“8: The Mormon Proposition”
Denying Human Rights
“8: The Mormon Proposition” premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim and this is must-see movie. It almost demands human dialogue about the issue and it gives us the human side to this horrible amendment. We are reminded that if anything good is to come out of this, then it must be honest. Director, producer and writer Reed Cowan is a full length documentary that was talked about even before filming was finished.
All of us are unaware that in 2008, the GLBT citizens of the United States were denied about 200 civil rights that their married friends could have. The Mormon Church’s national Organization for Marriage is responsible for the coordination, the finance and the leadership of the attempt to stop marriage equality for all Americans and they have fought this war secretly. When an investigation was launched by the California Fair Political Practices Commission it was discovered that the Mormons were responsible for the defeat of the proposition. In fact the Mormons have deterred every piece of legislation dealing with GLBT issues. In the film this becomes public record.
Thomas S. Monson, Mormon prophet (small “p” intentional) issued the call to Mormons everywhere in coded language and commanded them to do whatever necessary to make sure that California’s Proposition 8 passed. In a matter of days the Mormons gave thirty million dollars to the state of California so they could buy votes. Now the Mormons joined together with evangelical Christians and the fight became even bigger. When the bill passed the Mormons took the credit but when the backlash from the GLBT community came, the Mormons complained that they were victims of persecution.
Reed Cowan had been collecting secret recordings, documents and footage so that he could expose the Mormons. Reed’s film looks at the lives of the GLBT citizens affected by this. We meet the couple Barrick-Jones. Barrick’s ancestor was Joseph Smith’s right hand man, Frederick Williams and we se that Tyler Barrick and Spencer Jones are feeling the same kind of discrimination that was felt by Mormons because of polygamy. Even more shocking is that the Mormons went so far as to use shock therapy and lobotomies among its own population when discovering that a Mormon was gay. There have been hundreds of suicides from gay members because of these inequalities.
Rarely has a film been so controversial before it opened but news leaked out and GLAAD and HRC had to act.
We learn also about the gay homeless kids of Utah and that most of the homeless there are gay. The film calls everyone to action and we are witness to one of the most shameful elections in the history of this country. If the Mormons succeed here, there is no reason why other religions cannot do the same.
The film is an indictment of the Church of Latter Day Saints and its secrecy. We cannot allow this to go on.