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Prince Research Excerpts on Gay Rights & Mormonism – “18b – Prop 102 – Arizona”

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18b – Prop 102 – Arizona


“A huge dust-up exploded on the front page of the Arizona Daily Star this morning.  According to the Star, Kyrsten Sinema, campaign chair for Arizona Together, characterized Proposition 102 as a ‘mostly Mormon-backed attempt to rectify what it calls a “polygamy problem” in the eyes of voters’:

… Sinema contends that at least three-quarters of the individual donors to the campaign are with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based on her group having Googled donor names along with ‘LDS’ or ‘Mormon.’

While that method of verifying the religion of donors may be questionable, Sinema points to top backers with ties to the Mormon church: $100,000 from philanthropists Rex and Ruth Maughan, and $40,000 from Kristen Cowley, an organizer of the LDS Easter pageant.

… I have it on good authority from Mormon colleagues that a similar campaign [to Prop 8] has been underway in Arizona since July.

Proponents of Prop 102 charge that questioning the LDS’s heavy involvement in the marriage battle in Arizona amounts to bigotry.…” (Jim Burroway, “Mormons and Arizona’s Prop 102,” BoxTurtleBulletin.com, September 17, 2008)


“Matt Cowley, who used to live in our ward and now lives in Phoenix, called me this afternoon to talk about prop 8.  They’re having their own version of the thing in Arizona and he’s quite disturbed about it.  ‘They came into priesthood today and told us were to do everything we could for the proposition.  I wanted to say, “I’m doing everything I can do just to sit here.”’” (Carol Lynn Pearson diary, September 21, 2008)


“In its entirety, Proposition 102 simply reads, ‘Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.’…

In 2006, Arizona voters were asked to decide on a similar measure.  However, the 2006 initiative was more broad than Proposition 102, as it also would have banned governments from offering benefits to employees’ domestic partners. When it failed at the polls, Arizona became the only state where a marriage protection amendment had failed the test of the voters.…

Larry Perkins has been asked to serve as a liaison between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Yes for Marriage coalition.

According to Lina Hatch, president of United Families Arizona, the focus of the Proposition 102 campaign will be to ‘motivate marriage supporters to vote “’yes.”’…

The Church recently issued a public statement in California in support of Proposition 8, which will be on the November 4 ballot. Likewise, here in Arizona and Florida, where the marriage amendment also will be put to the voters in November, the Church is supporting the marriage amendments, though in a less public manner.

‘The Church has come out strongly in favor of a marriage amendment, yet Latter-day Saints are not alone in this matter,…” Lina says.

She adds, ‘There will be many opportunities to help promote this amendment. We encourage all members of the Church to register to vote and to provide what financial and volunteer support possible.’…

Michele [Baer] adds that, particularly as Latter-day Saints, the opportunity is great.

‘We shouldn’t miss the change to preserve marriage for future generations.…” (Cecily Markland, “Marriage is Put to the Vote in Arizona,” The Beehive, “Serving the 400,000 LDS Members in Arizona,” September 29-November 24, 2008)


“The campaign supporting a constitutional amendment to define marriage in Arizona is reporting a tenfold increase in its fundraising over the past six weeks.…

Because donors are not required to disclose their religious affiliation, it is impossible to quantify the donations from church groups to support or oppose the referendum. Opponents say they have determined that most of the support comes from Mormon Church members.

Kyrsten Sinema, chairman of Arizona Together Opposed to Prop. 102, said her campaign has identified many of the contributors as members the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through direct calls to contributors, other research and recognition of well-known Mormon names.

Sinema, a Democratic state House member and a former Mormon, questioned the support, saying it raises dangerous implications about the relationship of church and state.

‘Why is one group so determined to inject itself into government?’ she said.

LDS officials say that while their members support Prop. 102, Sinema’s charges paint an inaccurate picture of official church involvement.

Don Evans, and LDS spokesmen, said ‘not a dime’ of church money has gone into the campaign.

Records show individual contributions of $10,000, sometimes more, from names of members of the state’s Mormon community. Wilford Andersen, a former church spokesman, contributed $100,000 along with his wife. He did not return phone call.…

In contrast to the $6.9 million to promote Prop. 102, Sinema said opponents have raised about $97,000 as of September 22.…” (Mary Jo Pitzl, “Gay marriage opponents raise $6.9 million,” Arizona Republic, October 3, 2008)


“Mormon families have given nearly all of the $6.9 million in the Arizona effort to pass Proposition 102.” (“Mormons Donate 77% of Money to End Gay Marriage,” Californians Against Hate, October 21, 2008)


“The church did a final volley today by calling all members for an 88 stake telecast stake conference this morning. All Arizona members were called together and told to vote on Prop 102. Packard [Boyd K. Packer] spoke, him saying this is not about tolerance, the church does not and will not support the people who live immoral lives. Several talks described the sacrifices of the Arizona saints, the building of the new temples, all a call for more sacrifice and a total support for the brethren.” (“Loren” email to gaybyu@yahoogroups.com, November 2, 2008)


“Arizona voters have approved an amendment to their state constitution to ban gay marriage.

The amendment approved Tuesday was a softened version of a proposal narrowly rejected by state voters two years ago.

As in Utah in 2004, state law had already banned gay marriage, but the measure supporters sought to amend the Constitution to prevent any judge from overturning the statute.”  (“Arizona Passes Anti-Gay Amendment,” Q Salt Lake, November 5, 2008)


“Inside the city limits, Flagstaff voters overwhelming opposed Proposition 102, the anti-gay marriage measure, which did pass statewide.

But one part of the Flagstaff community voted with their pocketbooks to support Prop 102.

Dozens of local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to support amending the Arizona Constitution to recognize marriages as only between one man and one woman.

In total, Flagstaff residents gave one political action committee, YESforMarriage.com, a total of $339,796, state records show. One Flagstaff man gave $50,000 to the group.

By contrast, the two political action committees opposed to the gay marriage ban, Arizona Together Opposed to Prop 102 and No on Prop 102, raised $1,833 from a handful of city residents.


Mark Frost, a Flagstaff accountant who is a regional president for 15 area Mormon churches, said he spearheaded the campaign to raise funds locally as directed by Mormon Church leaders.

Frost said he identified about 60 couples who he felt might be in a position to give something monetarily in support of Proposition 102.

‘I personally visited each of these couples in their home or their businesses and asked them to give generously to this important cause,’ Frost said. ‘When I explained that this request came from our living Prophet, our members were willing to give much more than a typical donation.’

Frost said he thought the church became involved in the campaign because it wanted to reaffirm that marriage can only be between two people who had the ability to conceive children.…” (J. Ferguson, “Flag[staff] donors top $339,000 for Prop. 102,” Arizona Daily Sun, November 22, 2008)


“Members of the LDS Church contributed about $3 million of the $8 millino raised in the ‘Yes on 102’ campaign to amend the Arizona Constitution, according to the East Valley Tribune/Scottsdale Tribune.…” (“Gay-marriage supporters protest at Arizona LDS temple,” Deseret News, November 29, 2008)


Karger: It would be interesting for you to look at the Arizona election, which was at the same time.  I remember this guy Steve May, who was a former state representative who grew up LDS.  I forget the woman who was a state representative, who was former LDS and is a lesbian [Kyrsten Sinema].  I remember they were the ones who told me that all $6 million of that “Yes” campaign [Proposition 102] came from church members in Arizona.  That might be kind of an interesting offshoot.  Steve is a Republican and was a real up-and-comer who was in the state house for quite a while.

(Fred Karger, July 9, 2014)