Playing by the rules

petitionTo go a little different route, here’s an article I came across today from the National Review Online detailing the lengths groups which claim to be civil rights advocates will go to curtail views that are different from theirs.

The subject of the article is the battle to redefine marriage in California. While the state has already passed legislation defining marriage as between one man and one woman, opponents have enlisted the courts to overturn the law. A new measure is now being placed on the ballots by way of petition. This has led to vigorous opposition:

This, in turn, led to an increasingly desperate and hostile attempt to block the efforts of petition-gatherers. Brian Brown, the director of NOM who has moved back to California (where he was raised) to help the campaign, explains that a group called Equality for All reports more than 1,000 volunteers (some from out of state) for their “Decline to Sign” campaign, while there are only about 200 petition-gatherers working in the state.

The anti-amendment group solicits reports of petition-gatherers’ whereabouts, and then sends volunteers to where the gatherers are working. These volunteers are ostensibly persuading voters that the amendment is a bad idea. Brown notes, however, that they are beginning to document reports of petition-gatherers being physically blocked, yelled at, and intimidated. These complaints have become frequent. Brown admits that the day and night efforts to keep voters from getting an amendment on the ballot have made the process more difficult.

Interference with signature-gathering is illegal in California. As Gallagher points out, there is a sad irony in “civil-rights” organizations trying to prevent Californians from exercising one of their most basic rights.

To read the entire article, go here.

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