A group that supports gay marriage, knowthyneighbor, has created a website displaying the names of more than 100,000 signers of a petition that calls for the state Constitution to be amended to prohibit same-sex marriage.
Knowthyneighbor's tactics are controversial, with critics alleging that knowthyneighbor is making the names of same-sex marriage opponents public in an effort to expose or intimidate them. The group's founders say they are simply promoting civic discourse.
The names of 43 Provincetown residents are listed on the website. Most of the petition signers attend St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, which serves the Portuguese community and others in town. The Catholic Church has helped lead the fight against same-sex marriage.
One St. Peter's parishioner, Yvonne Cabral, was verbally accosted last Friday by Provincetown Magazine publisher Rick Hines after Hines learned that Cabral signed the petition, according to police.
Police Chief Ted Meyer plans to seek charges of disorderly conduct against Hines, who saw Cabral shopping and loudly called her a ``bigot," according to both Hines and Meyer. Other people who signed the petition -- and subsequently had their names posted on the same website -- said manure has been spread on their properties in recent months, Meyer added.
All parties involved agree that Cabral was shopping and Hines was buying a hotdog when Hines told Cabral that she was a bigot.
Police said the matter was under investigation and declined to provide the Globe a copy of the police report.
The Rev. Henry J. Dahl, pastor at St. Peter's, heard about what happened to Cabral, and about another parishioner who said she felt intimidated after a flier was stuck on her car in the middle of the night with a list of the names of petition signers -- including her own. Dahl decided to call the police chief.
``People who signed the petition, I think they knew what they were getting into," said Dahl. ``There was a certain expectation of knowing that when you make a statement like that, there could be certain consequences that follow."
``But this was a dramatic experience," he said, referring to Cabral's encounter with Hines.
Hines said the matter was being blown out of proportion.
``I knew she signed the petition and I ran into her, and I gave her a piece of my mind," said Hines.
Hines added: ``After being pushed and prodded your whole life for being gay, you run into someone you know sees you as a second-class citizen and it's human to respond. . . . I regret that it happened that way."
Friday, July 14, 2006
You'd think representatives of a miniscule 2% minority would think twice before upping the ante with tolerance-destroying tactics such as this: