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The roots of '8: The Mormon Proposition'

Co-director Reed Cowan and other participants have a lot invested — financially and emotionally — in the documentary on the church's efforts to pass California's ban on same-sex marriage.

June 21, 2010|By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times

Meanwhile, Cowan has a lot invested in the effort. The filmmaker funded many of his production costs by taking out a second mortgage on his home and racking up tens of thousands of dollars on his credit cards. (The film's executive producer helped to gather the movie's finishing funds.)

The documentary has also triggered hate mail to Cowan — some letters told him that he had been punished for his sexuality with his son's accidental death. But the film also has prompted questions and divisions within the church, according to Stay.

"We've heard that with the release of the trailer, it's caused a lot of buzz and it's causing this separation within the wards, within the congregations," she said. "People are saying, 'That was wrong. We should never have gotten involved in that way.'"

Still, Cowan is trying to keep his expectations for the film realistic.

"I don't have any grandiose ideas that the president of the Mormon Church is going to come out and welcome gays in," he said. "What I do hope for is that mothers and fathers will see this film, and they will see that there is something wrong when bigotry is spewed from the pulpit. There is a body count to this war."

amy.kaufman@latimes.com

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