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The battle over Prop. 8

November 12, 2008

Re "Mormons' Prop. 8 aid protested," Nov. 7

Hate begets hate -- and the Mormon church should know that better than most. The political involvement of this tax-exempt church has promoted bigotry; torn apart congregations, families and communities; and set the church's public image back 80 years.

Nine years ago, my husband and I, both fourth-generation Mormons, decided to leave the church after its involvement in Proposition 22. It was not a decision made lightly. It was devastating to both sides of our families.

Many of my Mormon friends are now suffering through the same confusion. How can my church teach love Sunday morning then spend the week promoting fear and hate?

The gay community will soon have all the rights extended to every other citizen -- this will be just another temporary delay. The Mormon church stands to be the real loser here, with a tarnished image and a divided membership that will last for generations.

Katherine England

Fullerton

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When tax-exempt churches use their pulpits and money to demean and destroy gay relationships and families, they should not be surprised when protesters appear on their doorsteps.

Stephen Newcomer

West Hollywood

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The demonstrations against Proposition 8 make me question my vote against it. The behavior of many supporters of gay marriage is disgraceful and, in my estimation, is likely to work against the progress that has been made in gay rights.

What rights have gay people lost, other than the use of a word -- marriage -- that has been reserved for the union between a man and a woman? "Marriage" is not the only word that has been reserved for the use of a defined class by the state of California. I would cite the words "engineer," "architect" and "medical doctor."

The real issue facing gay couples is securing federal recognition of civil unions in a way that grants the same treatment as marriage for federal purposes, including income taxes. The current demonstrations are going a long way toward blocking the achievement of that goal.

Robert D. Holmes

Arcadia

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We lost Proposition 8 fairly. To the futile protesters filling the streets: Don't scapegoat the Mormons. They voted, and not enough of us did. They donated, and not enough of us did. Period. Democracy means putting your ballot and money where your mouth is. The Mormons exercised their constitutional right and won. Where were we?

The toothpaste is out of the tube now. We have only our lassitude to blame, so let's face up to it honestly, move peacefully to the courts and materially show the support we so loudly claim to have for gay rights. Proposition 8 discriminates blatantly. We can win if we focus on that major unconstitutional flaw.

Winnie Lineberger

Los Angeles

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Re "Governor backs gay marriage," Nov. 10

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger did not support Proposition 8, which is certainly his right. The people of California voted on the issue and the majority supported the proposition. I am appalled that the governor now openly declares that he is in favor of the courts overturning the proposition.

When I became a citizen of this country in 1964, the judge presiding over the ceremony told us that the most important right we obtained was the right to vote. "As new citizens, you will now have the ability to direct the course of your new country," and "the majority rules," he told us. At no time did the judge say, "You can vote, but if some people don't like the outcome they can cause a fuss and have it overturned in the courts."

Everyone encourages people to get out and vote. Why should we, if it means nothing?

Jo-Anne Collins

Fountain Valley

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