Thursday, September 08, 2005

There's a Gay Going `Round Taking Names

Well, the Boston Herald had the most fun with it, both in news and columns. You can be sure their more reactionary, anti-gay columns like Howie Carr and Joe Fitzgerald are already preparing victimhood rants too.

The huge Herald head today reads:

GAYS TAKE NAMES

It is the announcement of the Know They Neighbor site. There, a married gay couple, Tom Lang and Alex Westerhoff, intend to publish the names and addresses, from public record, of those who sign petitions for the 2008 ballot initiative to stop same-sex marriage.

Some, like Massachusetts Family Institute President Kris Mineau, will be proud to be known as signers. He may like it less that his address is on the site. Others, like ex-Mayor, ex-Vatican ambassador, and ex-civil libertarian Ray Flynn, would surely rather not appear.

In the Herald, Mineau calls it intimidation. In practical terms, it may lead to unpleasant calls, letters or visits.

It is a tactic borrowed from the other side. However, at its extreme, there were strong hints that the identified folk, such as abortion doctors, deserved death. There is nothing like that implied.

We rather doubt that anyone who wants to see rights taken from homosexuals would be intimidated by knowing their name and address might appear on a Website. In addition, as the number climbs into the hundreds, then thousands, there is likely to be safety in numbers.

On the other hand, the anti-gay forces have pretty much had the spite and tricks categories to themselves until now. They are quick to call even the most polite, passive protest militant, while defaming gay-rights advocates in the harshest terms themselves. This site may simply be sauce for the gander.

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