Monday, October 27, 2008

Yes on 8's "Respectful" Request

Previously, I have written about the Yes on 8 campaign's tattle-tale list of wrongs done by individual defenders of marriage equality. If you remember, these wrongs included individuals supposedly stealing and defacing Yes on 8 lawn signs and a person who "flipped off" a woman who had a Yes on 8 bumper sticker on her car. While these acts are wrong and should be condemned, there is no evidence that they are part of any sort of organized anti-Proposition 8 group conspiracy.

But, what if some of the actual organized, concerted actions of the Yes on 8 movement, the movement that claims to be coming from a place of moral righteousness, were immoral, threatening, and unethical?

The Box Turtle Bulletin has reported that the Yes on 8 campaign has been sending threatening letters to businesses who donated money to oppose the anti-equality initiative. Businessowner Jim Abbot, who donated $10,000 to the No on 8 campaign, recently received a letter from Yes on 8 "respetfully requesting" that he contribute to the Yes on 8 campaign or else. This letter reads, in relevant part:

"We respectfully request that [Abbot's company] withdraw its support of Equality California. Make a donation of a like amount to which will help us correct this error. Were you to elect not to donate comparably, it would be a clear indication that you are in opposition to traditional marriage. You would leave us no other reasonable assumption. The names of any companies and organizations that chose not to donate in like manner to but have given to Equality California will be published."

Apparently, a donation form was included with the letter, which was also sent to dozens of small businesses that contributed to the No on 8 campaign. This letter was signed by 4 leaders of the Yes on 8 campaign and Yes on 8 has confirmed that the letter is legitimate. Perhaps what is more audacious than the threatening tone of this letter is the fact that Yes on 8 refers to Abbot's support of Equality California as an "error." As though, whoopsies, he just didn't know what he was supporting when he sent his check to oppose Proposition 8 and now that Yes on 8 has notified him of this error he will immediately correct it.

But back to the threats, let's notice the key phrases: "Were you to elect not to donate comparably," "You would leave us no other reasonable assumption," "will be published."

That is, the people who sit perched above the rest of us as our culture's supposed moral leaders have no qualms about sending blackmail-esque communications to those who do not support their policy position. I'm not a Christian but I do know that is definitely not something Jesus would do.

While the actions of Yes on 8 are probably not illegal, they are still morally questionable, audacious, and despicable. Threats have no place in civil discourse.

Yes on 8, welcome to the H(ypocrite) Hall of Shame.

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