News Release: I am starting a legal defense fund

December 2, 2009
Contact: Fred Karger

I am starting a legal defense fund

Please Get out Your MasterCard – I Need Your Help!

It’s been three months since I was subpoenaed by the National Organization for Marriage and Protect Marriage, the official Yes on 8 campaign committee that raised $40 million last year.  They served me with a subpoena on Labor Day weekend as part of their federal law suit to end disclosure of all campaign contributions in California.

In one fell swoop, these rabid opponents of LGBT civil rights want to forever hide the identity of all their donors, and stop me from my pursuit of truth and transparency. They want to continue to raise millions and millions of dollars to ban same-sex marriage while keeping their donors’ names secret.

They want to silence me by dragging me through our costly legal system. They are clearly doing this to harass me and hurt me.  They don’t like the fact that two states, California and Maine, are investigating the National Organization for Marriage due to the complaints that I filed.

I have retained a highly regarded California law firm, Stevens, O’Connell and Jacobs to represent me.  I am very fortunate to get such excellent attorneys to go up against the well funded and powerful lawyers on the other side, James Bopp and the Alliance Defense Fund.

I will not be intimidated, but I cannot fight these huge national organizations and their lawyers myself.  I need your help.

I am truly a citizen activist.  It is just my laptop and me. I am more committed than ever to gathering and publishing information that is essential to a full and fair debate over Proposition 8 and the forces behind it. But those forces are trying to silence me by making my First Amendment rights too costly to exercise I cannot cover all of the legal bills that will be necessary to fight these mega organizations with unlimited resources.

Some friends and I have set up Five for Fred to help cover my legal expenses in dealing with the subpoena and matters related to it.

I have received a huge outpouring of support these past two months.  Many of you have asked what you could do to help me.

So I am asking you to contribute a minimum of $5.00.  If enough people donate the price of a latte (with tip), it will be a HUGE help.

Please ask your friends and family members to support Five for Fred, too.  Post a link on your Facebook page, tweet, forward to your friends and please send whatever you can to help right now.

My hometown City Council of Laguna Beach recently presented me with a Proclamation from the city supporting me, a copy of which is below.  And Cindy Frazier, the editor of the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot wrote a beautiful and moving front page column detailing my plight, From Canyon to Cove: NOM Calls out Karger.

I am incredibly appreciative of the support I have received, and truly, it has helped me get through this tough time.

Please take a moment to donate to Five for Fred, and remember to forward this request to your friends, family and co-workers.

I am more motivated than ever before. I will continue to fight for our rights, and to draw attention to those organizations, religions, corporations and individuals whose goal is to stop us from attaining full civil rights.

Thank you very much for your help!

Best personal regards,

Fred Karger
Californians Against Hate
Five for Fred

City of Laguna Beach Proclamation Recognizing Fred Karger


Click to enlarge

News Release: Extremists’ Declaration

November 24, 2009
Contact: Fred Karger

Manhattan Declaration —
Who Are They Kidding?

MANHATTAN, New York — NOM head, Maggie Gallagher, as she puts it, “likes fairy tales.”  This sure sounds like a fairy tale to me, a very scary one.

Once upon a time there were 152 – how should I say it – extremists, all meeting in Manhattan (crazy place for this group to meet).  These 152 zealots drafted, approved and signed their Declaration of War on full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans last week.  They threw in some other societal beefs, just to try and mask the overriding issue, their fervent opposition to same-sex marriage.

One major leader of their movement is missing from the 152 names.

There are NO MORMONS on the list, and several of us read it very carefully.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) has been leading the anti-gay marriage movement in this country for the past 14 years.  They have spent tens of millions of dollars in practically every state ($30 million in California alone last year) to fight equality and to pass constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.

So where are the Mormon representatives on this illustrious list?  Are they truly backing off their longstanding opposition to gay civil rights?

To their credit, Michael Otterson, a high ranking Mormon Church official recently testified in support of the Salt Lake City ordinance that would no longer allow discrimination in employment and housing against LGBT people in Utah’s largest city.  While a small step, it has been broadcast around the world.  That’s because the Church, through its Public Affairs Department, got the word out – big time.

Let’s hope the Mormon leadership is truly softening its position on this issue.  It has been a huge PR nightmare for the Church, and one that divides so many Mormon families.  Maybe they will redirect all that time, talent and money to other causes, real problems.

There are plenty of Catholics on this list, however, and some very prominent ones. Two Cardinals and lots of Bishops.  Catholics appear to be the new Mormons in the fight against same-sex marriage.

The Catholic Church has become much more visible as the Mormons have backed off.  Maine Bishop Richard J. Malone and his sidekick, Marc Mutty ran and heavily funded the recent campaign in Maine to take away same-sex marriage in that state. The Roman Catholic Dioceses of Portland (ME) even set up a Political Action Committee (PAC), and gave and raised $553,000 to pass Question #1.  That’s a lot of money, especially when they recently closed 5 churches in Maine.

Now, last week in Washington D.C., the Catholic Church there threatened to stop feeding the homeless if the City Council passes a same-sex marriage bill. Yes, the Catholic Church will stop feeding the hungry!

Here’s what the New York Times editorial said about that yesterday.

National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Chairman Robert P. George authored their new manifesto, along with former Watergate felon Chuck Colson.  They hired a PR firm to publicize the Manhattan Declaration, the Mark DeMoss PR Group in Atlanta.  Their web site identifies them as “the first and largest PR firm exclusively representing faith-based leaders, organizations and causes.” The DeMoss Group promotes itself on web site almost as much as its client. Take a look:

The DeMoss PR Group even has a bible covering an American Flag on their web site’s home page:


DeMoss PR Group website

And please read this great story on the Manhattan Declaration by Carlos Santoscoy, Editor of On Top Magazine: Click here

Religious Leaders Unite Against Gay Marriage, Rights

One-hundred and fifty-two evangelical, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders have signed a declaration saying they oppose laws that would compel them to recognize gay unions or marriages, among other social issues.

“We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on Earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence,” says the Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.

The manifesto was unveiled Friday at the National Press Club. The document outlines the group’s three most pressing issues, two of which deal with gay rights: abortion, marriage and religious liberties.

“We argue that there is a hierarchy of issues,” Chuck Colson, a prominent evangelical who founded Prison Fellowship and co-authored the document, told the New York Times. “A lot of younger evangelicals say they’re all alike. We’re hoping to educate them that these are the three most important issues.”

Among the signatories are Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Wuerl and Jackson are the chief opponents of a gay marriage law expected to be approved by the D.C. City Council on December 1. Wuerl has threatened to pull the plug on D.C. social programs, including serving the homeless and providing health care for the poor, unless the law includes language that allows individuals and private business owners to refuse to provide goods and services related to the nuptials of gay couples.

Jackson founded the Christian-backed group after city leaders approved a gay marriage-recognition law in the spring. His group is currently fighting for the right to put a gay marriage question on the ballot.

The document says, “We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other antilife act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent.”

The document’s language also takes aim at other gay rights laws, including a recently approved law that adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of federally recognized hate crimes and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would ban workplace discrimination against gay men, lesbians and transgender people.

Social conservatives have argued that such measures would have a chilling effect on religious liberties.

Signers to the document include prominent opponents of gay rights, including Frank Schubert, who headed the campaign to reverse gay marriage in California, Alan Sears, president and general counsel of the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, David Welch, the Houston-area pastor leading the charge against mayoral candidate Annise Parker because she is openly lesbian, James Dobson, founder of the anti-gay group Focus on the Family, and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a leading opponent of gay rights.

A surprising omission is the Rev. Rick Warren, the evangelical minister whose prayer at the inauguration of President Obama drew heated protest because of his support for Proposition 8, California’s gay marriage ban.

The Mormon’s Other Problem

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

BYU Football: Remembering the Black 14 Protest

By Jay Drew, The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated:11/06/2009 05:41:09 PM MST

It’s not like they ever got used to it.

Protests, taunts and charges of racism greeted Brigham Young University’s football, basketball and other athletic teams almost everywhere they went in the late 1960s and early 1970s, owing to doctrine in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – which then, as now, owns and operates BYU – that prohibited blacks from holding ecclesiastical positions in the faith.

But nothing could have prepared BYU’s football players and coaches for what they would encounter on Oct. 18, 1969 when they arrived at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyo.

On the eve of the game, 14 Wyoming football players, all African-Americans, were kicked off the team by Cowboys coach Lloyd Eaton for threatening to wear black armbands to draw attention to the fact that the LDS Church did not allow black males to hold its priesthood.

The incident intensified the national spotlight on the LDS Church and BYU in what was already a period of racial strife in America. It also essentially decimated the Wyoming football program – which had played in the Sugar Bowl just two years earlier and was unbeaten going into the BYU game – for years to come.

Most of all, it forever changed the lives of a group of black players who hailed from large East Coast cities, small towns in the racially torn South and pretty much everywhere in between.

“We were young and a bit naive, and there were some things we all wish hadn’t happened,” said Tony McGee, perhaps the best known of the group that came to be known as the “Black 14” because he went on to an NFL career. “But I am glad it did happen. Perhaps that was our mission.”

Saturday, 40 years later, the Cougars will meet the Cowboys at high noon in Laramie under entirely different circumstances than in 1969. BYU is ranked in the top 25, and has the more successful and nationally recognized football program. However, Wyoming is improving under a new coach and seeking a return to glory – something, save a short stretch in late 1980s – that the Cowboys have never really reclaimed since that 1969 season.

A slow burn, then an explosion

Antipathy toward BYU had been building that fall.

The previous year, the Cougars had played a college football game in a near-empty San Jose stadium, except for a hundred or so heavily armed guards. That was just a few hours after a bomb threat was called into their hotel at 3 a.m., and a day after their flight was diverted to a different airport in California’s Bay Area for security reasons.

But in Laramie it got personal. Bottles were hurled at the BYU players, church services were picketed and interrupted and the team hotel was surrounded by demonstrators.

“It was just an ugly scene, one I will never forget,” said Dick Legas, a defensive back on that BYU team and now a track coach at the school. “I remember one sign that asked if the seagulls were going to save us, and a lot of anti-Mormon stuff like that. It was just a shame.”

Added Marc Lyons, who was BYU’s quarterback season and is now an analyst on Cougar football radio broadcasts: “It was pretty unnerving for all of us. Several wives and girlfriends made the trip to Laramie, and I still remember coach [Tommy] Hudspeth telling them, ‘I wish you hadn’t come.'”

A cauldron of unrest

The irony? The Black 14 incident is largely unknown to the current players on both teams, and to many younger BYU and Wyoming fans.

But America is also a different place today than it was then. The late 1960s were a time of societal unrest, ignited by both the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. And some of that unrest played out on the athletics stage — just the year before, John Carlos and Tommie Smith had raised their black-gloved fists and bowed their heads in protest after their 200 meters race at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

The campuses were alive with activists and protests of all stripes, and it was into that cauldron that the Wyoming and BYU football teams fell into in 1969.

“We were right in the middle of the social revolution,” said Mel Hamilton, who would become the most vocal of the Wyoming players. “When your time is called, your time is called.”

Even without their black teammates, the suddenly all-white Wyoming football team still routed the all-white Cougars 40-7 that day to improve their season record to 5-0.

“The Wyoming guys were playing for a cause, and they were intense and ferocious, and so was the crowd,” remembered Mel Olson, an all-conference lineman on that team who is now a professor of exercise science at BYU.

But victories on the gridiron in the future would become few and far between for the only major college football program in the “Equality State.” Black athletes shunned the Wyoming for nearly a decade after, according to school athletic department official Kevin McKinney, who was a student at the time of the protest.

Stirred into a frenzy

Members of the Black 14 say they don’t remember anything terribly controversial about the looming BYU game as the 1969 college football season unfolded.

Don Meadows of Seattle, McGee of Fayetteville, Ga., and Hamilton, who now lives in Casper, Wyo., recalled BYU as just another Western Athletic Conference rival, and really not much of a football threat.

However, that changed dramatically when they attended a meeting of the newly formed Black Student Alliance the Monday after they had walloped Texas-El Paso, 39-7, and five days before they were scheduled to play the Cougars.

During the gathering, Willie Black, a doctoral candidate in mathematics, “stirred us up, almost into a frenzy,” remembered Meadows, who returned to play for Wyoming the following year.

During the meeting, Hamilton said they were told about LDS Church policies regarding race and the priesthood, and the plan was hatched to have the players wear black armbands to draw attention to that perceived racism.

Black told the players about how seven black members of the UTEP track team, including Bob Beamon, who would go on to win a long jump gold medal in world-record fashion at the 1968 Olympics, had refused to compete against BYU earlier that year. He told the players about the incident at San Jose the previous year in which 21 black players refused to play and urged a fan boycott in a game the Spartans won, 25-21, in the empty stadium.

“It was our time to rise up,” Hamilton said.

Swift retribution

Wyoming coach Eaton, a strict disciplinarian, said at the time he kicked the players off the team for breaking rules regarding protests. The players say he used racial slurs and made derogatory comments about the players headed toward “Negro relief” when he told them they were no longer members of the team.

The coach was reassigned within the Wyoming athletic department after losing his last four games of 1969 and going 1-10 in 1970. He died in Kuna, Idaho, in 2007.

Although Eaton’s actions probably led to more national scrutiny and scorn for the LDS Church and BYU than if he had allowed the protests, former Cougars coach Hudspeth says he will never forget the gesture.

“Lloyd Eaton, out of respect for us, didn’t suit up his black football players that day,” said Hudspeth, now an athletic department official at Tulsa University. “Lloyd was a great gentleman, a great supporter of the conference.”

What Eaton’s actions – and the support he received in the aftermath from university and government officials in Wyoming – accomplished for certain was to alienate the Cowboys’ black players, students and faculty.

“When it was over, I had more hurt feelings from how the Wyoming people reacted and the way I was treated than the whole thing with BYU,” McGee said.

BYU changes

Wyoming and San Jose State weren’t the only places where BYU teams were met with protests and outrage during that era.

Most notably, when BYU’s basketball team played at Colorado State the following winter (1970), protestors threw raw eggs and a flaming molotov cocktail on the floor, and a piece of angle iron struck a newspaper photographer, drawing blood and knocking him unconscious. Approximately 50 blacks and whites charged onto the floor at halftime to disrupt a performance by BYU’s Cougarettes, and police were called in to quell the riot.

But many believe what happened on that snowy day on the high plains of southeastern Wyoming provided an impetus for the church to change its policy.

Hudspeth, predecessor to legendary BYU coach LaVell Edwards, said that during those tumultuous times – he cannot remember the exact date or how – he was “made aware” that LDS Church leadership wanted him to add African-Americans to his team, and fast. The following year, BYU’s team included Ronnie Knight, a black defensive back on scholarship from Sand Springs, Okla., by way of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College.

In 1978, the LDS Church lifted the ban on blacks holding the priesthood and disavowed the practice many viewed as racist and discriminatory.

Changes also have come to some of the members of the Black 14. Hamilton’s son, Malik, became a member of the LDS Church and now works as a banquet chef for BYU, with his father’s acceptance.

But neither Hamilton, nor any other black members of the Wyoming football team regret the bold decision they made in 1969 – or the price they paid for it in the aftermath.

“That’s what this whole thing was all about – the fight for equal rights,” Hamilton said earlier this week at a symposium recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Black 14.

“I think we got our point across.”

The Black 14 and BYU

Saturday’s BYU-Wyoming football game in Laramie, Wyo., marks the 40th anniversary of what would come to be known as the “Black 14” protest. On the eve of a Cowboys-Cougars game in 1969, 14 African-American football players at the University of Wyoming were kicked off the team by coach Lloyd Eaton for threatening to wear black armbands during the game to protest the racial policies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — which operates BYU.

Several BYU coaches and players who participated in that game, and three members of the Black 14 who angrily watched from the stands, recently gave The Salt Lake Tribune their recollections of the event that had an effect not only on both institutions and their future football teams, but race relations in the United States as a whole.

Key members of the 1969 BYU Football Team

Marc Lyons — Olympus High math teacher, KSL-Radio football analyst
Larry EchoHawk — Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior
Dick Legas — BYU assistant track coach
Mel Olson — Former BYU assistant football coach, current BYU professor
Ken Serck — All-conference offensive lineman
Chris Farasopoulos — The “Galloping Greek” played in the NFL for Jets, Saints and Giants
Gordon Gravelle — All-conference lineman played in the NFL for the Steelers, Giants and Rams
Dennis Poppinga — Father of BYU stars Brady and Kelly Poppinga

The Black 14

Jerry Berry, Tony Gibson, John Griffin, Lionel Grimes, Mel Hamilton, Ron Hill, Willie Hysaw, Jim Isaac, Earl Lee, Tony McGee, Don Meadows, Ivie Moore, Joe Williams, Ted Williams

Postscript: 10 of the 14 Wyoming players eventually graduated from college; Isaac, the only player from Wyoming, is deceased; the whereabouts of Ted Williams and Moore are unknown to their former teammates; Ted Williams, Griffin and Meadows returned in 1970 to play for Wyoming; McGee and Joe Williams played in the NFL and Griffin played in the Canadian Football League

Source: Black 14: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Wyoming Football

News Coverage: Harry Reid: A Mormon in the middle

From The Salt Lake Tribune:

Harry Reid: A Mormon in the middle
Politics » Some say his liberal stands clash with his LDS faith.

By Thomas Burr


Washington » Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid keeps a copy of the Book of Mormon in his office just off the chamber floor. There’s a second copy handy to give away to someone in need of spiritual guidance.

“I’ve had more than that,” says the Nevada Democrat, pulling the extra edition from his desk drawer. “I have one left.”

The Temple-recommend-carrying Reid is very active in his church, say fellow members in the Washington area. But that may come as a shock to some Mormon critics who contend that the Senate leader’s political stands put him at odds with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The latest round of religiously charged criticism came after Reid told gay rights groups in a private meeting that the LDS Church’s efforts to back the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 in California was a waste of resources and hurt the faith’s missionary efforts.

Utah Republican Party Chairman Dave Hansen posted a news story on that subject on his Facebook page, prompting several conservatives to challenge Reid’s Mormon credentials.

Conservative activist and Utah blogger Holly Richardson said she found Reid’s comments disconcerting and doesn’t see how Reid’s far left political beliefs can align with the LDS Church.

“I just don’t get how his politics translate to somebody who has LDS beliefs,” Richardson says. “He’s an embarrassment to me as a Mormon.”

Reid, who in 2007 became the highest ranking elected Mormon in the church’s history, says he’s faced this for years. And he’s not offended.

“I think some of the most unChristian-like letters, phone calls, contacts I’ve had were from members of the [LDS] church, saying some of the most mean things that are not in the realm of our church doctrine or certainly Christianity,” Reid said last week during an interview in his office.

Reid converted to Mormonism his senior year in college and attends church just outside the District of Columbia when in Washington or in Boulder City when in Nevada.

He recalls a time when his grandchildren were trick-or-treating at a local LDS ward event and came upon a poster featuring a picture of the Devil and Reid, and asking “Can you tell the difference?”

“I remember it,” Reid says when asked how he deals with the criticism, “but I try not to let people who do not represent the teachings that I have learned interfere with my basic beliefs.”

Religion and politics » Reid isn’t the first and likely not the last political leader to face fire for personal religious beliefs.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the Vatican earlier this year, an anti-abortion Catholic group hand delivered a letter calling for her to be ousted from the faith for her pro-abortion rights stand. A few Catholic bishops said during the 2004 presidential campaign that they would refuse Democratic Sen. John Kerry communion for his position on abortion.

Questions were raised during John F. Kennedy’s bid for the presidency about whether Rome would call the shots because of his Catholic faith and similar questions arose with Mitt Romney, a Mormon, during his White House bid last year.

“Having Mormons criticize Harry Reid, Catholics criticize Nancy Pelosi — George W. Bush got criticism from Methodists — it’s not an uncommon experience at all,” says John Green, senior researcher at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

“There are disputes within almost every religious community about what it means to be a strong supporter of the faith. What is it to be a good member?” Green continues. And because much of that dispute deals with controversial subjects, it spills over to politics.

“It is a very tough spot that Sen. Reid is in,” Green says. “It ought to be tough enough to represent Nevada [and be majority leader] without the religion angle and the religion angle just makes that much tougher.”

Washington lobbyist William Nixon, who is also the church’s Arlington Stake president, says Reid is in politics’ most precarious position.

“Serving as a majority leader in either party is always difficult for politicians,” says Nixon, a Republican. “You need to be the spear carrier for your party even on issues that are in the extremities and that often is at odds with what’s good politics at home or even how you may worship personally.”

The LDS Church declined comment for this story but pointed to its statement on relationships with government.

It says that elected officials who are LDS make their own decisions “and may not necessarily be in agreement with one another or even with a publicly stated church position.”

And the church has made efforts in the past to dispel the notion that it sides with conservative politics. In 1998, church General Authority Marlin Jensen stressed that good Mormons can also be good Democrats. The late James E. Faust, a Democrat and then a member of the First Presidency, the church’s top governing body, said it was in the church’s best interest to have a two-party system.

Still, Mormon faithful remain overwhelmingly conservative. A survey released in July by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life showed that 65 percent of Mormons aligned themselves with the Republican Party or leaned that way, while 22 percent sided with the Democratic Party.

There are 14 members of the LDS Church in Congress. Ten are Republicans and four are Democrats.

But even some of the well-known Republican elected Mormons defend Reid as a faithful church member.

“He has the right to voice his opinions but I would under no circumstances challenge Harry’s credentials as a member of the church,” says Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.

Bennett’s Utah Senate colleague, Orrin Hatch, says it’s not fair for fellow Mormons to disparage Reid as anything but a devout Mormon. Hatch says he didn’t agree with Reid’s statement on the gay marriage ballot question but said he’s entitled to speak it.

“I can personally tell you that Harry is a good member of the LDS faith and he was expressing a personal opinion that his side feels very deeply about,” Hatch says.

Reid says church leaders have never complained about his political statements.

Reid’s calling » Shortly after being elected in 1986, church leaders summoned Reid to their Salt Lake City headquarters.

“It was a pretty short meeting,” Reid says. “They said, here’s your assignment: Be the best member of the church you can be. That was it.”

Even on the most recent issue of gay marriage, Reid says he doesn’t disagree with the church’s position on traditional marriage. The senator says he voted in Nevada for the state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

But he says he’s expressed his concern for years to leaders about the church stepping into the debate and that the millions the church invested in the Prop 8 campaign was bad strategy.

Reid said he’s not suggesting the church change its position, just that it not speak out so strongly. “It’s just bad strategy to create so much ill-will in California.”

The Democrat, though, says he understands the backlash he gets over such statements. He notes that most of the church’s lay ecclesiastic leaders are conservative and he’s fine with that.

“I don’t think my faith is a hindrance to what I do and I’m sorry if people feel that I in some way embarrass them,” Reid says, “but I have to frankly say that even on this issue there are a lot of people that say ‘we agree with you.'”

On Sunday, Reid, with his security escort in tow, likely made his home teaching rounds after his ward’s three-hour service. Anyone who questions his Mormon credentials should see that, says Jim Vlach, his home-teaching companion.

“He’s got a tremendous burden with health care [reform] right now, but despite that, he finds time for home teaching,” says Vlach.

8: The Mormon Proposition Trailer

8: The Mormon Proposition, a film by Reed Cowan. View at YouTube.

Learn more about the film at Read Fred Karger’s article on 8: The Mormon Proposition at the Huffington Post:

8: The Mormon Proposition Will Knock Your Socks Off

By Fred Karger, Founder, Californians Against Hate

Producer Reed Cowan’s amazing new documentary is ready for its close-up.

This could well be the movie of the year. Take a look at the web site, read all about the movie and see who is behind it. You will be even more impressed.

I received a call from Reed earlier this year. He was coming out to San Francisco to film all the activities around the oral arguments being made before the California Supreme Court in San Francisco in the case to overturn Proposition 8.

Having played a very active role in uncovering the massive involvement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) in last year’s Prop 8 campaign, Reed asked me to be in his documentary.

I went up to San Francisco on Wednesday, March 4th to be a part of history, and see this filmmaker begin his journey. I met Reed and his partner Greg in front of the Castro Theater at 6:00 pm. That is the spot where the march to City Hall was about to begin on a chilly San Francisco night.

There were thousands and thousands of demonstrators gathering, ready to begin their solemn candlelight vigil to City Hall. We were recreating the famous nighttime march of 30 years ago, right after Harvey Milk was assassinated.

Reed grew up Mormon in Utah, and knows firsthand the inner workings of the Church. He knew that there was an incredible story to tell, and he spent the better part of a year putting every aspect of this documentary together.

All his hard work, and that of so many others who participated in this strong indictment of the Mormon Church and its leaders, will undoubtedly change history.

I have watched this filmmaker every step of the way over the last eight months. I went to Miami for a second interview in April, and this summer, Reed dispatched a film crew to my home for some final questions. He is very thorough.

8: The Mormon Proposition will explain once and for all just how the Mormon Church operates, and how they have led the fight against marriage equality all across the United States since Utah became the first state to ban same-sex marriage in 1995. 29 states have followed Utah’s lead, and the Mormon Church has made sure of that.

The film also goes into great depth about how the Mormon Church has destroyed so many lives and families in its desire to impose its will on others.

Please tell the world about this incredible documentary. It is a film for all to see.

Thank you Reed Cowan and everyone else who gave up so much and worked so hard to make Reed’s dream a reality.

Reid rips LDS Church’s Prop. 8 support

This is an amazing story in today’s Salt Lake Tribune by Matt Canham of the Tribune’s Washington, DC bureau. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the highest ranking Mormon elected official in the U.S.

Reid rips LDS Church’s Prop. 8 support

Politics » Majority leader calls it a waste of church resources and good will.
By Matt Canham
The Salt Lake Tribune

Washington » In a meeting with gay-rights activists last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized the LDS Church for backing a ballot measure banning same-sex marriage in California, saying the leaders of his faith should have stayed out of the contentious political fight.

Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, is the highest ranking elected official who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He previously has not commented on the flood of Mormon money and volunteers who helped propel Proposition 8 to victory in November.

But three organizers of the past weekend’s National Equality March said Reid brought up the topic during a conversation in his office.

“He said that he thought it was a waste of church resources and good will,” said Derek Washington, a Nevadan who worked as the outreach director for the march. “He said he didn’t think it was appropriate.”

Reid spokesman Jon Summers would not discuss the private meeting, but he didn’t deny the conversation took place.

“While Senator Reid agrees with his church that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Summers said, “he also believes that the resources that went into the Proposition 8 effort could have been put to better use.”

LDS Church officials declined to comment Monday. But Frank Schubert, campaign manager for the pro-Prop 8 movement, said: “All churches have not only the opportunity to speak out on important public issues, but really a moral obligation to do so.”

The Mormon Church, headquartered in Salt Lake City, repeatedly has fought attempts to legalize same-sex marriages. California’s Prop 8 was no different. Church leaders announced their support in a letter that was read during Sunday services in meetinghouses throughout the Golden State. LDS officials called for financial donations and volunteers. Members of the church did not disappoint.
More than 1,000 Utahns contributed either individually or through a business to the Prop 8 fight, giving $3.8 million. More than 70 percent of that cash went to groups backing the gay-marriage ban. Utah ranked second only to California in the amount given to the ballot battle.

The LDS Church kicked in nearly $190,000 in in-kind contributions to, the leading pro-Prop. 8 group. In the end, Prop 8 passed with 52 percent of the vote.

Marchers in Sunday’s equality rally, which drew tens of thousands to the U.S. Capitol, repeatedly referenced the Prop 8 defeat in signs, statements and even face paint. But when organizers sat down with Reid, it wasn’t a topic they intended to raise. They wanted to thank him for supporting the march and push him on their desire for federal action giving gay Americans the ability to get married, serve openly in the military and fight workplace discrimination.
Reid signed a letter supporting the march and encouraged a sustained lobbying campaign.

In the meeting, those present touched on issues most important to them. Dan Choi, a veteran of the Iraq War, who was booted from the military under the
“Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, thanked Reid for lobbying President Barack Obama on his behalf. Robin McGehee, of California, talked about her own family. Then, McGehee said, Reid brought up his LDS faith and discussed a recent meeting with Mormons in which he criticized the Prop 8 efforts.

“He personally said they needed to be focused on other things,” she said, “and he felt it was harmful for the church to focus on such a divisive issue.”

More News From Californians Against Hate — Check it out.

CAH – News Coverage #17

New York Times Editorial —

Los Angeles Times —

Boston Globe —

The Colorado Independent —

Contra Costa Times —
Winston-Salem Journal —

Washington Blade —

Examiner USA —

The Bottomline —
Fox News —,2933,459544,00.html Fox News. Com —,2933,457086,00.html

NBC 4 San Francisco —

Local News 8 – Idaho Falls, ID —

Gay & Lesbian Times —
Christian Broadcasting Network —

Catholic News Agency —

Voice of the Deseret —

Edge Boston —

Love Journal —

California Acorn —

Niqnaq —

Progressive Involvement —
Pride Depot —
The Soap Box —
DigiActive —
F6 —

Lez Get Real —
The Tattler —

Vox Verax —
Robert’s Virtual Soapbox —

NGBlog —

San Diego New Service —

Stop the Mormons —

Debate Politics —

Solo Homo —

Jonathan Turley —

The Town Hall Webblog —

Political Mpressions —

360 Degrees —

Breeder Boy —

Daily Kos —

Southern Illinois Catholic —

UNI Freethought —

Watch Dog San Mateo —
They Gave Us a Republic —

Religion Clause —