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Proposition 8 Donor Maps,

for San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Orange County, are now posted at EightMaps.com. Proposition 8, of course, was the proposition that amended the California Constitution to bar legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The map is built -- presumably automatically -- from the data reported by the California Secretary of State's office. (The site I linked to contains the committee id's, but if you click on the committee name, you'll see the individual contributors.) Many of the listed contributions are $50 or below.

I suspect this sort of technology may well make people much more reluctant to donate money to (or against) controversial propositions -- and may lead people to rethink whether the government should indeed mandate disclosure of such contributions, especially small contributions. In any case, I thought I'd note this.

I recognize that mentioning the site may exacerbate the problem that I describe, but it's also necessary for readers to understand what's going on. And the site has of course already gotten a good deal of attention from other places.

Finally, I should note that I think the organizers of the site have the First Amendment right to put it up, and I would oppose any attempts to outlaw such speech, or to make it civilly actionable. (For more on why even more dangerous speech should generally remain protected from government restriction, see here.) But the question is to what extent the government should make the creation of such maps easy, by making available information about ballot measure donors, including small donors.

Thomas_Holsinger:
The applicable terms are "barriers to entry" and "data-mining".

I can certainly see lots and lots of fascinating (as in, "the horrid fascination of a good car crash") databases being made public as the costs of compiling such information go down. The cost of publishing them is close to zero already.

Lefties and Democrats seem to be more computer-savy anyway, so we can expect to see, in the not at all distant future, on-line lists of subscribers to gay magazines, or viewers of gay websites, correlated with contributions to Republican candidates and groups.

Plus lefty/Democratic demands to define hate-speech as the outing of a homosexual who is not either a member of, or a contributor to, the Republican party.

They should remember that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
1.12.2009 7:00pm
MCM (mail):
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Alas, the liberal crime squad has been foiled again!
1.12.2009 7:02pm
josil (mail):
And what would your view be if the positions were reversed? If abortion clinics can be protected from pro-life thugs, can churches be protected from similar pro-gay mobs?
1.12.2009 7:04pm
Parared:

protected from pro-life thugs


That has a certain ... kafka-esk quality.
1.12.2009 7:16pm
mcubed (mail):
I guess I don't see the problem with any of this. I wouldn't be the least bit reluctant to have my name and address appear on a map that shows I support one side or another of a controversial ballot measure. What are the Prop. 8 backers ashamed of?
1.12.2009 7:16pm
jwilcox2009:
The maps are not restricted to SF, SLC, and Orange County; those are just quick links provided by the site. You can type any city / state or zip code into the location search box.
1.12.2009 7:16pm
Nathan_M (mail):
So apparently the Constancy Trust donated just shy of $10,000 in support of Prop 8. And once again I'm disappointed Rev. I'm disappointed I never got to hear Rev. Lovejoy finish his sermon on constancy.
1.12.2009 7:27pm
Brian Hanifan (mail):
What are the Prop. 8 backers ashamed of?

It's not so much what are people ashamed of. It's more What's going to happen to me now that I supported something I believe in.
1.12.2009 7:32pm
Jeffery W Wilson (www):
Where's the list / mashup showing the location of the people who donated to defeat Prop 8? I couldn't find a link to that data at eightmaps.com.
1.12.2009 7:40pm
Alligator:
Brian Hanifan, you seem to suggest that your beliefs aren't strong enough to withstand a boycott, or that the threat of a boycott is enough to dissuade you from supporting something you believe in. Is this accurate?

(The question is utterly sincere and not intended to be snarky or sarcastic.)
1.12.2009 7:43pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
All of the post-election nonsense can't possibly make people who voted for Prop. 8 to want to change their minds.
1.12.2009 7:49pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Brian Hanifan, you seem to suggest that your beliefs aren't strong enough to withstand a boycott, or that the threat of a boycott is enough to dissuade you from supporting something you believe in. Is this accurate?
It isn't boycotts that generate fear. It's the prospect of vandalism and violent attacks. My first realization of what homosexual activism was all about was when they started making obscene and harassing phone calls to my home (fortunately, my kids were too young to understand what these creeps were saying). And then the threats of group sex in my front yard.

Turn this around. If someone were putting together lists of known homosexuals, and making that information available, would that make you even slightly nervous that unhinged sorts might use that information as a gay-bashing list?
1.12.2009 7:50pm
wm13:
mcubed, I especially admire the way you have spent the past 50 years denouncing "Fifth Amendment Communists," suggesting that those who don't always and everywhere openly declare their views are hypocrites who deserve to lose their jobs, speaking up angrily in defense of the blacklist, etc.
1.12.2009 7:50pm
Serendipity:
I'm just simply amazed that an individual would give $200,000 to this one way or the other.
1.12.2009 7:55pm
gran habano:
These disclosures aren't at all similar to political office campaign cash disclosures, which help us keep tabs on political corruption.

This seems an intrusion.

Referendum is not legislation.
1.12.2009 7:57pm
jab:
Donating money to a campaign is a form of speech... you are presumably giving money so that said organization can make advertisement buys...

Voting on any issue should remain private... but speech is necessarily not private... you want your voice to be heard, even if only a collective sense.
1.12.2009 7:59pm
Curt Fischer:
Brian: I don't see how the story you linked to makes any sort of reasonable point.

The protests at El Coyote do NOT appear to be illegal; instead they appear to be a valid expression of the protesters views. If the restaurant cannot withstand to or respond to the criticism, too bad for them.

The guest bloggers this week have mentioned Robert Putnam's thesis on the decline of civic engagement among Americans. Your article is rare example of civic engagement happening! Now gay activists and Marjorie Christoffersen know each others' views on gay marriage, and so do the LA-area readers of WSJ. Yay! Fellow citizens, making their views known, either directly, or indirectly!
1.12.2009 8:02pm
A.S.:
Seems to me that if we are going to disclose how people doantes, we should also disclose how people voted.

Let the sun shine in!
1.12.2009 8:05pm
wooga:

I guess I don't see the problem with any of this. I wouldn't be the least bit reluctant to have my name and address appear on a map that shows I support one side or another of a controversial ballot measure. What are the Prop. 8 backers ashamed of?

mcubed,

Obviously, you don't donate to any cause where your opponents frequently resort to violence, harassment and vandalism. Congratulations, you are a Democrat (the party of violent mobs for over 160 years!). Tolerance and diversity!
1.12.2009 8:08pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
The anger about boycotts -- and the tendency to attribute the criminal acts of a few to the larger group engaged in legal boycotts -- sure sounds familiar.

Turn this around. If someone were putting together lists of known homosexuals, and making that information available, would that make you even slightly nervous that unhinged sorts might use that information as a gay-bashing list?



I would be quite concerned about that. Would I be more concerned than I am about this map of Proposition 8 supporters? Probably. Is that hypocrisy? You're free to think so. I see it as a rational evaluation of evidence. How many people have been murdered -- or even injured -- recently in this country for donating to or advocating socially conservative policies? By comparison, how many have been murdered or injured for being gay? Which group is more routinely subject to assault based on its group membership?

I live in Los Angeles, in a very gay-friendly area with many vocal gays. But I would feel vastly safer walking the streets in a pro-prop-8 shirt than I would in a rainbow shirt.

One of the best ways to address this whole issue would be to devote resources to prosecuting vigorously anyone engaged in criminal acts against pro-prop-8 groups. Political violence and vandalism is unacceptable.
1.12.2009 8:19pm
Art Eclectic:
Considering that supporters of Yes on 8 did precisely the same thing prior to the election (harassing those vocal about "no" - sending out threat letters to businesses, etc..) it would appear that turnabout is fair play. Putting civil rights up for popular vote is bound to end this way every time.
1.12.2009 8:24pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

By comparison, how many have been murdered or injured for being gay?
We really don't know, since so many of the high profile "gay bashing" cases have turned out to be utterly fraudulent. Like this. And this. And this.
1.12.2009 8:28pm
Steve P. (mail):
I am always in favor of more information over less, and I think things like this are always a good thing, regardless of which side of the aisle might feel victimized by it.

I'm not even worried about a list of "known homosexuals", because it would probably be used more by gay guys to meet one another than by homophobic bigots. Besides, it'd be a huge list.
1.12.2009 8:29pm
Guest12345:
(harassing those vocal about "no" - sending out threat letters to businesses, etc..)


I don't recall seeing any of this covered in the news. Articles you can link to?
1.12.2009 8:30pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

One of the best ways to address this whole issue would be to devote resources to prosecuting vigorously anyone engaged in criminal acts against pro-prop-8 groups. Political violence and vandalism is unacceptable.
Remember when a website's owners were sued because someone took information from their website to murder an abortion doctor? I agree that this providing of information should be legal (although a very, very bad idea). But think long and hard about whether you want to encourage this kind of site. Because it can go the other direction--and remember that you are distinctly in the minority.
1.12.2009 8:31pm
Kazinski:
I think its fine to publish the information as long as it is also made a felony to use the information to harass or threaten people that make donations.

In most states the voter roles are public, I can't help but think that if somebody used the voter roles to intimidate people in similar ways as the anti-prop 8 activists are, then they would end up in jail in short order.
1.12.2009 8:32pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

I'm not even worried about a list of "known homosexuals", because it would probably be used more by gay guys to meet one another than by homophobic bigots. Besides, it'd be a huge list.
So you are agreeing that there are very, very few homophobic bigots. Gay men are about 3% of the population. You are claiming that homophobic bigots are only a tiny fraction of that?
1.12.2009 8:33pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Your article is rare example of civic engagement happening! Now gay activists and Marjorie Christoffersen know each others' views on gay marriage, and so do the LA-area readers of WSJ. Yay! Fellow citizens, making their views known, either directly, or indirectly!
Imagine if this technology had existed in 1957, and voter registration lists broken down by race had been available. Think of all the "civic engagement" that the Klan could have engaged in down South.

Remember when homosexuals were big on privacy rights? (That was a long time ago, before al-Gayda came into existence.)
1.12.2009 8:36pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
We really don't know, since so many of the high profile "gay bashing" cases have turned out to be utterly fraudulent.



"So many" and "high profile" are the wiggle words there. No doubt some are. No doubt some of every bias crime are. Anyone remember the coed with the backwards "B" on her face, [not] victimized for supporting McCain?

But I'm no more skeptical of claims of gay-bashing than I am of claims of Prop-8 bashing. I doubt there's a principled reason to be.

Let me turn the question back to you, Mr. Cramer. You are walking alone down a street at night. Which makes you feel less safe -- the Pro-prop-8 shirt, or the rainbow shirt?
1.12.2009 8:37pm
Steve P. (mail):
No, I'm claiming that such a list would be "used more by gay guys than homophobic bigots", not that there were more gay guys than homophobic bigots. I personally think plenty of homophobic bigots don't act on their urges, and I have no clue about their numbers. Why do you think that I'm claiming otherwise?
1.12.2009 8:37pm
jab:
Posting a list of homosexuals, or the addresses of abortion providers is NOT the same thing.

When you contribute money to a POLITICAL CAMPAIGN, you are in effect exercising your right of FREE SPEECH... you are pooling your money with like-minded individuals to buy advertisements to broadcast your message. If you are willing to make the speech, be willing to stand-up and be identified...
1.12.2009 8:39pm
jab:
Mr. Cramer,

You are conflating two separate issues: voting and exercising speech (via donating money). The former deserves privacy protections, the latter not.
1.12.2009 8:42pm
jaed (mail):
If you are willing to make the speech, be willing to stand-up and be identified...

...and there goes the right of anonymous speech. O brave new world, that has such policies in it!

This is not a completely new issue - similar problems have shown up in the past for those donating to political candidates. I seem to remember a site where Democrats were urged to look up whether they had any neighbors who had donated to Republican candidates, back in 2004 (?), and a mild dustup over the same issue. A less enraged atmosphere at that time, so less of an immediate thrill of fear at having one's home address and employer information out there, but there are obvious ways this information can be used to harm those with disfavored views, and not many obvious reasons other than that to publish the information - indeed, to keep it in the first place. This has always been a problem with the publicization of individual political donations and it's just getting worse as politics gets angrier.
1.12.2009 8:46pm
Curt Fischer:


Me: Your article is rare example of civic engagement happening! Now gay activists and Marjorie Christoffersen know each others' views on gay marriage, and so do the LA-area readers of WSJ. Yay! Fellow citizens, making their views known, either directly, or indirectly!



Clayton E. Cramer:
Imagine if this technology had existed in 1957, and voter registration lists broken down by race had been available. Think of all the "civic engagement" that the Klan could have engaged in down South.


Lists like the Prop 8 donor list may well have been abused the Klan and others had they been available in 1957. I apologize if you read my comment to mean contrariwise.

But I was responding to Brian Hanifan's comment, where he linked to an article which detailed a non-violent protest that to me sounds like a nice example of civic engagement.

In fact you don't even have to go back to 1957 to find examples of people abusing political information. Mormon churches have already been vandalized by gay activists in response to Prop 8. That's bad. Apparently some gay activists are more criminal and less civil than others. I do not condone crime, nor do I think it is a form of "civil engagement".

My point was, if you want to persuade someone that publishing donor lists is bad policy, you should not rely on anecdotes which seem to describe civil and legal behavior.
1.12.2009 8:51pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
Ex-Fed, the argument that the "other side" needs protect as much or more is not especially convincing. The same data and availability methods are as much of a problem for pro-same sex marriage individuals, although I'm unaware of anyone creating such list.

Also, speaking as a individual who goes both ways and could think of a million better ways to spend political capital, list would be made solely of gay bashers or even socially conservative, while a list of contributors for pro-prop-8 individuals would not be primarily the ridiculous flamboyent or even gay/lesbian/bisexual individuals.

That the government is complicit in making political donations of a specific sort like this public is detestable, the same as a registration list of gun owners was or a list of individual condom consumption rate would be.
1.12.2009 8:51pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
Ex-Fed, the argument that the "other side" needs protect as much or more is not especially convincing.


Gah, that should have read :
Ex-Fed, the argument that the "other side" needs protect as much or more is not especially convincing evidence that such protection is a bad idea.
1.12.2009 8:52pm
Bama 1L:
Imagine if this technology had existed in 1957, and voter registration lists broken down by race had been available. Think of all the "civic engagement" that the Klan could have engaged in down South.

Was the Klan really frustrated by lack of information about whom to intimidate? I'd have thought they had no problems identifying their targets.
1.12.2009 9:06pm
trad and anon (mail):
Where's the "search by employer" option?
1.12.2009 9:06pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Ex-Fed, the argument that the "other side" needs protect as much or more is not especially convincing evidence that such protection is a bad idea.



I wasn't offering it for that proposition, but to respond to a particular question of Mr. Cramer.
1.12.2009 9:06pm
alkali (mail):
@gattsuru: That the government is complicit in making political donations of a specific sort like this public is detestable ...

I may be misreading you here, but I think that California's policy regarding disclosure of donations to referendum campaigns is the same across the board. The fact that the names of donors are publicly available is just getting more attention in this case.

The same data and availability methods are as much of a problem for pro-same sex marriage individuals, although I'm unaware of anyone creating such list.

The LA Times had a searchable database with the names of donors on both sides on its site for a while.
1.12.2009 9:14pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
Was the Klan really frustrated by lack of information about whom to intimidate? I'd have thought they had no problems identifying their targets.

Some of the relevant cases are NAACP v Alabama ex rel Patterson (1958), Talley v California (1960), Bates v Little Rock (1961). In Patterson, Alabama wanted a full list of the membership of the NAACP. The court found that the NAACP had a right of political association to withhold the list. Bates is the same thing in Arkansas. Talley found that an activist couldn't be fined for an anonymous flier. The cases are the foundation for a first-amendment-based right to privacy.

I am under the impression that Jim Bopp/the jamesmadison center recently filed a suit about keeping prob 8 donor info confidential, in response to incidences of harrasment.
Buckley, Socialist Workers 74 Committee, and McConnell v FEC each mention at least the possibility of getting these kinds of exemptions on a case by case basis. I am just at the moment too distracted to find a good link to the suit, might add that later.
1.12.2009 9:24pm
R:
Ex-Fed,

I live in L.A. too and my guess is that you're wrong about which t-shirt would get more ugly comments and even violence around here. I actually don't remember seeing a single pro-eight bumper sticker, lawn sign or t-shirt but I saw plenty against. There are also plenty of rainbows on display constantly.

I think it would be a very interesting social experiment though. Let me know when you have the results.
1.12.2009 9:35pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
R,

I wasn't talking about ugly comments. Nobody has a right to be free of those. I was actually referring to violence.

My neighborhood had plenty of signs and bumper stickers of both sorts, FWIW. And there were far more people with pro-8 signs on streetcorners as election day approached.
1.12.2009 9:38pm
Michael B (mail):
File under: the banality of raw power mongering and contempt.
1.12.2009 9:42pm
Toby:
Gunter Grass once commented that Americans are always hearing the stomping of the jackboots of fascisim, but they are always landing in Europe. This thread would suggest that the oponents of Prop 8 are always hearing the stomping of the jackboots of fascisim, but they are always landing on the supporters.

Oh wait. That's not fascism. That's "civic engagement"
1.12.2009 9:53pm
Putting Two and Two...:
I understand EV's concern, but what technology threatens isn't the privacy of political action, but the anonymity of modern life.

Back when people lived in small towns and villages, I doubt there was much anonymity about this sort of thing. People knew each other's business.
1.12.2009 9:53pm
R:
Ex-Fed,

I certainly believe you. Maybe my memory is selective on this. What part of L.A. are you talking about (if you're willing to divulge that info. No need to produce your exact address. I simultaneously respect your right to free speech and privacy)?
1.12.2009 9:54pm
BGates:
If you are willing to make the speech, be willing to stand-up and be identified...
This message brought to you by "jab".
1.12.2009 9:56pm
Putting Two and Two...:

Considering that supporters of Yes on 8 did precisely the same thing prior to the election


Not quite. The decision to attempt to extort money from anti-8 donors was made by the executive committee of Yes-on-8, the leaders of the movement, including Archbishop Niederauer. The efforts to "expose" Prop-8 supporters does not come from the leadership of Equality California or any other gay group. It started as a grass-roots effort.

The boycott threat is part and parcel of the anti-gay movement, with organizations like Focus on the Family running entire departments dedicated to boycotts.
1.12.2009 9:58pm
Bill Kilgore:
Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna smack you right in the face
1.12.2009 10:18pm
corneille1640 (mail):

How many people have been murdered -- or even injured -- recently in this country for donating to or advocating socially conservative policies? By comparison, how many have been murdered or injured for being gay? Which group is more routinely subject to assault based on its group membership?

Isn't that beside the point? I agree that anti-gay bigots are probably by a wide margin much more likely to commit violence against gays than gay bigots are to commit violence to their political opponents. But this map, whatever its virtues, does leave people open to harassment (either violent, or, more likely, nonviolent but still annoying harassment) based on their support for proposition 8.

Now, maybe that's a necessary price one must pay for living in a free society. And maybe the website should have every legal right to publish the addresses. Still, the concern is how that information might be used, not whether gays are disproportionately singled out for violence.
1.12.2009 10:23pm
On The Map (mail):
This map is clearly intended to intimidate one side of a Constitutional question. Expect the same method to be used by other groups, in other ways. Eventually, a protected minority will be "mapped", and then suddenly it will become front page news.

But some of us will remember who started this.
1.12.2009 10:34pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Let me turn the question back to you, Mr. Cramer. You are walking alone down a street at night. Which makes you feel less safe -- the Pro-prop-8 shirt, or the rainbow shirt?
It rather depends where you are. Where I live in Idaho, I could safely wear the rainbow shirt. The vast majority of the population would not understand its significance, and those that did would think, "Damn Californian." (Although most ex-Californians that I know here are here at least in part to get away from the idiocy.)

We already know what happens if you express disapproval of gay marriage in the Castro. It was pretty ugly.

Remember: gays aren't more tolerant than conservatives. They're just intolerant of different things.
1.12.2009 10:36pm
Cornellian (mail):

It's not so much what are people ashamed of. It's more What's going to happen to me now that I supported something I believe in.


You mean others might criticize you for your viewpoint? Choose not to
eat at your restaurant? Ask others to do the same? Oh, the horrors.
1.12.2009 10:38pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

I agree that anti-gay bigots are probably by a wide margin much more likely to commit violence against gays than gay bigots are to commit violence to their political opponents.
Probably true, but by no means certain. Read the FBI's Hate Crimes Report--it is amazing that there are as many cases reported of crimes against people for being straight, especially so much of our criminal justice system is focused on being sympathetic and tolerant of homosexuality.
1.12.2009 10:39pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Jab writes:

When you contribute money to a POLITICAL CAMPAIGN, you are in effect exercising your right of FREE SPEECH... you are pooling your money with like-minded individuals to buy advertisements to broadcast your message. If you are willing to make the speech, be willing to stand-up and be identified...
So if someone spent the time gathering photographs of participants from gay pride parades, identifying whose these people were, and then mapping their home addresses...you wouldn't have a problem with that? They're exercising free speech rights. They should be willing to stand-up and be identified (and maybe worse), by your reasoning.
1.12.2009 10:41pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

The boycott threat is part and parcel of the anti-gay movement, with organizations like Focus on the Family running entire departments dedicated to boycotts.
Boycotts, at least, don't involve sending thugs out with guns to seize your property for failing to conform to homosexual demands. Unlike, for example, Elaine Eugenin, who was fined for refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony. That's because homosexuals need to use force to accomplish their punishing of thoughtcrime.
1.12.2009 10:43pm
On The Map (mail):
Someone wote:
It's not so much what are people ashamed of. It's more What's going to happen to me now that I supported something I believe in.

Cornellian replies:
You mean others might criticize you for your viewpoint? Choose not to eat at your restaurant? Ask others to do the same? Oh, the horrors.

Or perhap vandalize their house, or business, or place of worship, in an attempt to shut those people up, so that tolerance and diversity can florish...

Oh, the irony.
1.12.2009 10:44pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Back when people lived in small towns and villages, I doubt there was much anonymity about this sort of thing. People knew each other's business.
And that's why homosexuality is extraordinarily rare in small towns and villages. Homosexuals move to big cities where they can be anonymous. But heaven forbid that others seeks that same anonymity.
1.12.2009 10:45pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

The same data and availability methods are as much of a problem for pro-same sex marriage individuals, although I'm unaware of anyone creating such list.
And it's not like our side hasn't lost a couple of similar votes. But then again, we aren't spoiled children who lose their temper when they can't persuade even a majority of California voters to their side.

I am offended by this clear attempt to intimidate people into not contributing to such campaigns. But it does sound like someone needs to do the same for the No on 8 campaign contributors, and see how long before the ACLU files suit to stop it.
1.12.2009 10:49pm
Paul A'Barge (mail):
This just makes me want to put more money and time into fighting whatever gays are for ... legally, of course.
1.12.2009 11:00pm
Guest12345:
I agree that anti-gay bigots are probably by a wide margin much more likely to commit violence against gays than gay bigots are to commit violence to their political opponents.


At least on the context of the Prop 8 question, this is plainly untrue. Once the result came down in favor of Prop 8 there have been acts of violence against known supporters. Making someone fear for their life, whether by overt acts of aggression or just by the simple act of sending them a package of white powder, it's still violence. Arguably even torture.
1.12.2009 11:02pm
JCC:
You are walking alone down a street at night. Which makes you feel less safe -- the Pro-prop-8 shirt, or the rainbow shirt?


The rainbow shirt. I had drinks thrown at my car at San Diego State, and had jeers/yelling/dirty-looks/spitting at me from other students in the hallways whenever I wore a McCain/Palin T-shirt. I didn't have the nerve to wear a pro-Prop-8 T-shirt while on campus, but based on the reaction I'd already gotten I daresay I would have been more at risk of an unsafe (for me) "incident" than anyone wearing a rainbow shirt on campus in the last 20 years.
1.12.2009 11:18pm
mishu (mail):
It appears that these pro disclosure types supported Elia Kazan for testifying in front of the HCUA. Oh wait...
1.12.2009 11:29pm
SFBurke (mail):
I am assuming that all the commentators who support boycotts of Prop 8 supporters look fondly back on the 50's when the movie studios blacklisted those who held communist views (and, let's be clear, those on the black list were all communists, communist sympathyzers, or at the very least, left-leaning anti-anti-communists). I can really see no difference between the two situations.

Personally, I think that encouraging retaliation (of any sort) against a person because they hold a particular political viewpoint is repugnant. This obviously can not increase dialogue or engagement because the entire point of a boycott (or worse) is to silence a person or to coerce them into changing their mind. How anybody can believe that such an action supports democracy or encourages engagement is beyond me. Do we really want a political system where people have to calculate what the likelihood of their losing their livelihood (or worse) is before expressing their opinions? The idea that people should have the "courage" of their convictions is merely a way of saying that one is willing to intimidate those who are politically or econmically weaker.

In any case, those opponents of prop-8 who are advocating the boycotts of supporters have, at the very least, lost their right to use the term "McCarthyism".
1.12.2009 11:31pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
And that's why homosexuality is extraordinarily rare in small towns and villages. Homosexuals move to big cities where they can be anonymous. But heaven forbid that others seeks that same anonymity.

I think you'd be surprised by the prevalence of homosexual behavior and bisexual behavior outside of cities. In my experience, it's not the fabled 5%, but it's certainly not rare. The big difference is that you don't see nearly as many brainwashed oversexed idiots of any sexuality outside of major towns -- I'm not sure if the city aspect is a cause (there's a pretty different cultural setup even going from suburbs to city) or a symptom (where else to get the most attention), but it's a pretty clean-cut difference.

Fifty miles outside Providence or San Francisco, it's a guy that just happens to have sex with other guys but would seem completely normal for months until or even unless he told you. In even Dayton, nevermind Boston or SanFran, you get a lot of people who are gay or straight, full stop. Sexualities with a personality duct taped to the side and certainly not making up much of the person.

It's not that alternative sexualities are rare outside of the cities. It's that people -- straight or gay -- are a lot stupider and a lot more open about private info there.
But then again, we aren't spoiled children who lose their temper when they can't persuade even a majority of California voters to their side.

As another poster pointed out, there was an LA Times database of both sides of this matter. There have also been fairly childish responses by a number of anti-gay-marriage advocates, including extremely dishonest arguments, intimidation, plainly incorrect accusations of improper behavior, and threats of violence.

That's not to disparage the average anti-gay-marriage advocate. One truth in this world is that, no matter how eloquent or correct your side is, there will be someone on it you wish was on the other side.
1.12.2009 11:37pm
Zaggs (mail):
Why is so many on one side of hot issues seem to believe that once they exercise what they consider their free speech rights, the rights of all other citizens are extinguished? Brian post a story where pro-gay activist were engaging in extortion ("The boycotters have demanded that the owner's daughter, El Coyote manager Marjorie Christoffersen, pony up $100 to help repeal Prop 8.") which is usually illegal not to mention the anti-mormon discrimination which in any organized fashion could be illegal on ongoing harassment which is usually also illegal.
Also why is it you are not allowed to harass people about their sexual preference, yet those people who are protected are allowed to harass others for their religious preference?
On to the issue at hand. The disclosure rules were meant for federal corruption, not state referendums. People don't care about their views being known. What they care about is that in a time period where just having a McCain sign on your lawn gets your house firebombed is having their personal information given to those that have hatred for them. Prop 8 opponents have done nothing to show their fears are unfounded.
1.12.2009 11:38pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
alkali
I may be misreading you here, but I think that California's policy regarding disclosure of donations to referendum campaigns is the same across the board. The fact that the names of donors are publicly available is just getting more attention in this case.

My apologies; I'm not good at communicating in English. The intent was to criticize a government database holding information regarding a speech-like or association-like action people may have wanted to keep private, regardless of the purpose. This is one particularly bad example, but the point holds (even if the matter is less inherently offensive) for databases of concealed carry owners or even fairly bland topics like support or opposition of a political candidate, levy, or bland law.
1.12.2009 11:43pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

I think you'd be surprised by the prevalence of homosexual behavior and bisexual behavior outside of cities. In my experience, it's not the fabled 5%, but it's certainly not rare.
NOPR's survey some years found that outside of big cities, the homosexual/bisexual rates were below 1%. Now, there are non-urban settings where homosexuality is widely accepted and common (Guerneville, Cal., Provincetown, R.I.), but these are very exceptional places, and usually not so far from an existing well established gay urban setting.
1.12.2009 11:45pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

This just makes me want to put more money and time into fighting whatever gays are for ... legally, of course.
Yup. The best analogy is to what happened in the 1830s and 1840s, when a lot of Northerners who didn't care all that much about slavery far away started to become concerned about the threat to civil liberties that a tiny minority of Americans with enormous money and power (a few percent of the population) were starting to become. The Gag Rule (how appropriate!) in the Congress; the use of mob actions against independent anti-slavery voices--and the excuses that fashionable sorts who weren't even slave owners began to come up with for these actions; their increasing dominance over the federal courts, even to the point of imposing their questionable interpretation of the Constitution onto democratic majorities in many states.
1.12.2009 11:50pm
jab:
So let's get this "straight:"

Photographer who refuses to photograph gay wedding: O.K. on free-association grounds...
Gays want to boycott said business for supporting prop. 8: bad?

Printing/photocopier business refusing to print gay wedding programs: O.K. on free-association grounds

Gays boycotting such business for supporting prop 8: bad?

Spare me the crocodile tears.
1.12.2009 11:57pm
first history:
Art Electic said:

Considering that supporters of Yes on 8 did precisely the same thing prior to the election (harassing those vocal about "no" - sending out threat letters to businesses, etc..) it would appear that turnabout is fair play. Putting civil rights up for popular vote is bound to end this way every time.

Guest12345 asked:

I don't recall seeing any of this covered in the news. Articles you can link to?

From the LA Times, Anti-Prop. 8 campaign gets a boost from Apple, 10/25/08:


Some supporters of Proposition 8 have said they would protest businesses that actively oppose the measure unless they make similar donations to Protect Marriage, the group trying to overturn the California Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriages.

Supporters of the initiative have sent letters to 100 businesses or organizations, saying they would publicize their contributions unless they give to Protect Marriage, said Sonja Eddings Brown, deputy communications director for the Yes on 8 campaign.


So the only difference is when the shakedown takes place--before or after the election. Many conservative opponents to campaign finance "reform" say that with the Internet, limits on funding should be lifted with immediate donor disclosure on a website. It appears the pro-Prop 8 campaign are special pleaders--they want the money without the disclosure. The public, however, has a right to know who is giving to a campaign--esp. for ballot propositions, since the process is dominated by corporate interests.
1.12.2009 11:58pm
Mia (mail):
In light of the violence and harassment people who support Prop 8 have been subjected to, I don't think they should make these donor lists private.

On the other hand, if we let people bully us around and prevent us from exercising our right to vote as we see fit, we will soon lose our rightsand put ourselves in danger of becoming another Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea.

My state already has a constitutional amendment and the voting went off without a hitch. However, even if I knew I would be picketed or boycotted, I would still vote for a Proposition 8 in my state. If I were afraid of violence against me or my family, I would obtain a permit for a concealed weapon. I'm ready to "push back" for my freedom to vote the way I choose.
1.13.2009 12:00am
Guest12345:
From the LA Times, Anti-Prop. 8 campaign gets a boost from Apple, 10/25/08:

Some supporters of Proposition 8 have said they would protest businesses that actively oppose the measure unless they make similar donations to Protect Marriage, the group trying to overturn the California Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriages.

Supporters of the initiative have sent letters to 100 businesses or organizations, saying they would publicize their contributions unless they give to Protect Marriage, said Sonja Eddings Brown, deputy communications director for the Yes on 8 campaign.


Interesting. Thanks. I must admit though that I was thinking more along the lines of threats of violence such as have been made by the anti-prop 8 group, or the mailings of threatening substances to organizations (falsely) reported to have donated massive amounts of money to the prop 8 effort.
1.13.2009 12:13am
subpatre (mail):
Alligator wrote: "Brian Hanifan, you seem to suggest that your beliefs aren't strong enough to withstand a boycott, or that the threat of a boycott is enough to dissuade you from supporting something you believe in. Is this accurate? (The question is utterly sincere and not intended to be snarky or sarcastic.)"

You either didn't read anything of the article, or you're advocating threats toward political opponents; your choice.

In the article, there was no action taken against a political opponent. The acts were directed against the restaurant because one of the owner's children —an employee— made a political donation. Boycotts do not 'curse restaurant patrons', boycotts are the withholding of patronage. What happened at El Coyote was an invasion of the business attempting to scare, threaten, or harass its patrons; followed by an attempted extortion.
1.13.2009 12:28am
cmr:
The CA gay community is just destined to keep undoing itself. Shoot. Half the reason they even lost Prop 8 (with more money, more media support, and more political backing) was because of one hubris-laden soundbite from their own personal cheerleader, Gavin Newsom, telling people the doors wide open, it's gonna happen, whether they like it or not. You'd think they would learn a little humility amidst controversy.

But no. When they lost, they lost their collective minds and started protesting and harassing people. Now, with this list being published, this is going to be fodder for the anti-gay-marriage folks should this issue come down the pike again. And people will once again feel threatened for exercising their right to vote or to have an opinion on something that was created whole-cloth out of the need to socially engineer tolerance and acceptance for, like, 3% of the population.

I will say, it's interesting that those who opposed Prop 8 are attacking those who donated to it. According to various accounts, No on 8 raised more money overall, but Yes on 8 got more money from in-state donors than No on 8. You'd think No on 8 would've realized they needed to do some local campaigning when most of their funding was from out of state, and international donors.

That's makes it all the funnier when they say, "oh, don't worry. The tide is changing. We'll get it soon enough."

Right. I'll believe that when I see it.
1.13.2009 12:29am
EvilDave (mail):
Ex-Fed:

I wasn't talking about ugly comments. Nobody has a right to be free of those. I was actually referring to violence.

There is a point where "ugly comments" become violence. That point is the old-fashioned tort of Assault (not to be confused with Battery).
1.13.2009 12:48am
Michael B (mail):
"How many people have been murdered -- or even injured -- recently in this country for donating to or advocating socially conservative policies? By comparison, how many have been murdered or injured for being gay? Which group is more routinely subject to assault based on its group membership?" Ex-Fed

Please substantiate. This is reminiscent of the Matthew Shepard case as compared to the Jesse Dirkhising case. The latter was sodomized by two homosexual men and died from the attack. The former died as a result of his attack as well, though the primary motive was robbery.

They were both evil assaults, but the idea homosexuals don't commit brutal crimes is absurd. Though I doubt the FBI keeps track of those stats. And yes, I saw your link, it tells us nothing about homosexuals and the crimes they commit.
1.13.2009 1:10am
gattsuru (mail) (www):
Now, there are non-urban settings where homosexuality is widely accepted and common (Guerneville, Cal., Provincetown, R.I.), but these are very exceptional places, and usually not so far from an existing well established gay urban setting.


I usually consider Provincetown a relatively non-rural area, if only from a population density viewpoint than a persons per town name one.

I've seen a number of sources providing the rate of homosexual/bisexual identification among rural individuals at over 1%. Admittedly, it's rather difficult to get unbiased information (the link's reported data was collected by the relatively sane National Opinion Research Center, but for the biased University of Chicago and on a topic that probably has a pretty high self-selection bias), but their methodology looks good as far as I can tell.
1.13.2009 1:24am
Putting Two and Two...:

You'd think they would learn a little humility amidst controversy.


Gavin Newsom = noted heterosexual
1.13.2009 2:17am
Brian K (mail):
where are all the conservatives and church leaders/members who fought for the right to list the names of abortion doctors? or fought for the right to picket and occasionally forcefully block abortion clinics? someone above already mentioned the blacklisting of "communists" and mccarthy. or the "you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide" response to massive government privacy intrusions post-9/11.

funny how one's argument depends on whose ox is being gored.

-----
far more people have been injured or killed for being gay or pro-gay than for being anti gay. (that's not even including the vitriolic language that was common even on a liberal campus like UCLA.) yes, they are both wrong, both problems and ideally none of the violence will occur. but the magnitude of the problems are not even comparable. and given the smear campaign and shear number of lies ran by the yes on prop 8 people, some kind of reaction was expected. (although i was hoping it would be completely nonviolent)
1.13.2009 2:48am
Tritium (mail):
What constitutes Gravity?
the attraction due to gravitation that the Earth or another astronomical object exerts on an object on or near its surface

Can an unproven theory become part of a Written Constitution of Gravity?
No, A Constitution can only consists of truth, and anything Contrary to any part of the Constitution would be Unconstitutional. Should a case arise when a well accepted truth should be proven incorrect, a new constitution is written to take its place.

When discussing paper money, James Madison didn't want to prohibit it, when there might be a time when paper money could be useful, and it's much easier to amend the Constitution. But to remove a prohibition would necessitate a whole new Constitution. (As was being done with the Articles of Confederation.)

A Government intended to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" could never enforce legislation that restricts a persons liberty. Free Will is a Divine right of all men, and laws are to be written to "establish justice" only in consequence to the harmful act.

I can't be the only one who reads old law books?? It provides no Law can infringe upon a persons free will. If a church believes they can only Marry heterosexual couples, then he shall remain secure in his beliefs and practices.

THe Laws of this Country need to be reviewed. Slowly and slowly the Liberty is forgotten about.
1.13.2009 3:52am
man from mars:
I don't know much about this area of law, I have a few questions:

When were donor lists made public?

Were there court challenges that argued against this on grounds similar to that of the NAACP case, Patterson, that doing so restricts freedom of speech? How is different from NAACP v. Alabama ex rel Patterson?

Has the Prop. 8 experience weakened or strengthened either side's constitutional arguments?
1.13.2009 4:46am
paul lukasiak (mail):
Is Volokh Conspiracy a have for homophobes by accident, or by design? Certainly, the bigotry and ignorance on display here is antithetical to supposed "libertarian" value, and there is a strong sense of "whose ox is being gored" here --- one doesn't often see these kinds of objections raised by those with posting privileges when it concerns harrassment of abortion providers and/or those who use the services of family planning clinics, so it would appear that homophobic bigotry is "by design"...
1.13.2009 8:26am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

So let's get this "straight:"

Photographer who refuses to photograph gay wedding: O.K. on free-association grounds...
Gays want to boycott said business for supporting prop. 8: bad?

Printing/photocopier business refusing to print gay wedding programs: O.K. on free-association grounds

Gays boycotting such business for supporting prop 8: bad?

Spare me the crocodile tears.
I don't consider boycotts intrinsically bad or good. But homosexuals wouldn't allow Elaine Hugenin to make the decision whether or not to work; they insisted that she either follow their orders, or be fined for not doing so.

When homosexuals lose interest in enslaving people, we can have a civil conversation.
1.13.2009 8:54am
Flagar:

Gays boycotting such business for supporting prop 8: bad?

Spare me the crocodile tears.


The No on 8 crowd engaged in far more than merely "boycotting" a business that supported Yes on 8.

Here's a sampling of their "civic engagement" following the defeat of Prop 8:

Death threats were sent to some people who had Yes on 8 signs in their yard.
Link

Prop 8 opponents turn to religious bigotry by vandalizing LDS churches and temples, and engaging in patently offensive protests:

Link

(Interestingly, Mormons only account for 750,000 of the 36,000,000 people in California, or about 2%. Do Prop 8 opponents seriously contend that 2% of the population somehow convinced an otherwise reluctant 50.5% of the population to vote in support of traditional marriage through undue influence? … )

A mob of violent homosexuals attacked a small group of Christians who were praying and singing in San Francisco's Castro District Friday night, threatening to kill them and physically and sexually assaulting them until San Francisco riot police came to their rescue.

When the leader of the gay-outreach group was initially asked, "Why are you here?" he responded, "We're here to worship God, and we're here because we love you."

The mob responded by throwing hot coffee, soda, and alcohol, spitting, screaming, punching, and ultimately throwing the group members to the ground and kicking them repeatedly. As you can see from the video, some took pictures and yelled "We're going to kill you! We know who you are!"
Link here,
here,
and here.


According to the FBI, radical activists were likely responsible for sending suspicious envelopes with an unidentified white substance to the Salt Lake City headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the church's temple in Los Angeles:
Link

Link.

Bloggers unleashed:
"Burn their f-cking churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers,"
"I hope the No on 8 people have a long list and long knives."
"I'm going to give them something to be f—-ing scared of. … I'm a radical who is now on a mission to make them all pay for what they've done." (this goes on… and on… and on…)
Link.

Radical protesters whip out racist epithets (against blacks and hispanics) and have begun publishing lists with the addresses and phone numbers of Prop 8 donors to facilitate harassment:
Link

A pretty humorous attack ad against LDS supporters of Prop 8:
Link

Intellectually "tolerant" leftists harangue well-known Sacramento theater director Scott Eckern until he resigned from the California Musical Theater to spare the organization from additional controversy:
Link

Prop 8 opponent sends firm-wide e-mail to colleagues at the Orrick law firm in San Francisco attacking a Prop 8 supporter:
Link

____________________________________

Beyond California:

Radical protesters in Florida physically attack an old woman and smash her wooden cross to pieces:
Link

Link


A "gay anarchist" group in Michigan called "Bash Back" infiltrated a local, 5000 member church during its worship service last Sunday, and disrupted the service by hanging a banner from the balcony, pulling a fire alarm, dropping leaflets and yelling at parishioners in what a member of the pastoral staff said was "an unwelcome and violent demonstration."
Link
1.13.2009 8:59am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Certainly, the bigotry and ignorance on display here is antithetical to supposed "libertarian" value, and there is a strong sense of "whose ox is being gored" here --- one doesn't often see these kinds of objections raised by those with posting privileges when it concerns harrassment of abortion providers and/or those who use the services of family planning clinics, so it would appear that homophobic bigotry is "by design"...
I've been pretty consistent about this. I was concerned about the civil suit against the web site that was held liable for the death of an abortion doctor, not because I approved of their rhetoric (I did not) but because the connection between the web site and the murder was quite tenuous. And I would not approve of making these mapping site illegal, or otherwise holding them liable for the inevitable crimes that will be result. But just like I deplore websites making it too easy to get information about abortion doctors, I deplore websites putting up similar information about political donors. And you would think that homosexuals would be especially sensitive to the dangers of this sort of thing. But perhaps they are especially sensitive to it--and don't mind if there's some terror caused that way.
1.13.2009 9:00am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

They were both evil assaults, but the idea homosexuals don't commit brutal crimes is absurd. Though I doubt the FBI keeps track of those stats. And yes, I saw your link, it tells us nothing about homosexuals and the crimes they commit.
Oddly enough, some years ago I was looking through the details of the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting system, and I discovered that one of the reporting categories for murder was "homosexual relationship." For some reason, this category never appears in the published reports. Is it because there are no murders which involve a "homosexual relationship"? Of course not. I suspect that it is because the percentages are high enough to be an embarrassment.
1.13.2009 9:12am
Aultimer:
As long as Buckley v. Valeo is good law, the right answer is to keep all donor information private (by default, with an opt-out) outside of the government bodies who enforce the limits on contributions.
1.13.2009 9:45am
pluribus:
jab:

You are conflating two separate issues: voting and exercising speech (via donating money). The former deserves privacy protections, the latter not.

OK, if you say so. But I'd be more persuaded if you could give a reason why voting should be protected by privacy but campaign contributions should not. They are both exercises in democracy, both exercises that should be encouraged.
1.13.2009 10:09am
first history:
As long as Buckley v. Valeo is good law, the right answer is to keep all donor information private (by default, with an opt-out) outside of the government bodies who enforce the limits on contributions.
. . .
You are conflating two separate issues: voting and exercising speech (via donating money). The former deserves privacy protections, the latter not.

The pro-Prop-8 forces were using a public, governmental forum (elections) to propose their policy preferences and enact them into law. Participants in a publically-owned process should have no expectation of privacy.

As noted previously, the initiative process is easily manipulated by special interests. If it were not for public disclosure, how would the public know that five of the tweleve initiatives were placed on the ballot (and the campaigns funded by) billionaires; in one case, one who would personally benefit from its passage?

If you play in a public playground (elections), everyone should be able to see you.
1.13.2009 10:50am
pluribus:
The internet and privacy concerns are in tension. If lists of campaign donors were simply kept in a public office in Sacramento, nobody would worry much. When they are transmitted all over the world via the internet, concerns naturally arise. If campaign contributions can be posted, then it is not hard to argue that a whole host of other things can also be posted. Charitable contributions, books checked out of the library, movies watched, disability claims filed--the list could go on and on. It has been traditional to provide privacy protections (privileges) for certain types of activities--communications between doctors and patients, attorneys and clients, priests and penitents, husbands and wives, are examples--because we want to encourage those activities or relationships, and making them public would discourage them. It is reasonable to expect there may be other such activites that deserve similar protections. I think that serious thought needs to be given to this problem in the future. Everything I do or say or think in my lifetime should not be posted on the internet for everybody to examine and react to.
1.13.2009 10:50am
Seamus (mail):

I understand EV's concern, but what technology threatens isn't the privacy of political action, but the anonymity of modern life.

Back when people lived in small towns and villages, I doubt there was much anonymity about this sort of thing. People knew each other's business.



And back then, we didn't have a secret ballot either. You had to stand up in front of your neighbors and declare who you were voting for. Most of us think it's a good idea that you no longer have to "be willing to stand-up and be identified" when you are "exercising your right of FREE [VOTING]" (to borrow the language of jab's comment above).
1.13.2009 10:53am
pluribus:
first history:

Participants in a publically-owned process should have no expectation of privacy.

Should all of the books I check out of the public library be posted on the internet? If I go to a publicly-operated clinic, should the fact that I went there and what happened while I was there be posted on the internet? Should every place I travel to on publicly owned highways be tracked via web cams and made available to the whole world on the internet? Should a web cam be installed outside my front door on the publicaly owned street, instantly telling the world every time I leave my house? Have we finally arrived at 1984, if about 25 years late?
1.13.2009 11:00am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
mcubed.
You think the Prop 8 supporters are "ashamed" of something? Got any facts? No, I didn't think so.
They may be concerned about violence. Since you pretend to think it's about shame, you must have thought about it enough to know the issue is potential violence. But you chose to dismiss and distract. And, presumably, figured nobody would notice.
1.13.2009 11:18am
Steve P. (mail):
Man, not a day goes by where I don't feel enslaved by the gay agenda. I mean, it used to just be how to clean up my apartment, but now they're trying to dress me, and not throw things at them... it's untenable.
1.13.2009 11:29am
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
The No on 8 crowd engaged in far more than merely "boycotting" a business that supported Yes on 8.

Here's a sampling of their "civic engagement" following the defeat of Prop 8:



Many items on the list are crimes and should be investigated and prosecuted like crimes. Others are obnoxious protected speech, to which the appropriate and adequate response is more speech.

The suggestion common to these discussions is that the actions of a few fairly represent an entire political group -- that people who yelled racial epithets or disrupted church services or engaged in death threats are representative of the vastly larger group that otherwise voiced opposition to Proposition 8. This is a tiresomely common proposition on both sides -- we saw it, for instance, in the [rather effective] attempt to make a few loudmouths at McCain/Palin rallies representative of the Republican electorate as a whole. The gay rights movement is not above using it to suggest that anti-gay violence is fairly representative of people who oppose gay marriage.

During the campaign, a neighbor I have never met mass-mailed letters to everyone in a few block radius telling us that we were going to burn in Hell if we didn't vote yes on 8. Though it's tempting, I don't consider that fairly representative of Yes-on-8 voters. For one thing, I bet most of them can spell better.


Ex-Fed,

I certainly believe you. Maybe my memory is selective on this. What part of L.A. are you talking about (if you're willing to divulge that info. No need to produce your exact address. I simultaneously respect your right to free speech and privacy)?



R, I work downtown and live in the La Crescenta area.
1.13.2009 11:30am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Back in the day, Andrew Sullivan wrote a scorching essay on the differing reactions of the MSM and the gay community to the murders of (the sainted) Michael Shepard and (who?) Jesse Dirkhising.
I'd give the media half a pass, here. They report on what other people do and say, and hardly anybody was doing or saying anything about Dirkhising. So the MSM had little to report.
Poor kid was dead. Wrong lineup, though. Where's the memory hole? Left it around here someplace..... Nope. Sent it out to be emptied. Getting full.
1.13.2009 11:32am
SeeTheOtherSide:
The problem is that when the crimes come form a favored group (like homosexual activists, illegal immigration activists, etc). there is generally *NO* prosecution to the degree one sees on the other side (c.f. restrictions on abortion protesters, etc).
1.13.2009 11:40am
first history:
pluribus sez:

Should all of the books I check out of the public library be posted on the internet? If I go to a publicly-operated clinic, should the fact that I went there and what happened while I was there be posted on the internet? Should every place I travel to on publicly owned highways be tracked via web cams and made available to the whole world on the internet? (First history comment: ALready occurring-you can view Caltrans cameras on the Internet). Should a web cam be installed outside my front door on the publicaly owned street, instantly telling the world every time I leave my house? Have we finally arrived at 1984, if about 25 years late?

Your personal behavior is not of public interest; however, if someone, through campaign contributions, wants to enact policy preferences with the force of law on all residents, yes, it is in the public's interest to know who is suupporting those propositions.

For a libertarian leaning blog I find it disturbing that so many commenters favor government secrecy.
1.13.2009 11:45am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
There appears to be a Gresham's law in behavior. Certain groups, in this case gay advocates, like to take advantage of being the first to break the unwritten law.
Fortunately--for them--they can fall back on their Accredited Victim status when the other side sees what the new rules are and begins to respond in kind.
1.13.2009 11:52am
Randy R. (mail):
Michael B: " And yes, I saw your link, it tells us nothing about homosexuals and the crimes they commit."

All this talk about how violent gays are! Yet how quickly we forget --
Living here in Washington, DC, I know that there is a long history of anti-gay violence. Lambda Rising, the gay bookstore, has had it's front glass smashed in numerous times. The MCC, the gay church, has been attacked and glass smashed. In Dallas,the largest gay church in the country was recently vandalized (shortly after the prop. 8 vote in CA). Several years ago, a gay bar down the street from me was attacked when a small bomb was thrown in it. It destroyed a lot, but thankfully no one was killed. Bombs have killed gay people in London bars, and in Atlanta during the Olympics there.

Please -- anyone show me just ONE instance of a gay group throwing a bomb anywhere. Just once. Then I might take your fears a bit more seriously.

I, for one, don't believe that violence is the answer to anything. But I only wish all you who think gays are so violent would be present and condemn violence when it really does occur against gays or gay establishments.
1.13.2009 11:54am
Randy R. (mail):
Tritium: "If a church believes they can only Marry heterosexual couples, then he shall remain secure in his beliefs and practices. "

And it's just this sort of idiocy and deliberate lying that really gets me angry. Currently, in Massachusetts, there is gay marriage. And yet there is not one church that is forced to marry a gay couple that doesn't want it. Furthermore, there is nothing in the decision of the CA Supreme Court that would require churches to marry. So where did they get this? Its a deliberate attempt to inflame people into thinking that their right to be anti-gay will somehow be curtailed.

News flash -- even if gays get married, you will still be able to hate gays. You won't have to welcome a gay married couple in your home, and you will still be able shun them at work and in church. Is that a happy compromise?
1.13.2009 12:02pm
pintler:

I understand EV's concern, but what technology threatens isn't the privacy of political action, but the anonymity of modern life.

Back when people lived in small towns and villages, I doubt there was much anonymity about this sort of thing. People knew each other's business.


There have been a lot of comments about boycotts and bashing, but I think we're overlooking a potentially more chilling problem. A century or two ago, if your neighbors were displeased with your politics, they could (legally) not show up at your barn raising or not sit next to you in church or whatever. But the sun would still shine on your crops, and your cow would still give milk, and you could figure out how to build the barn on your own.

But in the modern world, where the vast majority of the population works for an employer, being ostracized is a bigger problem. When a simple google search shows any potential employer every detail of your politics, that has the potential to have a very real chilling effect on political minorities. If the price of having minority political views is the substantial future reduction in the likelihood of being promoted or hired, a lot of people are going to decide that they can't afford to be involved in political advocacy outside of the voting booth. I think that is a real cost that should be very carefully considered.
1.13.2009 12:03pm
Randy R. (mail):
It's interesting. Clayton Cramer continually brings up the case of thee photographer who was sued because she wouldn't take photos of gays. I agree, that was silly. But let's put things in perspectie.

First, that happened in NM, a state that does NOT have gay marriage. Second, after all these years and all the states and jurisdictions, Cramer can only come up with this same single case that hurts his side. I'd say that's pretty darn good evidence of our judicial system working well. If after all the millions of transactions that occur, there is only one that we all can disagree with, that's pretty darn good.

But it doesn't stop there. Cramer often frames this as an issue of freedom, that you can either be for gay rights, or you can be for freedom, but you can't be for both. BS, of course.

What Cramer and others continually forget is the other side of the equation -- the years and decades of official discrimination against gay people. Even today, in many places, we can be fired from our jobs just for being gay. We can be evicted from our apartments if the landlord finds out we are gay. We are officially barred from serving openly in the military if we are gay. We do NOT have the same freedoms that you people have. Indeed, many of you argue that we should not have them! Many people think it should be okay to discriminate, fire, and evict people simply because of their sexual orientation. (Not to mention the long history of police raids and extortion attempts made against gays)

So we have a long history of being denied freedom. And all you can complain about is ONE case of a photographer? Give me a break.

Back in the 50s, it was okay to discriminate against blacks, and they suffered mightily because of it. Then we got civil rights laws. Are those laws sometimes abused? You bet. But I don't think there is a person in America who says that those civil rights have limited their freedoms, or wants to go back to the 50s. It's the same issue.
1.13.2009 12:12pm
Randy R. (mail):
"If the price of having minority political views is the substantial future reduction in the likelihood of being promoted or hired, a lot of people are going to decide that they can't afford to be involved in political advocacy outside of the voting booth. I think that is a real cost that should be very carefully considered."

There is a difference between political advocacy and the removal of a right for a targeted group.

"The problem is that when the crimes come form a favored group (like homosexual activists, illegal immigration activists, etc). there is generally *NO* prosecution to the degree one sees on the other side (c.f. restrictions on abortion protesters, etc)."

Since we are so favored, how come we don't have the right to get married?

This is what really bugs me. You guys want it both ways -- you want to claim that we are a tiny percentage of the population, but on the other hand, we control the whole media and political establishment. If any gay person does something you don't like (like filing a lawsuit, or protesting in front of a church), that is proof positive that all gays are violent and evil, and so therefore none of us deserve any rights whatsoever. But when a straight person does something we don't like, hey, it's perfectly okay! We can be beaten, attacked, have our rights removed, scorned by churches, and vilified in the press, and all I hear cheering from your side.
1.13.2009 12:22pm
byomtov (mail):
I'm having a hard time seeing the difference between publicizing the contributors to a referendum campaign and contributors to an ordinary campaign for political office.

Suppose that in some state gay marriage is an issue of great interest that is expected to come up in the legislature. During legislative elections candidates take various positions, some being strongly in favor, others strongly opposed, and still others looking for intermediate ground (or just bobbing and weaving).

Now, assuming lists of conributors to legislative candidates are publicized, how exactly does that differ in substance from publicizing lists of contributors to campaigns for or against Proposition 8?
1.13.2009 12:25pm
mdgiles (mail):
Someone noted that people who donated to both sides of the issue were listed. But I would venture to guess that one side of the issue had far more large donors than the other. That would tend to make one side more vulnerable to pressure than the other. After all it is far easier to picket some restaurant owner, who gave $100 than it is to picket some large corporation that gave $100,000. Physical size, financial resources, location, etc., would tend to make the smaller donor more accessible.

So, we've already noted that the anti Prop 8 forces are "going after" (for lack of a better term) the smaller pro Prop 8 donors. With the exception of the Mormons, are they also targeting the larger pro Prop 8 donors? And, of course, vice versa.
1.13.2009 12:32pm
Smallholder (mail) (www):
This is a source survivability issue. Prop 8 supporters have little to fear from the al-gayda, as one of our less enlightened peers has so perniciously labeled gay rights supporters.

Public opinion is indisputably moving towards acceptance of gay equality. In fifty years (maybe less), our grandchildren will look back at this time period and be shocked that we were so discriminatory (even if you are anti-gay marriage, you honestly can't argue that this is unlikely).

I teach history in Virginia. My students report that all of their grandparents supported school integration. Now, it is possible that I have a very skewed sample set, but I think it is more likely that Grandma and Grandpa are now ashamed at what they did to oppose Brown v. Board of Education and are selectively editing their personal histories for the descendants.

But modern bigots have a source survivability issue: they will not be able to lie to their grandchildren because the kids will have easy access to "eight maps" and other records.

Clayton Cramer, it's not gay vigilantes you need to worry about. It's facing your progeny in fifty years.
1.13.2009 12:39pm
gran habano:
byomtov,

Campaign contributions to a candidate generate the chance of corruption in that candidate... that person... in the legislative process. The candidate's vote may be bought.

The referendum process removes the corrupt middleman, as it were, since the people are voting directly, not a legislature. Now, if donors were paying people for their votes directly, the situations might be considered analogous.

I think publicizing these names is a step closer to the day when votes themselves will be publicized, and bought.
1.13.2009 12:54pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
Many people think it should be okay to discriminate, fire, and evict people simply because of their sexual orientation.

I don't self-identify as homosexual or bisexual (as do a number of individuals who have same-sex sexual interactions and are still at risk). Same-sex sexual interactions or going both ways presents the same risk regardless of sexual interaction.

Last I checked, though, the first amendment includes the right to association or lack of association, and neither the Constitution nor federal law recognize the right to a job regardless of sexual actions or identity.
So we have a long history of being denied freedom. And all you can complain about is ONE case of a photographer? Give me a break.


I'll save Cramer his rant and point out that there have been other cases, up to, including, and going beyond attempts to force churches and religious buildings to provide ceremony services for gay individuals (a pleasant 1st Amendment violating three-fer).

Unlike Cramer, I can rather easily presume that violations of the rights of gay men and lesbian women could (and even could likely) be more common than the opposite, since I'd rather not have this thread devolve into a question of what is an acceptable limitation on human sexuality and what is a violation of human rights.

I don't think the distinction is particularly relevant. Especially in this case. The same mechanics can and will, if they have not already, be used to harass both sides of the playing field.
1.13.2009 1:01pm
gran habano:
Smallholder,

I'm grateful to have an enlightened peer such as you here, to teach me about all the bigots posting in this discussion.

Plus you can predict the future.
1.13.2009 1:03pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
Same-sex sexual interactions or going both ways presents the same risk regardless of sexual interaction.

-.-

That should read : regardless of sexual orientation identification.
1.13.2009 1:04pm
whit:
this issue has come up here before

given that all sorts of information that we would LIKE to think of as private, IS NOT, if the information is available, collecting it and disseminating it is going to happen.

it's an internet thang.

not too long ago, if i wanted to research mortgage applications, divorces, criminal cases, civil cases, traffic tickets, LTTE, etc. i had to walk to various offices (office of the assessor for example) in person and make a request. for each person.

so, while the info was publically available, convenience and lack of anonymity (you usually had to make requests in person or even by mail which leaves a more visible trace) meant that it wasn't super easy to collect it and distribute it (distributing it w/o the internet).

contrary to the claims of many people who made the predictions about big brother, also note that "little brother" (private companies) have WAY WAY more info on the average joe than the govt. does. and are far less restricted in how they use it.

there was a guy in our area who cross referenced the names of cops with info he got from the assessors office and voters rolls, and was able to print where cops lived, their birthday, their salary, their spouses name etc. etc.

oh well.

if information is not somehow privileged or non-disclosable, then there should be no additional restriction on collecting and cross-referencing all these individual data points. but the reality is that by doing so, the real value of the info becomes MUCH more useful, and "intrusive".

it's a tradeoff. just as our way more expansive free speech (vs. europe, canada, etc.) comes at a cost, allowing everybody access to all this information DOES increase the potential for abuse. that's the price we pay to live in a free society
1.13.2009 1:09pm
pluribus:
Smallholder:

I teach history in Virginia. My students report that all of their grandparents supported school integration.

I think you mean they opposed school integration and supported school segregation.

I agree with your point.
1.13.2009 1:10pm
whit:

I think you mean they opposed school integration and supported school segregation.

I agree with your point.



no he means what he said.

that his students REPORT that their grandparents told them they SUPPORTED integration, etc.

the point was that what the gp's told their students may not in fact be true cause they were ashamed of their actual positions back in the day.

i think you missed his entire point.

note that there is a big difference between saying GP opposed X and what the GP told the student (their grandkids) they did or didn't support
1.13.2009 1:19pm
JoeSixpack (mail):
http://www.eff.org/issues/anonymity

"A much-cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads:

Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

The tradition of anonymous speech is older than the United States. Founders Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers under the pseudonym "Publius," and "the Federal Farmer" spoke up in rebuttal. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized rights to speak anonymously derived from the First Amendment."

All of these campaign/political contribution laws are clearly unconstitutional, but people don't seem to care that much.
1.13.2009 1:34pm
pluribus:
first history:

Your personal behavior is not of public interest; however, if someone, through campaign contributions, wants to enact policy preferences with the force of law on all residents, yes, it is in the public's interest to know who is suupporting those propositions.

OK, but just a little while ago you said:

Participants in a publically-owned process should have no expectation of privacy.

So checking books out of a public library, or going to a publicly operated clinic, or using the public street in front of my house, or filing a publicly mandated income tax return, all make me what you call a "participant in a publically-owned process." How about casting my vote in a public election? The ballots, the poll workers, the voting machines, the offices I am voting to fill, the balloting propositions I am voting either to approve or disapprove, are all, as you would say, part of a "publically-owned process." "You said I should have no expectation of privacy" when I do this. I disagree. Under your formulation, even voting should not be protected by privacy.

For a libertarian leaning blog I find it disturbing that so many commenters favor government secrecy.

You are confusing privacy and secrecy. Secrecy is when the govermnment taps my telephone without a warrant, or gets lists of the books I checked out of the library without my consent, or looks at my medical records without my knowledge or consent. Privacy is when they can't do this. Privacy is when my votes for public candidates and on public propositions are kept private, and they can't make them public. I like privacy, but am very skeptical of secrecy, though it is sometimes absolutely necessary. Also, participation in this blog isn't limited to libertarians. Don't be disturbed.
1.13.2009 1:36pm
Opher Banarie (mail) (www):
I think the original issue being discussed was whether or not it is a good thing to have access to this kind of information (contributor information) publicly available. There are people in California discussing changing the law so that less personal information is available. However, the information will still be collected and someone will have access to it.

Makes me think about "Joe the Plumber" and how Ohio state employees took to searching state records for his personal information, which happened to be released to the media. Where was the ACLU to stop that abuse of government power?

What checks and balances can be offered to the public that any government information files will be kept private? What prevents state employees from releasing medical records, financial records, etc. in an attempt to affect an election, an investigation, a court case or a person's reputation? They may be fined, imprisioned or fired, but the damage was done...how to "unring" the bell?
1.13.2009 1:42pm
Mr L (mail):
Since we are so favored, how come we don't have the right to get married?

Perhaps it's because the gay activist set is so utterly rotten and abrasive they manage to drive away all but the most determined allies whenever they show up in force.

I mean, the for and against 8 campaigns raised roughly the same amount of money. The anti 8 campaign had a huge advantage in terms of influence and publicity, what with public backing from the education establishment, unions, all the major state elected officials, and business heavyweights like Google and Microsoft. And yet, somehow, public opinion on Prop 8 went from 3 to 2 against at the outset to basically tied at the ballot box. Either the CJCLDS ought to be running Hollywood or the narrative needs a few revisions.

Incidentally, I always thought it was funny how they're mainly going after the Mormons. Los Angeles Jews were even more lopsided in favor of Prop 8 and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations was quite public in its support, but you don't see GLAAD protesting synagogues, do you? There were even a few attacks on blacks before cooler heads realized out how catastrophically stupid that was, but nobody touches the Jews.
1.13.2009 1:42pm
pluribus:
OK, whit, if that is really what he meant, I did miss his point. But the quote was:

My students report that all of their grandparents supported school integration.

Not:

My students report that all of their grandparents SAY they supported school integration.

Either way, I agree with what I understand to be his larger point, which is that attitudes change. (Did I miss that too?)
1.13.2009 1:43pm
jab:
JoeSixPack,

Thanks for the link. You have made me question my earlier stand... I can definitely see the need for anonymous speech.
I wonder if there could be a compromise position in which contributions over a certain amount, say $1000 or $5000, that would not be anonymous, but all smaller donations would remain anonymous. Honestly, I don't really care what individuals contribute... but I still would want to know what businesses/corporations contributed.

By the way, such arguments are the ones I come to this supposed LIBERTARIAN blog to see... the random gay-bashing of Cramer, on the the other, doesn't convince anyone who isn't as "obsessed" over the issue.

It reminds me of the time I switched from being pro-bilingual education to favoring immersion... the random immigrant bashing did NOT convince me, and probably made me hold on to my pro-bilingual views longer... what convinced me was rational, scientific evidence that immersion was far more effective.
1.13.2009 1:46pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Mr. L.
How did the Muslim community come down on this issue?
If on the "wrong" side, have any mosques been attacked?
1.13.2009 1:47pm
frenchie:
Smallholder: "Public opinion is indisputably moving towards acceptance of gay equality.

It was, but as my own case illustrates, that movement is not inexorable. Quite the opposite, it's mercurial.

I live near SF and I am generally sympathetic to some form of SSM: I think it's going to happen, and it's probably the right thing. I look forward to the arrival of the more accepting world Smallholder describes. Yet I voted for 8.

Why?

Because I was so repelled by the behavior of certain SSM supporters. Voting 'yes' was my small way of poking a finger in their eye. When Gavin Newsom bellowed "Whether you like it or not," I muttered "Oh yeah? We'll see about that."
1.13.2009 1:48pm
jab:
Frenchie,

Wow, that says way more about your character than about the issue at hand. You really should be embarrassed.
1.13.2009 1:51pm
frenchie:
Oh, and the overheated reaction to 8's passage has done nothing to make me question my (admittedly not very magnanimous) decision. If anything, it has made me wish I could do more to pour cold water on the offenders.
1.13.2009 1:55pm
pluribus:
Mr L:

I always thought it was funny how they're mainly going after the Mormons. Los Angeles Jews were even more lopsided in favor of Prop 8.

The article you cite says just the opposite.
1.13.2009 1:56pm
Michael B (mail):
This is reminiscent of the Matthew Shepard case as compared to the Jesse Dirkhising case. The latter was sodomized by two homosexual men and died from the attack. The former died as a result of his attack as well, though the primary motive was robbery.

They were both evil assaults, but the idea homosexuals don't commit brutal crimes is absurd. Though I doubt the FBI keeps track of those stats. And yes, I saw your link, it tells us nothing about homosexuals and the crimes they commit.
"All this talk about how violent gays are!" Randy R.
No, mine was a comparative statement and obviously so, hi-lighting some of the more salient facts. You would have been more prudent to ignore those facts and the comparison.
1.13.2009 2:01pm
JoeSixpack (mail):
The best solution for the whole "gay marriage" debate is to just take government out of the "marriage" business and call them all civil unions. People can them call their particular relationships whatever they want, but it would have no government force.

Of course, the hard core activists on both sides hate this solution. The religious right wants their special religious status recognized by government and the "gay rights" side just wants to stick their collective thumb in the eye of religious people by forcing them to recognize gay relationships as "marriage" even though it is contrary to their religious beliefs.
1.13.2009 2:02pm
jab:
Actually Joe,

I think the vast majority of gay rights activists would love that solution. We couldn't care less what "religulous" people think about us AS LONG AS we were treated equally by the state.
1.13.2009 2:08pm
byomtov (mail):
gran habano,

The corruption point is reasonable, but it doesn't really eliminate the danger of being attacked, physically or otherwise, for supporting a candidate with a strong point of view.
1.13.2009 2:09pm
pluribus:
Michael B:

They were both evil assaults, but the idea homosexuals don't commit brutal crimes is absurd.

Of course it's an absurd idea. Has any sane person ever advanced it? The idea that black males in the Jim Crow days never raped innocent white women was also "absurd." Yet it didn't validate the KKK or its campaign of cross-burnings and lynchings.
1.13.2009 2:12pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
Randy R.,

Consider who is the minority here and the implications of over-reaching.
1.13.2009 2:17pm
pluribus:
JoeSixpack

The best solution for the whole "gay marriage" debate is to just take government out of the "marriage" business and call them all civil unions. People can them call their particular relationships whatever they want, but it would have no government force.

I disagree. Those who have religious objections should not be required to recognize SSM. No church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other religious facility should ever be required to celebrate a SSM. But those who have no religious objections should not be forbidden to recognize SSM. No church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other religious facility should ever be forbidden to celebrate a SSM. This is a religious argument. The government should stay out of it. All the California Supreme Court said was SSM should be a matter of personal choice, not forbidden by the law, but not forced on anybody by the law. Proposition 8 said, No, the law should side with traditional religions and ban SSM. If, per your suggestion, nobody was permitted to enter a "marriage," gay or straight, the traditionalists would, in my opinion, have a much stronger argument that they had under the Supreme Court decision. Then the law would be truly denying them a basic right, which is the right to enter into a marriage with a person of their own choice and according to their own religious beliefs. Then they could plausibly argue that gay "marriage" was destroying traditional, heterosexual "marriage." Neither gays nor straights would accept this solution.
1.13.2009 2:27pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
I can't imagine worrying about what others think of my political positions. I certainly voice them enough so everyone is aware I'm a right-wing anarchist nut. I've never suffered any professional prejudice because of my views.

Obviously, pro-SSM activists must believe that they have the power to punish their opponents through publicity or they wouldn't waste the time indulging in such publicity. I can't say that they're wrong in their assumptions.

Trads should just ignore the capering and, if necessary, discourage demonstrators by physical confrontation.
1.13.2009 2:36pm
frenchie:
jab: "Wow, that says way more about your character than about the issue at hand. You really should be embarrassed."

Yes, perhaps I should.

But the issue is not "Is Frenchie a jerk?" I'm willing to concede that I am. The issue is, "Can a worthy cause be so undermined by its supporters' behavior that even friendlies begin to feel alienated?"

Hell yeah. Remember, I was a Friendly, until Gavin & Co got going. Having you jump down my throat does nothing to woo me back. And seeing the anti-8s compile Scary Lists really isn't going to woo me back.
1.13.2009 2:52pm
pluribus:
Duncan Frissell:

I can't imagine worrying about what others think of my political positions.

Are you financially, as well as politically, independent? Never worried about losing a job? Or not getting one? Or concerned about boycotrs against your business? Is your house surrounded by a wall and gate so nasty activists can't protest at your front door? Yes, some people are in a position to disdain the opinions of others. But not all of us enjoy that position.

Obviously, pro-SSM activists must believe that they have the power to punish their opponents through publicity or they wouldn't waste the time indulging in such publicity. I can't say that they're wrong in their assumptions.

Maybe their goal is to change opinions rather than to punish their opponents. Change the opinions, not so much of the objects of their protests, but of others who support them. Not a bad goal in itself. But some of them do go about it in a very bad (counter-productive) way.
1.13.2009 2:52pm
Michael B (mail):
pluribus,

You conveniently ignored the fact that I was not the one who originated the crime context, it was another commentator who advanced the following:

"How many people have been murdered ..."

... and I responded to precisely that comment with a comparison of the Matthew Shepard and Jesse Dirkhising cases.

Hence your "sane person" hyperbole needs to be directed elsewhere. The inference wasn't that homosexuals do not commit crimes, the inference was that they do so less than others. Such hyperbole also manages to continue ignoring the Matthew Shepard / Jesse Dirkhising comparison and all it represented.

Nice rhetorical sleight of hand, if you can get away with it.
1.13.2009 2:57pm
Randy R. (mail):
"Last I checked, though, the first amendment includes the right to association or lack of association, and neither the Constitution nor federal law recognize the right to a job regardless of sexual actions or identity. "


Sure. And last time I checked, it was illegal to not hire or fire a person merely because of their skin color, gender, religion and so on. I might want to associate only with whites. So that give me the right to not hire blacks? Don't think so. That argument died in the 60s. =

Thomas: "Consider who is the minority here and the implications of over-reaching."

You mean that because we are minority, there are some rights we just shouldn't be asking for? Like the right to marry? Like they have in Canada and Massachusetts?

Michael B:" No, mine was a comparative statement and obviously so."

If that's the case, then why pick those two particular cases? I can certainly cite many cases where gay men were killed specifically because they were gay, and many straight men who were killed merely as a robbery attempt. What would be the point of such a comparison? You would rightly declare it apples and oranges, just as your's is. There is no comparison at all.

Fact is, you straights have no defense at all when I bring up the violence against gays -- worse, you just ignore the argument. But you want to keep harping about the violence of gays against a few people. Great -- I'm against it too. But here's the difference -- you keep labeling us as though we are monolithic group, with regular meetings, and we all think and act alike. That is no more true for gays than it is for straights.

But instead, you say, some gays are violent, therefore, no gays deserve rights. Some gays abuse the court systems (one example of a photographer), so no gays should have any rights. Fine with me! Then let's agree that because some straights have bombed gay nightclubs and attacked our churches, then no straights should have the right to marry or to a job, or to an apartment. Because some straights abuse the legal system with frivolous cases, then no straights should have any legal rights at all. As someone said, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

One last point -- it wasn't too long ago when police would raid gay bars and the newspapers would print the names of the people in the paper. The purpose was only to ostracize gays and intimidate them. Where was the ACLU then? Where were you straights then? If you weren't outraged by those tactics, it's rather hypocritical to be outraged to see your names on a prop 8 donor list.

I guess you folks don't like it when you just want to live in peace, free from harassment, free from worry whether your boss will find out about what you really believe or do in your private life, and just want to live quietly with your married spouse to take care of your garden. Well, quelle surprise -- it's the same with us gays. You are upset about having your name published? Well, we were too. The difference is that throughout the 50s,60s, and70s, when police raids routinely occurred, we kept quiet about it. Considering your rather vehement reaction, you should be quite surprised that we were quiet for so long. In other words, we took the abuse quietly for a long time, far longer than any of you straights would have.
1.13.2009 3:07pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Randy.
Ref yr. last graf.
Probably right. Good to remember.
1.13.2009 3:16pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
Randy R.,

You seem to think you are invulnerable. And that your side does not need allies. This is commonly called arrogance.

Consider Nemesis, and what provokes her.
1.13.2009 3:35pm
pluribus:
Thank you for your very cordial post, Michael B. I appreciate your kind words. When you shower me with compliments--when you say that I "conveniently ignore" facts, that I engage in "hyperbole," and that I resort to "rhetorical sleight of hand"--I am persuaded that I may have been wrong in my original reaction to your post. (No, change that to "right" in my original reaction.)
1.13.2009 3:38pm
Putting Two and Two...:

"Oh yeah? We'll see about that."


Perhaps it would have been more fair to destroy his marriage.
1.13.2009 3:41pm
Michael B (mail):
No, the categorical "you folks" does not apply any more than you folks does, Randy.

The subject of the primary post is prop-8 - not crime, not murder, certainly not sanctioning of crime or murder, not even basic rights which can still and variously be forwarded.

In addition to prop-8 the subject is also coercion as applied to those whom "you folks" have political disagreements with - and that too is a subject you're all too conveniently eliding.

Save your good/evil manichean triumphalism for someone else, it doesn't apply to the subject, doesn't apply to me and it doesn't apply to anything I've forwarded or suggested, not remotely so - even to the contrary.

Likewise, the very fact you're having to flim flam the subject that is more germane is itself telling.
1.13.2009 3:43pm
pluribus:
Thomas_Holsinger:
I am sorry to see this discussion deteriorate so quickly into ad hominems. Randy isn't arrogant. He is unbowed. I am old enough to remember heated arguments about whether civil rights should be extended to blacks. Many whites then said that they had no objection to "Negroes" as long as they didn't get "uppitiy." When blacks demand equal rights they are not "uppiity." When gays demand equal rights they are not "arrogant."
1.13.2009 3:48pm
pluribus:
Michael B, you are outdoing your own cordiality. So Randy is "conveniently eliding," engaging in "good/evil manichean triumphalism." and "flim flamming the subject." Did you ever try to engage in an argument without insulting your opponent? Try it sometime. It can be done--though it's harder, of course, than just throwing around insults.
1.13.2009 3:52pm
Aultimer:

first history:

Your personal behavior is not of public interest; however, if someone, through campaign contributions, wants to enact policy preferences with the force of law on all residents, yes, it is in the public's interest to know who is suupporting those propositions.

For a libertarian leaning blog I find it disturbing that so many commenters favor government secrecy.

Anonymous speech is an important tool to advance unpopular minority views - far more than important enough to outweigh the public's interest in knowing who is behind those views, or who is behind majority views (like no-SSM in Cali).

It's commendable to stand up publically for a minority position you believe in, but it certainly shouldn't be required. Nothing illibertarian about it.
1.13.2009 4:30pm
Randy R. (mail):
Thomas: "You seem to think you are invulnerable. And that your side does not need allies. This is commonly called arrogance."

Considering the fact that 48% of the people of CA voted against Prop 8, I'd say we are doing a great job in finding allies, especially if gays only compromise 3% of thee population, don't you think?

Oh that's right. You keep looking at that small number of gays who are violent and keep attributing them to the whole group. I'm sure that in the 60s, when the Black Panthers were bombing and doing other violent acts, you scolded the black community and said that you are competely against granting them any civil rights because of their violence, right?

Michael B: "In addition to prop-8 the subject is also coercion as applied to those whom "you folks" have political disagreements with - and that too is a subject you're all too conveniently eliding. "

Excuse me,but it was YOU who made comparisons between two different acts of violence, not me.

"Save your good/evil manichean triumphalism for someone else, it doesn't apply to the subject, doesn't apply to me and it doesn't apply to anything I've forwarded or suggested, not remotely so - even to the contrary."

So then why raise the issue? Many people here have in fact admitted that they are now against rights for gays because of the actions of a few. That's unfair, and I will call them on it,althought it is certainly their right.

"Likewise, the very fact you're having to flim flam the subject that is more germane is itself telling."

When you can explain exactly what you mean by that, I'll be happy to respond. Oh, and thanks for all the 'compassion' that you have shown us gays. We really appreciate it!
1.13.2009 4:34pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
pluribus,

My college application essay, submitted in December 1966, was a high school sophomore essay I wrote in October 1964 accurately predicting the rise of the "black power" movement and widespread urban race riots in the North. I included a note saying that I had a demon which told me things. Application reviewers read this in the spring of 1967.

Randy and his like about to meet Nemesis.
1.13.2009 4:35pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
oog, preview is my friend. "about to meet Nemesis."

And Randy's cross-post shows I still have the demon.
1.13.2009 4:38pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
"are about to meet Nemesis." Did it again. Preview is my friend, preview is my friend.
1.13.2009 4:38pm
pluribus:
Thomas_Holsinger:

Randy and his like about to meet Nemesis.

I love it when people come on these boards and make predictions. Please give us your Super Bowl pick too.
1.13.2009 4:42pm
Randy R. (mail):
Micael B: "No, the categorical "you folks" does not apply any more than you folks does, Randy. "

of course not. I was using what is generally called in English classes a 'rhetorical device." You see, many people here keep referring to us gays as though we are all of one. So I turned the tables (and explicitly stated so), to show you how ridiculous it is thereby prove my point. I'm so glad that you caught on! Thank goodness you are smart enough to catch my rhetorical devices!

Nemesis: Actually, that's a good analogy. you see, back in the 60s, gay bars were routinely raided by police in every city. Law abiding patrons were placed in the paddy, arrested, released, and their names and photos would appear in the paper the next day.

Then one day, the fags just had enough of it. They were pushed beyond endurance. So they rebelled. We called it Stonewall. The NY Post ran a headline, Queen Bees Stinging Mad! And that is considered the beginning of the gay rights movement.

Another moment: The anti-gay forces in CO passed a state amendment that would prohibit any rights to gays. This galvanized the gay community in such a way that CO is now a fairly gay friendly state. Several years later, the organizers of the amendment admitted that it backfired upon them and that if they had to do it all over again, they woudn't have tried to stip gays of their rights. that amendment was eventually declared unconstittuional by SCOTUS.

Another example: Cracker Barrel in the 90s suddenly issued a policy that banned all gays and lesbians from working there. I saw a documentary on this very subject. it profiled one lesbian who was a dishwasher, did her job well for many years and was well liked. Even the manager didn't want to fire her,but he was required to do so. Moreover, it was perfectly legal.

So numerous protests were made in front of and in the stores. Created a lot of enemies. People didn't like thier meals disrupted by a bunch of fags whining about their jobs ,you know? But Coretta Scott King got involved (yes, we do reach out once in a while), and continued the protests.

Now, I know many of you think that CB was right to dismiss a hard working tax paying American and deny her the right to wash dishes, simply because she is a lesbian. Freedom of association! Even though the manager actually wanted to continue associating with her -- still, those managers back in the home office can't stand having a lesbian wash their dishes.

Today? Cracker Barrel reversed itself and now has protections based on sexual orientation in their HR.
1.13.2009 4:49pm
Randy R. (mail):
Pluribus: "I love it when people come on these boards and make predictions. "
I don't suspect it is Thomas' prediction so much as it is his hope.
1.13.2009 4:50pm
Randy R. (mail):
So let me get this straight, Thomas: I'm gay. I'm against violence of any sort. I believe gays should have all the same rights as straights. I've never engaged in any violence, nor condoned it.

So because of that, you believe that I am nonetheless responsible for the violence of others, and that there is no way I can escape that, and if you majority people rise up against gays, I shoudln't complain that that is unfair?

And in fact, you are hoping that this will somehow 'teach me a lesson' and be more supplicant when I ask for my rights? And then, you might -- if you are in a good mood at the moment -- vote for my rights?

Because we know much you value freedom and equality for all....
1.13.2009 4:56pm
pluribus:
Randy R.:

I don't suspect it is Thomas' prediction so much as it is his hope.

Or threat.
1.13.2009 4:58pm
Michael Ejercito (mail) (www):

I know the law's as you describe but to your knowledge, has anyone ever claimed that as a result of their having to conform to their employer's wishes 24/7/365, they were employed 24/7/365 and deserved to be paid on that basis?

Prop 8 passed, whether they liked it or not.
1.13.2009 5:50pm
Michael Ejercito (mail) (www):

The anti 8 campaign had a huge advantage in terms of influence and publicity, what with public backing from the education establishment, unions, all the major state elected officials, and business heavyweights like Google and Microsoft.

I wonder why the education establishment opposed the measure. It is not as if it had anything to do with education.

If I were a union president, I would only have the union involved in legislative issues that affect the union.
1.13.2009 5:52pm
LM (mail):
Pluribus,

Some threatening predictions are subtler than others.
1.13.2009 5:52pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
Michael, non-gay groups like the CTA worked so hard against Proposition 8 because they disagreed with it. And, because they were realistic about the political behavior of gay groups, they wouldn't let them near any leadership or spokesman roles in the No on 8 campaign.

Bear in mind that too many gay organizations are politically suicidal. Randy is an example. Their behavior since the election was predictable given the outcome, and IMO will result in the No on 8 campaign heavies sitting out future campaigns involving gay legal issues.

Gay rights has jumped the shark. Feminism did earlier, with the absence of outrage at the Obama campaign's misognist behavior being one result.

As Duke Henry the Red said to Ash in Army of Darkness, "They ain't listenin' ta ya, laddie."
1.13.2009 6:07pm
Michael B (mail):
pluribus,

Re, "eliding," "triumphalism" and "flim flamming" is an apt description of the tack he invested in. And in general, when sneers, a lack of civility, presumption, facile arrogations, etc. are eschewed on a certain side of the debate, I'll then modify my own approach accordingly. Until then, I'll take your moralizing pretense with a large grain of salt.

"Excuse me, but it was YOU who made comparisons between two different acts of violence, not me." Randy R.

Once again, some coherence: I was responding to someone else who brought up the subject of murder and crime in the context of this discussion.

And you didn't "turn the tables" on me, because I wasn't using any such device. Back to the subject of the primary post however.

It is amusing to see how privacy rights are thrown out the window, rationalized away, when it becomes politically or otherwise advantageous to do so. Right to privacy, such a very, very important principle.

Excepting when it ain't - which fact once again reflects upon that one-way street, the presumption, etc., I referred to in my reply to pluribus.
1.13.2009 6:33pm
pluribus:
Michael B.:

Re, "eliding," "triumphalism" and "flim flamming" is an apt description of the tack he invested in.

It is ad hominem. We are not here to tear down Randy, but yto discuss the subject of this blog, which is the propriety of posting the names of people who contributed to and against Proposition 8. If you can't see the difference, think of personal insults. Personal insults are ad hominem arguments. And if you regard it as "moralizing pretense" to speak up in defense of the object of the insults, I plead guilty.
1.13.2009 6:44pm
pluribus:
Michael Ejercito:

If I were a union president, I would only have the union involved in legislative issues that affect the union.

What if a lot of the members of the union are gays? Friends of gays? Relatives of gays? People who, regardless of their own sexual orientation, believe that gays should be treated equally? Then would the issue affect the union?

You don't believe that equal rights for blacks only concern blacks, do you? Or that whites should never say anything about the way blacks are treated?
1.13.2009 6:49pm
cmr:
I am sorry to see this discussion deteriorate so quickly into ad hominems. Randy isn't arrogant. He is unbowed. I am old enough to remember heated arguments about whether civil rights should be extended to blacks. Many whites then said that they had no objection to "Negroes" as long as they didn't get "uppitiy." When blacks demand equal rights they are not "uppiity." When gays demand equal rights they are not "arrogant."


...and gays aren't a race of people, either. And yes Randy is arrogant. He's a polemicist.

You'd think he and many others in the gay community would understand that summarily dismissing copious amounts of people all at once as being unprincipled and bigoted and homophobic wont result in massive support when state Propositions they have a ton of investment in come down the pike.

No matter how impassioned someone feels about gay marriage, they need to understand it's simply an issue of open-minded vs. closed-minded, tolerant vs. bigoted. What has Randy done to assuage the fears of those he so readily accuses of being homophobes? What investment does he have in the issues facing other minorities, i.e. blacks and Hispanics? How has he tried to engender trust from anyone who may not be on the same page he is about this issue?

Prop 8 opponents had all the money and support in the world and still couldn't win. That should say something. Randy's arrogance is just indicative of No on 8's overall arrogance. That's part of the reason they lost.
1.13.2009 6:53pm
R:
Randy,

I'm on your side here but I find your argument that this is not about political advocacy but about denying people their rights to be unpersuasive. The other side will see this type of argument as, "but this is different 'cause I'm right!"

I'm sure there are a lot of things I consider to be rights that you would deny me, like the right to enter into any contract with any other adult of sound mind so long as... yata, yata, yata. You've heard the libertarian position enough times that I don't need to repeat it. The point is, we have differing views from time to time about what constitutes a right and what doesn't. You normally do a pretty good job of arguing your positions. Just a little constructive criticism. No biggie.

Also, I understand your frustration with what you're perceiving to be hypocrisy (and probably rightly so) coming from some of the people who are outraged by this map, but I'm still not sure what your position is about it. Is this good, but the outing and intimidation of gays was bad? Or are they both kind of bad but, you know, by different degrees?
1.13.2009 6:56pm
cmr:
It's probably some variation on, "well, gays deserve marriage rights, and since the mean angry bigots of CA took it from them, they should be able to handle a little social animosity from the GLBT community. It's only fair".
1.13.2009 7:07pm
Brian Hanifan (mail):
Ex-Fed asked:

How many people have been murdered -- or even injured -- recently in this country for donating to or advocating socially conservative policies?

Well I can find one example with a simple google search. Woman murdered after witnessing to a homosexual
1.13.2009 7:24pm
pluribus:
I'm sorry, but I detect a certain tone here that I find troubling. Yes, gay rights are fine, but only on terms that straights dictate. We straights are the majority. The gays are the minority. So they must take what we deign to give them, and they should say thank you, thank you very much. We are satisfied, and you will hear no complaining from us. If you don't want us in the military--fine, that is up to you, for you are the majority, and we are only the minority. If you want to fire us from our jobs, that is also up to you, and we will not complain. If you don't want to let us get married, that's your call, not ours. No, gays are not a race. Nor are women, or old people, or the disabled, or disadvantaged children, yet the rest of us are concerned about their rights anyway. Or at least some of the rest of us are. I hear on these posts that gays are only 3 percent of the population, but the no on Proposition 8 vote was 48 percent of the total, so I guess that there are a substantial number of non-gays who care about their rights.
1.13.2009 7:42pm
LM (mail):
Brian Hanifan:

Well I can find one example with a simple google search. Woman murdered after witnessing to a homosexual

According to the DA, Gutierrez robbed, raped and murdered the victim because he was angry that his boyfriend (and possibly Gutierrez) were laid off by the Funeral Home where all three worked.
1.13.2009 7:45pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
pluribus,

Justifying intimidation of people because of their lawful political expression, in the name of equality for past intimidation the other way, is both wrong and, for small minorities, dangerous as well as counter-productive. Note the ending of my first post in this thread:
"They should remember that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."

If intimidation of voters is permissible, the strong have a license to oppress the weak, and majorities have a license to oppress minorities.

Minorities should keep that in mind.
1.13.2009 8:43pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
LM.
Are you referring to my prognostication about what would be good to remember?
If so, no suprise. Point out a likely consequence and be accused of "threat".
Sorry. Doesn't work that way.
If Randy or one of his more active friends wants to piss off an unbalanced opponent, recounting previous differentials in violence offered and suffered probably won't protect him/them. In fact, certainly won't protect him.
IOW, things may not have changed. Why would you expect them to?
But, none of my business. Do your thing. Let me know how it works out.
1.13.2009 9:24pm
LM (mail):
Richard,

I called it a threatening prediction, not a threat. Is it a prediction? Is it threatening?
1.13.2009 10:23pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
Gays who justify, defend or minimize voter intimidation when they think it benefits gays should watch A Man for All Seasons:
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
1.13.2009 10:28pm
Randy R. (mail):
Thomas: "Bear in mind that too many gay organizations are politically suicidal. Randy is an example. Their behavior since the election was predictable given the outcome, "

really? What exactly did I do? I've written on this blog. That's politically suicidal? Then you must have a very thin skin.

cmr: ":What has Randy done to assuage the fears of those he so readily accuses of being homophobes? ":

Please cite where I have accused anyone here of being a homophobe. Perhaps here is the problem: people like you who find that anyone who disagrees with them must be a knee jerk name caller and not worthy of discussion.

I'll notice that not a single person here has engaged in any of the contentions or arguments I have made. Instead, people have resorted to calling me arrogant, a name caller, and a polemicist.

The issue at hand is whether it's okay to publish the names of those who supported monetarily Prop. 8. I asked that those who are upset whether they were upset when gays were outed against their will by police raids. No takers!

"If intimidation of voters is permissible, the strong have a license to oppress the weak, and majorities have a license to oppress minorities.

Minorities should keep that in mind."
Majorities should to, Thomas, and I only wish your passion to stop intimidation extended to even people you disagree with.
1.13.2009 11:46pm
Randy R. (mail):
R:"Also, I understand your frustration with what you're perceiving to be hypocrisy (and probably rightly so) coming from some of the people who are outraged by this map, but I'm still not sure what your position is about it. Is this good, but the outing and intimidation of gays was bad? Or are they both kind of bad but, you know, by different degrees?"

Thanks R. Instead of assuming I said something, you actually read my posts. That's a complement! Michael B, CMR and Thomas haven't read my posts, but instead assumed that I took position merely because I am gay. Well, you know, you just can't talk to them gays, right?

But you are right -- I never took a position on the publishing of the names of donors, despite their deliberate attempts to put words in my mouth. And it's me who is accused of arrogance! Please -- all of you -- where did I call any of my opponents a bigot or a homophobe? Where did I say that publishing this list is good?

My point is that people who complain about this list or about the few protests that took a violent turn are hypocrites. Why? Because when gays are violent or destroy the privacy of straights, that's bad. But when straights are violent or destroy the privacy rights of gays, they just ignore the issue altogether. And for pointing out that singular fact, I am called all sorts of names. I guess it's a lot easier to just insult me than admit I at least have a point. Heck, even Richard Aubrey, with whom I often disagree, admitted I have a point. (Hat tip to you, Rickard!) But others just simply don't have the integrity to do so.

So how about this: Treat gays with respect, and respect our privacy. Allow us our rights. In turn, we respect your privacy, will treat you with respect, and will allow you your rights. If you can't extend that courtesy to Is that too much to ask? Or does that just make me one of those arrogant gays?

(If i mention that this is the Christian thing to do, I'm sure I will get plenty of people jumping all over me for presuming to know what their religion is. So I won't, okay?)
1.13.2009 11:56pm
first history:
Pluribus:

Regarding my comments "Participants in a publically-owned process should have no expectation of privacy"--your parade of horribles are well-taken, to the extent that you omitted the first sentence of the paragraph: "The pro-Prop-8 forces were using a public, governmental forum (elections) to propose their policy preferences and enact them into law." I hereby limit my comments to groups or individuals using public (governmental) processes that seek to propose policy preferences and enact them into law. As far as I know, no one is advocating eliminating the secret ballot. And even some of your "horribles", such as the books you check out from the library, aren't truly private--the government can subpoena those records without your knowledge.
1.14.2009 12:24am
Thomas_Holsinger:
Randy &Pluribus,

You two contend it is okay for gays to successfully demand that an employer fire a straight employee for contributing to the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign, but you'd claim it was wrong for the same employer to fire a homosexual employee for contributing to the No on Prop. 8 campaign.

That is hyprocrisy. It is also a politically suicidal position for a tiny minority.
1.14.2009 12:55am
Randy R. (mail):
Thomas: "You two contend it is okay for gays to successfully demand that an employer fire a straight employee for contributing to the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign, but you'd claim it was wrong for the same employer to fire a homosexual employee for contributing to the No on Prop. 8 campaign. "

And please kindly cite where I have said anything of the sort. I have not, yet you continue to put words in my mouth.

Here's the problem, Thomas. You and Michael B keep talking about a right to privacy. I agree that we all have such a right, or at least should have it. But my definition is a bit more broad than yours. My definition is that whatever a person does in his or her life should be of no business to any other person, so long as it doesn't harm the liberty or privacy of another.

What that means is that if I want to celebrate Kwanzaa, If I like S&M, if I like to watch porn, if I like to travel to exotic places, or if I have a spouse of the same sex, it should be of no concern to anyone else, particularly the gov't. It includes the right to marry whom I choose, because whom I marry is of no concern to you or anyone else, certiainly not the gov't.

Oh sure, you might say that the good of society trumps my rights as an individual, and we all know that gay marriage is bad for society right? Well, no, there is no proof that gay marriage is bad for anything at all. And in any case, where else have we heard that individual rights should be abrogated for the good of society? Oh yeah -- those places are not where you want to be, are they? Communism didn't work out very well for those concerned about individual rights.

The right to privacy, I believe, is for everyone, even people we don't like. Your position is that a right to privacy is only for people you like. Therein lies the difference.

When rights are subject to the whims of the majority, just how do you think that you will survive when the winds change against you? you quote Sir Thomas More, but you fail to realize the truth behind the words. Laws should apply equally to all, not to just those whom you like. You have no right to withhold them from any group of people, yet that is exactly what you advocate. indeed, you support the denial of rights to gays simply because we don't play according to your playbook (Gays are bullies! No rights for them!)

So there you are: My position is that rights, especially the right to privacy, are for everyone, whereas you think rights are to be granted by a majority to only selected minorities. I think that's abhorrant, and if that makes me arrogant, I plead guilty.
1.14.2009 1:26am
Randy R. (mail):
It's particularly ironic that Thomas, of all people, should quote Sir Thomas More. Thanks to these propositions to outlaw gay marriage (ie, denying a right to a minority), and by supporting them, you have now established the precedent that it's okay for the majority to deny rights to a disfavored minority.

Congratulations! So what if a network of religious people put together a referendum that would prohibit a state from recognizing the marriage of any couple where one of the parties is divorced.

Seems farfetched? There are a great many religions, including the Catholics and Mormons, plus many religious right wingers, who believe that divorce is immoral and destroys the sanctity of marriage. Such a proposition might have a change of passing. Of course, you can't oppose the right of the majority to take away a fundamental right, because that's exactly what you have done with Prop 8. And you can't argue if it passes. And if some people get angry about it, your only position is that they should shut up.

When you start playing this games with people's rights, don't be surprised if and when it comes back to bite you. That's the lesson of Sir Thomas More. too bad you missed it.

Unlike you, I believe in rights for everyone. Unlike you, I don't believe that they are subject to the whims of the majority. Unlike you, I believe the rights of the individual trump those of the collective. Those positions no doubt make me quite unpopular with you, but that's of no interest to me.
1.14.2009 1:54am
pluribus:
Thomas_Holsinger:

Randy &Pluribus,
You two contend it is okay for gays to successfully demand that an employer fire a straight employee for contributing to the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign, but you'd claim it was wrong for the same employer to fire a homosexual employee for contributing to the No on Prop. 8 campaign.

That is hyprocrisy. It is also a politically suicidal position for a tiny minority.

Randy has already answered for himself, but I have never argued that "it is okay for gays to successfully demand that an employer fire a straight employee for contributing to the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign." On the contrary, I think it is reprehensible to do that. That was hardly the main point of this discussion (which I understand to be the tension between posting campaign contributors' lists on the internet and privacy rights), but I think I used the words "bad" and "counter-productive" to refer to that. I also think it is reprehensible for you to suggest that I have contended that intimidation is okay, and that I am therefore guilty of hypocrisy. Argument on these boards is going to be very, very unproductive if words are put in others mouths that are simply untrue.

You wrote:

If intimidation of voters is permissible, the strong have a license to oppress the weak, and majorities have a license to oppress minorities. Minorities should keep that in mind.

I have never suggested that intimidation of voters is permissible. In fact, I have argued in favor of keeping votes and campaign contributions private, so intimidation will not be facilitated. Both minorities and majorities should, as you say, "keep that in mind."
1.14.2009 7:10am
Michael B (mail):
pluribus,

Your "clarification," that personal insults are an ad hominem argument, is little or nothing more than a tautology. Sillier still, to suggest I'm engaging in a personal insult by pointing out that someone is eliding a critical aspect of an argument is precisely that: incoherent and silly. As a summary, I did not originate the subject of murder and crime in this thread. To the contrary, I responded to the subject of murder, after it was broached by another commenter, by responding as follows:

"This is reminiscent of the Matthew Shepard case as compared to the Jesse Dirkhising case. The latter was sodomized by two homosexual men and died from the attack. The former died as a result of his attack as well, though the primary motive was robbery.

"They were both evil assaults, but the idea homosexuals don't commit brutal crimes is absurd. ..."

Randy R. then chided me for addressing the subject, as if I had been the one who originated it - and it then devolved further still. (And that doesn't get into the other, yet more substantial arguments in this thread, such as those forwarded by Flagar and Clayton Cramer.)
1.14.2009 11:48am
pluribus:
Michael B, I stand by my original comments and do not believe your attempt to perpetuate this argument deserves further response.
1.14.2009 12:23pm
cmr:
Please cite where I have accused anyone here of being a homophobe. Perhaps here is the problem: people like you who find that anyone who disagrees with them must be a knee jerk name caller and not worthy of discussion.

I'll notice that not a single person here has engaged in any of the contentions or arguments I have made. Instead, people have resorted to calling me arrogant, a name caller, and a polemicist.

The issue at hand is whether it's okay to publish the names of those who supported monetarily Prop. 8. I asked that those who are upset whether they were upset when gays were outed against their will by police raids. No takers!


Actually, I was referring to most of the other blogs I've seen you post on in which you did accuse people of being homophobes for disagreeing with gay marriage. Not this one in particular. The arc of discussion hasn't gone that way...yet. From what I've seen, you are a knee-jerk name caller. It's not a wholly false accusation, and I think you know that.

And your question is what makes you a polemicist, and your general disposition on this issue is what makes you seem arrogant. That's not a "point"...that's admission of foul play wrapped inside a red herring.

Michael B, CMR and Thomas haven't read my posts, but instead assumed that I took position merely because I am gay. Well, you know, you just can't talk to them gays, right?


It's not because you're gay. It's that I can tell when someone is BSing. You don't care about the Prop 8 donors being outed, because you think it's poetic justice. Of course you wont just come out and say it, because that would make you look vengeful and unsympathetic. So, you default to a ridiculous question about gays being outed.
1.14.2009 1:20pm
Michael B (mail):
Harrumph. More incoherence still. I wasn't seeking to "perpetuate" anything, I was summarizing and condensing what had taken place.
1.14.2009 2:26pm
davod (mail):
"Isn't that beside the point? I agree that anti-gay bigots are probably by a wide margin much more likely to commit violence against gays than gay bigots are to commit violence to their political opponents. "

Just how would you know. Does the FBI even keep statistics of straights brutalised by Gays?
1.14.2009 7:12pm
John D (mail):
I think I've cited these numbers before.

In 2007, there were 1,512 attacks motivated by the sexual orientation of the victim (this roughly corresponds to the 1,628 attacks based on the religion of the victim).

Of the attacks based on sexual orientation, there were 27 (0.07 per day) against heterosexuals.

There were on that same year, 890 against gay men (that's 2.4 per day). That's an awful lot of attacks for a group that represents perhaps a couple of percent of the population.

There were 197 against lesbians. An additional 375 are described as "anti-homosexual." And another 23 against bisexuals (indicating that bisexuality is the safest sexual orientation).

Just for the record, the vast bulk of the attacks motived by religious prejudice (1,127) were against Jews (69%).

So, yes, the FBI does compile the statistics on hate crimes against heterosexuals (and other groups too, at http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2007/index.html). There just aren't all that many to document. What does that work out to?
1.14.2009 9:59pm
cmr:
Also interesting: white males committed more hate crimes than any other demographic, but to listen to most people, it's the Blacks who are so uniformly homophobic.

Yeah right.
1.15.2009 12:07am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
cmr. "Most" in raw numbers or "most" in ratio to the population?
"homophobic" is only attacks, or is it strong denunciations in churches and the resulting (supposed) voting patterns?
1.15.2009 8:15am
Michael B (mail):
John D,

Assuming the perp is of the contrasting "orientation," on a per capita basis those are mutually comparable numbers from the perps' pov, which is the relevant pov.

That assumes 1) people are reporting accurately, 2) the reported numbers are representative of the actual numbers (i.e. including unreported numbers) and 3) none of the homosexual victims were victims of other homosexual perps - none of which assumptions are self-evidently true (e.g., Matthew Shepard's case was reported as anti-homosexual, though the investigating detectives indicated robbery was the primary motive; Jesse Dirkhising's case was definitively homosexual against straight, and Dirkhising was a mere 12 or 13 years old).
1.15.2009 1:03pm
John D (mail):
The Jesse Dirkhising was not a hate crime, because not all crimes are hate crimes.

Certainly it is abhorrent that a pair of child molesters raped and killed a child. If the two men had done this to a 12-year old girl it would be equally repugnant. Their motivation was not to attack a heterosexual, but to attack a vulnerable male. It was not motivated by hatred against men.

The Dirkhising case is irrelevant when we are talking about bias on the basis of sexual orientation.

The important point is whether or not the perpetrator sees the victim as part of a class. If Shepard's killers attacked him because they thought a gay man would be an easy mark, then the attack was (to some degree) based on Shepard's sexual orientation.

Let me make this clear:

If I am mugged because I have a wallet, there is no hate crime involved, even though I am a gay man. Not every attack against me or my property constitutes a hate crime.

If I am attacked because of my skin color, that would be a racial hate crime, and my sexual orientation would not matter.

If I'm attacked because the perpetrator saw me exiting a synagogue and wanted to bash a Jew, there is a hate crime, though my ethnicity and sexual orientation would not matter.

If my sister had a drink with me in a gay bar and the perpetrator attacked her presuming she was a lesbian, that would be an anti-gay hate crime, even though she is heterosexual.
1.15.2009 3:11pm
John D (mail):
Richard:
strong denunciations in churches and the resulting (supposed) voting patterns


don't quality as hate crimes. Nor should they.

While I wish all clergy would say wonderful healing things about gay people, I'm not that optimistic.

Hate crimes are actions that are themselves criminal, carried out because of bias against a group that the victim is or is perceived to be a member of. The action itself has to be a criminal act.

I can nasty things about the followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster all day long. No crime.

It's a crime to burn down a building. If I burn down a FSM church because I think they're a bunch of heretics, my motivation for my criminal act (arson) was hatred against people who believe in the FSM.

If, on the other hand, I burn down a building because I stand to collect on the insurance money, it's still arson, but I haven't committed a hate crime.
1.15.2009 3:17pm
John D (mail):
Third post:

I remembered where I cited the FBI Hate Crime stats.

It was a post (maybe not here; I comment on other blogs too, this isn't the only unlucky one) where someone opined that attacks on Latter-Day Saints were probably as prevalent as attacks on gay people.

It wasn't even close. The "other religious group" category in hate crimes is fairly small.
1.15.2009 3:19pm
Michael B (mail):
John D,

You are skewing your analysis a great deal and you're doing so in favor of politically correct considerations. You are, at least suggestively and presumptively, indicating the Jesse Dirkhising sodomy and killing was not a "hate crime," while also indicating the Matthew Shepard case was a hate crime, at least in part.

Firstly and most basically, it's worth emphasizing that we are in fact delving into the area of human motivations and, more often than not, that is some very murky territory. The Jesse Dirkhising and Matthew Shepard cases continue to help to exemplify that problematic terrain.

Secondly and still addressing some very basic considerations, whatever motivated those who sodomized and killed Jesse Dirkhising, it certainly wasn't loving consideration and respect for life. What I'm getting at is a general critique of the very conceptions used in support of what constitutes a "hate crime" in the first place, a highly controversial and in some sense dubious subject in and of itself.

As to the two examples in question, the following:

Re, Matthew Shepard, again, the investigating detectives (emphatically) indicated the underlying motive was not anti-gay, it was robbery. That they viewed him as a weak and susceptible robbery victim may coincide with the fact he was an outspoken gay, but it was not the deciding factor according to the detectives in charge of the case.

Re, Jesse Dirkhising, again, the idea hate and contempt for human life was not involved in the brutal sodomizing and killing of a 12 or 13 year-old seems abstracted and quaint at best, a rationalization for purposes of politically correct categorizations, not a more serious consideration of what occured. Again, whatever the underlying motivations, they did not include a loving concern for Dirkhising, his family, community, etc.
1.15.2009 4:26pm
John D (mail):
Michael B:

Since you seem determined to describe the Dirkhising case as a hate crime, let me repeat what I said:

The Jesse Dirkhising was not a hate crime, because not all crimes are hate crimes.

Certainly it is abhorrent that a pair of child molesters raped and killed a child. If the two men had done this to a 12-year old girl it would be equally repugnant. Their motivation was not to attack a heterosexual, but to attack a vulnerable male. It was not motivated by hatred against men.


Just because a crime as abhorrent, doesn't make it a hate crime.

Honestly, I'd rather be knocked to the ground while someone called me a faggot than shot dead by someone who wanted my wallet. Nevertheless, the first is a hate crime, the second just a crime, even though it is worse.

No, the killers were not acting out of a loving concern. Nor, were they seeing Dirkhising as the representative of some group. Some really bad crimes just aren't motivated by bias.
1.16.2009 2:22am
Michael B (mail):
John, it's simpler than that. We disagree. If in a general sense only, I emphasized the basis of our disagreement in the 2nd and 3rd grafs of my prior, 4:26pm comment.
1.16.2009 2:11pm
John D (mail):
Michael B:

It certainly seems likely that Matt Shepard's killing was not a hate crime. They two might have seen the slender and short Shepard as an easy mark.

The Dirkhsing killing seems not to have been a hate crime.

This does not mean that bias against various groups is never a motivation for a criminal act, merely that it wasn't an issues in these cases.
1.16.2009 10:08pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):

Brian Hanifan, you seem to suggest that your beliefs aren't strong enough to withstand a boycott, or that the threat of a boycott is enough to dissuade you from supporting something you believe in. Is this accurate?

(The question is utterly sincere and not intended to be snarky or sarcastic.)


Please tell me your address. Then when your car gets mysteriously keyed, then come back and tell me that the only thing to fear is 'shame'.
1.17.2009 8:25am

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