A group dedicated to fighting what it calls “right wing propaganda” about gay and transgender people published an advertisement in the Salt Lake Tribune on Dec. 11 decrying what it terms as lies being spread about opponents of Proposition 8.
New York City-based Truth Wins Out ran the full-page ad in response to an advertisement that appeared in the New York Times on Dec. 5. Headlined “No Mob Veto” and sponsored by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Times ad decried the “violence and intimidation” Proposition 8 protesters have directed towards the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since the measure’s passage on Nov. 4.
Proposition 8 is the controversial constitutional amendment re-banning gay marriage in California.
The “No Mob Veto” ad said many of the anti-Proposition 8 rallies that have taken place since the measure’s passage seemed “never to have been demonstrations in the first place, but more nearly mobs, seeking not to persuade but to intimidate.”
“When thugs send white powder to terrorize any place of worship, especially those of a religious minority, responsible voices need to speak clearly: Religious wars are wrong; they are also dangerous,” the ad read.
The Becket Fund is a Washington, DC-based public interest law firm that describes itself as “a nonprofit, nonpartisan, interfaith, legal and educational institute dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions.”
TWO’s ad, called “Lies In the Name of the Lord,” said the Becket Fund “grossly distorted” Proposition 8 protests by calling them “mob rule and violent.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” the ad read. “Those demonstrations across the country were remarkably peaceful and were a vivid example of Americans exercising their free speech rights, and we think it’s inexcusable for anyone to misrepresent these protests for political gain.”
TWO’s ad also took issue with statements made by three signers to the “No Mob Veto” ad: Rich Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals; Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries; and William Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. It quoted Colson saying that Mormons are not Christians, Cizik stating that most evangelical Christians consider the LDS Church to be a cult, and Donohue stating that the entertainment industry “is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.”
“It appears that the only thing these men have in common with Mormons is an uncommon zeal for promoting anti-gay discrimination,” TWO’s ad stated. “These activists are crying wolf on the Proposition 8 protests and are a wolf in sheep’s clothing that preaches religious tolerance while practicing the most defamatory form of religious bigotry. That LDS leaders would cozy up to such anti-Mormon figures is senseless and makes for the strangest of bedfellows.”
In total, thirteen people from a variety of religious and secular groups signed their names to the ad including writers, lawyers and Dr. Alveda C. King, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s niece.
To read the full ad visit truthwinsout.org.