Director Reed Cowan's documentary on
the Mormon Church's decades-old involvement in the fight to ban gay
marriage in the United States premiered Sunday to a thunderous
The Mormon Proposition had its world premiere at the Sundance
Film Festival underway in Park City, Utah, just 30 miles from the
world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
In a series of interviews with Mormon
Church leaders, gay activists and Utah politicians, Cowan shines a
bright light on the church's profuse involvement in banning gay
marriage throughout the nation since the early 1990s. The film's
focus, however, is on California's 2008 fight over Proposition 8, the
ballot measure that outlawed gay marriage in the state.
“So much of what we were fighting was
perpetrated here [in Utah],” San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom told
the Salt Lake Tribune after attending Sunday's premiere.
Against Hate founder Fred Karger, who is interviewed in the film
and attended the film's screening, said the film will “undoubtedly
“Incredible movie and experience,”
Karger said referring to the large crowd and the film's standing
Cowan first interviewed Karger in San
Francisco. The pair met in front of the Castro Theater on Wednesday,
March 4, 2008 just as a huge gay marriage vigil was about to step
off. Karger spoke to the filmmaker two more times over the course of
the next year.
Mormon officials have refused to
comment on the film, saying it is “obviously biased.”
“Judging from the trailer and
background material online, it appears that accuracy and truth are
rare commodities in this film,” spokeswoman Kim Farah told the AP.
“Although we have given many interviews on this topic we had no
desire to participate in something so obviously biased.”
In a blog post, Cowan said the film had
divided his family.
“My determination [to finish the
film] has been tested. At this writing, I have lost communication
with my sisters and my mother and my father. They are wonderful
people and they are Mormons. The fear they have over what this film
will say has worn thin to the point that our relationships are
stressed and I fear broken forever,” he said.
A planned protest of the film failed to
materialize, but a small group of gay marriage activists chanted
“Separate, church from 8” outside the premiere.