Andrew Harmon at The Advocate just posted an important exclusive on how one of the couples in the federal Prop. 8 trial - plaintiffs Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier - "were subjected to more than a dozen antigay voice mails during the 2010 trial from a man who was later convicted of making threatening telephone calls to Nancy Pelosi."
The first thing that comes to mind is how incredibly poised Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier were throughout the trial - which is even more amazing now knowing they were under such a vitriolic attack. Bravo to them!
The issue of harassment, however, was a focal point for Proposition 8 supporters -- at the Perry trial and during both the 2008 campaign to pass the California ballot initiative and the nationwide protests that ensued from marriage equality supporters.
"One lesson of the hostility surrounding support for Prop. 8 is that individuals and institutions that publicly defend marriage as the union of husband and wife risk intimidation, harassment, and reprisal -- at least some of it targeted and coordinated," Thomas M. Messner wrote in the 2009 report "The Price of Prop 8" for the Heritage Foundation. The types of the hostilities faced by Prop 8 supporters, he wrote, included "harassment, intimidation, vandalism ... at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry."
"Because the issue of marriage is still very much alive in California and throughout the nation, the naked animus manifested against people and groups that supported Prop 8 raises serious questions that should concern anyone interested in promoting civil society," Messner wrote.