November 20, 2008

Local Big Spenders who Donated $5,000-plus to Defeat Prop 8

Here is a list of locals who donated $5,000-plus to defeat Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California. If I had that kind of money to spare—or more—to donate to defeat this proposition, I would have. And my name would be on the following list.

Thanks for all the comments on my prior post, both positive and negative. Those who objected to the post raised some good points, including the suggestion that I should have provided the names of both supporters and opponents in the same post.

Well, here's the other side, the names of local big spenders who donated $5,000-plus to defeat Prop. 8. I said I would provide this list, and here it is. And, this list goes to the top of the blog roll. So, for a day or so at least, this list won't be tucked away in some hidden place on my blog.

Some posters accused me of being biased, mean-spirited, intolerant, and even threatening.

Yes, I admit to being biased against Prop. 8. I expressed this bias in my prior post. In fact, I'm proud of my opposition to Prop. 8.

There are people who disagree with me on this issue. Just tonight, I sat at the same table at a local Walnut Creek pizza restaurant with someone I suspect disagrees with me. This is a man from my neighborhood who has the same name as someone I saw as having donated $600 to the Yes on Prop. 8 effort. No, this man and I didn’t discuss Prop. 8 this evening. It was a school event, with a bunch of kids tearing around, so there really was no opportunity to raise the same-sex marriage issue. This man is a nice guy. His wife is a nice person. If he, or they, support a ban on same-sex marriage, I’m sure, in their own way, they mean well and think they are doing the right thing.

At the same time, I believe that people who regard gay men and women as second-class citizens are, in their own way, being mean-spirited and intolerant Denying two adults the right to express their love for each other within the bonds of legal marriage because they are of the same gender—that is essentially telling them that they are second-class citizens. You can argue the semantics of “marriage” versus “civil unions” all you want. If “civil unions” offer the same legal rights as “marriage,” then why not let same-sex couples marry. What is so threatening about the M-word to proponents of Prop. 8?

I think of a coworker who was so overjoyed to wed his partner of many years that he shared the news with all his colleagues, via a staff-wide email. How does his marriage threaten individuals or families who voted for Prop. 8, or the fabric of society? I certainly don't feel that my marriage or family is threatened. I was honored and happy that he wanted to share his news with the rest of us.

I’d love to hear a Pro-Prop. 8 supporter explain to me how he/she feels his/her family and community is threatened by gay couples marrying. Really.

I’ve been a supporter of gay rights since high school. As I write this, I think of this boy I went to middle school with in Walnut Creek. I later learned that he struggled with being gay, especially after his devoutly Presbyterian parents reacted negatively to his coming out. His mother considered his homosexuality as an "an abomination to God."

He grew into a kind, lovely young man. But quietly, he was suffering. In his early 20s, he felt so terrible about himself and about being gay that he killed himself by throwing himself off a freeway overpass. His mother later realized the cruelty of her close-minded beliefs and became an advocate for the local chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. If she's still out there in the community, I want to say that I regard her as a local hero in the cause of decency, humanity, and compassion.

All this said, I do not support anyone who would use my list or any similar list to harass or threaten anyone whose names are on them. I don't support the persecuted becoming the persecutors.

At the same time, I will repeat that I am publishing what is public information. If you’re donating big bucks for or against a political issue, it is a matter of public record.

As for those who are concerned that their family members have been harassed and/or threatened because they have been publicly "outed" as favoring Prop. 8, just remember that history and current events are rife with incidents of gay men and women losing jobs, family, friends, and facing arrest, physical assault, and even murder because of their sexual orientation.
It’s not right for people who voted Yes on Prop. 8 to suffer harassment, just as it has never been right for gay men and women to suffer discrimination and persecution.

Soapbox done. Back to the following list of locals who donated $5,000-plus to defeat Prop.8: This list was compiled using data from's searchable database. (The source for this data is Richard Dalton, a computer-assisted reporting specialist, who compiled this analysis of Prop. 8 campaign contributions for the Associated Press.)

As SFGate's Data Center says, this analysis is based on campaign finance reports submitted to the state Secretary of State's Office since 2007 and contains data current as of Nov. 3.

Giselle Jurkanin, lawyer, Little & Saputo Attorneys at Law, Sept. 8, $10,000 (total $15,500 between April 5 and Oct. 17)
William Morrow, unemployed, Oct. 24, $5,000

Donald Chaiken, homebuilder, Davidon Homes, Sept. 12, $10,000

Renata Sos, lawyer, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, LLP, Oct. 29, $8,000 (total $9,000 in October)

Rod Evans, retired, Oct. 18, $20,000
Stephanie Brill, self-employed teacher, Oct. 30, $40,000

Walnut Creek
Madelyne Cromwell, project manager, BGI Oct. 13, $10,000 (total $20,000 since May 28)


Anonymous said...

"...I am publishing what is public information. If you’re donating big bucks for or against a political issue, it is a matter of public record."

Consider that we should repeal the so called 'campaign finance reform' measures that mandate the public reporting of this information. To me, they haven't had the desired or touted effects and they have always been an affront to liberty.

On prop. 8 I advocate eliminating civil marriage altogether. Remember that we only started requiring state permission to marry in order to oppress minorities and those who would marry them. Now it is a constant target of politicians looking to buy votes. In my opinion, we should make it a simple registration if anything and leave the rules, regulations and repression to religion. (Like drivers licenses... There are religions that place additional requirements on your driving rights. The state is not involved.)

If we continue to have civil marriage we should not discriminate, no matter how we have mutilated our state constitution to accommodate it.

Yes to the eventual repeal of prop 8!

Leslie K. said...

I agree..there should not be any government involvement in 'marriage'. All unions should be 'civil unions'. If people want to get married, they take their little piece of government sponsored paper to their priest, rabbi, druid master or coven queen and get married. That way I do not have to worry about MY Church being charged with a hate crime for sticking to doctrine that is suddenly not politically correct...though it has been around for 2 thousand years.

Far be it from me to tell two adults how to live....but anyone who is naive enough to think that there is not a concerted effort to remove religious freedom in this country are probably still thinking the argument 'what's good for you is good for you and maybe not for me so what the heck go ahead' is relevent.

Concord Blogger said...

I think it's great that all of this is published. In the end if you supported Prop 8 through donations, you should just be proud of yourself and not worry what other people are saying.

Mayor of CLAYCORD said...

The Chronicle is genius for coming out with this database, not only for these lists, but all the other ones they've come up with.