Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fallout from Proposition 8 is national news

Apparently passing the Marriage Amendments was only the beginning. As a trial attorney, this is what I expected to happen. A report in the Salt Lake Tribune entitled "Complaint: LDS Church underreported Prop 8 role" claims that:

"Californians Against Hate, an independent nonprofit organization committed to shining the spotlight on hefty donors to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign, upped the ante against the LDS Church today. The group filed a complaint with California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), claiming The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints failed to report non-monetary contributions that helped pass the measure - one that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, issuing a huge blow to the movement for same-sex marriages."

"But LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter issued a strong response this afternoon, saying the church "fully complied with the reporting requirements of the California Political Reform Act," relied on advice from experienced California counsel and made no violations when it came to reporting expenditures. In fact, he added in a written statement, the LDS Church "filed four reports with California authorities; these reports are a matter of public record. A further report will be filed on or before its due date, January 30, 2009. . . The so-called 'sworn complaint' filed by Fred Karger with California and Utah authorities has many errors and misstatements. Any investigation would confirm the Church's full compliance with applicable law."


It looks like full time work for a lot of attorneys for a long time. Meanwhile the protesters in the streets have spread as far as New York. An estimated 10,000 people protested outside the Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints near Lincoln Center.


"Mormon church spokesman Michael Otterson said that while he respected citizens' right to protest, he was "puzzled" and "disturbed" by the gathering given that the majority of California's voters approved the amendment."

"This was a very broad-based coalition that defended traditional marriage in a free and democratic election," Otterson said Wednesday before the rally's start, referring to Protestants, Catholics, evangelicals and Jews as well as Mormons. "It's a little disturbing to see these protesters singling out the Mormon church," he said. "What exactly are these people protesting?"

Ironically, New York courts have rejected lawsuits attempting to legalize same-sex marriages.


Same-sex marriage proponents initially sought the legalization of same-sex marriage through New York's courts. Five separate suits were filed seeking same-sex marriage. At the trial level, four failed and one succeeded (though it was stayed and later reversed). At the intermediate appellate level, four failed and one was not decided. The cases were all rolled into one and heard by the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, on May 31, 2006. On July 6, 2006 the Court of Appeals in Hernandez v. Robles decided that New York law does not permit same-sex marriage and that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

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