Posts Tagged 'Eightmaps'

Escalation

After the eightmaps.com website went live, I and a lot of other people were worried that the conflict over Proposition 8 and its ilk would inevitably escalate. Some anti-Proposition 8 activists have already resorted to intimidation and even violence, a fact that a lot of pro-gay bloggers have been curiously silent about. The last thing anyone needs is for people on both sides to lose their cool completely.

Which is why I have mixed feelings over this:

I implore all of you to think before you speak and act.  Ask yourself how being so emotional might impact those around you.  Question your judgement before you call or email somebody–will this have a positive impact on our common cause, or will it only serve to strengthen the resolve of those who disagree with us?  Like it or not, there will always be more straight people in this world than there are GLBT folks.  If we want to have equal footing, we need to prove that we’re worth it.

From now on, I will be in partnership with those targeted by your hatred.  I may disagree with some of their beliefs, but I also believe in their right to disagree and I’d rather work with them than against them.  Any phone numbers, email addresses, ISP’s and names I can collect that are linked to Prop 8 rage, I will publish it here to expose you.  I will not tolerate the open hypocrisy perpetrated by my own community.  I don’t like being called a traitor, but hopefully, in time, you’ll understand.  I’d rather do what’s best for us than continue to allow us to be our own worst enemies. (Source)

This might be a good idea, if not for the fact that it’s almost certainly not going to work. Even assuming that someone who’s thinking of taking matters into their own hands sees this, it probably won’t deter them. The sad reality is that a very large part of the intimidation and violence I’ve seen has come from the proponents of marriage equality rather than the other way around; having your name on the Prop 8 Maps website actually puts you at risk, whereas having your name on a list like the one proposed above probably will not. As a deterrant, something like this isn’t going to work unless a lot of people have access to it, and even then it must be asked whether this is really the route we want to take. Where does it end?

Before someone jumps down my throat, I absolutely agree that Proposition 8 has no place in a supposedly modern society, and that those who helped it pass should be ashamed of themselves. But it does not justify violence, particularly not if that violence is motivated by a desire for revenge rather than a need for decisive action. Although I’m less confident now in the inevitably of its downfall than I used to be, marriage inequality will probably not last for much longer. We’ve waited this long for it, and we can surely wait another few years.

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Eightmaps.com – Unsettling?

I’m torn over this one. Eightmaps.com is a mash-up of Google Earth maps and the list of people or businesses who donated money to the pro-Proposition 8 campaign, and it’s not overly difficult to see how this could be badly misused – particularly given that some have already decided that ‘retribution’ is in order. Sure, all of this information is publically available already, but if I was one of the people showing up on this map I’d feel pretty nervous about it. I also have to question what the actual point of the website is. Certainly it serves as a good visual reminder of just how large the opposition to marriage equality still is (many of the donations listed are in excess of $10,000), but I’d be remiss not to wonder if someone involved with the project has an dangerous ulterior motive.

Needless to say, violence is not the answer. Even if you believe that voting yes on Proposition 8 was morally wrong (as I do), intimidation or threats are a disproportionate response. Remember, everyone who voted in favour of Proposition 8 also believed that they were doing the right thing, and the way to settle a moral dispute is not to bully the other side into silence.