That’s what Prop 8 backers failed to do in their three-year-old lawsuit to hide their names from public view because of alleged threats and intimidation by ‘gays gone wild.’ A federal judge in Sacramento recently ruled there was no evidence to support the donors’ harassment claims and no reason to exempt them from the state’s campaign disclosure laws.
But that hasn’t stopped marriage equality opponents from playing the victim card. This summer, the National Organization for Marriage –NOM, for short– which helped raise most of the $43 million spent to pass Prop 8, asked the GOP presidential contenders to sign a ‘Marriage Pledge.’ Not surprisingly, the signers vow to support a federal constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples. But they also promise that, if elected, they will establish a presidential commission to investigate the alleged harassment of NOM’s supporters.
So while much of the country tries to address the anti-gay bullying of school kids –with zero help from the federal government– Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and others have rallied to the defense of the adults whose anti-gay rhetoric makes life tough for gay teens. And in NOM’s ‘it-doesn’t-get-better’ world, the same GOP hopefuls have promised federal help to investigate the group’s opponents accused of anti-anti-gay bullying.
That’s where the new federal court ruling comes into play. NOM had complained that its Prop 8 donors were targeted for boycotts and threats after their names were made public. But there was no evidence of violence, and in a hard-fought initiative campaign, both sides are free to make their case in that pesky free market.
As the judge in Sacramento reminded us, boycotts and protests are lawful, historic means of voicing dissent and a far cry from the violence suffered by NAACP members in the early 1950s, which is the comparison that Prop 8 backers tried to make. And there is just no proof that those notorious gay straight-bashers present a danger to anyone.
With a Perspective, I’m Clyde Wadsworth.