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Pay attention to the ban behind the curtain

by Jeremy Hooper

200910020938-1Yesterday we received word that the Maine Governmental Ethics & Election Practices commission will investigate Stand For Marriage Maine/National Organization For Marriage's campaign activities. Now another win for disclosure, this time in the case to swat away that enduring parasite known as Prop 8:

SAN FRANCISCO—The sponsors of California's same-sex marriage ban must hand over some internal campaign records to lawyers seeking to overturn the voter-enacted initiative, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled Thursday.

Denying a request to shield the information, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker said the Protect Marriage campaign had failed to show that providing private e-mails, memos and reports would inhibit the political activities of gay marriage opponents or subject them to unbridled harassment.
The judge agreed with lawyers for two unmarried same-sex couples who have sued to strike down the ban, known as Proposition 8, that confidential communications between the campaign's leaders and professional consultants could reveal a rationale for denying gays the right to wed that is relevant to the case.
Judge: Prop 8 campaign must release campaign data [AP via Mercury News]

Could be interesting/funny/scandalous/enraging/soul-numbing/eyebrow-raising/hysterical/all of these things and more.

It's still not clear whether or not these documents will be released to the public. We obviously hope they will be, because, well, we like playing the role of kids at Christmas. But even if not, we're thrilled that the pro-equality forces are going to get this information to help make their case. We've always known that when it comes to our opposition, the truth that we are combatting is not what they put forth to the public: It's what they say about us when think nobody's listening.

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Your thoughts

Hopefully this will influence the judges in Washington state(as well as other states) to make a similar ruling regarding hiding the names on the Ref 71 petitions. When you sign a petition to get an item on the ballot, you should NOT be surprised if your name is not made public. I am pleased that so many (that I have heard from), have had no problem in signing the "decline to sign" site (stating that they would NOT sign the petitions for ref 71). So far I have not heard/read of ANYONE getting "boycotted, harassed,etc" for declining to sign this mean spirited petition. Though now it is a moot point, since it will be on the ballot.
just my 2 cents :)

Posted by: aj | Oct 2, 2009 10:04:47 AM

Even on the off chance it's not officialy made public, I'm sure someone will leak it.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Oct 2, 2009 10:16:10 AM

Is Maine being used in the same sex marriage debate?


Posted by: Alex Hammer | Oct 2, 2009 10:49:58 AM

"that confidential communications between the campaign's leaders and professional consultants could reveal a rationale for denying gays the right to wed that is relevant to the case. "

If I'm reading this lawyerspeak right, he's saying this might reveal the REAL reason they want to take rights away from gay people. We already know they dont give half a damn about the sanctity of marriage or protecting children or any of those other reasons they throw out. It'd be funny to see them keep trying to claim they arent bigots after the court has looked through their e-mails talking about "how we can keep those faggots in their place"

Posted by: penguinsaur | Oct 2, 2009 10:53:18 AM

The Perry case is so reckless, and could set back the movement literally a hundred years. I am frustrated that our commmunity is not more outraged at two hubristic straight lawyers who think they know more than hundreds of career gay rights leaders and lawyers who have thought about the issue for decades.

Posted by: Me | Oct 2, 2009 11:44:40 AM

penguinsaur, the reason that their motivation is pertinent is that the law suit argues that Prop H8 was supported by groups that are hostile toward gays, and that the codification of that hostility into the constitution is a violation of US Constitutional guarantees of equality to all.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 2, 2009 7:37:05 PM

I hope that the investigation reveals a pattern of hatred toward GLBTs that is religion based. This will surely place us in the "suspect class" classification and we will no longer have to worry about these religionists ever again. We will have shown that they consider us to be hated just as they hated the jews, the blacks, the immigrants the....whatever and is just cause for GLBT people to have civil rights protections under federal law.

Posted by: Mykelb | Oct 5, 2009 11:04:05 AM

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