Joe Solmonese's anti-Mormon Fantasies


In a fundraising email last week, Joe Solmonese, head of the gigantic Human Rights Campaign, said this about a new film called 8: The Mormon Proposition: "In the film, secret documents from a Mormon whistleblower show how the Mormon Church helped create a front group before Prop. 8 (the National Organization for Marriage) and stayed out of the spotlight in California."

A film review in the New York Times said something similar. I don't know how to react to this. On the one hand I'm disgusted with the implied religious bigotry. Mormons in California have just as much right as anyone else to participate in democracy. Gays are only 2 or 3 percent of the population, too. Does that make HRC's gargantuan $40 million or more budget illegitimate?

We welcome the participation of Mormons, like we do people of other faith communities or people with no faith, who believe marriage is and should remain the union of husband and wife. NOM has members of the LDS church as activists, donors, and board members.

On the other hand, I know something about the founding of NOM -- I was there. And this film and this claim is fantasy. NOM was not founded by Mormons as a secret front group. We have many valued members from the LDS Church since, but no member of the LDS Church hierarchy helped provide seed funding for NOM, or is responsible for NOM or what we did in California to get Prop 8 on the ballot.

Gay rights activists believe they have the power to determine reality. If they say gay unions are marriages, it must be true. If they repeat the Big Lie that NOM is a Mormon front group, it must be true. I say this as a person who believes deeply that Mormons, like other Americans, have every right to participate in coalitions with others to promote core values in politics. But the relentless religious bigotry by gay activists against a religious minority with a long history of persecution in this country is shameful. The wallowing in fantasy (e.g., the belief that if they say it, it becomes true) is just sad.