Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute
Protests following the passage of California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, made news headlines, but the Pacific Justice Institute reports a growing number of cases where those opposed to the ballot measure have taken out their anger more quietly: by harassing – and even firing – employees who voted for it.
PJI, a non-profit legal defense organization specializing in religious freedom, claims to be representing a San Francisco woman who was fired for voting for Proposition 8, but whose name remains confidential to protect her privacy and legal case.
“Californians have been shocked by the aggressiveness of radical homosexual activists who have ousted several individuals from their jobs and livelihoods based solely on their support for traditional marriage,” states Brad Dacus, president of PJI, on the group’s website. “These tactics of fear and intimidation in retaliation for supporting a lawful ballot measure are completely unacceptable.”
PJI also claims to be advising several others seeking settlements after they too were fired for supporting Proposition 8.
“Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated case,” asserts a recent PJI statement.
Kevin Snider, chief counsel for PJI, told WND of a worker at a financial company who was asked before the November election how he would vote on the issue of homosexual marriage. The employee gave an evasive answer. Following the election, the employee was asked repeatedly how he voted.
When it was learned the employee had voted in favor of Proposition 8, he was written up for discrimination, Snider reports, and fired within a couple of days.
WND reported earlier of a pair of radio hosts who were fired, they believe, because they questioned on air a local politician’s call to boycott businesses that supported Prop. 8.
“I voiced my opinion,” radio host Marshall Gilbert told WND. “I voted yes on Prop. 8, and I was fired over that.”
While some employees have been fired outright, others have been harassed by fellow workers or risk losing their jobs because of protesters hounding their companies.
The Los Angeles Times reported the story of El Coyote, a coffee shop that became a target of protest after the manager’s name was put on a blacklist for giving $100 to support Proposition 8. Mobs of protesters harassed El Coyote’s customers, shouting “shame on you,” until police in riot gear settled the crowd.
The customers, the Times reports, abandoned the once-thriving business, and now El Coyote’s 89 employees, some of them openly homosexual, have had their hours cut and face layoffs if the customers don’t return soon.
Advocates for homosexual marriage have even set up a website, AntiGayBlacklist.com, which lists hundreds of California residents, churches and businesses that donated money to the Proposition 8 campaign, urging sympathizers not to patronize those on the list.
“I think there’s certain types of jobs where there’s more hostility than other places,” Snider told WND. “I’ve had several college professors report harassment by their colleagues.”
In one instance, Snider said, a professor took copies of nasty emails from his colleagues over his support of Prop. 8 to the lawyers in the college’s human resources department. The professor alleged the emails clearly constituted hate speech, but his appeal was ignored.
Snider also told WND of Proposition 8 supporters who have suffered vandalism, physical violence and even attacks against family pets.
One report included a University of California student whose car was vandalized and who was beaten over her support of Prop. 8.
“It’s inappropriate behavior, and really criminal behavior,” Snider advised, “to do this sort of thing.”
“We have fielded numerous requests for help related to the aftermath of Prop. 8, including alarming instances of intimidation,” attorney Karen Milam, full-time director of PJI’s Southern California office, commented on the organization’s website. “We will continue to reach out to Prop. 8 supporters to ensure that threats and bullying do not undermine the democratic process.”