Report details harassment and 'anti-religious bigotry' after Prop. 8 passage
Protestors of Proposition 8
Protestors of Proposition 8
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A think tank has compiled and analyzed reports of the harassment, intimidation, and “gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry” shown in reaction to the successful passage of Proposition 8. If partisans of marriage redefinition continue to increase in power, the analysis warns, those who seek the preservation of marriage as a union of man and wife may risk paying a price legally, socially and economically. The Heritage Foundation’s Oct. 22 report “The Price of Prop 8,” authored by researcher Thomas M. Messner, said that many individuals and institutions who defend the nature of marriage as a union between a man and a woman have paid a “heavy price.”

Militant opponents of Prop. 8 targeted supporters with a range of hostility, including “harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry,” the report stated.

Vandalism included a brick thrown through the window of an elderly couple who put a “Yes on 8” sign in their lawn. Another senior citizen with a pro-Prop. 8 bumper sticker had her car’s rear window smashed.

A statue of the Virgin Mary outside one church was vandalized with orange paint. Swastikas and other graffiti were scrawled on the walls of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco. At Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Riverside, signs were twisted into the shape of a swastika.

A heavy object wrapped with a “Yes on 8” sign was used to smash the window of a pastor’s office at Messiah Lutheran Church in Downey.

Sign theft targeting Prop. 8 supporters was significant, with one source estimating about one-third of the 25,000 signs distributed were stolen or vandalized before the end of the campaign.

Phone calls, e-mails and mailings also targeted supporters of Prop. 8. The messages made accusation of bigotry and used vulgar language. One e-mail threatened to contact the parents of students at a school where a particular Prop. 8 supporter worked.

One individual supporter was the subject of a flier distributed in his town. The flier included his photo and name and the amount of his donation to the pro-Prop. 8 campaign. It labeled him as a “bigot” and reported his association with a particular Catholic church.

Increased support for Prop. 8 among African Americans and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, known as Mormons, also resulted in their communities being targeted.

Racial epithets were used at anti-Prop. 8 protests, while Joe Solmonese, head of the Human Rights Campaign, targeted the Mormons.

On the Dr. Phil show, responding to a Mormon questioner, he replied: “We are going to go after your church every day for the next two years unless and until Prop 8 is overturned.”

An anti-Prop. 8 advertisement depicted two Mormon missionaries invading the home of a lesbian couple, ransacking their belongings and tearing up their marriage license.

“Anti-Mormon malice reached a new level when someone mailed packages containing suspicious white powder to Mormon temples in California and Utah,” Messner said.

Jose Nunez, a new U.S. citizen, was waiting to distribute signs outside his Catholic church when a man grabbed several signs and fled. He pursued the thief, who reportedly yelled “What do you have against gays?” and punched him in the face.

Nunez suffered a bloody eye and wounds to his face and required 16 stitches under his eye.

Employees of businesses were targeted by some protesters. Some employees resigned, while others took leaves of absence. Some business owners lost business because they had donated to support Prop. 8.

While deeming boycotts a “time-honored form of activism,” the Heritage Foundation’s report commented: “No individual should be compelled to choose between making a living and participating in democratic processes affecting fundamental matters of public concern, such as marriage.”

California law requiring the disclosure of personal information of individuals who donate $100 or more to a ballot measure campaign have made such displays of hostility easier, the report said. Several websites were designed to use the information to identify and target Prop. 8 supporters.

While acknowledging that many Prop. 8 opponents have rejected such abuses, Messner argues that the ideology underlying the outrage is a cause of hostility.

“Arguments for same-sex marriage, although often couched in terms of tolerance and inclusion, are based fundamentally on the idea that limiting marriage to the union of husband and wife is a form of bigotry, irrational prejudice, and even hatred against homosexual persons who want the state to license their relationships. As this ideology seeps into the culture, belief in marriage as the union of husband and wife will likely come to be viewed as an unacceptable form of discrimination that should be purged from society through legal, cultural, and economic pressure.”

“Individuals or institutions that publicly defend marriage as the union of husband and wife risk harassment, reprisal, and intimidation—at least some of it targeted and coordinated,” Messner continued.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 26, 2014

Saint Stephen, The First Martyr

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 6: 8-10, 7: 54-59
Gospel:: Mt 10: 17-22

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27