The Templeton Foundation And Marriage

Caleb Crain asks the generously-funded institution why it isn't publicly accountable for the $1.1 million donation John M. Templeton, Jr.  just gave to strip gay couples of civil rights in California:

My point is that marriage is a public matter that affects, and to some extent structures, an experience that most people think of as extremely private. It does so in large part by defining limits and end-states, but it does so nonetheless. And so when Mr. Templeton gave money to deprive gays and lesbians of marriage, I would argue that he was not only engaging in a public act, involving a change to the laws of California, but also intruding into the privacy of gays and lesbians in California who live in committed relationships. In effect, he walked into their bedrooms, he sat down at their breakfast tables, and he took something from them. It is worth keeping in mind the size of Mr. Templeton's donation; he is reported to have been the third-largest donor to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign.

It is also worth keeping in mind that Mr. Templeton lives in Pennsylvania not California. The size of the donation, the willingness to reach across state lines, the publicity inseparable from law and any advocacy of change to it, the violation of others' privacy implicit in the denial of marriage to themall these elements suggest to me that even though Mr. Templeton contributed from his personal funds, and gave the money as an individual, it is fair game for me and others to respond to his contribution as a public matter.