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Commentary: Is gays' intolerance on Prop. 8 the best strategy?

We're tied up in knots about gay people tying the knot.

The election is over, voters approved Proposition 8, and gay people are prevented from legally marrying in California.

But they refuse to be bridesmaids at heterosexual-only weddings.

Gay people are fighting intolerance with intolerance. They stayed largely in the closet in an election campaign that was about them – but waged with ads largely devoid of their images. And now they are out.

They are flexing their muscle, a little late for Election 2008, but not too late to underscore their unwillingness to retreat on the right to marry, no matter what the vote results say.

It made national news this week when the artistic director of Sacramento's California Musical Theatre resigned under pressure after his $1,000 donation to the "Yes on 8" campaign was made public.

Scott Eckern was following his Mormon beliefs about what constitutes traditional marriage, and that was fine until his donation was "outed" by gay rights advocates. Artists, including a Tony Award-winning composer, threatened to boycott the California Musical Theatre after learning of Eckern's donation.

When he quit, there were screams that his First Amendment rights had been violated. That's a bogus argument.

We're all protected from government restrictions on our freedom of speech and expression. No one stopped Eckern from donating and expressing his views.

But we often forget (when it suits us) that what we say with that freedom can have consequences.

To read the complete column, visit The Sacramento Bee.

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