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written by Sam Greenspan

California’s anti-gay marriage proposition drew donors on both sides from all over the country. Here are some very interesting ones.

Other than the presidential election, the BIG issue here in California today is Proposition 8, which is a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.

I got to playing with this tool on the Los Angeles Times website. It lets you see who gave money either supporting Prop 8 (and, therefore, not supporting gay marriage) or against it… and how much money they gave.

Here are 11 of the most fascinating donations.

1 | The Knights of Columbus

In case you don’t know, the Knights of Columbus are a Catholic fraternity for adults, not, as I one believed, a kick-ass renaissance fair troupe in central Ohio.

The Knights made the single biggest donation in the Prop 8 battle: $1.4 million to support the constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Can we take a brief moment to stop and think about that: They are SO worried about gay people marrying each other that they were willing to spend more than a million dollars to try to stop them.

That’s unbelievable to me.

$1.4 million could buy a lot of lances, mutton and chain mail. What a waste.

2 | Ellen DeGeneres

She had to show up on this one, as America’s most famous gay celebrity. (At least, most famous out of the closet gay celebrity.) Ellen donated $100,000 to oppose Prop 8.

Not to be a dick here, but I think she could’ve opened up the wallet just a little more. I remember her donating that much to “Idol Gives Back”! And that show never even made it clear what cause the money was going to (was it kids in Africa? New Orleans? both? neither?)

3 | The $4 guy

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the Knights of Columbus is Ronald Grey of La Verne, California… who donated $4 to support Prop 8.

Let’s take a quick look into Ronald’s head for a second here. He sure doesn’t like gay marriage, but, damn, money’s tight right now. So he crunched the numbers and decided to make his voice heard, the answer was… four dollars.

In case some Yes on Prop 8 picketer needs to take a lunch break at Del Taco or something.

4 | The concerned Utes

Utah (and, more specifically, the Mormons) really turned out in full force for this one.

Apparently, the people of Utah are VERY concerned with gay marriage in California. (Which is awful thoughtful of them. Because, I can assure you, other than during Sundance or Jazz-Lakers playoff series, no one in California even remembers that Utah exists.)

According to people who’ve crunched the donation numbers much more thoroughly than I have, more than 59,000 Mormon families donated money to support Prop 8, amounting to at least $19 million. That’s more than two-thirds of the money raised in support of the amendment.

5 | The bad Mormon

Bucking the Utah trend is Bruce Bastian of Orem, Utah, who donated the most money of any Ute — $1,010,000 — to oppose Prop 8. That’s balls out, homey.

I looked Bruce up on Wikipedia and, yes, he is Mormon… and he is gay. He also is worth $1.1 billion, which he made by… co-founding WordPerfect.

Remember WordPerfect?! Who knew it was the gay-friendly alternative to Microsoft Word?

6 | My neighbor, Orson Bean

Orson Bean is an 80-year-old actor, who you may know from his time as a panelist on To Tell the Truth. Apparently, he also played John Goodman’s homophobic father on one of John Goodman’s 800 short-lived sitcoms (in this case, Normal, Ohio, which had a seven-episode run on Fox back in 2000).

Well… that was some method acting, because Orson Bean is, from what I can tell, the highest-profile supporter of Prop 8. He donated $450 in support of the amendment.

How did I find this? I plugged my ZIP code into the tool… and he was one of the few people who came up on the “support” side. Orson Bean is my neighbor! And he hates gay people! The things I learn while doing research for this website never cease to amaze me.

7 | Steven Spielberg, Brad Pitt and George Takei

The celebrities headlining the No on Prop 8 donor list are just a slight bit more prestigious. Spielberg donated $50,500, Pitt donated $100,000, and Takei, who makes far, far less money (but is way, way more gay, even than Pitt), donated $3,600.

8 | Vance DeGeneres

So you’re former Daily Show correspondent Vance DeGeneres. You happen to be Ellen’s less famous (but still somewhat famous) brother.

It clicks in your head that, when people are going to be scanning the Prop 8 donor list, a lot of them are going to try to find Ellen. Which means they’ll be looking for the name “DeGeneres”. Which means you’ve got to step up and donate.

So you give… $300. Ouch. That’s like your sister needing a kidney, and you deciding to give her… a reem of paper so she can print out a list of potential kidney donors.

9 | The guy who gave $69

Congratulations, John Kornachuk of Victorville, California. You are the one and only person immature enough to make a donation for $69.

And it was in SUPPORT of Prop 8. You decided that nothing goes with homophobia quite as well as a joke that kills with 7th graders. That’s just embarrassing.

To make it even more ridiculous, I Googled this guy and found out he’s a wedding photographer. So he’s not just immature… he’s SUCH an incompetent businessman that he’s willing to donate money to ensure that he has fewer potential clients!

Bill S. Preston, Esquire, and “Ted” Theodore Logan shake their heads at you in dismay, sir.

10 | The sun visor people

Elsa Prince of Holland, Michigan, gave $450,000 to support the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

First of all, let me say, this really hurts the odds of me going to Holland, Michigan, for this year’s tulip festival. I had no idea gazing at tulips came with a side of hate.

Second, who is Elsa Prince? And where did she get half a million dollars to throw toward a gay marriage ban 2,500 miles away?

Well… Elsa Prince was married to Edgar Prince (who died 13 years ago). Edgar is the man who invented… the little lights that come on when you flip down the mirror on the sun visor in your car.
Think about that the next time it’s night, you’re in the car, and you want to see if your makeup looks OK or if you have broccoli in your teeth. Those little lights around that mirror led to half a million anti-gay dollars.

11 | People in the storage business

And finally, two of the biggest yes on Prop 8 contributors are people in the storage business. Terry Caster, who owns A-1 Self Storage, gave $693,000… and Robert Hurtt, who owns the Container Supply Company, gave $550,000.

Storage, storage… hmm. What could a love of storage have to do with a raging, outspoken anti-homosexual stance? Hmm… wait! I may have it.

You know where else people store stuff? In the closet.