Mormon Church and politics

Mormon Church and politics

from an internet mailing list:

The following is another piece of the political statement that came from Mormon Church headquarters:
Defense of Marriage Act: An Initiative

Q: What is DOMA?

A: The purpose of the Defense of Marriage Initiative, to be voted on in March 2000, is to prevent California from having to recognize (homosexual marriages) entered into in other states.

The Defense of Marriage Initiative in California adds just 14 words to the Family Code of California:

“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Q: What is the history of DOMA?

A: In 1976, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a measure stating that California will only grant marriage licenses to a man and a woman. However, marriages contracted outside of California would likely be recognized in this state. This created a need to clarify California law because there may be states that might rule in favor of gay and lesbian marriages. Without DOMA in place, same-sex marriages contracted in other states would likely be recognized by California.

Hence, California supporters of traditional marriage gathered over 650,000 signatures of registered voters to place the Defense of Marriage Act Initiative on the California March 2000, primary ballot.

In September 1996, President Clinton signed HR 3396, the federal version of the Defense of Marriage Act, which bound the federal government to recognize marriage as being between a man and a woman. However, the federal law allows each individual state to decide on its own whether to permit or prohibit same-sex marriage. As of May 1999, 31 states have passed their own DOMAs, but not California.

Most recently, in 1998, voters in Hawaii and Alaska overwhelmingly passed Defense of Marriage ballot measures.

Q: Why is DOMA necessary?

A. DOMA is necessary first, because voters in California should decide an issue as important as the fixture of marriage, not legislators or judges in other states bent on transforming society, and changing the legal definition of marriage to conform to same-gender lifestyles.

Second, California is a political pacesetter. A defeat of this simple Initiative would strongly embolden nationally those who want to change marriage laws.

Third, strong voter support of DOMA would signal the legislature to consider more critically bills such as those now being introduced in Sacramento.

1. SB 1260 (Hayden) would require a homosexual curriculum to be developed and taught to schoolchildren as young as kindergarten, including mandated training sessions on “homophobia.”

2. AB 222 (Kuehl) would result in homosexual curriculum and promotion of homosexual “marriage” to students in K-12 public schools, public colleges, and universities.

3. AB 1001 (Villaraigosa) awards official minority status to homosexuality and bisexuality, putting “sexual orientation” on the same level as race and ethnicity. This means tax-funded investigations and $25,000 fines could be used to coerce property owners, business owners, religious book stores, religious radio stations, and even some churches that oppose homosexuality.

Q: What is the present status of DOMA?

A. There is a powerful and active gay lobby in California. Their numbers include several high profile elected officials and wealthy, prominent celebrities. This helps them successfully communicate their anti-family message and raise money for political activities. These opponents of traditional marriage know the importance of their gaining a secure foothold in California. They have vowed to spend between $10 million and $20 million to defeat the DOMA initiative.

Early research indicates that Californians are tolerant of different lifestyles. Significantly however, voters do draw a distinction between tolerating different lifestyles and openly promoting same-sex marriage.

Q: What happens if DOMA fails in California?

A: The dangers associated with recognition of same-gender marriages are obvious.

They include:
* the potential of encouraging adoption of children by homosexual parents and homosexual foster homes
* pro-homosexual curriculum in public schools
* taxpayer-funded marriage benefits for gay couples
* potential withdrawal of tax-exempt status for organizations such as Boy Scouts and churches if they refuse to hire homosexuals
* civil penalties for churches who refuse to perform gay marriages

All of this would tear at the fabric of traditional marriages, which for centuries have been the fundamental unit of society. To recognize any form of marriage other than that which God has ordained would be another significant step toward destruction of the family.

If the Initiative fails, then the gay-lesbian activists will argue that California had an opportunity to reject recognition of same-gender marriages, and implicitly ratified the policy of requiring recognition of all same-gender marriages performed in other states.

The issue is not political. It is moral. The Initiative is not intended to attack or punish others. It is intended to defend traditional families against any form of dilution, compromise, or imitation.

The chance to safeguard permanently the institution of marriage can succeed, in California, and across America, if everyone who believes in the traditional family does their part. With your help, we can win.

Errors in the above

Don’t Try to Take Advantage of my Tolerance Stop the hostility toward family and religion

Released for publication

April 1, 1999

By Julio C. Calderon

Former State and National President, Mexican American Political Association (MAPA)

Excuse me, but I’m tired of my tolerance being exploited. Let me explain.

Much is made, and should be made, of California’s unique diversity. We are an exception to history that so many different types of people co-exist relatively peacefully and respectfully of one another. As Californians, we seem to be more tolerant than most others, and we are relatively comfortable with our differences.

Tolerance is a strong value in California and I’m as tolerant as the next person, but my tolerance shouldn’t be mistaken by others as an open invitation to attack the things that people like me care about. I won’t be victimized!

A small special interest group is violating the adage of “live and let live.” Events of this past week in San Francisco demonstrate that the very gay and lesbian special interest groups who demand respect for lifestyles, lack respect for lifestyles different than their own.

First of all, there was Mayor Willie Brown’s city hail “marriage” ceremony of 200 gays and lesbians. Probably seen by most as the mayor’s attempt to curry favor with a core constituency before bus re-election campaign starts-up, the ceremony actually was an in your face attack on traditional marriage that demeaning to traditional husbands, wives and children.

By discarding the notion that marriage should not be exclusive to a man and a woman, the gay special interests’ push for acceptance has became an attack on traditional marriage and family. If we were willing to redefine marriage as something less than a union between a man and a woman, why not include roommates or polygamists? At what point would it just cease to be marriage at all?

They are chipping away at core beliefs that most Californians and I hold near and dear. We have reached the point when we must say: “Leave marriage alone before it is reduced to meaningless rubble.”

The second attack by gays on those different than themselves, is the outrageous mockery of Christianity; specifically the Catholic Church, planned for this Easter Sunday by the outlandish gay and lesbian “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.”

The “Sisters” are planning a block party in San Francisco, complete with special permits to close public streets, this Sunday morning. Why on Easter? When did Easter become a gay holiday? How is this gay harassment of common values different than verbal gay bashing? The archbishop is understandably upset at the city’s complicity in this tasteless show of disrespect, intolerance and hate. It’s bard to imagine the county board of supervisors helping the KICK hold a rally on Martin Luther King Day.

The “Sisters,” who try to pass themselves off as a community service organization, openly mock the Church and Christ, evidenced by their planned “hunky Jesus contest” as part of their Easter desecration event.

I am offended by these special interest attacks on marriage and church. Clearly, tolerance is a value that this group only wants offered to their lifestyle while aggressively attacking and tearing down the proven and established lifestyles of millions of other Californians.

Live and let live is a two way street, but I’m seeing headlights ahead of me in my lane.

Julio C. Calderon can be reached at: (916) 262-1474 office

A-4 Saturday, February 13, 1999 SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

Gay fights activists prepare for marriage initiative battle

Campaign against measure expected to cost $10 million

By Carol Ness

Gay rights advocates have decided they’re going to have to spend up to $10 million to try to defeat a state ballot initiative opposing same-sex marriage in California.

Organizing has begun around the state to try to keep California from going the way of Hawaii and Alaska, where voters resoundingly passed anti-gay-marriage measures last November.

At a press conference Friday at City Hall in honor of the second annual National Freedom to Marry Day, leaders of the fight against the Knight initiative, headed for the March 2000 ballot, expressed optimism that a year-long campaign – and a lot of money – could change Californians’ minds about gay marriage.

“In large part it’s a matter of education,” said Supervisor Leslie Katz, “When the public becomes aware of what is at stake for our families¬† as they have around gays and lesbians in the workplace and not wanting them to be discriminated against they’ll come around.”

Essential to the campaign will be people like the Rev. Don Fado, the straight Methodist minister who was honored at Friday’s event for taking up the cause of gay marriage.

Fado and 94 other Methodist ministers put their ordinations at risk by blessing the union of a lesbian couple Jan. 16, an event that’s been called a turning point in the gay marriage fight.

“I’m pleased to be here today to speak out for the right of all people to the legal protections that are offered in our society¬† regardless of sexual orientation,” Fado said, after his daughter, Patty Fado, conveyed a proclamation from her boss, Mayor Willie Brown.

Supervisor Mark Leno said a 1998 Field poll showing 56 percent of Californians opposing gay marriages isn’t necessarily a good measure of sentiment on the Knight initiative, which would define marriage as between a man and woman only. Defeat of the initiative would not legalize gay marriage in California, “The same poll also showed 58 percent favor equal rights for domestic partnerships.”

Leno said. “There’s something about that word marriage that the public feels very possessive about that’s something we can talk about and work with.” He pointed out that three past anti-gay initiatives, including the 1978 Briggs measure, started out with similar support but ultimately went down to defeat.. Cheryl Deaner, head of the All Our Families Coalition in San Francisco, said California is a very different state from Alaska and Hawaii, with a more diverse population and a far better organized gay community.

“We’ve learned a lot,” said Deaner, part of the ad hoc committee that’s now starting to pull a campaign together. “I don’t think it will be the same battle at all,” San Francisco political consultants Robert Barnes and Mike Marshall are already strategizing with activists here, in Los Angeles, and other California cities. The $10 million figure is an estimate, Marshall said Friday. No money has been raised yet.

First up will be polling and focus groups, before a campaign strategy and message can be devised, Barnes and Marshall said. Also, the gay community itself will have to resolve its conflicts over the initiative, sponsored by conservative state Sen. Pete Knight R-Palmdale, and his evangelical Christian allies, “There are a lot of gay leaders and progressive allies who resent having to deal with this,” Barnes said. “This isn’t our agenda. We wouldn’t have chosen to put this on the ballot. We are the right-wing’s wedge issue of the millennium.

Spending $10 million would allow intensive television ads and door-to-door campaigning, said Marshall.

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