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Gay marriage foes want campaign contributions anonymous, citing 'harassment'

Proposition 8 opponents, including a couple who walked from L.A., demonstrate in San Francisco. Proponents of a ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage filed a lawsuit in federal court this week seeking to overturn state campaign finance laws that require that names and personal information of donors to state political campaigns be made public.

They claimed that donors to Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California after one of the most heated campaigns in recent memory, have been the victim of threats and harassment because of their support for ending same-sex marriage was made public.

“This harassment is made possible because of California’s unconstitutional campaign finance disclosure rules as applied to ballot measure committees where even donors of as little as $100 must have their names, home addresses and employers listed on public documents,” Ron Prentice, head of the Protect Marriage Coalition, said in a statement.

Since 1974, state law has required that donors who give more than $100 must have their names disclosed.

The law was intended to prevent money laundering and to provide disclosure of who is making contributions to political campaigns. It has withstood several previous legal challenges. Experts on the 1st Amendment experts said they did not believe the suit stood much of a chance of success.

“This trashes the 1st Amendment and it is a thinly veiled attempt to eliminate transparency as to the role of money in state election campaigns,” said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California. The ACLU was a major opponent of Proposition 8.

-- Jessica Garrison

Photo: Proposition 8 opponents, including a couple who walked from L.A., demonstrate in San Francisco. Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (94)

When Obama lists all of his donors using Visa gift cards (illegal) then the Liberals in this country have a leg to stand on. But right now they don't so they think "outting" people who stood by their constitutional convictions is ok.

Isn't funny how the left preaches how hateful the right is, yet in a nanosecond the hate expressed by the left comes out in droves. Anti religion, anti donors, anti American free speech to donate to whatever they feel like.

Hypocrites all.

The true hypocrites are those calling people like myself "haters" and "bigots" for opposing marriage for people with homosexual perversions. Publicly opposing immorality is a heroic stance in these times of shameless degeneracy.

Wow...now we have a group of people who don't have enough guts to stand behind what they believe in, no matter how wrong and want to hide their contribution information so people will continue to use their businesses and shop in their stores and restaurants...this is taking the new "no responsibility" to a new level. I was shocked that proposition passed and even more shocked now that this bigoted group would like to continue to push, push and push. Better watch out, the pendulum swings back really, really hard

Cowards and sniveling slimeballs

Thru disclosure is how they went after the mrmon church....but they want exemption....sissies.

The hate mongering gay community are the first group I've heard of that has used this law to harass people that made contributions. Reason enough to overturn the law that allows this. Usually the ACLU is arguing for privacy laws, but I guess it doesn't meet their self serving agenda this time.

Did God call you personally or just send a text?

The poor babies. All they ever did was contribute financially toward stripping fundamental rights away from an entire class of people. Seriously though: if they felt strongly enough about "preserving marriage" that they donated money toward the cause, they should have no problem accepting responsibility for their actions.

So it's not just that they want the freedom to practice their bigotry, they want to be able to *anonymously* practice their bigotry. Now they have two reasons to be ashamed of themselves.

They're finally showing their true colors. Do you know why we have disclosure laws?

Proposition 9 - Political Reform Act - 1974 "The Political Reform Act was adopted as a statewide initiative (Proposition 9) by an overwhelming vote of the electorate in 1974. The law requires detailed disclosure of the role of money in California politics. This includes the disclosure of contributions and expenditures in connection with campaigns supporting or opposing state and local candidates and ballot measures as well as the disclosure of expenditures made in connection with lobbying the State Legislature and attempting to influence administrative decisions of state government."

You can find this information on the site of the California Secretary of State:

http://www.sos.ca.gov/prd/

So much for the "WILL OF THE VOTERS". These right-wing groups are turning our political system into a circus and we're doing NOTHING to stop it.

Why is common law marriage OK? Live in sin for seven or eight years and you are awarded marriage. California may not allow establishment of common law marriage but it does recognize it formed in other states. How is it that it's just fine to live in sin for seven or eight years and then you are legally married???

If this were a case where small contributors to the No on 8 side were being harassed, you'd better believe we'd be hearing squawks and yelps, claims of homophobia and vociferous argument that the donor law should be amended.
Gimme a break, guys.

You people are fools. Many people were camped out at their HOMES and had their business boycotted because their donations were public. THAT is garbage. They simply don't want that to happen because PEOPLE LIKE YOU are too childish to let others have their opinions and leave them be.

This attempt is deplorable, hypocritical, and pitiful. This public attempt to "legislate from the bench" just bring more shame to a hateful and ignorant movement.

Prop 8 wasn't political, it was social. Donors should not have had their personal information disclosed. Period. If it takes going through the courts to fix this, then so be it.

Dear Jessica:

You're a good reporter. But Justin McLachlan is running circles around you. He broke this story hours before you did, yet you can't give credit where credit is due?

http://justinmclachlan.com/09/01/protectmarriagecom-wants-to-hide-its-campaign-donor-records/

Please! Now they want to hide their activity to deny a minority group their right to the pursuit of happiness. If you want to play the game, you have to show your name.

What has bothered me from the beginning was the amount of money which came in OUT of State to support this measure which was intended for our State only. To block this type of transparency is setting us up for rampant carpet bagging.

It is time to seriously look over our initiative process as most laws passed are badly written, and not in the best interest of the people.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

This is how the APA was pushed into declaring mentally defective people, you can have a birth defect you can't help and still be defective, into something that has to be taught to the 95% of the kids who aren't gay. Use Paypal. Photo gay vandals moving signs and prosecute their interference with free speech. Or get it understood that there is something called sexually harassment and gays that do it are prosecuted. Sexually harassing blacks and Hispanics who voted 81%for prop 8 is how the 5% of the pop that's gay operates.

I donated to NO on 8. My name is available online too. Proud of it. You wanna picket my home or business, please do. Laws are laws, and anyone who donates to a political campaign should be prepared to take the heat.

One of the signal ways in which the No on 8 campaign was disingenuous was in its stance on education. Even though the state Education Code requires the teaching of marriage, No on 8 said that fears that kids would have to be taught that gay marriage was in all respects equal to non-gay marriage were a bogeyman. The TV commercial to that effect was, in their view, a deceitful red herring.

In fact, judging from the angry self-righteousness of many of the comments here, how could gays NOT demand that schools reflect gay marriage as, in all respects, equal to and deserving of all the respect shown non-gay marriage? If that is the issue, how could they NOT insist on reflecting that principle in all respects throughout our lives?

Moreover, even if I were misreading the state's Education Code, and this were a matter determined under law solely determined at the local level, how could gays NOT challenge local determinations (arising, in some cases, with only 52% of the vote) that excluded gay marriage? Would blacks refuse to challenge an ordinance that discriminated against them--denied them their very human rights--on the ground that the ordinance was a properly ratified majority vote on a purely local issue?

No. Of course not. The No on 8 campaign was fundamentally disingenuous. The premise--that gay marriage should be legally indistinguishable from non-gay marriage--has enormous ramifications for society. They may not be legal ramifications that are tested immediately,but they will be (No on 8 might say: "Hey! Nobody's talking about teaching kids gay marriage!" Certainly, not now they aren't. 30 years ago, nobody was talking about gay marriage, either)

The reason why No on 8 was disingenuous was that it attempted to gain a legal right without permitting a rational, widespread discussion throughout society on the potential consequences thereof. Instead, it chose to portray it as a small, symbolic step (though of enormous symbolic significance) that really was just a matter of rejecting bigotry. It was not.

And until gays enter into that rational, widespread discussion--and the self-righteousness, vitriol and vindictiveness on this board do not give much hope--they have no hope whatsoever of changing society's attitudes at large. They might achieve a narrow judicial triumph, as they did in May, but think of what happened the last time a court arrogated to itself the prerogative to define fundamental rights in a way that preceded an informed, society-wide discussion of the issues: Roe v. Wade. And, arguably, a conservative counterrevolution that still has legs.

What people must realize and be VERY careful about is that the kind of harassment suffered by people who supported prop 8 and the verbal trashing they have taken (comparing to the KKK...hatemongers, bigots etc etc) DOES NOT change their beliefs, it only drives them undercover.

Racial discrimination experienced the same quieting. It became socially unacceptable to publicly express anti-minority sentiment so a lot of that simply went underground. It became insidious. It became hard to root out. And in that way, it became difficult to fight.

The same thing is going to happen here. you can't bully people into changing their belief system. It just doesn't work. And as despicable as legitimate hatred and discrimination is, it helps no one for people to hide their true feelings about the issue for fear of being publicly lynched. Because those true feelings come out in other, more hurtful ways.

People need to stop attacking eachother. It helps nothing.

I voted in favor of Prop 8, but I am completely against this idea of anonymous donations. If you believe in something, you need to stand up for it. The law was written to facilitate an open political system. Regardless of our political beliefs, we must uphold an open, transparent political system. Only cowards hide their political donations. I'd actually prefer such cowards to SUPPORT gay marriage than to accept their tainted, anonymous contributions.

This must be done to protect heterosexuals from violent gay oppression!! Gay people have been videogtaped attacking innocent people!!!

Protect Marraige Coalition is a monster that is growing bigger and hungrier by the minute. Until we learn from our mistakes we are doomed to repeat them. Does Kristallnacht ring a bell? In August of 08 many of us believed that Prop 8 would not pass. It did. After the election, the victors said they did not want any marraiges annulled or voided. Shortly thereafter a lawsuit was filed to do just that. Today they want transparency removed from campaign donations. Real Americans need to be scared. It's starting again. To top it off, WE give them this power by 1) being so superstitious; believing in End of Days, the Antichrist and other such nonsense and 2) by being complacent and lazy, never believing that this could happen here on American soil. One day we may wake up and find that only Christian churches still stand and we are all forced to carry a Bible. Wake up!! REAL evil is in our midst.

 
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