Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
 

Geoff Kors: The Queerty Interview

QUEERTY REPORTS — In the aftermath of Prop. 8, two No on 8 leaders have come to represent the face of the campaign: Equality California’s Geoff Kors and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Lorri L. Jean. With everyone from media giants like Rolling Stone to gay rights leaders like Ivy Bottin1 to, well, Queerty, questioning and criticizing the mismanagement and tactics of the No on 8 campaign, Kors has come under heavy fire since Election Day.

Is it deserved?

It’s not an easy question to answer and those looking to this interview for a pat explanation will be disappointed, but as assigning blame is less important than gaining a full understanding of where No on 8 went wrong, we’re grateful that Mr. Kors was willing to talk candidly.

As Kors explains in the interview, his allocated responsibility was fundraising and by that measure he and Equality California were successful. What remains troubling is that even as a member of the executive committee, Kors had little hard knowledge of what was going on in the campaign as it was going on. The collective decision by the executive committee to cede vast authority to professional campaign operatives proved to be a tactical error– and Kors knew it. When the professionally-hired fundraisers failed to meet expectations, Equality California stepped up with their own fundraising effort, which ultimately proved far more successful. That the same oversight wasn’t extended to the rest of the No on 8 effort is one of the great missed opportunities in the battle for marriage equality.

QUEERTY: Who ultimately had responsibility for the No on 8 campaign?

Geoff Kors: Steve Smith from Dewey Square was the lead person hired to run the No on 8 campaign.

And who hired him?

Steve was hired by the executive committee in August 2007 to write a plan that was requested by some of the major funders. At that point there was no movement for a ballot measure, but obviously we were concerned that they would move, especially if the courts were to decide in our favor. So, we hired Steve, who had run, I think, over a dozen successful statewide campaigns in California and run the successful defeat of parental notification campaigns in California.

There are a lot of people who are upset about the passage of Prop. 8, and while criticism has been leveled at the Yes on 8 Campaign, it’s also directed at the No on 8 Campaign. Do you feel that criticism is warranted?

Probably. The Yes on 8 campaign won. So there’s definitely criticism. There’s always criticism of a losing campaign. Even in a winning campaign, there are things that aren’t done well and I think it’s essential that the community learn everything it can from this loss as well as the dozens of other losses we’ve had.

“I will say it’s clear the campaign did not engage the community and our allies.”

One of the biggest criticisms being made, not just by the community at large, but by specific leaders like Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign, is that the No on 8 campaign was exclusive and wasn’t interested in outside advice.

As far as the Courage Campaign, we’ve worked with Rick. And through Toni Broaddus, the Executive Director of the Equality Federation … [we] asked in 2005 for the Courage Campaign to get involved in LGBT issues in California. We had seven issues which we thought were priorities [one of them being marriage] and we reached out to him. Rick, at that point, was not involved, and I think it’s great he’s now getting really involved. We reached out to him to be on the campaign committee when we first got together in a big way, probably in March or April, so I don’t know who he’s spoken to since. I haven’t had conversations with him after that initial discussion that we wanted the Courage Campaign to be part of the No on 8 Campaign.

Obviously, we welcome everybody. The campaign committee was over 200 organizations and there no effort– in fact the effort was to get more people involved. My focus was not on that piece, though. I hadn’t heard of any group who was told they could not be part of the campaign committee.

Jeffrey King, executive director of In The Meantime Men’s Group, and Richard Zaldivar, director of The Wall Las Memorias Project, both told L.A. Weekly that they felt they were rebuffed by the No on 8 Campaign. They both said they had offered their expertise and came away with a sense that the No on 8 campaign’s attitude was, “We know what we’re doing.”

Yeah, I will say it’s clear the campaign did not engage the community and our allies. I think that it’s something that was necessary. I’ve seen some people say that people were more engaged in Obama and other things. Ultimately, the No on 8 campaign needed to engage people in a much deeper way and in a much broader way. Separate from the campaign, if you go to LetCaliforniaRing.org, you can see there’s been an ongoing marriage education campaign going on for three years. We’ve been doing outreach and education work in communities of color. Now, this wasn’t part of the campaign, but during this period we did 70 op-eds and ads in newspapers throughout the state, and did pieces in different languages in radio spots and obtained op-eds from a number of community leaders. In fact we actually got some great editorials on marriage in some of those papers. The political director of the No on 8 campaign is Yvette Martinez is the best person to talk about outreach efforts.

But yeah, I wouldn’t argue that the campaign could have and should have done much broader outreach.

As a member of the executive committee, were you getting information or reports on the activities of the campaign and did you have any sense that there were problems?

The executive committee hired strategists to run the campaign, as most campaigns do, and different people of the executive committee had different responsibilities and areas they focused on. When the professional fundraisers were not hitting targets, I moved my work and actually the entire Equality California development effort over to the No on 8 campaign. We turned our major donors over to it, we gave it all our emails and mail. I think Equality California sent out more emails than anyone. We jumped in; there was a huge void in fundraising.

“I didn’t focus more on the field campaign. That’s something which I wish I had done differently.”

In consultation with my board, we decided we’d focus all our efforts on the No on 8 campaign. The direct mail that was sent out, we sent out. There were many groups sending materials out, but the campaign just started using the emails daily I was sending out, because our email, web and fundraising efforts were being so much more effective than the No on 8 campaign’s. I thought that was a good thing to do because the campaign was behind in money, and we felt it was important to pitch in. But there were professional political fundraisers hired there was a professional structure.

So, if you knew there were problems with the fundraising efforts, were you at all concerned about how the rest of the campaign was being run? As a member of the executive campaign raising all this money, did you have any concerns about how it’s spent?

Well, the part of the campaign that I and Equality California were asked to run was the fundraising, and we raised more than any single group, and, in that respect, we were very successful. During the campaign, people would joke with me that I was in in the ‘financial closet’, because literally I was working out of this closet on fundraising efforts, and that was my piece of the campaign. If there’s something which I would consider a mistake I made, it would be that I didn’t focus more on the field campaign. That’s something which I wish I had done differently.

You believe there were mistakes made by the No on 8 Campaign?

There were a lot of mistakes. You know, we hired professionals to run the campaign and these are people who’ve had success in both national campaigns and campaigns here in California. I think moving forward, while we definitely should include professionals, a lot of the work and oversight needs to be homegrown. I think, certainly after this defeat and everything that’s happened since then, there’s a lot of energy,and we need to be doing the sort of grassroots community outreach that Equality California has been doing in the state for a long time.

No on 8 has announced that there will be an independent analysis of the campaign, but we still don’t know who is going to do the analysis and when we can expect it. Is there any more information?

Well, I know it’s going to happen. We’re finding people who have run similar campaigns, but it’s important that we choose people who were not involved in the campaign at all. I know that there are those who disagree with me, but I believe the results of the analysis should be reported to the community. I think it’s important that we do that and that there’s nothing about how we lost that could, you know, be used against us in future campaigns. Again, I know there are those who disagree with me on this.

There are people calling for you to resign, who say that there’s no way that you should lead the next marriage equality battle. What would you say to them?

I would say that Equality California wants to be part of the fight for marriage equality and will continue to do so. We have a vested interest in the issue and we will want to help out in the future. Going forward we need to find better ways to engage people and we need to bring more people into the process. That’s one of the reasons we’re part of the Equality Summit happening in L.A. next month.

By:           Japhy Grant
On:           Dec 18, 2008
Tagged: , , ,

  • 64 Comments
    • Christian
      Christian

      I’m glad that Kors did this interview. I’d like to see the rest of the Executive Committee do so.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 8:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe Moag
      Joe Moag

      Kors seems to cotnradict himself as he speaks, saying that the community was engaged, no it was not engaged, it could have been angaged more, no one was turned away, OK, some where turned away…

      Seems indicative of disarray, at the very least.

      Moreover, I think that his definitions/defense of voter education is very telling. Running op-eds is newspapers is all fine and dandy, but does not come close to what a real voter education effort is all about, which is getting your ass on the streets, going door to door, holding community meetings, recruiting community allies to walk with you, be seen with you, holding seminars, meet and greets, coffee clatches in peopples homes… Thing “Iowa” a year before a primary. THAT’S votetc., etc., etc… Their approach seems all top-down and removed from having to touch the unwashed massess..again, so very indicative of the overall out-of-touch activities of the campaign.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 9:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe Moag
      Joe Moag

      Kors seems to cotnradict himself as he speaks, saying that the community was engaged, no it was not engaged, it could have been angaged more, no one was turned away, OK, some where turned away…

      Seems indicative of disarray, at the very least.

      Moreover, I think that his definitions/defense of voter education is very telling. Running op-eds is newspapers is all fine and dandy, but does not come close to what a real voter education effort is all about, which is getting your ass on the streets, going door to door, holding community meetings, recruiting community allies to walk with you, be seen with you, holding seminars, meet and greets, coffee clatches in peopples homes… Thing “Iowa” a year before a primary. THAT’S votetc., etc., etc… Their approach seems all top-down and removed from having to touch the unwashed massess..again, so very indicative of the overall out-of-touch activities of the campaign.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 9:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pat
      Pat

      The next marriage battle will take all kinds of expertise. To cut out a leader with such a proven track record in fundraising and legislative advocacy would be a real tragedy.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon Minter
      Shannon Minter

      It is very ironic that during the campaign, national LGBT groups were trumpeting their role in the No on 8 Campaign, and yet are nowhere to be seen or heard from now. Hats off to Geoff and EQCA not only for unreservedly jumping in to do the lion’s share of fundraising for No on 8, but for being willing to step up and discuss what worked, and what didn’t. We are fortunate that Geoff and EQCA put everything on the line to raise money, as no one else was doing it — even large organizations that could have raised so much more (some of whom are even now sitting on large reserves as reported elsewhere by qyeerty). Imagine what we could have done if every organization involved in the campaign had raised money the way Geoff and EQCA did. If we are serious about learning from this experience, one of the lessons has to be demanding more from our national LGBT organizations.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brad.johnson
      brad.johnson

      Hey folks. We came 10 points closer than any marriage initiative. Yes we lost. But come on folks. Why cut off the necks of our leaders who have done so much? Why do we focus on blaming those who did the most instead of those who didn’t do jack shit? or the folks who ran the other side’s campaign? Geoff and EQCA did a great job and should have been allowed to run the campaign instead of being pushed aside by Lorri Jean who was President of the Campaign. EQCA has passed more rights in California than the other 49 state groups and HRC combined. His strategy won us marriage in the legislature and in court. eqca won transgender rights health insurance and domestic partnership. We had no rights in California 10 years ago and Geoff led EQCA in a brilliant effort to get us equality. Yes, the campaign sucked. But EQCA and Geoff didn’t run it so why he is being charged? Because he is willing to take responsibility and everyone else hides. From what I read, Patrick Guerrero decided on the ads with Steve Smith, not Geoff or the Executive Committee. EQCA is a pretty small organization that raised more than the $50 million HRC monster that didn’t even send fundraising emails or Lambda who gave nothing. HRC didn’t even send a fundraising letter for the campaign to their members, yet I got five for HRC. Come on folks. Stop blaming and start doing

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steph
      Steph

      Shame on anyone who would criticize when you know that there are people that didnt do all they possibly could to help. If you look at the success rate of Geoff’s organization, Equality California, youll see what his expertise has done for this state! Why is it that we blame the campaign leaders – people who gave up their lives to try and win this for our community instead of the millions of Californians didnt do their jobs – they had the opportunity to do work that was equally important like talking to their neighbors and family members and standing on sidewalks with NO on 8 signs day after day after day like Geoff did. The executive committee told us multiple times that we wont win this unless EVERY NO on 8 supporter does all they can.If you ask me, its a failure of our community, not of Geoff Kors. What is more disappointing to me is how we rip in to our leaders and engage in finger pointing instead of using our time and energy effectively.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason
      Jason

      No one person is responsible for the loss of Prop 8.
      The Mormons, the Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, Rev. Rick Warren and “like it or not” Mayor marrying lesbians in front of school children w/the media there Newsom are more to blame than anyone on our side but ourselves.

      In terms of our side, I blame us, all of us that didn’t bring this up at work, that didn’t bring this up with our families during the summer. This summer when those great ads with the latina bride who kept getting tripped were showing. Did I bring this up to anyone besides my gay friends? No I did not and I think about all the missed opportunities to change hearts and minds with that commercial. I regret that and I regret ignoring Mr. Kors’ emails throughout the summer. I didn’t get involved until it was too late. His emails made me feel like I was part of something real. I miss them and hope that this criticism doesn’t deter Kors or EQCA from continue to leading the way. We are all more engaged now.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brandon
      Brandon

      I would have to say that I really appreciate Geoff taking the time to talk candidly about this campaign. Equality California raised over 14 million for the campaign that’s more than any other organization and if that money had not been raised we would have lost by much more. I was a volunteer trainer on the campaign in Los Angeles who lead phone banks and volunteered my life away to this campaign. I have to tell you that a large part of the problem from the onset was community complacency. It was very difficult to expand the field effort exponentially until the last few weeks of the campaign. I will also say that we need to step back and look at the bigger picture. This was always and still remains on uphill battle. Civil Rights struggles do not happen overnight. I would look at Equality California with gratitude for the work they have done over the past 10 years in helping to lead us to where we are today which is the state with the most comprehensive and inclusive protections for the LGBT community. I know it’s easy to forget that we have these things, because we have them and maybe take them for granted because of where we live and in the metropolitan areas how we have come to be accepted, but let us remember that they exist, and it’s under the leadership of Geoff Kors and the hard pressed relentless work of Equality California that they do exist. Could things have been done better, yes! Can we learn from what happened and continue to fight for a state of full Equality in California, yes! Should we all chip in to help Equality California in its continued efforts to make that so, YES! Let’s all work together to change the hearts and minds that need to be changed. I hope to see everyone out there doing the hard work that needs to be done. By working together in solidarity we will be equal!

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael Kaiser-Nyman
      Michael Kaiser-Nyman

      It’s easy to criticize the losing side of any struggle, and the less involved you were, the easier it is find flaws. No On 8 was the biggest LGBT rights campaign ever: no one had ever done work like this before, and so of course the campaign management had to make controversial, on-the-spot decisions. Were there problems? Of course. Were they avoidable? Most weren’t, and thanks to the leadership’s commitment to analyzing the campaign, the next fight will be able to make the most of what we learned from this one. So if you’re disappointed that we lost, don’t take your frustration out on the campaign. Put it to good use: get involved with an LGBT community organization, have those difficult conversations with people you know who may have voted Yes, and put your money where your mouth is – donate to an LGBT rights organization. And if this comes back to the ballot, STEP UP and get involved. The Castro and West Hollywood had some of the lowest voter turnout in California. I don’t think that’s Geoff’s fault.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ming Wong
      Ming Wong

      Thanks queerty for posting this interview. I think that Geoff and Equality California have been an incredibly effective organization in securing equality and protections for LGBT people and our families in California. There are many legal protections that Californians now take for granted that we might not have were it not for the hard work EQCA has done over the years.

      It is dismaying to see the vitriol directed at Geoff and other Californian LGBT community organizers and leaders over the narrow loss on prop 8. Not just because it’s a distraction from the fact that the rights of a minority should never have been up for a simple majority vote in the first place, but also because it totally ignores the amazing work that they did not just on this campaign but on dozens of issues and campaigns before. I understand that we as a community are upset, but it’s amazing that one event can trigger such a bout of collective ingratitude and amnesia.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      Thanks Queerty for pointing out the obvious: we need to learn not blame. And Kors seems willing to listen and learn. And reading how much he and Equality CA have done is amazing. Thanks Grad and Shannon for educating me. I agree we need to have more people engaged rather than attacking people like Kors who did so much. And I just went to their website. Wow! An LGBT org that doesn’t endorse candidates who don’t support ALL LGBT rights. That is refreshing and shows why they have had success legislatively. I didn’t know what they did before the campaign. And their petition on Rick Warren is right on. Sign in http://www.eqca.org and pass it on. This is leadership. I just joined as a member.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ellen
      Ellen

      Geoff and Equality California have been on the front lines for us for ten years. They’ve been instrumental in our very successful fight for rights and services in California, and without Geoff’s brilliant fundraising for No on 8, I’m sure we would have done far worse in the election.

      Bravo to Geoff for doing this interview, for being open in his analysis of the campaign, and for all he has done to advance our rights in California.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Left.Brain
      Left.Brain

      I’ve been getting emails from EQCA, HRC, Lambda, the Task Force, and the LA Center for several years now, and since we lost on election day, I went back and read through all the emails sent during the campaign. It’s clear that Geoff Kors and EQCA are leaders. They’re the ones who passed two marriage bills and then went on to win the court case.

      What are the big national grous doing? The Task Force and HRC sent our emails saying they did the community organizing and field effort for the campaign, but I haven’t seen one word from them since we lost the election. You know if we won, HRC would have taken out full page ads claiming victory.

      I want to understand why one of our leaders–and it looks to me like he’s one of the best ones we have–is taking the fall for the entire campaign? From what I can tell, he’s getting all of the heat because he has the courage to answer our questions. It’s time we look at ALL of the groups and the entire movement, especially those who have gone into hiding.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack Mengers
      Jack Mengers

      I’m sick of the blame and finger-pointing. I was a volunteer for the campaign and saw Geoff and other leaders working their asses off and most of my friends didn’t give a shit until we lost and then they were angry. If we all committed the time and money that Geoff did, we would have won: it’s that simple.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brad.johnson
      brad.johnson

      Queerty says someone should have given same overnight that they gave to Kors on fundraising to the other areas. They did. Patrick Guerrero on ads and Lorri jean on field. That was reported. Patrick ran the campaign and Lorri and task force ran field. Come on. Do real reporting guys

      Dec 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stan
      Stan

      I really appreciate this article, especially after the interview with Rick Jacobbs. It’s one thing to have someone who didn’t participate and didn’t know what happend call someone out. It’s another thing for someone involved to be so candid about what went wrong. Kudos Geoff for your work. And also for taking the high ground by accepting responsibility and not pointing fingers like others. I get so frustrated by all the critics who didn’t DO anything.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Heidi
      Heidi

      I am often in San Francisco to visit and appreciate my gay family and friends who live in the Bay Area. It is for this reason that I was outspoken in my Fresno community about the need to vote No on 8. While there were not many commercials, there were many radio ads in Spanish and English which I thought was smart since Spanish speaking families tend to get their information from two different sources: the radio and the church. We had a really good shot of influencing a lot of people. I even convinced some undecided family members to join me in attending a rally the weekend before the election. Imagine my horror then when outsiders came to this rally dressed up in bride gown and began screaming at the crowd with a megaphone. My aunt asked if this was a joke? This event became a circus and was amplified by some images in the media. Sadly, my aunt and other family members voted Yes. I voted no but what I would ask you to understand, Latino families don’t hate you. We take tradition very seriously, we take marriage and family seriously. If activists are going to come into our neighborhoods and symbolize the wedding, a symbol of tradition, family and respect, as some kind of political theatre, we are never going to be able to bring people to understand that the lgbt community values marriage in the same way we do.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brad.johnson
      brad.johnson

      The ads in spanish and other languages that the campaign did were great. We need to work everyone. But I saw photos of the rally in fresno. That was not the campaign but was Marriage Equality USA and drag queen Molly McKay who went to Fresno and did a protest at City Hall in her fking wedding dress. She said the campaign asked her not to do that as the goal in Fresno was to have conservatives not vote. She drove them to the polls and cost votes in Fresno. She should stay in the Castro and dress up on halloween like the rest of the drag queens.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark snyder
      mark snyder

      It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see how messed up the No on 8 campaign was. They didn’t listen, and EQCA had the power to change that – they failed.

      The leaders need to take full responsibility, apologize, and move on.

      It’s time to address the most pressing needs in our community – trans rights, and the epidemic of homelessness and violence among our youth.

      Where are the millions of dollars for that Geoff?

      Dec 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Abel Lopez
      Abel Lopez

      Thanks Mr. Kors for your leadership, commitment and hard work. I hope people understand that blame doesn’t help at any level (personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural level). But our learning from this experience is what will count at the end. Proposition 8 did not pass, not because Kors or an organization, but because all of us. Yes, it was great to know that someone was raising the funds to put great TV adds and they were effective, but we all, needed to take those ads as an oportunity to talk across the divide, to have conversations with neighboors, friends, co-workers that you and I KNEW where going to vote yes on Prop 8.
      I’m sure there are much learning in this experience, and blaming someone is never acceptable. Marriage Equality, was a set back but did not fail and it will not fail. Mr. Kors, I appreciate your leadership and I’m sure many people too. Keep the good work.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 4:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Travis
      Travis

      Has Geoff ever came out and gave an inspiration speech to the population after the win of prop 8? I haven’t seen or heard anything. I really think we need someone who can lift our spirits up because like me, this was a really hard blow to take. I know its progress but its still a blow. A lot of people are discouraged and right now, we need someone who can lift us up and give us hope for the future.

      I still don’t know what was up with that Missionary Ad in the end tho…

      Dec 18, 2008 at 4:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bruno
      Bruno

      For those who missed it, Steve Smith was interviewed here awhile back: http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=3475. I have zero doubt that whatever failings these folks evidenced in running this campaign, they all are on our side and want full equality for the LGBT community. We’ll all have to do better next time.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 5:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Left.Brain
      Left.Brain

      @mark snyder: Take a look at EQCA’s legislative agenda to see the work they are doing to address those areas. http://www.eqca.org

      Just last week they did a hearing on violence against LGBT prisoners, and look at their body of youth work.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 5:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • saucesf22
      saucesf22

      Geoff and Equality California were clear when they said if we do not give everything we can, volunteer as much as we can, and have those difficult conversations with as many people as we possibly can we will lose this election. Geoff, and others were honest with us and gave us every opportunity to give all we could early on, and we chose not to until the very end, when in my opinion it was too late. The harsh reality is that most No on 8 supporters waited to the last minute to donate and volunteer if at all (around 2/3 of the money raised came in during the last few weeks of the election). We have to take accountability for this as a community and realize that instead of blaming Geoff Kors we should actually apologize for not listening to him or the other NO on 8 leadership sooner, and promise to do more next time.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 5:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack Mengers
      Jack Mengers

      @Travis: I agree with you on the Missionary Ad and this is a perfect example of the campaign getting blamed for poor decisions of others. That ad was put out by Rick Jacobs and the Courage Campaign. Apparently it is an ad that Jacobs is very proud of since he bragged about it in his own Queerty interview as he tore down everyone else. We need new leadership, but not at the expense of those who helped win our gains in the first place.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anne
      Anne

      @Travis:

      Have you been to an Equality California event? Geoff always gives an update and a speech that leaves me feeling like I know how to direct my energy and what the next steps are. You should look at their website or get on their email list, Im not sure how they do their invitations.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bruno
      Bruno

      @saucesf22:

      No no no no no no no no!! You’ve manifested the exact problem with this line of thinking. We weren’t going to win this election by merely outfundraising them (which we did, by the way). It all depended on how we reached out, and what we were willing to say. And that’s where Kors and others failed (though, granted, Kors was evidently mostly responsible for the financial side of things so that was his focus).

      Dec 18, 2008 at 6:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      The problem with this campaign was the fact that they did not get Californians interested in their position. Way too much focus was placed on the “gay” aspect of prop 8 when what should have been focused on was the fact that this was really a civil rights issue that effects everyone. I also feel the focus of the “education” activities should have been the communities that were pushing for Prop 8’s passing. I found it bizarre from day one that in West Hollywood, one of the gayest communities in the country, there were volunteers standing on street corners trying to inform me about Prop 8. Hello! What was the purpose of that? Every volunteer in West Hollywood was a volunteer that would have been serving better in another location where everyone didn’t already know about Prop 8. While obviously I couldn’t travel to every community, I certainly didn’t see anyone on street corners when I traveled outside of West Hollywood. That seems to me to be a waste of resources and gross mismanagement by someone. Even with all of the efforts I saw in West Hollywood there was a distinct failure to get people interested in the cause. I was shocked when I was marching in the first protest after Prop 8 was passed and I look over and see all the gay boys just hanging out on the patios of the bars sipping their martinis. Here are hundreds of people marching for your rights and you’re just sitting there drinking your cocktail? That’s where No on 8 failed, overcoming the apathy of our own people.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adriana
      Adriana

      Thank you Geoff and the staff at EQCA for sacraficing your last two years. I know it couldn’t be easy. Equality California has always been there through some challenging moments guiding our community to victory. I have no doubt it will again. I was there at a community rally when you told us you needed us all to be part of the process early. I failed you because, I have to admit I didn’t give more of my time. I thought because of all of your long hours of commitment it would be enough. I support your vision and ability to bring in so many different groups. We are all heart broken about the loss but, I will follow your vision and commitment anytime. Thank you so much for all you did and all you continue to do. We are so lucky to have you here in CA.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 6:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark snyder
      mark snyder

      @Left.Brain: THe hearing is great but its obvious marriage is about 85 or more percent of what they are focused on…. and in a top down kind of way too – you heard it right from Geoff – an executive committee hired a consultant to make the decisions. Not cool.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hon. John J. Duran
      Hon. John J. Duran

      I have taken 6 weeks to cool off my personal anger about the loss of Prop. 8 before writing anything. I have learned after 25 years of activism that it is best for me to cool off when angry before committing anything to paper.

      I served on the board of EQCA for the past 8 years recently retiring as President Emeritus of EQCA. So, I am biased in Geoff Kor’s favor. But I have also been an observer to the development of EQCA and the legislative battles for marriage since EQCA was in its infancy.

      I am a councilmember and past Mayor of West Hollywood. Running a local campaign in Weho is very different from a statewide campaign. A local campaign is highly dependent on field and voter contact. There is plenty of work for volunteers to do on phonebanks and precinct walking. But statewide politics is a different animal!

      I worked on Propositions 64, 69, 96 and 102 during the 1980’s. I served as President of the Board of the LIFE AIDS Lobby from 1987-1992 when we were crafting our community response to AIDS and introduced the historic employment bill called AB 101 that Pete Wilson vetoed in 1991 sparking weeks of protests and demonstrations. I also served as the co-chair of WESTPAC with Sen. Carole Migden in the early 1990’s focusing on reapportionment to assist us in carving out legislative seats for future LGBT representatives long before there was a Sheila Kuehl, Mark Leno or Chris Kehoe. I can tell you from experience that CA statewide politics is tricky.

      Not every community shares the values that we have in San Francisco, West Hollywood, Santa Cruz or the Russian River. Drive inland from the coast about 20 miles and our state goes from very blue to deeply red (with pockets of blue in places like Palm Springs)! Winning statewide means knowing in advance that you will lose some counties like Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Kern counties – you just can’t lose badly. It means winning in Los Angeles (which we didn’t do on Prop 8)county and competing in San Diego county(which we usually lose outside the city limits of San Diego). Add the fact that some media markets in Southern CA will cost tens of thousands of dollars per 30 second commercial to communicate on television. And a state of 34 million people that range from uber liberal to uber conservative – and you will see that it is a huge chess game. Not just a victory that you can wish into existence because everyone you talk to agrees with you.

      Some of our best statewide strategists of the past we didn’t have because they died during the epidemic (Dick Pabich in East Bay, Bruce Decker in San Francisco, Niles Merton from Los Angeles, Don Hagan from Laguna Beach, Peter Scott from Los Angeles). Others like David Mixner moved out of state. These past campaigns worked well because some of us worked on the grassroots campaign while others labored on the high moneyed end of campaign finance. We were often 2 campaigns linked together for our mutual benefit.

      Rick Jacobs and Ivy Bottini are friends of mine. Yet, neither of them were that interested in the marriage issue before November 4th. Rick is (admirably) doing the heavy lifting of party development through the Courage Campaign and focusing on territory outside of the traditional LGBT issues. And Ivy didn’t think that we should be fighting for marriage at all because it diluted our “queerness”. Fine. Understand the reasons for both points of view. To criticize others after a loss that you did not participate in (by choice) – is just…. well odd. Would be like me criticizing the Courage Campaign because they did not focus enough on environmental issues or animal rights issues. Knowing Rick – he would probably say – “Great! If you think we should, come join us!” And Ivy has been through enough statewide campaigns to know they don’t run smoothly and there is often internal dissension and conflict (Oy ! Ivy! Remember No on 64! Wasn’t always pretty!).

      So, looking at Prop. 8 from the perspective of many years prior to November 4, 2008 – I can say this. Odds were always greater that we would lose rather than win. Why? Not because we don’t have brilliant people and a brilliant cause worth giving our lives for. But because minorities usually lose at the ballot box. I also fought against Prop. 187 (anti immigrant) and Prop. 209 (anti-affirmative action) in the 1990’s. We lost those heart breaking initiatives also. Why? Because right wing politics feeds on fear and resentment. Was terribly distressing to learn about how many LGBT people actually voted YES on those awful initiatives. As a Latino, I took offense. Just as I take offense when hearing about Latinos who voted YES on 8.

      Yes! We did win Prop. 6 in 1978 as featured on the MILK movie. But even Harvey Milk was shocked on election night that we prevailed. It was a miraculous circumstance that former Governor Ronald Reagan joined us on No on 6 (allegedly because Nancy’s hair dresser was putting major pressure on her with gay Republicans who were pushing Ronnie along at the same time) and with President Jimmy Carter (thank you Attorney General Jerry Brown for pulling that off without Carter even knowing what Prop 6 was about!). And the toughest AIDS initiative (Prop 64 – because 69 and 102 were just repeats) – we were losing 2 to one months before the election and were having a difficult time raising money. But the stakes were higher. Quarantining gay men with HIV in camps – well….. it motivated many of us into action like our lives depended on it!! I can’t say the same thing about the marriage issue. We took hits from the left and the right as we were formulating marriage equality. Too paternalistic! Outdated institution! Not queer enough! A white gay issue! Too threatening to straight people! Do civil unions instead! Yes. Voices on the left and right attacked us for even considering marriage. Yet we pushed on.

      Robin Tyler and I don’t always see eye to eye. But secretly I think we like each other. Why? Because of our shared passion and outrageousness. While I didn’t always agree with Robin and Diane’s strategy on marriage, I know that their intentions were well grounded. I know she is as heart broken as I am over the passage of 8. What puzzles me are the critics who didnt’t give a darn about marriage as an issue as Robin Tyler did – who now suddenly feel compelled to jump like Harpies on those who sacrificed so many years and dollars fighting for marriage? Easy does it! Stand down. We are in this fight for a lifetime, not just one campaign. We need each other for the next battle and the one after that.

      So, while I am no longer Geoff Kors’ boss – I will say this. He is a hero. The only reason he took that 2 week vacation is because I forced him! He was working all day and night for 7 days a week for about 2 years before election day. I became concerned about his physical well being and told him he HAD to take a vacation because I needed him for the fight ahead. His staff at EQCA made similar sacrifices. Placing relationships, families, physicial health in jeapordy. They, too are my heroes. As are the EQCA board members who pulled together and raised $14 million with Geoff – even though we initially were pledged to $1 million. Geoff personally pulled about $50,000 out of his own pocket to help fight 8.

      Hopefully, the sneering and carping is behind us. Yes we made mistakes. I made mistakes. EQCA made mistakes. And we lost 52-48. My fear the week before election was that we would lose 60-40 like we lost Prop. 22 eight years earlier. That would have shown no progress. But no – we are almost over the top. And we will prevail. But marriage is not the first issue for us. And it is not the end game. We have fought seven initiatives (Props 6, 64, 69, 96, 102, 22 and 8). For those of you keeping score – we have won 4 and lost 3. Such is the nature of campaigns and politics. And ask other minorities about their records of winning and losing (Asian internment in World War II, a proposition to undercut the Fair Housing Act for African Americans which they lost in the 1960’s, farmworkers exposed to toxins in the 1970’s, the loss of Props 187 and 209). It is a lifelong battle for all of us. Attacking allies is short sighted and foolish. I am more interested in playing, working and winning with the players who are in for the long haul! Maybe if we would have only done A, B or C in Prop 8 – we could have won! Maybe. Maybe not. I am not so arrogant as to believe that I am a soothsayer or fortuneteller who has the powers of political prediction and knows outcomes in advance. You work hard. You fight. You win. And you lose. The REAL WINNING is just in being “in the game” and not sneering from the sidelines. Struggling. Not giving up. Fighting Back against the real enemies – not the perceived ones.

      So count me in for the next one. Whether you want me there or not!

      Dec 18, 2008 at 7:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mad Professsah
      Mad Professsah

      You have to give Geoff props for being interviewed by Queerty and letting people who read this site get more details from an insider on the No on Prop 8 campaign.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 8:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lonine
      Lonine

      One of the biggest problems with the gay rights movement… too much patting on the back and self-congratulations AS WE LOSE OUR FUCKING RIGHTS. NO MORE NON-PROFITS ORGANIZING POLITICAL ACTIVISM AND COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 8:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Hauslaib
      David Hauslaib · Queerty Editor

      @Hon. John J. Duran: Thanks so much for sharing this. Great input here.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 8:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gary D. Soto
      Gary D. Soto

      @Christian: As Board President of Equality California Institute (EQCAI), I am very proud of the significant contribution that Geoff Kors made to the No on 8 Campaign. The 45+ significant state and community leaders that serve on the board of directors for Equality California and Equality California Institute recently met in December in San Francisco where we discussed what worked in the campaign and what did not. We were honest and we owned up to decisions that we may have done differently. We unanimously support the leadership of Geoff Kors and the Equality California staff. We will continue to build our coalition of organizations and leaders to ensure that FULL Equality is a reality in California. It is time we work collaboratively and move forward on doing what needs to be done to succeed. It is time to join the fight rather than complain behind the scenes. The Honorable John Duran could not have said it better. He calls Geoff Kors his hero. Well John there is a LONG line behind your statement because Mr. Kors is the reason why I am a part of EQUALITY CALIFORNIA and why I have donated at the level I do. I am ready to continue this fight and there are millions who are ready to do the same thing.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 9:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Christian
      Christian

      @Gary D. Soto: Gary: Maybe my comment seemed more terse than intended. I work in the movement myself and have for most of my career. My boyfriend and I donated to the campaign and many in the campaign’s leadership are heroes of mine. I truly do appreciate Geoff’s honest and candor, but right now, it seems like many people are demoralized by this defeat and what they see as an insularity of the leadership. If the posts on here and other blogs are any indication, there is a growing view that our movement isn’t as effective as it could be. I fear if this trend continues, all of our organizations will face a contraction of donors and volunteers.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 9:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cheshire Isaacs
      Cheshire Isaacs

      I do appreciate all that Geoff Kors and EQCA have done for this movement, and it’s great to have the perspective of Hon. John J. Duran — thanks for all of that context.

      That said, my problem with Geoff and EQCA is that in the wake of the election, the organization has already announced that it plans to put a measure on the ballot in 2010 to repeal Prop 8 in case we lose in the courts next year. (And the donor thank-you letter I received from EQCA also asked if I would please give more money so that EQCA can reach that goal.)

      For various reasons I don’t think it’s a smart strategy, but that’s almost beside the point; what makes me angry is that EQCA seems to have assumed the leadership of the movement without widespread input and before sound analysis of the ballot fight has been completed. This, to me, is no better than the opacity and tunnel-vision of the No on 8 leadership, which he claims to have struggled against. Meet the new boss?

      Thanks to Geoff for being candid in this interview, but the interviewer neglected to ask some hard questions.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 9:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      I appreciate all the hard work and am hesitant to place blame. I did give a lot of money however, and was disappointed in the commercials that funded. I can tell you I am absolutely sick and tired of gay organizations white-washing who we are. SHOW US. ALL OF US. WHO WE ARE. HOW THIS AFFECTS US. We had so many commercials dancing around unfair, showing parents, etc. We need to canvas. We need to come out. We need our commercials to show US AS REAL PEOPLE.

      The Mormons out organized us on a massive scale. They had their propaganda down. We didn’t fight back hard on the lies that were presented. We allowed stupid little video bites about the “children” to scare us. We need to FIGHT BACK. Our nice gay approach failed.

      I don’t know that I can fund the same organizations with the same leadership again. I am still debating where my money goes next. In business if my teams don’t deliver, I bring in new blood and/or replace them.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 11:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adam
      Adam

      @Lonine:

      “NO MORE NON-PROFITS ORGANIZING POLITICAL ACTIVISM AND COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.”

      Uh – you want to count on the Democrats to run these campaigns? If you think the Democrats have anywhere near the resources to coordinate huge ballot campaigns like this while simultaneously running a presidential candidate and a few hundred state and federal legislative candidates (amongst whom they must pick and choose in order to keep the best balls in the air), you are mistaken. Moreover – if you think that a bunch of national strategists coming in to run a local campaign is going to be successful, you might also have thought that a guerrilla war in the jungles of Vietnam or the cities of Iraq, or, indeed, that pulling in national strategists to run the No on 8 campaign, as they did, was a good idea. Knowing the local landscape is half the battle, is my point.

      Those who say it’s not about blaming are right. I’d even go so far as to say it’s not about blaming our opposition. Bellowing at the Mormons only pisses off religious people (LDS or not) more – that moves the discussion in the wrong direction. We gotta come across as adults about this.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 11:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gary D. Soto
      Gary D. Soto

      @Cheshire Isaacs: Thanks for your comments. EQCA is not going forward on its own and no decision has been made as to timing. EQCA is raising money to pay for an analysis about what election would be best and determine from the analysis how to best win but no decision is made about 2010. In fact, EQCA called a summit with over 100 coalition partners to strategize about next steps with the goal of having the broadest group of leaders together BEFORE making a decision. But it does mean paying for the summit and doing the analysis. And that is what EQCA is committed to doing.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      @Adam: Heaven forbid we piss off our enemies. You be Mr. Nice Gay. Others of us are sending a clear message we won’t be marginalized any longer. We need more skin in the game and to show we are going to fight for our equality. These nice and friendly debates with people who are determined to deny us will not secure our equality.

      Dec 18, 2008 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adam
      Adam

      @Paul: The problem with what you’re saying is that, in pissing off our enemies, we also drive away potential friends. Lots of ‘em.

      We absolutely have to send a strong message that marginalization isn’t acceptable – on that we absolutely agree. But, we don’t send that message very clearly if we, in the same breath and with a very broad brush, demean people of faith or people of color (many of whom either already support us, or can be convinced to support us if we maintain our maturity and continue to talk about the ramifications marginalization has on our community) or begin in-fighting with those members of our community who give up what would likely be incredibly profitable lives in the for-profit sector to work on these issues at social justice non-profits like EQCA, or like the organization I work for here in Seattle.

      Reacting from unfocused anger is tempting (as we can see by many people’s comments with regard to Geoff) – but incredibly unproductive. It may make you feel better, but wouldn’t you rather feel better because we actually won?

      Dec 18, 2008 at 11:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      @Adam: Yes I understand your position. If we behave we may “earn” the respect and equality from people who aren’t completely closed minded and bigoted. Somehow I don’t feel good about having to “behave” to get equality. I think great change can come from shocking and radical events. It’s been from these major events that shifts occur in social thought. I’m thinking we’re in the middle of those events now.

      I’m fine with a diverse approach. Part of us being nice gays and trying to work within the system, show our “best” side, hiding the more queer side of us. Another part that will engage the enemy head on and make clear we’re in it to win it. Believe me, the LDS leadership is freaked out by the backlash and all the negative attention they’ve received. As well they should be. There have to be consequences.

      Dec 19, 2008 at 12:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Left.Brain
      Left.Brain

      @Lonine: The democrats throw us under the bus. Look at Rick Warren… We’re expendable to them.

      Dec 19, 2008 at 1:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brandon Brawner
      Brandon Brawner

      I posted earlier with just my first name, but I have more to say after reading everyone’s comments. I am also a member of the Board of Directors of EQCA so therefore my opinion regarding Geoff is biased the same as John Duran’s. First let me say that this is much larger than one issue and one leader, but having said that it continues to be my utmost privilege to serve on EQCA’s Board and under Geoff’s leadership. He is truly an inspirational leader who gives of him self so selflessly and continues to lead EQCA after 10 years of very hard work and doesn’t take time for himself. I applaud him very much for all of his dedication and self sacrifice.

      In fact, there are many of us who did sacrifice working on this campaign. I trained volunteers in Los Angeles since February when we were trying to keep this off the ballot. We knew the likelyhood of being successful was slim to none – but we did it anyways. Because that’s what you do. You stand up for what is right, you stand up for yourself and you continue to respond to attack after attack on our human dignity. I gave my life away to work on this campaign to the point of illness as well, working 16 hour days for months on end. And we lost, yes we lost. But, in spite of any mistakes that were made, and any second guessing by people in the community we have built an engine like we’ve never had before. We ran the largest statewide social justice campaign in the history of the LGBT communities movement for equal rights. We have already and will continue to learn valuable lessons for the fight ahead. Like John Duran said, this isn’t the end game we will need to continue to fight for what is just and what is right and once we have achieved Equality we will always have to fight to protect it.

      In the face of adversity – look at what we have become. Now, unless you worked on the campaign and witnessed the leadership development and helped to develop those leaders as I did you may not fully understand. The commitment, passion, dedication, and selflessness of everyone who worked on the No On 8 campaign deserve nothing less than the utmost respect and admiration of this community. Because at the end of the day it’s not anyone’s fault that we lost. It’s just what is.

      Equality California has been working very effectively to move the ball forward during the last 10 years in California to truly build a state of Equality. This type of societal change takes time, it takes money, and it takes engagement. None of this is going to be decided in one campaign, in one moment. Each one of these moments, each one of these triumphs and defeats is integral to the fabric of creating that change.

      All of this energy people are spending blaming needs to be turned into action. I’ve often been quoted as saying that I think we were meant to lose this campaign. Some may say that is crazy, hell I thought it crazy myself at first — after working so hard to defeat prop 8. But when I step back and look at the entire picture – I look at the leaders that were developed, I look at the unprecedented coalition that was formed, I look at the massive field effort we waged, I look at the people who finally got engaged in our fight, I look at the enormous wake up call this was to counter the complacency that existed, I then look at the aftermath – how we’ve taken over the streets. This has been a starting point of a much larger movement than ever before… There are so many things…

      You see, by Prop 8s passage the conversation has been changed entirely. We are no longer trying to achieve equality we have now had our fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution stripped away from us. That’s a completely different place to be entirely and a very powerful one, and what I think is a necessary place to be to propel this movement forward like wildfire. Look at the coalitions coming together now. This is no longer a gay rights movement, it has now become part of the larger progressive movement with new allies, new friends and puts us in a place where we can achieve great things.

      The way we are all going to do that is by working together. United is how we see that change happen. We all must understand that this is very hard work and we should do everything to uplift are leadership who have made this their life’s goal to realize full equality. Instead of being pitted against each other like the right wing I’m sure is loving – we must stand together, learn from one another, learn from our mistakes and continue to keep the ball rolling.

      I for one will continue and I look forward to seeing each and every person that came out to march after the passage of proposition 8 to dig deep and sacrifice and do the meaningful work that needs to be done. And I am looking forward to it.

      One last thing I will say is that EQCA’s strategy has been nothing short of incredible. We have attacked this from every angle. In the legislature, twice passing Freedom to Marry and Civil Marriage protection acts, unfortunately vetoed by the Governor- but that was just one angle, we were the organizational plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that WON Marriage in the first place, our sister organization Equality California Institute convened a historic coalition of over 60 local state and national organizations together for a public education campaign surrounding the freedom to marry called Let California Ring, EQCA’s PAC raised the $14 Million to the campaign more than any other organization. That’s around 14 times our annual budget, and we are still here and we are now the organizational plaintiff to overturn proposition 8, we have convened the Equality Summit to harness this new found energy to keep the ball rolling. Geoff put it best when he says that his job is simple, it’s to put himself out of a job by going out of business. Equality California will continue to do the work that is necessary to achieve full equality, to protect our youth, seniors, to ensure our health and safety but we cannot do this alone we need everyone who has passion around this issue to stand with us.

      In Solidarity,
      Brandon Brawner

      Dec 19, 2008 at 1:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adam
      Adam

      @Paul:

      I have to tell you that I sort of resent the notion that it is somehow less “queer” to present oneself as an adult. As if those who would approach the discussion of the issues affecting our community with some semblance of open-mindedness have neutered themselves of their sexuality.

      In any case, it isn’t about good-fop, bad-fop. It’s about all of us honestly getting behind the idea that we should hold our discourse above that of our opposition, if they are going to get into the mud. It kills our high-ground and our ability to talk about the issues without the “well, your side did this or that, clearly you’re evil” rebuttal that has largely plagued the conversation about LGBT equality for the last twenty years.

      Uprising is one thing. Being uncouth is something entirely different. You can send a strong message to your opposition without needing to name call, mud sling, or (how embarrassing has this been?) protest in front of private residences.

      Dec 19, 2008 at 2:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cheshire Isaacs
      Cheshire Isaacs

      @Gary D. Soto: That’s good to hear, but it’s not what was in Geoff’s letter, and it’s not what EQCA was saying on Facebook and elsewhere in the days after the election. Just one example:

      http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid68517.asp

      I was previously unaware, but am happy to hear, that EQCA changed course due to pressure from the community. But please don’t try to tell me Geoff and EQCA weren’t on that path. Proof of the converse is all over the net.

      I look forward to seeing what this broad-based coalition comes up with.

      Dec 19, 2008 at 4:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      @Adam: Well you take the high road, and I’ll take my bulldozer right through the enemy. You are welcome to consider me uncouth.

      I’ll be damned if I let another person say “well I supported those people until a few of them did/said something mean and now I don’t support their equality.” So an entire class of people have to be monkeys to earn the respect and equality? Nah. I’m ready to break some eggs. Think you can vote to take my rights away and I’m coming at you in spades.

      Good luck with your couthness.

      Dec 19, 2008 at 8:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John in SF
      John in SF

      @Lonine: Lonnine, how do you think we got the right to marry in the first place? I don’t think it dropped from the sky back in May/June.

      How do you think we will overturn 8 in the courts? I don’t think it’s just gonna happen because we say so.

      A little appreciation for the folks who’ve successfully worked for your rights might just help the movement along, rather than set us against each other.

      Dec 19, 2008 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bruno
      Bruno

      @Paul:

      Unfortunately, I agree. I think some will only listen to screaming, while others who lend an open ear respond better to gentle persuasion. We need to employ both methods.

      Dec 19, 2008 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lisa Balabanian
      Lisa Balabanian

      In this day and age, when we toss around the word “hero” like any other noun , I feel compelled to express my gratitude and admiration for the powerfully eloquent, tremendously compassionate, and inspiringly dedicated Geoff Kors…a true American hero.

      Dec 19, 2008 at 9:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dennis629
      Dennis629

      @Cheshire IsaacsI agree with John. If EQCA had not been so successful over the last 10 years in Sacramento, including significant gains under Geoff Kors leadership, we would not have even had the victory in the California Supreme Court which gave us the chance to marry and fight on Prop 8, long before anyone believed possible. All legal scholars agree that the Court would not have ruled in our favor if EQCA had not achieved recognition of same-sex relationships under the law in California and other gay-rights protections through the legislative process.

      The Chief Justice wrote for the majority: “Furthermore, in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.” In Re Marriage Cases, page 7.

      EQCA was fighting for marriage equality when many other organizations and leaders, including major donors, said it was too much too fast. Without EQCA’s prior success and courage, California would not be having this most historic conversation at this time. They should continue to lead on this issue.

      Dec 20, 2008 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lwagner
      lwagner

      Well, Brandon just made the point that the EQCA and no on 8 leadership are prone to operating less than openly when he first posted anonymously and now weighs in with how wonderful everyone is (the sequel) and oh, btw he’s a board member.

      I could go into this reflecting a self referential and ethically challenged board, but think that point has already been made. Most clearly by our young people who didn’t complain about this but just voted with their feet.

      In the end this wasn’t just a close campaign, it was a very expensive and badly run one. This doesn’t take away from good work done earlier on, but like the rest of the country, our community simply can’t afford unquestioning support for our equivalent of the monolithic and unresponsive auto industry.

      Dec 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • heather gold
      heather gold

      Thanks for doing an interview Geoff. Your co-leaders should too.

      Real leadership means taking responsibility, not passing blame or avoiding real questions.

      Prop 8 was our Katrina. It woke people up and got them involved. And it showed mistakes that have been around for a long time. The movement has found its new Harvey Milk. It’s the us’s. It’s we. It’s online and, believe me, most of it hasn’t heard of a single alphabet titled group.

      My full response is a little long for the comments section and is posted here> http://equalitycamp.com/

      I hope to see you at Equality Camp and in the streets and on line making building our future in a 100% transparent and very inexpensive way.

      Dec 21, 2008 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Xavier
      Xavier

      The honesty and openness of this interview takes the courage of a leader. Geoff Kors’ leadership got us the legislative successes that the supreme court used in their marriage decision. There are things I would change about the campaign (or a future one). Geoff isn’t one of them.

      Everyone, including me, thought it was a good idea to have a campaign consultant with experience on abortion parental consent/notification campaigns running the No on 8 campaign. I’m still puzzled how the same older religious voter who voted yes on 8 voted no on 4 (parental notification).

      Dec 23, 2008 at 7:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cath
      Cath

      Geoff Kors and his EQCA organization are amazing. Geoff has led our community in making significant gains in the fight for LGBT rights over the past 10 years. EQCA’s legislative and legal accomplishments positioned us for success with the Supreme Court and put us in a position to come close to winning marriage rights at the ballot box.

      Our own complacency hurt us on November 4th. Everyone thought we were going to win. Money came in too late. Many of us, including me, made the mistake of spending too much time preaching to the choir rather than reaching out to voters to ask for their “no” vote.

      Since the election, gay people have spent far too much time blaming our own leaders and each other and far too little time reaching out to voters we’ll need next time. Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to lift our fingers in blame than to lift a mirror and reflect on what we, individually, could have done and should be doing to secure our rights.

      Three cheers for Geoff and EQCA. We’re almost there. We need to learn what we need to do differently to secure marriage rights, and then we all need to be willing to roll up our sleeves and do what it takes. I’m happy to continue giving my money and confidence to EQCA.

      Dec 28, 2008 at 7:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom [Different person #1 using similar name]

      EQCA is off my christmas list. They’ll get not a dime of money from me until Kors is gone. This campaign was ours to lose, and we did. I don’t care how hard they worked. I don’t care how smart they are. I don’t care how amazing the organization is. EQCA squanderd my money and lost us this vote. Not a dime unitl Kors is gone.

      Jan 3, 2009 at 12:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • heather
      heather

      it’s ridiculous that the head of CA’s only statewide LGBT org can claim that he was only doing fundraising. geoff should have been the leader of this campaign. and in fact he and kate kendell undermined the campaign leadership and structure by bringing patric guererro in in the last two months and enabling patric to ignore the advice of the hired political and media consultants. if geoof and kate had not engineered this takeover and had followed the media strategy and polling advice we would have beaten the yes on 8 campaign. this interview is a bunch of lies. hopefully the campaign will one day talk about who did and who didnt want patric to take over and the extent to which patric ignored years of research and community building. if kate and geoof had really just done “fundraising” instead of panicing and undermining the strategy this type of misleading subterfuge wouldnt be necessary. geoof shoul resign and kate should never be alowed near another ballot measure — ever.

      Jan 18, 2009 at 1:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeremy
      Jeremy

      @Adam: Well-said. Standing up for your rights is always a good thing. But it needs to be done in a way that is well-thought out and strategic. Every person I’ve talked to (who supports gay rights) thinks that protesting literally at a church was a bad move. If you want to call out the Mormon church on what they did that’s more than ok. Go to a public space and have a sign that says “Mormon money took away my equality”. But going to a church is shooting yourself in the foot. People see it as disrespectful and an attack– and you won’t win any supporters that way.

      Jan 21, 2009 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rt
      rt

      Thanks for losing Maine, now, Geoff.

      The only thing you have going for you is the ego trip you so desperately use to keep your big fat salaried position at Equality.

      Thanks Geoff for making your stupid decisions and useless television ads that have caused so many of us gay people to suffer. YOu are an asshole.

      Nov 4, 2009 at 4:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John in SF
      John in SF

      @ RT No.61

      Yeah Geoff and why did you screw up the CO2 levels so we’re thce ice caps are melting…and why didn’t you fix the SF Bay Bridge right the FIRST time you had a chance.

      Seriously, it’s time for the community to figure out that even a well run campaign doesn’t guarantee that people will “like us” enough to vote for us.

      Let’s figure out the root causes of people’s unwillingness to support our rights before we throw endless pots of money at winning marriage.

      And let’s finally stop blaming Geoff for all the homophobia out there…

      Nov 4, 2009 at 12:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Geoff Kors
      Geoff Kors

      @Joe Moag: I agree, but ALL liberals are like that.

      Aug 7, 2010 at 8:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Geoff Kors
      Geoff Kors

      @John in SF: There is likely no such thing as “homophobia.” If you could figure out what a dictionary is, you’d probably get that. Name even one person you know who fears homos?

      Aug 7, 2010 at 8:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    !-- Sailthru Horizon -->
    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.