaign time lines and donor profiles—show that LDS Church ecclesiastical structures, resources, and relationships were fully mobilized to generate the majority of volunteers and donations for the Yes on 8 campaign, even as Church members were coached to handle their Mormonism carefully in campaign contributions and activities.
There was nothing plausibly deniable about the Church’s relationship to the Proposition 8 campaign when, in Sunday meetings on June 29, 2008, a letter from Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Thomas Monson was read over the pulpit of every Mormon congregation in California urging Church members to “do all you can” to support the ballot measure. (...)
The Church-coordinated fundraising drive intensified in late August, when select LDS Church members identified as potential large donors were invited to participate in conference calls with members of the Quorum of the Seventy, a high-ranking Church leadership body. (Mormon Yes on 8 campaign observers believe that tithing records were used to identify call participants.) On the conference calls, highranking church leaders encouraged potential large donors to individually contribute $25,000 to protectmarriage.com.
That’s when Nadine Hansen, a Mormon veteran of the campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment, initiated an effort to document the extent of Mormon funding for the Yes on 8 campaign. During the ERA campaign, Mormon feminist Sonia Johnson had shared with Hansen fundraising disclosure sheets from an anti-ERA group that had raised money in California. Using church directories, Hansen was then able to identify “all but one or two” of the ERA donors as Mormon. Sensing that the Church was pressing ERA-era strategies into service once again, she prepared to undertake the same donor-identification project for Proposition 8 at the Web site mormonsfor8.com.
In early September, a surge of $25,000 donations began to appear in campaign finance records compiled by the California Secretary of State. Hansen and a crew of Mormon supporters of same-sex marriage began to comb large donor records to identify Mormon Church members. By Election Day, mormonsfor8.com volunteers had successfully identified more than 50% of the large donors as members of the LDS Church. “And we know that we did not identify all of the Mormon donors,” Hansen relates. “You can see that in some places virtually all the money that came in came from Mormons. It’s a safe bet to say that Mormons contributed over half the money. It might be as high as 75%.” (...) Mobilizing highly centralized and hierarchical ecclesiastical structures, Mormons also contributed as much as 80-90% of the volunteer labor for the campaign. (...) Mormon volunteers were coached to avoid disclosing their ties to the LDS Church. “When we went to our training meetings, they said, don’t bring up the fact that you’re Mormon. Don’t wear white shirts and ties; don’t look like missionaries. When you go out [canvassing], bring a non-member friend. When you’re calling people, don’t say I’m a Mormon,” says Laura Compton. (...)

On October 8, LDS Church members in California attended a special meeting broadcast from Salt Lake City by satellite to wards and stakes throughout California and to BYU students with California ties. Encouraging Church members to think of the satellite broadcast as though they were “sitting in [a] living room having a confidential talk,” high-ranking LDS Church officials, members of the Quorum of the Twelve and the Quorum of the Seventy, introduced Church members to the final voter persuasion and get-out-the-vote “phases” of the campaign, asking members to use social networking technology to “go viral” with their support for Proposition 8 and commit four hours each week to the ground and phone campaign. A primary source of Mormon messaging during the Proposition 8 campaign was the anonymously-authored “Six Consequences if Prop 8 Fails” document, which went viral across Mormon social networks after its introduction by email in mid-August and was utilized as a training document and handout in the Mormon-coordinated ground campaign. The document alleged that the legalization of same-sex marriage would eventuate in the teaching of same-sex marriage in public schools and the elimination of religious freedoms. Mormon legal scholar Morris Thurston described this as “untrue” and “misleading” and urged the LDS Church to discontinue its further dissemination.
Even as some Mormons urged the LDS Church to dissociate itself from questionable tactics of the Yes on 8 campaign, the profound connection between the Church and the campaign was obvious to insiders. As Laura Compton of mormonsformarriage.com relates, “Anybody who was part of the process knew exactly where they were getting their marching orders from.” Highly centralized and hierarchical LDS institutional structures, widespread experience with door-to-door proselytizing, disciplined messaging among former missionaries, and extensive social networks that facilitated viral messaging, combined with a religious and cultural tradition that assigns enormous value to obedience to church authorities, service, discipline, and sacrifice to create a potent political force that was no secret to those within the culture. According to Laura Compton, the LDS Church provided the “backbone of leadership, flesh of volunteers, blood of money” for the Yes on 8 campaign. (Source: http://www.religiondispatches.org/dialogs/print/?id=2236)

Zusammenfassung:

Die Führung der Mormonen haben diese Kampagne ins Leben gerufen, finanziell und logistich unterstützt, und somit  ihr Steuerbefreiung riskiert. Und warum? Weil sie sich das RECHT ANMAßEN, zu bestimmen, wie auch Nichtmormonen leben sollen!

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