Sunday, February 8, 2009

Prop 8 backlash turns ugly

Nothing like reading the New York Times on a quiet Sunday morning to get your juices going. I happened on to a story on a new website called "eightmaps" which pinpoints every donor - and lists them by name - who gave money to support California's Prop 8, which defined marriage as that between a man and a woman and effectively bans gays from marrying. Turns out some who didn't like Prop 8 are using it to intimidate those who supported it, and that's just plain wrong, no matter how strongly you feel about the measure. An excerpt from today's New York Times:

"The site takes the names and ZIP codes of people who donated to the ballot measure — information that California collects and makes public under state campaign finance disclosure laws — and overlays the data on a Google map.

Visitors can see markers indicating a contributor’s name, approximate location, amount donated and, if the donor listed it, employer. That is often enough information for interested parties to find the rest — like an e-mail or home address. The identity of the site’s creators, meanwhile, is unknown; they have maintained their anonymity."

Bakersfield of course overwhelmingly supported Prop 8 and while it is interesting to use to see all the folks who wrote checks to support it, it's terrifying to think some of these citizens are being harassed for engaging in the civic process.

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