"Mirror Image" (Poisoned Pen Press) now at your bookseller's.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Guess who supported Prop 8...?

I'm sure I wasn't the only voter who was stunned, outraged and disappointed by the passage last Tuesday of Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California.

What makes this obviously bigoted, probably illegal and morally repugnant proposition's success even more disturbing is that it was funded by coordinated, out-of-state money, much of which was supplied by the Mormon Church.

Of course, by now everybody knows this. What most of us didn't know, however, was the names of individuals and businesses that donated funds as well. Until now.

In recent days, a Blacklist has been posted online, listing the names of those who gave money in support of Proposition 8. And as heinous as it is for me to see how many names appear on the list, equally disturbing is the reaction of these people and businesses to seeing their names listed.

These donors are, believe it or not, offended that they've been "outed." Why?

Are they under the impression that financial contributions to political causes are supposed to be secret? Don't they support the transparency and open disclosure that are the hallmarks of a democratic society?

In totalitarian countries and dictatorships, which person or organization gave how much money to what cause is hidden, buried in secret files or disguised as something else. But here in the United States, such financial contributions are required by law to be disclosed, and subject to public scrutiny.

On a more personal level, as I perused the list of Prop 8 donors I was dismayed to see how many professional, obviously educated men and women gave money to support blatant discrimination and the abridgement of other Americans' civil rights.

To these people, I'd like to offer this simple lesson, one they should have learned in high school civics. Namely, in this country, people are either equal under the law or they're not.

I'll go one step further: either everybody is, or nobody is. That's the essence of the great American experiment. That's what underlies the hopes of the Founding Fathers.

Which is why they made sure that citizens had the right to assemble, organize and protest. And boycott. Boycott those businesses that donated money, those individuals who supported bigotry and discrimination behind what they wrongfully assumed was the cloak of anonymity.

Usually, money talks. In a boycott, money walks. That's why they're so effective. As a baby-boomer, I remember how effective boycotts were during the civil rights struggle of the late 60s.

As they will be this time around, I'm sure, in repudiating the miscarriage of justice that occurred on Election Day.


Dave Congalton said...

Good post, Dennis. It certainly hits close to home for my wife and I.

We also checked the Prop 8 donor list online and were shocked to see that our accountant had donated the maximum amount possible to support Ptop 8. We've known this person for years. Simply can't believe it.

But what do we do? Do we cut a professional association (for my wife, a more personal one) of more than 15 years? Do we now pick our friends and business relationships solely on the basis of one issue? We have friends who are pro-Iraq and pro-life, so does Prop 8 become the line in the sand? Aren't we supposed to be open minded and tolerant?

So] we're really wrestling with how to respond to this. OLur initial reaction was to drop the accountant and find a gay accountant instead to send a message. That may yet happen.

I hope the California Supreme Court strikes down Prop 8. Fingers crossed!

Aquaria said...

Thanks for letting us know lists were available. I can already use it to make my displeasure known with a few donors, money-wise. I'm awaiting some test results, but I will soon need an ophthalmologist, and one in my city is on that list. I plan to call his company and let him know that I will tell my optometrist, MD, and insurance company not to refer me to him. And why. He can believe what he wants, but I can demand care from someone that isn't a bigot.

I'm also calling Dell to let them know that the computer I planned to buy this holiday season won't come from them. Not as long as their marketing manager is such a bigot that he's willing to pay $25K to stick his nose in other people's business. Once again, he can believe what he wants, and Dell can hire whomever they want, but i don't have to give my money to a company that employs such a committed bigot, especially not in their MARKETING department.

I did get a good laugh when I saw some realtors and developers my mother has tangled with in the past, as an investor. She'll get a good laugh at knowing her opinion of them is justified. Let's say that she's always used some rather :::ahem::: colorful :::cough::: language when discussing them.

Again, thanks for the info. One small nit: Would you include a link to a site that has the list? It would make things easier for future visitors.