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Friday, June 28, 2013

Why Demise of DOMA is good for Conejo Valley Real Estate
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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?

 
Posted at 6:38:22 AM
 
Comments: 3
 
Mamank on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 9:08 PM

We lived in a ward that contained the University of Colorado Dental School (until it moved). There were awlays a large number of Mormon students. We joked that there was affirmative action for Mormons, because there were far and away more Mormon students than demographically proportionate. They were well prepared, had stable lifestyles (most were married RMs), and were sober. That was attractive to the school. We were all afraid that news would get out, cause a scandal, and Mormon domination of the dental school would be stopped. Never happened as far as I know.Colorado was also the recipient of a program that attracted students from Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho (I think) and (until recently) Arizona, states that did not have dental schools, that provided the student would pay in state tuition and their state would make up the difference, if the student promised to return to live and practice in their home state after graduation. This further bloated the Mormon contingent at the dental school. We had years where our ward executive secretary, elders quorum president, one of the EQ counselors, the YM president, and one of his counselors, were all dental students, and there were usually others. We probably have a dozen or fifteen dentists on our Christmas card list, all of whom were in our ward for a time. By the way, only one of the dental students was a woman, in all those years.
Robert Henning on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 3:22 PM

I agree. I don't want super opinionated neighbors especially when their message is one of close-mindedness.
Simon Fraser on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 11:39 AM

You're absolutely right; and the LDS church got considerable heat and backlash which is why they've tried to distance themselves. They won the battle in 2008, certainly not the war.
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