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November 12th, 2008

Reaping What You Have Sown…(continued)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints didn’t just rend the marriages of thousands of devoted, loving same sex couples.  They have ground under foot a good many longstanding community ties to local businesses too…

El Coyote: An Uncompromising Faith

About 75 people showed up for the early lunch at El Coyote Cafe to listen to Marjorie Christoffersen explain her decision to contribute to the Yes on 8 Campaign. Most of those attending were men who had been customers of Margie’s restaurant for many years. Some were children of Mormons or had been raised in the faith. And while there was at least one who just wanted to vent his anger, most truly wanted to hear Margie out and, if possible, find a solution.

El Coyote Cafe has been a little neighborhood landmark for generations.  Timothy Kincaid over at Box Turtle Bulletin, when news of Christoffersen’s donation first became public, said of it…

El Coyote Café is a Los Angeles landmark. Over 75 years old, and still family owned, it is perhaps best known as the site of Sharon Tate’s last meal.

Locals know it as a favorite of many of who just want a meal and a drink, and don’t want to pay much to get it. A taco and enchilada with rice and beans is $9.50; pair that up with a margarita and you’re out the door for less than twenty bucks.

El Coyote is also delightfully tacky with a vast collection of “art”, the kind that includes paintings with windows that light up and frames made of shells. The waitresses wear huge Spanish dresses with lots of frills and most have been there for decades. It’s loud, it’s high in fat content and calories, it’s unsophisticated, and it’s always always busy.

But what makes El Coyote a delight is that its one of those places that are loved by straights and gays alike…

No more.  Marjorie’s is another of those thousand dollar donations that you just can’t ignore or write off as a simple response to the Mormon church’s call to support 8.  A thousand dollars isn’t pocket change.  You throw that kind of money at it, because you really want to see it pass.

And you certainly don’t want to see it undone afterward…

The first question to Margie was if she would be willing to make a personal contribution to the efforts to reverse the proposition. She responded, “I have to be faithful to my views and my church”, and quickly left the room. Her daughters remained behind, looking angry, dismissive, and indignant that those there would question their mother or them. They answered no questions nor made any statements.

And so it goes…

It was a very sad room that left today. I did not speak to anyone who said that they would continue to patronize the restaurant. They felt that they could no longer profit a woman who used their support to take away their rights. Many felt betrayed, some had lost a home.

No one stayed for lunch.

This is the sort of thing that leaves permanent wounds in a community.  The Mormon church charged like a bull in a china shop through one state after another, one community after another, one family after another, with no regard or compunction for the damage it was inflicting. All the broken hearts left in the wake of Proposition 8, the wounds of the children, the wounds of the parents, the wounds of brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, are so much worthless rubbish…the rubble righteous men are regrettably compelled to step over on their way to attaining godhood.  Same sex couples had to be shut out of the marriage chapel.  Same sex love had to be denied a place in the heart of every neighborhood, every home.  If we don’t bleed, they aren’t righteous.  If the Mormon leadership cannot rip to shreds our hopes and dreams of love, then how on earth will their god ever know how devoted they are to him?  Our ring fingers had to be cut off, so they could become gods of their own private universes.  What matters the wreckage a single community, or of thousands of communities, when your own godhood is at stake?

Word of the boycott has spread around websites and Facebook. "We should put our money where our mouth AND support is AND NOT AT EL COYOTE," says a posting on one activist’s website.

The Times also received a letter threatening a boycott of an El Pollo Loco whose owner apparently contributed to the Prop. 8 campaign.

Sonja Eddings Brown of ProtectMarriage.com said the boycott threats have extended beyond eateries.

“We have received calls today from our members in Greater Los Angeles and other parts of the state indicating that today their businesses are being hurt because they contributed money,” she said. “People who contributed have been receiving calls from people dropping their business with them.”

It matters not.  Someday, they will be made gods for doing this.

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