Should Prop 8 Supporters Be Worried?

The federal court rules that donor names will be made public in accordance with California law

Photo by Think Stock

A recent federal court ruling has some Prop 8 supporters shaking in their shoes in California this week. After ruling last week that the identities of donors to this anti-LGBT initiative will be made public, not everyone was pleased – and some are even worried that they may experience retaliation, saying they fear activists will come knocking on their doors after they quietly (read: slyly) threw their financial support to defeat same-sex marriage rights in The Golden State.

Focus on Family – a very outspoken group against gay rights – recently posted an article suggesting that anti-gay Christian groups fear “intimidation and harassment from gay activists” and the so-called “homosexual lobby.”

In other words, they’d rather not be forced out of their closets.

But in California, anyone contributing more than $100 to a cause is considered public record. And the Prop 8 supporters are no exception. That inspired both and the National Organization for Marriage – two of the most vehemently anti-gay opposition groups in the country – to file a lawsuit nearly three years ago, suggesting that backers of Prop 8 were being harassed and threatened by – gasp – angry homosexuals. And they say that’s why the donor identities should be kept private.

This notion of a blood-thirsty “homosexual lobby” is also a stretch, especially if you consider how many states offer zero protection for LGBT people, like laws that might prevent people from being fired from their jobs for being gay – or laws that allow couples to enjoy all the legal rights afforded to committed heterosexual friends – like less taxes.

About the only backlash these anti-gay-marriage activists have received since same-sex marriage rights were repealed had to do with a boycott that exposed many groups, including many conservative Christian and Mormon groups from outside the state, for donating money. During the dust up three years ago, Californians Against Hate published the names, addresses and employers of people who contributed donations to the Prop 8 campaign. It’s basically the same tactic that’s been used by anti-gay groups against LGBT-friendly initiatives for decades.