A lesbian lawyer has posited that Equality Michigan, a homophobic GLBT rights organization that has targeted the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, has violated the Sherman Act. The Sherman Act outlaws “every contract, combination, or conspiracy in restraint of trade,” and any “monopolization, attempted monopolization, or conspiracy or combination to monopolize.” The U.S. Department of Justice handles Sherman Act complaints, and you can file a complaint here.
In a letter to the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Kate Kendell, the lawyer wrote:
The most obvious among these is the clear violation of the Sherman-Anti-trust act. That Equality Michigan seduced your corporation and other corporations: a.k.a organizations, to enter into a conspiracy to restrain trade and commerce among several states is patently obvious. As you well know, the Clayton Act extended the Sherman Act to encompass “private parties” and provides for recovery of treble damages and the costs of the suit which includes reasonable attorney fees.
Artists who lost employment as a result of this “blacklisting” can document their actual economic damage. Additionally, a class of thousands of consumers who purchased festival tickets suffered economic loss, as well as a class of festival vendors who suffered economic loss as a result of the continuing demand that performers at the festival “publically declare support to end the festival’s antiquated and anti-business policy of exclusion” while in the employ of the festival.
Equality Michigan demands disruption of the festival by artists who perform at Michigan, thereby co-opting artists as their representatives through association to destroy the festival through a continual interference with contractual relations. This continued disruption of the quality of the festival interferes with the expectation of the consumer who purchases the ticket and dissuades potential consumers from attendance. This contractual interference results in an economic loss of value to consumers from many states who purchase a ticket and expend hard earned income to travel to the festival. The demands publicized on the Equality web site, to which your organization gives implicit approval of, clearly continues to embody McCarthyism and are intended to inflict economic harm on the woman business owner. Your organization which advertises itself as “The National Center for Lesbian Rights” is a pawn in this endeavor and you are the poster woman for their shameful attack.