It was one of those newspaper headlines
you read and say to yourself, "Who are they kidding?" I’m
referring to the recent International Herald Tribune article
titled, "Gay-marriage opponents want to be anonymous." The
article discusses how the Mormons, Knights of Columbus and other right-wingers
want to protect their "right to privacy" so they are suing the State
of California to keep their financial contributions to the recent anti-equal
marriage Proposition 8 out of the public view. Secret Santa is
one thing, but a secret political contribution is quite another.
Because this latest stroke of hypocrisy
on the far right is so stunning, I’ll leave the debate surrounding
the lawsuit to greater minds. Their legal action contends that
the bigots who contributed to the pro-Proposition 8 campaign have suffered
"…threats of physical violence, vandalism of personal property,
harassing phone calls, harassing emails, blacklisting and boycotts."
Why does all of this sound so familiar?
Perhaps because for more than 30 years, the anti-abortion activists
on the right, many associated with the Catholic Knights of Columbus
and Mormons (both conveniently oppose measures to prevent abortion
and HIV), have been invading the right to privacy of millions of American
women seeking medical care with physical violence, vandalism of personal
property, harassing phone calls, emails, blacklisting, boycotts, etc.
In other words, the law should protect anti-abortion and anti-gay activists
from threats, boycotts and violence but these same people should be
allowed to participate freely in threats, boycotts and violence against
women seeking birth control and abortion. You can’t even make
this stuff up.
For those who haven’t read the right-wing
playbooks on denying American women their "right to privacy" in
medical care, here’s some highlights to consider while the anti-abortion/anti-GLBT
activists are arguing for same in the California courts. For decades
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- Verbally harassed and physically assaulted
women entering medical facilities for a range of reproductive health
- Attempted to obtain and make public
the private medical records of women who have sought abortions;
- Obtained personal information from
auto license plates at medical facilities and used that information
to inform employers and family members that a woman has sought an abortion;
- Video recorded women entering medical
facilities where abortions are performed and passed that video info
- Launched national boycotts against
corporations, foundations and others which make financial contributions
to Planned Parenthood and other providers of women’s health care;
- Harassed, threatened, kidnapped and
otherwise injured, and in some cases murdered, doctors and other medical
workers who provide abortion services;
- Launched boycotts and pickets of homes
and schools of family members of contractors, architects, masons, plumbers,
and others who build medical facilities where family planning and abortion
is an option;
- Encouraged pharmacists to impose their
personal beliefs on patients by refusing to fill prescriptions written
by doctors for birth control and emergency contraception; and,
- Hosted websites posting the photos/video
of doctors, health care workers and women with the intent of intimidation
and encouragement of violence against those providing or seeking reproductive
It would be quite insightful if a judge
on the case or attorneys opposing the pro-prop 8 legal maneuver would
ask the anti-abortion/anti-GLBT Mormon, Catholic, Evangelical folks
some questions I would like answered which would include the following.
How is a boycott of corporations and
individuals who give money to Planned Parenthood any different than
a boycott of corporations and individuals who give money to the pro-Proposition
How is sending an email to someone
who publicly gave money to the pro-Proposition 8 campaign different
than sending an email to the boss of a woman telling that boss that
the woman recently visited a medical facility where abortions are performed?
How is picketing a doctor’s home
and her/his children’s school with a sign saying "murderer" accompanied
by the doctor’s photo any different than picketing a pro-Proposition
8 person with a sign that says "bigot" on it?
Finally, if it’s good for the goose,
isn’t it good for the gander?