November 11, 2008

Time to Revisit Church Picketing?

With the well-deserved outrage over California's Proposition 8, I wonder if it might be time to revisit the topic of picketing churches. When I initially posted about the possibility of picketing churches, I was not advocating it as a strategy as much I as I was soliciting input from readers about whether they thought it would be effective. Although I had framed the question as one of picketing Christian extremist churches on the grounds that they were destructive, many of those who left comments generally thought that picketing a church would be far more effective if it was done for a specific issue. Perhaps Proposition 8 is just such an issue.

I recently commented via Twitter that I was troubled by some opponents of gay marriage touting civil unions as a different but equal alternative, noting that this was too reminiscent of "separate but equal." That did not end up working, and offering civil unions to homosexual couples will not work either. We learned (or certainly should have learned) during the civil rights movement that separate is never equal.

As I noted recently, the pervasive influence of religion in the debate over gay marriage is inescapable. Churches, including but not limited to the Mormon church, were instrumental in funding Proposition 8 and in mobilizing voters to pass it.

In fact, picketing is already underway at the largest backer of Proposition 8, the Mormon church. Proponents of marital freedom for all Americans have been protesting outside the LDS church headquarters in Salt Lake City.

What about the smaller churches who played an important if less evident role in Proposition 8? You can find a list of these churches at Deep Thoughts. Should advocates of marital equality consider picketing these churches too?

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