Angry gay activists in Austin, Texas, have published their own blacklist to punish supporters of California’s Proposition 8. The anti-Prop. 8 mob in Texas is targeting entire businesses over private individual donations. The insane rage rages on:
Gay marriage activists who lost at the ballot box in California are now lashing out at businesses that supported the ban — and their anger reaches way beyond the borders of Golden State.
In Austin, a gay community Web site has published an “Austin Anti-Gay Blacklist” that encourages consumers not to spend money at companies that financially supported California’s recent Proposition 8 ballot initiative that rescinded gays’ right to marry inside the state.
…According to figures from the California Secretary of State’s Office — which requires campaign donors to list their place of residence, their employer and their occupations — more than 750 Texans donated tens of thousands of dollars on either side of the campaign. One of the biggest Texas donations was $50,000 to a Yes on 8 group that apparently came from the president of a Midland oil company.
About 115 Austinites gave about $180,000 — most in increments of $100 — to fund both sides of the campaign. About 20 of the Austin contributors supported the gay marriage ban; the rest opposed it. Computer giant Apple Inc. is listed as the biggest donor from Austin, with a $100,000 donation in opposition to the measure.
Some gay rights activists say any business that supported Proposition 8 should be boycotted.
“We strongly believe that one of the best ways for the gay community to be heard is by speaking with our wallets,” said Austin resident Warren Clark, whose warrenandderrick.com Web site published the “blacklist” of Yes on 8 donors.
“Blacklisted” by the gay rights Web site are Austin attorneys and tech companies, investment fund managers and doctors, real estate developers and even the Los Angeles Dodgers. Former Dodgers infielder and Austin resident Jeff Kent gave $15,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign.
“It’s a shame,” said Austin real estate developer Michael Knepp when a reporter told him he was on the list for his $10,000 donation to the Yes on 8 campaign.
“Everyone has a responsibility to support the issues they feel strongly about,” Knepp said. “If someone else was offended by that, I apologize, but we just feel very strongly about how (gay marriage) could affect our society – so we made a donation.”
He should not feel compelled to apologize.
No. 1 on the group’s anti-gay “blacklist” — errantly enough — is Dell Computer Inc. That’s because the biggest Austin-area donor to the Yes on 8 campaign was apparently Spencer Wheelright, a Dell marketing employee who gave $25,200 to support the gay marriage ban, according to records from the California Secretary of State’s office.
Dell had nothing to do with the donation and, in fact, the company has an internal rule prohibiting it from taking a position or making a donation regarding any state or local ballot initiatives, said company spokesman Bryant Hilton.
Dell usually gets good marks from gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups. It is a supporter of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign as well as other national and local gay organizations.
“This was an employee who made a personal donation and employers are listed because of California’s reporting laws,” Hilton said. “But this doesn’t reflect the company’s position at all.”
Wheelright did not return a reporter’s e-mail seeking comment. He couldn’t be reached otherwise.
After Hilton contacted warrenandderrick.com about Dell’s inclusion on the list, the site was updated to include a statement from the company. Clark later acknowledged he “may have been a little overly tough” on the company.
“We had some reservations before putting up that list because we realize those were private donors and they may not have been speaking on behalf of the company they work for,” he said.
But they did it, anyway.