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.