LAT's Rutten: 'Both Sides' in Calif. Marriage Debate 'Need to Cool Down'

Let's see if I got this straight: Hundreds of supporters of gay marriage, opponents of California Proposition 8, have picketed a Mexican restaurant in L.A. and shouted vulgarities at innocent customers just because one employee - a daughter of the owner - gave a modest $100 donation in support of the measure protecting traditional marriage. Opponents of Proposition 8 have threatened and harassed several other businesses - including a radio station, a theatre, and a chain of health food stores - because employees gave money in support of Prop 8. Opponents of Prop 8 have knocked a cross from the hands of an elderly woman and stomped on it during a demonstration in Palm Springs. Suspicious white powder has been sent in an envelope to a Mormon temple in Westwood. (Mormons were big supporters of Prop 8.)

And the supporters of Proposition 8? Well, their measure - which sought to restore the definition of marriage between only a man and a woman - won in a statewide referendum by a 52 to 48 margin. They simply want judges to respect the vote and uphold its result.

So what does the Los Angeles Times' Tim Rutten have to say about all of this? He says in his November 15 column that "both sides" "are going too far" and "need to cool down."

"Both sides" "need to cool down"? "Both sides"? Wait a minute. It seems one side is a tad bit hotter than the other! A number of the episodes I've cited above are from Rutten's own paper. Has he checked it out lately?


Rutten's column also bemoans the "unprecedented intervention" and "distasteful business" of the Catholic and Mormon churches voicing their support of traditional marriage and Proposition 8. He's upset that they have "leap[t] into the political process" as religious organizations. "[I]t raises hackles, and rightly so," Rutten asserts.

Gee, Tim. Your paper didn't seem too upset about any "distasteful business" or "unprecedented intervention" a few years back when your paper published a favorable editorial about Cardinal Mahony "saying the right things about illegal immigrants" and "reinforcing the right of religious leaders to speak out on the moral ramifications of political issues."

Hey, Tim. What about that same right now? Ohhh, wait. This time the Church has the opposite view of your own, and that is "raising your cackles."

All together now: "Double ... standard."


*** UPDATE: Mon. 11/17/08 AM:

Check out this letter to the editor in today's (Mon. 11/17/08) paper:

I have read the articles about how gay couples are distraught at the passage of Proposition 8.

How about an article about how devastating it is for faithful Mormons to see their temple property trampled? Why not publish pictures showing signs reportedly held by demonstrators that read "Mormon scum"?

It has been reported that donors to Proposition 8 are being blacklisted, rocks have been thrown through church windows, businesses are being boycotted and a book sacred to Mormons was found ablaze on a front porch. Hmmm ... scapegoats, temples attacked, books burning. Does this sound vaguely familiar?

Many who share my views -- the majority of Nov. 4's electorate -- are hiding their yellow signs and bumper stickers for fear of being "outed" and attacked, verbally and physically. The vocal minority is on the rampage.

Janet Gutierrez
Rancho Cucamonga

So, Tim. "Both sides" need to cool down, eh? Get a clue, bro'.

Dave Pierre
Dave Pierre is a contributing writer to NewsBusters and the creator of