Breaking news: South Bay
lawmaker receives recall threats
by Matthew S. Bajko
They've threatened pro-gay business owners. They've physically beaten up their opponents. They've launched cyber attacks. And they've spread lies to advance their cause.
Now backers of Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage amendment on Tuesday's ballot, have threatened to recall an openly gay South Bay politician if he does not convert to their side in the fight.
Evan Low, who serves on the Campbell City Council, reported this week that he had received threats from half a dozen people that if he did not rescind his endorsement against Prop 8 he would be recalled from office.
"I have received seven calls today threatening to recall me from office if I do not publicly retract my position and switch to Yes on 8," Low informed supporters in an e-mail Wednesday, October 29. "The Yes on 8 campaign is continuing their efforts of deception and coercion. Let's have a strong showing during this final stretch."
Chip White, a spokesman for Protectmarriage.com, the main group backing Prop 8, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Instead of backing down, Low turned up in San Francisco this morning (Thursday, October 30) to join Mayor Gavin Newsom and other Asian American politicians from the Bay Area for a walk through Chinatown to urge voters to support marriage equality.
In his e-mail Low urged his supporters to donate to the No on 8 campaign (http://www.noonprop8.com) as well as attend several rallies in Silicon Valley over the weekend. In an interview with the Bay Area Reporter, Low said he did not know where most of the callers lived or if they were being coordinated by the Yes on 8 campaign.
"At least one person I knew was from Campbell," he said. "Whether or not these calls or threats of recall are attributed to Yes on 8 directly, it still shows the attempts of people on that side of the issue will go to threaten. It is just ridiculous."
He called the threat of a recall a "pathetic attempt" that would not impact his speaking out against Prop 8.
"It is bad enough they want to eliminate rights for people. It is just ugly, plain and simple," said Low.
Gloria Nieto, political director at the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center in San Jose, labeled the tactics thuggish and said they would not work.
"You know what a bunch of thugs. They are attacking our Web sites, threatening our elected officials. It is nothing but thuggery; it is disgusting," said Nieto. "I don't think it will work in Campbell. I will be the first in line to support Evan so he knows people are backing him up."
Low noted that despite being near San Francisco, there are quite a large number of Prop 8 supporters in Silicon Valley. More than 3,000 people turned out for a recent Yes on 8 rally in Cupertino, and Low said one doesn't have to look hard to find Yes on 8 lawn signs.
"We don't need to go that far to see where so much work needs to be done," said Low.
Several No on Prop 8 get-out-the-vote South Bay rallies are planned this weekend.
Saturday, November 1 from noon to 2 p.m. opponents of the measure will gather at the following locations: in Cupertino at DeAnza College, corner of Stevens Creek and Stelling; in San Jose at the intersection of Stevens Creek and Winchester; in Willow Glen at the corner of Lincoln and Minnesota.
Sunday, November 2 from 2 to 5 p.m. No on 8 backers will gather at the Bed, Bath and Beyond on Hamilton Avenue.