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Remember When HRC + ACLU Bashed the Perry Prop 8 Lawsuit?

In May 2009, when we learned Chad Griffin had lined up Ted Olson and David Boies to argue the shit out of Prop 8’s unconstitutionality, America and California’s Gay Inc. groups were furious. Now they’re so happy!

olson_boies_0528

HRC joined Freedom to Marry, ACLU, Lamda Legal, GLAAD, Victory Fund,* Log Cabin Republicans, and PFLAG in denouncing the Perry v. Schwarzenegger lawsuit, saying in an open letter, “Rather than filing premature lawsuits, we need to talk to our friends, family and neighbors, and help them understand why denial of the freedom to marry is wrong.”

By June 2009 many of them had come around, or come around long enough to say they hoped the lawsuit at least didn’t go poorly. And then some of them demanded Griffin & Co. let them in on their high-profile case; he was like, “Oh hell no!” (By June 2010, HRC was talking about how it was “hopeful” our side would prevail.)

Fast-forward to today, when all these groups were bouncing off the walls.

Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson: “Today’s federal ruling strikes down a cruel and unfair constitutional amendment that should never have become law and affirms that the freedom to marry belongs to every American. As the first court to strike down race restrictions on marriage said in 1948, ‘the essence of the right to marry is freedom to join in marriage with the person of one’s choice.’ There is no gay exception in the Constitution to personal choice and the right to marry, and there is no good reason to continue excluding same-sex couples from marriage. Judge Walker’s decision will be appealed and litigation will continue, but what we witnessed in the clear light of his courtroom cannot be erased.”

HRC’s Joe Solmonese: “We thank the courageous plaintiff couples, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies for their tremendous efforts leading to today’s decision and their ongoing commitment as the case moves forward on appeal. The battle for marriage equality continues, and we must all continue our work – in courthouses and statehouses, in church pews and living rooms – until equality is reality for LGBT people and our families everywhere.”

ACLU LGBT Project’s James Esseks: “Today’s decision is a huge victory for the LGBT people of America. For the first time, a federal court has conducted a trial and found that there is absolutely no reason to deny same-sex couples the fairness and dignity of marriage. At the same time, we know that this is not the end. In order to give this case the best possible chance of success as it moves through the appeals courts, we need to show that America is ready for same-sex couples to marry by continuing to seek marriage and other relationship protections in states across the country. It’s simply not fair, and not legal, to continue to exclude committed same-sex couples from marriage.”

Now it’s not like these groups don’t have a right to be happy. They do. And they should! But if everybody took their advice last year — and opted not for a federal lawsuit, but a continued piecemeal strategy that’s an exercise in two steps forward, one-to-three steps back — we’d be here in August 2010 still with our tails between our legs. And while Perry has a long way and likely several years to go before today’s ruling becomes the law of the land, it is unarguably the most significant victory in the history of the marriage equality battle. And HRC, an organization devoted to securing federal equality, didn’t have a single hand in it.

These Gay Inc. groups proved that while they remain sometimes useful, they are not necessary to securing LGBT rights. That is a shift change only one year ago might have seemed unthinkable.

* We erroneously reported the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund joined the letter. They have not. We regret the error.

  • 64 Comments
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      Joe Solmonese is using the victory in California to solicit HRC donations. I’ve received two via email in the past 8 hours.

      Like the HRC had anything to do with the decision. He’s shameful.

      Aug 4, 2010 at 11:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron Rowland
      Aaron Rowland

      Yeah, HRC totally missed the boat on this one.

      Shameful? More like shameless.

      Aug 4, 2010 at 11:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sickntired
      sickntired

      yes there are now HRC will tell us they need MONEY MONEY.. Joe as to go, JOE AS TO GO….. someone else did all the work, and now HRC aclu wants to cash in…

      Aug 4, 2010 at 11:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sug Night
      Sug Night

      Next they’ll take at least some credit for it; revisionist history or short term memory loss?

      Aug 5, 2010 at 12:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clark
      Clark

      The American Foundation for Equal Rights needs our money. Go to their website and donate. Maggie and Brian are already cashing in on this. Don’t give to HRC, give to Chad and his fight with this case.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • trickstertara
      trickstertara

      Does appearing on Keith Olbermann’s show to “comment” on the issue count as taking credit (esp. when KO *congratulates* you at the end of the segment)? I think so.

      I wish someone would ask Mr. Solmonese why he ever opposed it in the first place.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 1:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Queer Supremacist
      Queer Supremacist

      They have as much right to take credit for this success as Thomas Kinkade does for painting Guernica.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 1:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake
      Jake

      From a legal point of view, it was not wise to bring the case to the CA Supreme Court. HRC and ACLU knew that. It was a bunch of grand-standing Hollywood lawyers who wanted to “make a change” doing something.

      But just think about it: the public opinion is not behind it (as evidenced by the fact that a referendum failed in California… that’s as straightforward as you can get). The current Supreme Court won’t be able to affirm the state court’s ruling with a strong enough majority (if any) to create strict precedent.

      I know we want marriage now, but if we want it through the courts, it would be wiser to wait, to get more states to pass same-sex marriage or civil union laws and build momentum. The reason a ruling like Brown v. Board meant so much is that the court could stand united behind the idea of civil rights. That is not going to happen now, and the split — even if it rules in favor of LGBT marriage equality — will only further motivate the anti-LGBT right.

      HRC is certainly not a perfect organization — and it only makes sense that, now that the case is in the courts, HRC would support equality — but it made the right decision in not wanting the case to go through the courts. Same for ACLU.

      Don’t let your biases against the organizations or your lack of knowledge of the way our government works cloud your judgment on this. Yes this is a victory, but the road ahead is not so clear.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 1:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      HRC did not send out any emails soliciting donations, the only email sent was a call to action to “thank the plaintiffs”…

      Aug 5, 2010 at 2:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      @christopher di spirito: prove it

      Aug 5, 2010 at 2:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • trickstertara
      trickstertara

      Can we really call the 42nd Solicitor General of the United States a “Hollywood lawyer”?

      Nobody’s saying this is going to be easy. I was talking with someone today about whether we could get marriage under the current Supreme Court. They reminded me that Roe v. Wade was passed by a court stocked with Nixon appointees… and then I pointed out that, almost forty years later, we were still fighting for women to have access to the rights handed down to them by that decision, and that our opponents on that matter are increasingly creative.

      It’s a risk, yes. But can we really afford to spend another three decades on *persuasion*?

      Aug 5, 2010 at 3:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • reason
      reason

      Hopefully everyone knows that the bulk of HRC donations come from straight people. All they know is that HRC is the most known organization and that is all that matters to them. It is no different than people that want to donate to Jewish organizations giving to AIPAC, or J Street if their more of an in the know democrat; people that want to give to African American organization usually think of the NAACP first becuase that is the most heard of.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 3:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adam
      adam

      Don’t speak so soon. Do you not remember 2008? When this makes it to a higher court, we could still be held back for over a decade. Don’t be ridiculous.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 5:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeffree
      jeffree

      @Reason # 12: Would you mind citing a source about the bulk of HRC donations coming from str8 people? i’m not doubting you, but I’ve not heard that before! Thanks in advance:
      j’free

      Aug 5, 2010 at 5:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      @Chris: You want my PASSWORD to my personal email account? What are you, an idiot or Solmonese’s cocksucker for hire?

      Aug 5, 2010 at 6:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      You do realize that HRC functions first and foremost as a grant agency, that is an agency that makes grants to smaller agencies that do the actual work in their given state. I think the time to attack them has ended. As a site that can’t even avoid spelling mistakes on a daily basis, I think it should be quite obvious to Queerty that mistakes happen. You don’t get to try to claim that anyone that has ever given money to HRC now doesn’t get to share a part of this victory. Doing so is short sited and borderline bigoted. The gay/lesbian/transgender/ally community is, first and foremost, a community. Lets try to all get a long for just one day, shall we. The time for politics and petty little arguments is behind us.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 8:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gesnyc
      Gesnyc

      I’ve requested HRC not to contact me and I still get letters begging for monies and extolling HRC’s “tireless fight for equality”. More like HRC’s tireless fight for more cocktail parties. The real kicker is to see college age people soliciting funds on Manhattan sidewalks for HRC. One of them even had the balls to say that HRC was involved in the court battle to overturn Prop 8.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 8:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan
      Dan

      Actually a federal court ruled against a ban – the Nebraska constitutional ban on marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships was struck down at trial level by a federal judge and then reinstated at the appeal level by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals out of St. Louis.

      Celebrate (or not, depending) only after the U.S. Supreme Court rules.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 8:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Jake: While I get what you’re saying, these piecemeal attacks simply aren’t working. Look what happened in New Jersey. The highest state court said “civil unions or marriage, and civil unions must be equal”, and years later the state is still dickering over the fact they may not be. Worse, the NJ appellate courts won’t hear the issue. I live in PA, and we’ve got battling amendments running through our legislature; yes, the most recent never made it out of the judiciary committee, but it pops up every couple of years. The fact is, far too many people are willing to elect legislators who pass laws or will vote for amendments banning equality.

      The government needs to get out of the marriage business altogether and just let us marry already.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 8:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WalkderDC
      WalkderDC

      HRC did the same thing with DADT. Some from HRC came out recently to claim that the Administration planned all along to move forward on DADT this year. It wasn’t until others posted up links to the White House Press secretary specifically saying that there would be no movement on DADT this year that they backed off that lie.

      Remember, they attacked the recent rights march, then came out when it was inevitable and supporeted it. They told gays to lay off the White House and Congress and not to push on DADT, then claimed that they supported the repeal effort when they knew it would be sucessfull.

      Now, they origionally attacked the plaintiffs in this case, then just recently they tried to join the case and were rebufffed, and now are trying to accept credit for the win. If Microsoft suddenly claimed that they had invented the iphone, the news would rip them to shreds, the news needs to do the same thing when the overpaid shills of HRC try to pretend they were not a roadblock to this case.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 9:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L.
      L.

      @Sug Night: How about both?

      Aug 5, 2010 at 9:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Wow, HRC reversing a position, then pretending that they were on the winning side all along, and using it as an attempt to beg for money?

      Is anybody surprised?

      HRC is first and formost concerned about their own jobs. So by taking a low-risk/no risk position on anything, they can just sit there, collect their enormous salaries and plan their big parties without any fear of something changing.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      The ACLU can be forgiven for their spoiling role. It was in a turf war and they lost. In general their work is very helpful.

      HRC cannot be forgiven.

      They have a long history of selling out and being a front group for the Democrats. In 2007 they worked with Barney Frank to eviscerate ENDA, one of the key items in our equality agenda.

      In terms of contributions we should treat HRC the same way we treat the DNC and the RNC. None of them deserve a penny.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 10:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @Jake: Reposting your comment below because ignoramuses hid it.

      “From a legal point of view, it was not wise to bring the case to the CA Supreme Court. HRC and ACLU knew that. It was a bunch of grand-standing Hollywood lawyers who wanted to “make a change” doing something.

      But just think about it: the public opinion is not behind it (as evidenced by the fact that a referendum failed in California… that’s as straightforward as you can get). The current Supreme Court won’t be able to affirm the state court’s ruling with a strong enough majority (if any) to create strict precedent.

      I know we want marriage now, but if we want it through the courts, it would be wiser to wait, to get more states to pass same-sex marriage or civil union laws and build momentum. The reason a ruling like Brown v. Board meant so much is that the court could stand united behind the idea of civil rights. That is not going to happen now, and the split — even if it rules in favor of LGBT marriage equality — will only further motivate the anti-LGBT right.

      HRC is certainly not a perfect organization — and it only makes sense that, now that the case is in the courts, HRC would support equality — but it made the right decision in not wanting the case to go through the courts. Same for ACLU.

      Don’t let your biases against the organizations or your lack of knowledge of the way our government works cloud your judgment on this. Yes this is a victory, but the road ahead is not so clear.”

      Aug 5, 2010 at 10:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joe
      joe

      Is HRC becoming irrelevant? I have a friend who works from them and all he ever talks about work is flying to NY, flying to SF etc… food, wine and “good friends” for fundraisers. Where are the results.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 10:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @Brutus: Although, Jake, while your post correctly captures the reason HRC, the ACLU, and other progressive organizations did not want this lawsuit brought now by a couple of big flashy trophy-hunting lawyers, the case was in federal district court, not CA Supreme.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 10:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @joe: The results are a President and a Congress that are even willing to TALK about repealing DADT and DOMA, and enacting ENDA.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Brutus: They talk and you believe. The same thing happens at revival meetings.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • frozen north
      frozen north

      Meh.

      Hindsight is 20/20. It could just as easily have gone the other way.

      Plus, it’s not over yet. We still have an Appeals Court and the Supreme Court to go.

      Still. . . doesn’t hurt to let a little sunshine in.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Brutus: said…

      No. 23 · Brutus
      @Jake: Reposting your comment below because ignoramuses hid it.

      “From a legal point of view, it was not wise to bring the case to the CA Supreme Court. HRC and ACLU knew that. It was a bunch of grand-standing Hollywood lawyers who wanted to “make a change” doing something.
      ___________________-

      Brutus and Jake,

      That grand-standing Hollywood Lawyer you dissmiss was the Solisitor General under President Bush. This judge was a Bush appointee. So you have a very conservative lawyer, who has always been a champion of conservative causes, who was solicitor general under a conservative president, coming out and telling conservatives that Prop8 8 is bad law. How exactly is that Hollywood grandstanding?

      I get that the people in HRC have it pretty good with their salaries, easy jobs, and living in a city that is gay friendly. But that is no excuse for them to think so little of themselves as human beings that they would attack a hetrosexual lawyer, fighting for their civil rights as “Grand-Standing”.

      That is the same attacks HRC has luanched at Dan Choi, and you know who else used that same attack? The red-necked bigots attacking Constance McMillian for wanting to go to her prom. They attacked her for being attention seeking and grand standing. Funny isn’t it that your attacks on people that just helped us win a big victory, HRC’s attacks on Dan choi are the exact same attacks that bigots used to attack that poor lesbian girl figting for her rights.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 11:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PilarJ
      PilarJ

      I agree that it’s ridiculous at best for HRC to be sending fundraising appeals over this – but I have to point out that HRC and the ACLU, etc. were never worried about whether or not this case could succeed at the trial court or even at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals(where this is likely headed next).

      The concern was (and still is, I might add): what happens when this gets to the Supreme Court? The Roberts Court is unlikely to receive our arguments as warmly as Judge Walker.

      HRC may be vapid whores, but they had/have good reason to be concerned about this case.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • declanto
      declanto

      HRC refrained from acting when action was called for. Bad faith deserves bad faith.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 2:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • qualms
      qualms

      “These Gay Inc. groups proved that while they remain sometimes useful, they are not necessary to securing LGBT rights. That is a shift change only one year ago might have seemed unthinkable.”

      “somtimes useful”??? ridiculous.

      you might be singing a different (less bitchy) tune once Hollywood Inc.’s case gets decided in the US Supreme Court.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 2:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bklnQ
      bklnQ

      really, there’s no way these groups could have said publicly that they wished we had lost yesterday! so you can’t win.

      also, some of their statements are more complicated than you let on — and acknowledge the fact that while this decision is a good thing in the short term, the long-term prospects of this case might still be very frightening.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 2:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      @PilarJ: Exactly right. The ACLU (and Lambda Legal and NCLR, the three organizations that won marriage in California in the first place) have all said from the beginning that the reason they didn’t think this lawsuit was a good idea is because of the very real chance we will lose at the Supreme Court, which will set us back years, if not decades. Just because those same groups are happy we won at trial and supported the case with amicus briefs doesn’t mean they suddenly think that it’s a great idea. Everyone is still worried that this thing could fuck us at SCOTUS.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh
      Josh

      @Brutus: I understand wanting to see more state-level enactments of positivity, but fact is for most minority status rights the courts had to push past the biggots that make laws b/c they generally don’t have the cajones to put in one that might not get them re-elected by the majority.

      Also, the more a movement gains ground the harder the anti-movement pushes back..it’s the nature of the beast in social change…better to have the progress you want and feel steeled to hold your ground than to feel like you’ve given up already and then be pushed to give up more.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh
      Josh

      Actually I think that the concern at the DC level is unfounded… the court is putting in now two Obama appointments to the seats and there’s a possible 3rd seat still coming up depending on if the retirement happens or not. Additionally there’s the likelihood that though this may not repeal DOMA as a result, it would at least tell states that they may not discriminate on basis of same gender commitments…or at the very least say you can’t put a law on marriage unless it covers everyone…dunno but I don’t see the negative likely outcome that many on here seem to be forecasting.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allen D.
      Allen D.

      I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — fuck HRC. I’m sick of them. And Joe’s salary is ricockulous as well.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      I am happy for the victory, and I am not a fan of HRC, BUT, this is far from over. We won at the district court level. The real concern for me, and I am reading many legal scholars who agree, is that the S. Ct. can ignore the great analysis by the district judge. Thus, while I don’t like HRC, they were not necessarily wrong.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 3:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark D
      Mark D

      The gay groups opposed this suit because of the challenges of winning at the Supreme Court, not the District Court. Nobody thought we would lose at this level. God you people are fucking idiots. It’s difficult to fathom how this repeatedly goes straight over your head. Grow up and think before you write.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @Mark D: I think people just lack a basic understanding of how case law is shaped. That if we win at the district, but lose at the S. Ct. – the district does not matter other than in a short term emotional victory.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Queer Supremacist
      Queer Supremacist

      Jesus pig fucking Christ, no wonder Gay, Inc. never gets anything done. They’re too busy astroturfing gay websites!

      Aug 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • trickstertara
      trickstertara

      @D’Oh. Let’s talk about it then. If Judge Walker’s decision is brought before the current Supreme Court line-up, based on their previous decisions (and we can only speculate about Kagan) what are the chances it would be upheld with a majority?

      I’m not a legal scholar and I only have a sketchy, media-based, decidedly non-academic idea of how each one would vote.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adam
      Adam

      NGLTF is using this to solicit donations too…maddening!

      Aug 5, 2010 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      @Cam: Whooooooo you go, Cam!

      Aug 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      It’s like the Lottery Motto, you can’t WIN if you don’t PLAY

      Aug 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @trickstertara: I would say 70/30 favoring overturning the district court. It really depends on where Justice Kagan, Kennedy and Sotomayor fall. We don’t know how either of the three will vote. What troubles me is that we need a perfect storm. They don’t. What I mean is that the bigots have 4 certain yes votes, which means they only need to flip one yes vote. For example, newly minted Justice Kagan is a) a politico who comes from President Obama’s line of thinking (not good here) and b) she’s own record as not seeing marriage as a fundamental right (I think). So, she can go either way. Justice Kennedy is the person who wrote the decision in the Colorado case upon which this case is based in terms of legal reasoning, BUT, this takes it to a new level to go from saying “you can’t deny gays all rights” as the Colorado decision tried to do versus saying marriage equality is a right. He’s a moderate conservative. I don’t know where he will fall. Justice Sotomayor is a cipher for me on these issues. I really just don’t know.

      There is also the issue of what happens if Ginsburg leaves. The president has plans to appoint an even more conservative justice than Kagan. So, that’s another iffy vote.

      Thus we would need 4 out of 5 uncertain votes to become certain. I don’t like the odds. So I come up with 70/30 against us winning with the S. Ct.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @edgyguy1426: Its like the lotto if the lotto meant the other guy had 4 of the numbers already, and only had to pick 1, and you have to pick all 6.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sweetbrandigirl2004
      Sweetbrandigirl2004

      Of Course HRC is over joyed with the ruling their suck ups who see this a a grand opportunity to ask for more money since their coffers are running a bit low with everyone being upset with Joe for his great promise that DADT saying it would be repealed this year and now he knows he can’t deliver… what a bunch of fuck ups they are worthless totally worthless. Their CEI is a fuckin joke just like they’re whole organization is…… Bestbuy and Target both got perfect 100 % on HRC CEI shows how much that’s worth that and five bucks will get you some Starbucks.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • trickstertara
      trickstertara

      @D’Oh. Thanks you very much for explaining.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 8:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @trickstertara:

      You are welcome. I should point out that while there are significant risks with the strategy being advocated of pushing hard to the S. Ct. The ruling could ultimately be a limited one based on this case. There is also the fact that we may indeed hit a perfect storm. The problem that I have with the discussion of this strategy is that often people totally ignore the nature of the risk being described. For the writer of this article to write this article, for example, suggests they don’t understand what the debate was about regarding the strategy. No one thought we would lose at the district court level. Its what follows that worries people. Certainly the hope was to perhaps pursue the NAACP strategy of slowly dismantling the anti-gay laws- i.e. the DOMA case first, then may be this case, and then fully achieving marriage equality in a decade. The strategy being advanced now may advance our causes or set it back. It shard to know, but the odds are against us.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lano
      Lano

      Um, the ACLU is one of the most active forces in LGBT rights. Just because they chose not to participate in this high profile case does not mean they are not fully committed to full equality for our community (Disclaimer: I intern at the ACLU)

      You can check out all of the cases that the ACLU has filed recently and see that it encompasses a broad spectrum of issues. This full-court press across the US has probably done more to advance our cause than any other single organization.

      http://www.aclu.org/hiv-aids_lgbt-rights/case-profiles

      Aug 6, 2010 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @Lano: That’s true. As one legal scholar pointed out in the NY Times, much of the decision rested on arguments that gay rights legal advocates have been building. So, the idea that this case comes tableau rasa is false.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 1:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      QUEERTY: “Now it’s not like these groups don’t have a right to be happy. They do. And they should! But if everybody took their advice last year — and opted not for a federal lawsuit, but a continued piecemeal strategy that’s an exercise in two steps forward, one-to-three steps back — we’d be here in August 2010 still with our tails between our legs.”

      … it is a bit more complex than that. This is only the first step in a long process. The other side has already appealed and the final outcome is not certain, although we can all hope for the best.

      Olsen and Boies of course did an outstanding job, as did Judge Walker, and we can all be grateful for their efforts, but we should not declare victory prematurely: http://www.sonshi.com/laotzu69.html .

      Aug 6, 2010 at 1:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • trickstertara
      trickstertara

      @D’Oh Trying to dismantle the anti-marriage laws starting with DOMA worries me just because we have current presidential appointees within the administration who defended its “constitutionality.”

      I think Boies and Olson had it right when they said that by working on the case together, they were making a bold statement: that same-sex marriage was not a partisan issue but a human rights issue. I don’t know if it completely overrode that notion for many people, but it did make an impact. And the fact that they were successful made an impact. I have a lot of hope based just on that.

      Of course that hope doesn’t mean I’m complacent. None of us should be, we can’t afford to be. We deserve to celebrate this and then most of us will continue badgering our lawmakers and working to take back our narrative from NOM, AFTAH and the Family Research Council.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 4:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      I am more hopeful over DOMA considering its based on the 5th Amendment.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      HRC hasn’t seen any money from me in three years and this makes me even more resolved that I will never never never give them even a penny.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 6:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes it’s GREAT to be wrong.

      Aug 7, 2010 at 2:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @D’oh, The Magnificent: what do you think of this, from Pam’s “but David Mixner made a bold prediction for the record on the outcome of this Prop 8 case — he thinks it will be a SCOTUS win for us 6-3 (with the dissenters Scalia, Alito, and Thomas).

      Why? The key is Chief Justice John Roberts — in the end he will vote with us because he doesn’t want “his court” to be on the wrong side of history. Bookmark this post so we can check back…in late 2011/early 2012. We all figure SCOTUS will get this case fairly quickly in the scheme of legal timetables.”

      Aug 7, 2010 at 6:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Washington
      Derek Washington

      My best friend called me within hours of the decision to bitch about how The Firm had sent him a “Donate Now” email when he knew the history. I just laughed.

      Aug 9, 2010 at 12:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ronbo
      Ronbo

      HRC has a vested interest in NOT bringing about equality for LGBT Americans. Joe’s cash-cow will be gone – along with his lavish trips, fantastic wardrobe, partys, home, income and prestige.

      Do you really think this man will work to eliminate his lavish lifestyle?!? With his talents, he couldn’t even work the fryer at Popeyes.

      Call HRC and ask what they have done for you. My local guy (in KC) said that they work behind the scenes. He could not name a single success. Is that the same as being on the down-low?

      Aug 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Keith
      Keith

      Joe and HRC can kiss my a$$. I will not give to them until they change their culture. Their whole purpose is to pursue equality for the gay community. Now they are denouncing those who are doing what they should be doing. They are pathetic. We don’t have to beg people to give us the rights guaranteed us by the constitution. He’s about as pro gay as Obama.

      Sep 1, 2010 at 2:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Keith
      Keith

      @Ronbo: I think the same way. Once equality is achieved the HRC will have succeeded at putting itself out of business and Joe wants to be fighting for equality for the next 50 years. Screw him and HRC.

      Sep 1, 2010 at 2:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Keith
      Keith

      @Brutus: Listen moron, it doesn’t matter if the public is behind us or not, it’s the equal right afforded us in the US constitution we are fighting for… however the public is behind us so stop spreading lies like the repugs do. Why do you think two powerful lawyers took up the cause? Because they know it will win…as it should. HRC just wants to prolong the equality fight for financial reasons.

      Sep 1, 2010 at 2:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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