I've met those happy, smiling, deluded Mormons many times over the course of my life. My first experience with their Stepford Wives style bliss was when I was in the Navy, and let me tell you, it was a lot like that wonderful movie, Latter Days. Only back then, Mormons treated not only gays as sinners, but black folk were not fit to be part of their church either. But this is not about a religion that discriminates, it is about a cult that tries to make LGBT second class folk, as they did with their energetic support of banning gay marriage by funding the Proposition 8 campaign in California. Not only did they provide most of the money for the misleading television ads that led to the electoral disaster for us, but they provided the boots on the ground to sway the public which had been supportive prior to the involvement of the Mormon church and its supporters.
In the Berkshires we can see two aspects of this epic battle between the gay community and that church in two upcoming events. They document the Mormon role in gay oppression, which when combined with the hostility from the Roman Catholic hierarchy, continues to give bigots cover for their ongoing discrimination against hard working, tax paying LGBT's.
The first of these is a March 17 screening of the Dorian Award winning documentary 8: The Mormon Proposition at Mass MoCA with the filmmaker, Reed Cowan, present for a follow-up Q & A afterwards. It should be a fascinating evening. Full details of this event can be found on our main site, Berkshire on Stage.
As California's anti-gay marriage proposition 8 languished in the polls, Mormon Prophet Thomas S. Monson issued a call from Salt Lake City to millions of Mormons all over the world. His was an order to action containing the secret code language of the highly secret Mormon temple ceremony. The action alert commanded Mormons in and out of California to do all things necessary to insure the passage of California's Proposition 8. Within days, hundreds of thousands of Mormons all over the United States funneled thirty million Mormon dollars in to California coffers to purchase the passage of California's anti-gay marriage Proposition 8.
Before the Mormons and their participation in the passage of Proposition 8, evangelicals were flopping in the fight. After Mormons got involved, the fight flourished.
During the fight, the Mormon Church media-engine, including mega-million dollar public relations and political consulting firm support, barraged Californians with a suffocating number of misleading television and radio ads and door-to-door campaigns manned by the Mormon NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MARRIAGE.
When Prop. 8 passed in California by a slim margin, Mormons were quick to take credit for the success. But when backlash from LGBT citizens targeted Mormon temples throughout the United States, the Mormon Church was the first to complain that they were the ones being persecuted.
In the wake of it all, documentary producer Reed Cowan was collecting secret recordings, secret documents and never before seen footage exposing Mormon efforts to quash ANY rights for LGBT citizens anywhere in the world. 'As a former Mormon missionary, I am appalled in knowing that a church which itself worships the practice of alternative marriage (polygamy), would become so vehemently involved in the marriage debate,' he said.
Happy Mormon Missionaries
Meanwhile on a lighter and more sympathetic note, there is the new Will Aronson musical Mormons, Mothers and Monsters that will receive its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company this summer. The tale of a young, emotionally tortured Mormon with a secret, it has a wholly new score with some delightful songs in the spirit of Broadway musicals. I was fortunate enough to hear some of them last Labor Day weekend, and was so impressed I wrote about them in Berkshire on Stage. You can find lots more information on this important event from the Barrington Musical Theatre Lab in this article.