SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – The passage of proposition 8 in California angered supporters of gay rights. The proposition effectively banned gay marriage by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
In the days following the vote, protests focused on the icons of Mormonism. Marchers surrounded temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Los Angeles, Oakland and Salt Lake City decrying the church’s involvement in the prop 8 debate.
Those protests were directed against an institution. Now it’s personal. The focus is on the individuals who gave money in support of 8.
The website eightmaps.com uses an interactive map – similar to Google maps – to show where they all live or work. A push pin marks each spot. Zoom in and you see more pins. Click on a pin and get the details: Name of campaign donor, profession or place of business, dollar amount donated and the date of that donation.
The Utah map shows clusters of prop 8 donors in Salt Lake, Bountiful and South Jordan. But the largest concentration is in the Provo/Orem area. The people are professors and students, software engineers and housewives. A few gave thousands of dollars; most gave $25, $50 or $100.
Kirk Jowers, Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah said, “This Google map is just kind of technology hitting disclosure hitting Utah right were it counts.” Jowers is also a partner in a D.C. law firm. “For the most part I think disclosure is good. But there are negatives. It’s not the silver bullet that some people think it is because it can be chilling and it can even make harassment quite easy.”
Fred Karger is one of the leaders against prop 8. He is in Salt Lake to announce a boycott against a major car dealer over prop 8. Yet even he believes the web map goes too far. Karger said, “I’m not keen on the whole map idea.” He points out that his organization’s website lists only people and businesses that gave over $5,000. No map. “We’ve not posted addresses, even though it’s public information.”
Still, that kind of personal information is now on the web in a very easy to navigate format. It is a map that could be used as a political weapon to target the proponents of prop 8 one person at a time. They might well have used a bull’s-eye on that map instead of a pin.
PROP 8 DONORS NOW PINPOINTED ON WEBSITE MAP, abc4.com, 02/11/09, http://www.abc4.com/content/news/slc/story/Prop-8-Donors-Now-Pinpointed-on-Website-Map/uLMcv9w48ES_rXtISDlXPg.cspx
These individuals are pretty bold. Regardless of whether one’s feels one’s cause is just or not, it is simply not smart to take a fight to someone’s door. That is definitely asking for trouble.
Do that in NYC and someone will get hurt. What happened to meeting people on neutral ground? Two wrongs do not make a right.