california dreaming

Can EQCA Prove It’s Ready To Lead A 2012 Ballot Repeal Of Prop 8?

Equality California, which has been widely criticized for bungling the No On 8 effort and failing to offer gay Californians any sense of transparency, is now pretending it’s going to let residents decide the group’s strategy. In a series of ten townhalls around the state, plus an online event, EQCA plans to survey actual gay people to figure out whether it should raise the money to try for a Prop 8 repeal effort on the 2012 ballot. It will all be led by the group’s interim executive director Jim Carroll, who’s running the show ever since Geoff Kors took off. But how much should we believe EQCA’s 2012 question is anything more than a fundraising stunt?

Under Kors, EQCA convinced thousands to stuff its coffers with millions of dollars to fight the Yes On 8 campaign. It failed, and gay marriage in California quickly came to an end, at least for now. So furious was everyone with the idea that California would lose gay marriage, groups like Yes! ON Equality and the Courage Campaign said they’d push for a 2010 ballot repeal of Prop 8; that effort was abandoned when logistics (money, signature drives, door-to-door campaigning) proved too complex. It didn’t help that EQCA refused to lend any support to the 2010 effort.

And now that EQCA has its eyes turned to 2012? Well let’s not forget what Kors was reminding us last summer: a 2012 repeal effort, like the one in 2008, is no sure thing and will require another round of millions of dollars. Which might be a contentious argument to make to potential donors who’ve been throwing their cash toward the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is funding the Perry Prop 8 trial — and appears to have a much higher chance of overturning Prop 8 than anything EQCA ever worked on.

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  • cybernoelie

    I live in Ireland and even I know that no one organisation was to ‘blame’ for the failure of the No on Prop 8 campaign.

    If anything it was because no one organisation took control – everyone wanted to be in charge, everyone wanted to be victorious without sharing that victory – but in the end everyone was a loser – together.

    I personally found EQCA’s campaign to be sustained and intelligent. What have Queerty done and what does Queerty do now and propose to do later about Prop 8? Titillate us with NSFW posts, chewing gum for the mind?

  • Sam

    Wrong again, Queerty. Until Scalia kicks it, every passing day makes it more likely that Prop 8 will die at the ballot box, rather than at the Supreme Court. Between old bigots dying, young open-minded kids getting to voting age & wishy-washy middle-aged straights realizing they have gay friends, we’re gaining 1-2 percentage points a year.

    We only lost by 4.5 points in 2008. So… which is the safer bet… that we closed the gap by at least 1.2 points a year in California from 2008 and 2012? Or that Anthony Kennedy is going to unleash queer marriage on Nebraska, Utah and Mississippi?

  • Barney

    Cybernoelie, you are wrong. There was nothing “intelligent or sustained” about refusing to use the words “gay” in a defense of gay rights. There was nothing “intelligent or sustained” about pursuing a corporate, anti-activist, top-down, anti-democratic campaign (which was the campaign strategy that LOST) instead of a campaign strategy that has actually proven to work in California (the campaign against the Briggs Initiative in 1978).

    Sam, you are a pathetic example of the the damage that HRC has done to the queer movement. Your self-respect is based on poll numbers of what bigots think of you. The “whatever the rich gay folks and the Democrats want us to do is fine with me” crowd has been holding us back for decades. Move on, or prepared to be attacked. No longer will we sit by in silence while you college-educated idiots fuck with OUR lives.

    Queers who listen to EQCA and the rest of Gay Inc and think they know anything about how to win equal rights are simply lying to themselves and to us. Shut up and learn your history:

    Right now, the ONLY thing that’s holding back full civil equality are the 436 bigoted assholes in Congress and the White House. And they’re gay defenders.

  • Jeffree

    @Sam: Well said. Scalia appears to be in good health & could hang on many years. The demographics (of millenial/younger people being more for marriage equality than their elders) are encouraging — with the caveat that they need to actually vote.

    As for EQCA, I don’t think they can do it alone. Even those of us out-of-staters have a horse in the race. With what happened in Maryland, we saw that outside influence caused the SSM bill to fail. We need, collectively, to turn the tides.

  • [email protected]

    We have to remove one word from the state constitution – the word “Only”. For good measure, we could add the words “Marriage shall not be limited by race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.” Alternatively, we could add “Marriage shall not be limited by suspect classifications” When polled, these revisions enjoyed 60% and higher support from focus groups in 2009, and likely even more in 2011, and even more in 2012. It would allow us to win at the ballot box, but doesn’t have support from EQCA because it would leave parts of Proposition 8’s wording in place.

  • Joetx

    We keep on losing these state ballot initiatives b/c EQCA & other similar state organizations have been big pussies about handling the issue (e.g., esoteric crap about “Maine ways” – WTF???).

    Our TV ad strategy should be a simple 2-pronged approach: 1) Have real gay couples sharing their stories & what being able to marry their partners would do for them; and 2) Have experts refute the lies the ring wing spreads about “homosexual ‘marriage'” will do to children, churches, etc.

    It’s so damn simple. The fact that we’ve constantly & consistently lose is due to the fact that our community has morons as leaders.

  • Jeffree

    @Joetx: Agreed, other than to add two points: 1) NOM & their ilk are better fuñded & organized than supporters of marriage equality 2) We need to change the language from “gay marriage” and “same-sex marriage” to “marriage equality.”

    I can’t speak for anyplace other than where I live or was raised, but even well-intentioned straight supporters of equality don’t understand the rights we’re denied: legal, tax, visitation, social security, etc.

  • Lester

    Could you be any more predictable? EQCA did not lose the No on 8 campaign all on its own. We lost the election because we lost LA County, where the LA Gay & Lesbian Center was supposed to take the lead. Be that as it may, Prop 8 was approved by the voters and will stay in our state constitution until the voters remove it. The federal case makes great press but is, in reality, a runaway train headed for disaster before the most conservative US Supreme Court in history. Do you really think the Supreme Court is going to force Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Utah and 30 odd other states that have passed anti-marriage initiatives to recognize same sex marriage? Dream on. This battle can only be won in the court of public opinion. Get out of the bars and into the streets!

  • Joetx

    @ Jeffree – As to the rights we’re denied, that’s where the testimony from real gay couples comes in. To make it “official,” I’d include testimonies from legal scholars as well.

  • justiceontherocks

    @Jeffree: I have to disagree with you a little on this one. We have great lawyers working our Prop 8 case toward the Supreme Court. As good as we will ever have, not just in their ability to argue a case, but also in their sense of how to “manage” the court system. I’m not convinced they lose the case. I’m also not sure we get a ruling on the ultimate question (does the US Constitution require marriage equality?) But I think it will be very hard to raise the funds and the energy level needed to be successful if the case is pending.

    At least two painfully conservative law professors, Judge Richard Posner and U of Chicago professor Richard Epstein, wrote many years ago in favor of marriage equality. The conservative authorities you seek are certainly out there.


  • Schteve

    Most people hopeful about Perry settle for the realization that the Supreme Court would only get rid of Prop 8 on narrow grounds so as to not force anything on other states. If that’s the case, I ask you what would have a greater impact: another Supreme Court decision that half the country disagrees with like Roe v. Wade and energizes them further, or finally having an instance where same-sex marriage wins a popular vote (not to mention avoiding the situation of losing at the Supreme Court and having that hinder progress for decades to come).

    I’d take the latter any day. I can’t wait to shove it in the face of NOM et al. who love touting the fact that same-sex marriage has failed in every single state wjere it’s been up for a vote.

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