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Editor's Note
You’ll need a wedding cake knife to cut through this …

by Susan Dyer Reynolds

I am sure it wasn’t lost on most San Franciscans the strange dichotomy that last month’s historic election presented. On one hand, the majority of Americans looked through a man’s color and into his soul to elect him the 44th president of our country. On the other hand, the passage of Proposition 8 proved that we have a long way to go before we can call ourselves a truly tolerant society. The argument against Proposition 8 is not about marriage, it is about civil rights; it is about giving some people more rights than others, and taking away the rights of some who are perceived as different and thus somehow less deserving. The various churches that stood behind it should be ashamed of themselves, especially The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“We believe marriage should be the union between a man and a woman,” a Mormon Church spokesman said adamantly in an interview with CNN. While Latter-day Saints have long renounced polygamy, I couldn’t help hearing in the back of my head, “Don’t you mean marriage between a man and a woman and a woman and a woman …?” The irony is so thick you could cut it with a wedding cake knife.

The Mormon Church, perhaps more than any other, has been persecuted for its style of Christianity, for its past religious practices, and, most of all, for its past embracing of polygamy. Last spring’s raid on a rogue sect in Texas was a reminder of the 19th century Mormon practice of men marrying multiple wives. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, taught polygamy as a divine commandment and married as many as 30 wives. Smith was killed and his followers driven from their homes in part because of his beliefs.

Many church leaders believe they are still being persecuted. When former Massachusetts’s governor Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith became an issue during his bid for the presidency, church spokesman Michael Otterson said, “Latter-day Saints were just amazed to think there was such bigotry in the country.” Yet, Mormons donated nearly $20 million to ban gay marriage – nearly four out of five dollars raised for the cause. …

I got a lot of letters after my October “Editor’s Note” about Sarah Palin’s terrible record on animals and the environment. One woman wrote that she loved animals but thought I was pushing my “liberal agenda” for Obama, who was “a baby killer.” Another screamed at me for being anti-Sarah and thus pro-abortion. I used to date a guy who worked at Genentech and recognized her e-mail as being from the company. I wrote back and asked her how she could be pro-life and work for a company that can’t wait to get its latex gloves on human embryos. She responded that it was “just a job.” That would be like me saying, “I’m only the receptionist at the canned hunt facility.” I need that wedding cake knife again. …
I am thrilled that Prop 2 passed; however, I am shocked there are so many factory farmers who vote – 39% of the tally said “no” to giving factory-farmed animals a modicum of comfort before they unwittingly sacrifice themselves for the dinner table; all the measure asked was for animals to be allowed to stand up, lie down and turn around in their cages. I would like to invite the naysayers to come spend a few months in Jasmine’s old dog crate. It fit her the last time she used it – when her foster mom delivered her to me as a four-month-old 30-pound puppy. It would be like sleeping at the Ritz compared to the wire-bottomed battery cages that factory farmers stick thousands of chickens in, but I guarantee they won’t be able to stand up or turn around. I do promise to feed them and give them water most of the time. Growing up with a grandfather from Sicily, I learned at an early age to respect the animals we eat. So many of our wonderful local purveyors, like Prather Ranch, manage to do this; it’s about time factory farmers did, too.


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