Why Aren’t More Mormons Standing Up For Marriage?

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American Leadership Fund

mormons-against-prop-8-6I routinely give presentations and communicate by email to business and religious leaders of many faiths across the nation. This article by my friend Wendy Asay, “Why Aren’t More Mormons Standing Up for Marriage” was of great interest because the Mormons are probably best known for their strong families and their advocacy for Marriage. Certainly it has been publicly acknowledged by those who were involved that the Mormons’ support of California’s Prop 8 made a difference in winning that statewide referendum.

But what has happened since?

Here are a few images of the hatred, the persecution, and the bullying that resulted when members of the Mormon Church stood up for their belief that Marriage is between a man and a woman.

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As a result of that advocacy, several Mormons lost their jobs, some had jobs threatened and thanks to Huffington Post and other pro-LGBT sources, private Mormon residences were published and protests staged, and Mormon business owners were “outed” for contributing to Prop 8. Members of the Hollywood film industry were targeted and blacklisted as well. Popular sci-fi author Orson Scott Card who lost his contract with DC comics to revive the Superman series for his strong support of Marriage between a man and a woman.

In 2009 when I ran for U.S. Senate, my husband was a speaker at a national conference and was pulled aside and told that they had received 25 complaints against our company. Our research team investigated and discovered that a national LGBT trade organization had “outed” us for having contributed to Prop 8, as was Brendan Eich CEO of Mozilla earlier this year. He lost his job. We lost our major referral source for our company.

I’ve had a swastika spray-painted on my driveway, tires slashed, death threats, and I’m routinely called vulgar names and of course called a “bigot” for believing that every child deserves a mother and a father in a committed Marriage and that we cannot abandon them and the foundation of our society.

My advocacy for Marriage has not been easy, to say the least.

I’ve been on the front lines of these battles for most of my adult life. It was a jolt the first time I read a nasty comment in the paper about me. In fact, I cried. When I first ran for public office, I was surprised that not all Republicans supported my campaign and that some were downright cruel and dishonest. But after time, it starts rolling off your back and you simply ignore the negative comments, and you can even find humor in some outrageous comments.

On the other hand, to a CEO or business owner, the protection of the brand is critical. To learn that their company might be boycotted or criticized feels as terminal as death.

When we learned that a single federal judge had unilaterally and without hearing overturned Utah’s Marriage law, the first reaction amongst Utahns was shock and disbelief. “How could this have possibly happened here?” Most were simply unaware that a court case was working its way through the system for at least a year.

In 2004, a group of us assembled business leaders from around the country in Alexandria, Virginia for the purpose of organizing media, grassroots and attorneys, anticipating that this would eventually be fought in the Courts. One of those attorneys was Gene Schaerr, who is now representing as outside counsel the Utah case at the U.S. Supreme Court.

But unless you were actively involved behind the scenes, your day to day would have been more like routine carpooling the kids to activities, taking care of priorities at the office and attending to religious and charitable responsibilities.

So shocked was the rest of the nation that on one national radio interview, the host asked, “So is the Mormon Church backing off the Marriage issue?” and “All eyes are on Utah. Will it win this case?”

To the last question I pledged that we would do whatever we could to win it. We have the best possible legal team and American Leadership Fund has pulled out all stops to submit amicus briefs in not only the 10th Circuit Court for both Utah and Oklahoma but also in the 4th for Virginia, and now in the U.S. Supreme Court for Utah’s case.

To the first question I responded: “I don’t speak for the LDS Church. But I do know that it has a statement of policy on Marriage called the Proclamation on the Family. It is found at www.LDS.org and it is still the policy of the LDS Church.

At first our fundraising efforts were met with great enthusiasm and we raised the bulk of our goal. Then Mozilla happened. Brendan Eich’s firing was a stunner, and it had a chilling effect.

Some prospective donors told me, “We gave to Prop 8 and our business was damaged. We don’t want that to happen again.” Some said: “We just can’t put our names on this issue publicly.”

Too many retreated. Others believed it was a hopeless cause, “We don’t want to throw good money after bad.” And still others said, “We have a family member who is gay, and we can’t be involved.”

sistersProp 8 Religion and civil rights
These are universal concerns not unique to Mormons. They weren’t the only ones targeted over Prop 8.  The question might also be asked, “Why Aren’t More Christians and Jews Standing Up for Marriage?”   The Catholic and evangelical churches were also targeted during Prop 8.

Now some Churches are concerned about speaking out too boldly because they don’t want to offend members, and they don’t want to lose the support of their congregations. They don’t want to have happen to them what happened to members of the LDS Church over Prop 8.

We also know that some bifurcation or compartmentalization of thinking is happening. For example, we hear routinely the following from CEOs of major corporations, “Well, I personally believe in Marriage between a man and a woman, but we believe in ‘equality in the workplace,’ and we are required to abide by the non-discrimination laws of our community or state.”

This way of thinking – or rationalizing – is not new. We have heard the same for years regarding a woman’s “right” to choose ( e.g. kill her baby). Today, now that people are more aware of the barbaric truth about how a baby is aborted, that rationalization is reversing.

Regardless of religion, not taking a stand for Marriage is actually a stand in support of same sex “marriage.” I remind my audiences that the very act of neutrality and staying silent was what allowed very evil ideas to become popular in the Third Reich, which led to the Holocaust. When the business community went silent that allowed the Nazi Party to capture and intimidate businesses and then it was too late. A World War resulted to correct what the business community was afraid to correct themselves.

To these business leaders I leave this strong and urgent message: John F. Kennedy reflected on Dante’s Inferno when he said, “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain neutrality in times of moral crisis.”

Equality in the Workplace Or A Social Agenda?
We are in a time of moral crisis, and we need every business leader who supports “equality” in the workplace to be very clear about exactly what “equality” means and what they are really supporting.

Too many corporations are supporting and participating in Gay Pride Festivals and Parades. No non-discrimination law requires that level of support.

Too many are still asleep and blind to what they are actually endorsing. There is nothing about children or family in these events. They are vulgar, anti-religion, and they represent the merger of heterosexual and homosexual perversion, pornography, and prostitution on parade.

When I show the laundry list of what has happened in Massachusetts in the past decade, typically there will be at least one doubting Thomas in the room wherever I speak that thinks I’m over the top that will say, “Oh but that’s Massachusetts. We’re Utah. This will never happen in Utah.”

To them I say: WAKE UP!

Video Proof – Non-Discrimination Ordinance: Utah IS Massachusetts
I felt so compelled to provide proof that Utah – perceived to be the most conservative and Republican state in the nation – is already Massachusetts because it passed a non-discrimination ordinance in Salt Lake City. As a result, a video has been produced for the first time in Utah that shows shocking footage of the Utah Gay Pride Festival and Parade. You would be surprised to know which corporations supported and participated in that event.

Please forward this post to your friends. If you are interested in hosting a gathering in your home to view this video and to help your neighbors become better informed, please let us know by filling out the volunteer form. Check “Event host.”

And please pray for Marriage.

Blessings to you…

Cherilyn Eagar

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