Demise of DOMA is good for real estate in the Conejo Valley.
Yesterday's landmark decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act was a hard won victory for same sex couples who want to be married.
It's fantastic how public opinion has seemed to shift in such a short time. In 2008, the overwhelming majority of Californians voted to pass Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state.
Was it really the majority of California who would deny equal rights to anybody? After all, California consistently votes Democrat; it's about as liberal a state as any. What happened to California was the promotional campaign waged by the Church of the Later Day Saints. LDS spent $20 million promoting Prop 8 in California.
The Conejo Valley is the hotbed of LDS members, or Mormons. There are more churches, colleges, community centers and administrative offices for the LDS in the Conejo Valley than anywhere this side of Salt Lake City. The Conejo Valley is home to a fire and brimstone of a lot of Mormons.
Prior to the vote on Prop 8, Yes on 8 lawn signs outnumbered NO on 8 signs by 10 to 1. If there were any enthusiasm for the NO on 8 position, it was suppressed by a LDS sponsored YES on 8 consonance.
At the time, I was trying to sell homes in the Agoura Hills neighborhood of the Conejo Valley. Trying to sell a home next to one with a YES on 8 sign on the front lawn is like trying to sell right next to one where the weeds grow sky high. Actually it was worse. I was showing homes in Old Agoura to a dapper young couple with two adorable toddlers. HE had just been hired to be in-house counsel for the Las Virgenes Unified School District. His husband was a stay-at-home dad. The couple asked about all the YES on 8 signs. I was apologetic and explained that while there were a few devout Mormons, I also knew of many resident gays and lesbians. The argument fell flat; it only takes one child molester in the crowd to ruin a good 5-year-old's birthday party. The couple decided to look elsewhere.
I was basking in yesterdays good news when I woke up to today's Acorn, the Conejo Valley local paper. I read an article about how long time Old Agoura resident Kevin Hamilton was called by the LDS to do missionary work in Africa. Hamilton was lauded by the church for helping the Yes on 8 campaign. While the church elder surmised in a public statement that the LDS influence was not the reason for Prop 8 passing, it was the LDS signs that seemed to be on every block.
Hamilton's home is on the market for sale. Also, I read an article recently that Mormons have left the church in record numbers over the last few years. Too late for one adorable family of four.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, can we agree that limiting large groups of buyers can not help your sale? And that publicly displaying one's political opinions will automatically set the buyer apart from many, which is most crucial when the issue is about human rights?