“Supporters of the ballot measure that banned gay marriage in California have filed a lawsuit seeking to block their campaign finance records from public view, saying the reports have led to the harassment of donors.”

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Interesting how some people are First Amendment absolutists up until the time that they are the ones getting hated on, and then suddenly harassment is seen as a problem that should have special remedies for themselves only. The quote heading this post came from here, which reports:

… The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Sacramento, asks the court to order the secretary of state’s office to remove all donations for the proposition from its Web site.

It also asks the court to relieve the two groups and “all similarly situated persons” from having to meet the state’s campaign disclosure requirements. That would include having to file a final report on Proposition 8 contributions at the end of January, as well as reports for any future campaigns the groups undertake. …

… The lawsuit filed Wednesday cites a series of incidents in which those who gave money to support Proposition 8 received threatening phone calls, e-mails and postcards. One woman claims she was told: “If I had a gun, I would have gunned you down along with each and every other supporter.”

Another donor reported a broken window, one said a flier calling him a bigot was distributed around his hometown and others received envelopes containing suspicious white power, according to the lawsuit.

Businesses employing people who contributed to the Proposition 8 campaign have been threatened with boycotts, the suit said.

Supporters of the gay marriage ban fear the donor backlash will hurt their efforts to raise money in the future, perhaps to fight an initiative seeking to overturn the ban.

“Several donors have indicated that they will not contribute to committee plaintiffs or similar organizations in the future because of the threats and harassment directed at them as a result of their contributions … and the public disclosure of that fact,” the lawsuit said. …

The entire article is here. It concludes, correctly I think, with a quote from an interviewee that says in pertinent part: “Courts have consistently failed to agree that contributors have a right to donate directly and anonymously to a candidate or campaign.” Threats and violence are wrong (obviously) and need to be aggressively addressed, and the perpetrators punished. But doing this does not require allowing activist bigots to cloak themselves in protective anonymity.   If they want to sponsor hate, campaign finance laws require them to own their actions by name, and they knew those were the rules when they decided to support the odious Prop. 8.

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to “Supporters of the ballot measure that banned gay marriage in California have filed a lawsuit seeking to block their campaign finance records from public view, saying the reports have led to the harassment of donors.”

  1. fannie says:

    So, I read the Alliance Defense Fund’s complaint and noticed that they’re seeking special remedies for relatively minor instances of name-calling. In total, I counted only two examples of what could be interpreted as death threats. That’s not okay, but most of the allegations consist of examples like:

    “congratulations. for your support of prop 8 you have won our tampon of the year award”

    and

    “I AM BOYCOTTING YOUR ORGANIZATION AS A RESULT OF PROP 8.”

    I don’t agree with name-calling, but it’s remarkable that these people take away people’s right to legally marry and then seek special protections when they’re called names or boycotted.

  2. Pingback: Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » Interactive Map of pro-Prop. 8 Donors