TO: Brian Brown, Executive Director, National Organization for Marriage
Maggie Gallagher, President, National Organization for Marriage
FROM: Fred Karger, Campaign Manager, Californians Against Hate
Re: Response to Your Email of August 8, 2008
DATE: August 13, 2008
I received a copy of the email you sent out attacking many Californians who stand up for equality and fairness including me. You see California has a rich tradition of leading the way on equality. It goes back to womenÂ’s suffrage where California was the 6th state in the nation to allow women the right to vote in 1911. This preceded the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that went into effect 9 years later in 1920. Additionally, California was the first state to make interracial marriages legal in 1948, 19 years before the United States Supreme Court did so. Maybe since your organization is based in New Jersey you were unaware of these facts, but Californians are leaders on many issues and we also resent outsiders who come into California to take away our rights and bully us.
I was delighted to see your continued defense of one of your largest patrons, San Diego mega developer and hotel owner Doug Manchester who gave $125,000.00 to your effort to take away our newly recognized fundamental right to marry in California (but more on that below). Somehow you try to justify his contribution, while attacking individuals and companies that are opposed to your hateful Constitutional Amendment, Proposition 8 on the November ballot.
What about all of the corporate contributions that your organization, the National Organization for Marriage and Protect Marriage receives from companies? Here are some of them:
Fieldstead & Company, Irvine , CA – $400,000
The Vineyard Group, LLC, Mesa , AZ – $60,000
Adamo Construction Management, Lakeside , CA – $35,000
Container Supply Company, Garden Grove , CA – $25,000
TB Penick & Sons, San Diego , CA – $20,000
And Mr. Brown, letÂ’s not forget who started this battle not just here in California, but all across the United States. You and a handful of men and women backed by big companies and wealthy donors who have put Constitutional Amendments on the ballot in 29 states. You and your allies are attempting to turn the clock back on civil rights and are forcing the gay and lesbian community and our friends to spend millions of dollars just to defend fairness and justice and stop your campaigns of fear and hate. Californians do not like organizations like NOM from Princeton, New Jersey, American Family Association (AFA) from Tupelo, Mississippi and James DobsonÂ’s Focus on the Family from Colorado coming in to California which have spent millions of dollars in an attempt to write discrimination into the California Constitution for the very first time.
NOM has contributed over $1,000,000.00, Focus on the Family $400,000.00 and AFA $500,000.00.
Californians Against Hate will be publishing all of the contributions that have come in to hire the hundreds of professional signature gatherers and all of the money that is now coming in to run your campaign. We will post them on our web site www.californiansagainsthate.com for the world to see. We want to let our millions of friends and allies around the country know exactly who is contributing the millions of dollars to take away our freedom to marry. Then people can choose whether they want to support these businesses or not.
You continue to defend Doug Manchester and even say in your email (copy below) that, Â“due to the mere fact that one of the key businessmen involved donated to protect marriage, gay advocates have begun a nationwide campaign to hurt the entire–and entirely unrelated–business enterprise.Â” One of the key businessmen? There has been so much coverage of Mr. Manchester and his $125,000.00 contribution that I am sure that you are aware Mr. Manchester owns the hotel that bears his name, the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.
And yes, we have called for a boycott of his hotel because of his $125,000.00 contribution. The boycott has been very successful. Individuals are canceling reservations and lots more are simply not booking rooms. Several big conventions are going to other San Diego Hotels. Not sure if you have seen all the media coverage of the boycott or seen our web site www.boycottmanchesterhotels.com but many groups are leaving the Manchester Grand Hyatt and lots of San Diegans are going elsewhere to stay, eat, drink, shop, park and even get married.
Another San Diegan that gave even more money to your campaign than Doug Manchester, Terry Caster and his family, who contributed almost $300,000.00 are the owners of A-1 Self Storage Company. Mr. Caster is apparently getting inundated with people calling asking him why he has given so much money to end marriage equality in California . A-1 Self Storage has 40 locations throughout California , and I read that they had to put in a special phone line to field all the calls. Not sure if you have been to that web site www.callterrycaster.com but it has had thousands of visits just in the last 2 weeks.
So, Mr. Brown, while I do enjoy reading your emails, and I am sure they are helping you raise money, I only hope that you will be accurate and tell the truth as you send out your fund raising appeals over the internet.
Californians Against Hate was established to act a Truth Squad during this campaign. We will be watching and reporting on what we see.
Copy of Brian Brown email of August 9, 2008
NOM Marriage News: California Edition August 8, 2008
Dear Friend of Marriage,
“Grandma, my teacher says if grandpa was a girl, that’s okay, you could still be married!”
That’s one of the voices on the television and radio ad the National Organization for Marriage has run in different states. (A link to the ad is at the bottom of this letter.)
It’s a quick way to alert parents and grandparents to an essential truth: Same-sex marriage is not about what two men do in private. It’s about the values our government is going to actively promote for all our children–including in our public schools.
The vast majority of Californians, including supermajorities of Hispanic and African-American voters, agree with you and me: We don’t want public schools teaching 8-year-olds that gay marriage is okay. That’s a decision that should be left to parents and our values.
But you and I also know: Unless we pass Prop 8 in California , it won’t be. The government will step in to make sure every young child in California schools is thoroughly indoctrinated in the virtues of gay marriage as a great civil rights triumph. (Can you donate $100 to protect marriage today? What about $10 or even just one dollar–we need every dime to protect marriage for generations to come. Please go to http://nomcalifornia.org to donate!)
That’s equally true in Florida , where voters have a chance to protect marriage by voting Yes on 2 (you can donate to Yes2marriage.org), or in Arizona , where we need 50% of Arizonans to vote yes on the Arizona Marriage Protection Amendment. It will be true in New Jersey , New York , Rhode Island and any of the other states where the gay marriage lobby is actively seeking to ram same-sex marriage through the legislatures, a political payoff for years of patient political organizing and donating on their part.
The Grossmont Unions School District in eastern San Diego county became the first California school board to recognize that Yes on Prop 8 is an educational issue, too: The school board voted 4-0 to endorse Proposition 8. Yes on Prop 8 protects our children from inevitable gay marriage propaganda in public schools.
How can you as a parent object to your 6-year-old being taught that gay marriage is okay if that’s what in fact the law of California says?
David Parker, the Massachusetts parent who was arrested when he tried to prevent his kindergartener from being exposed to pro-gay marriage books, can confirm what is at stake here.
One woman who was at the Grossmont Union School District meeting said that opponents of Prop 8 were so mean-spirited, rude, and insulting–calling Californians who support Prop 8 haters and bigots–that the silent majority in the audience erupted in cheers when the board overruled them.
“The next thing the board should do is insist on classes in respect so that young people understand how to speak at a public meeting,” my informant told me.
In this case the teens were only following their “betters”: the mainstream media, the California Supreme Court, Hollywood , San Francisco ‘s Mayor Gavin Newsom, and gay marriage advocates like Fred Karger’s Californians Against Hate.
All the powerful folks agree on one thing: It’s perfectly okay to denounce, insult, misrepresent, and intimidate people who support marriage. In their eyes, those of us willing to stand for the transcendent good of marriage as the union of husband and wife are just haters and bigots who deserve to be silenced and intimidated.
And it’s increasingly clear the opponents of Prop 8 don’t care much that they intimidate or harass those who disagree with them. Ordinary norms of civil discourse, democratic debate and process don’t seem to apply to anti-Prop-8ers. When you’ve dubbed yourself the civil rights movement of the century, apparently you get to run right over people who disagree with you, without any pang of conscience.
Take Attorney General Jerry Brown for example. He’s the man charged with upholding and defending the normal rules of law. Instead he’s dedicated himself to twisting and bending as many rules as he can to defeat Prop 8. Jerry’s undemocratic antic began before the California Supreme Court ruling, when he specifically disavowed in his court briefs (allegedly defending Prop 22) the truthful and winning argument that had persuaded supreme courts in New York , Maryland , and Washington to uphold marriage laws.
Next step in Jerry Brown’s bag of tricks? Redo the ballot initiative language in ways designed to make it as hard to pass as possible. As far as I know this has never happened in California history. When a ballot initiative is filed, language is developed that describes the initiative, people sign petitions, and it goes on the ballot. Stepping in mid-game to let the Human Rights Campaign rewrite the ballot language to make it fail? Par for the course, in this debate.
Just this week Jerry Brown pulled another trick out of his bag: Prop 8, he pronounced (as if it were up to him to decide), would not be “retroactive,” meaning the gay marriages that have already taken place won’t be affected. (Well, there’s one plus side: At least they can’t argue that we’re taking away any existing rights from people!)
Sometimes the anti-democratic tendencies of the gay-marriage lobby go too far. Even the California courts could not swallow the idea that Prop 8 should be struck from the ballot on the ground that it’s not merely an amendment but a revision of the entire constitutional scheme. That is the desperate argument gay marriage advocates made in their increasingly frantic attempts to deprive California voters of our civil right to vote for marriage in California this November.
I wanted to let you in on the latest on the boycott against the Manchester Hyatt. That poor hotel, of course, has nothing to do with Prop 8, one way or another. It’s just a great hotel right there on the bay in San Diego . But due to the mere fact that one of the key businessmen involved donated to protect marriage, gay advocates have begun a nationwide campaign to hurt the entire–and entirely unrelated–business enterprise.
Think of all the people they are willing to hurt–the hotel employees, the customers who will be inconvenienced, the investors–to get what they want: to enforce the idea that people like you and me, who think marriage means a man and a woman, are just like racial bigots and should be treated the same way.
Meanwhile the real scandal is over at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company–a regulated public utility, which (according to Equality for All) donated $250,000 to defeat Prop 8. Can you imagine? A public utility is skimming money off people’s electric bills to donate $250,000 to overturn the will of 61% of its customers–even as it spends millions to try to persuade voters to defeat Prop 7, an alternative energy bill!
I’m going to email Peter A. Darbee, the Chairman of the Board of PG&E, and tell him: IÂ’m voting Yes on Prop 8 and Yes on Prop 7. And I’m going to ask all my friends and neighbors to do the same.
If you have strong feelings on Prop 7, you may not want to go there.
But if, like me, you want to let this public utility understand that they are going to pay a price if they try to overrule the majority of Californian voters, on a matter (marriage) that is just not an electric company’s business…
Email Peter A. Darbee at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Nancy E. McFadden, the company’s public affairs representative, at (415) 267-7070. Be polite, but tell her you are voting Yes on Prop 8 and Yes on Prop 7 because of PG&E’s decision to make its customers pay to defeat Prop 8. (And can you email me at email@example.com to let me know what she says?)
Here’s the difference between the Manchester Hyatt and PG&E: The Manchester Hyatt did not donate to Prop 8, but attempts are being made unfairly to punish the hotel anyway, because just one businessmen associated with the hotel gave money.
PG&E is using its customers’ money to defeat the will of the majority of its customers.
That’s a big difference.
Expect more absurdities and insanities as the campaign progresses.
But remember too: We know who wins in the end, don’t we? And we know who will win this November.
It’s an honor to stand with you, for marriage.
God bless you,
Brian S. Brown
Executive Director National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton , NJ 08542
P.S. You can view our national ads on the meaning of marriage by going to http://www.nationformarriage.org and clicking on “Get Informed.”
(C)2008 National Organization for Marriage.