Saturday, November 8, 2008

Six groups who supported Proposition 8 - so where are the other five videos?

All's fair in love and politics.

A significant portion of Californians voted against Proposition 8, and it's understandable that they would want to identify those who supported the measure. Some are trying to be thorough:

Specifically, I'd like someone to go through the list of donors to Prop 8 and pull for us:

1. The Top donors to Yes on 8 overall, who are they, where are they from, and how much did they give.

2. Tell us the companies the top donors work for, and where those companies are based.

3. Tell us the positions the top donors hold in these companies (I'm especially interested in anti-gay donors who hold senior management positions in their businesses, like the nice gentleman we wrote about yesterday who runs a number of Marriott hotels).

4. A more general question - are there companies that have an especially large number of employees who gave to the anti-gay forces supporting Prop 8?

5. I'm also interested in Yes on 8 donors, and more generally anti-gay donors (to causes other than Prop 8), with specific ties to Utah (either the donor lives in Utah or works for a company in, or based in, Utah).

6. I'd like a list of the top businesses based in Utah.

On the other hand, this thoroughness seems to only extend to Utah. Here's why:

It's been said that as many as 4 out of 5 dollars donated to the anti-gay Prop 8 forces came from Mormons, especially those in Utah. I'd like to know more about the Prop 8 donors.

Yup, the LDS Church is a clear and present danger, according to the "No on 8" crowd. This explains things such as the second most hateful video in the 2008 election (sorry, but Elizabeth Dole took the top spot), and also explains Jesse Stay's puzzlement.

But, as has been noted elsewhere, not all LDS members followed the dictates of their church. This tends to be a surprise to some people who are used to Roman Catholics ignoring church hierarchy directives on various issues, but who are utterly surprised that some Mormons don't follow the church hierarchy either.

Speaking of Roman Catholics, Stay noted that the "Yes on 8" people did enjoy significant Roman Catholic support. And there were others. I previously shared a Statement in Response to California Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex "Marriage" on the website of my denomination, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. And I also shared a video from Pastor Rick Warren. And you can guess how James Dobson feels.

Well, Dobson and the Mormons have been targeted, but you haven't really heard a lot about people targeting the other groups I mentioned above, or any of the other numerous Yes on 8 supporters. (The list is gone, replaced by the vote total, but I previously captured part of the list.) And frankly, if you wanted to post a hate video against a Lutheran group, it would be really easy; imagine what a cinematographer could do with a gay Jewish couple greeting two Lutherans at the door. It would be kind of odd, however, to see a hate video condemning Rick Warren for his Christianity; there are circles who believe that Rick Warren is the Antichrist.

And that brings up another point. Now perhaps I'm going out on a limb here, but if you put James Dobson, Gerald B. Kieschnick, Thomas S. Monson, Joseph Ratzinger, and Rick Warren in the same room, they wouldn't really have a lot to talk about. So why is Tommy the only one who's being targeted? Lutherans, Saddlebackers, Catholics, and FOTF donors demand our rights!

But there is one thing that these five people have in common, and that will become apparent when I mention another group of "Yes on 8" supporters that the "No on 8" supporters have failed to target. The Los Angeles Times quoted this nugget from the Associated Press:

Seven in 10 black voters backed a successful ballot measure to overturn the California Supreme Court's May decision allowing same-sex marriage, according to exit polls for The Associated Press.

Yet I haven't seen a video yet where two men come up to a couple's door and say, "We're African-Americans. We're here to take away your rights."

And perhaps one of the reasons is that some people realize that one can't demonize an entire group for the actions of its leadership. So while "Mormons," or "Christians," or "theists" may be the target of choice for some, it's not the target of choice for others:

In working to defeat Prop 8, a profound coalition banded together to fight for equality. Faith leaders, labor, teachers, civil rights leaders and communities of color, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, public officials, local school boards and city councils, parents, corporate law firms and bar associations, businesses, and people from all walks of life joined together to stand up against discrimination. We must build on this coalition in order to achieve equal rights for all Californians.

We achieve nothing if we isolate the people who did not stand with us in this fight. We only further divide our state if we attempt to blame people of faith, African American voters, rural communities and others for this loss. We know people of all faiths, races and backgrounds stand with us in our fight to end discrimination, and will continue to do so. Now more than ever it is critical that we work together and respect our differences that make us a diverse and unique society. Only with that understanding will we achieve justice and equality for all.

Because when it comes down to it, issues are decided by individuals, not easy-to-identify "voting blocs."

P.S. Despite its length, this is actually a summary post in some respects. If the chance presents itself, I might dig into some of these issues a little deeper.

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