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Three Cheers for Bill Marriott

Famous Mormon Bill Marriott, Chairman and CEO of the Marriott International hotel company, defied LDS church leaders by refusing to donate money to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign against gay marriage in California.  He has now posted a statement on the Marriott web site, in which he touts the company's long-standing diversity policy, which includes domestic partner benefits, and in which he speaks with pride about the many LGBT events that have been hosted at Marriott hotels over the years.  While it does not take as much courage for a man of Marriott's stature to oppose church leaders on a political issue (certainly, he won't be threatened with church discipline the way Andrew Callahan, rank-and-file church member from Nebraska was), it nevertheless shows that there are some Mormons who are willing to "do what is right and let the consequence follow" as they act in accordance with what their conscience tells them instead of yielding to the pressure to sacrifice their will on the altar of absolute obedience to the prophet.

Marriott's complete statement after the jump:

Continue reading "Three Cheers for Bill Marriott" »

Prop 8 Supporters Celebrate Denial of Rights

Note: I have changed the title of this post from "Mormons Celebrate Bigotry" to "Prop 8 Supporters Celebrate Denial of Rights" because I think it more accurately reflects what is depicted in the phot and because the old title was unnecessarily provocative and unfair--not all Mormons supported Proposition 8, and many who supported it did so grudgingly.

The Some Mormons, while mourning the Obama Presidential victory, are nonetheless celebrating the passage of Proposition 8 in California, which enshrines in the California Constitution discrimination against a minority of California's population--gays and lesbians, whose marriages will no longer be legally recognized in California.  The These Mormons, including those who live in other states (such as Utah), were energetic and enthusiastic in working to deprive gays and lesbians of their right to marry.  In working so hard to pass Proposition 8, the some Mormons continued a long tradition of their religion to oppose civil rights.  In the 1960s, LDS leaders spoke strongly against civil rights for African-Americans, opposing integration and supporting politicians like George Wallace in his efforts to maintain "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever."  LDS apostles argued that segregation was God-inspired, and that to end segregation was to act against God.  For example, Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in 1954 that:

Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves. I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation? It reminds me of the scripture on marriage, "what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Only here we have the reverse of the thing - what God hath separated, let not man bring together again. (Apostle Mark E. Peterson, Race Problems - As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954)

For more quotes from LDS leaders on segregation and civil rights, see the Mormon Think web site. 

The LA Times ran this photo of [some] Mormons [and others] celebrating their "victory" in denying gays and lesbians their constitutional rights:

Prop 8 celeb

Someday, I have a feeling many Mormons will be as embarrassed to have worked for the passage of Proposition 8 and to have been captured celebrating its passage, as they would be to have been captured in this photo:

Segreg rally

Equality's Election Prediction

Here is my prediction for the Presidential election:

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I made this a month ago, and it follows what I have been saying since the conventions. I haven't seen anything, with all the ups and downs of the campaign, to change the basic prediction of Obama in a landslide (yay). I actually think that the result might be even more in Obama's favor--I think the Senator from Illinois has a decent chance at winning Georgia and Montana, which would take his total to 393. To get over 400, he'd have to take Arizona or maybe North Dakota and West Virginia, which might be a bit of a stretch (but wouldn't shock me). I will be shocked if Obama wins with less than 300 electoral votes.

In the Senate, I think the Dems end up with 58 seats, including Elizabeth Dole's seat from North Carolina (which will serve her right for the slanderous ad she ran against her opponent). In the House, I expect the Dems to win a net of about 30 seats. Say hello to a one-party Washington.

Great New TV Ad on Proposition 8

As readers of Equality Time undoubtedly know, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) are the principal contributors of time and money to the "Yes on Proposition 8" election campaign in California. Spurred by letters and pronouncements from church leaders such as Thomas S. Monson, many true-believing members have devoted their energies to work for the passage of Proposition 8, which would re-write the California state constitution to take away the right to marriage currently enjoyed by gays and lesbians. Though not all believing Mormons support Proposition 8 or the church's heavy involvement in a state political matter (see, e.g., the Signing for Something web site or  the Mormons for Marriage site), most true-believing Mormons appear to be getting on board, believing, it seems, that President Monson speaks with a prophetic voice on the subject, having apparently been informed by Jesus Himself that this is the most important thing Latter-day Saints can spend their time and resources on at this time.   According to multiple reports, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles instructed the leaders of a number of stakes to "invoke their priesthood keys" to soften the hearts of the people of California (and, one suspects, their minds as well) so that Proposition 8 would pass tomorrow.  And that's not all.  No, we have it on apostolic authority that Jesus is "smiling" on the efforts of the saints.  I guess that is good news for the President of my old stake (Plano, Texas), Mike Wilding, who appears to be the only member in my town of Murphy, Texas to have contributed to the "Yes on 8" campaign (he gave $1500).   And what is it that Mormons think Jesus is feeling all warm and fuzzy about?  Well, this ad says it better than I could: