Speaking of Women's Rights: Faux Fear vs. The Real Deal

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Faux Fear vs. The Real Deal

Lindsay C. Harmon was stabbed in the eye last week. The attack is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Gay marriage opponent Hak-Shing William Tam filed a motion last week to withdraw from the Prop 8 court case because he is ”fearful for (his) personal safety and the safety of (his) family.” Tam claims that several incidents have caused this concern for his safety. Here’s the list:

• Tram’s car was vandalized.
• Someone tried to remove a Prop 8 sign from his front yard.
• Threatening comments were left on a You Tube video featuring him.

Certainly threats are nothing to celebrate; however, when juxtaposed with stories like that of a young woman who was stabbed in the eye last week, Tram's fears simply pale in comparison. The newest data collected for 2008 showed 2,424 victims of bias-motivated crimes against LGBT people nationwide, 28 of which were murders. I bet the victims of these crimes would love to file a motion to withdraw too. If only it were that simple for them.

After a fair amount of searching, I have yet to come across one story of a gay marriage opponent having been harmed in any way. Yet we’re hearing gay marriage foes imply that they are being “hunted down” by “the homosexual activists.” It is this unfounded idea that has prompted the R71 campaign to fight against disclosing the names of those who signed the anti-equality referendum last summer. Protect Marriage Washington’s Larry Stickney testified in front of the Public Disclosure Commission in August, in an attempt to block the release of donor information from the Reject R71 campaign. The examples that were used to demonstrate the threat to contributors ranged from a phone call to a pastor threatening the presence of the transgender community at their next church service to Stickney finding someone in his yard photographing his house (needless to say, their request to withhold donor names was denied by the PDC).

With no evidence of any actual violence committed against them, it makes a person think that these folks just can’t hack the label “bigot.” And what can you say to that? If the shoe fits…

Photo credit: Bill Wippert/Buffalo News