Boycott Watch  
November 17, 2008
California: Free Speech V. Boycotts
Summary: Boycotts used to intimidate and deny freedom of speech
    A series of boycott efforts are springing up in California resulting from the recent passage of Proposition Eight, a state Constitutional amendment defining marriage as being a union between one man and one woman, banning gay marriage. Gay activists and their supporters are promoting boycotts of businesses in which the owners and / or employees may have voted in favor of the proposition.

    Boycott Watch is not political, so reporting this has its inherent challenges since the root of these boycotts are results of a political vote. As such, we remind our readers that Boycott Watch is in no way politically aligned, nor do we take stances on issues. If you read our reports, you will discover that Boycott Watch verifies boycott calls. The only time we take a side is if something is blatantly anti-American or is in violation of US laws.

    In this case, we are seeing attacks on people for the content of their free speech by those who object to content of the free speech, thus intimidation to exercise free speech. These boycotters are essentially threatening people to not exercise their free speech in future votes, less they be hit by protests and boycotts. These boycotts are also meant to harm those who exercised their freedom of speech. These boycotts are, therefore, blatantly anti-American.

    Regardless if you agree with Proposition Eight or not, people have the right to their opinions. Boycotts are a tool of free speech and therefore have their place in the American culture. The standard dictionary definition of a boycott is when two or more people agree not to do business with a specific entity. In practice, boycotts are used to get the attention of businesses that are not responsive to the needs of their own customers. At the same time, one can not boycott a business they do not purchase from anyhow, nor can one boycott their own local or national governments without relocating.

    While all boycotts have some element of intimidation, as the goal of boycotts is to inherently change business practices. What we see here which is different are the attacks on individuals. These boycotts are aimed at individuals for the content of their freedom of speech, not their business or business practices.

    This great nation is built on the idea that we can disagree and work together. Starting boycotts against people for expressing their opinions on political issues on a political issue is un-American.

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