By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case that could allow the names and addresses of opponents of a measure granting benefits of marriage to same-sex partners to be posted on the Internet, where radical homosexuals could target them with verbal assault – or much worse.
Already, residents of California fighting to protect a voter-approved measure limiting marriage to one man and one woman have been subjected to “harassment, intimidation, death threats, getting fired from their jobs, near riots at churches,” according to Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America.
Hers was one in a long list of organizations that filed friend-of-the- court briefs in a Washington state case argued this week in the high court. The state and advocates for homosexual “marriage” want to make public the names of anyone who signed a petition to have voters decide whether “partners” should have access to all the benefits of married couples. Other groups that signed the brief included Liberty Counsel, Cato Institute, Institute for Justice, Alliance Defense Fund, American Center for Law and Justice, and the Justice and Freedom Fund.
Wright said the case “is about whether the names of people who signed the petitions are public. Should they be put online.” She said the First Amendment assures people the right to anonymous political speech.
She said her group’s brief dealt with voting issues.
“There’s a reason why we have a secret ballot,” she said.
She also cited one justice’s comment that it takes courage to run a democracy.
“In a sense he is right,” Wright said. “Are we up to it? Are we willing to do what is right?”
A federal judge ruled in favor of the First Amendment privacy of petition signers, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned it. The Supreme Court, however, maintained an injunction against the release of the names until the case is resolved.
According to James Bopp Jr., who represented Protect Marriage Washington before the Supreme Court, the issue follows the organization’s collection of the names of 138,000 people on Referendum 71 petitions.
When voters upheld the law, homosexual organizations demanded from the state as part of “public records” the information about the petition signers, with promises to post the information on the Internet.
The demand generated alarm over the possibility of harassment – or worse – against the petition signers, because of promises from homosexual union advocates for “uncomfortable conversations.”
But Bopp said, “after what transpired in California, it is clear that these are confrontations, not conversations, and that they chill political speech.”
When the fight over marriage was raging in California, WND reported an angry mob of homosexual activists attacked an elderly bespectacled woman carrying a cross then shouted her down during a live TV interview.
“We should fight! We should fight!” screamed one protester as the woman, identified as Phyllis Burgess, stood calmly with a reporter waiting to be interviewed.
The video from KPSP-TV in Palm Springs had been posted on the Internet but later was removed from public access. In it, another protester yelled, “Get out of here!”
The reporter commented to her anchor team back at the station, “As you can see we are being attacked.”
Protesters also parked an SUV painted with hate messages in front of a Mormon family’s home, but the worst attacks were online, where the Supreme Court decision could allow Washington marriage supporters’ names to be posted.
On a blog, a commentator known as “World O Jeff” wrote, “Burn their f—ing churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers.”
Another contributor to the website said, “I supported the Vote No, and was vocal to everyone and anyone who would listen, [but] I have never considered being a violent radical extremist for our equal rights. But now I think maybe I should consider becoming one.”
Added another at the time of the California fight, “I swear, I’d murder people with my bare hands this morning.”
Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs for Liberty Counsel, at the time called the statements “hate crimes” for their intent to create violence against someone based on their beliefs.
“This is not just a matter of some people blowing off steam because they’re not happy with a political outcome. This is criminal activity,” he said. “The homosexual lobby is always calling for ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ and playing the role of victim. They claim to deplore violence and ‘hate.’ Here we have homosexuals inciting, and directly threatening, violence against Christians.”
Two other comments from another homosexual website: “Can someone in CA please go burn down the Mormon temples there, PLEASE. I mean seriously. DO IT” and “I’m going to give them something to be f—ing scared of. … I’m a radical who is now on a mission to make them all pay for what they’ve done.”
And another: “Remember, I’m angry. And I’m strong from my years at the gym and really am ready to take my frustration out on someone or something.”
Yet another listed the addresses of Mormon facilities: “I do not openly advocate firebombing or vandalism. What you do with the information is your own choice.”
Bopp has noted that in California, those who obtained access to petition signers’ names even posted maps online, “providing would-be harassers with directions to supporters’ homes.”
The court ruling from Washington is expected to come within two months.
WND also has reported homosexual activists in Maine targeted churches with IRS complaints.