8: The Mormon Proposition
Reed Cowan / USA / 2010 / 81 min.
The biggest threat to the United States of America is not nuclear arms, global climate change or even the economic crisis, but gays. At least that's what Utah Senator and Mormon Bishop Chris Buttars thinks. He is well known for his homophobic statements, in which he confidently compares homosexuality with sexual perversity. This shocking film by Reed Cowan begins on 15 June 2008, a breakthrough date for all gays and lesbians in California because it was the day on which the local Supreme Court permitted same-sex marriages. Their euphoria did not last long, however. Several months later, the campaign behind so-called "Proposition 8" celebrated victory in a referendum on this amendment to the Californian Constitution which ensured that only heterosexual marriages would be legally recognised. The campaign had been organised and financed by the conservative Mormon Church. With investigative precision, the film traces Mormon tactics in secret documents that bear witness to an elaborate strategy attempting to influence public opinion. This strategy was disguised as an endeavour to protect the interests of society as a whole, and also made use of false information. The documentary also takes a look at the history of the Mormon fight against homosexuality in its own ranks, with "treatments" that include electro-shock therapy and lobotomies.