I was going to write about the persecution of my friend, Marjorie (Margie) Christofferson, who has been targeted by the gay community for giving 100 bucks to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. But instead of talking about their hatred which we have seen displayed so clearly I want to talk about Margie.
Margie is a wonderful, beautiful older woman in my ward. She owns El Coyote Mexican restaurant, a big gay hang out in Los Angeles. Even though she doesn’t agree with their lifestyle she has never discriminated against any of them. And I know through my church relationship with her she has been nothing but kind, thoughtful and always willing to lend a helping hand. She is the first one to pitch in whenever we have an event. She was even willing to lend her house for a Relief Society party that because of circumstances beyond anyone’s control had to be canceled. She participates in the Relief Society discussion always giving a fresh perspective on the Gospel.
Margie is tall and sleek. She has a most regal air about her. She has a smile that lights up a room. She is the epitome of grace and intelligence. Until this recent event I didn’t even know she owned El Coyote-that is because she doesn’t feel the need to brag or boast about her own accomplishments. She is humble and without an ounce of pretentiousness about her. I always liked and admired her, but these recent events have deepened that. Every time I see her, I smile, give her a hug, maybe a chat for awhile. But I had no idea of the true character of this remarkable woman until the other day.
At the press conference she gave, the gay community were trying to force her to give money to the NO on Prop 8 campaign (Hello! It is over, what good would it do now? As long as we are going to give money to obsolete causes, why not pony up some cash for the Build the Titanic fund as well? After all, that ended up sinking too!) yet she said she would not. She would not apologize for standing by her beliefs and as upset as she was, she still stayed true to the Gospel. So the boycott was on. If she wasn’t going to apologize, if she wasn’t going to give money to their cause, if she was going to stand up to their bullying, well she was going to have to pay. It would’ve been easy just to give into what they wanted and not sacrifice her livelihood. Yet she was willing to do just that to follow her faith.
A friend of mine told me today that he heard someone say, “Today we are all Mormons.” That touched me, but not as much as Margie’s courage and strength in the face of personal adversity. To know such a woman is truly an honor. You don’t meet many great people in your life, they are a rarity. I have pledged to do whatever I can to help her get through this. If Margie is willing to sacrifice so much for what she believes, the least I can do is support her and stand by her. The people who are vilifying her don’t even begin to know what kind of wonderful person they are hurting. They will never have the moral fortitude to looks such heated opposition in the eye and not blink. They will never be as good, forgiving or loving as my good friend Margie Christofferson. May God watch over her now. May all those who supported Prop. 8 support her now. She given so much for us, it is time to pay her back.