Thursday, January 21, 2010

Religion and Proposition 8.

As testimony continues in the Proposition 8 case in California, opponents of the law which makes same-sex marriage legal, are working to show that religious opposition was the primary force behind the law's passage, therefor violating separation of church and state.

Rather than accept that their position is discriminatory and a violation of individual rights, religious groups are claiming persecution for their beliefs. But no one is discussing what those religious beliefs have caused: imposition of religious ideology on state and federal laws, a blatant use of state law to enforce discrimination based on sexuality.

Attempting to end religious laws is not persecution, it's an effort to uphold religious tolerance.

From the LA Times:

The experts agreed under questioning that some churches have contributed to discrimination against gays and that religion also has been used to justify discrimination against African Americans and women.

David Boies, a lawyer for the challengers who questioned the experts, ended the video presentation with a question about whether some state laws were based on religion.

"No," said Katherine Young, a religious studies professor at McGill University, "because you have the doctrine of separation of church and state."

Documents unveiled later revealed the Catholic and Mormon churches played a major role in passing Proposition 8.

An e-mail from the executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to the bishops and a cardinal said Catholics were crucial in providing money and volunteers to qualify Proposition 8 for the ballot.

The e-mail also praised the Mormon Church, saying it had provided "financial, organizational and management contributions" for the measure.

A memo by a Mormon Church public affairs officer said the Proposition 8 campaign was "entirely under priesthood direction," and the minutes of a Mormon Church meeting said members should not take the lead in promoting Proposition 8 but should work through

The church document said a teleconference had been held in Salt Lake City with 159 of 161 Mormon leaders in California. The leaders were told to encourage members to contribute $30 each for Proposition 8, toward a projected goal of $5 million, in addition to general fundraising.

Andy Pugno, a lawyer for the Proposition 8 campaign, said in an interview that it was "astonishing" that the court allowed into evidence internal communications of churches.

"Today has been a major expression of religious bigotry," Pugno said of Wednesday's testimony. "The gloves have clearly come off, and religious voters are in the cross-hairs."

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Anonymous david scott said...

It should go without saying that a person should be allowed to marry whomever they choose. Until the right-wing, religious fanatics in this country stop trying to control everybody else and force their “morals” down the throat of the country, there can be no real freedom in the United States. Civil rights cannot simply be "voted away," that is the purpose of the Bill of Rights. Religious activists should be left out of these decisions completely. I invite you to my web pages devoted to raising awareness on this puritan attack on our freedom:

January 21, 2010 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger L A Neumann said...

Thanks for writing, David. Always fantastic to hear from fellow travelers. And thanks for the link. Very best, Ann

January 21, 2010 at 9:28 AM  

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