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Should political donors be disclosed? I certainly believe so, but since there are some that have faced pressure for their contributions to pro-8 groups, these two individuals below feel that they should not face actions for supporting the removal of rights. I love that some people just cannot understand the need for people to take responsibility for their actions. What a load of crap from the Wall Street Journal:

Donor Disclosures Has Its Downsides

Supporters of California’s Prop.8 have faced a backlash.

By John R. Lott Jr. and Bradley Smith

How would you like elections without secret ballots? To most people, this would be absurd.

We have secret balloting for obvious reasons. Politics frequently generates hot tempers. People can put up yard signs or wear political buttons if they want. But not everyone feels comfortable making his or her positions public — many worry that their choice might offend or anger someone else. They fear losing their jobs or facing boycotts of their businesses.

And yet the mandatory public disclosure of financial donations to political campaigns in almost every state and at the federal level renders people’s fears and vulnerability all too real. Proposition 8 — California’s recently passed constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage by ensuring that marriage in that state remains between a man and a woman — is a dramatic case in point. Its passage has generated retaliation against those who supported it, once their financial support was made public and put online.

For example, when it was discovered that Scott Eckern, director of the nonprofit California Musical Theater in Sacramento, had given $1,000 to Yes on 8, the theater was deluged with criticism from prominent artists. Mr. Eckern was forced to resign.

Richard Raddon, the director of the L.A. Film Festival, donated $1,500 to Yes on 8. A threatened boycott and picketing of the next festival forced him to resign. Alan Stock, the chief executive of the Cinemark theater chain, gave $9,999. Cinemark is facing a boycott, and so is the gay-friendly Sundance Film Festival because it uses a Cinemark theater to screen some of its films.

A Palo Alto dentist lost patients as a result of his $1,000 donation. A restaurant manager in Los Angeles gave a $100 personal donation, triggering a demonstration and boycott against her restaurant. The pressure was so intense that Marjorie Christoffersen, who had managed the place for 26 years, resigned.

These are just a few instances that have come to light, and the ramifications are still occurring over a month after the election. The larger point of this spectacle is its implications for the future: to intimidate people who donate to controversial campaigns.

The question is not whether Prop. 8 should have passed, but whether its supporters (or opponents) should have their political preferences protected in the same way that voters are protected. Is there any reason to think that the repercussions Mr. Eckern faced for donating to Prop. 8 would be different if it were revealed that instead of donating, he had voted for it?

Indeed, supporters of Prop. 8 engaged in pressure tactics. At least one businessman who donated to “No on 8,” Jim Abbott of Abbott & Associates, a real estate firm in San Diego, received a letter from the Prop. 8 Executive Committee threatening to publish his company’s name if he didn’t also donate to the “Yes on 8” campaign.

In each case, the law required disclosure of these individuals’ financial support for Prop. 8. Supposedly, the reason for requiring disclosure of campaign contributions is to allow voters to police politicians who might otherwise become beholden to financiers by letting voters know “who is behind the message.” But in a referendum vote such as Prop. 8, there are no office holders to be beholden to big donors.

Does anyone believe that in campaigns costing millions of dollars a donation of $100, or even $1,000 or $10,000 will give the donor “undue” influence? Over whom? Meanwhile, voters learn little by knowing the names and personal information of thousands of small contributors.

Besides, it is not the case that voters would have no recourse when it comes to the financial backers of politicians or initiatives. Even without mandatory disclosure rules, the unwillingness to release donation information can itself become a campaign issue. If voters want to know who donated, there will be pressure to disclose that information. Possibly voters will be most concerned about who the donors are when regulatory issues are being debated. But that is for them to decide. They can always vote “no.”

Ironically, it has long been minorities who have benefited the most from anonymous speech. In the 1950s, for example, Southern states sought to obtain membership lists of the NAACP in the name of the public’s “right to know.” Such disclosure would have destroyed the NAACP’s financial base in the South and opened its supporters to threats and violence. It took a Supreme Court ruling in NAACP v. Alabama (1958) to protect the privacy of the NAACP and its supporters on First Amendment grounds. And more recently, it has usually been supporters of gay rights who have preferred to keep their support quiet.

There is another problem with publicizing donations in political elections: It tends to entrench powerful politicians whom donors fear alienating. If business executives give money to a committee chairman’s opponent, they often fear retribution.

Other threats are more personal. For example, in 2004 Gigi Brienza contributed $500 to the John Edwards presidential campaign. An extremist animal rights group used that information to list Ms. Brienza’s home address (and similarly, that of dozens of co-workers) on a Web site, under the ominous heading, “Now you know where to find them.” Her “offense,” also revealed from the campaign finance records, was that she worked for a pharmaceutical company that tested its products on animals.

In the aftermath of Prop. 8 we can glimpse a very ugly future. As anyone who has had their political yard signs torn down can imagine, with today’s easy access to donor information on the Internet, any crank or unhinged individual can obtain information on his political opponents, including work and home addresses, all but instantaneously. When even donations as small as $100 trigger demonstrations, it is hard to know how one will feel safe in supporting causes one believes in.

Mr. Lott, a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, is the author of “Freedomnomics” (Regnery, 2007). Mr. Smith, a former Federal Election Commission commissioner, is chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics and professor of law at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

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“Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man,” the unanimous opinion striking down the couple’s conviction said, “fundamental to our very existence and survival.”
Anna Quindlen
NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Nov 24, 2008

One of my favorite Supreme Court cases is Loving v. Virginia, and not just because it has a name that would delight any novelist. It’s because it reminds me, when I’m downhearted, of the truth of the sentiment at the end of “Angels in America,” Tony Kushner’s brilliant play: “The world only spins forward.”

Here are the facts of the case, and if they leave you breathless with disbelief and rage it only proves Kushner’s point, and mine: Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving got married in Washington, D.C. They went home to Virginia, there to be rousted out of their bed one night by police and charged with a felony. The felony was that Mildred was black and Richard was white and they were therefore guilty of miscegenation, which is a $10 word for bigotry. Virginia, like a number of other states, considered cross-racial matrimony a crime at the time.

It turned out that it wasn’t just the state that hated the idea of black people marrying white people. God was onboard, too, according to the trial judge, who wrote, “The fact that He separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” But the Supreme Court, which eventually heard the case, passed over the Almighty for the Constitution, which luckily has an equal-protection clause. “Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man,” the unanimous opinion striking down the couple’s conviction said, “fundamental to our very existence and survival.”

That was in 1967.

Fast-forward to Election Day 2008, and a flurry of state ballot propositions to outlaw gay marriage, all of which were successful. This is the latest wedge issue of the good-old-days crowd, supplanting abortion and immigration. They really put their backs into it this time around, galvanized by court decisions in three states ruling that it is discriminatory not to extend the right to marry to gay men and lesbians.

The most high-profile of those rulings, and the most high-profile ballot proposal, came in California. A state court gave its imprimatur to same-sex marriage in June; the electorate reversed that decision on Nov. 4 with the passage of Proposition 8, which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. The opponents of gay marriage will tell you that the people have spoken. It’s truer to say that money talks. The Mormons donated millions to the anti effort; the Knights of Columbus did, too. Like the judge who ruled in the Loving case, they said they were doing God’s bidding. When I was a small child I always used to picture God on a cloud, with a beard. Now I picture God saying, “Why does all the worst stuff get done in my name?”

Just informationally, this is how things are going to go from here on in: two steps forward, one step back. Courts will continue to rule in some jurisdictions that there is no good reason to forbid same-sex couples from marrying. Legislatures in two states, New York and New Jersey, could pass a measure guaranteeing the right to matrimony to all, and both states have governors who have said they would sign such legislation.

Opponents will scream that the issue should be put to the people, as it was in Arizona, Florida and California. (Arkansas had a different sort of measure, forbidding unmarried couples from adopting or serving as foster parents. This will undoubtedly have the effect of leaving more kids without stable homes. For shame.) Of course if the issue in Loving had been put to the people, there is no doubt that many would have been delighted to make racial intermarriage a crime. That’s why God invented courts.

The world only spins forward.

“I think the day will come when the lesbian and gay community will have its own Loving v. Virginia,” says David Buckel, the Marriage Project director for Lambda Legal.

Yes, and then the past will seem as preposterous and mean-spirited as the events leading up to the Loving decision do today. After all, this is about one of the most powerful forces for good on earth, the determination of two human beings to tether their lives forever. The pitch of the opposition this year spoke to how far we have already come—the states in which civil unions and domestic partnerships are recognized, the families in which gay partners are welcome and beloved.

The antis argued that churches could be forced to perform same-sex unions, when any divorced Roman Catholic can tell you that the clergy refuse to officiate whenever they see fit. They argued that the purpose of same-sex marriage was the indoctrination of children, a popular talking point that has no basis in reality. As Ellen DeGeneres, who was married several months ago to the lovely Portia de Rossi (great dress, girl), said about being shaped by the orientation of those around you, “I was raised by two heterosexuals. I was surrounded by heterosexuals. Just everywhere I looked: heterosexuals. They did not influence me.” As for the notion that allowing gay men and lesbians to marry will destroy conventional marriage, I have found heterosexuals perfectly willing to do that themselves.

The last word here goes to an authority on battling connubial bigotry. On the anniversary of the Loving decision last year, the bride wore tolerance. Mildred Loving, mother and grandmother, who once had cops burst into her bedroom because she was sleeping with her own husband, was quoted in a rare public statement saying she believed all Americans, “no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry.” She concluded, “That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

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The following are people or organizations that felt the need to donate to groups that supported California’s Proposition 8. Since they felt so strongly about taking away rights granted to California citizens, I am sure that they want the world to know their feelings as well. Here’s a few dozen to start. I highlighted those that were “generous” to give $500 or more. The other 32,000+ are coming.

MR. RANDALL MCNEELY    APO    AE    LOCKHEED MARTIN NETWORK ENGINEER    $100.00
JACQUELINE HUTCHINS    ANCHORAGE    AK    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $100.00
MR. LAWRENCE CUTTING    ANCHORAGE    AK    MARSH CREEK    SAFETY PROFESSIONAL    $100.00
SHERRY LILLY BATTLE GROUND    WA    BATTLE GROUND SCHOOL DIST    TEACHER    $100.00
DIANNE GRAHAM    BETHEL    AK    LOWER KUSKOKWIM SCHOOL DISTRICT LIBRARIAN    $100.00
DONNA MARSH    PETERSBURG    AK    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $150.00
MR. JARRETT BARRETT    WASILLA    AK    AMERICAN HYPERBARIC CENTER    HYPERBARIC TECHNICIAN    $100.00
MR. JONATHAN TAYLOR    AIRDRIE    AL            $100.00
GAYLE FAIRLESS    HUNTSVILLE    AL    DOD/DIA/MSIC/MSA3    GENERAL ENGINEER    $100.00
GAYLE FAIRLESS    HUNTSVILLE    AL    DOD/DIA/MSIC/MSA3    GENERAL ENGINEER    $100.00
MR. WALTER MORGAN    MOBILE    AL    SDT, INC.    TELECOM SERVICES    $250.00
MR. WALTER MORGAN    MOBILE    AL    SDT, INC.    TELECOM SERVICES    $100.00
MR. WALTER MORGAN    MOBILE    AL    SDT, INC.    TELECOM SERVICES    $250.00
MR. JOHN ENSLEN    WETUMPKA    AL    N/A    RETIRED    $100.00
MR. LYLE JACKSON    LITTLE ROCK    AR    SELF – LYLE JACKSON    INVESTOR    $250.00
MRS. SHAE CHECK    APACHE JCT    AZ    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $750.00
MR. DAVID HAGA    AVONDALE    AZ            $100.00
BETSIE PINCKARD    CHANDLER    AZ    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $100.00
MR. DENNIS NEWMEYER    CHANDLER    AZ    INTEL ENGINEER    $1,000.00
MR. EARL GOODMAN    CHANDLER    AZ    GOODMAN, GENE, DTL, INC.    PRESIDENT    $9,999.00
MR. JOHN BUDD    CHANDLER    AZ    SOUTHWEST DENTAL GROUP ORTHODONTIST    $300.00
MRS. NICOLE HALL    CHANDLER    AZ    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $100.00
HEIDI PETERSEN    GILBERT    AZ    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $2,500.00
MR. CURTIS HEYMAN    GILBERT    AZ    RISE ABOVE DEBT RELIEF    DEBT COUNSELOR    $100.00
MR. MICHAEL MARCHESE    GILBERT    AZ    GRAND CANYON COUNCIL BOY SCOUTS COO    $100.00
MR. RICK SMITH    GILBERT    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $100.00
MRS. AMY SEITER    GILBERT    AZ    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $100.00
MRS. IRIS PEARSON    GILBERT    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $100.00
STEPHANIE NEWITT    GILBERT    AZ    APPLE BLOSSOM PRESCHOOL    EARLY CHILD EDUCATOR    $100.00
MR. CORY WILKIN    GLENDALE    AZ    LA COUNTY    HR ANALYST    $100.00
MR. MICHAEL CRIDDLE    GLENDALE    AZ    HEALTHWOOD DENTAL    DENTIST    $250.00
MR. ROBERT HILL    GLENDALE    AZ    CITY OF PHOENIX    FIREFIGHTER    $100.00
MRS. LINDA MECHAM    GLENDALE    AZ    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $50.00
MRS. NANNETT HINTON    GLENDALE    AZ    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $100.00
DEANNA ANGLIN    MARICOPA    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $500.00
DEANNA ANGLIN    MARICOPA    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $500.00

ELIZABETH RUBEN    MESA    AZ    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $100.00
ELONA COOLEY    MESA    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $500.00
JAN BROCK    MESA    AZ    BROCK, CRAIG & THACKER ARCHITECT    $100.00
MR. ALLEN MERRILL    MESA    AZ    LEGAL SOLUTIONS    PARALEGAL    $100.00
MR. CHARLES GREER    MESA    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $500.00
MR. KEITH GRIFFIN    MESA    AZ    GRIFFIN BROS    CONTRACTOR    $100.00
MR. RUSSELL TIPTON    MESA    AZ    R THOMAS TIPTON DMD MDS ORTHODONTIST    $1,000.00
MR. SCOTT RANE    MESA    AZ    US FOODSERVICE, INC ACCOUNTANT    $100.00
MRS. HELEN BOLTZ    MESA    AZ    TRESSIDEROL-KINLEY    CHEMICAL PLANT MANAGER    $5,000.00
MRS. LADAWN POWELL    MESA    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $100.00
MR. BENJAMIN MISHLER    PHOENIX    AZ    ERIC BENEFIELD DDS DENTIST    $100.00
MR. BENJAMIN MISHLER    PHOENIX    AZ    ERIC BENEFIELD DDS DENTIST    $50.00
MR. DAVID SUNDHEIMER    PHOENIX    AZ    BANNER ARIZONA MEDICAL CLINIC PHYSICIAN    $1,000.00
MR. DAVID SUNDHEIMER    PHOENIX    AZ    BANNER ARIZONA MEDICAL CLINIC PHYSICIAN    $1,000.00

MR. JAMES DANOVICH    PHOENIX    AZ    JAMES V DANOVICH CPA CPA    $100.00
MR. JOHN JARVIS    PHOENIX    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $100.00
MR. BARRY WILLIS    PRESCOTT    AZ    BARRY WILLS DDS    DENTIST    $100.00
COOLEY FAMILY INVESTMENT LLC    QUEEN CREEK    AZ            $10,000.00
MRS. SANDRA CARR    QUEEN CREEK    AZ    N/A    HOMMAKER    $100.00
AMY SMITH    SCOTTSDALE    AZ    ALLIANCE DEFENSE FUND LAWYER    $101.00
DENICE RASMUSSEN    SCOTTSDALE    AZ    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $250.00
MR. BEN DIBBLE    SCOTTSDALE    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $2,500.00
MR. GERALD HACKERT    SCOTTSDALE    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $50.00
MR. GERALD HACKERT    SCOTTSDALE    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $50.00
MR. GREGORY SCOTT    SCOTTSDALE    AZ    ALLIANCE DEFENSE FUND MEDIA RELATIONS DIRECTOR    $200.00
MR. JAMES GOTTRY    SCOTTSDALE    AZ    ADF MARKETING / COMMUNICATIONS    $210.00
TERESA ANDERSEN    SCOTTSDALE    AZ    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $500.00
PATSY SEYMORE    TAYLOR    AZ    N/A    RETIRED    $100.00
MR. BRUCE EKHOLT    TUCSON    AZ    SIATECH CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL    TEACHER    $100.00
MR. TYLER MOTT    TUCSON    AZ    WELLS FARGO BANK    PERSONAL BANKER    $100.00
MRS. HELEN MOULTON    TUCSON    AZ    N/A    HOMEMAKER    $35.00
MR. SAM STOVALL    WADDELL    AZ    WESTERN HOSPITALITY INS    INSURANCE AGENT    $50.00
MR. SAM STOVALL    WADDELL    AZ    WESTERN HOSPITALITY INS    INSURANCE AGENT    $50.00
STACIE POWELL    YUMA    AZ    MARINE CORPS COMMUNITY SERICES    FAMILY READINESS OFFICER    $100.00

Source: California Secretary of State. If you’re on this list by mistake, take your complaint to the California Secretary of State, not me.

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Oh my, by lucky chance due to the time change while in Denver, I caught Keith Olbermann’s gay marriage special commentary while flipping channels. An extraordinary commentary that is not to be missed. In case youtube vid is not working, here’s the msnbc link.

Keith certainly gets it. We must spread his message.

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By DAVE COLLINS

The Associated Press
Friday, October 10, 2008; 12:12 PM

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have the right to marry, making the state the third behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions.

The divided court ruled 4-3 that gay and lesbian couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry under the state constitution, and Connecticut’s civil unions law does not provide those couples with the same rights as heterosexual couples.

“I can’t believe it. We’re thrilled, we’re absolutely overjoyed. We’re finally going to be able, after 33 years, to get married,” said Janet Peck of Colchester, who was a plaintiff with her partner, Carole Conklin.

“Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice,” Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote in the majority opinion that overturned a lower court finding.

“To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others,” Palmer wrote.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Friday that she disagreed, but will not fight the ruling.

“The Supreme Court has spoken,” Rell said in a statement. “I do not believe their voice reflects the majority of the people of Connecticut. However, I am also firmly convinced that attempts to reverse this decision – either legislatively or by amending the state Constitution – will not meet with success.”

The lawsuit was brought in 2004 after eight same-sex couples were denied marriage licenses and sued, saying their constitutional rights to equal protection and due process were violated.

They said the state’s marriage law, if applied only to heterosexual couples, denied them of the financial, social and emotional benefits of marriage.

Peck said that as soon as the decision was announced, the couple started crying and hugging while juggling excited phone calls from her brother and other friends and family.

“We’ve always dreamed of being married,” she said. “Even though we were lesbians and didn’t know if that would ever come true, we always dreamed of it.”

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(06-16) 18:33 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — Cheers filled San Francisco’s City Hall shortly after 5 p.m. as longtime lesbian activists Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, partners for more than 50 years, began their second wedding – and their first legal union.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, who officiated the ceremony in the reception area of his office, said it was a fitting way to memorialize last month’s state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in California, which took effect at 5:01 p.m.

Lyon, 83, and Martin, 87, were the first couple married four years ago when Newsom told the county clerk’s office to start offering marriage certificates to same-sex couples. Eventually more than 4,000 same-sex couples were married in San Francisco that year, but those unions were later nullified by the court. Today, the couple, and dozens of others, had their first chance to make their unions truly legal.

source: san francisco chronicle

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