Supporters of California’s Proposition 8 are reporting harassment and even violent assaults from opponents protesting the passage of the ballot proposal which rescinded a California Supreme Court decision that imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Homosexual activists have held large protests at Mormon temples and Catholic churches, deriding their opponents as hateful.
Paul Bishop, a Los Angeles Police Department supervisor reported on the election aftermath in Meridian, a magazine for members of the Latter-Day Saint Church, who are also known as Mormons.
Bishop told how he, as a private citizen, had attended rallies in support of Proposition 8. While both supporters and opponents of the measure honked their horns, he wrote, “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.”
He noted that several of his ward members had received hate mail after their names, religious affiliation, contribution amounts, and addresses were published on a web site inciting Proposition 8 opponents to target the individuals listed.
“Their houses and cars had been vandalized, their campaign support signs stolen, and opposition signs planted in their place,” Bishop wrote.
Los Angeles police were deployed to keep the peace at an anti-Proposition 8 protest held last Thursday at the city’s LDS temple, where protesters were rushing the gates.
Bishop reported hearing an officer in the department’s Operations-West Bureau command post say in reaction to the protesters’ action “I hope they burn that place to the ground.”
Another officer reportedly replied, claiming “the Mormons have an army in a bunker under the temple that will come out and kill them all.”
According to Bishop, some of the 2,500 protesters at the LDS Temple bore signs reading “Separation of Church and Hate” and “Mormon haters.” Some signs were left on the temple walls.
“The late local news showed scenes of several Hispanic females in tears outside the temple trying to remove the signs desecrating the walls and fences surrounding the temple. As these individuals – who according to a temple spokesperson were not church members – removed the hate-filled signs, the mob exploded and began beating the individuals to the ground,” Bishop wrote in Meridian. “Police intervened and arrests were made, but the fact this was allowed to happen at all was appalling.”
Another protest at an Oakland temple on Sunday prompted officials to shut down nearby freeway off-ramps for over three hours, the Oakland Tribune reports.
"The time has come to take it out there to the people who voted for this awful thing," said San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty. "The Mormon church has had to rely on our tolerance in the past, to be able to express their beliefs."…This is a huge mistake for them. It looks like they've forgotten some lessons."
Another 2,500 protesters gathered at the steps of the state Capitol in Sacramento.
In downtown Los Angeles about 150 protesters gathered before the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels chanting “What would Jesus say?” The Los Angeles Times reports they were later joined by protesters who marched from Lincoln Park.
Hundreds of Proposition 8 opponents in Orange County also protested near Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church.
On Sunday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed his hope that the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8, predicting that the 18,000 same-sex marriages already contracted in the state would not be nullified.
"It's unfortunate, obviously, but it's not the end," Schwarzenegger said in a CNN interview Sunday. "I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."