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Prop. 8 foes criticized for faux Mormon ad

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In what

one Catholic bishop called "a blatant display of religious bigotry and

intolerance," a commercial advocating a "no" vote on Proposition 8 depicts

Mormon missionaries invading the homes of a lesbian couple.

The California ballot's Proposition 8 would restore the legal definition of

marriage to being between one man and one woman. Earlier this year, the

California Supreme Court imposed same-sex marriage on the state.

In the 60 second commercial, produced by the Courage Campaign Issues

Committee, two missionaries knock on a door and say they are from The Church of

Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They tell the lesbian couple "we are here to

take away your rights."

They enter the house, take away the women's rings, and ransack their home

looking for their marriage license. Finding it, they tear it up.

At the close of the commercial, the missionaries walk away, saying "that was

too easy, yeah, what should we ban next?"

"The message behind the commercial is the Mormon Church is literally invading

the houses of Californians through their TV sets, spreading lies and taking

peoples' lives away from them," Rick Jacobs of the anti-Prop. 8 Courage Campaign

told CBS Channel 2 KUTV. "The church has been hiding behind its secrecy."

Jacobs said the commercial will air today in various parts of California on


Scott Trotter, a spokesman with the LDS Church, responded to the


"The Church has joined a broad-based coalition in defense of traditional

marriage. While we feel this is important to all of society, we have always

emphasized that respect be given to those who feel differently on this issue.

It is unfortunate that some who oppose this proposition have not given the

Church this same courtesy."

The California Catholic Conference on Monday condemned the ad as "bigoted and


Most Rev. Stephen Blaire, Bishop of Stockton and President of the California

Catholic Conference, commented in a press release, calling the ad "a blatant

display of religious bigotry and intolerance" and expressing dismay any public

media outlet would air it.

"The YES on 8 campaign is not about discrimination and intolerance; it is

about restoring the traditional definition of marriage for the good of society

and children," said Bishop Blaire. "All individuals and groups, whether

religious or not, have both a right and a responsibility to participate in a

civil debate about this important issue. From the beginning of this campaign the

Catholic Conference has stressed the importance of mutual respect and denounces

this type of religious bigotry."