Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Fred Karger Headshot

Manhattan Declaration -- Who Are They Kidding?

Posted: Updated:

NOM head, Maggie Gallagher, as she puts it, "likes fairy tales." This sure sounds like a fairy tale to me, a very scary one.

Once upon a time there were 152 -- how should I say it -- extremists, all meeting in Manhattan (crazy place for this group to meet). These 152 zealots drafted, approved, and signed their Declaration of War on full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans last week. They threw in some other societal beefs, just to try and mask the overriding issue, their fervent opposition to same-sex marriage.

One major leader of their movement is missing from the 152 names.

There are NO MORMONS on the list, and several of us read it very carefully.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) has been leading the anti-gay marriage movement in this country for the past 14 years. They have spent tens of millions of dollars in practically every state ($30 million in California alone last year) to fight equality and to pass constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.

So where are the Mormon representatives on this illustrious list? Are they truly backing off their longstanding opposition to gay civil rights?

To their credit, Michael Otterson, a high ranking Mormon Church official recently testified in support of the Salt Lake City ordinance that would no longer allow discrimination in employment and housing against LGBT people in Utah's largest city. While a small step, it has been broadcast around the world. That's because the Church, through its Public Affairs Department, got the word out -- big time.

Let's hope the Mormon leadership is truly softening its position on this issue. It has been a huge PR nightmare for the Church and one that divides so many Mormon families. Maybe they will redirect all that time, talent, and money to other causes, real problems.

There are plenty of Catholics on this list, however, and some very prominent ones. Two Cardinals and lots of Bishops. Catholics appear to be the new Mormons in the fight against same-sex marriage.

The Catholic Church has become much more visible as the Mormons have backed off. Maine Bishop Richard J. Malone and his sidekick, Marc Mutty, ran and heavily funded the recent campaign in Maine to take away same-sex marriage in that state. The Roman Catholic Dioceses of Portland (ME) even set up a Political Action Committee (PAC), and gave and raised $553,000 to pass Question #1. That's a lot of money, especially when they recently closed 5 churches in Maine.

Now, last week in Washington D.C., the Catholic Church there threatened to stop feeding the homeless if the City Council passes a same-sex marriage bill. Yes, the Catholic Church will stop feeding the hungry!

Here's what the New York Times editorial said about that yesterday: CLICK HERE

National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Chairman Robert P. George authored their new manifesto, along with former Watergate felon Chuck Colson. They hired a PR firm to publicize the Manhattan Declaration, the Mark DeMoss PR Group in Atlanta. Their web site identifies them as "the first and largest PR firm exclusively representing faith-based leaders, organizations, and causes." The DeMoss Group promotes itself on www.ManhattanDeclaration.org web site almost as much as its client.

Don't they have anything better to do?

Around the Web

NJ Bishops Rally Flocks to Promote, Support Marriage

Rev. Warren: 'I'm staying out of gay marriage fight'

Gay marriage 'likely' in Portugal

Some gays seek renewed focus on civil unions