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One way to push for equality is through economic and political pressure, as in the divestment movement of South Africa. One part of this will be to make public the people behind the YES ON 8 movement. This means exposing who directly funded it, who indirectly funded it through a funding chain, and who is being funded by such organizations.

To explore this idea, I performed a bit of research using Google and opencampaigns.com. One money chain I found was this:

protectmarriage.com <– FIELDSTEAD & CO (Ahmasons) –> Robert Huff, CA assembly

Protectmarriage.com has raised nearly a million dollars for Prop. 8. One of their donors isĀ FIELDSTEAD & CO, a group that was cited as one of the most influential evangelicals by Time.

Here is an excerpt of the Time article about influential Evangelicals:

THE FINANCIERS: Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, 55, Fieldstead & Co. foundation, Irvine, CA. Projects that savings-and-loan multimillionaires Howard and Roberta Ahmanson have paid for over the years through Fieldstead & Co., a private philanthropy in Irvine, Calif., include an institute linked to the anti-evolution intelligent design movement and a study of social endeavors by third-world Pentecostal churches. The have lately been counseling newly powerful Christians about hubris. Says Roberta, “Christlike humility and (improving) the lives of human beings should be the goals.”

Howard Ahmanson is an heir to the Home Savings Bank.

Fieldstead & CO. also funded politicians:

They didn’t directly fund Prop. 8, but they’re taking money from those that did.

This little bit of research is just a sample of what could be done. With collaborative software, this could be a joint effort, and the various funding chains could all be followed. Can such research help? Can we build a database where people can view businesses, politicians, etc. who are behind this discrimination? The SF Chronicle put a searchable database up prior to the election and the site was heavily used. It only showed direct funders, however. Many of the people funding yes on 8 are proud of it, but there is also that quiet segment who would rather their neighbors and friends not know. And perhaps more important, others who have indirectly funded 8 without even knowing it. Those are the folks who might apply persuasion and/or pressure with the greatest gains.

If you’re interested in such a project, email me at wolber at usfca dot edu.

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