What's Wrong About '8: The Mormon Proposition'

In 1857, explaining his decision to send the army to put down a "rebellion" in Utah, President James Buchanan complained that Brigham Young's fanatical followers "obey his commands as if these were direct revelations from heaven." One hundred and fifty years later, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints again stands accused of fanaticism, in this instance by a documentary that seeks to indict the church for its recent foray into the politics of marriage.

"8: The Mormon Proposition" chronicles the role the church played in enshrining a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in California by supporting the 2008 passage of Proposition 8. As a spotlight on the suffering of same-sex couples and individuals who are rejected by family and church leaders, the film succeeds. Its critique of the church's recent political activism, however, is as ham-fisted as many of the mid-19th century allegations against the church.

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