Y'all are not gonna believe this shit. Unless you've been paying attention, then it just fits perfectly with the line of bullshit spin that these groups regularly dish out.
So, the state of California has a law that requires that donations to legislative measures and political party campaigns be made public knowledge. Its an anti-racketeering law to ensure that organized crime syndicates haven't bought politicians or legislation (oh the IRONY, which will be apparent shortly.)
Several groups who have donated to the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 are suing to be exempt from this law.
"Why?" you may ask, "why would these upstanding citizens who claimed to only be protecting their own right to be bigoted and limit the rights of those they despise so worried about being known as the defenders of (their own) rights that they clearly are?"
Well, cause they claim to be afraid of "threats" such as blacklisting and boycotts. They claim that these things will violate their First Amendment rights. The AP article linked above cites other threats, like fliers calling them bigots being distributed in their neighborhoods, and threatening emails.
However, Justin McLachlan has an interesting bit of info that the Associated Press mostly ignored in their article:
BTW, Protectmarriage.com is the same group that used public campaign disclosure records to threaten a San Diego business that donated to the "No on prop. 8" before the campaign. The registration documents they want to make secret are the same ones that I used to show the campaign was being organized through a mutual benefit corporation -- California Renewal -- that the state had suspended for failing to pay taxes.
Excuse me, I need to go laugh til I puke. Gimme a second.
::exits stage right::
::re-enters stage right::
Ok, I think I can get through the rest of this with only minor giggling.
I have said this before but its worth repeating: the freedom of speech inherent in the First Amendment applies equally to everyone (at least it should.) Yes, people in this country have every right to give money to a piece of legislation that they agree with. People have the right to express ignorant and hateful views. However, this right DOES NOT protect them from the First Amendment rights of others. Boycotts of businesses who donated obscene amounts of money to take away your rights is also protected by the concept of free speech. Having the right to publicly be an ignorant ass does not protect you from people calling you an ignorant ass. Freedom to speak is not freedom from criticism.
Please note that I can't condone violent threats against supporters of Prop 8, but I can understand why someone would feel that angry. Acting on those threats is crossing a line into territory that I think we can still rise above.
As much as I'm sure these hypocrites would like it to not be the case, there are consequences for your actions, especially when those actions oppress others. If you were worried about your profits, you might have considered the fact that queer people and their supporters have money too, and that hitting you in your wallet is a fitting price to pay (ooh unintentional pun! HOW WITTY AM I!) for treating other people as less than a full legal person.
(h/t to Keori)