Huffington Post Column

Californians Against Hate Releases its Dishonor Roll
Top 112 Donors to Yes on 8 Campaign Posted

The much anticipated release of the $5000 and above donors to California’s Yes on 8 Campaign is now posted on our web site:

Leading the pack is the Knights of Columbus of New Haven Connecticut with $1.275 million. This is the political arm of the Catholic Church.

Second is billionaire John Templeton, Jr. of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania who gave $900,000. John, Jr. is the son of the founder of Templeton Funds.

Third is the National Organization for Marriage of Princeton, NJ which gave $941,000, with the bulk of their money coming in the first 6 months of this year. Their funds were used to hire hundreds of professional signature gatherers in order to qualify their constitutional initiative for the November 4th ballot

Fourth is Howard “Howie” Ahmanson of Newport Beach, who gave $600,000. Ahmanson is the heir to the Home Savings & Loan fortune, now owned by Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE: WM). Ahmanson gave his money between February and August of this year.

Fifth on the list is Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association (AFA) of Tupelo, Mississippi who gave $500,000 on July 22nd.

Sixth is Elsa Prince of Holland, Michigan who gave $450,000 just recently. She is on the board of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family as well as Dobson’s Washington, DC million per year lobbying operation, the Family Research Council. Her late husband, Edgar, invented the light-up visor vanity mirror.

Seventh is Dobson’s very own Focus on the Family of Colorado Springs, Colorado. This $127 million per year operation gave 7 separate contributions totaling $432,000 dating back to December 2007. They came though with $250,000 of that amount to jump-start the Yes on 8 campaign when it was broke, after spending $2.3 million to qualify the initiative.
These mega donations are mostly from out of state organizations and individuals that are pouring money into California to end marriage equality.

They are trying to crush us by flooding the state with far, far right money like I have never seen before. They have put these hateful ballot measures before the voters in 27 states, and have won all but one; Arizona 2 years ago. Now this year they are back on the ballot in Arizona, in addition to Florida and California. Their big spending and bullying ways send a terrible message to an entire generation of young people in California and around the world.

The top 10 donors are now posted on the home page of our newly redesigned web site. They can also be viewed with expanded information on each donor, along with the other 102 donors, by using the link directly below the “Top 10.” This list of $5,000 contributors and up is current as of August 5th. Additional contributors of $25,000 and more are current as of September 1, 2008.

These major funders of the Yes on 8 campaign say that the institution of marriage is threatened by same-sex marriage.

What harm is the marriage of my friends Scott and Todd causing these people? They are both executives with big companies in Los Angeles who have been together for 7 years, and were finally able to legally marry. Their wedding and reception was one of the most loving and happy of any of the dozens of straight ceremonies that I have been to.

Their families were all present, as well as over 120 other guests including many co- workers, neighbors and lots of friends. 25 of their wedding guests flew in from all over the U.S to attend their ceremony. It was a wonderful and emotional day for every single person that was lucky enough to witness this couple’s happiness.

We here in California should be extremely proud to know that once again, we are leading the way. History shows that we did so in 1911 by being one of the first states to extend voting rights to women. California also led the way in 1948, when we became the first state to allow interracial marriage; a full 19 years before it became the law of the land.

I am proud to be a Californian, and know that once again we are leading the way. We Californians can hold our heads high with pride, and wonder why so many businesses, people and organizations from far away places like New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut, Washington, DC and Mississippi are giving so many millions of dollars to strip away equality for all.

We will track this money and publish it on our web site for the world to see. If they want to spend tens of millions of dollars to take away our rights, then we will let everyone know exactly who is doing so. Then fair-minded people can decide if they want to spend their hard-earned money patronizing businesses that then turn around and use that money against them.