Friday, August 22, 2008

Vote No on Proposition 8

This whole issue is a very sore topic for me as I am obviously a strong proponent of gay marriage and hope to one day (in the not too distant future) to get married to my boyfriend of almost 3 years. I was elated when the California Supreme Court's decision allowed for gay marriage in the state and was saddened when I heard Proposition 8 was going to be put on the November ballot(though I figured that was inevitable). I was extremely disappointed again when I found out that the LDS Church sent a letter to the members of the church in California encouraging them to do all they could do to help get Proposition 8 passed.

The other day I got invited by someone on my Facebook friends list who is Mormon to join a group supporting Proposition 8. I of course declined and then sent him a message telling him no thanks. He wrote back that he was just trying to his part since the church asked him to. This made me think how influential the Mormon church is in this whole issue. I think most members will feel obligated to obey the church and make sure this Proposition passes. I wish they would have stayed out of this political question and let the individual members decide for themselves. My brother lives in California and I'm scared to think that he is involved in getting this Proposition passed.

I came across this letter posted on a blog from a volunteer with the Mormon church and it's scary how much organization and effort is going into this:

"July 28, 2008

Dear Presidents:

Yesterday a wonderful meeting was held with the eight Area Directors in Northern California. These are amazingly powerful people. The Area folks represent the grassroots effort for the passage of the Proposition and their responsibility overlays each Coordinating Council. This was a great and powerful meeting. I assure you that the LDS folks who work closely with or who are on the Board directly of the coalition are very impressive and politically experienced folks. It was great to see.

I have a few answers to frequent questions that are being asked and I feel that if I were you, I'd wanna know. Hope that this helps:

Organization, it' s a little confusing!? Answer: The Brethren have felt that the best way to organize and pass the Proposition is to have an Ecclesiastical arm and a Grassroots arm to organization. Elder Dalton, Area Seventy and Chair of California for every thing, reports to the Brethren. I assist him. We work with coordinating councils, all 17 in California and then Stake Presidents and Bishops, rank and file. The second leg to organization is grassroots. This is done so as to engage as many like minded folks who are not LDS, but whom will help. The senior folks who run the grassroots are LDS at the coalition and are headed by Gary Greener and Gary Lawrence. These folks are assisted in Nor Cal by Boyd Smith, and in turn by Area, then Regional Directors. The regional directors overlay Stakes. Below are Zip Code Supervisors by wards.

What is the role of grassroots? Answer: The grassroots folks in each Stake, Regional Directors will train zip code supervisors. Their goal, is to find the voters who will vote yes. It is not to persuade others ... but to find those who will vote yes. The ZCS will seek, with the RD help, to encourage as many as the ward members and like minded people as possible, to accept eight different responsibilities, all from walking a precinct to determine folks opinions (not to sell), to calling, to placing signage, to a myriad of essential tasks that Area Directors will oversee. Please know Presidents, that the RDs/ZCS's will be contacting many many people to accept responsibilities. We hope that you are fine with this happening without the Stake President or Bishop approving each assignment! We assume that you are ok with that!!

Will like minded people from other congregations really join with us? Answer: There was a conference call last week with 1200 pastors in California with James Dobson as the featured speaker. This Thursday, there is another conference call with 2000 California clergy. It appears that the effort on the part of like minded people is huge compared to eight years ago. The Area Directors and Regional Directors will be aware of contacting the congregations for a joint effort. Walking the precincts in particular is where we all may have an opportunity to grab a good friend of another religion and walk with them. If LDS people want to participate in that conference and know of the site of broadcast, they are welcome to go.

What is the timeline from here for the next few weeks.? Answer:

1. Congregations of LDS all having been taught the doctrine in July so that they may see the importance of fundraising and grassroots participation. Some Stakes have called all Stake Council and wives as well as several folks who may be able to contribute not on the Council. The Stake President, in that Cottage Meeting, has asked for their support. A great part of a fund raising effort, accomplished in one night.

2. August 1st: All Regional Directors have been called and contacted by Area Directors for training.

3. August 3rd: Training of Regional Directors commences by the Area Directors

4. August 1st-10th: Zip Code Supervisors are in place and are to be trained by Regional Directors..

5. August 16th: The First of three Saturday precinct walks are to be held under the direction of the Regional Directors.

6. August 23rd: The Second of the Saturday precinct walks are to be held.

7. Sept. 22nd: One million signs will be put up in yards around the state at 7:00am.

Other timeline events will be planned and executed and you will be updated.

That's enough. if I caused more questions than answered, please hit me back.

Thanks for all that you and have on your plate. The Lord will make up whatever we all feel we are lacking.

Brother Packer"

I also found this link to which is a group of Mormons who believe in gay marriage and seems to be a good resource for fair minded Mormons who support gay marriage but don't know what to do in light of the church encouraging them to fight for Proposition 8.

I feel like I should do all I can to make sure Proposition 8 does not pass including talking to my brother and everyone I know in California, hoping my example helps them understand why Proposition 8 shouldn't pass. We'll see how this all unfolds.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rep. Tubbs Jones, you will be deeply missed

The AP writes: "EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first black woman to represent Ohio in Congress and a strong critic of the Iraq war, died Wednesday after a brain hemorrhage, a hospital spokeswoman said."

I am so saddened by the news. She was truly a great woman and a great representative for Ohio. I was privileged to have seen her stand with Hillary Clinton at a rally at Ohio State. I don't know how she'll ever be replaced, she was such an advocate for everything I believe in. Tomorrow is another day. Hopefully at least Obama will be elected so some of her ideals can be brought to pass.