Archive for the ‘Prop 8’ Category

Mother Jones: Game Changer

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Mother Jones cover and inside spread

He was one of the GOP's top dark-arts operators. Now he

Who’s that masked man gracing the pages of Mother Jones? It’s the founder of Californians Against Hate, Fred Karger. Check out the table of contents, read the article online, or grab a copy at your local newsstand.

News Coverage: Gay group targets Romney

Monday, February 1st, 2010

The banner ad ran online at the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the Boston Globe and the Salt Lake Tribune websites

From Ben Smith’s Politico column – January 20, 2010:

Gay group targets Romney

My colleague Ken Vogel reports that a California political operative whose hardball opposition to California’s 2008 anti-same-sex-marriage initiative generated controversy has set his sights on Mitt Romney:

Fred Karger, a prominent gay rights activist, later this week will launch a campaign urging Romney to lobby the Mormon Church to back down from its opposition to same-sex marriage.

Romney’s Mormonism hurt him during his unsuccessful 2008 bid for the GOP presidential nomination. And Karger’s campaign nods toward Romney’s 2012 presidential ambitions. Not only is it debuting roughly two years before New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, but it will launch with an ad on the websites of the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the Boston Globe and The Salt Lake Tribune.

The ad will link to the website of a new group called Rights Equal Rights, which is funded in part by Californians Against Hate, a leading opponent of the anti-same-sex ballot initiative. The website asserts that “as a national political leader and influential member of the Mormon Church, Mitt Romney could persuade church leaders to end their 15 years of active involvement, including their massive financial support, to oppose equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans.”

Kim Farrah, a spokeswoman for the Mormon Church, pointed out that the church itself “did not spend tens of millions of dollars in campaigns to ban gay marriages” — as Rights Equal Rights’ website claims — but also defended the church’s ability “to speak out on moral issues as part of the Democratic process.”

Though Romney holds no official role within the church beyond being a member, its leaders and membership strongly backed his 2008 presidential campaign and can be expected to align behind him if he runs again in 2012.

While reminders of Romney’s Mormonism won’t help him with the broader GOP electorate, reminders of his opposition to same-sex marriage might buoy his standing with social conservatives. In 2008, they held against him a pledge he made (http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/0807/Romneys_tonal_shift.html) during a 1994 Senate race to be a stronger advocate for gay rights than his opponent, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), a champion of the gay community.

A Romney spokesman declined to comment on Karger’s effort, though during the presidential campaign, his aides asserted that his stances never shifted on gay issues. They pointed out that he had long been on record opposed to same-sex marriage, as well as discrimination against gays.

But Karger charged Romney had “flip-flopped. The new Mitt Romney would be a disaster for the gay community as president.”

Still, Karger asserted the target of his campaign is not Romney but, rather, the Mormon Church, which supported the California initiative.

Posted by Ben Smith 02:34 PM

News Coverage: Prop 8 screenings draw standing ovations, but no LDS officials

Friday, January 29th, 2010

From Rosemary Winters’ blog in the Salt Lake Tribune, LGBT FYI:

Prop 8 screenings draw standing ovations, but no LDS officials

Last night, I attended the Salt Lake City screening of “8: The Mormon Proposition,” the Sundance documentary about the LDS Church’s role in overturning gay marriage in California.

The film, as has become a trend (see video below), enjoyed an extended standing ovation from the audience. But co-director Steven Greenstreet complained that LDS Church officials still have not accepted his offer for a free ticket to see the film and discuss it.

It’s doubtful an LDS general authority or public-affairs person will turn up at one of the remaining screenings and sound off in a Q&A.

But here’s what some others had to say after the film showed at the Tower Theatre.

  • Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate said he is getting ready to file a “supplemental complaint” with the California Fair Political Practices Commission alleging unreported LDS Church contributions to the Prop 8 campaign based on new evidence introduced during a federal trial going on now in San Francisco.
  • “This is not a gay issue,” said former Mormon Emily Pearson, who was interviewed in the film. “It’s very important that straight people get noisy and courageous.”
  • Tyler Barrick, who’s marriage to Spencer Jones is featured in the film, said he has achieved what his sisters have not: When Barrick was a child, he said, “my mom would go on and on and on about how my sisters would grow up to marry returned missionaries. And I was the first one to do it.”
  • Linda Stay, Barrick’s mom, said she picked her son over her Mormon religion, and she hopes to inspire other moms to do the same. Most of all, she said, she did it for her LDS grandkids. “Some day they will know that this mom stood on the side of her kids.”

LGBT FYI is a blog about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Rosemary Winters covers politics and LGBT issues for The Salt Lake Tribune. Since joining The Tribune in 2003, she has written about small business, global warming, city governments, sexuality and Utah’s involvement in California’s Proposition 8. During the 2009 legislative session, she outed former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. — as a supporter of civil unions.