Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 51963
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2017/10/18 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/18   

2008/11/13 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/Gay] UID:51963 Activity:nil
11/13  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081108/ap_on_re_us/mormon_backlash_boycott_2
2017/10/18 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/18   

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Cache (4562 bytes)
news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081108/ap_on_re_us/mormon_backlash_boycott_2
CBS 2 New York SALT LAKE CITY - Utah's growing tourism industry and the star-studded Sundance Film Festival are being targeted for a boycott by bloggers, gay rights activists and others seeking to punish the Mormon church for its aggressive promotion of California's ban on gay marriage. Tourism brings in $6 billion a year to Utah, with world-class skiing, a spectacular red rock country and the film festival founded by Robert Redford, among other popular tourist draws. "At a fundamental level, the Utah Mormons crossed the line on this one," said gay rights activist John Aravosis, an influential blogger in Washington, DC "They just took marriage away from 20,000 couples and made their children bastards," he said. Salt Lake City is the world headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which counts about 62 percent of Utah residents as members. The church encouraged its members to work to pass California's Proposition 8 by volunteering their time and money for the campaign. Thousands of Mormons worked as grassroots volunteers and gave tens of millions of dollars to the campaign. It amends the California Constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual act, overriding a state Supreme Court ruling that briefly gave same-sex couples the right to wed. The backlash against the church -- and by extension Utah -- has been immediate. com began popping up, calling for an end to the church's tax-exempt status. Church spokeswoman Kim Farah said in a statement about the temple protests Friday that it is "disturbing" that the church is being singled out for exercising its right to speak up in a free election. "While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process," Farah said. The church had said in a statement after Tuesday's vote that "no one on any side of the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to erroneous information." He is calling for skiers to choose any state but Utah and for Hollywood actors and directors to pull out of the Sundance Film Festival. "There's a movement afoot and large donors are involved who are very interested in organizing a campaign, because I do not believe in frivolous boycotts," said Aravosis, who has helped organize boycotts against "Dr. Laura" Schlessinger's television show, Microsoft and Ford over gay rights issues. "The main focus is going to be going after the Utah brand," he said. "At this point, honestly, we're going to destroy the Utah brand. Gay rights groups did not immediately weigh in on calls for a boycott. Jim Key, spokesman for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, said he had heard little about such an effort. "It's not something that we have called for, but we do think it is important to send a message to the Mormon church," Key said. He noted an effort run by the center to overturn Proposition 8 that sends a postcard to the Mormon church president with each contribution made. Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, said that she's aware there's been discussion of a boycott, but that her office hadn't received any calls about it Thursday. "We're respectful of both sides of the equation and realize it's an emotional issue, but we are here promoting what we think is the best state in the country," she said. What kind of economic, religious or political impact, if any, a boycott might have is unclear. The Mormon church has members all over the world and no plans to change its stance on gay marriage. Aravosis is not calling for a boycott of California, though that state's voters actually approved the ban. "At this point, the Californians are the victims and the Mormons are the persecutors," he said. We need to send a message to Utah that they need to stop trying to inflict their way of life on every other state." Bob Malone, CEO and president of the Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, said it is unfair to try to punish certain industries or parts of the state over an issue it had nothing to do with. "It's really not a Park City thing, and I don't see it as a state thing. Photo Highlight Slideshow A sculpture from Venice, part of a greater monument made between 1500 and 1550, is worked on at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Nov. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.