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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
posted by Rob Watson | 10:18 AM | permalink
Here is the text of a forwarded email that was sent to me. I have crosschecked the names CCed in the email and can verify that indeed the people included are legitimate, so it is not a hoax as far as I have been able to determine. Links to additional eyewitness accounts are below. Besides, you just can't make this nuttery up.
Dear family and friends,

I had a very disturbing experience yesterday that I would like to share with those of you that live outside of California (or outside of the San Francisco Bay Area). This weekend we have stake conference. Our stake conference always begins with a stake temple session on Friday or Thursday night. Early Friday morning I received a call from the second counselor in our bishopric to let me know that there would be numerous protesters outside the temple, and to remind everyone to stay calm and to drive carefully.

The beautiful Oakland Temple is located right across the bay from San Francisco, very close to the city of Berkeley. Apparently the opposition to proposition 8, the amendment that seeks to make marriage in CA between a man and a woman again, has realized the deep involvement of the church and begun to protest right outside of the temple and harass temple patrons. The fastest way to get to the temple from our house is to take the 680 freeway, but the exit is a bit tricky. The off ramp is extremely short and straight uphill. You then make an almost blind left turn, an immediate right and another left into the parking lot. As we approached the off ramp, I realized there would be trouble.

There was a backup onto the freeway from cars stalled on the off ramp. As we moved forward inches at a time, we realized this was due to a large group of loud protesters who were standing on both sides of the street, yelling, screaming and waving signs. When we got to the top of the offramp, ready to make our turn, one protester jumped out right in front of our car. It took my husband all his self control to carefully maneuver around him to the left and proceed to the temple. I tried not to listen to all they were shouting at us, but I was shaking as I got to the temple front door. Several of the sisters, especially the ones driving on their own, were crying (which made me snap out of it and go into RS President mode to comfort them).

Later, as I was sitting in the perfect quiet of the chapel, I couldn't help but think of Lehi's dream, and the people who mocked the Saints from the big spacious building but 'we heeded them not.' It was a truly surreal experience, I'd never thought that I would have to go through an angry crowd to get to the temple. As we left late at night, the protesters had dispersed, temple security (who all looked very large and Tongan) stood by the gates. I never saw a single police man.

Please pray for those of us in California fighting for prop 8--it's getting kind of scary out here!
More eyewitness accounts.

Additional protests are planned
Some atheists who've objected to the strong stance of Mormons and other religious groups in favor of the measure intend to protest in front of the Mormon temple in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday.
Follow and post additional accounts on Twitter by tracking and posting to the hashtag #hateon8
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Psychotic. Can we trade the San Fran area to China in exchange for them funding our bailout or paying our deficit? These people no longer seem to have American values.

Why doesn't someone record some video of these wreckless protesters, so we can expose them denying us our right to freedom of worship and expose the "religiphobe" anarchists for who they really are?

I called the Oakland Temple and someone there said that there were a few protestors but not that many. I'm not sure how accurate the above account is. Maybe somebody, like the protestors, blew it up to encourage lds fear.

I just called the Oakland Temple and someone there said that there were only a few protestors. No big deal. Maybe the no on 8 guys wrote that article to blow up their efforts.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 22, 2008 at 9:11 PM  

Im in the Oakland East Tongan Stake and my ward meets in the building adjacent to the temple. There is a huge protest planned for this Sunday between 9-12 at the temple gate and its all over the internet and in USA Today. Its being hosted by an Atheist Group and my friends at Laney College tell me many groups are planning to attend. This experience has taught me a lot. Talking about Prop 8 to anyone can invite trouble, but doing it somewhere like as liberal and 'free thinking' as Oakland guarantees it. The No on 8 folks(most of them decent despite our differences) far outnumber here us but we are not ashamed to stand up for what we believe. The result has been physical altercations including arrests today involving another Tongan Ward that was provoked by a no-on-8 group that tried to harrass them. It was on the news tonight. Meanwhile our ward stood at a very busy intersection where SF commuters getting home from work pass by on their way to the hills. The reaction was actually favorable and we received a lot of honks in our favor, Of course many more were against us and showed their disdain quite explicitly. At the same time several gay couples confronted us and held up signs alongside us. Id guesstimate there were about 100 people in all. We try at all costs to keep the peace but they've been pretty aggressive. Anyway, nothing we can't handle. At the same time, I suspect all 16 Bay Area Tongan Wards will be up at the temple this sunday from 9-12. Ya know, to take a tour of the visitors center. LOL Peace to you all.

My mom told me about this article. I am now finding out that it is blown way out of proportion. It even went as far as saying that people were spitting on the cars and hitting them with no on 8 signs. What a joke.

I don't care how many protester's there were, this should not be happening. We all have a right to our vote and should not be bullied with scare tactics by anyone. I understand that there are extremists everywhere, but this is ridiculous and should not be allowed to happen in our country. Whether it was blown out of proportion or not, any type of treatment like this against another human being is disgusting.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2008 at 9:44 PM  

My image of Mormons was that they were always very nice and respectful, until now. I spent many summers at LDS summer camp and treasured the memories of the kind people I met there. That is why I am shocked by the behavior of many of the Tongan Mormons protesting in support of 8. Despite what has been posted on this website, many of the Yes on 8 Tongan protesters have been verbally abusive and physically intimidating. I know No on 8 protesters who have been called "faggots" and "unnatural" by the groups of Tongans protesting in Oakland, in front of the Temple, and at various locations along MacArthur Blvd. These same protesters have been yelling "No HIV! No on 8!" and "Protest Your Children!" at gay men, lesbian women, and their families. A straight woman I know, recovering from cancer, had "A man and a woman!" yelled at her repeatedly as she drove her young children home from school--her baldness meant she was a lesbian?? I am deeply saddened by the ignorance being displayed. The deep rifts that these protesters are creating right now through their ignorant and cruel behavior are going to last long after this election is over, no matter what happens with Prop 8.

Cry me a river! The tongans protesting for Yes on 8 in San Bruno have been incredibly rude and disrespectful!

I was walking, and assuming I was gay, a fully grown tongan man screamed in my face, threatening to beat me. Others displayed acts of disrespect by knocking High School student's "NO on 8" signs out of their hands.

The post above me is correct in stating that many tongan mormons use phrases such as "PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN!" and "I DON'T CARE ABOUT THEIR SICK LIFESTYLES! SAVE THE CHILDREN!"

And that comment about the woman with cancer. That is outrageous!

Excuse me? I hope you know who your church is being represented by.

The San Bruno community is sickened by the low moral standards of the Mormon Church and Tongan community.

Not only will proposition 8 never fully go through, but now you have been disgraced by the poor judgement of your followers.

You opened Pandora's Box when you decided to force your religion onto the State Constitution and deny marriage to other people who don't share your religion or beliefs. What part of separation of church and state don't you understand? If the courts invalidate those 18,000 marriages, I hope things get much scarier for you. You'll deserve it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 9, 2008 at 5:21 AM  

"What part of separation of church and state don't you understand?"

I would ask the same question of you, but I think I already know the answer. Separation of Church and State means not promoting one religion over another. Which religion do you think is being promoted? Mormons? If so then what about all the evangelical and Catholic and Jewish supporters of Prop 8. Or, maybe religion over non-religion? If so then what about all the opponents of 8 who are religious folks. You can't identify a particular sect or even the establishment of religion over non-religion because there are people on both sides that are religious.

As to opening pandora's box, apparently you feel it is OK to assault and batter those who disagree with you as well as deface, destroy, and steal their property. All of this has been already done. It very much reminds me of the child who doesn't get his way and then throws a tantrum by throwing stuff in the house, except here the tantrum has turned violent. Grow up. Your opposition sued the peaceful political process and won the argument. If you disagree with the outcome, you have the chance to persuade people in the same way.

Between 2003 and 2008 116 pieces of legislation have been sponsored, favored and opposed by Equality of California - all in the name of equality for the LGBT community. These 116 pieces of legislation have originated either in the California Assembly or Senate. Some official policies have been chaptered into law immediately by the California Secretary of State. The franchise has been taken away from all of the citizens of California on these 116 pieces of legislation - regardless of orientation.

If anyone should be angered by this, it should be every California citizen who did not have an opportunity to vote on any one of these 116 pieces of legislation and official policies.

Moreover, I felt even more berayed when I learned on the Equality California website about 43 pieces of legislation that were passed and became law between 2003 and 2008.

How is it that a minority (1.7%) smaller the the LDS population in California (2.0%) can use intimidation and public humiliation from publicly posted voting cards to publicly humiliate Senators and Assembly members who do not vote with the LGBT community. You will see this posted on the Equality California website.

This same intimidation has raised its ugly head again with continued death threats and violence against the LDS. One can find this on the internet in blogs. But then again, the LDS I know are not strangers to fear and intimidation.

I also wonder how this minority can receive more than $150 million from Federal and State government funds in California alone through 501(c)(3) nonprofits reported on pages 1 and 3 of one of their form 990 nonprofit returns. In that one year 53 LGBT nonprofits reported more than $388 million of government grants and fees on pages 1 and 3 of their form 990.

The LGBT is a very powerful lobby group that uses GLAD to silence those who come out against the issues they hold near and dear to their hearts.

How can the 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) nonprofits that the LGBT community has formed have any tax exemption whatsoever for their roles in sponsoring monetarily legislation in the California Assembly and Senate? The Equality Federation shows how the LGBT community has organized in some 43 states.

It is obvious that the LGBT 501(c)(3) are organized to make grants to 501(c)(4) organizations to sponsor LGBT friendly legislation. The 501(c)(4) nonprofits engage in influencing legislation - despite IRS guidance condemning this practice. If the IRS were to learn how the directors on the boards of these 501(c)(3) and 501 (c)(4) nonprofits are identical, they would move toward removing their Tax Exempt status under 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4).

Lastly, the 2007 State of the State report on the Equality Federation website lists the first projected issue for 2008 as "schools/Youth". The eighth projected issue for 2008 for the LGBT community is marriage. It is obvious the LGBT want to protect LGBT youth in schools; however, the legislation now being passed will have a disparate impact on non-LGBT youth in our schools.

There is so much more the LGBT community is not telling the rest of California about their agenda. After all Equality California is an activist group and not your average 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 9, 2008 at 7:32 PM  

everyone has the right to have their own opinion. i had to call the police on tuesday, because someone came to my lawn and riped it out and left it there and left the sweetest message that said f-you. as an lds member it hurts to see that kind of behavior. the gay community wants to wet married and have a family.t hey are setting a great example to their family by using violence i am proud to be mormon and what we did was protect in our beliefs and protected we won. this is not anything against the gay community i have friends that are good people. to us marriage is something that is sacred which is why we tried so hard to keep it protected.

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