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Prop. 8 Donors Fear Retaliation

Prop. 8 Donors Fear Retaliation

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On the heels of last week's federal court ruling that California's Proposition 8 supporters are not entitled to protect the identities of their donors from the public, antigay Christian groups are expressing fear of retaliation by marriage equality supporters for financially supporting the measure --which added an amendment to California's constitution making same-sex marriage illegal.

The Colorado Independent
reports that CitizenLink, the news outlet for Focus on the Family, recently posted a "dire summary" of the ruling that outlined the organization's "fears of intimidation and harassment from 'gay activists' and 'the homosexual lobby.'"

While California law requires that political campaigns must reveal the identity of anyone who donates more than $100, James Bopp, a high-profile attorney for religious right causes, has vowed to continue fighting for an exemption in this particular case.

"The result of the judge's decision is going to literally be a free-fire zone when we talk about the court sanctioning harassment of people who participate in our democratic process," CitizenLink quotes Bopp as saying. "Absent the prospect of protection in future cases, I think the whole idea here by the homosexual lobby is they now have a threat. They [will seek the names of donors] and put them on the Internet. So they already know they've got a weapon of intimidation, and without the courts' protection, they'll continue to use it."

During the Prop. 8 campaign in 2008, websites such as Californians Against Hate published the names, addresses, and employers of those who financially supported the measure, which spurred regional boycotts of business donors.

When ProtectMarriage.com and the National Organization for Marriage filed a lawsuit requesting exemption from disclosure in January 2009, the plaintiff's request for temporary nondisclosure pending an official ruling was denied by Judge Morrison England Jr., who stated that any possible future crimes committed by supporters of either side would be subject to prosecution. He also stated that heated exchanges were inherent to the political process and that California voters were entitled to be fully informed about matters on which they voted. The ruling last week marked England's final decision on the case.

Read more here.

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