Prop 8 controversy continues

By: Bruce Warren Journal Staff Writer
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Voters have spoken by passing Proposition 8, which takes away the right of same-sex couples to marry, but controversy continues in Placer County and throughout the state. Over the weekend, a Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints in Sacramento had its sign spray-painted: “No on Proposition 8.” In San Jose, there were reports of personal property being spray painted with “No on Prop 8” and outside Fresno City Hall Monday about 40 young gay rights advocates protested the gay marriage ban in California, according to Associated Press reports. Vandalism has not hit the Church of LDS locally, according to Bishop Mike Trentman of the Auburn Second Ward. “There has not been any vandalism here at our Bell Road building,” Trentman said Monday. “We have two buildings in Auburn.” There are also Mormon churches in Colfax, Foresthill and Nevada City, Trentman said. When asked to comment on the vandalism by “No on Proposition 8” activists, Trentman finds irony. “It’s a little bit ironic that those who are asking for tolerance are acting in an intolerant manner,” Trentman said. “We’re grateful that the measure passed. It’s interesting that we represent most of the backlash when we represent only 2 percent of the electorate.” Mormons do not have a majority of votes to win an election, according to Trentman. “We don’t have that kind of voting power to tip an election,” Trentman said. “It comes from a lot broader coalition than the ‘No on Proposition 8’ crowd refuses to acknowledge, mainly the African American and Asian population that overwhelmingly voted for this. But we are apparently bearing the brunt of the backlash.” In the meantime, same-sex marriages are no longer being performed in Placer County, as a result of Proposition 8 passing as verified by Jim McCauley, county clerk-recorder. “We received a verbal notification from the state that we were not to perform any more same-sex marriages,” McCauley said Monday. McCauley did not know if same-sex marriages performed prior to Proposition 8 passing were valid. So far, the number of calls regarding the new measure have been minimal, McCauley said. Attorney General Jerry Brown said he believes those marriages before Proposition 8 are valid, but is also preparing to defend that position in court, according to a recent Associated Press report. For Nancy Gordon-Hugman and her wife Eileen, who live in Garden Valley, their marriage was performed on June 19, 2008. They were the second couple in line at the clerk’s office in El Dorado County, Gordon-Hugman said. Both of them attended the rally against the passed proposition on the Capitol steps Sunday. “It was quite a crowd,” Gordon-Hugman said. “We appreciated the ethnicity of the crowd. There were straights and gays together. We all realize this is about equal protection under the law. It has nothing to do with impinging on anyone’s religion.” When asked what she thought about the defacing of the Mormon Church sign in Sacramento, Gordon-Hugman disapproved. “I find that despicable,” Gordon-Hugman said. “I understand the anger, but that does not accomplish anything. The anger needs to be directed positively rather than destructively. People voted based on lies that were repeated in campaigns and in the churches and on the television and radio. Unfortunately the lies were funded by the Mormon Church and the Knights of Columbus.” On the other side of the fence, Linda Thompson of Meadow Vista voted for Proposition 8, because of future ramifications. “I am concerned that it’s redefining something that will be redefined again in the future,” Thompson said. “Like everything else, I don’t think it’s going to go away. I really believe it’s about acceptance of a lifestyle. I have no hatred for them at all. I feel like they’re asking us to redefine something that has been the glue to hold civilizations together, which is marriage. My greater concern is this is a slippery slope to allowing all kinds of things in the future.”