A reader writes:
I believe you and the reader you quote are missing what is fundamentally different about the Mormon attacks. This was not typical church activism. The Mormon Prophet commanded that every California member give time and money to pass Prop 8. Each member was then contacted by a church authority to make sure the orders from Salt Lake City were obeyed. Mormons were organized into groups to canvas neighborhoods, knock on doors, distribute yards signs, and otherwise organize against gay marriage rights.
Sounds like standard civic participation, right? But remember, Mormons are not allowed to dissent.
Those who openly speak disagreement with the church's orthodoxy are routinely excommunicated (you can easily Google public examples, most are secret). There are reports on public websites that Mormon Bishops even questioned individual’s actions supporting Prop 8 in “Temple Interviews,” a form of confessional where members validate that they are living up to the highest church standards.
Questioning support for Prop 8 in such a setting is an implicit threat to the individual’s church membership and continuation as a member of Mormon society. Deliberately complicating matters for outside observers, church members were ordered to disguise their actions. Official church orders told them to disguise their Mormon identity, not go in pairs, and not to wear white shirts and ties.
As the campaign escalated, the church broadened its call to members, drawing in activists and money from around the country. So although Mormons are less than 2% of the California population's, several gay websites claim that over 70% of the private money donated in support of Prop 8 was Mormon. Yes, some Mormon individuals stood up against their church. Of the 13+ million Mormons, about 300 signed an online petition. A Mormon ex-football player’s wife put out a supportive statement. He didn’t join it.