In a blow to hypocrisy, a federal judge has rejected the attempt by Prop. 8 supporters to shield the names of those who donated in support of the measure from release to the public. I refer to this as a hypocritical position on the part of the Prop. 8 supporters because the law that makes the identities of those who contribute $100 or more to initiative campaigns a matter of public record was itself enacted through the initiative process by California voters in 1974. In defending Prop. 8 after its passage, supporters of the measure have argued that the courts should defer to the will of the people; however, it seems that the will of the people means little to themâ€“and, in their view, should mean little to the courtsâ€“when the will of the people affects Prop. 8 supporters (rather than the LGBT community) adversely.
In court, the Prop. 8 supporters had argued for an exemption from the law on the ground that they had been the subject of reprisals. Though the alleged vandalism and death threats cannot be defended as an appropriate response to someone’s political speech, the Prop. 8 backers were also complaining because they had been the subject of entirely legal forms of”reprisal”such as boycotts and picketing. In any event, the answer to this problem is, as the judge in the case so cogently noted, not shielding the identity of Prop. 8 supporters from the public, but having the targeted Prop. 8 supporters report any illegal activities to the police.
Naturally, the Prop. 8 supporters have already indicated their intention to appeal this ruling. Stay tuned!