Proposition 8 Donations

proposition-8-mapDo you know what organizations your neighbors are donating to? More importantly, do you even care? I’m not going to go into great detail on what Prop 8 is nor the arguments for the ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ supporters. Simply put, Proposition 8 was a ballot proposition in California trying to restrict the definition of marriage between only a man and a woman. Since it was passed during the November 4, 2008 general election, it eliminated same-sex couples’ right to marry. Obviously, this topic affects me greatly as part of the homorazzi crew.  Also, it affects my cousins and friends living in California who have same-sex marriages – and Ellen Degeneres.  In fact, one of my cousin’s just got married in April 2008 in a lavish wedding on top of Nob Hill.

The other day I stumbled upon this site (http://www.eightmaps.com/). Using google maps and public information, this site illustrates all donations made to support the passing of Proposition 8. On January 29, 2009 a federal judge denied a request from supporters of the initiative to keep secret the donors’ names and to remove information about the donations from the California Secretary of State website. He stated that the public has a right to know who’s giving money for state ballot initiatives. Supporters stated public disclosure of donations puts the donors at risk, alleging that they are targets for death threats, business boycotts and other forms of harassment. Though I am a staunch supporter of Prop 8 and of equal rights for all, I do recognize the supporters have valid concerns about their safety – all it takes is a ‘fanatic’ to cross the line.

Do you think there should be public disclosure for donations?

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After checking out a few of the donors details and seeing if I knew any, lol – let’s be honest you’d do the same – one particular donor stood out more than the rest. Not to isolate or call out one donor more than the others but $450,000 donation did catch my eye. Considering $39.9 million was raised for the ‘YES’ campaign, this donation was quite substantial for the cause. Funny enough, the monies came from John Templeton Foundation (See Comment Below) a private donation from Dr. John Templeton, President of the John Templeton Foundation, in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. I googled them up and read their mission statement and bolded some of the ‘finer’ points.

“The mission of the John Templeton Foundation is to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life’s biggest questions. These questions range from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity.

Our vision is derived from Sir John Templeton’s commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. The Foundation’s motto “How little we know, how eager to learn” exemplifies our support for open-minded inquiry and our hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Prop 8, public disclosure of donor names and of this foundation. In closing, I thought I’d present some interesting facts about Proposition 8.

Money raised by supporters of Prop 8: $39.9 million
Money raised by opposition of Prop 8: $43.3 million

Total Votes of YES: 7,001,084 – 52.30%
Total Votes of NO: 6,401,482 – 47.70%

Voter turnout: 79.42%

For other statistical data check out wikipedia.

If you’re a fan of musicals, check this video for a quick laugh.

  • Please correct the above post! The contributions made in support of Proposition 8 by John M. Templeton, Jr. and his wife were private and strictly personal. They have nothing to do with the activities of the John Templeton Foundation, which does not support or endorse political candidates or causes. Dr. Templeton is a conscientious steward of his father’s legacy and is careful to separate his own political activities from the work of the Foundation.

    Gary Rosen
    Chief External Affairs Officer
    John Templeton Foundation