With the fight over gay marriage moving east, activists in favor of legalization are aiming to discredit a primary opponent: the Mormon Church. Stunned by the effect of Mormon fundraising and canvassing in the passage of California's Proposition 8, two groups are running ads attacking Mormon involvement in the issue, the Washington Post reports. One ad run on newspaper web sites in three states reads: “The Mormons are coming! The Mormons are Coming!”
Gay activists are betting that Americans are leery of Mormons, especially on the issue of marriage. While eight in 10 Americans know a gay person, only 48% know a Mormon, they note. Says the head of Californians Against Hate, “I'm not intending it to harm the religion. I think they do wonderful things. Nicest people. My single goal is to get them out of the same-sex marriage business and back to helping hurricane victims.” In addition to their California initiative, the Mormon church poured $400,000 into a same-sex marriage ban in Hawaii in the late '90s, but let the more popular Catholic Church take the lead.