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Sundance audience applauds film critical of Mormon role in Prop 8

Monday, January 25, 2010
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Gay rights supporters rally at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday.

Filmmaker Reed Cowan received two sustained standing ovations Sunday for his documentary “8: The Mormon Proposition,” a film which harshly criticizes the Mormon Church for campaigning in favor or California’s ban on same-sex marriage, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.

Many in the 600-strong audience attending the film’s world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival cried when hearing stories of gay men and lesbians recounting discrimination they have suffered.

Others hissed when Utah Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka appeared on-screen, or when State Sen. Chris Buttars appeared to declare homosexuality “the greatest threat to America going down.”

Mostly, though, they applauded and cheered Cowan’s film for presenting evidence of the LDS Church’s work to persuade its members to donate money to the campaign for California’s anti-gay Proposition 8 — and to hide the church’s involvement, knowledge of which would have dissuaded voters, through front organizations.

Outside the Racquet Club Theatre, about two dozen gay-rights supporters staged a mini-rally. A rumored protest against the film never materialized.

Following is the film’s trailer:

Focused on the 2008 passage of California’s Proposition 8, the documentary has struck a nerve with accusations that a “Mormon front group purchased passage” of the constitutional amendment, which narrowly overturned the state Supreme Court ruling that allowed gay couples to marry.

The film follows the stories of many LGBT citizens seeking marriage equality and never-before revealed Mormon efforts to stop them.

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