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Rights Equal Rights - Mormon Church Loses 1 Million Members Over Gay Marriage? 

Rights Equal Rights


Check out my latest column in the Huffington Post.  It's already triggered over 800 comments, 6,200 likes and 960 Facebook shares!  Read it below or CLICK HERE  and join the discussion.

Posted: 10/15/2015 


In one of my very first columns for The Huffington Post on November 20, 2008, I wrote about how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) had caused a gigantic fission among its members because of all it did to support and pass California's Proposition 8. Prop 8's victory two weeks earlier had instantly ended gay marriage in the nation's largest state. My column, "Mormon Power Grab: It's Tearing Families Apart" caused quite a stir.

The Mormon Church's own pollster, Gary Lawrence told the Washington Post after Prop 8 passed, "We're upside down on our image." That was true for outsiders, but we've heard that it was far worse within the Church itself.

Insiders have indicated that over the last seven years the Mormon Church may have lost up to 1 million members because of all it did to end gay marriage. These formerly loyal Church members decided to side with their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) family members and friends instead of their Church. Because of the way the Mormon Church works, you're either with them 100 percent on everything or you're out. If you are LGB or T and act on it, then you will be excommunicated, your name will be removed from Church records and you're no longer a member.

A Proclamation to the World

The Mormon Church just "celebrated" the 20th anniversary of its hateful "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." The proclamation was read by then Church President Gordon B. Hinckley at the General Relief Society Meeting on September 23, 1995 in Salt Lake City, Utah. That marks the day that the Mormon Church declared its war on gay marriage. The Church told its members to frame their parchment copy of the Proclamation and hang in a prominent place in their home. Most Mormon families did just that.

It's no coincidence, that also in 1995, the Mormon Church began its fight against gay marriage in Hawaii. They made elaborate plans to stop it in the very first state where it was being considered. When the freedom to marry finally came to a vote in Hawaii three years later, it passed handily. After its 1998 victory, the Mormon Church continued its stealth campaign to stop gay marriage from happening all over the United States.

In Hawaii, the Mormon Church directly contributed $400,000 and raised far more from its members and friends. The Church then moved on to the next 30 state battles. It employed lobbyist, political consultants, and lawyers. It even created front groups to hide its involvement. The Church spent millions of dollars and mobilized its members for the next 13 years until Proposition 8 passed, its final political victory in 2008. That's when it got caught as the powerhouse that ran and funded nearly all the successful anti-gay marriage campaigns across the county.

Church President Announces Fight to Pass Prop 8

On June 20, 2008, just three days after same-sex marriage became legal in California, the new President of the Mormon Church, Prophet Thomas S. Monson, had a letter from him read to all Mormons during their Sunday Church service. In it he said to do all you can to pass Proposition 8, "Give of your time and your means." The Wall Street Journal reported on September 20, 2008 that Church members were told, their souls would be in jeopardy if they did not donate money.

Over the next 4 1/2 months Church leaders went on to ding their members for over $30 million, 77 percent of the total money raised to pass Prop 8. With a narrow victory, it was clear that Prop 8 would not have passed in California had the Mormon Church not pulled out all the stops. The Mormon Church had single-handedly taken away gay marriage from millions of lesbian and gay Californians.

Mormon Church Lied About All it did to Pass Prop 8

Besides running and funding the Yes on 8 campaign, our research showed that the Mormon Church had; conducted massive phone banks from Utah and Idaho, bused in thousands of Church members, sent campaign mailers to millions of voters, had 25,000 Church members walking door-to-door over nine weekends throughout the state, ran a speakers bureau, distributed hundreds of thousands of lawn signs along with campaign literature, had 100,000 Church members working on election day, created several slick "Yes on Prop 8" web sites, produced at least nine commercials, created four video broadcasts and conducted at two satellite simulcasts over five Western states. It claimed it did all this for only $2078 which it reported as an "in-kind" contribution to the Yes on 8 committee. This of course was an impossibility.

I filed a 72 page sworn complaint against the Mormon Church with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) which launched an unprecedented investigation of the Church. The FPPC prosecuted the Church, and after an 18 month investigation, found the Mormon Church guilty on 13 counts of election fraud. The Church plead guilty and paid a fine.

Secret Mormon Documents

In February 2009 I went to Salt Lake City to meet with a man who had contacted me a few weeks earlier and said that he had some Mormon documents he wanted me to have. We met and he turned over hundreds of secret Mormon documents that detailed exactly how the Mormon Church carried on its assault against gay marriage all across the county for the past 13 years. With these papers it was easy to put the pieces of the puzzle together. We published the first batch of these official Mormon Church documents on our website The Mormon Church said it could neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the documents. In other words, they were authentic. Others revealing documents were posted with Mother Jones and Frontiers Magazine.

These documents proved that the Mormon Church's 1995 declaration of war against gay marriage and the LGBT community was a deliberate and well executed plan over a long period of time. It was also crystal clear that it had partnered with the Catholic Church in its fight. It also showed the extremes that the Mormon Church went through to avoid getting caught including setting up its last front group, the crooked National Organization for Marriage (NOM) in 2007 to help qualify and pass Prop 8.

The Mormon Church may have won some battles as it ran roughshod all across the country, but it sure lost the war along with so many members. So while it celebrates the 20th anniversary of its hateful "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," let's hope it learned from its mistakes and finally opens up the Mormon Church to everyone.


Daily Signal - State Takes Legal Action to Seize $135K From Bakers Who Refused to Make Cake for Lesbian Couple 

The Daily Signal

Oct. 2, 2015

State Takes Legal Action to Seize $135K From Bakers Who Refused to Make Cake for Lesbian Couple

The agency that ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple began the legal process last week to seize the money the Oregon bakers are refusing to pay.

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The Consequences of Russia's Bombing Campaign in Syria

Under the guise of fighting terrorism to protect itself and save the ruthless government of Bashar-al-Assad, Russian warplanes on Thursday conducted a second day of airstrikes in Syria, targeting not the Islamic State but rival rebel groups.

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Sharyl Attkisson Takes on Sunday Shows with 'Full Measure'

The name for her show, "Full Measure," comes from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and refers to soldiers who gave their all—their “full measure.” It’s how she approaches reporting.

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How the Wars in Ukraine and Syria Are Connected

The U.S. and Russia are at loggerheads in Syria. Consequently, Nolan Peterson's time reporting from the battlefields of eastern Ukraine became a lot more relevant to the U.S. troops he visited in the Middle East recently.

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What the EPA Isn't Telling You About Its New Ozone Standards

While ozone has declined by 33 percent since 1980, child asthma rates have gone up by 131 percent during that same time.

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Why One State Lawmaker Is Criticizing GE for Using the Export-Import Bank as a 'Scapegoat'

Ex-Im's charter expired June 30, and since then, the bank's two biggest beneficiaries—Boeing and GE—have announced decisions to move jobs overseas because of its lapse in authority, hoping to put pressure on lawmakers to reauthorize the agency.

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The Daily Signal

The Daily Signal is brought to you by more than half a million members of The Heritage Foundation.


NHDP Statement on Supreme Court Decision Affirming That Marriage Equality Is The Law Of The Land 

Concord, N.H. – New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision affirming that marriage equality is the law of the land:
“Today’s decision marks a truly historic day in our fight for equal rights, a victory that was only possible because of the tremendous leadership of courageous individuals in New Hampshire and across our nation.”
“I have been extremely proud to stand with Governors Shaheen, Lynch and Hassan as they have fought to affirm true equality for all under the law, and our state’s leadership on marriage equality and LGBT rights also wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership of Senate President Larsen and Speaker Norelli. We must also recognize thte extraordinary leadership of President Obama, Congresswoman Kuster, Congresswoman Shea-Porter and Congressman Hodes who have all fought tirelessly in Washington for the Granite State values of freedom and inclusion.”
“Although Granite Staters have been leaders in the fight for equal rights for many years, there are still far too many that want to reverse our progress. The New Hampshire Republican Party (whose anti-equality platform is now unconstitutional), Kelly Ayotte, Frank Guinta, and every one of the Republican presidential hopefuls have all fought against the rights of our neighbors, friends, and relatives. We cannot and we will not let them pull our nation backward.”


FredKarger - New Super PAC to Take on Mike Huckabee 

Super PAC Launched to Oppose Mike Huckabee
First to Target a GOP Presidential Candidate

SEATTLE, WA -- Jonathan Martin, columnist for the Seattle Times broke the news today that "Truth Squad 2016" was formed to let voters know about Mike Huckabee's horrific record as governor of Arkansas.  Read the story below for all the details. Here's the Link, too: CLICK HERE
Jonathan Martin

Lakewood widow is keeping Mike Huckabee accountable ahead of 2016 primaries

One of those prisoners released early was Maurice Clemmons who had been sentenced to 108 years in state prison, but Huckabee let him out after he had only served 11 years.  After Clemmons was released he moved to Seattle, Washington.

Originally published June 11, 2015 at 3:00 pm Updated June 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm
“The person who got this ball rolling was (Mike) Huckabee,” said Kim Renninger,
widow of slain Lakewood officer Sgt. Mark Renninger. (John Lok/The Seattle Times)

A widow of the Lakewood police shootings is turning her sights to Mike Huckabee, who granted mercy to her husband’s killer, writes Jonathan Martin.

On the fourth anniversary of her husband’s murder, Kim Renninger got a tattoo on the instep of her left foot reading, “Keep moving one step forward.”

It is a discreet, poignant reminder of her mission to make something out of the death of Sgt. Mark Renninger and three officers in the 2009 Lakewood police shootings — the worst act of violence ever committed against police in Washington. Her to-do list has included a change to the state Constitution, reform of interstate parole rules and keeping watch over the seven felony prosecutions stemming from the shooting.

Now comes the last big one: holding Mike Huckabee accountable for his role in the tragedy. The former Arkansas governor and contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination made a disastrous decision to grant clemency to Mark Renninger’s killer, Maurice Clemmons, which set him on the path to that Parkland coffee shop.

And despite hearing from the president, vice president and governors of at least three states, Kim Renninger has never received a call or a note from Huckabee.

“The person who got this ball rolling was Huckabee,” said Renninger. “I don’t have any other way to hold him accountable or make change. I can’t sue him. This is the way to do it.”

Spotlighting Huckabee’s Maurice Clemmons problem may take her to the Iowa presidential caucuses, which Huckabee won in 2008, or appearances on TV ads. She is getting advice from a GOP political consultant and former presidential candidate, Fred Karger. Renninger found Karger after reading his sharp critique of Huckabee. That led them to create a political action committee (PAC) called Truth Squad 2016. Karger is fundraising now, targeting an initial budget of $1 million.

Renninger could be a big problem for Huckabee because she has a legitimate grievance. I co-wrote a book, with Ken Armstrong, about Clemmons and the Lakewood police shootings called “The Other Side of Mercy.” I was struck by the apparent casualness of some of Huckabee’s choices.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. (AP Photo/Charlie... More

As governor, he used his power to pardon or commute sentences 1,033 times over 11 years — twice as often as his three predecessors (including Bill Clinton) did in 17 years. Clemency decisions gone wrong have been well-chronicled, particularly in Arkansas, including the release of a rapist named Wayne DuMond, who raped and murdered again when given a second chance by Huckabee.

The power of clemency — the unfettered right of an executive to free inmates or wipe a record clean — can be an important relief valve in the criminal-justice system. Governors tend to cringe at its inherent political risks and have underused it. But Huckabee is a bad vehicle for a broader reconsideration of redemption because he was a clemency radical.

Clemmons was a poor candidate for mercy. Yes, he had been sentenced to 108 years as a teenager for a series of crimes, including for assault and for stealing a state trooper’s gun from his home. But Clemmons was an abysmal prison inmate, accumulating 29 disciplinary infractions versus zero accomplishments. He spewed venom in letters from prison. His only record of rehabilitation were self-serving statements. Prosecutors repeatedly opposed parole.

Renninger acknowledges that Huckabee was just a link in a chain of poor decisions that led to the shootings on Nov. 29, 2009, in that coffee shop. But it galls her that this part of Huckabee’s record has been mostly skipped by the media so far in favor of his defense of reality-TV star Josh Duggar.

“The clemency issue should be the discussion. It’s a big decision with lasting effects,” said Renninger. “I think there’s a time and a place for clemency. But it has to be used wisely, not like Huckabee used it.”

Huckabee has accurately said that a prominent judge supported clemency and that, as governor, he followed the unanimous recommendation of his parole board to cut Clemmons’ sentence effectively in half. In a statement, Huckabee portrayed Kim Renninger as a tool of “Washington and Wall Street elites” who typically fund political attacks.

“It’s heartbreaking that these widows are being exploited for the political benefit of these secret-agenda-driven ‘super PAC’ donors. This is Washington, D.C.,-style gutter politics at its worst.”

When I met with Renninger Wednesday, it was clear she was no political puppet, but a woman with a mission. She has not remarried and her 8-year-old son, Nick, is among the nine children of the slain officers. He has no memory of his father, but constantly asks about him.

“I didn’t lose my husband. He was murdered. I know where he’s buried in Pennsylvania,” said Renninger. “What I did lose is I lost my family. I lost trust. I lost security. I lost comfort. Literally every aspect of my life has changed.”

For now, she’s the only grieving family member involved with the Truth Squad group. “I’m the first, but I won’t be the last.”



NHDP Stands With ALL NH Families While GOP Wants to Pull Us Backwards 

CONCORD, N.H.- The Supreme Court hears arguments on Obergefell v. Hodges today, the case that will determine whether marriage equality can be extended to all states. Although same-sex marriage has been legal in New Hampshire since 2009 and seventy-five percent of Granite Staters support it, the GOP just can’t catch up and continue to support discrimination against LGBT families. Just take a look at the GOP’s opinions on the subject:

  • Calling same-sex unions marriages “offends myself and a lot of people” – Rand Paul
  • “I believe in traditional marriage” – Jeb Bush
  • “I’m holding firm against gay marriage” – Bobby Jindal
  • “I believe marriage is between one man and one woman” – Marco Rubio
  • “I am not a fan of same-sex marriage” – Chris Christie
  • “Our state passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. I voted for it.” – Scott Walker

“As the Supreme Court hears arguments for marriage equality today, the New Hampshire Democratic Party is proud to stand with ALL New Hampshire families because love is love,” said Ray Buckley, Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “Granite Staters overwhelmingly support marriage equality, but the Republican candidates for President continue to stand on the side of discrimination. Their disgraceful attempts to pull us backwards won’t be successful in New Hampshire – it’s time they dropped their campaign against progress.”