Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today in Bullshit

Both Spot and I recently weighed in on Katherine Kersten's column fretting about the safety of those who oppose same-sex marriage. Spot said she was "taking a seat in the pantheon of faux victims" in her outrage over the decision of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board that money spent on the 2012 marriage question must be spent in the light of day. Katie claimed to fear threats and harassment of those who oppose same-sex marriage as underlying the need for this 21st century version of white sheets.

It turns out that such claims are in fact complete balderdash. Rubbish. Nonsense. Bunk. When the National Organization for Marriage - the organization fighting the release of the identity of those who bankroll them - has been required to prove the truth of their claims that "pro-traditional marriage" proponents have been harassed, they consistently come up empty-handed:
In state after state, judges are finding that these sorts of examples do not actually constitute "harassment," and they're rejecting NOM's requests to therefore keep its donors secret and be exempt from campaign finance disclosure laws.

NOM's strategy is essentially reversing the traditional argument -- that gay individuals frequently face harassment -- and arguing instead that gay individuals are the harassers.

But four federal judges and three state boards in seven states -- California, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island and Washington -- have all found NOM's evidence to be lacking. Not a single state has backed up NOM.
In the most recent decision, Judge Morrison England, Jr. from the Eastern District of California, flat-out rejected these allegations of widespread harassment:
While Plaintiffs characterize their evidence as voluminous and comprised of "virtually countless reports of threats, harassment, and reprisals," Plaintiffs' Motion, 4:14-15, they have pointed to relatively few incidents allegedly suffered by persons located across the country who had somehow manifested their support for traditional marriage.

* * *

Accordingly, while Plaintiffs can point to a relatively few unsavory acts committed by extremists or criminals, these acts are so small in number, and in some instances their connection to Plaintiffs' supporters so attenuated, that they do not show a reasonable probability Plaintiffs’ contributors will suffer the same fate.
Protect Marriage v. Bowen, Court file No. 09-0058, November 4, 2011, at 31 and 38.

Yeah, yeah, we know. Kersten's recycling another pile of lies and passing it off as news. Imagine that.

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