Proposition 8 was a fourteen-word amendment to the California Constitution selectively eliminating the right of marriage, which passed in November 2008. The amendment was back by groups with long histories of mutual antagonism, including the Mormon and Catholic churches, suggesting that there is no stronger force for religious tolerance and mutual aid than sexual bigotry.

Racist Symbolism

The numbers 14 and 8 have symbolic significance to white nationalists, Neo-Nazis, and other racist hate groups. “The Fourteen Words” is a reference to a 14-word slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” This slogan, coined by the Neo-Nazi David Lane, was inspired by an 88 word statement in Volume 1, Chapter 8 of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Because H is the 8th letter of the alphabet, “88” is used by Neo-Nazis to signify “Heil Hitler.”

Lane also coined a follow-up 14 word slogan describing his sexual fears: “Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth.” Lane also wrote extensively about his violent homophobia, and sexual bigotry remains a central feature of white nationalist and Neo-Nazi doctrine.

The supporters of the 14-word Proposition 8 have not explained their use of racist, Neo-Nazi symbolism, or their apparent reference to the ideology and iconography of white nationalists.

Mormon Racism and Traditional Marriage

Proposition 8 was largely funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS or “Mormons”). The Mormon Church has a long history of racism — Brigham Young wrote that dark skin was the mark of Cain, a sign of evil and degeneracy, and blacks were denied priesthood as a cursed race.

“Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.”
– Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:110

The reason that one would lose his blessings by marrying a Negro is due to the restriction placed upon them. ‘No person having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood’ (Brigham Young). It does not matter if they are one-sixth Negro or one-hundred and sixth, the curse of no Priesthood is the same. If an individual who is entitled to the Priesthood marries a Negro, the Lord has decreed that only spirits who are not eligible for the Priesthood will come to that marriage as children. To intermarry with a Negro is to forfeit a ‘Nation of Priesthood holders’….”

– Mormon elder Mark E. Peterson, Convention of Teachers of Religion at the College Level at Brigham Young University, 1954

The negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow therefrom, but this inequality is not of man’s origin. It is the Lord’s doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate.
– Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1958

In 1978 the Mormon Church risked losing its tax-free status over its racist doctrine and black athletic teams were refusing to play at Brigham Young University. The church had also just opened a new temple in Brazil, and as Apostle LeGrand Richards explained: “down in Brazil, there is so much Negro blood in the population there that it’s hard to get leaders that don’t have Negro blood in them.”

totally not gay

In June of 1978, the Mormon Church president received a revelation that the cursed dark races would be allowed into the priesthood.

Mormons considered polygamy the original form of marriage, and their practice of “traditional” marriage caused repeated denials of Utah statehood. In 1890, when the federal government was about to seize the assets of the LDS Church, their Prophet suddenly received a revelation from God suspending the practice of polygamy. (Shortly thereafter, Utah became a state.) The corporate LDS Church now officially condemns their own traditional form of marriage.

However the doctrines of polygamy and holy concubines remain in Mormon scriptures and many Mormons still consider polygamy an important sacrament. Scholars generally count about 30 wives for Joseph Smith, about 10 of them married to other men, being sealed to the women, while still retaining an earthly marriage to their current husbands. But Smith was especially emphatic about polygamy in regard to multiple virgin brides:

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.

– The Doctrine And Covenants Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Section 132

This emphasis on multiple virgin brides led to the practice of forced child marriage in Mormon communities, a practice which persists in fundamentalist Mormon sects.

Catholic Child Manipulation

The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal order, spent heavily on Proposition 8 because they wanted to teach young children that the Pope is infallible. This claim is as true as their advertising which claimed that Proposition 8 would keep young children from being taught about gay sex in school.

Not that there’s any reason the Catholic Church is self-conscious about authority figures engaging in gay sex with children. No reason at all. Absolutely none.


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