In a column published in Friday's San Francisco Chronicle, Editorial Page Editor John Diaz decries the vicious, highly personalized attacks" against supporters of Proposition 8, the recently voter approved ban against same-sex marriage.
While Diaz says he believes that same-sex couples should have the full rights and responsibilities of marriage, and that the discrimination in Prop. 8 is "morally and legally idefensible," he is also disturbed by the way "protesters have shouted insults at people headed to worship; temples and churches have been defaced … and even small-time donors are being confronted."
Diaz also notes that " 'blacklists' of donors who contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign are circulating on the Internet." Perhaps he would say that Crazy in Suburbia's publication of the names of East Bay suburban big spenders who donated $5,000-plus to support Prop. 8 (names obtained from SFGate's Data Center) would qualify as one of these blacklists.
"This out-of-scale attempt to isolate and intimidate decidedly small players in the Yes on 8 campaign is no way to win the issue in a court of law or the court of public opinion," he writes.
Diaz may have a point. On the other hand, many commentators on the SFGate.com message board following his column voiced a counter viewpoint:
--Boycotts of individuals perceived to be bigots is perfectly acceptable. Freedom of speech doesn't mean any of us should fund the speech of people we disagree with. Freedom of choose means the freedom not to buy from bigots.
--Respect for democracy is one thing, but religion has no place in government, and changing the constitution should require more than a simple majority in order to avoid repressing a minority. I would defend the letter writer's right to express his viewpoint freely, but he should also realize people will respond negatively to such an openly discriminatory viewpoint. Churches should have no right to tell anyone how to vote on *any* item on the ballot.... not if they want to retain their (unfair) tax exempt status.
--Yeah being called out for supporting discrimination sucks. Perhaps those contributing to denying our equal rights will think twice. It's economic and community pressure to show we aren't taking it anymore. Tough cookies. It's better than violence.
--I'm not calling for violence here, but after the election, I had a fundamental right TAKEN from me. I wanted (and sometimes still do) to take something important from all these people that voted yes. We're angry and rightfully so.
--Welcome to the crap gay people have had to put up with all their lives.
--There's also a sense of irony, remember that the Yes on 8 campaign basically blackmailed business who donated to the No campaign, saying that they would release their information and what not. More than that, the LGBT community has been subject to hate much more vile than any of the reprehensible behavior that has emanated from it in the past two weeks. When a Mormon is beat to an inch of his life and strung up on a fence post to die, then we can talk about who's really being victimized.