Prop 8 briefs: Reception to benefit MEUSA
compiled by Seth Hemmelgarn
East Bay couple Ruth Villasenor and Diane Pfile, who were married by Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums on June 16 in Oakland City Hall, invite interested community members to their wedding reception Sunday, September 21, which also is billed as a Native American-style fundraiser for Marriage Equality USA, a group that is fighting Proposition 8 on the November ballot.
The event takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Intertribal Friendship House, 523 International Boulevard in Oakland. There is no cost to attend, but donations of any amount will be accepted for MEUSA. The women said that the event will open with a performance by Sweet Medicine, an all-Native women drumming group. Attendees will also get to see the short film, Sa Hochifo (My Name is) by Miko Thomas about marriage equality and Anyone & Everyone, a documentary by Susan Polis Schutz about families accepting their gay children, which features a Cherokee family.
The reception is a potluck, and people are asked to bring food to share. There will be a raffle with prizes, including Native American artwork, and No on 8 signs available for people to pick up.
For those unable to attend, the couple asks that people consider making a donation at http://www.firstgiving.com/ruthvillasenor.
'Dishonor Roll' of Prop 8 backers
The group Californians Against Hate has launched its "Dishonor Roll," a top 10 list of Prop 8's supporters.
The data, available at www.californiansagainsthate.com, includes the names of the top donors, where they're from, how much they've given, and their backgrounds. The financial data were pulled from the secretary of state's Web site.
Topping the list are the Connecticut-based Knights of Columbus, who, according to data filed with the secretary of state's office, have contributed a total of $1,250,000.
In addition, the California State Council of the Knights of Columbus have contributed at least $25,000 to support the measure.
Patrick Korten, vice president of communications for the Knights of Columbus, told the Bay Area Reporter in August, "California is one of the most important states of all when it comes to this sort of thing. We've been an important source of volunteers on campaigns like this all over the country."
Korten said the group is not an official Catholic Church organization, but he said Prop 8 is "pivotal to the Catholic community and to society in general."
"We hope that people look to this donation and are inspired by it and add to the resources available to pass this referendum," Korten said at the time.
Almost $3.5 million of the money in the top 10 list came from outside California, while about $2.1 million came from donors inside the state.
One of the Californians on the list is Doug Manchester, who has contributed $125,000 to support Prop 8. Californians Against Hate earlier launched a boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Manchester is chairman of the company that owns the hotel.
Fred Karger, campaign manager for Californians Against Hate, said the site will be updated soon to also reflect contributions at the $5,000 level.
Online store; free bumper stickers
The No on 8 campaign has launched an online store on its Web site - www.noonprop8.com - where opponents of the measure can buy T-shirts, pullovers, bumper stickers, buttons, yard signs and more.
Meanwhile, a Los Angeles man and five of his friends have been working to distribute bumper stickers across the state that say "Stop Prop #8, Do it for someone you know."
Cary Brazeman, 42, said they started giving out the stickers in early August. So far, he said, they've distributed 3,000 stickers, and they hope to pass out 2,000 more.
Brazeman said they're not out to compete with the No on 8 campaign.
"We want to be as supportive as possible," he said.
They're hoping to drive traffic to their Web site - www.stopprop8.org - and to No on 8. He said he and his friends aren't raising money, holding events, or recruiting volunteers.
"We want everyone to contribute to the official campaign and volunteer to help the official campaign," Brazeman said. "We're just trying to bring more attention to the issue."
He said the sticker's message is powerful: When people remember they know gay people, they're much more likely to oppose something like Prop 8.
San Mateo County supes oppose Prop 8
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday, September 16 to support a resolution opposing Prop 8.
Mary McMillan, the county's deputy manager, said that while the resolution doesn't carry legal weight, it is important.
"We don't take positions on ballot measures frequently, so when the Board of Supervisors does, it tends to be on issues of significance to the county," she said.
McMillan said that the county, south of San Francisco, has had an equal protection policy for domestic partners for years, "so this position is consistent with that," along with the state Supreme Court's May 15 decision to allow same-sex couples to marry in California.