Gay activists direct ire over marriage ban at Mormons

November 07, 2008|By Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES - Protesters gathered yesterday outside the Mormon temple in Westwood to protest Tuesday's passage of Proposition 8, the California initiative that bans same-sex marriage.

Soon after the rally got under way at 2 p.m., men and women hoisting signs shouted down men in suits from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, yelling "Shame on you!" and pointing at them. The men and a groundskeeper stood looking at them impassively.

Mormon leadership in Salt Lake City had strongly encouraged Mormons in California to help pass Proposition 8 with donations of time and money.

Police closed portions of some streets around the temple, and traffic quickly became clogged.

The number of demonstrators is disputed. A Los Angeles Police Department official estimated the crowd to be about 3,000. But another police spokesman later placed the estimate at 500 to 1,000.

Some protesters described Proposition 8 as a civil rights issue.

Mark Pelekakis, 49, called Tuesday's election "a punch in the gut."

"Our rights are so fragile," Pelekakis said. "It's a slippery slope. What minority group will go next?"

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