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Self-storage firm boycotted for Prop. 8 support

By Josh Richman
Friday, November 21st, 2008 at 1:36 pm in campaign finance, Elections, General, same-sex marriage.

The latest attempt to boycott a company associated with Proposition 8 targets a self-storage chain with several Bay Area locations.

Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger said he’s running an online campaign to boycott San Diego-based A-1 Self Storage because of owner Terry Caster’s financial support of the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. A-1 has 30 locations throughout California, including Oakland, Concord, Belmont and four in San Jose.

From Karger’s Huffington Post column yesterday:

Why would someone contribute $693,000 to take away the rights of an entire minority group in California? Terry Caster and his family did just that. Caster, his 8 children and many of their spouses gave a total of $293,000 to help qualify Proposition 8 for the ballot earlier this year. Then when the plea went out for more money from the Yes on 8 campaign in late October, Caster opened up his checkbook and gave an additional $400,000 to take away same-sex marriage in
California. That’s $693,000 to Yes on 8! Terry Caster was the 2nd largest contributor in California to the Yes on 8 campaign.

Caster told the San Diego Union-Tribune in May that marriage equality threatens society. “Without solid marriage, you are going to have a sick society,” he said.

This is the third boycott launched by Karger’s group against Proposition 8 contributors. One of the earlier efforts targeted Doug Manchester, owner of San Diego’s Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel and Grand del Mar Resort as well as another resort in Idaho; that boycott is still ongoing. Another boycott targeted Bakersfield-based Bolthouse Farms after former CEO William Bolthouse Jr. gave $100,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign; Karger dropped that one in October after Bolthouse’s current CEO launched a comprehensive diversity program and agreed to contribute to several LGBT groups.

Californians Against Hate already began a “Call Terry Caster” campaign back in August, asking people to call Caster’s personal office and A-1′s headquarters; that’s now being replaced with the boycott, Karger said. He’s also asking people to leave comments on A-1′s Yelp pages.

Now, I blogged earlier this week about how boycotts are a time-honored, fair-game means of political expression, and one that conservative groups have used in the past against businesses supporting gay rights. I’d neglected then to note that Proposition 8′s proponents just last month sent a letter to almost three dozen businesses which had contributed to the campaign against the initiative, essentially demanding that they give equal money to Yes on 8 or risk conservative blowback.

Many thought that skated pretty close to extortion, so let’s not hear any whining about boycotts, OK?

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  • http://dyingpractice.blogspot.com/ Bunan

    In my opinion, boycotts and other non-violent forms of demonstration or protest are appropriate responses.

    What is a minority group to do in response to being targeted or discriminated in some way other than to use whatever law-abiding means are available to them?

    In my opinion, when the fundamental rights of any person or persons are threatened, violated, revoked, or diminished.. it is appalling, and some action should and must be taken.

    I am not gay, nor do I consider myself to be an activist in support of gay rights.

    I am, however, a human being, and I DO consider myself to be an activist in support of HUMAN rights.

    I am trying to formulate in my mind some sensible and easy to articulate reason how a loving and legally recognized union between ANY two human beings can harm society at large… but it just won’t seem to gel… the arguments to prevent this seem to me to be weak and based primarily on fear, ignorance, bias, hatred, and narrow-mindedness, and it is wrong.

    How many times must we go through this iteration of oppression, fear, discrimination, and hatred before we will learn that what hurts any one of us ultimately harms all of us?

    In peace & brotherhood,

    Bunan

    http://dyingpractice.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.ConstitutionalRepublicans.org Walter, GOP Livermore City-Chair

    What about the “equal-rights” of Terry Caster and his family to contribute to whom ever candidate, or whatever ballot measure they please? Sounds like Fred Karger and the Californians Against Hate alliance are being sore losers.

  • Theo

    Caster has every right to donate to whatever and whomever he wants and people have the right to boycott him because of those donations. No one is denying him the right to make those donations. I love how the Prop 8 supporters cry foul because people are taking them to task for that support. You lie down with dogs, you’re going to get fleas.