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Karger's RightsEqualRights.com website publishes a "dishonor" list that includes Orange County residents Robert Hurtt, an ex-Republican state senator; banking heir Howard F. Ahmanson Jr.; Yorba Linda Mormon leader John Dalton; and businessman Don R. Flora; as well as insurance moguls Donald G. Laws and Steve Samuelian of Laguna Beach. His organization is now organizing a national boycott of Amway after the company gave NOM $500,000.
In the tit-for-tat game, Eastman wants NOM followers to stay away from Starbucks and General Mills after those companies financially supported marriage equality. But discrimination efforts against gay citizens haven't done well in the past decade, in part because groups such as NOM can't contain their hysteria. The Reverend William Owens, who has served as a spokesman for the group, enjoys trotting out the king of all slippery-slope arguments.
"Well," said Owens, "if it's a civil right for a man to marry a man and a woman to marry a woman, what's the difference of a man deciding he wants to have sex with a dog?"
The unflappable Karger, who was a senior campaign adviser to presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, chuckles at such reasoning. On the presidential campaign trail for himself during the Republican primaries earlier this year, he never once heard anyone equate gay marriage with legalized bestiality.
"Nope, not even [vociferously anti-gay primary opponents] Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum, who was really a nice guy to me, personally, said that," recalled Karger. "The people at the National Organization for Marriage are spewing hate and anger. I'm not. I'm calm and respectful and reasonable. That's why I've gotten a lot of support and sympathy, and that's why we are going to win this fight."
This article appeared in print as "Hiding the Homo-Haters: Former presidential candidate Fred Karger wants John Eastman to reveal who's donating money to the former Chapman University professor's fight against gay marriage."