Lately, various Internet pundits have been accusing California’s anti- same-sex marriage Yes on 8 campaign of “extortion”, claiming that the campaign sent out letters to companies that had contributed to the No-on-8 campaign, threatening to publicize them as being against traditional marriage unless they contributed the same amount to YesOn8.
Now, the claim about the letters is not false. The folks at the head of Yes On 8 have admitted to sending out just such letters. However, they are not extortion. Extortion, technically, is threatening to do an illegal act unless payment is made, and there is nothing illegal about telling folks who donated to No On 8.
So stop claiming that that the Yes On 8ers are using extortion to promote their cause. The proper term for threatening to legally publicize something if not paid money is blackmail. The folks at protectmarriage.com are blackmailing companies, not extorting them. Remember, blackmail.