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The mandatory disclosure of thousands of contributors to Proposition 8 on the secretary of state’s Web site has led to numerous acts of vandalism, boycotts and even death threats, lawyers for the Prop. 8 campaign said in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.’

Even if this is an exaggeration, and there’s no reason to think it is, recent history, and in particular the use of privileged personal information to target individuals, churches and businesses, suggests they are right to be concerned.

This is not about ‘hiding their shame’ as some gay news sites have suggested. It is about being protected from violent and abusive behaviour.

These words from a gay man who is a retired LA police officer:

I thought about the events that took place even before the election:

•The Modesto man who was beaten for trying to place “Yes on 8” signs on his lawn
•Five gay men arrested in Fullerton for the destruction of “Yes on 8” signs (they had just left a gay “No on 8” rally.
•A gay Palmdale man posted a message on MYSPACE which stated, “Burn down the Mormon Church!”
Even where I live in sleepy little Acton (California), I saw several young men destroying “Yes on 8” signs. After committing their crime, they ran to a waiting car with a “rainbow” sticker attached to it.

Earlier this week, a gay man in my circle of friends (a West Hollywood resident) used his Los Angeles City computer workstation to transmit an E-mail in which he suggested his intent to commit “cyber terrorism” against those who provided money and support to the Yes campaign. Many of the addresses he posted also were government addresses, and the City of Los Angeles has strict policies which prohibit the use of City equipment and computers for personal reasons. LA City employees and police officers have been disciplined and fired for the misuse of city computers.

Long Beach protesters were arrested for crashing through police lines. In Palm Springs, angry mobs forcefully ripped a plastic cross out of the hands of an elderly woman in a yellow dress. What COWARDS! What kind of courage does it take to attack an old woman and stomp her cross? As the hateful mobs of intolerant idiots stomped her cross into oblivion they nearly knocked the women down. Given her advanced age, any fall could have caused her serious injury.’

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