Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Vandalism continues in response to prop8

Excerpts from Prop. 8 passage spawns protests, violence and vandalism, a Christian Examiner staff report

The Anti-Defamation League, responding to the escalating incidents, issued a statement Nov. 10 condemning "criminal activity."

"Although we strongly opposed Proposition 8, its passage does not justify the defacement and destruction of property," the statement read. "We urge Californians to channel their frustration and disappointment in productive and responsible ways to work towards full equality for all Americans.

The following are some of the examples of the violence, vandalism and personal attacks that have been reported against Proposition 8 supporters.

• A Bash Back chapter in Olympia, Wash., bragged that they targeted a Mormon church where they glued their door locks and sprawled anarchist messages in spray paint "over their boring veneer."

"The Mormon church (just like most churches) is a cesspool of filth," the group wrote in a statement flaunting its attack. "It is a breeding ground for oppression of all sorts and needs to be confronted, attacked, subverted and destroyed."

The message went on to warn, "Dissolve completely or be destroyed."

• Mormon temples in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, as well as the Knights of Columbus headquarters in New Haven, Conn., were sent suspicious looking white powder, reminiscent of the 2001 anthrax attacks and scares.

• At least eight Mormon buildings in Salt Lake have been vandalized with spray-painted epithets criticizing the church's support of Proposition 8.

• A group of young Christians with the Justice House of Prayer— meeting on a sidewalk for their weekly prayer session in San Francisco's Castro district—had to be escorted out of the area by police, some in riot gear, as an angry mob turned on them shouting, "Shame on You," blowing whistles and screaming profanities.

• Marjorie Christoffersen, daughter of the owners of the Los Angeles restaurant El Coyote, left town after hundreds of protesters targeted her parent's eatery because she made a personal $100 contribution to the Yes on 8 fund. Police in riot gear were called to restore order. Gay rights activists also began a campaign to post negative restaurant reviews online. The restaurant employs several gays and lesbians who said they were taken aback by the protests.

• A Palm Springs news crew captured an unruly protest group ripping an oversized cross from a woman's hands and then stomping on it. A reporter trying to interview the woman, Phyllis Burgess, about the incident had to move the woman to safety as the crowd encircled them while shouting.

• Numerous blog sites reported that gay African-American men were the subject of racial slurs while trying to join the crowd in an anti-Proposition 8 protest. The men were targeted because exit polls showed a large amount of African-Americans supported Proposition 8. In one case a black man was warned to stay out of West Hollywood "if they knew what was best for them."

• The artistic director of a Sacramento theater was forced to resign his post after donors, ticket holders and others protested outside the theater because the man, Scott Eckern, a 25-year employee of the venue donated $1,000 in his personal money to the Yes on 8 campaign. In a separate case reported at press time, the director for the Los Angeles Film Festival resigned under pressure from gay activists for donating $1,500 to Yes on 8. Richard Raddon, who tried unsuccessfully to resign several days earlier but was blocked by his supportive festival board, resubmitted his resignation when the berating calls and e-mails failed to cease.

• Vandals converted a Yes on 8 sign into a swastika at a church in Riverside.

• A Carlsbad man was arrested Nov. 3 for punching two elderly neighbors in the face after they confronted him about trespassing on their property to place a No on 8 sign in front of their Yes on 8 sign.

• On election morning, a Carlsbad jogger was also attacked and bitten by a dog when he tried to stop two men from stealing a Yes on 8 sign. Several weeks ago police in that same city arrested at least two people for stealing Yes on 8 signs.

• In Fresno, a prominent pastor, who had campaigned publicly for Proposition 8, received credible death threats that also targeted the mayor, another traditional marriage supporter. The threats were deemed credible enough for the police department to assign officers to protect the men. The church was also targeted for vandalism.

• In Modesto, a Protect Marriage volunteer received 16 stitches under his eye after a man tried to steal his Yes on 8 signs outside a local church where he was waiting to distribute them after Mass.

• A week before the election, a San Jose couple, who posted a Yes on 8 sign in their front lawn, discovered that someone spray-painted "No on 8" on their car, their garage and the garage of their neighbor.

• Also in San Jose, vandals painted the back window of an SUV with the words "Bigot Live Here," with an arrow pointing to a house boasting a Yes on 8 sign.

• In other areas of the state, cars were keyed, signs defaced and a block was thrown through the window of an elderly couple who displayed a Yes on 8 sign in their yard.


Jon Spell said...

Out of curiosity, what sort of mischief are the "Yes" men doing to the people who voted No?

I heard* that people were throwing rocks at others gathered at the LA Temple, and that a group of suit-wearing young men attacked the rock-throwers. I'm sure they yelled "Beware the Elders of Zion!" while doing so.

* friend of a friend of a ... I haven't seen any documentation to support whether this happened or not

Clair Barrus said...


I know several protesters were hospitalized by angry Mormons who are being investigated for hate crimes ( I've heard of a couple of other instances, but I'm not aware if there is a list of these, or how prevelent they are.