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The Hate Comes From the Gay/Lesbian Side of the Argument

In the Face of Hatred
by Paul Bishop
on Proposition 8
Meridian Magazine
Posted Monday, 10 November 2008

Editor's Note: As some of you know, Meridian was hacked into last week, apparently by Prop 8 opponents, and in the place of our content was placed a homosexual pornographic film. For free email updates from Family Leader on issues that affect family and religious freedom, click here.

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It has been an interesting week.

The Chinese homily, “May you live in interesting times,” has its roots in a curse, not a blessing.

As I said, it has been an interesting week.

The controversy in California regarding Proposition 8 (the proposed amendment to the California constitution defining marriage to be strictly between a man and a woman) built to a frenzy in the days leading up to Tuesday's election and then exploded into anger and violence in the aftermath of Prop 8's slim passage into law.



I am a Los Angeles Police Department detective supervisor running a sex crimes unit covering the western quarter of the city, which also includes the area where the Los Angeles temple is located. I have a fantastic crew of 20 detectives who are an amazing mixture of races and sexes. I have several detectives who are openly gay or lesbian. This orientation has nothing to do with their efficiency as investigators. I deeply respect and like these individuals. I enjoy working with them. My life is often in their hands when we serve high risk search or arrest warrants. I trust them implicitly.

Obviously, the types of crimes we investigate bring us into regular contact with victims who are of an alternative lifestyle orientation. It is incumbent upon us that our compassion for these victims be no less than for victims who are heterosexual.

Hard Choices

Working in such an environment, I found taking a position on Proposition 8 to be difficult. Even though I chose to follow the direction of our Church leaders in my voting decision, it was extremely hard for me to place myself on the line when it came to actively working to ensure the passage of Proposition 8.


Still, I watched in amazement as my fellow ward and stake members worked tirelessly, committing themselves full-heartedly to the cause – not out of homophobic hatred, but out of a love of Christ and a belief in the sanctity of traditional marriage. Their faith strengthened mine, and I committed to participate in a sign waving public rally sponsored by our stake to be held at a local intersection.

By following through on this commitment, I found I had a greater stake in the battle than I had ever thought. I learned a number of hard and harsh lessons. And in the events following the election and passage of Proposition 8, I felt great anguish forcing me to drop to my knees in prayer – eventually coming to a more personal understanding of the Love of Christ and what he expects from me.

During the Proposition 8 rally, as I stood with my wife and friends waving Yes On 8 signs and waving to the passing rush hour traffic, I learned several things. I learned supporters of both Yes On 8 and No On 8 liked to honk their horns. I learned the way to tell the difference is the No On 8 supporters usually accompanied their horn honking with an obscene gesture or a string of obscenities. They also liked to swerve their cars toward the children on the curb.


I learned when we didn't engage in argument with the No On 8 supporters who intermingled with us in the intersection, they became enraged, red faced, and fit to burst.

I have no doubt Yes On 8 supporters both from our church and other churches engaged at some point in the shouting matches during the numerous rallies and demonstrations across the state. However, on the evening of my participation, I was amazed by the cool and non-confrontational way the Yes On 8 supporters conducted themselves.

I learned at the rally several of our ward members had received hate mail after their names, religious affiliation, contribution mounts, and addresses were published on a website inciting No On 8 supporters to target the listed individuals. Their houses and cars had been vandalized, their campaign support signs stolen, and opposition signs planted in their place.


When I returned home after the rally, I had a huge headache and my stomach was in knots. I am not a fan of confrontation, and the noise of the horn honking, both pro and con, and the divisive atmosphere inherent in the volatile situation had taken its toll. Still, after praying with my wife, I felt calmer and was pleased we had chosen to participate. While our efforts were miniscule compared to the hours of service to the cause provided by others, we had at least jumped down from the fence and done something.

Then I saw the latest No On 8 television commercial.


Tolerance?

Supposedly produced by an independent group not affiliated with the official No On 8 campaign, the thirty second commercial spot shows two scruffy male white actors portraying Mormon missionaries who force their way into the well-kept home of a married lesbian couple.

“Hi, we're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” one says.

“We're here to take away your rights,” says his companion.

The missionaries then rip the wedding rings from the women's fingers and ransack the house until they find the women's marriage license, which they destroy.

“Hey, we have rights,” one of the women says.

“Not if we can help it,” answers a missionary.

Moving outside the residence, one of the missionaries smugly says, “That was easy.”

Flexing his muscles, his companion asks, “What do we want to ban next?”



While I was appalled by the commercial, I was even more appalled both MSNBC and The Comedy Channel happily took money to broadcast this overtly hate filled vignette. I cannot imagine a similar commercial, targeted at any other religious or racial group, not being considered a hate crime with a civic outcry for prosecution.

My hackles were beginning to rise in a distinctly unchristian way. However, the fun was just beginning.

Election Day and Aftermath

Election day in California saw numerous No On 8 activists distributing literature and vocalizing at polling sites in clear violation of election laws. Police were called, 100 yard distances from the polling places were paced off, yet the agitation continued.



Despite these efforts, Proposition 8 obtained a slim majority (52.5% to 47.5%). Exit polls showed the proposition was supported by 7 of 10 Black voters, a majority of Latino voters, and by people with children under the age of 18 still at home. Clearly, it was supported by all people who believed marriage is a special and protected institution.

The day after the election, spontaneous protests sprung up in West Hollywood – a small residential community, with a large gay and lesbian population, located within Los Angeles County , but just outside Los Angeles city borders. The protests did not have a particular focus or target other than outrage as they strayed outside the confines of West Hollywood and into Beverly Hills , Hollywood , and West Los Angeles . Several arrests were made, but the seething anger at the passage of Proposition 8 was not dampened.

On Thursday, however, two days after the election, rumors began to be picked up by LAPD of a large protest organized by gay and lesbian activists and their supporters to be staged outside the Los Angeles LDS temple on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles.


LAPD has 22 geographic Areas divided between 4 administrative Bureaus . My investigative unit is attached to Operations-West Bureau – which has responsibility for the area where the Los Angeles temple grounds are located. We operate out of a squadroom across from the Bureau's administrative offices. In such proximity, I was in a position to observe the command post set up in the Bureau offices to monitor the actions of the field command post charged with keeping the already illegal (no permits) protest peaceful.

What I learned by watching and listening shouldn't have surprised me, but it did. During my 30+ year tenure, the LAPD as an organization has made great professional strides in the internal battle against sexual harassment, sexual orientation harassment, and racism. While there are still those in civil liberty organizations who contest we are still guilty of racially profiling on the streets (difficult to imagine when our department is so thoroughly integrated at this point in time), organizationally there is little or no tension remaining in these areas.

In the Bureau command post there was a large screen television displaying scenes from the protest outside the Los Angeles temple. Imagine my surprise, when angry protestors began rushing the closed temple gates, and I heard an officer in the command post say, “I hope they burn that place to the ground.”



Imagine my even stronger surprise when another officer replied, “They better hope they don't get through the gates, because the Mormons have an army in a bunker under the temple that will come out and kill them all.”

Really? My temple recommend must not be of a high enough clearance to get me into that part of the temple.


I'm now doing a slow burn. Not only am I watching a sacred building under siege from 2,500 angry people shouting, “ SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND HATE,” and carrying signs proclaiming MORMON HATERS and LOVE NOT HATE, I'm listening to other police officers who agree with the protestors or have the most imaginative fantasies about blood atonement armies hidden under the temple (exactly how do we feed them, drill them, get them in and out without anybody seeing, or are they all in a state of suspended animation until needed?).

I want to emphasize these were not officers or detectives from my own unit – who are all aware of my Mormon faith. Those in my unit who disagree with me over this issue are respectfully tolerant, as I am respectfully tolerant of their opposite beliefs. Tolerance, as Orson Scott Card recently pointed out, is indicative of disagreement. It is not a battle we choose to fight amongst ourselves. Most of us have known each other for a long time and are either embracing of, or oblivious to, our differences – divisiveness has no place in the types of investigations we conduct.

Click here to read the rest of the story (part 2).

Please read the rest of the article, it is fantastic. Paul Bishop has done a great job laying out the battle in California.

It is astonishing to me that these protesters behave in such a despicable and criminal manner because they were thwarted in a duly legal process. They lost, so they are throwing a colossal temper tantrum and targeting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because, to quote one of the Prop 8 opponents, "the Mormons are the easiest target."

It is rarely easy to stand for truth and righteousness and I have the utmost admiration for the California saints. They face an impossible crowd of people who lowered themselves to the lowest common denominator of human behavior. And no, I am not talking about their sexuality, I'm talking about their response to someone disagreeing with them.

Latter-day Saints in California have comported themselves with grace and determination. They took a stand. They fought the good fight and the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman won out. It is apparent there needs to be some serious education for the police who made comments such as Paul Bishop pointed out above. Ignorance in all forms is revolting.

Really, the LAPD has officers who have so little knowledge of the Church that they think we have armies underneath the temple?! Sheesh, what kind of moronic mind thought that one up? Sounds to me like some cops need to lose their jobs if they were willing to stand back and allow criminal activity to occur right in front of them.

Why is there ALWAYS a portion of the population, in this case gays and lesbians, who resort to violence and less than human behavior to express their opinions. If they want to stand on corners with ridiculous signs that's their right. Knock themselves out, please. But to climb the temple fence, to write on the gateposts, to tape signs to private property, to swerve at children standing on a street corner, to curse and perpetrate violence on others . . . no, that's not anybody's right. To you who have conducted yourselves in such a manner, you have only damaged your cause. The more violent and hate-filled you become, the more people will draw a line in the sand and not allow it to be crossed. You accuse Mormons of hate . . . and yet you are the haters.

Mormons don't hate gays and lesbians. But we do believe in the sanctity of marriage and the family unit. We do believe God created Adam and Eve and asked them to multiply and replenish the earth. We know that children cannot be created with an egg and a sperm . . . plain and simple. No matter how much you might want wish it to be, two eggs or two sperms cannot create life. God did not make it that way . . . He made mankind so it required one man and one woman.

Gays and Lesbians say they only want the right to marry, but in other states where this has passed, the rights of Gays and Lesbians have surpassed the rights of the rest of Americans. Their lifestyle, morals and belief systems, or lack thereof, are being shoved down the throats of school children and parents arrested when they object.

So yes . . . we must stand with our prophet. We must stand with Jesus Christ. We must stand with Heavenly Father. The last thing we want in America is Sodom and Gumorrah status . . . and we still have the right, until Barack Obama changes that, to express our opinion and educate others to the same.

Listen, you have only yourselves to blame. Take the gays and lesbians to task in Massachusetts. The more I researched this more the adamant I became. No way on God's green earth was I going to allow what has happened in Massachusetts happen in the rest of the United States.

One last point, the same proposition went forth in Arizona and Florida. Interestingly, the battles in those states remained civil . . . but not in California. Protesting gays and lesbians debased themselves, somehow believing this would get people on their side. Really? How did that work out for you?
The Hate Comes From the Gay/Lesbian Side of the Argument The Hate Comes From the Gay/Lesbian Side of the Argument Reviewed by Candace Salima on Monday, November 10, 2008 Rating: 5