Monday, December 22, 2008

USA Today: Prop. 8 foes use blacklisting tactics to make their point

Thanks, Ruby, for drawing this to my attention! It is so underhanded to attack people's livelihoods when they've merely exercised their right to free expression - a real RIGHT that's outlined in the First Amendment, as opposed to this so-called "right to marry."

School children are taught about how horrible and evil the McCarthy trials and blacklisting of the Hollywood Eight were - and, let's remember, it was those on the Left under persecution then. So somehow the tactic is perfectly acceptable now that it's people whose beliefs oppose your own? How does that make sense? How is that tolerant and open-minded?

Standing up for Prop. 8 - for traditional families and for religious freedoms - is not hateful. It's honorable, and it will continue to be my battle cry, even if everyone else defames it as wrong.

Anyways, enough of my soapbox. USA Today reports:

Prop 8 foes turn to 'blacklist' tactics
By William M. Welch, USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — After losing on Election Day, some supporters of gay marriage are using economic boycotts and Internet lists to focus ire on the financial backers of Proposition 8.

Some on the receiving end say the tactic amounts to a blacklist, a term that conjures memories of Hollywood's refusal to hire screenwriters and others identified as communists in the late 1940s and 1950s.

"I just hate being pigeonholed as a hate monger or bigot," says Robert Hoehn, who contributed $25,000 to the campaign for Prop 8, which amended California's Constitution to exclude same-sex marriage. "I have friends in the gay community, and I don't think any of them would say that."

Hoehn has seen protesters outside his Carlsbad, Calif., car dealerships, his name and business have appeared on websites publicizing donors, and he has received "the most vitriolic kinds of e-mails, letters and phone calls."

His discomfort is exactly what some have in mind.

"I want to make it a little hot for these people," says Fred Karger, a retired Los Angeles political consultant who started the group and website called Californians Against Hate.

Small as well as large donors have felt heat:
• El Coyote, a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles since 1931, has seen fewer diners and been picketed over a $100 contribution by a manager and member of the owning family. Marjorie Christoffersen told The Los Angeles Times, "I've almost had a nervous breakdown."

• San Diego developer Doug Manchester, who donated $125,000 to put Prop 8 on the ballot, has seen a boycott against hotels he owns, including the Manchester Grand Hyatt on San Diego Bay. Manchester did not return calls seeking comment. Sonja Eddings Brown, spokeswoman for the Protect Marriage coalition, which supports Prop 8, said Manchester's hotel "has lost several national conventions and conferences."

• A-1 Self Storage, with 30 locations across California, has also been targeted by Karger's group. Owner Terry Caster and family members donated $693,000.

Caster did not return calls but has a recording on his phone defending the contribution and Prop 8. "The homosexual community is trying to change something that has been practiced since the start of our great country," he says, referring to marriage. "I simply exercise my right to support that which I believe in."

Brown says she has received calls from small business owners in Hollywood and West Hollywood who have lost customers because of their donations. She said she has seen printed lists that name Hollywood studio employees who gave to the cause, an action that "replicates that feel" of blacklists of movie-industry figures who many in Hollywood to this day believe were prevented from earning a living because of their politics.

Some say blacklist is the wrong analogy.

Larry Gross, professor and director of the school of communication at the University of Southern California, said publicizing donors is a legitimate tactic. He says it is similar to the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott of the 1960s in which blacks were protesting segregated seating.

"This is a matter of private citizens saying they don't want to patronize businesses that have worked against their interests," Gross said.

But Ron Prentice, executive director of the California Family Council, says it is wrong to compare supporters of traditional marriage to racists.

"I think the general public is recognizing intolerance" of the blacklist, he said.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that all this blacklisting with the intent for people to lose their livelihoods will backfire over time. People losing their jobs will find other work with a more civilized employer but the stories of these people will be remembered. Next time there is a vote about marriage, we will recall how terribly treated were those who voted for traditional marriage. We will say, "We can't let the opponents of traditional marriage win because look what they did to people last time. If they win many more of us could lose our jobs or be subject to reprisals".

V said...

What hypocrisy. The right threatened the EXACT SAME THING last year. They threatened to release a list of all businesses who had donated to the No on 8 campaign. Suddenly, the very same tactics the right started are being used on them and their crying foul? Ridiculous.

Christa Jeanne said...

V, blacklisting is just plain wrong - whether you're on the right or the left. It goes against the grain of the foundational American belief in freedom of conscience. People should be able to support or oppose causes without the fear of financial retribution.