Outside a Yes on Prop 8 fundraiser in 2008
Rights Equal Rights (formerly Californians Against Hate) was founded in July 2008, just after Proposition 8 qualified for the November 4th ballot. We wanted to draw attention to the major donors to the Yes on 8 campaign. These opponents of same-sex marriage spent over $2 million just to qualify this constitutional amendment to take away our newly acquired freedom to marry. If these individuals, businesses, and organizations are so adamant in their desire to turn back the clock and take away our civil rights, then the gay community, our families, and our friends will fight back.
We have posted over 800 names of those who gave $5,000 and up (many ways up) on our Dishonor Roll. This can be found on the home page of our website: rightsequalrights.com. We want to make sure that our millions of friends and allies throughout the United States know exactly who contributed vast sums of money against us.
Rights Equal Rights is organized as a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. It was completely independent and not affiliated with the official campaign committee opposing Proposition 8, Equality for All No on 8. Our funding comes from individuals who believe that the truth should be known about those who funded their campaign of hate.
Fred Karger speaks at a press conference at the Manchester Grand Hyatt
We kicked off our effort on Friday, July 18, 2008, in San Diego with a demonstration and rally in front of the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel. We announced our first action, a full boycott against Doug Manchester, CEO of the Manchester Financial Group. Mr. Manchester contributed $125,000.00 to the Yes on 8 campaign and was one of the earliest and biggest donors.
The Manchester Boycott continues against Mr. Manchester’s two hotels in San Diego, The Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego and The Grand Del Mar Golf Resort & Spa in Del Mar.
Our second action was against San Diegan Terry Caster, who ended up giving $693,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign. Caster and his family were the second-largest individual California donors to Yes on 8. Caster owns A-1 Self Storage Company which has 40 locations throughout California. Caster was quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune as saying, without solid marriage, you are going to have a sick society. Nice.
If our opponents are steadfast in their desire to take away our rights, then we will fight back. We do not want to spend our money at any business owned by individuals who supported this hateful initiative.
This country was founded on the principle of liberty and justice for all. Our opponents have every right to contribute vast sums of money to take away our equal rights, and we have every right to fight back, and we will.