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June 14, 2004

www.virginiaisforhaters.org forced offline

Jay and I regret to report that the Virginia is for Haters site has been forced offline by unknown anti-gay groups that wish to silence us. After switching to a new hosting service, a second denial-of-service attack (apparently a distributed attack out of China) has caused the hosting company to drop us. We seem to be out of options. My submitted question to Ask Slashdot (which was rejected) summarizes the problem:

Several weeks ago, my partner and I created www.virginiaisforhaters.org, to raise awareness about a damaging and patently unconstitutional law to come into effect in Virginia on July 1, which seeks to nullify contracts (such as wills and healthcare directives) between same-sex couples. We finally got some media coverage on Friday, but by Saturday the site was down: some anti-gay geek had launched a denial-of-service attack which overwhelmed our provider. We switched to a new provider which claimed to have DOS provisions, but following a second, distributed attack launched out of China they dropped us before the site was even live. They recommended switching to RackSpace, but we can't afford the several hundred dollars a month that would cost. It seems we're out of options for getting the site back up. Is there some other way we can continue to exercise our First Amendment rights on the Web?

Any suggestions?

[Update by Jay: Assuming we do get a new hoster--and I think we're close--you can help us pay the $100+/month fees by donating even a few bucks at our Amazon Honor System page.]

Posted by david at June 14, 2004 08:24 AM | TrackBack
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Comments

I think it stinks that you all have been forced offline! My wife and I live in virginia for the time being and would like a copy of the boycott list. could you post it here or email it to me?
Thanks for all you guys have done and are doing, you are great humans!
Tiffany

Posted by: tiffany on June 14, 2004 08:59 AM

The boycott list is still available at the Google cache of virginiaisforhaters.org. J Crew and Altria are the primary targets.

Posted by: david on June 14, 2004 09:11 AM

Maybe not ideal, but you could always just use a blog site like LiveJournal.com

At least it's a place to send people even if it's not the best choice for a URL.

Here is a link to my own LiveJournal account, which I gave you all a mention on a few weeks ago (including the emails I sent to Bob Marshall and his insightful response...)

http://www.livejournal.com/users/jay_corvid/3863.html

Best of luck,
Jay

Posted by: Jay Corvid on June 14, 2004 01:04 PM

Forgive me if I'm being obtuse, but what did people do before they started a web site for their cause(s)? Maybe direct action is in order. J Crew stores are everywhere and it seems less than difficult to get a handful of well behaved people to stand in front of their local store, picket sign and/or flyer in hand. There are loads of direct action networks that you can get to post your call - the Indy Media sites come to mind, and added bonus, well planned direct action gets media attention. Maybe what you have to say is too long to fit on a picket sign, but I'll bet you know some messaging experts...

Posted by: pam on June 14, 2004 03:01 PM

Don't give up! You guys make us proud to know you.

Posted by: Seth on June 14, 2004 08:38 PM

Surely, there is someone with some decent security that can host you???

Anyway, I just discovered your site was taken down. I wanted to see if there had been a spot in there to post progress on the boycott. Just wanted to say I'm in DC, and was looking at taking out a mortgage loan in VA, and have since decided to rule VA out for any business dealings.

Posted by: Andrew Harvill on June 15, 2004 09:24 AM

Andrew, don't give up on Nova at least. Arlington is a great place to live, despite the state laws currently against us. Check out:

http://www.standupforequality.org/

and

http://www.agla.org

Dennis

Posted by: Dennis on June 15, 2004 03:38 PM

I take issue with your actions against my home state. I have lived in Virginia for most of my life, I have many gay friends, I support the rights of same-sex couples and I am an outspoken opponant of discrimination in ANY form. I am also a realist. Calling my state a state for "haters" is slanderous. I do not "hate" as your slogan blatantly claims I must be. If you take issue with the actions of my state government, take your fight to them. Do not blanket label a state rich with heritage and beauty simply because you take issue with it's government policies. There are more civilized and effective methods of social protest. By laying a blanket of defamation upon a state full of people you don't know is childish and reduces YOU (the slanderer) to the level of those you seek to usurp.

I expect to recieve quite a bit of return fire over this post (at worst it will be removed by a moderator) but I hope that at least I have caused you to think about your cause a bit. FYI - despite my opinion of your methodologies, I DO NOT endorse or agree with the DOS attacks (as an IT professional myself I understand the problems that such attacks cause) and I sincerely hope that equality for same sex couples as well as all peoples can truly be achieved (though I fear that we have a long road ahead). To address your hosting issue, I would offer for you to contact me at the e-mail address listed in this post. I have some friends that may be able to help you. They CERTAINLY would NOT host virginiaisforhaters (we ARE based in Hampton Roads in Virginia) in any form, but may be able to provide you with affordable webspace for a less hateful approach on the web.

Please, don't reduce yourself to the level of haters, and please - keep up the fight, you have supporters in Virginia too!

Posted by: Jason on July 7, 2004 02:06 PM

Jason, thanks for the offer. We have a new hoster; the site is down today for some scheduled (albeit inconvenient) maintenance.

Also, please note that "Virginia is for Haters" does not imply that ALL Virginians are haters. It's quite simply (and the site says this like 10 times!) a play on the state's 35-year-old tourist slogan "Virginia is for Lovers." Which from our standpoint is pretty ironic.

Some of the gay groups in Virginia have tee-shirts that say "Virginia is for Lovers*"
"*Some restrictions apply."
Cute, but too long for a domain name.

So, what would be a more effective way to protest this from the other side of the country? One of our main goals is to keep other states from following suit by showing reactionary lawmakers that laws like this have a cost.

Posted by: on July 7, 2004 03:53 PM
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