Earlier this week, I implemented a new advertising policy which is very up front about discriminating against those who I believe discriminate against others. Specifically, my golden rule is this: If you, as an elected official, voted to deny my brothers and sisters in my community the same domestic partner protections I enjoy as a married man, and the proposal to extend the protections fails, than you are prohibited from advertising on my blog.
This new policy is inspired, ironically enough, by Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew. That’s the part of the Good Book which teaches (or warns, as the case may be): “What you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.”
Obviously, I was reacting to the events which transpired last week in Hillsborough County, where, by a 4-3 vote, the County Commission, rejected a domestic partner registry for unmarried couples.
For the most part, the reaction to my decision has been positive.
One Facebook post about my decision has received 107 likes and 7 shares, a relatively high amount for one of my entries.
Reader reaction has been generally supportive, although there has definitely been some dissent.
One supporter is Daphne Street, who writes part-time for this blog. She took to Facebook to say:
“I have always been proud to say that I write for Peter Schorschand Saint Petersblog. Never have I been more proud of that than today, based on this post and the outstanding character that Peter has always displayed since I have known him. Thank you, Peter.”
Another supporter is my longtime friend Darden Rice, who writes:
“Thank you, Peter, for taking this stand that helps show personal and meaningful support for fairness and equality.”
One Facebook poster wondered why I was drawing a line on this issue:
“I applaud your willingness to take a stand that will cost you. But this is a greater civil rights issue than pre-born babies being killed? Really? Really???”
Political consultant Anthony Pedicini tweeted about whether the advertising policy might expand to the hypothetical:
“Just want to be clear on the slippery slope you’ve placed yourself… Actual votes or actual beliefs? And what’s next?”
This post echoed the concern of one longtime strategic business partner:
“I am disappointed in your advertising policy. I hope this is the only issue that disqualifies people.”
Another longtime friend and business partner tweeted an interesting suggestion:
@NicholasMHansen: @SaintPetersblogcharge them a premium don’t ban them.
The decision did not sit well with a subscribe to Sunburn, my daily email about Florida politics:
“I respect you and your business. But I look at your site as a very useful tool for news and information. Not a platform. For that reason, the same reason I am not signed up for FoxNews or MSNBC, I wish to unsubscribe. Being agnostic, or almost libertarian, on one’s personal life choices I respect your opinion and wish all of diverging opinions can be afforded the same latitude.”
It will be interesting to see if there is continued fallout from my decision.