Time Capsule: A Proposition 8 Protest and the Bad Eggs

March 23, 2009

Protesting in the streets

Protesting in the streets

Another story in the Time Capsule series, immerse yourself in Proposition 8 protests from November 2008 with this story, a photo slideshow and an audio file recorded from a march in West Los Angeles.  UPDATE: The California Supreme Court has until early June 2009 to rule on whether to uphold the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.  Some news reports hold that the court is leaning toward upholding the ban.

Hundreds of people demonstrated around the Los Angeles California Mormon Temple on Nov. 6 to protest the state’s passage of Proposition 8. The protest and march around Los Angeles (in the slide show you will hear the moments leading up to the march) wreaked havoc on Southern California’s rush hour traffic and continued for hours. Activists like Jane Gould and Nick Small (pictured below) made phone calls in the weeks leading up to Election Day.

Signs lodged in the fence

Signs lodged in the fence

Gould found that most people in West Los Angeles where she campaigned had already made up their minds on the issue.

Plus, Gould points out, “This is an area where people would support our point-of-view.”

With more money spent for and against Proposition 8 than on any other election issue besides the presidential race, it is little surprise that the results created controversy leading to many rallies such as the one you can observe above.

No More Mr. Nice Gay

No More Mr. Nice Gay

Areas like West Los Angeles and West Hollywood may have voted predictably against Proposition 8, but the results of all Los Angeles County voters were close. According to the Los Angeles Times, the county voted 50.4 percent for and 49.6 percent against Proposition 8. Statewide, the Yes vote pulled 52.5 percent of voters with voters against the proposition making up 47.5 percent.

On Thursday, while members of the Mormon temple stood behind the property’s gates, protestors used a number of different tactics to attract attention like shouting “Shame on you,” engaging in actual arguments, and secretly planting “No on Proposition 8” signs on the expansive Mormon temple lawn.

Burn in Hell poster

Burn in Hell poster

As you can see in the audio slideshow, protest signs were clever, passionate and, at times, offensive. Proudly holding up signs that say “Vile mormons” or “Burn in hell mormons” is not a respectful way to protest. If a man in a truck is stuck in traffic on the same street as the protest march, surrounding his truck and shouting at him is also not an effective way to convince others to consider your opinion.

In the slideshow you might also notice a couple photos of three people standing on a second-floor balcony. Below them on Santa Monica Boulevard, protesters thrust signs in their direction and again shout “Shame on you.” Like the Mormons behind the temple gates, these three people just stand passively, taking it all in.

Notice the people on the balcony

Notice the people on the balcony

Participating in a protest — especially when they have as much momentum as the post-election No on Proposition 8 protests — can be invigorating. It can be exciting to see that the power of your group has forced tens of officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (plus the Department of Homeland Security) to keep the peace, but the effect of one bad egg on the whole package cannot be understated. We remember the man at a Sarah Palin rally who said “Kill him” in reference to Barack Obama more than we recall the more respectful attendees. Similarly, stories about the No on Proposition 8 protest share Web space with stories like the one titled: “N-Word Hurled at Blacks During Westwood Prop 8 Protest.

Nick Small

Nick Small

When activists like Small feel that basic rights are being taken away, the protest response can make waves, but it should be respectful as well.


Below is a map that shows the path I followed as the sound in the YouTube video was recorded.  Most of the photos were taken from this path as well.

Click on the placemarks — starting with the rightmost one — to follow the protest’s path.

One person had a strong reaction to seeing the YouTube audio slideshow of protesters outside the Los Angeles California Mormon Temple, also sometimes known as the LDS church:

[Protesters] are really disrespectful protesting the LDS church. You should protest the courts and voters, not a church that had little impact on the election.


One comment

  1. But what happens when one questions the functions of marriage based on public versus private interests? A good intro is here:


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