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Unicorn Booty co-founders submit Testimony about Prop 8 aftermath

Testimony

By Adam Bink

For those of you who haven’t checked out the blog (whose name makes me giggle every time I say it), they have some fun, diverse content, including a good deal on travel and civil rights.

They caught my eye after publishing a very thoughtful letter to Orbitz asking about how they can reconcile their support for equality with their funding for Fox News, and then an interview with Media Matters responding to Orbitz’s letter in reply (more on that story tomorrow). Anyway, today, their two co-founders entered our Testimony challenge with filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, discussing how Prop 8 was a “moment” of awakening for them:

Many others, including some of you here, have stories about their lives changing after Prop 8. I remember it being bittersweet on Election Day, as Obama won and too many others had their civil rights taken away.

You can enter the Testimony video challenge by starting here. Your video need not be any more well done than theirs — the quality of your story is more important than the quality of the video. We’ll take three of the most compelling stories and put Dustin Lance Black and his crew on a plane to film you wherever you are, then take the production and put it on TV to move more hearts and minds.

9 Comments

  • 1. tim  |  June 6, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Didn't even notice the response from Orbitz. Good for them in fighting this misguided attack.

  • 2. Maggie4NoH8  |  June 6, 2011 at 3:32 am

    I finally watched "8: The Mormon Proposition" over the weekend…

    I can't begin to describe the emotional roller coaster. The worst was re-living election day: Crying because I was happy Obama won, crying because of the hurt I felt over Prop 8.

    One thing that I don't understand: there seems to be plenty of "evidence" the Moron church was actively political in violation of federal laws – why isn't the government *doing* something about that?

    I do wish this documentary was "mandatory" viewing – it is so frustrating the damage, conflict and misery religion has caused over the years. I thought faith/religion was about your soul and spiritual growth – what happened to it over the millennia?

  • 3. Juli  |  June 6, 2011 at 4:46 am

    @Maggie4NoH8 – the Mormon church WAS found guilty of violating the law and paid a fine of under $2000.00. Ouch, poor them. That and a feeble apology. I feel better, how about you?

  • 4. RAJ  |  June 6, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Actually, the fine was just over $5,000 and it was for failing to report some in-kind financial contributions in a timely manner.

    I'm no fan of the Institutional Mormon Church but going after them for their tax exempt status is a looser in my opinion.The Mormon Church has an ARMY of lawyers at its disposal. The LDS know exactly what they can and can not get away with in the way of political activity.

  • 5. Maggie4NoH8  |  June 6, 2011 at 5:16 am

    But that was California right (referring to the 2K and/or 5K fine)?

    What about the IRS? Federal investigation?

  • 6. RAJ  |  June 6, 2011 at 5:27 am

    I can't believe I'm re-hashing this, but, in a nutshell, Religious organizations are prohibited from endorsing a specific candidate and/or political party but may take political positions with respect to what they regard as "moral issues." Mormons regard this as a "moral issue."

    Its more complicated than this, of coarse, but they are able to engage in SOME political activity without jeopardizing their tax exempt status.

  • 7. AnonyGrl  |  June 6, 2011 at 6:37 am

    RAJ is correct about what a church can do politically. It cannot say "Members, vote for Candidate X" or even "Vote AGAINST Candidate X". But it can say "On this issue, we stand HERE."

    Functionally, this is the same thing, as it encourages its members to vote for the candidate that supports or opposes whatever the issue is, but those are the basics of how it works.

    With Prop 8, the Mormon church was supporting an issue, not a candidate or party, and so was within the law. What they did wrong was not disclosing how much was spent, which violated election spending laws (laws which have practically no teeth anyway, and really only harm small organizations who can't afford the fines). That got them a small slap on the wrist from California, but since there were no violations of IRS codes, that was the end of it.

    Interestingly, NOM violates both local election spending laws and IRS codes all the time, and fights it on what looks to me like the "We don't want to disclose our donors despite your laws, so we are just going to not do it and pay the fines if we lose" plan, which they get away with time after time, mainly because those local laws have no teeth. Despite the fact that NOM's own articles of incorporation say that they will not campaign for any particular candidate, they consistantly not only do so, but PROMISE to do so publically, in what seems to me a blatant vote buying scheme. You will notice, however, it has been extremely difficult to interest the IRS in pursuing this problem… and state laws just wag fingers at NOM but don't have any real lasting impact so NOM ignores it.

  • 8. Phillip Koons  |  June 6, 2011 at 6:55 am

    That's one thing that bothers me. Religion and tax exemptions. I'm fine with them as long as a majority of their funds is used for charitable works and they are financially transparent. Otherwise, I just don't think they should be tax exempt….any religion for that matter. They function much like a business so never made much sense to me.

  • 9. Kevin Farrell  |  June 7, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Thanks for allowing us to share our story with the Courage Campaign. We're excited to be a part of this project!

    Kevin Farrell

    Unicorn Booty

    P.S.- We are "gonna be careful for brussels" as well. 😀

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