Gay marriage activists in California
are taking actions against companies and individuals who support
Proposition 8 – the ballot initiative that seeks to forbid gay
marriage in California once again.
Californians Against Hate was formed in
July to admonish the largest donors of the anti-gay measure.
The group recently released a second
donor-highlight ad and updated its top twelve list of Prop. 8 donors
– the Dishonor Roll.
Top donors to the gay marriage ban
include the Knights of Columbus, the political arm of the Catholic
Church of New Haven, Connecticut, which has given nearly $1.5
million, John Templeton, chairman and president of the John Templeton
Foundation, who gave $1 million, and Howard Ahmanson, Jr. of
Irvine, California and the National Organization for Marriage, who
together have sent roughly $2 million to the Yes-On-8 campaign.
A bold Internet-based commercial
campaign by the group highlights the Yes-On-8 donations of some of
its largest supporters.
Each ad is eerily reminiscent of the
1964 President Johnson commercial that ends with the detonation of a
nuclear bomb, which was so frightening it ran only once.
The bombs in these ads are large
donors. The first targets San Diego businessman Terry Caster, whose
contributions to the gay marriage ban total $293,000. The second ad,
released this week, goes after Elsa Prince, who gave $450,000 to ban
The group is also boycotting Doug
Manchester's two San Diego hotels, the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the
Grand Del Mar, and his McCall, Idaho resort, the Whitetail Club, due
to the hotelier's reported $125,000 anti-gay donation.
A second boycott against food giant
Bolthouse Farms was recently called off, after the company agreed to
participate in a comprehensive diversity program aimed at the gay and
lesbian community. Programs cited included scholarships, event
sponsorships and supporting gay and lesbian community organizations.
Bolthouse Farms was originally targeted
for boycott after its former chairman, William Bolthouse Jr., donated
$100,000 to help get the anti-gay measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.
The “Don't Buy Bolthouse” campaign
ended because the company “provided us with a compelling
perspective which clearly demonstrates the separation between
Bolthouse Farms and ... its founder, William Bolthouse,” the group
said in a statement.
Californians Against Hate's accounting
of gay marriage ban backers suggests that members of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) are responsible for
nearly 77% of all money raised to ban gay marriage in the state.
“The new Mormon total is $19.5
million contributed by over 59,000 Mormon families in just over 3
months,” the group said in a statement Tuesday.
Protectmarriage.com, the principle backer of the gay marriage ban,
says they have raised $25 million.
Top Mormon leaders, known as the First
Presidency, sent out a letter in June to be read at all California
congregations asking members to “do all you can” to support the
gay marriage ban.
“The church's teachings and position
on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a
woman is ordained by God,” Mormon leaders said. The leaders also
urged members to donate their “means and time” in support of the
gay marriage ban.
On the net: Californians Against Hate
website is at www.californiansagainsthate.com.