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Specifically I am asking whether California's Proposition 8 has resulted in causing your marriage significant harm, as in my case I am proposing that it has been the primary cause resulting in my pending divorce.  Yesterday, January 5, 2010, I was served divorce papers.

Those papers, filed by my wife, cite "irreconcilable differences" as the justification for our dissolution of marriage, but what, specifically, are those differences?

In my case those differences stem primarily from the Mormon church's (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) uncontestable role in aiding the passage of Proposition 8, and the fact that my wife, a Mormon who voted against Proposition 8, nevertheless refuses to abjure, condemn, and withdraw support to the Mormon church ex post facto.  In plainer language, I hold that the Mormon church is primarily and demonstrably the principle fomenter of the resultant antagonism between my wife and me that has led to our divorce.

What I need to know is:  am I alone the only person who believes him(her)self harmed in terms of damage to my marriage as caused by the Mormon church's support of Proposition 8, or are there others out there who can reasonably claim likewise?

I ask because I am contemplating suing the Mormon church for not only real and tangible damages, but also for pain and suffering in the form of mental anguish.  It has been brought to my attention, however, that my better chance of success would more likely be through a class-action suit.

(Naturally I would also be seeking pro-bono legal counsel, as I have little to no financial resources available to pay for an attorney (or more probably several attorneys), but that is a bridge yet to cross.)

So as a first step to pursuing this idea, are there any of you out there who would be willing to sign on as co-plaintiffs in such a class-action lawsuit against the LDS church?  Needless to say you would necessarily have to be able to demonstrate personal harm, i.e. defensible grounds for standing, in order to proceed.

I am no lawyer, nor even a legal scholar, but I do have some rudimentary understanding of tort law, and I think I have a case as this divorce is costing me several thousands of dollars, on the order of tens of thousands of dollars in direct loss, to reconcile, and the mental anguish it is causing me could perhaps go into the millions.

Should this case proceed and should I prevail, one stipulation I am willing at the outset to concede is that I will accept no personal profit from any judgement, only that remuneration of costs and expenses would be granted.  Any and all other awarded damages would be pledged to furtherance of GLBT rights and related advocacy groups and organizations.

I realize I may be attempting to smite a Goliath and that my slingshot may be insufficient.  That's why I'm asking if there are any others out there who may, alongside me, also have hard rocks and the courage to confront and fight an overwhelming opponent.

Or am I merely deluding myself that there is any chance of success in this vein?

Originally posted to cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:07 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sberel, CherryTheTart

    The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

    by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:07:19 PM PST

    •  One of these days I'm going to learn (0+ / 0-)

      how to make the "automatic tip jar" work the way I want it to.  Today was not that day.

      So I ended up with two tip jars.  Please use the second one.

      Thanks.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:12:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tips accepted, but my primary solicitation (0+ / 0-)

    is for thoughtful responses.

    The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

    by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:10:06 PM PST

  •  Better to try and recover Your Tithes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, cn4st4datrees

    the battle You would face on the terms laid out and suing for damages seems like at the very best -- a long and ultimately unfavorable battle

    However -- rationalizing the irresponsible use by the Church of YOUR tithing -- and the resultant of that ... is, imo a stronger note for settlement?

    "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

    by josephk on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:13:37 PM PST

    •  I should have made it clear: (0+ / 0-)

      I am not Mormon, never have been, and never would be.

      Therefore I have never tithed, although of course my wife has, but during our five years of marriage this amounts to very little.

      Rather my case would be that the proactive role of the LDS in getting Prop 8 passed, through demanding of its members their time and money in helping to get Prop 8 passed makes the church culpable.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:23:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You should ask your wife why she is so (4+ / 0-)
        adamantly "protecting marriage" when she is throwing hers away?

        "Don't knock football...it's just like chess but without the dice" - john07801

        by voracious on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:37:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Twenty-plus years of unquestioning devotion (0+ / 0-)

          to a church/religion has clouded her ability to think rationally.  She refuses to see that her unwillingness to renounce support of an institution that goes against her personal morals and ethics is analagous to a drug addiction.

          I happen to be a drug addict:  I am an alcoholic, and I willingly concede that my bouts of intoxication have exacerbated our differences, but at the same time she cannot accept that sobriety on my part would make little difference.  After all, my first marriage ended in divorce, and I was stone-cold sober thoughout nearly all twelve years of it.

          However, I am seeking treatment for my condition.  I even proposed in all seriousness that I would give up drinking in return for her giving up the church.

          The thought of giving up her church was absolutely a non-starter for her.  I was not asking her to give up her religious faith in general, only that she give up support of a hateful group.  She refused to even concede that the Mormon church preaches and practices a form of hatred.  They are only all-good and blameless in her eyes.

          Does this help to explain things a little more?

          The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

          by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 02:05:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  it does help explain things (0+ / 0-)

            ok -- as an atheist myself -- i have no use at all for religion

            and while You see an 'inconsistency' or even 'irrationality' between Your wife's actions (her voting) and her feelings (as expressed through her church attendance) -- all i can say is that IF You are seeking for ANY religious person to reconcile their irrational religious beliefs so that they are in line with the rest of their life through witch they seemingly express a more rational and reasoned approach to life -- You are going to be waiting a very very long time -- along with the rest of us atheists (i have no idea what Your personal religious affiliation is -- but i trust that if You are religious in ANY sense -- then it is as equally irrational as that which You accuse Your wife of)

            i can't say that i could reconcile my own feeling if my wife weren't an atheist as well -- but since You have, up until 1 year ago ... i say, either You should get over it and reconcile with Your wife or reconcile it with Yourself and accept that this was something that goes far beyond anything that Prop 8 as a singular event represents ...

            simply -- as has been pointed out -- You have no case as far as i can see or even imagine

            and -- again, i don't know what Your situation is with Your wife -- but, nothing changed with regard to her as a result of Prop 8, but rather it seems that the change is with You -- and, like i said, as an atheist myself -- it seems that You have recognized an irreconcilable rift between rational behavior and irrational belief ...

            anyway -- good luck with the rest of Your life -- 'itsallgood'!

            "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

            by josephk on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 07:13:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I am harmed by all civil rights injustices... (4+ / 0-)

    in at least 2 ways:

    1. Enlightened self-interest (look it up).
    1. Simple human empathy.

    If that's not enough for someone, fuck them.

    •  My primary question remains: (0+ / 0-)

      Is there anyone out there who feels the same way I do:  were it not for the money, along the tune of some twenty-five million dollars in documented donations by members of the Mormon church, Prop 8 would likely have not passed?

      But since it did pass, thanks in majority effect to those donations (without which at the urging of the LDS topmost leadership, i.e. the church itself, would not have otherwise been forthcoming), my marriage has been brought to an end against my wishes.

      What I mean is I believe I have an actual case of damage, but I also believe I have no hope whatsoever of prevailing if I were to go it alone.

      This diary is simply, to use a scriptual metaphor, casting my bread upon the waters.  If I find that I have no hope of creating a class-action lawsuit I will necessarily abandon any further action.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:34:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the mormans didn't cause the rift (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, cn4st4datrees

    they just exposed it. i think you should buy a dog and focus more on that.

    Jake McIntyre says I might as well have voted to invade Iraq. Jake McIntyre sucks.

    by SeanF on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:31:41 PM PST

    •  Re: a dog. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SeanF, CherryTheTart

      I have one.  He's just now about four months old, and one helluva chew-everything-in-reach handfull.

      As my divorce will result in my having to move out of this house, and as my plans for the future include leaving this town where I live and obtaining employment with a cruise ship, necessarily I need to find a good home to which to give away my dog.

      So far the only takers are a couple who I don't consider "a good home".  At their place my dog would be penned up outside in all kinds of weather, would not be treated properly, and so their home is unacceptable.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:41:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm surprised a Mormon would marry a man (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cn4st4datrees, CherryTheTart
    who wasn't a Mormon. The church frowns on that.

    "Don't knock football...it's just like chess but without the dice" - john07801

    by voracious on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:35:42 PM PST

    •  Of course they frowned upon it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CherryTheTart

      And now the [expletives deleted] get their wish.

      If there is any one thing I find unforgivably hypocritical of the Mormon church in general is their idea of what love is really all about.

      I tried my best to simply allow my wife her involvement with the church, as back five years ago I regarded the LDS church as essentially benign.

      Prop 8 changed that outlook, as no organization that went to such extents as to strip civil rights granted to a minority population can in any sense be regarded as benign.

      That is to not even consider their incontrovertible history of racism and mysogny and arrogant self-righteousness, let alone their legacy of violence, rape, and murder.

      Benign they are not.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 01:50:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OK. Let me see if I got this right. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, cn4st4datrees

    Your wife voted against the dissolution of gay marriages? But she won't leave her church and you are insisting she does so? If that's the case, I would divorce your ass myself.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 02:01:02 PM PST

    •  No, I did not "insist" that she leave the (0+ / 0-)

      church.  I requested it, I implored her to act on her own, to follow her personal ethical beliefs which are in contradiction to church dogma.  I only requested that she think for herself.

      Alas, thinking for herself means to her that when she has difficulty in reaching an answer she will accept as ultimate authority whatever her church advises.

      Were I to have been as adamant as you perceive me, I would be contesting this divorce, would be seeking spousal support (I've been wholly dependent on her income for nearly three years now due to permanent disability), and would be taking her for every penny I could.

      On the contrary I am voluntarily accepting terms in which she comes out very much smelling like a rose.  She keeps the house, I have to move.  She keeps nearly all community property, I have to sell my non-community property to survive.  She gets half of my final disability settlement, which will be in the five-figure range.

      The only thing I insisted upon was that if divorce was to occur, she would have to be the one to file the papers as I did not wish to divorce.

      She lost little time in doing so.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 02:18:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You did not answer my question. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cn4st4datrees

        Did she vote against the dissolution of gay marriage? If she did so, what is your beef? I mean, beyond trying to decide for HER what SHE should do about HER church.

        I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

        by CherryTheTart on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:04:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes she did vote against Prop 8, as my intro (0+ / 0-)

          unambigously made clear:

          In my case those differences stem primarily from the Mormon church's (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) uncontestable role in aiding the passage of Proposition 8, and the fact that my wife, a Mormon who voted against Proposition 8...

          So what's my beef?  Well, what would you think of me were I to state that on the one hand I support science and the scientific method, but at the same time think astrology is a fine-and-dandy way of making major life decisions, and then go out a spend a couple of thousand of dollars to have a personal horoscope done up?  You might suspect me of just a little inconsistency between what I profess to believe (what I preach) and what I actually practice.

          And how is it, incidentally, that you ignore my statement that I encouraged my wife to think for herself, and instead portray me as a browbeater?

          The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

          by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:33:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  LoveBug, this is browbeating. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shanikka, cn4st4datrees

            So what's my beef?  Well, what would you think of me were I to state that on the one hand I support science and the scientific method, but at the same time think astrology is a fine-and-dandy way of making major life decisions, and then go out a spend a couple of thousand of dollars to have a personal horoscope done up?  You might suspect me of just a little inconsistency between what I profess to believe (what I preach) and what I actually practice.

            Ralph Waldo Emerson said: A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. It seems to me just from reading what you say that you are controlling and suffer from malignant scrupulosity. Now, you have a choice here. You can just dismiss what I say. Or you can contemplate the idea that you are a SCOLD.

            I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

            by CherryTheTart on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:50:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I shall indeed contemplate the idea that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CherryTheTart

              I am a "SCOLD", albeit I do not know whether your term is an acronym, or whether you are just shouting at me.

              So contemplated.  In fact, assuming that your term simply means I scold, I stipulate therefore that I am a scold.  I am well known for scolding against unreason, superstition, adherence to authority and dogma, allowing one's self to be taken advantage of, failure to exercise critical thinking, bigotry, mysogony, racism, and a host of other ills.  I suppose I should just keep my mouth closed, not buck the tide, and allow idiots (you are exempted; I do not consider you to be an idiot) to run roughshod over the civil rights of my fellow human beings.

              In turn, may I suggest to you that you contemplate the idea that you know little about me and are prejudging me based on this short discourse?

              May I suggest you read some of my past diaries and comments?  You may end up changing your opinion of me as a "scold".

              It is true that, having now attained the adult age of fifty-five, I have become rather set in my ways.  That is, for example, my hackles continue to rise in the face of injustice, inequality, oppression, and crimes against humanity.

              Call me old-fashioned.

              The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

              by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 04:58:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I read your diary with interest. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cn4st4datrees

                You said:
                In turn, may I suggest to you that you contemplate the idea that you know little about me and are prejudging me based on this short discourse?
                Cherry:
                Suggestion noted.

                You said:
                May I suggest you read some of my past diaries and comments?  You may end up changing your opinion of me as a "scold"
                Cherry:
                Would be only fair. However, don't be global about this. I write dialogue. I am responding to what you have written about this subject. Does not preclude areas of koolness on your part KWIM?

                You said:
                It is true that, having now attained the adult age of fifty-five, I have become rather set in my ways.
                Cherry:
                Laughing. Tell me about it. I am so there.

                You said:
                That is, for example, my hackles continue to rise in the face of injustice, inequality, oppression, and crimes against humanity. Call me old-fashioned.
                Cherry:
                Certainly keeps life interesting.

                I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                by CherryTheTart on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 05:57:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Peace, my fellow human, (0+ / 0-)

                  is a nice place to arrive.

                  Seems like every day I find myself having the need to apologize for my unintentional conduct.  If appropriate, please accept my apologies for being an old curmudgeon.

                  And please accept also my thanks for your comments.  They have given me pause to reflect.

                  Now let's get busy moving our collective progressive ideas forward.  It's going to be an uphill grind.

                  The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

                  by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 06:32:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  No, it hasn't... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cn4st4datrees

    ...but then neither I or Calamity Jean are, or have anything to do with, Mormons.

    Sorry for your troubles...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 02:07:51 PM PST

  •  Something's out of whack here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, pico, cn4st4datrees

    Are you asking us to believe that you and your wife have been in accord on everything else of importance during your entire marriage, including social issues?   That Proposition 8 created a rift which hadn't existed before?

    Sorry, in my experience with marriage (one, mine, 37 years) it doesn't work that way.    

    I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. (John Cage)

    by dotalbon on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 02:18:33 PM PST

    •  Yeah, I'm a little confused by this, too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka, cn4st4datrees

      I don't want to toss in my 2 cents because it's obviously not a relationship I know thoroughly, but from the diarist's description, it seems like he's forcing his wife into an unreasonable corner rather than the reverse.  

      By the way, even if I'm wrong about the relationship (which, as I said, I don't know), there's no way the diarist can sue the Mormon Church for this.  The Church is absolutely not at fault for friction in the marriage: the wife (ostensibly) is, even if it's due to her devotion to the church.  

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:03:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry. For some reason DKos crapped out on me. (0+ / 0-)

      So this response is late in coming:

      Yes, I am maintaining that in nearly every other issue my wife and I could reach concensus.

      I just asked her this very morning whether she would agree that up until Prop 8 we were getting along pretty well, minor disagreements notwithstanding.  She agreed that we were.

      So unequivocally yes, it is my contention that Prop 8, but more to the point the fact that her church was undeniably instrumental in getting Prop 8 passed, was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

      I've had well over a year now to think about this in a very deliberative manner.  Much as I find the conclusion very much to my dislike, nevertheless I find the conclusion valid.

      And thus this diary, asking for input.  I appreciate differing views, as they may show me to be mistaken, which I accept as a possibility.

      The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

      by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:35:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I see from comments that I can not (0+ / 0-)

    expect any support in my claim.  At least not today.  In fact, the level of hostility has rather surprised me.  More than one commenter has taken the position that I've tried to force my wife into doing something against her will, and that the fault for our divorce is primarily mine.

    So be it.  I got what I asked for.

    The question is not what, but who you want to be. --F.R. Prince

    by cn4st4datrees on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 03:42:37 PM PST

  •  Umm..... (0+ / 0-)

    I ask because I am contemplating suing the Mormon church for not only real and tangible damages, but also for pain and suffering in the form of mental anguish.  It has been brought to my attention, however, that my better chance of success would more likely be through a class-action suit.

    Good luck with that.  In California, divorce is "no fault."  No judge is going to let you spend 45 seconds talking about why your marriage ended, since it's legally irrelevant.

    I am no lawyer, nor even a legal scholar, but I do have some rudimentary understanding of tort law . . .

    Respectfully, no you don't.  The common law tort of alienation of affection, the closest tort you could have even tried to shoehorn a cause of actioninto, was abolished forever ago in California (and most states.)  

    If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

    by shanikka on Wed Jan 06, 2010 at 05:31:34 PM PST

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