The backlash from the recently passed Prop 8 initiative in California banning gay marriage may claim the ultraliberal and gay friendly Sundance Film Festival in Utah as one of its first victims.

This is due to the suggestion of John Aravosis, editor of the liberal Americablog who suggested recently that the state of Utah be boycotted to punish the Mormon Church for supporting Prop 8.

For the festival’s organizers, the non-profit Sundance Institute founded by Robert Redford the boycott would present a major challenge as it is their major fund raiser for the year.

The next festival is scheduled for January and is expected to attract 50,000 people who pay up to $3,000 for admission to screenings and events and pumped an estimated $59.6 million into the Utah economy in 2007.

Americablog’s Aravosis brushes off any criticism about the boycott’s potential effect on a liberal organization by saying that is is unfurtunate that Sundance is located in a really bad state.

What Aravosis and other liberals fail to realize is that the Mormon Church may be the dominant religion in the state but a boycott will punish people of all faiths who have come to Utah after fleeing expensive states like California and Washington.  This has led to a lessening of both the Church’s influence politically as well as a rise in a more liberal attitude in cities like Salt Lake and Park City.

I would like to see Aravosis and his liberal friends try to convince Hollywood stars that own homes in Park City agree to boycott the state.

To complicate matters for Sundance the CEO of the Cinemark movie chain contributed $10,000 to the Prop 8 effort.  The theater where the Sundance films are screened just happen to be owned by Cinemark, and there are no other options for the fetsival so they may face protestors come next January.

In the end those that fought against Prop 8 and lost are sore losers.  The voters spoke and now they have chosen to use threats, intimidation and anything else that they can think of to reverse the result.  Since when does the will of the minority take precedence over the majority?

The voting is over and Prop 8 banning gay marriage in California passed.  Normally after the votes are in and there is a clear winner the voters go on there way and wait for the next election and the next set of initiatives.  But thanks to gay activists who are infuriated that the system failed them the issue of gay marriage is alive and well in California.

Actually I didn’t think the issue would totaly fade away but I have been taken aback by the beahvior of activists who have taken to the streets to protest the vote.

It has been well doscumented that the Mormon church which has a large membership in California energized its members to actively support Prop 8.  This wasn’t a political issue for them as much as it was a moral issue.  As with most Christian churches the Mormons believe that marriage is between a woman and a man and Prop 8 would have forced Mormons and others to obey a law that ran counter to their theology.  More importantly it would have also required Mormon Bishops to perform gay marriages if asked or face legal penalties if they refused and that was something they were not willing to do.

While the Mormons certainly played a large part in the passage of Prop 8, the Catholic church with an even larger membership than the Mormons used the resources at its disposal to help assure passge of the initiative.

Yet where is the anger directed?  At the Mormons of course.  I am not sure why they have been singled out except that they are an easy target.  Mormons are known to be extremely faithful to their doctrine and favor traditional families.  They also have built many large Temples that tend to stand out from the surrounding area making the edifices a prime target for protestors.

What the protestors fail to recognize that by singling out one faith and focusing their ire on the Mormons they are practicing the very bigotry they accuse the church of practicing against them.

The Catholic church which has sharp disagreements wth Mormon theology has rushed to the Mormon’s defense with this statement from William Weigand the former Bishop of Salt Lake City;

“Catholics stand in solidarity with our Mormon brothers and sisters in support of traditional marriage–the union of one man and one woman–that has been the major building block of Western Civilization for millennia.

“The ProtectMarriage coalition, which led the successful campaign to pass Proposition 8, was an historic alliance of people from every faith and ethnicity. LDS were included–but so were Catholics and Jews, Evangelicals and Orthodox, African-Americans and Latinos, Asians and Anglos.
“Bigoted attacks on Mormons for the part they played in our coalition are shameful and ignore the reality that Mormon voters were only a small part of the groundswell that supported Proposition 8.
“As the former bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, I can attest to the fact that followers of the Mormon faith are a good and generous people with a long history of commitment to family and giving to community causes.
“I personally decry the bigotry recently exhibited towards the members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints–coming from the opponents of Proposition 8, who ironically, have called those of us supporting traditional marriage intolerant.
“I call upon the supporters of same-sex marriage to live by their own words–and to refrain from discrimination against religion and to exercise tolerance for those who differ from them. I call upon them to accept the will of the people of California in the passage of Proposition 8.”
SOURCE: Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento
Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento 
Kevin Eckery, 916-443-2528

While the Mormons and the Catholics were a major force in the passage of Prop 8, they weren't the deciding factor.

Based on exit polls blacks favored the ban by a 70-30 margin, so where are the protests at black churches?

Apparently that won't happen since they are a solid Democratic voting bloc, but according to Michele McGinty of they are angry at blacks.

A couple of excerpts from McGinty's blog.

It was like being at a klan rally except the klansmen were wearing
Abercrombie polos and Birkenstocks. YOU N*, one man shouted at men. If
your people want to call me a F*, I will call you a n*. Someone else
said same thing to me on the next block near the and my
friend were walking, he is also gay but Korean, and a young WeHo clone
said after last night the n* better not come to West Hollywood if they
knew what was BEST for them.


Three older men accosted my friend and shouted, “Black people did this, I hope you people are happy!” A young lesbian couple with mohawks and Obama buttons joined the shouting and said there were “very disappointed with black people” and “how could we” after the Obama victory. This was stupid for them to single us out because we were carrying those blue NO ON PROP 8 signs! I pointed that out and the one of the older men said it didn’t matter because “most black people hated gays” and he was “wrong” to think we had compassion. That was the most insulting thing I had ever heard. I guess he never thought we were gay.


“I have received several phone calls from Blacks, both gay and straight, who were caught up in Westwood around the time of that march. From being called ‘niggers’ to being accosted in their cars and told that it was because of ‘you people gays don’t have equal rights and you better watch your back,’ these gays have lost their d* minds.”

Gay activists would do well to channel their energy into positive efforts that would advance their cause instead of protests and name calling which only remind voters why they voted the way they did.


While conservatives ponder living under an Obama presidency and Democratically controlled House and Senate, California liberals (read Hollywood) are stunned by the passage of a gay marriage ban in their state.

There is no doubt that the Obama candidacy brought out far more black and Latino voters than normal, but while that was good for the Democrats it was also bad for the supporters of gay marriage.

Exit polls showed that blacks voted for the ban by a whopping 70-30  percent margin and Latino’s by a smaller 51-49 percentage.  With white voters mostly favoring gay marriage there is no doubt among experts that the black vote was the key to victory for supporters of Prop 8.

If you think of it though it makes perfect sense.  Blacks and Latino’s are more liberal in general on economic issues but tend to be more socially conservative than white Democrats.

This has to do that most blacks are very religious at their core and are faithful churchgoers where they have been taught that marriage is between a man and a woman.  The same can be said for most Latino’s who tend to be mostly Catholic and much more traditional in their viewpoints than white Catholics.

Couple the California victory with that of similar measures in Florida and Arizona, the gay adoption ban in Alabama and the ending of affirmative action in three other states and conservatives actually have something to celebrate.

For the Democrats and President-Elect Obama they should be mindful that just because these groups voted for them and generally agree with their policies that if they dare to tread into highly charged social issues like gay marriage they will  be in for a rude surprise.