Prop Family: Behind the Massachusetts Claims

Posted on 27 November 2008 by admin

It turns out that the Massachusetts family at the center of the Prop 8 campaign isn’t just a random couple who feel that their parental rights were infringed upon. The Bay Area Reporter (B.A.R.) reports that Robb and Robin Wirthlin, who introduced themselves to California voters in a Yes on 8 ad as the unwitting parents of a boy who was read the gay-friendly book King and King in his Massachusetts classroom, are not only Mormon, and possibly sought out this controversy, but they are related to one of the Mormon’s key strategists: Richard “Dick” Wirthlin.

“If it was just by chance, if it was just out of the blue, it’s a pretty amazing coincidence,” said a No on Prop 8 campaign official.

Dick Wirthlin was named as a key strategist in a recently leaked 11 year old Mormon memo on church “LHM” (legalized homosexual marriage) opposition strategy. He was also a close advisor to President Ronald Reagan, and held a full-time ecclesiastical position with the LDS Church. In 1996, Wirthlin was asked by Church President Gordon B. Hinckley to serve as a general authority of the church, one of the highest rankings for a church official. Wirthlin accepted and served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy until October 2001. He worked with the Yes on Prop 22 campaign, also known as the Knight initiative, as both the Mormon representative on the campaign’s committee and as its internal pollster.

UPDATE: Dick Wirthlin has several relatives that have been in prominent leadership positions of the LDS Church. His father was the Presiding Bishop of the Church from 1952 to 1961. His older brother, Joseph B. Wirthlin, has been an Apostle and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the church since 1986. He is a first-cousin on his mother’s side to Gordon B. Hinckley, the President of the Church from 1995 to 2008.

Robb Wirthlin, Dick Wirthlin’s nephew, along with his wife Robin, claimed in several interviews to be unintentional players in the debate. They became the embodiment of the traditional family for Yes on 8 and appeared in a $2 million ad campaign central to the proponent’s argument that Prop 8 was needed to protect California schoolchildren from being taught about same-sex marriage, which the Wirthlins implied meant gay sex, in second grade.

Holes began to emerge in the Wirthlins story almost immediately after they were first introduced by the Yes on 8 campaign. Parents in the Lexington School District in Massachusetts disputed many of the Wirthlins claims to the B.A.R., pointing out that when the Wirthlins moved into the district they were already involved with two groups seeking to ban same-sex marriage. One of those groups, MassResistance, run by Brian Camenker, has been called an “anti-gay hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Lexington parents told the B.A.R. that they suspected the Wirthlins moved into the community following parent David Parker’s very public fight with the district the year before, in order to become actively involved in the issue and to join Parker in filing a lawsuit to enforce parental rights to approve all materials used in the education of their son. In fact, the Wirthlins moved into the district just weeks before filing suit with Parker.

Paul Ash, Lexington School District superintendent, told the B.A.R. that the district had made several attempts to appease the Wirthlins and accommodate their religious convictions, but that he “came to the conclusion that they had no intent on settling. At the attempt to mediate prior to the case it was abundantly clear that the Wirthlins and Parkers had no intention of coming to a compromise, that they wanted a public fight. I only saw political campaigns and religious vigils. I never saw any evidence, not even a hint, that there was any intention on the part of these families to work out an agreement.

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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Sam Says:

    People have no idea how insidious and powerful this “religion” is. It has almost 100% control over their members, who will denigrate their own family members if asked by their “prophet.” They make Scientology look like good clean fun.

  2. Chino Blanco Says:

    Next time around, I hope we respond to families like the Wirthlins with messages from our own families.

    And before the next round begins, I hope we might implement ideas like this:

    Meet our Families Day

    Best idea I’ve heard in a while, imho.

  3. admin Says:

    I’ve just found another Wirthlin in a VERY high ranking position in the church. Interesting. I need to do more research as to the connection, if any. This seems like a very strong possible connection.

    OOPS: Looks like this has already been covered on Chino Blanco’s blog, among other places. My head is going to explode trying to keep all these crazy stories. I’m SHOCKED at how high profile the Wirthlin name is in the mormon church.

  4. mormonPOLYGAMISTlover Says:

    Amazing to learn how long and how intently the Mormons have been involved in fighting the same-sex marriage equality issue. If the LDS church has gone from being known as the practicers of polygamist marriage to the protectors of traditional marriage, wiping away 150 years of a polygamist cult stigma for only $40 million dollars, then I say it was money well-spent. The strategy may be insidious, but you have to give them credit. No one’s talking about how half the girls at the LDS polygamist texas ranch were impregnated by church elders or Warren Jeff’s pedophilic acts. They’re talking same-sex marriage. The Catholics would do well to copy the Mormon insidious playbook.

  5. mormonPOLYGAMISTlover Says:

    On May 3, 1993, the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state had no compelling reason to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, Mormon Elder Packer gave a speech in which he said there were three major social issues that presented “the greatest danger to Mormons.” Homosexuality was the first. But the other two were “feminism and intellectuals.” Doesn’t that tell you everything you need to know, not about Mormons necessarily, but about the leadership of the Mormon Church. Equality for women and intelligent people are the “greatest dangers” to them. That says cult to me. I can’t believe how close they got to getting a Mormon into the White House! Beware Romney! His internal pollster was Dick Wirthlin (mentioned in this very story!)

  6. mormonPOLYGAMISTlover Says:

    Sorry — I meant the Hawaii Supreme Court! lol.

  7. mormonWHY Says:

    Former marriage opponent regrets past, now supports equality -

    Debi Hartmann’s fascinating interview this week -

    “Asked if she believes any single religion has the right to impose its
    beliefs unto the constitution of a secular government, Hartmann said,
    “I thought that having civil unions and having marriage was the
    perfect answer to that question, as long as all rights are provided. I
    absolutely believed that up until last year when I read the California
    Supreme Court’s ruling.”

    The court ruling was the turning point for Hartmann on marriage equality.

    “It crushed my beliefs,” explained Hartmann. “It taught me that words
    can be invidious. For example, if you and I had to walk into a
    doctor’s office and they ask us to fill out a form and you have to
    check ‘civil union’ and I check ‘marriage,’ that’s the invidious
    discrimination. The same rights have to be called by the same name.
    That’s the answer to removing the religion from our laws.”"

    The infamous 1997 internal LDS “Ballard” memo mentioned in article -
    in this memo, Mormon elders outline an insidious strategy to deceive
    Hawaiian voters, media
    and legislators – authenticated by Kim Farah, LDS spokeswoman.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Mormon Involvement Was Early and Deep | Stop The Mormons Says:

    [...] October 20: ProtectMarriage is running new ads starring a Mormon power couple, the Wirthlins, with a famous name and high ranking relatives in the Mormon church (which is not discovered by the public until later). Their story, one of the most powerful scare tactics used in the Prop 8 campaign, is later reported on with their credibility called into question by some neighbors who suspect they went looking for this battle. [...]

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