Over the weekend, we asked you for money. You responded in a record-setting way, and for that, you have my thanks, and the thanks of everyone who believes in equality before the law.
Today, I will be asking you for something else: your time. I'll get to exactly how in a minute--but before I do, I want to tell you a story.
It's a story about two weddings. Please join me below the fold.
On one beautiful weekend in September, I took a trip from Los Angeles to Northern California. My first stop was Grass Valley, where my mom's cousin was holding her stateside wedding reception after getting married over the summer in Italy.
Even though my mom and I are not members of the Mormon church, plenty of our relatives on her side are--and it was, indeed, a festive occasion, and a happy one for my first cousin once removed, who was finally able to celebrate having found love after a couple of instances where she thought she had found the one, only to have him take advantage of her and leave her in the end.
Even though much of my extended family is traditionally conservative, in large part owing to religious reasons, they know that much of my life is spent actively campaigning for Democratic causes, but I am still more than welcome, and our conversations are always pleasant and civil.
The next morning, I left to drive to San Francisco for another wedding: this time, it was that of my good friend Brian. Now, I'm sure that many of you know the Brian I'm talking about: none other than Brian Leubitz, the founder of Calitics. He too was celebrating having found the love of his life. The same festive atmosphere. The same love. The same desire to share a life together, and to enter into a binding contract with one another. The only difference is that Brian's love is another man.
And yet, because of that last fact, certain groups are investing craploads of resources into making sure that the happy scene I saw in San Francisco never happens again.
As a matter of fact, the No on Prop 8 folks told me recently that the "Protect Marriage" campaign has raised $30 million dollars--over half of it from the Mormon Church. Now, I have nothing personally against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They most certainly have the constitutional right to worship in their own way. They have the right to minister in whatever way they see fit and to marry whomever they see fit in their churches based on any qualifications they choose. And they will be well within their rights.
But when the church and its members invest millions of dollars in an attempt to write discrimination into my state's constitution and divorce my friend Brian against his will, there will be hell to pay.
So what am I asking you to do?
Some distributed research.
Here's what I'm asking for:
This list contains information about those who are big donors to the Yes on 8 campaign--donors to the tune of at least $1,000 dollars. And, as you can see, there are a lot of them. It also indicates if they're Mormon or not.
If you're interested in defeating the religious right and preserving marriage equality, here's how you can help:
Find us some ammo.
Use any LEGAL tool at your disposal. Use OpenSecrets to see if these donors have contributed to...shall we say...less than honorable causes, or if any one of these big donors has done something otherwise egregious. If so, we have a legitimate case to make the Yes on 8 campaign return their contributions, or face a bunch of negative publicity.
There are a crapload of donors on this list--so please focus on the larger ones first. $5,000 or more is a good threshold to start with.
Feel free to use Lexis-Nexis searches as well for anything useful, especially given that these people are using "morality" as their primary motivation to support Prop 8...if you find anything that belies that in any way...well, you know what to do.
If you find anything good, please email it to:
equalityresearch at gmail dot com.
Here's the bottom line for me: if someone is willing to contribute thousands of dollars to a campaign to take away legal rights from some very dear friends of mine, they had damn well make sure their lives are beyond scrutiny--because I, for one, won't take it lying down.
This one is for Brian and the millions like him all across the nation.