Friday, May 10, 2013

Are we winning because the Mormons left the game?

Mother Jones reminds us that the Mormons were active against marriage from the get go, but have gone strangely silent of late, both in institutional and individual activism against equality. So we are winning more.
But there's one force, perhaps greater than any other, that shouldn't be underestimated: theMormon church's political surrender on gay marriage. 

It's remarkable what has happened in the marriage fight since the Mormons decided to abandon it. Consider that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the single biggest funder and organizer of the 2008 campaign to pass California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in one of America's most liberal states. The church is estimated to have directed at least $20 million to that effort, along with significant organizing clout. Documents unearthed by activist Fred Karger showed that the Mormons had 77 people working full time at the church's Salt Lake City headquarters to get Prop. 8 passed... 
...But after the Mormon involvement in Prop. 8 was fully exposed, the backlash was severe—and apparently unexpected. .. 
...Last year in Maryland, the church even went so far as to squelch an effort by some Mormons to organize against a pro-marriage initiative on the state ballot. The loss of the church as an ally has been a huge blow to foes of gay marriage, especially given its ability to deploy a host of motivated volunteers....
If the Mormons continue to stay home with their checkbooks closed, then we may just win this thing. In contrast with the march-in-lockstep Mormons, while the Catholic Bishops are against us, most Catholics are on our side. It's only a narrow fringe of conservative Catholics that are the opponents (and who make up NOM and the Knights of Columbus).

1 comment:

Jim Pratt said...

Has the Mormon withdrawal also given more prominence to the lunatic fringe in the anti-equality movement? It seems to me that the rhetoric from the dark side is becoming more and more hate-filled and outrageous, and that is rapidly pushing those in the middle toward equality.

Can anyone who has watched and studied the anti-equality advertising (comparing California, where the Mormons were paying the bills, with Minnesota or Maryland, where NOM was in charge) confirm that there has been a change in tone?