”Rainbow Fault Lines” cont.
“Throughout the 1990s and into the early twenty-first century, the church engaged in costly political battles [against same-sex marriage]. In 1998, in Hawaii, Mormons contributed a majority of the $1.5 million raised by opponents of same-sex marriage, while that same year in Alaska... ‘The Mormon Church in Utah contributed $500,000 to the pro-amendment campaign - the vast majority of that side’s funding. By contrast, amendment opponents were able to raise only about $100,000.’”
“In 2000, Mormons were also instrumental, along with Catholics and evangelicals, in passing traditional marriage measures in California (Proposition 22) and Nebraska.”
In 2008 (after the California Supreme Court struck down Prop 22), Prop 8 “left nothing to chance, moving to amend the state’s constitution... Of the $40 million raised to support Proposition 8, an estimated 50 to 70 percent of the initiative’s funding came from Mormon donors, who made up only about 2 percent of the state’s population.”
Riess recounts a lot of recent history and includes several personal interviews in this chapter. She also does a lot of cross-referencing of other studies. She has sections on “Living Beyond the Binary,” “LGBT Mormon Religiosity,” and “‘The Policy’ and Same-Sex Marriage”. (“The Policy” refers to the Nov 2015 announcement that any children of church members who are in a same-sex marriage are barred from being baptized or blessed.) Clearly, this chapter has required a great deal of her attention. I really can’t convey the gist of this chapter in spotty excerpts, as there is so much important information here. At the end of the chapter, though, she says this:
“...among all Mormons, opinions about same-sex marriage had reached a tipping point between 2015 and 2016. In 2015, two-thirds of Mormons (66 percent) opposed same-sex marriage, and in 2016 barely half did (55 percent). This eleven-point erosion of opposition, and a corresponding eleven point spike in support (from 26 to 37 percent), occurred during the exact period in which the church’s official position against same-sex marriage was made abundantly clear through its November 2015 policy changes. Even as the church stiffened its posture, the rank and file softened theirs, contributing to a growing disconnect between the leadership and the membership.”
[I just realized photos of tables like this are probably not legible since we can’t expand them in Cake yet... I’ll still attach them since we hope to see this change in the future.]