Lakers-Jazz: The Prop 8 Series

This weekend, a series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz will kick off. Not too long ago, it was Utah matched up against Los Angeles in another battle — California Proposition 8. Prop 8, passed in last year’s general election, restricted marriage to heterosexual couples and eliminated homosexual couples’ right to marry.

What the hell does this have to do with the Lakers-Jazz opening round NBA Playoffs series? Everything. In my opinion, the state of Utah was responsible for the passing of Prop 8. Don’t agree with me? Then check out this excerpt from Wikipedia:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are commonly known as Mormons, also publicly supported the proposition. The First Presidency of the church announced its support for Proposition 8 in a letter intended to be read in every congregation in California. In this letter, church members were encouraged to “do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time.” Local LDS leaders set organizational and monetary goals for their membership — sometimes quite specific — in order to fulfill this call. The response of the LDS membership to their leadership’s appeals to donate money and volunteer time was very supportive, such that Latter-day Saints provided a significant source for financial donations in support of the proposition, both inside and outside the State of California. About 45% of out-of-state contributions to came from Utah, over three times more than any other state. ProtectMarriage, the official proponents of Proposition 8, estimate that about half the donations they received came from LDS sources, and that “eighty to ninety percent” of the early volunteers going door-to-door were LDS.

Those of us who have lived in and loved Los Angeles, celebrate the diversity and open-mindedness of the city. L.A., along with San Francisco, is arguably the most progressive city in the country. The City of Angels has always been ahead of its time, and that’s one of the reasons I love the city so much.

Salt Lake City, on the other hand, is more close-minded than just about any other major city in the U.S. Jazz? Yeah, right. There is nothing jazzy about Utah. Jazz is a beautiful art form all about experimentation, fusion and improvisation. Those things don’t exactly describe Salt Lake City, now do they? When I think of Utah, I think of the Mormon community (58% of the state, a majority) — a community as unwilling to accept and adapt to the changing world around them as any I’ve ever seen.

Since Jazz obviously doesn’t work, here are my top ten suggestions for a new team name:

  • Utah Polygamists
  • Utah Smiths
  • Utah Stockton Shorts
  • Utah Salty Lakers
  • Utah Uncle Karls
  • Utah Decaf
  • Utah Romneys
  • Utah Delusionals
  • Utah  Mountain Mormons
  • SLC Punks

Now, this post is bound to piss a whole lot of people off, because anything that challenges religion in this country always does. You know what? Religion pisses me off, too.

It pisses me off that along with color and creed, we use religion to discriminate against and ostracize each other. I’ve always believed that all of humankind is more alike than it is different. Religions like the Church of LDS challenge that belief. Believe what you will, it’s totally your right; but if everyone accepted that we are more alike than we are different we wouldn’t have many wars, now would we?

Additionally, I love gay people. Some of the nicest, most-outstanding human beings I have met during my lifetime have been homosexual. What gives the people of Utah the right to get all up in their business, especially in a state they don’t even live in? Not to mention that some of these folks have polygamous marriages. So, let me get this straight, a man can marry three women, but another man cannot marry another man? That’s the most hypocritical thing I’ve ever heard in my 30 years on this planet. Besides, you don’t see gay Californians spending money to prove that LDS claims are erroneous (like Native Americans being the lost tribe of Israel, which DNA testing has debunked).

My apologies to Andrei Kirilenko (who apparently was a real friend to John Amaechi, the first gay NBA player to come out), Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams and the rest of the organization. I apologize to all the non-Mormons and open-minded Mormons, if they exist. I know you guys had nothing to do with Prop 8 passing. But I also know that about 60% of the fans sitting it EnergySolutions Arena were some of Prop 8′s biggest backers. People directly responsible for setting the work of equal rights pioneers like Harvey Milk and Martin Luther King Jr. back years and years.

It’s not just the fans either — its the organization and state. Ex-Jazz owner Larry Miller once banned Brokeback Mountain from his theaters. Coach Jerry Sloan has used anti-gay innuendos. Worst of all, Utah employers can actually discriminate against employers on the basis of sexual orientation. Amaechi must have felt like a crippled wolf under Sarah Palin’s helicopter during his stay in Salt Lake City.

I am already a Lakers fan, but because of the bigotry of a lot of Utah I will be rooting twice as hard for my Lake Show to sweep, humiliate and obliterate the unjazzy Jazz. The Lakers represent L.A. as much as any team represents any city anywhere. It’s the only way to exact revenge for now. That is, until Prop 8 is inevitably overtuned. As San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said about gay marriage, “it’s going to happen, whether you like it or not.”

  • California Voters

    Let’s see… a majority of Californians voted for Prop 8… so that makes Utah a bigoted state???? As William Shakespeare wrote, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…”

  • D – Train

    haha, yeah this post is hilarious… let’s see… The people of California voted for prop 8 so let’s attack Utah for what other people did. haha this post is insane. It adds to my hope that LA doesn’t get the championship this year again. you peeps are messed up bro.

  • Wow I actually read this

    Response 1&2 bravo, All I can say is that for some one that wants the whole world to get along you sure used the word hate alot. It sounds as though peace, and love work for you as long as you set the terms. I quote,

    “but if everyone accepted that we are more alike than we are different we wouldn’t have many wars, now would we?”

    How are you being accepting of Utah? All I see is one angry person trying to insult others under the gise of tolerance. Good luck with that.

  • DavidC

    Hey guys and greetings from Australia! Yes, you have readers Down Under and love the site. I also loved this read. From an international perspective looking in at America, it does seem a bit odd that California keeps changing the laws against gay people. We see bits of it on the news. One day they can marry, the next day they can’t and they may be able to again soon. Here is Australia gay couples having the same rights as straight couples and the world has not fallen apart. Is just not a big deal in Australia like it seems to be in the US. People just kind of accept each other. We have gay sports stars and straight sports stars and we love them all. We only really care about the sport they play. Is it really anybody’s business what they do in their bedroom?? All the discrimination in the US against gay people, races etc seems strange as the US is meant to be the most developed nation in the world. I hear in America you are not even allowed to say you are gay in the army?? Now that is strange. Does it really matter if you’re gay or not when you are being shot at in a war?? Where did this rule come from?? Anyway, great article and I wish you are and your readers all the very best from Down Under

  • lfarknagel

    Wiki is such an authoritative source (sarcasm intended). Besides, even supposing the information to be even marginally correct, are you saying that there is something wrong with exercising one’s franchise? The gays can promote and pay for the Iowa debacle even though Iowans don’t approve? Is that what you are saying? Money talks and it always will. Get over it and let basketball be basketball. See, that’s the beauty of it. It’s all about defense and making the ball go through the hoop on the other end. It isn’t republican, democrat, gay, straight, liberal or conservative in nature. Play ball and cease finding excuses to whine about an election that you, or those whom you support, lost.

  • lfarknagel

    God bless Larry Miller – a man who had a spine and some concrete beliefs that he stuck to for the most part. God bless all the Mormons in Utah. God bless all the non and anti-Mormons in Utah and in California and in the world. Yes, may God even bless the gay folks out there. But don’t tell me how to believe and that I am a bigot and evil because I find the gay agenda to be horribly damaging and evil. I do. God bless me too. May we treat each other kindly even though we may disagree.

  • fern

    I don’t like like basket ball and I don’t see what it has to do with SSM. Gay people should be thankful to the Mormon church and their support of prop8, they should be thankful to all churches and their supporters for the success of prop8.
    When the S.C. overturned the 2000 law what happened?
    1° CT seeing all that good money flowing to Cal,
    they wanted some of that money too and in the
    blink of an eye CT was the second state with SSM.
    2° Mass changed its residency law for the same
    3° Iowa adopted SSM based on the California S.C.’s
    4° Vermont moved in and showed the right direction
    to N.Y. and other states on the east coast.

    Yes you should be thankful for Prop8. Just look at the feminist movement, as it became a haven for lesbians bent on emasculating men, they simply forgot that most women in America still don’t get equal pay, they were busy preaching to the choir and recruiting new girlfriends, the same was happening to the LGBT movement, when the campaign for prop8 started, they said, “don’t interfere we are the leaders and we know what to do” and they sure did with the results we know. I hope this prop8 debacle will be a good lesson to the LGBT “leaders” that they will realize that SSM is not the ultimate issue per se and that there are many more fights to come in which the gay people will have to participate.

  • MeanGirl

    I am thrilled with the responses here. I couldn’t believe how childish the author was being. You could cut the bigotry and rhetoric with a knife.

  • jazz v lakers

    Truly the worst written article and lamest argument I have ever read!

    The only hate I see outlined is from the Author!

  • flattopSF

    Great essay, kareemabduladam!

    The Mor[m]ons preach that they’re better than everyone else, that everyone else’s perfectly rational states of humanity are stupid and wrong, that everyone else should live according to their dictates and like it, they shove their whack cult dogma down everyone’s throats, and they even go so far as to spend their kiddies’ college funds making sure the people they hate never get civil rights.

    And then they pretend that they DON’T do all that…and more. How disingenuous of them.

    And then they whine that nobody loves and respects ‘em. As if anyone would, or should, after that kind of behavior.

    Pick up the clue phone, Mor[m]ons: stop being total @$$-Holy-Os to everyone around you and we normal people of the world might perceive (and treat) you differently.

  • jjayzzone

    California voted to ban gay marriage, not the LDS church. Although I live in Utah and grew up Mormon, I am now inactive and have been for a long time, and I disagree with many principals of the religion….but I still respect a person’s first amendment right.

    The writer of this article really has a problem with people expressing their opinions, but he just bashed an entire religeon in return for bashing a sexual preference. I don’t know about you guys, but i’d rather have my First Amendment rights. I don’t think homeboy likes the First Amendment, even though it is what is protecting his job in writing this useless blog.

    Wikipedia as your source? LOLOLOLOL

    The church came up with a dollar amount that they actually contributed to the Prop 8 campaign. $190k. Wow. Your boys in Cali couldn’t front $190k to fight the LDS church’s whopping contribution? The mormons are just someone to easily pick on (and rightfully so sometimes), but every other Christian religion apposes Prop 8 as well.

    Grow up, shut up, you **** up.

  • jjayzzone

    I forgot to mention the idiocy of this guy actually thinking that polygamy is legal and that Mormons practice it! Wow. You are stupid. Very, very ignorant and stupid. You need to do some research before going on rants.

  • JazzPunk

    Do a little research and you’ll also notice that Salt Lake City is the LEAST mormon part of the state of Utah! It’s less than 20% LDS, and the state is down to 62% in the last census. That’s just those who are on the books – a full TWO THIRDS of those are inactive!

    There are actually more active mormons in Nevada than there are in Utah. Do your homework next time.

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  • Peter Smith

    Of course everyone knows that wikipedia is recognized as a definitive source of fact. NOT.

  • Michael

    Truly the worst article I have ever read. I fail to see the logical connection between sports and the political leanings of a state.

    This writer victimizes Mormons in a most ironic fashion.

    The people of California voted to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The Mormon Church did not take away anybodies’ ability to exercise their freedom. They did not take away homosexuals’ ability to vote. They did not take away homosexuals’ right to live with each other and have sex with each other. They did not force their members to vote yes. They did not force record turnout of non-Mormon voters to show up at the polls. They did not force California, which is overwhelmingly liberal to begin with, to enforce a definition of marriage that is logical and is largely a religious ceremony anyway.

  • kareemabduladam

    All I have to say to the people bashing this article, is half or your IPs were in Utah, and then pretty much the rest of you were directed from sites like Not exactly the most unbiased lot :)

    Oh, and last time I checked that “overwhelmingly liberal” state of California had a Republican Governor.

  • Travis

    Summed up: ignorant and without a clue. But that’s probably the point right so that you can rile people up? All I’ll say is that responding to what you see as hate, with hate of your own is “the most hypocritical thing i’ve ever seen in my 30 years on this Earth” (again an overstatement). Chill out and realize that the right stand on this is found on a compromise that can please both sides, which I think we’ll see when the court’s ruling on Prop 8 comes out. Prediction- keep the word marriage out of gov’t and in the religious sphere, and qualify all as “civil unions”. This is over one word in the end. But to bring this whole debate to a playoff game where the Lakers are going to bring the broom out is uncalled for.
    (Not an IPS from Utah, from California actually)

  • Michael

    Actually, I attend the University of California, Los Angeles. It is perhaps the most liberal place in California other than San Francisco.

    And it seems to be a tautology to state that people are biased. Anyone who has an position on this issue is by definition biased to their position. You, for example, are biased towards supporting gay marriage. I, on the other hand, believe that regardless of whether or not gay marriage is legalized, we need to respect the vote and not victimize people for voting their conscience.

    Explain how this “Republican” Governor acts in any way like a fiscal or social conservative.

    I agree, that would end this controversy altogether. Nobody would feel their values are being encroached upon. Like I said, marriage itself holds its place largely as a religious ceremony rather than a government sanction.

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  • California Cast Off

    Fighting bigotry with bigotry isn’t exactly the smartest ploy. Then again, a rant like this on a sport site isn’t exactly a sign of genius either.

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