The mainstream media have so far failed to get across the intensity of the ordeal that supporters of Prop 8 may now be subject to--something I realized on coming across this extraordinary blog account of a meeting at the legendary restaurant El Coyote in Hollywood, not far from where I grew up in Laurel Canyon. The meeting was between the elderly Mormon owner, who donated $100 to support Prop 8, and Prop 8 opponents, who are threatening a boycott, and it is as soul- grinding as something out of Soviet show trial history. Peacelovelunges.com--billed as "the blog of ex-Mormon, reformed porn star and Hollywood fitness trainer Sam Page"--reports:
In a dramatic, closed door meeting, the owner of a renowned Mexican eatery in Hollywood expressed regret in her decision to donate $100 to the “Yes on Prop 8″ campaign, but her remarks before a group of about 60 members of Los Angeles’ LGBT community fell short of an outright personal apology.
Just the spectacle of an American citizen expressing regret for her political conviction to avert economic harm is gruesome already. But it goes on:
“I’m sick of heart that I’ve offended anyone in the gay community,” said Marjorie Christoffersen, co-owner of El Coyote Mexican Cafe for 17 years. “I have had, and do have family, friends, and people I work with of course who are gay…and you are treasured people to me.”
The tall, frail Christoffersen stood in the center of the group. She appeared to be shaking during her prepared remarks which lasted about 3 minutes. Two young female family members flanked her to prevent her from fainting, according to a restaurant employee. At several points during her speech, Christoffersen simply became too emotional to continue.
Here's what happened to Scott Eckern, a theater manager that gave financiall to Prop 8.
Eckern gave $1,000 in support of Proposition 8, a donation that sparked criticism from theater workers and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
"We have released a statement that Scott resigned," said Chris McSwain, community affairs director for the theater company.
He declined to comment further.According to the statement, the theater company's board of directors received notice today from executive producer Richard Lewis saying that Eckern has resigned.
In covering a Chicago area anti Prop 8 rally, the organizers made their intention known that the following week they would picket a theater owner that had given money to prop 8.
This now brings me to the case of Rick Warren's selection to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration. Opponents of Prop 8 are up in arms demanding that Obama take back the invitation because of Warren's support of Prop 8. Warren has already been labeled with the label homophobe. Given Warren's profile, this is a rather ironic label.
Unlike many of the activists, politicians, and media personalities on the social right who supported Proposition 8, Rick Warren is an actual church leader, with a unique and vibrant following at Saddleback and nationwide. A friendly, jovial presence who’s very in touch with the conversation of the times, he has been a leading voice supporting the idea that Christians should view politics through more than just the lens of hot-button issues like abortion and marriage.The amount of good that Warren has done in this world is more than all of the good all of his Prop 8 opponents have contributed combined. Warren has been wildly successful as both a preacher, author, and philanthropist. There are few more qualified to give this invocation than Warren. Given many of Warren's stances, Obama's choice is also in line with his promise to reach out. Yet, none of this is good enough for proponents of gay marriage.
One of the kings of the skim latte Christianity otherwise called the seeker-church movement, Warren is a major advocate for inclusion and openness among evangelicals, and hasn’t been shy about breaking with other center-right faith leaders on political issues. He’s made global warming a significant issue for his church and is a signer of the Evangelical Climate Change initiative, and he fully supported moderate court appointee Harriet Miers when most social conservatives were attacking her full bore. He’s also called on evangelicals to learn from the example of mainline churches when it comes to arguing for public morality (or government expansion) on issues like poverty, racism, and social and economic justice, founding an international church initiative (P.E.A.C.E.) supported by the likes of U2’s Bono.
Warren’s basic views on salvation and faith - such as believing that you have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior to enter heaven - are hardly out of the mainstream of Christianity. His “Purpose Driven Life” message appeals to center-right and center-left churchgoing Christians who increasingly care just as much about the plight of the poor and the diseased as they do about the unborn. Warren in many respects embodies the new mainline church, espousing a welcoming faith that urges its members to go out and do for the betterment of their neighbors, not just proselytize. His flock should be the first target of a Democratic Party eager to expand into the ranks of the faithful.
It’s worth noting that Warren has been a huge supporter of funding for the AIDS crisis in Africa, and invited Obama - who he has called “an amazing man” and said talked of his potential to be a great President because he is a man of “good character” - to speak to an AIDS conference at his church, much to the chagrin of those on the right, several of whom criticized him for the invitation.
If you contributed to the passage of Proposition 8 in any way shape or form, then the only thing you are worthy of is public derision and abuse. Such intolerance is both ironic and totally hypocritical from a group that claims that it is the other side that is intolerant.