I am Canadian so you can probably guess how I would have voted if I could have on Proposition 8 (the California constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between a man and a woman).
My views are not the point of this post. I am very concerned about what is playing out – online and in real life between the two sides of this issues following the passage of the amendment.
First of all we live in a democracy – the people of California voted for it – albeit by a small percentage but that was the will of the people.
When I look at this I think well the way the NO side wins is by doing all the work the YES side did last time – only better. They go and put an amendment to the constitution on the ballot and then build support for it.
The NO campaign assumed it couldn’t loose, was badly organized, didn’t have a comprehensive strategy for building support for its side across diverse communities throughout California. (The YES campaign was on the ground engaging with the black church community for example – they never saw anyone from the NO side come to their communities to engage them on the issue).
As the vote approach the NO side in a final very flawed move started attacking in television adds those who funded the YES side of the proposition and in particular the Mormon Church.
It was this turn of events that has lead into quite disturbing actions and behaviors by the NO campaign post election.
The blacklisting and subsequent public harassment and targeting of specific people and specific religious groups for their beliefs and support of YES on prop 8 is wrong.
I take this personally, I have and do work with people who are Mormon – (When I played water polo in university and in the Identity field). I respect the LDS church and the people in it – they have good values. Their religion is a very American one too (like Christian Science its origins are on this continent). Watch the Frontline/American Experience 4 hour documentary on the history of the church and their experience as a people/religious group.
A close personal family member I know also voted YES and for all I know could have donated.
When mobs start appearing at places of residence of YES contributors and their businesses. It makes me worried.
I thought about this issue earlier in the campaign when I wrote this post There are a lot of donkey’s in my neighborhood (and I know who they are)
From The Hive:
because she did about 60 gay ‘activists’ went to her restaurant and strong armed her in a scene reminiscent to Nazi Germany. They went down a list of people who gave as little as 100 dollars to boycott, harrass and attack them. They went there to ‘confront’ her for giving a measley hundred bucks based on her personal faith that she has had since childhood. They argued with her and it was reported by local news reporters was a “heated” confrontation.
So is this the America we want? Where if a private citizen wants to participate in the governmental process that they be harrassed and acosted. Their freedom of speech chilled by thugs.
The artistic director, Scott Eckern, came under fire recently after it became known that he contributed $1,000 to support Proposition 8…
In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Mr. Eckern said that his donation stemmed from his religious beliefs — he is a Mormon — and that he was “deeply saddened that my personal beliefs and convictions have offended others.”
Phillip Fletcher, a Palo Alto dentist who donated $1,000 to the campaign, is featured prominently on a Web site listing donors targeted for boycott. He said two of his patients already have left over the donation.
This is the site of the Anti Gay Blacklist Then there is a blog called Stop the Mormons.
The night Obama won and there was a party in the main street 6 blocks from my house – I had a moment of insight into the future. This was a happy celebratory Mob – it was basically safe. People were texting their friends and telling them where it was inviting them to join. I Tweeted about it so 900 people knew about it and where it was. I also knew that this new technology of texting and presence based real time information creates an increased capacity for mob formation. It made me wonder about the cultural skills and capacities we need to develop to interrupt mob behavior turning bad.
I think what is going on with the blacklists – that are directly targeting people in their private life is wrong. I think targeting specific religious institutions for protest is wrong.
These people and these religious institutions are not propagating HATE they are just not agreeing that marriage can be between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. This is a cultural difference of opinion.
I “get” where many of the gay activists are coming from – but it is not a place that will get them what they want. Many “fled” to the Bay Area to find a community and place where they could be who they were (gay, lesbian, queer, transgender etc). They were raised in conservative churches in other parts of the country that may have been explicitly anti-gay. They likely have strong feelings against these institutions and similar ones. It does not make it OK to the hate these people and act out against them. (If they want to proactively work on cultural change within these communities – Soul Force is doing a good job using nonviolence to work on change.)
We in the identity community need to understand what has unfolded here. The No on Prop 8 groups are using publicly available information. However this used to be information you could get if you went and asked for the paper versions from the court house. So it was public but with high friction to get the information. The web lowers the cost of getting this information (close) to zero – Daniel Solove writes about the change in publicly available information in the Digital Person.
I wonder about how we can balance the need to know who has contributed to political campaigns and propositions while at the same time prevent harassment and the emergence of negative physical and cyber mobs.
Wired Faerie says
There are two sides to all of these stories. GLBT-supportive people have the right to know who is making the most significant donations to initiatives and choose to boycott those Prop 8 supporters if they so desire. For those of us strongly politically opposed to Proposition 8, this is NOT a mere “difference of opinion” – it’s a Human Rights question, as suddenly 18,000 valid marriages have been voted out of existence.
Supporters of Prop 8 are quick to claim “help! I’m being repressed!” and make laughably Godwin-rule comments about protesters, but really, how are 60-75 friends, employees, and customers of El Coyote, a predominantly Gay Restaurant in a Gay Neighbourhood *who were invited to meet with Marjorie to discuss her contribution* described as “reminiscent of Nazi Germany” really?
The exact opposite situation is also happening – <a href=”http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=8233″here’s an employee fired in AZ for voting against the gay marriage ban that just passed. Before the election, top donators to “No On Prop 8” also received letters from the “yes on 8” coalition threatening to blacklist and boycott them unless they denounced their contributions and made counter-contributions.
Shum Preston says
How on earth can you write this?
We’ve seen gays demonized for decades; my marriage has been ripped apart; there is a constant stream of anti-gay initiatives, laws, comments, and discriminations. How can your sympathies lie with a Church that gave $20 million to make me a gay divorce?
The Mormon Church publicly and viciously attacked a despised minority. They deserve everything they get (short of vandalism and violence of course–problems that have plagues the gay community forever, thanks in part to homophobic institutions like the Mormon Church).
Shum Preston says
PS–on the Scott Eckern case. Of course his forced resignation was justified. How would you expect gay/lesbian employees or talent to work for a man who has, in essence, committed a hate crime against them? How can you expect gay/lesbian theater patrons to fund their own oppression to patronizing an organization whose artistic director will recyle their funds to attack their marriages.
I think you could only write this article if you do not understand the grave injustice perpetrated on the lgbt community by the Prop 8 campaign, including the top leadership of the Mormon Church. You “take this personally”? Well imagine how we feel.
The biased story you cite on El Coyote restaurant fails to disclose the fact that this restaurant is a well known gay hangout. It has catered to a gay clientele. The so called mob, as actually a meeting organized by the restaurant to discuss with their clients the donation to revoke their civil rights. Seems to me that the LGBT folks eating and drinking at this restaurant have EVERY right to no longer spend their money there.
The same is also true in the case of Eckern. This is a man, who works in with many LGBT folks, many of whom considered him a friend. He betrayed that friendship by donating to a bigoted cause. Don’t those, whose friendship was betrayed, have a right to express their displeasure at said betrayal? It is important to note that Eckern was not fired, but resigned, possibly because he couldn’t face his LGBT colleges once it was known what he really thought of them?
As for the dentist, big whoop, he lost to clients who’d rather not support anti-gay causes and accordingly took their business elsewhere. Do patients loose that right when their dentist contributes to anti-gay causes?
Contrary to the hysteria being whipped up by the right (see blog post on El Coyote), there is no blacklisting here, just a few individuals experiencing the backlash of having betrayed their “friends” and consumers making informed decisions about where they spend their hard earned dollars. Something that no one objects to when it is AFA or other right wing groups boycotting corporations because they treat their LGBT employees equally.
Um, People who support TAKING AWAY one’s rights (which is SO anti-American) deserve to be publicly censored.
…and let’s leave the Nazi’s out of this discussion.
“I take this personally..”
As does anyone who has their civil liberties taken away.
“First of all we live in a democracy – the people of California voted for it – albeit by a small percentage but that was the will of the people. ”
No, that’s not how civil liberties work. It specifically is NOT mob rule, which is what you are positing. This is nonsense. Read the constitution again. Learn what civil liberties are. Read about the American history of marriage. It’s marred with bigots who try to keep up others from getting married. LDS is included. This may not be hate like what you imagine, but it is an ignonimy. Our traditions are extending civil liberties, not taking them away via mob rule.
“because she did about 60 gay ‘activists’ went to her restaurant and strong armed her in a scene reminiscent to Nazi Germany”
This person you’re quoting is comparing homosexuals to Nazis. Quoting this as a source is akin to writing it, because clearly you support its supposition. If this is the case, you are as ignorant about history and as such have no place writing about this in any intellectual capacity.
Kevin Lyda says
“I think what is going on with the blacklists – that are directly targeting people in their private life is wrong. I think targeting specific religious institutions for protest is wrong.”
I’m an atheist, but I’m pretty sure there’s a quote in the bible about sowing and reaping.
If you spend lots of money denying people a right that affects their private life, is it reasonable not to expect your private life to come under attack? If Mormons can meddle with the private lives of gay couples then why do you feel that turnabout isn’t going to be viewed as fair play by gays?
And if you’re going to argue the ethics of one group interfering with the private lives of others, it seems odd that you fail to level the same scrutiny at a group that not only has meddled in the private lives of others but enshrined it into a state constitution.
Magic Dog says
Mormons have provided 80% of the money and 90% of the manpower for California’s anti-gay referendums. Quite simply, the Mormons have been the chief sponsors of hatred in the U.S., first against blacks in the 1970s, and now against gays. Yes, it’s their constitutional right. But it’s funny about free speech: It tends to generate even more free speech.
What you call a “cyber mob” — maybe because some substantial portion of your income is derived from a Mormon clientele — is simply a bunch of people who see the Mormons for who and what they are, and are making their views known. You don’t like it? Well, that’s too bad.
Mormons, trust me on this: Your troubles are just beginning.
I am astonished at your comments. You say, “I think what is going on with the blacklists – that are directly targeting people in their private life is wrong. I think targeting specific religious institutions for protest is wrong. ”
You do understand that these people took it upon themselves to promote and support legislation that DIRECTLY TARGETS PEOPLE IN THEIR PRIVATE LIVES. 18,000 people who got married had that right taken away. Imagine if someone legislated your marriage away. Your marriage. You say someone who only donated a 100 dollars should not be targeted. How would you feel if someone donated money to dissolve your marriage? Convictions have prices. If these people felt so strongly about prop 8 then they should stand behind their convictions even if that means getting protested or blacklisted. I do not feel one bit of sympathy for someone who felt they had the right to deny people in love the right to marry. If they don’t want people in their private lives perhaps they should stay out of others.
Magic Dog says
I see that the so-called “Identity woman” censors the comments that appear on her website. Typical of far right-wing crazies who can’t handle being disagreed with. Hey ID lady, your kind lost the U.S. presidential election, is getting tossed out in Canada, and in spite of what happened in California, will lose there the next time around. Tell your Mormon friends they (and you) are on the wrong side of history.
Mick Smit says
“directly targeting people in their private life is wrong.” Funny you should use that phrase. As that is exactly what mormons have been doing to gay people with propositionHate.
dj spellchecka says
i respectfully disagree…the economic boycott has a long and storied history and has been used by folks on both sides of the gay-rights issue. i didn’t object when focus on the family called for a disneyworld boycott, so i wouldn’t tell prop 8 proponents to back off…even the incident covered in the hive [linked about] might seem unpleasent, but it didn’t get physical and no laws were broken as far as i can tell. you vote to take away someone’s rights and then object when those people push back? that’s politics….and life in america.
hopefully the NEXT time there’s a vote to take someone else’s rights away…yours, mine, the mormons,the hispanics, folks won’t be so quick to whip out their wallets…..
Math Mensch says
Very interesting and disturbing. I was compelled to find out who the “Identity” woman is.
When blacks couldn’t use the drinking fountains that white people used and when women didn’t have the vote, it wasn’t technically “HATE”. Black people and women were just sub-categories of human and therefore didn’t warrant the same rights. People with “good values” agreed. Now that kind of thinking is considered “racist” and “misogynist”.
So let’s call it what it is Kaliya… “homophobia”. It needs to be stopped so get on board.
Just a correction to a statement you made toward the beginning of your post: We do not live in a democracy, but rather a federal republic. Although a majority vote by the people is sufficient to pass an initiative (except for those issues requiring a supermajority), our government’s framework is such that the judicial branch — the courts — has oversight over any law passed by the legislature, which of course includes the electorate enacting a law by popular vote. This is especially critical for constitutionally protected rights.
So although the passage of Prop. 8 may have been the will of the people (barely), fundamental constitutional principles are in play here because the law violates our constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law. Of course, the California Supreme Court will strike down Prop. 8 on this basis. I would be very surprised if it didn’t, but of course anything’s possible.