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San Francisco Selling Its List of Married Gays

 
 
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2004 04:43 am
Quote:
San Francisco Selling Its List of Married Gays
Tue Apr 13,12:08 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco, which ignited a passionate nationwide debate by allowing thousands of gays to marry earlier this year, is selling its list of the newlyweds, the mayor says.

"They're public documents already and I think they're selling for cost," Mayor Gavin Newsom told Reuters in a short interview Monday at the opening home game of the San Francisco Giants. "What we had is the first few weeks is people going down by hand and writing them out. We said we'll put them together for you." The list will sell for $65.

Newsom gave the green light for homosexuals to marry starting in February. More than 4,000 gay couples wed over the following month before the practice was halted by the California Supreme Court pending further legal review.

The list could interest those who market products to gay couples, although it could also bring some gays unwanted attention.

Newsom said only a few people had bought the list, adding that the service was not aimed at adding to the city's coffers.

"We're not marketing the thing; we've made it available for those who otherwise were going to spend hundreds of dollars for someone to go down and do it," he said, before throwing out the first pitch in the ball game.


Link to story

Now I know that marriages are public records, and companies DO buy lists. What bothers me is that the gay marriages are being singled out for attention.

Does the government sell marriage lists by race, or religion? Do you think that it is appropriate for San Francisco to sell a discrete list of gay couples?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,075 • Replies: 20
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2004 05:10 am
Marriage--and divorces and births and deaths--are all matter of public record. Lists of straight marriages have always been sold: to real estate agents, to insurance companies, to anyone with a product that would enhance a happy home.

How do you think photographers know to contact the parents of newborns? Or tombstone makers find the families of the dear departed?

Personally, I think this is an indication that gay marriage is moving into the mainstream.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2004 05:29 am
Noddy- I realize that lists have always been available to the public. What I question is the wisdom of San Francisco having a SEPARATE list for gay marrieds. Considering that there is a lot of acrimonious dissention around the entire issue of gay marriage, it seems to me that the lists could very well be used to harass those folks. I hope that I am wrong, and that the only harassment will be from overzealous salesmen!
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2004 07:54 am
Phoenix--

I'm only guessing, but I think that:

A). All marriage applications from the Valentine's Day Gay Marriage time are printed out.

B). The computer has "Gays" as a separate category. I know the standard wedding lists can be divided by race and age through computer technology.

Obviously, I hope your fears are unfounded, but obviously the potential for misuse of public information exists.

My fingers are crossed.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2004 08:38 am
I'm sure the list could be used to harrass people but I could send a request for a list of all marriages in S.F. between October and December 1982 where the groom was under age 25 and they'd compile that for me too.

It seems that they've gotten several requests with the same criteria (i.e. all same-sex marriages) and instead of recompiling it every time they just standardized it.

IMO, using these types of lists for marketing is tacky but that's about it.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2004 08:51 am
Here, in Germany (and most of Europe), we (can) tell them, not to publish/sell etc any personal data - invasion of personal privacy, and my personal rights are guaranteed in our constitution (basic law).
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2004 08:58 am
This is the good ole USA, Walter -- we don't respect privacy in the way many other free countries do. Otherwise, a private instrument in a private home, the telephone, would not be used to harass people to buy crap.
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Wiyaka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 07:04 pm
If they do it for the people that are hetrosexual and list them as such, I say fine, Otherwise, it's another form of discrimination!!!
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 08:30 pm
I think it's a good sign.

As someone else said up there somewhere-- They do it to everyone else. This shows the married gays are just one more demographic to be bought and sold, like the rest of us.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 08:36 pm
Under the newest version of Canada's privacy of information act, you wouldn't get me to tell you what your name is, unless I had your written authorization in advance. That would be huuuuuuge lawsuit territory here. Not specifically the gay couples - any couples.

I don't like the idea of the splitting out of the gay couples, as a specialized listing. More discrimination. Can I request a list of all couples married in 1982 with Greek sounding surnames?
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2004 06:11 am
ehBeth wrote:
I don't like the idea of the splitting out of the gay couples, as a specialized listing. More discrimination. Can I request a list of all couples married in 1982 with Greek sounding surnames?


I dounbt you could get a list based on "Greek sounding surnames" but if you gave them a list of Greek Surnames they'd do a search for it and send you any matches. Or you could request a list of all brides (or grooms) that were born in Iowa in 1968 or a host of other data items. You can request a search oin any field on the license paperwork.

Interestingly, my little town's Historical Society just compiled a booklet that was distributed to every household in the town free of charge. It's a complete town directory (telephone book) along with a list of every marriage, birth, death and land transaction (including the value of the transaction) recorded in the town during the last year. Feh, public records.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2004 10:10 am
fishin' is right -- I don't believe the city can legally withhold the names of same sex marriages to sell them. They are public record and can be requested by any citizen, although I believe there is a fee. Is this story substantiated or just another journalistic fantasy?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2004 10:34 am
Wow! That is really shocking to me.
I think I prefer the privacy situation up here. No. I know I prefer the privacy situation here.
0 Replies
 
Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2004 10:42 am
If you're not against selling lists, than how can you be against selling lists narrowing down gay couples? Do you realize how much research marketing groups put into stuff like this? It's not discriminatory, it's a form of seperating demographics, that's all.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2004 10:47 am
Ya can't really do it here. About the only thing you can do legally now, is sort by postal walk, and hope you're good at segmenting neighbourhoods.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2004 01:47 pm
Slappy Doo Hoo wrote:
If you're not against selling lists, than how can you be against selling lists narrowing down gay couples? Do you realize how much research marketing groups put into stuff like this? It's not discriminatory, it's a form of seperating demographics, that's all.


I can't believe I'm agreeing with Slappy.
Demographics are available by age, race, gender, size of household, location, and many other traits that are important to marketers. It's about selling to the right audience, not discrimination.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2004 01:52 pm
I realize that is the way it's done in the U.S.
I've done a marketing (specializing in advertising) program here, and deal with our marketing people in our office. You simply can't access that type of information easily here. If people do not self-identify, marketers are outta luck for the greatest part.
0 Replies
 
Wiyaka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 May, 2004 08:58 pm
Slappy,Eva

I understand about trying to get marketing info. However, there are other ways to target that market group. Most major cities have printed media that are set up for specific groups of people. The major cities usually have GLBT periodicals. Advertising in these would do just as well for marketing in the GLBT community, since that's one of the first things a GLBT person looks for when they move or travel into a new town or city.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 May, 2004 11:05 pm
I think I prefer the Canadian and German way, too.
0 Replies
 
Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 01:39 pm
Wiyaka, for the companies, advertising and obtaining lists for market research and/or sales are two different things.
0 Replies
 
 

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