Turnabout After Prop 8 Offers Delicious Irony
By Gloria Feldt on January 19, 2009
While I'm riveted like rest of the nation and indeed the world,
watching the events leading up to Barack Obama's inauguration tomorrow,
a news item buried deep
in the national news section of the New York Times today nearly caused
me to fall, laughing wildly, off the treadmill where I was reading it.
Yes, multitasking three things at once always makes me feel like I am using my time wisely. But I digress.
The article, "Marriage Ban Donors Feel Exposed by list", reports a lawsuit filed by supporters of California's Proposition 8,
passed last November, that made same sex marriage illegal by
overturning the State Supreme Court's May, 2008, ruling that same sex
marriages are legal under the California constitution.
Frank Schubert, the campaign manager for Protect Marriage, the
leading group behind the proposition, alleges that gay rights groups
are checking out the names and addresses of donors to the Prop 8
campaign. “And giving these people a map to your home or office leaves
supporters of Proposition 8 feeling especially vulnerable. Really, it
is chilling,” Schubert said. So they've filed a lawsuit in Federal
District Court seeking to prevent release of the names of donors who
contributed late in the campaign and have not yet been revealed in
Well my, my. I do empathize even if I don't sympathize, given that
the same groups that supported Prop 8 also oppose reproductive rights
for women. For the 30 years I was with Planned Parenthood, they dogged
me personally, stalking, picketing me at home, and often sending
threatening notes. Their harrassment of doctors who provide abortion
services escalated over the years to violence; as a result 87% of U.S.
counties have no abortion provider.
And even more chilling, how about those anti-choice activists who
trace the names and addresses of clinic patients--whether they are
there for abortions or not--and send shaming letters to them at home?
Or those who send threatening letters to the homes of pro-choice
advocates who, say, use their freedom of speech to write a letter to
the newspaper editor, or serve on the board of a pro-choice
That's why the richest irony for me was to see that James Bopp,
formerly general counsel to the National Right to Life Committee, whose
resume reads like a right-wing, anti-choice playbill, is now crying
crocodile tears. Apparently, he thinks that sauce created by the goose
should be outlawed when applied to the gander:
James Bopp Jr., a lawyer from Indiana who filed the lawsuit on the
behalf of Protect Marriage, said the harassment of Proposition 8
supporters violated their constitutional rights of free speech and
“The cost of transparency cannot be discouragement of people’s
participation in the process,” said Mr. Bopp, who has argued several
prominent cases challenging campaign-finance laws in California and
other states. “The highest value in the First Amendment is speech, and
some amorphous idea about transparency cannot be used to subvert those
Nuf said. Justice sometimes comes in like the fog, on little cat
feet, silently reminding us that this extraordinary moment in our
political history was worth all the travail, hard work, and sheer
persistence that led up to it. It also makes clear that the job isn't
finished; there is yet more to be done to assure equality for all.
Now back to the pre-inauguration patter. And tomorrow, back to work.
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