Gay rights activists in Los Angeles took to the streets by the thousands Thursday to express their anger at passage of Proposition 8 – the California constitutional amendment that once again makes gay marriage in the state verboten. And at least seven protests in various California cities were planned for Friday, three for Saturday and one on Sunday.

The fury against proponents of the gay marriage ban had been visible on the Internet and streets of California for some time, but Tuesday's approval of the gay marriage ban washed away much of the barrier that had been holding most of it under control.

Much of that anger is directed at the role played by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) in passing the anti-gay amendment.

Thursday's gay marriage ban protest targeted a Mormon temple in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, where the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center announced a campaign to raise money towards efforts to invalidate Proposition 8, which included sending a postcard to Mormon President Thomas Monson. The announcement sparked a near-spontaneous protest that gridlocked traffic for hours as it nosily spilled into the streets with chants of “Separate church and state” and “What do we want? Equal rights.” Marchers carried signs that read “No More Mr. Nice Gay,” “No on H8” and “I didn't vote against your marriage.” Hundreds more chanted “Mormon scum.”

A protest in Salt Lake City, Utah drew another 2,000 protesters who waved rainbow flags outside the headquarters of the Mormon Church. Signs that read “Mormons: Once persecuted, now persecutors” were visible among the rainbow flags, a symbol of gay identity.

Mormon involvement in the gay marriage ban was based primarily out of the Mormon stronghold of Utah, headquarters of the Mormon Church, where members make up a majority (62%) of the population. At the urging of Monson, the hard-working Mormon ethic churned out massive donations of time and money. Some estimate Mormon members accounted for as much as 75% of the $36 million raised to promote the gay marriage ban.

During the campaign, gay groups had called for protests and boycotts against the largest donors supporting the anti-gay amendment, but stopped short of calling for protests against religious groups, the primary backers and funders of the gay marriage ban.

But a Mormon Church boycott by way of Utah is now taking shape on the Internet. Gay rights activist John Aravosis of the popular website is calling for skiers to avoid Utah's world-class powder and lodges, and for Hollywood to ignore Robert Redford's Utah-based Sundance Film Festival.

Aravosis said Utah was “a hate state” in calling for its boycott.

“The main focus is going to be going after the Utah brand,” he told The Associated Press. “At this point, honestly, we're going to destroy the Utah brand.”

Church spokeswoman Kim Farah called the notion of a Mormon boycott “disturbing.”

“While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process,” Farah said.

Others have called for the withholding of taxes to the state of California until the right of marriage for gays and lesbians is restored. Openly gay singer Melissa Etheridge recently announced her support for the idea which has flared up on the Internet every so often.

“Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. ... [I'm] taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sound sort like that taxation without representation thing from the history books,” Etheridge wrote in a blog post Thursday on

Even generally composed Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese joined the chorus of activist calling for greater confrontation.

“I believe that each and every one of us who has been hurt by this hateful ballot measure, and each and every one of us who is still fighting to be equal, has to confront the neighbors who hurt us,” Solmonese wrote on the HRC website. “We have to say to the man with the Yes on 8 sign – you disrespected my humanity, and I am not giving you a pass.”

A crowd of 1,000 protesters gathered on Friday at San Francisco's Civic Center and marched down Market Street during rush hour. And in Long Beach, another 2,000 protesters joined in support of gay rights, where three people were arrested, reports The Associated Press.

Amid all the protests, lawyers working for pro-gay rights groups in California announced Wednesday they would challenge the legality of the gay marriage ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, filed a writ petition before the California Supreme Court asking for the anti-gay amendment to be invalidated.

The groups argue that the gay marriage ban is invalid because it alters the constitution's “core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group, lesbian and gay Californians.”

“If the voters approved an initiative that took the right to free speech away from women, but not from men, everyone would agree that such a measure conflicts with the basic ideals of equality enshrined in our constitution,” Jenny Pizer, a staff attorney with Lambda Legal, said in a statement announcing the challenge.

The pro-gay rights groups say the gay marriage ban used an improper vehicle – a voter ballot – to alter the constitution. They contend that such a measure is only valid when making superficial changes to the constitution. To change the underlying principles of the constitution, a measure must first be approved by the legislature before being submitted to the voters on a ballot. Proposition 8 radically alters the California constitution by removing rights previously given by the constitution itself, and relied on the voter ballot to accomplish its goal.

“A major purpose of the constitution is to protect minorities from majorities,” said Elizabeth Gill, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. “Because changing that principle is a fundamental change to the organizing principles of the constitution itself, only the legislature can initiate such revisions to the constitution.”

The pro-gay rights groups said there is historical precedent for the California Supreme Court to strike down an improper voter initiative. In 1990, a voter-approved initiative that sought to “strip California's courts of their role as independent interpreters of the state's constitution” was overturned by the court.