Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mapping Your Opponents

Another interesting fallout from the passage of Proposition 8 in California: the group "Yes on 8," who organized support for the Proposition, are suing in State Court to overturn a law that requires all donations of 100$ or more be filed publicly, with the donor's name and address listed. Someone has put together a map of all the people who made donations to Prop 8, so that locals can either send a message of their disagreement, or boycott their businesses.

I'm of two minds on this issue. I do think that it's important that sizable donations be made public, since the outcome affects public policy. I think it's right that everyone be able to see who donated what. However, while I do think that listing business addresses and contact info is important, I don't think that anyone should be required to make their home address known. What does it accomplish? Plus, we do have to consider that some people might misuse the information to target political opponents at home, which is simply unacceptable. Sending a message or boycotting business is a normal and fair way of expressing opposition, but having someone's home address is not necessary for that.

The story, though, gets SO much more interesting. It's easiest to 'splain in bullet form:

Fact 1: "Yes on 8" is suing to change the law such that their donors will not have to be publicly disclosed. They're complaining that they're being discriminated against for their political descisions.

Fact: "Yes on 8" has also claimed that the courts had no right to overturn the "will of the people" by declaring the marriage ban to be unconstitutional in May of last year.

Ironic hilarious hypocrisy #1: "Yes on 8" took the list of people who donated against the passage of Prop 8 and tried to blackmail them into donating to "Yes on 8" instead. (An actual excerpt from that letter: "It is only fair for Proposition 8 supporters to know which companies and organizations oppose traditional marriage." Apparently that doesn't apply the other way around! Hilarity!)

Ironic hilarious hypocrisy #2: The law requiring public disclosure of all donors was passed by popular vote, but "Yes on 8" wants the courts to repeal it--just like the marriage ban!

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