No on 8 Leaders Scramble to Save Face Amidst Revelations of Month-Long Vacations, Minority Leaders Ignored and Incompetence

UPDATED. Tonight’s “virtual town hall meeting” by gay and lesbian leaders (you can join in at 6pm PST here) is shaping up to be the No on 8 Campaign’s Waterloo.

The gay and lesbian community is reassessing their efforts in light of a flurry of reports that question No on 8’s tactics and commitment and the decision to hold the discussion, as well as the closed off nature of its format, are a tacit admission that the gay community is demanding answers from their leaders.

The Advocate has published a searing new report (see, we say nice things from time to time), revealing that over the summer Lori L. Jean of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center went on vacation for a month and Geoff Kors of Equality California left for two and a half weeks. In a self-published QnA released last night, Jean puts the blame on the community by saying:

“I think all of us believe that if the No on 8 campaign had as much money as the Yes forces had AS EARLY as they had it, it would have made a significant difference.”

But rather than campaigning and working to raise money, Jean was on vacation. No on 8 leaders have routinely blamed the loss on a lack of funds due to the gay community’s apathy, but this is naive. The first step in any good political campaign is to motivate your base, something No on 8 leaders failed to do.

“When is the time to finger point?” says Michael Weinstein, founder of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “After we lose again?

In addition LGBT leaders from the black & latino community are hopping mad they were never included in the No on 8 campaign. Jeffrey King, executive director of In The Meantime Men’s Group, a South Los Angeles outreach organization for gay black men told the LA Weekly:

“We told them what should be done. We told them what they shouldn’t do — and they did what they wanted to do. This clearly is not the time to call black folks out and say we were to blame. There was not enough outreach. Period.”

Richard Zaldivar, former City Council Aide, director The Wall Las Memorias Project, who successfully led a grassroots effort to build the first publicly funded AIDS Memorial in East Los Angeles was told by No on 8 staffers that the Latino vote “wasn’t a priority.”

“I drove by the [Our Lady of the Angeles] cathedral on Sunday and I saw young people protesting. But they need to hold the gay and lesbian leadership accountable as much as the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church…If Latinos were playing such an important role in the presidential campaign what was the No on 8 strategy?”

Your editor questioned the Prop. 8 campaign before the election, particularly the lack of a get out the vote effort. The campaign focused on television ads and phone-banking and actively discouraged grassroots efforts to do one-on-one canvassing across the state, even mocking the Yes on 8 campaign’s door to door operation. We weren’t the only ones. Rick Jacobs, executive director of The Courage Campaign, a progressive netroots activist group was flummoxed. He explained his frustration to the LA Weekly:

He asked campaign insiders to explain their plans. “I was told they were blanketing [black and Latino] neighborhoods with door [knob] hangers.” Such passive electioneering, “shows a colossal lack of understanding for what is needed to win an election.”

Some are already calling tonight’s virtual town hall a dog and pony show– not only is the event hosted by one of the No on 8 campaign leaders, it’s being done in a virtual setting that allows No on 8 leaders complete control over the environment and the questions asked.

Queerty contacted the moderator of the panel, Karen Ocamb, a writer for Los Angeles’ IN Magazine and asked her if she had direct access to the questions being submitted, if she was selecting which questions would be asked and why she agreed to moderate a panel that is neither independent or open. She replied:

“I have access to and will have complete control over the questions. I have already looked at a number of the questions sent to the TownHallModerator account and actually most of them so far are legal.  I intend to review all of them – but since there are so many guests and so many questions, I’ll probably use one or two as representative of a category – with perhaps a follow up…

I agreed to moderate the panel BECAUSE I’m a journalist. Anyone else, I suspect, would be considered a stake-holder in some way and therefore throw the whole thing into question.  My intention is to moderate and ask the questions the people want asked. There are still A LOT of questions that will not be answered until that independent analysis is completed – and I don’t know how much of that we’ll be able to see. But I’ll keep pushing for it. “

Queerty has also submitted all the questions posed by our commenters in our first posting about the meeting.

The argument that looking at how the No on 8 campaign failed will divide us seems sophomoric in light of the fact that it’s now clear that the community was never united in this effort, partly because the No on 8 campaign rebuffed efforts by leaders not within their circle.

The gay community should be looking to the future, but it also must assess if it wants to go forward with the leaders who failed, or if it’s time to look to new solutions– and new voices to lead the way.

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  • othniel

    You would think Gay Men are kind of used to thinking outside the box. We do need innovative and persuasive leadership.

    Thanks for doing your part.

  • ggreen

    How self-serving is it to have a town hall 2 days prior to Thanksgiving the busiest traveling time all year? So that participation will be minimal. A bubble that feeds off gay misery protects these people they live and work in it. If we had equal marriage rights why would these people be necessary? These A-gays do nothing but support each other and vie to have each other on boards that dole out money to their friends.

  • Leland Frances

    I respect Karen Ocamb a great deal. She is no shill for the gay politico establishment and will, I’m sure, do her best under difficult circumstances. Some may recall she was the one to first notice and report that most rich gay celebs were totally missing in action in giving up a little of their millions to fight Prop H8TE, with Ellen and Rosie at the top of the list. But, with few exceptions, most came to their defense, resulting in Ellen finally only coughing up $100K of her $70+ million and Rosie ZERO.

    What’s almost as maddening as these “leaders” having snatched defeat from the jaws of victory is their inability to simply say, “We fucked up and we’re sorry.”

    Instead, they’re either already asking for more money for them to piss away like Geoff Kors of Equality California, or releasing a “Prop 8 FAQ” like Jean. in which she essentially says, “We were led astray by others.” She fails to take responsibility for being one of those who HIRED or appointed those others.

    It’s essentially an UNINTENTIONAL indictment of herself and the other “leaders” such as Kate Kendall and Geoff Kors, mostly blaming others for failing to give them the right information WITHOUT taking RESPONSIBILITY for having chosen those others.

    If they have ANY integrity, they will use tonight’s forum to RESIGN from their positions at LAGL Center, NCLR, and EQCA respectively.

    She reveals that they began working on the campaign THREE YEARS ago and still were running around like proverbial chickens with their heads cut off in the last two months before the vote.

    Her excuse? They suddenly found themselves having to change strategy to respond to the YES lies about children. Well, Jesus Fucking Christ, Jean! WHY was that a surprise to any of you. Have you all been in a coma for the last THIRTY years? That’s what they ALWAYS do. It was the center of Anita Bryant’s campaign to overturn the gay job rights bill in Miami in 1977. “Save the Children!” It was the ENTIRE issue behind the Briggs Initiative IN CALIFORNIA in 1978—gay teachers must be banned because they will influence children. WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU ALL THINKING? That these religio fascists, our AMERICAN TALIBAN, would suddenly play nice?

    And STOP singing your sob story about “we had no idea they would raise so much money.” Buy a clue, you stupid bitch! The Mormons poured money into passing Prop 22. After the favorable Supreme Court decision, seeing as how our side was publicly saying that H8TE was a “tipping point” for gay rights everywhere, not just in CA, don’t ja kinda think THEY got that, too? RESIGN!

    And, finally, she further proves her inexcusable ignorance by perpetuating the myth that churches and other non-profits can do anything they want in relation to politicing in relation to referenda. Yes, it’s true that the Mormons, the Catholics, are too big for the IRS to ever do anything but send an admonishing letter, but that wasn’t what she claimed. IRS law is VERY explicit that such groups must not do a disproportionate amount of such activity. The rub is in who decides that, and, again, Mormons and Catholics could literally crucify gays on their altars and the IRS would still be too cowardly to do anything significant. But, again, she doesn’t know what the law IS regardless of its failure in implementation and it will never BE properly implemented unless we start the LONG project of DEMANDING that it be.

    Ms. Jean, please take your WHORE FOR COORS Award that LA activists gave you years ago and RESIGN! And take Kors and Kendall with you.

  • Tom

    Maybe we can now stop pointing fingers at others and realize the problem was with us. First, the campaign for gay marriage has to be one of the most strategic political blunders of the last 100 years. An equally stupid strategy would be like the newly freed slaves to campaign for marriage to whites in 1865. The time was not right it.

    This country is clearly too religious and not ready for gay marriage now, just as it was too racist and not ready for miscegenation then. Civil unions and equality of rights and benefits should have been the focus and then in 10-20 years, we would not even have this debate. (Frankly, I stilll don’t know why we want to marry anyway. Are we so brainwashed into mainstream culture that we want to mimic that we as “queers” ridicule, mock and despise?)

    But anyway, we are we are, and its time for new leaders to emerge with a broader and more pointed vision. Leaders who take month-long vacations in the middle of a campaign of this magnitude are more focused on themselves and have no place in such positions. If the vacation story is true, they should resign immediately.

  • The Gay Numbers

    This is why I wish I had the bullypulpit.

    I have been trying to shout about these issues in comment sections in places like Towleroad since September. I was told that they had used focused groups to figure out their campaign, and therefore, that my concerns were off base.

    I knew they were not off base because I had seen this kind of campaign before. It was called the Kerry campaign.

    Even the vacation gels with the mess that was Kerry’s strategy in 2004. Actually, even the focus groups did as well since it was customary for Dems to listen to paid consultants over allowing a bottom up centralized campaign.

    Anyway, sad to read this. But not at all surprised.

    I also do not expect things to change. For that to happen requires as I mentioned else where to things– a) values and b) self awareness. I don’t see our population developing a common position on either of those. I expect these “leaders’ will not be held accountable.

    One question that I would ask– They were running essentially a turn out the base strategy. In other words, focused on the coastal cities, liberal enclaves and white gays.

    So, why were they not early on in the summer pushing for increased voters registration with unregistered gays and GOTV of gays? If the numbers are right- they could have won if they had even executed their strategy well. They did not.

  • ajax

    One of the biggest failings of the Bush administration was the removal of accountability for failure. We cannot make the same mistakes.

    OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! Well, okay, maybe we should wait until after the town hall and then OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

  • chgo921

    I have so many questions about the whole Prop 8 issue. Not living in California, maybe someone there can provide answers for me.

    1. With (I presume) many GLBTQ groups throughout California, why was an LA-focused organization the “leader” of a movement for a state-wide issue?

    2. Did regional groups in SF, Oakland, San Diego, et al have more success getting out the vote than the LA Gay and Lesbian Center?

    On a related note, I’m curious why the passage of Prop 8, a California-specific issue, has become a national issue. I’m glad the issue is now national, but there were anti-GLBTQ votes in several states. It seems that only Prop 8 has galvanized us on a national level. Why didn’t Florida, Arizona or Arkansas create the same passionate backlash?

  • Tony V

    Clearly the No on 8 leaders were embarrassed by their own community. Why else would they keep us out of the process AND MESSAGE so completely? How on earth do we expect respect from Californians when we never said the word gay or showed lgbt people in the ads that were supposed to convince people to respect our rights? The subtext was shame. This is a generation of gay leadership that is so obsessed with our so-called “image” that they airbrushed us to death and to defeat. I’m glad there’s been a huge outcry. Out with the old and in with the new.

  • blake

    It’s amazing to hear how the No on 8 folks rejected grassroots efforts in light of how VERY SUCCESSFUL Obama was in his grassroots efforts in the primary and then later in the general campaign. When one reads of stories about the No on 8 leadership refusing to work with minority groups it shows how the continuation of racism within the gay community’s white leadership hurt every one.

    Just stupid.

    To be fair to the No on 8 leaders, 50% of eligible gay voters in California sat on their butts and did not vote. That was not the fault of the No on 8 leaders.

    What seems to be missing from gay rights leadership are the visionaries and pragmatists of the Civil Rights Movement. More than ever, the importance of legislation at the federal level is vital.

  • Eminent Victorian

    Thank you for posting this update. Keep on it. I think most LGBT Americans have no idea what goes on in these “leadership” organizations. There should be some open accountability.

  • Faith

    I’ve heard directly from Black LGBT organizers who have said the same thing as Jeffery King, it’s an honest to goodness queer disgrace!

  • Clinton Fein

    While it wouldn’t harm for us to look in the mirror, and own repsonsibility for failing to act sooner. (I tried motivating people by showing images of actual gay couples with their kids to my own communications lists, but it was too little, too late.)

    One of my friends asked me how we could get the No on 8 leaders to be accountable, and my response was that we are accountable for allowing them to claim leadership roles to begin with.

    Call it harsh, unfair, or counter-productive, but these incompetents do NOT represent me. Next time round, I will either find and support groups who are doing things differently or I will fight myself in whatever way I can.

    The notion of these groups claiming tax-exempt status to speak on my behalf is absurd. With that kind of strategic thinking, their representations border on defamation.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Faith: One queer person of color wrote a diary over a Daily Kos about how she contacted and was ignored by the No on 8. Finally, she just started canvassing herself in some people of color neighborhoods.

  • Stu Harrison

    Were mistakes made in the No on 8 effort? Of course. Is any campaign perfect? No. But to second-guess strategy without facts is a waste of energy and isn’t constructive. Focus on what the other side did better and why. That’s where we need to look in order to make progress.

    Some perspective: The idea we could magically match 100,000 Yes volunteers and organize them into some kind of equivalent door-to-door campaign is ludicrous and ignores many facts. We couldn’t even fill the phonebanks. Getting volunteers from a community that didn’t realize we could lose took much too much effort — effort that could have been placed on winning.

    I know — I worked tables and events. Even after Melissa Ethridge asked her fans to volunteer at a concert, in September, we got ten sign-ups from an audience of 1700. And it took three volunteers at the event and days of work — with the performer’s managers, agents, and venue staff — to achieve that.

    At other times and events, we would be lucky to recruit volunteers in numbers exceeding the number of volunteers doing the recruiting, such was the disinterest, complacency or perhaps just over-confidence.

    Internalized homophobia almost certainly played a part in this. Gay male business owners would not display posters for fundraisers. Straight (and lesbian) owners seemed to have no problem, by the way. Most gay men expressed complete rejection of any suggestion they could approach strangers in their homes and ask for a vote. Their fears were reasonable. The open hostility, vilification and hatred that our volunteers experienced in the suburbs took a strong stomach and a very well developed sense of self.

    In my own community, volunteers were almost all female — a mix of straight women and lesbians, followed by straight men. It was VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE to get gay men between 30 and 50 to volunteer, until it was too late. And well-off gay professionals would not make donations at anything like the $$ levels that Mormon families were giving. I am ashamed of some of my own (gay male) community for writing checks for less than their latest pair of Prada shoes, while Mormon families were sending in their life savings. It was not until Yes was up by $10 million and we were down by 10 points in the polls that more people started to pay attention, began to believe our leaders who had been telling them for months that public polls were overstating our support, and started writing checks commensurately.

    A summer of joyful images and positive polls contributed to this picture. The result we all know now was that Yes on 8 bought more TV and radio airtime, all over the state. You buy airtime working BACK from election day, and thank God we did, or it would have been a bloodbath for us. With more money for early airtime, Yes’s fallacious arguments appealling directly to straight people’s fears and ingorance — could take hold. And they did for a while, when we had no airtime to respond. Then overnight, in early October, their fundraising leaped by $10 million.

    From the front lines, I can tell you where my view leads me: We lost this election around this time — when a lesbian couple used their wedding as a “teachable moment.” Yes on 8 won the debate about education at that defining point, and people who made up their minds in early/mid October voted 63% Yes – 37% No (CNN). It’s astonishing to me that we were able to make up so many votes by election day. Despite the other side betting the bank on the kids argument, we won parents in their 30s — but lost them in their 40s.

    The Yes campaign increased their vote over the previous California election on the marriage issue in 2000 by 800,000 votes. With a similar budget and only a fraction of the volunteers, our side increased the vote over 2000 by 2 million. Our leaders need to be commended for this, and for the tireless, 18 hour days, 7 day weeks they devoted to our community’s cause for low and in some cases no pay.

    Editorialists and bloggers have a reputation for entering the field of battle when the fighting is over and bayonetting the wounded.

    You have been doing some of that. I ask that you control the damage. Wait for the independent analysis of the campaign to be completed before jumping to conclusions, often based on racist comments from talking heads, and then help the community look forward not back.

    I have no problem with calls to hold leaders accountable. But we have to listen to what they have to tell us about the way people voted, why, and about our own performance as a community as well.

  • Robert


    To further touch on what you said, whats really missing is the GLBTQ etc. presence.

    What do I mean, well too many of us are content to just sit and let things happen… and then bitch and moan when it comes out against us.

    Look at how many Gays didn’t get out and vote (or do anything to help defeat prop 8.

    While I feel we are fighting the wrong fight (marriage vs. civil unions for all people not just gays), I at least did my part (volunteering and contributing and most important voting).

    Its sad, and shameful that so many gays don’t care enough to get off their butts.

    Just my .02

  • Nova Jade*

    CHGO921 – Good point about Prop 8 being the only passionate spark that put this issue on a national level. It is quite interesting… Possibly, even in times when we are conservative in our judgements, Californians as a whole are still more radical, progressive and bold than most other states. Though I don’t recall ever hearing of those states being outwardly open about the Queer agenda, even though queers do exist in their states.

  • Qjersey

    I met Lori Jean at the Creating Change conference and if she said that she runs the “biggest LGBT center” (which means the one with the most money)in the US one more time….

    But if she were male, we’d all be hearing about how the “gay white men” run everything.

    Lori Jean, et al, are NOT OUR LEADERS. We DID NOT elect them. They run organizations that serve our communities and by default they think this means they speak for us. THEY DO NOT.

    And to be perfectly crass and rude. Why is the most visible lesbian leader a 70’s throwback. She makes Rosie look femme and demure.

  • frontlineworker


    speaking of 70s throwbacks, I went to the JointheImpact rally is SF and the disconnect between the speakers and the audience was real telling. It was like a time/space continuum breach. Will a 20-something please step forward and make a speech? We want to hear you!

  • MCnNYC

    PLEASE…We weren’t asked?
    JEEZ people…if you are the head of ANY kind of GLBT(LMNOP) org you don’t have to be asked to do anything.
    YOU DO IT.
    You take it upon yourself. Bloggers asked their readers to contribute. Now we are going to blame Mommy and Daddy organizations cause they did not give us chores to do?!
    Come on Jeffrey King you dropped the ball.
    OR you didn’t want it…cause it might have gotten you in trouble with the work in electing Barrack Obama.

  • Tara - Praenomenal

    @Stu Harrison: You lose a lot of credibility with me Stu when you start echoing the oppositions talking points.

    “We lost this election around this time — when a lesbian couple used their wedding as a “teachable moment.””

    It was not a “teachable moment” parents brought their children by their choice.

    Get your facts straight.

  • Sean

    How do we make a change in our own communities when our leaders are self-appointed or organization dependent? Many of these organizations are more about fundraising then actual activism. How do we reenergize a movement without a true chance at directional change? With the same visable leaders and the same lobbyists in control how do we break the barrier within our own community to reach the American people and their elected leaders?

  • andy_d

    @chgo921: Speaking as someone who is not in California, I believe I can address your question regarding the nationwide scope of the protests. Prop 8’s intention was to REVOKE a right as opposed to not granting a right. An analogy, granted simplistic, would be a proposition in California that would not allow married couples to obtain a divorce.

  • Drew

    Lori Jean is totally outdated as a leader and the LAGLC has been stagnating as an organization for a while. they really didn’t even do anything to contribute to the cause. weak.

  • andy_d

    @Sean: We re-energize the movement the same way we did with the NAMES project display and March on Washington that took place 2 weeks before the 1992 election. Grass roots organizing. If I remember correctly (damned Half-zeimers), the groundswell started in the midwest.

  • frontlineworker


    sorry Tara. But you are wrong here. it was the class’s teacher who used the phrase “teachable moment.” This was then repeated by Yes people ad nauseam.

    Unfortnately, imho, the fact that the parents could decide if their kids attended or not was lost on the electorate — because the Yes people could say, “See, see! they really ARE going to teach this stuff.” By this point, they controlled the debate.

  • rusty

    is there anyway we can all start calling it ‘civil marriage’ that way the straights will understand that we are not trumping on their religous marriage.

  • The Gay Numbers


    It’s not that Prop 8 was the only or more important anti-gay event to happen. It’s that it’s become a symbol.

    Stonewall was not the only effort to obtain gay rights to happen. There were other events that came before it. Check out this great documentary called Before Stonewall (believe that’s the name).

    Think of it as a perfect storm of different issues about gays coming to boil. About whether we are a community? Do we have leadership? Do we have a common set of values? If so, what are they? What about gay apathy? What about all section of the gay community? Black? Latino? Poor? A lot of questions coming to a boil. Those questions are just symbolized by Prop 8. The questions can be found anywhere in gay America right now. It’s just that for some reason, and I can’t tell you why, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for some.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @frontlineworker: I disagree. People believe what they want to believe. You are going to tell me those Yes on 8 ads worked because those people who voted for did not know that the ad about the wedding were a lie. Do they not have children in the CA system? if they do, how then do they not know that all trips require parental permission? or did they surrender all logic to think there was a special ‘gay teacher’s wedding ” exception?

  • Jim

    @Tara – Praenomenal: I agree with Stu. I’m in Ohio and we saw the photos of this wedding all over the place. Who took them and how did the Yes on 8 folk and media get them? Parents may have taken their children by choice, to the wedding, from a positive, affirming and supportive place, but get a reality check: look at how the event was turned and used VERY successfully by the opposing side. It’s the kind of thing election strategists would KILL for–a completely innocent moment that can be simply and effectively turned 180°. They did it and it worked.

  • Frank

    For all the critics, I have just one question. Did you volunteer? If so, by all means, complain. If not, go fuck yourselves.

  • dalea

    Worked on this. One problem is that the Obama campaign took up most of the resources in CA that we typically would have had. Had many people tell me that they would like to help, but were committed to calling for Obama. All their money had gone to Obama.

    We were told that the No on 8 leaders had decided against having handout literature. We were also told not to do door to door. And if we wanted to set up outside working class stores, we would have no support. AFAICT there was no literature in Spanish, and none in any Asian language. Would volunteer and get a call. Nothing further. Until I signed up again. Very strange way to run things.

  • kevin

    The reason Calfornia got all the reaction as opposed to the other states is fairly simple. California is one of the places gay people flee too from those other states, none of which are particularly welcoming to gay people – sure their cities might have gayborhoods, but on the whole, they’re pretty homophobic.
    When the fundies targeted California, they took it to our house, so to speak. And they still don’t seem to get that that’s why we’re so pissed. It’s not bad enough they more or less drvie us out of “their” states, they have to follow us into the safe havens we’ve carved out.
    Well, now we’ve been backed into a corner and the only thing left to do is fight.

  • Tara - Praenomenal

    Read it Stu and Jim, it was a director in the school who said it, not the teacher.

    Jim, the children were used in the attack ads without the parents consent, something that was brought up on this very blog. The reality is we were out planned and out gunned by a group of people with no scruples, until we stop listening to the gay establishment and playing good little queers we will keep being chewed up and spit out.

    Especially when we quote their own rehtoric back at us to blame someone for getting married. For Fuck sake people.

  • Tara - Praenomenal


    How about you go fuck yourself first.

    Without criticisms there is no change.

  • CrankyOtter

    @7: It’s my opinion that Prop 8 caused national motivation because it’s the first law to remove a right that already exists, rather than to block it before the fact. Also, I suspect a good number of people thought, “hey, it’s california, of course it won’t fly” and then it’ll be easier in our state to ride their coattails. You expect this kind of thing in Arkansas (sorry Arkansans, but we do), but we don’t expect regression in “liberal” CA. When prop 8 passed, everyone realized that even california was in contention. And that we were voting away existing rights. And this finally caught people’s attention.

    I would have sent more money to the campaign, but I didn’t see it going anywhere. So I wrote up a “vote no on 8” door tag and put it on all 200 doors of my condo assn. I feel that it did more than if I had just sent money. But it still didn’t feel like enough.

    None of the ads addressed the swiftboating commercials, and not until late in the game did someone come out and say “can’t you see that’s just crap? It’s so stupid we shouldn’t have to respond to it.” But we do have to respond to it because clearly people will choose to believe something that is played with ominous music is bad.

    And sure it was a “teachable moment” when parents sent their young kids to their teacher’s wedding. My third grade teacher got divorced and remarried and her current class got to go to her wedding. It’s adorable to have (well behaved) students at a wedding. And it was teachable because these kids got to see a normal thing happen and celebrate it, not fear it, or see it as weird. Teaching tolerance. Not scary.

  • chgo921

    @kevin: Thanks for the response. If I’m reading correctly, California is thought to be some sort of gay mecca, where tolerance is a given. If it’s true, as one of the previous comments indicated, that 50% of gays didn’t vote in this election, and it’s true that people ASSUME California is a “safe haven”, it seems to me that gays and allies became complacent — until it was too late.

    However, just following national politics I know that California has some conservative representatives in Congress. Presumably, they were elected by a conservative electorate. Therefore, it doesn’t follow that California, as a whole, is going to be progressive when it comes to GLBTQ issues. Don’t mistake progressive population centers as being indicative of an entire state.

  • Tara - Praenomenal

    @chgo921: I grew up in Central California. It is one of the most backwards and bigoted places in the world. It is largely farming with poor education and even poorer people.

  • Jennifer

    @Stu Harrison:
    I respectfully disagree with what I’m guessing is a response by somebody who had a hand, at some level, in the design of a piss-poor campaign.

    We don’t need to focus on what the other side did right because they’ve been doing this same crap for decades—DECADES!!! and our side acted as though they had never seen this tactic before.

    We ran a defensive campaign, and it was totally unnecessary. Any gay with a brain could have told you that the Yes campaign would run on children, protecting the children, saving the children, yada, yada, yada. Of course teaching homosexuality in schools was going to come up. Of course priests being thrown in jail for not marrying Adam & Steve was going to come up. And yet the No campaign was seemingly caught totally flat-footed on the whole mess.

    I reject the notion that this campaign was lost due to a lack of phonebanks and precinct walkers. This campaign was lost on t.v., period. We had no response, none, to the supposed “war on children and education” that gay marriage represented. And why on earth would a gay person want to volunteer to phonebank or precinct walk when the No campaign made it pretty damn clear from their commercials that the less real gays and lesbians were seen, the better? For the record, both the Mormon a-holes who called me and came to my door didn’t have s**t in response when I ripped their regurgitations of television commercials–commercials were all these people were operating on. If I had been a good-little-gay and stuck tot he talking points suggested on the EQCA/NoOn8 website, I would have sounded like the impotent losers the NoOn8 campaign “leaders” produced.

    We should have had preemptive commercials, we knew where they were going, why did we let them define the issues of this campaign? We’ve got research studies that demonstrate that the only real threat to the children of LGBT families is outside discrimination? Why didn’t we use information like that and frame the debate as “marriage equality protects children. Proposition 8 puts children at risk”?

    All the money in the world wouldn’t have mattered with the self-hating drivel the No campaign produced. It was all way too little, much too late. (Still, I really think that Cher, Kathy Griffin, Madonna, Liza, etc…have a lot to answer for. Last I checked, Brad Pitt & Steven Spielbierg’s careers weren’t build on a rabid gay following) And no, it isn’t the fault of the lesbian school teachers who had first graders come to their wedding (though I’d like to drop-kick those two).

    For the record, I donated way more than I could afford or should have spent. Even if we had won, I would not have gotten my money’s worth. And also for the record, I was writing letters to EQCA and NoOn8 months before November telling them that they needed to get on t.v. with real LGBT families. And so was every other gay blogger I read. That they are now getting mauled by everybody else should come as no surprise, they were warned.

    Don’t credit the Yes campaign with adding numbers to their 2000 tallies, that was a different presidential campaign–it’s apples and oranges. Face it, this campaign was ours to lose and we lost it –royally. We started out with double-digit leads in the polls and pissed it all away. I use the term “we” loosely however, my family was shut out the campaign. Apparently, families like mine don’t “test well” with focus groups. Funny, we test awfully well with our teachers, doctors, neighbors, support group cohorts, and pretty much everybody else who meets us. Why? We force people to reconsider their prejudices, that makes people uncomfortable in a focus-group setting…it makes people uncomfortable period–to be faced with the reality that they are wrong about us. Hiding us, ignoring us, pretending we don’t exist isn’t going to help matters.

    But it’s not just the invisibility of LGBT families that shut my family out–when I signed up online to GOTV I was called and told to go to Salinas, 3.5 hours and one mountain range from where I live. When I said, ‘no’ I want to volunteer in Fresno I was told there was no GOTV effort in Fresno (they were wrong, there was) — brilliant campaign strategy geniuses, ignore the whole middle of the state–how’d that work for ya?

    As for bayonetting the wounded and damage control, as far as I am concerned, HRC is dead–so I agree, no bayonetting needed-nor any damage control. Let the dead bury the dead, as they say. HRC, GLAAD (responsible for putting LGBT families in the closet), are irrelevant. One exception to the dead, NCLR, leave Kate alone. She’s a lawyer, and a damn good one…NCLR wasn’t in charge of campaign strategy (they followed it, and shouldn’t have, they are smarter than that–lesson learned, I trust) The NCLR is the best thing we’ve got going for us in terms of an established organization at the moment. Lambda Legal is worth saving too. But that’s where it ends, EQCA should just go away, you had your chance and you screwed all of us…pack your crappy campaign wedding dress and get a real job.

    The performance of the community as a whole was disappointing, but where we offered to be visible we were rebuffed. What has changed in the last few weeks is that we’re not asking for anybody’s permission anymore. I’ll give interviews if I’m asked and I won’t stick to some campaign’s focus-group-drivel talking points either. New leaders are emerging and next time, if there is a next time, they will be in charge–and they will be in charge because we are naming names now, pointing the finger and saying–“You’re out” to the out of touch, ivory tower elites, who got us into this mess in the first place.

    Keep doing what you’re doing Queerty.

  • Leland Frances

    Re the kids at the lesbian wedding in San Francisco:

    I live there and, as accustomed as I’ve become to the “in a bubble” disconnect ubiquitous in Sodom by the Sea, I didn’t know whether to faint or puke when I heard about this.

    The idea WAS beautiful. A lesbian first grade teacher so beloved by her students that when someone suggested taking a field trip to surprise her and her partner at City Hall as they emerged from their wedding, only a couple of some 20 parents refused permission.

    But St. Judy in Heaven, was the timing DISASTROUS because, alerted beforehand or accidental, someone, had a video camera and filmed the kids throwing flower petals as the couple emerged [which was used in the YES ad to the parents’ impotent objections] AND filmed Newsom marrying them.

  • Tara - Praenomenal

    @Jennifer: Fresno? That is where I moved from.

  • chgo921

    @CrankyOtter: Thanks for the response. My first post was to try to understand how and why the proposition passed. I have to admit, being here in Chicago, I received e-mails from friends saying send money to fight it. My main reason for NOT donating to the No Against 8 campaign is that I looked at it as a “state” issue; having the right to marry in California was not going to impact me in Chicago. Now that I’ve seen protests taking place around the country — and it’s too late — I have to admit that I’ve changed my mind.

  • Tara - Praenomenal

    Seriously, I am so sick of people blaming the wedding thing.

  • Leland Frances

    Agree with much you say, Jennifer, but for two things:

    1. Overall, the power of the “show the gays” mantra is a fantasy. So hippie dippy 60s that it makes my old teeth hurt. At least in a 30-second commercial trying to make up for CENTURIES of brainwashing about gays boiled down into televised lies from the other side.

    There was a brilliant EXCEPTION that COULD have moved the moveable middle: Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin. 50+ yrs. together and as non-threatening an image as Madison Avenue could have created. Given all the publicity they were getting via their being chosen for the “First Wedding” both in 2004 AND 2008, and Del’s death right after, and Kate Kendall being their spokesperson, I turned on my TV everyday expecting to see some of the money I sent over and over used to feature them in an ad. WHY THE FUCK NOT?

    2. Kendall has many admirable credits to her name, but she was, as related by Jean, both a member of the original campaign committee started all the way back in 2005 in anticipation of something like H8TE all the way through to the last standing Executive Committee. Anyone who’s met her as I have knows she would NEVER accept being just a follower.

    I wanted to hurl when I heard her say in a TV interview that they had no idea the H8TERS would spend as much. DUH!!!!!!!!!

    She must accept the blame for all the failures as much as anyone else. Let her stay at NCLR, but her days as a politcal strategist should be OVER!

  • mark snyder

    @The Gay Numbers: We need to unite and stop donating and letting these same “leaders” run our campaigns. No more HRC. No more Equality California. NO MORE! I do see some hope – the join the impact protests are led by grassroots activists not these wonky types.

  • Leland Frances

    Well, don’t waste your hope on Ms. Join the Impact herself, Amy What’sHerName.

    She’s a 26-yr. old bubblehead from Seattle who’s only credit is virally whirling the circle jerk demonstrations on the 15th into something pretending to be progress. Why weren’t they scheduled for the homes and business and churches of YES On H8TE leaders instead of in front of unrelated City Halls?

    For the record: she told that we should leave the Mormons alone and that CHURCHES should decide what to call OUR relationships! Which means she’s actually IN FAVOR OF Prop H8TE and doesn’t even know it.

  • frontlineworker

    @Tara – Praenomenal: I hope you can channel some of your understandable anger in places more productive than here. We’re on the same side.

  • mferrera

    I am as frustrated with the passing of Prop 8, if not more, than the folks who are writing here. It has been my life’s passion to fight the battles for equality for many years now, and I know so many of the people involved in these fights statewide. They are good people,and they so often do their work alone or with little support. I don’t ask anybody to thank me for my work. I love it. But, where were you all before? When the fight for school protections for LGBT youth was going on, where were you all? When the fight for LGBT foster youth was going on, where were you all? As activists fought to incrementally build up to Domestic Partnerships over several years, where were you all? And, when the strategies were being created for this campaign, where were you all? You weren’t expressing yourselves then. If you wanted to have a voice, and you’re all so smart and prescient about the right strategies, where were you when the real work was being done? I am not going to attack those who have benefitted from the work of tireless activists over many years, but I hope that every one of you has learned that protesting after the fact is too late. Don’t ever again assume that it will be taken care of for you. Get in the game early on and fight for your point of view. Learn the issues so you can speak articulately about them. Too few of us can. Too few of us know the facts. Most of us are responsible for this loss. Most of us got in the game when it was almost over. Look in the mirror and decide for yourselves whether you have been working for your rights for years or simply allowing those nerdy, obsessed, loud mouth activists to do almost all of the heavy lifting.

    I am so heartened by the demonstrations since Election Day and have enjoyed seeing my community rise up and fight the injustice. But, change is hard fought and happens over the course of years in meetings where only a few show up and even fewer do the real work. So, welcome to the fight.

    Yes, there were lots of mistakes made. Anyone who attends a fundraiser or event in this town can appreciate that our organizations do a poor job of reaching out and including people of color, especially the national ones. Too much time is focused on raising every dollar and not enough on community building. Kudos to those of you who did speak up early and often, but you could not be heard because not enough of your LGBT brothers and sisters were there backing you up.

    Keep the momentum going and don’t let the next several months and the next couple of years before the next opportunities lead you back in to complacency. We need all of us.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @mark snyder: If you want to have a shot of winning (I don’t live in CA) you need to look th the Obama campaign strategies for oganizing locally to win a greater campaign within CA. Obama was organizing from 2 years ago at the start of his campaign.

    I am not as big a believer as you in Join the Impact. They feel like Moveon. Moveon was the precursor to what Obama’s campaign showed you could do. In other words, Moveon was a lot of pent up energy that tried to organize, but never quite got things togther in 2004.

    Whereas, again, obama started organizing in early 2007 if not before. If gays want to win in CA for 2010. They must start now. They must do a lot boring and sometimes risky stuff, ie, going into every college in the state and recruiting local organizers. Going to friendly religious people in every part fothe state and recruiting them as allies to talk to their neighbors. Reaching out to minority leaders in a real and sustatined way.

    Go outside of the gay enclaves to red areas of the stage of CA.

    Doing an immense gay registration drive to push more gays out of apathy. doing an immense educational drive starting now, not later using real gays, in very different context (show the poor gays, the middle class ones, the white ones, the black ones, etc). De emphasis hollywood.

    Make it less about being “hip” and glam and more about the everyday life.

    Do commercials like those out of NJ that show how civil unions still deny gay people right. Do not abstract it. Show the real thing. Those are all ideas off top my head. But like I said. I don’t live there.

    These things are just instincts after having been a grassroots organizer in my 20s for poverty issues.

    The local in my view is always better than the bigger campaign. It does not mean you don’t have a centralizing effort. You need that too. But the local is where you reach people before the lies set in from someone outside of the community in the form of commercials.

  • Norman Gavson

    uh, because people are surprised it passed in california. uh, because, uh… it’s fucking CALIFORNIA you moron.

  • Tara - Praenomenal


    Are we? I would like to believe that but I cannot when we seem to have such different views about where to go.

  • Tony in West Hollywood

    I hope we are using this energy to find a common voice and strength in unity. Any one of us can stand up and lead. We are a small minority and have a tough road ahead of us. We can simply not expect to be able to turn out as many gay voters as straight voters.

    It isn’t our fault that we failed to stop the hateful majority who decided to revoke a few more of our limited rights. Now is not the time for infighting or finger pointing. We are each responsible for getting support from more heteros–instead of blaming our leaders, call your parents, siblings, cousins, friends from growing up, old teachers, and any straight people that know and care about you and get them involved too.

  • Robert

    @Tara – Praenomenal:

    Tara I agree with him 100 percent… if you did nothing not one thing to forward the cause, then you have no room to bitch and moan about the outcome.

    I’m not directing the comment at you specifically, just those that never do a dang thing then complain.

    You don’t get a voice if you only use it to complain.

    Just my .02

  • Bruno

    Does anyone think that Geoff Kors’ status as a Log Cabin Republican might have anything to do with EQCA’s direction in the No campaign? “Whoever raises the most money wins,” right? Wrong.

  • frontlineworker

    @mark snyder: @mark snyder: We need MORE wonky types Mark, and way more calculating ones perhaps!! :-) Yes was run by the wonks — check out Schubert Flynt – corporate scumbags if you ask me. And Ron Prentice seems like a pocket-lining con man too. Maybe his campaign finance tricks will catch up with him one day.

    Another of the reasons they won, and perhaps there are many, is that their professional hacks successfully silenced most of the religious and crazily homophobic whackjobs for 4 months.

    Weddings apart, the most significant difference in the campaigns’ selling propositions was that Yes appealed to straight people’s “self-interest” while No had to appeal to “sense of fairness.” Had to? Yup. We’re a social justice movement – we have to take the high road. It’s just sad to see that the high road doesn’t get us there. Yet.

    No Jennifer I had nothing to do with the messaging or the campaign strategy. I just had to work with it, and it did work, tho’ it took longer to get the message across than the ABC of the other side. It almost always moved people away from their gut fears, but it took time and work. Lies are always so much easier to convey.

    I feel for the parents of lgbt families who were “used” in this campaign. But in the counties we all left as soon as we could in a quest to find homes in more accepting places where we could be seen for the loving and capable parents we all are, we left a vacuum of misunderstanding, fear and ignorance that imho no tv ad or 12 week campaign can fill. We just have to keep coming out, talking to people in uncomfortable situations, and letting people in our families and communities who voted yes know that they made a decision justified by lies, prejudice and religious ambition.

    Thought you might also like to know that we won Northern California by 52-48 and lost Southern California by 45-55. In the Bay Area, we won 8 of the 9 counties. The only one we lost was Solano. Solano has the lowest number of college graduates per capita in the Bay Area, and the hightest rate of home foreclosures (38%). Finally, from the wonk department, 53% of college grads voted No. 55% of people who did not attend college voted Yes. The stupid people won again.

  • Robert

    @Tara – Praenomenal:

    Whoa… you need to stop with the inflammatory posts like this.

    Every state has its good and bad points. However there are certain states that are known for welcoming and diversity of all (not just gays).

    In CA the overall feeling is acceptance (in most cities).

    Please reconsider before posting such statements as you made.

  • Jennifer

    You’re both kind of right, but you’re kind of wrong too. The trip was organized by the parents. All but two kids went. It was a bad idea for all involved, regardless of whether it was a teachable moment.

    But it did not, did not, did not, lose the election.

    Images of gay and lesbian families being married are sympathetic images. If NoOn8 had flooded the airwave with those images, the two lesbian teachers would have been lost in the mix. They shoved us in the closet. Keep in mind, the Yes side didn’t show images of gay marriages either–what does that tell you? (Hint: they know we’re sympathetic characters too). They only used the one that was neatly packaged for them by some well-intentioned but stupid people.

    EQCA/NoOn8 lost this.

  • Jennifer

    @Leland Frances:
    I agree, she’s a short termer. She means well, but she’s still too willing to go hat in hand and try to charm her rights from people.

  • Al Benson

    Question I posed to the moderator:

    When “Brownie” was found inept in his management of the Katrina relief effort, he had to step down.
    What do Kors, Jean and Kendall think should happen to them for their part in our ‘Katrina’?

  • Tara - Praenomenal


    Robert, I was born in CA and lived there for well over 20 years always in the central valley. I know of what I speak. It is not inflammatory it is the truth.

    The very idea that you think you have any right to try to educate me on what I should say in a public forum is the core problem with the Gay Rights movement.

    You do not get to decide who speaks, you do not get to decide what is said.

    How arrogant of you to decide who did enough in this fight to speak, how much is inflammatory etc.

    Come on. Step up. Challenge me directly on any point I have made. Stop coddling the people who claim to speak for you.

  • Jennifer

    If it took longer to work, and it lost us a double-digit lead, the message was crap.

    Since ECQA/NoOn8 were not willing to lend any leg work to organizing away from the coast, TV was all we had. The message was dominated by one side.

    I’ll be the first to admit that education was the primary factor in how people voted. And I’ll admit that Fresno is full of stupid people (thanks to all of you geniuses moving out to “better” places to raise your families). So I guess all us idiots who stayed here should just, what, suck it up? I’ve got a college education too, I’ve read the returns, exhaustively. That’s no excuse to just abandon the overwhelming majority of the state. You cannot ignore the Central Valley on social issues, like it or not, the Valley may not be able to swing a statewide election on Senators or Governor (although Arnold sure spends an awful lot of time in Fresno)–but on social issues, if you ignore “the stupid center” you do so to your detriment.

    So maybe all the braniac expates should move back and live “bravely” amongst us yokels. Living out and proud isn’t so impressive in West Hollywood. Who do you really think knows better how to reach and sway the middle? Try listening to us dummies in the Valley next time. btw: great job in LA.

  • Bruno

    Folks, the campaign was lacking but it wasn’t just a matter of showing LGBT couples. What No on 8 had to prove to the public was that domestic partnerships are not a substitute for marriage. This could have been done by any number of means. Another thing, which ties into not showing gay & lesbian couples in the ads, is that people were probably often unaware that Prop 8 could annul 18,000 marriages. Had these points been made effectively, I’m sure we would have won.

    But very soon we have to stop pointing fingers and band together. We can use the infrastructure in place at EQCA, etc., but we have to make our feelings known that we want a say in what the public knows about us. And that should happen regardless of a proposition being on the ballot…it should be going on at all times.

  • Kim Ward

    I understand and share people’s frustrations, but would like to make one important, clarifying point: Kate Kendell runs a legal organization. Yes, the National Center for Lesbian Rights is an advocacy organization, but they don’t run campaigns and organize like most of the others leading No on 8. For those of you who don’t know, NCLR, under Kate’s leadership, won this right for us in the first place. Their legal director, Shannon Minter, argued the case in the CA Supreme Court. I’m not saying don’t complain about the campaign– I think it’s the only way we’re actually going to get some change in our leadership. I’m just asking that you point fingers at the right people and recognize the different roles that organizations have. Kate and NCLR upheld theirs.

  • stonewall69

    somethings never change .. the insiders want to pretend we are all the same and assume they can speak for all of us … so what do you do … well in the begining in the Gay Liberation Front we formed cells of interest with out friends and lovers and went out to change the world. We were not afraid to COME OUT and let the world see who we are in our diversity of race, age, gender, gender expression, and ecomomic reality and were committed to making our dream of world where all could live together with peace and equality.. a faery tale perhaps but we beleived in faeries …. dream on you may say .. and we did and do
    The right for same sex civil marriage is not radical. It is simply where desire, love and equality meet on the Bill of RIghts playing field.

    Now erotic, emotional, affectional, sexual same sex love .. now that is radical.

    Don’t follow leaders unless they listen to you.

    power to all the lesbian and gay people.

  • frontlineworker

    @Jennifer: I do know the facts about the wedding, the teacher, the director, the parents, the opt out law, the press conference, and so on. I didn’t intend to claim it lost us the election per se. But the callous manipulation of it kept the debate on education alive and on the front burner. The dollars that were being amassed to be spent on tested, positive ads of lgbt people, co-workers, neighbors and friends had to be redirected to defensive ads. It’s not clear to me — and I am not a campaign insider, I just organized a local effort — that our ad poople had any choice at that point. It’s too bad we lost, but blaming the people who worked so hard for us is about as productive as booing returning US troops, in my book.

  • Al Benson

    I sent the following note to Queerty:

    The thoughtful comments I have read on your blog around the prop 8 campaign is to my thinking, leading to the clarity needed for building the nucleus of a new leadership. I would ask you guys to consider hosting your own “Live Town Hall” or at least a conference call (there are many services that do this for a small fee) to build this new leadership groundwork that is clearly called for. I will also post this and send it to a couple of the key individuals shaping this discussion.

    Al Benson

  • Jennifer

    sorry, the “returning US troops” is just a ridiculous analogy. But what the hell, let’s run with it…

    This is about accountability.

    This is about learning from our mistakes so we don’t make them again next time.

    I’m not blaming anybody who canvassed neighborhoods, or made phone calls. The “soldiers”.

    I’m blaming the generals, who crafted a strategy without any apparent forsight into what was going to happen. The Yes was running the “gay marriage taught in schools” campaign way before the wedding incident. For God’s sake–it was the ballot statement in the voter information booklet. That it actually happened later on, well that must have just seemed like a gift from the baby Jesus to them.

    At some point, people are going to be asked to go out on the street again, sit at another phone bank, donate more money. The “soldiers” and their families are going to have to deploy again, this is about making sure that the same group of nitwits aren’t leading them to catastrophe again.

    On another subject, not a response to anybody, just an FYI:
    at least 10,000 more ballots were cast on Proposition 8 than on any other ballot proposition in the county of Fresno — (even more than Prop 2–though the valley is overwhelmingly dominated by ag interests). Because I am too lazy to get out a calculator, I can’t say exactly if more Prop 8 ballots were cast than presidential ballots–but it’s darn close. In total, Fresno County had a 70% voter turnout. How much money did EQCA spend in Fresno County?

  • frontlineworker

    @Jennifer: You have a really good point, as does gaynumbers. We did not organize locally, at least not consistently enough around the state. Our opponents had a built-in adavantage — a heirarchy of local (tax-free!)organizations and volunteers (“followers”). We don’t have anything that compares. Not even the JointheImpacters.

    Some counties organized better than others, fo sure. Some set fundraising goals, earned media goals, vote improvement goals, and staffed up with super-volunteers to get them done. But the coalition of organizations that formed No on 8 was vast, and every outfit was different, with little consistency other than general direction from the “campaign.” It was left to the leadership of these organizations to set their own paths locally.

    Let’s look at the counties where we won, and where we lost, and see what we can learn. Certainly the export of talent and bodies to red counties a la Obama could have helped.

    The public polls were wrong, especially Field. We did not lose a lead. Both Yes’s internal polling and No’s internal polling confirmed this — that there was a stong 40% on our side, a strong 40% on their side, and a conflicted 20% in the middle who moved back and for depending on the latest infomation they received.

    In the end, we got 8 of them, and they got 12.

  • Charles Merrill

    What happened to all the money we gave. Who got paid what ? Were their Olivia cruises being paid for out of our donations ? Is there a balance sheet with expenditures. I know people who gave much more than I did, and I gave $2500.00. How much did they pay the focus groups, the TV consultants how much is left over ? Is a Political Action Committee required to make reports other than donations ? If so where did the money go ?

  • Richard

    You can’t join or hear the town meeting if you’re on a Mac. Because how many gay people use those?

  • frontlineworker

    I don’t know the answer to the money question Jennifer, I do know that 77% of all money raised by No on 8 went into TV.

    The more pertinent questions you might like to look at are (a) how much did Fresno County activists raise (b) was it proportional to their population and (c) did it reflect the vote gain they needed there to contribute proportionately to a statewide win.

    Here’s the City of Fresno’s story:,0,2463893.htmlstory?appSession=55051793481668&RecordID=&PageID=2&PrevPageID=1&cpipage=9&CPISortType=&CPIorderBy=

  • Robert

    @Tara – Praenomenal:

    First off I never tried to educate you…

    I am far from arrogant, and I don’t make personal attacks (you might learn from that) however I also try (sometimes unsuccessfully) not to make comments that are not contributing and absolutely meant to insult/inflame. Such as the statement you made about CA.

    I have lived in CA longer then you, and in all parts of CA from True northern ca Redding/Chico, to SF, Bakersfield, LA, SD… and while there are those that are closed minded in each of those cities, there were just as many if not more that were open and welcoming. Yes even in Bakersfield and Redding. I have also lived in other states and found that some were just as welcoming and others not so much, but I make the best of each.

    I find it sad (very sad) that in the 20 years you were/have been in CA you couldn’t/can’t see good in what is around you. I would also ask if you are still living in CA? If yes, why if its so bad?

    Just my .02

  • Robert


    Bravo Bruno… I think you are right on the money with what you said.

  • David

    I wrote EQCA when they sent out an email about the SF Protest (JointheImpact). They put that it started at 1:30 p.m PST, when it actually started at 10:30 a.m PST.

    In response, Kors wrote me back saying I had a copy of an “early email.” So they sent it out, to thousands of people (protestors) WITHOUT even proofing it.

    And to think I got a personal email from him, the ED of EQ CA himself! He had the time to write me but not fix the very important Protest information?! WTF!

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Bruno: I disagree stenously. Without accountability, there can be no progress. Democrats lost cycle after cycle because of this attitude of let’s just pretend what happened did not, in fact, happen. If people screw up, we need to call them on it, and more likely in this case, find others who can do better. To do any less is reward failure.

  • Jennifer

    are you kidding me? please tell me this is a flippin’ joke!

    Did we raise money proportionate to what? So let me get this straight. We should just abandon the red counties? All money spent should be proportionate to the funds raised within a locality. And apparently, some votes are expendable…so genius, you tell me…just how much money do we need to raise next time, just how many votes do we have to deliver in order to matter? And btw, screw you on the link….like I haven’t got that list memorized by now.

    Maybe we should just allow marriage equality in places that donate the most money, as the other people clearly aren’t serious about their rights.

    Your arguments are deteriorating into the typical HRC-elitist bs.

    I’m done.

  • frontlineworker

    I helped run our local campaign in my county. I worked 80 hour weeks for two months, with a half-day off (to get married.) I was not paid. Nor were 20 other people who helped on our team.

    After the election, I was a physical and mental vegetable. The EQCA folks must have been in even worse condition, but they did not have the luxury of resting. They kept coming in day after day after the election to handle the fall-out, the post-mortems, the critics, the press interviews. Most of them still have not had a day off, let alone a weekend. It’s not surprising their emails have typos.

    This outfit got marriage equality passed by two houses of our state legislators. Twice. That has never happened anywhere else. Give ’em a break, folks!

  • Charles Merrill

    No wonder Ellen didn’t contribute to NoOnProp8. She knew what we didn’t know. Lot’s of wealthy old established lesbians today because of donations to NoOnProp8. It was a scam to begin with. The old guard needs to retire and let the young activists lead the way.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @frontlineworker: No. They screwed up. It’s really that simple.

  • Robert

    @The Gay Numbers:

    I don’t know that it’s that simple, yeah a lot of things happened that led to the place we are now, and yeah there were definitely things that could have been done differently on many fronts.

    The one thing I will say is that when our opponents want something done they all get in ‘line’ and speak with one voice and act accordingly.

    I hope that we can learn at least that much, because once we divide and start infighting then we are sure to lose the good fight.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Robert: They do not reward failure. We do. That’s why this is simple. These people who lead No on 8 failed. They need to be kicked to the curb to replace them with people who understand how to win. Period.

    Here are the facts we aleady know. They were warned multiple times about the way the campaign was going. They knew this was coming for years. They waited until the last minute to raise funds on par with Yes on 8. There are actually more.

    I will say what one of my friends recently said of the automotive excutives going to Congress to beg for money now. I had originally said I think its good Congress is asking for a business plan. He said to me “What difference is a business plan going to make with people who already know can not do their job right. They should be fired. Anyone else in their organizational chain would be given their performance.”

    That’s how I look at this situation. They did a crap job. So they got to go. Give someone else who knows who to get things done their chance. The time we are wasting trying to prop up failures is the time we could be spending on people who are going to achieve something.

  • frontlineworker

    I doubt Jennifer is interested, but in case anyone else is reading this thread, here’s what volunteers did in our county: I’m offering this in case you want to get some ideas for your own communities:

    – we set up a ballot measure committee so we could raise funds locally. We gave it a local name so the local media would would consider us for coverage. 99% of our funds raised went direct to No on 8.
    – we looked at how much our county needed to raise to play our part in getting the statewide total to a $20 million budget (our estimate of the fundraising goal from in-state donors). We set a goal of $420k for our county.
    – we built a database of potential donors – one name at a time – from lists of Obama and other democratic donors in the county
    – we recruited “honorary co-chairs” for the local No-on-8 committee — people in faith communities, business leaders, electeds, locally famous people, minority community leaders — anyone who would lend their name to the cause
    – we built a team of volunteers to run our campaign locally.
    – we generated 25+ local stories in the press and on tv/radio (earned media).
    – we held three fundraisers, at various price points so that the entire community could attend one or more. This turned co-chairs into donors.
    – we did personal asks of several potential big donors, all straight by the way.
    – we operated phonebanks in two cities, one starting in July, three times a week.
    – we donated a field office to the campaign and staffed it with near full-time volunteers.
    – we set a vote improvement goal (over 2000) of 12 points. (If every county got this much improvement, we would win).
    – we planned visibility actions and election day activities. This turned co-chairs into sidewalk activists.
    – we beat the fundraising goal countywide — $485k vs. $420k.
    – we beat our vote improvement goal 13 points vs. 12 (statewide was 9).
    – we won the county 2-1.
    – we changed the community.
    – we woke up on November 5 disappointed, but knowing we did our part.

  • Leland Frances

    Bravo for you, Frontlineworker, but, uh, no, it wasn’t EQCA that got marriage equality passed twice in the CA legislature, it was a small, but effective group of out reps there, led by gay Assemblyman/State Senator-Elect Mark Leno, who worked the chambers and the hallways and the offices and the minds and hearts of other state representatives and convinced them one-on-one to vote for our equality.

  • frontlineworker

    We need to make more of a hero and a leader out of Mark Leno. He certainly did all that. (Though if this blog is anything to go by, I doubt he’d want the job of lgbt leader…:)

    He’s the best. But I know Mark well enough to know he will give enormous credit to EQCA for the critical role they played also.

  • Kid A

    @frontlineworker: That’s some incredible work, and while I don’t mean to say it’s easy (it obviously takes guts and time), it isn’t work that is out of any LGBT’s grasp. Some people seem to think that volunteering or contributing means that they have to give up a lot of time, money, or even privacy. A larger number of queers doing little work beats having fewer having to take the brunt of the work.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Kid A: We should not just be relying on gays.

  • frontlineworker

    Kid A made the most important point today. That is this is about work. Social change does not come without work.

    Sure it needs strategy and money, but those are all the result of work.

    Next time, it’s got to be about everyone doing everything they can.

    The Prop 8 campaign has turned what we used to call “straight allies” into straight fighters in their own right. The cause has crossed over, and we need them.

    Nite folks.

  • Kid A

    @The Gay Numbers: Totally, but as long as a number of gays are apathetic, it will open a door for straights to say “well, why should i work for them, they don’t even seem to want it themselves.” The way to do that is to actively engage more of the gay population.

  • frontlineworker

    If you know how to get the white gays who travel to Mykonos, have a second home in the wine country, can’t miss a party on Fire Island, buy the best tickets to every Broadway musical, own a bed designed by an Italian, and whose jeans cost $400 to actually get involved, send me a note. They are happy to benefit from the work done on their behalf, just not willing to support it like they should. They need to be held accountable.

  • Troy

    @74: I wrote about the time mistake and heard nothing back. Never even got an re-send with teh *correct* time of the protest.

    Anyway– i tried to log on to tonite’s “town-hall”, but the system didn’t seem to like my mac and wouldn’t let me on. Did anyone resign?

  • The Gay Numbers

    @frontlineworker:What you just wrote has been true since forever. Which is why I say you can’t depend on them, and must realize you got to look for non gays to help. I am only in my 30s, but my friends are much older- some in their 60s, and they tell me the stories. Those queens are going to be there for you less than many of the straight allies will. This is just the reality of their baggage over being gay. It’s time to come to terms with that rather than fighting it. Being gay does not mean you have values.

  • mary

    Most voters didn’t even know that religious groups were funding the Yes on 8 campaign unitl after the election. They didn’t know the money was coming out of state.

    If I had run the campaign, I would have exploited those facts and used the same type of distortions and misleading arguments that they used against us.

    For example a commercial showing images of the mormon polygimist cult in Texas having their children removed with the voiceover “Why are these people trying to lecture Californians about marriage?” and plenty of images of those Hot mormon babes with braided hair. Or “why are these people coming into California trying to force their views on our state”

    The other side will fight to the death and use any avenue they can, however immoral or deceitful. Time to fight fire with fire. We were soft and they kicked our ass.

  • Bill Perdue

    Most of these criticisms of No on 8 are clearly correct, but many miss the point. The failure of No on 8 wasn’t technical, it was political.

    The self-appointed misleaders of No on 8 came from the ranks of the Democratic (sic) Party and movement bureaucracies and brought all that baggage with them. Their perspective was so hemmed in by party loyalty that they were unable to take on the key question that torpedoed all our efforts, the consistent and open bigotry of Obama and McCain

    I knew we were screwed about 3 or 4 am on the 5th when I saw the returns from LA county – we were upside down by half a million votes. I’ve worked to defeat several of these right wing initiatives beginning with the Briggs Initiative in 1978 and the magnitude of our loss focused my previous criticisms of No on 8. Until then I’d pushed for a large dedicated effort to target African Americans, Latinos, Asians and Pacific Islanders and a major door to door leafleting campaign

    But now I realize that the worst errors of the No on 8 leadership were political and that their myriad tactical and technical errors flow from that.

    First, they were self appointed and had no democratic internal life and no consensus. Top down organizations are notorious for being clueless about the reality on the ground.

    Secondly, their allegiance to the Democrats distorted and finally trumped their allegiance to GLBT equality.

    Third, they were Eurocentric and in a state like California where ‘minorities’ are the majority, that proved fatal. (1)

    Fourth, and critically, they did nothing to defuse the bigot bombs that Obama and his campaign constantly lobbed at us.

    Obama’s campaign opened with the revival meetings across the South featuring christer hustlers like MaryMary and ex-gay Donnie McClurkin and it continued in that vein until the day He tossed the bomb that ended our chances of winning. AP reported it thus:

    “Both men said marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Obama added that he supports civil unions for gay partners, which would give them rights such as hospital visits with one another. He said he opposed a constitutional ban on gay marriage, calling the matter a state issue.”

    When Obama’s assertion that “god’s in the mix” exploded in the headlines it gave the bigots the green light to trample our rights and the rest is history. No on 8 never challenged Obama’s bigotry and their silence about Obama’s open bigotry lost the election.

    The solution is clear. And it will unfold as Obama’s right centrist government utterly fails to contain the economic collapse they helped cause and as he continues the mass murder of muslims from Palestine to Pakistan. That will deepen the mass radicalization begun in response to Bush. Our response will succeed only the extent what we succeed in building a movement that embraces a cutting edge approach, independent of the Democrats, with a democratic internal life and a mass action approach.

    Nothing else will do.

    (1) California’s DMV has teaching materials and does testing in Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Bill Perdue: Do have something to add other than it’s Obama’s fault. Wouldn’t it be easier to just say that than the pretend you are having a conversation related to the topic. I mean you are very, very predictable in your posts.

  • Bill Perdue

    @The Gay Numbers: My remarks aren’t really addressed to simple minded folk who rely on open bigots like Biden and Obama to ‘grant’ us this or that little reform.

    Most of what they ‘give’ us, from Clinton’s bigoted DOMA and DADT to Obama’s bigoted agreement with the essence of what Yes on 8 said, that we’re not human enough to deserve the right to marry has been one exercise in throwing us under the bus after another. When we get real laws with real teeth the Chamber of Commerce uses sellouts like Barney Frank and his henchmen to gut them.

    If you don’t want to read my comments and find the idea of leaving your political closet too scary to contemplate that’s OK by me. Barney Frank Democrats and Benedict Arnold Republicans have been politically neutered for far too long to be of any value in building the kind of grass roots, democratically run mass action movement that we’ll need to compel acceptance of our agenda.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Bill Perdue: Your remarks aren’t addressed to anyone but yourself. It’s clearly you merely use the topics at hand to work out your issues. I don’t expect you to change. Just want others along the thread to realize this is the nature of everyone of your posts. We could be talking about bread budding, and you would somehow related it back to the same topics. It’s what you do. It’s unhealthy, and not very useful.

  • Rick Heintz

    I volunteered many hours with No On 8 and it seemed doomed to me from the beginning for several reasons.

    1. First and foremost, I went to the streets of West Hollywood to recruit volunteers and the reception from people was none too pleasing. Some of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters hadn’t even heard of Prop 8 (October)

    2. When I would volunteer, I was keeping close tabs on what Yes on 8 was doing and I felt we should not only match what they were doing but do more. When I would suggest these things, I would ALWAYS hear, “That’s not our focus.”

    3. I have to admit that it felt to me and many others that the No on 8 side was too busy preaching to the choir rather than talking about our issues and why marriage equality is important. I lost a lover in a car accident. I know first hand why it is important but again the No on 8 people didn’t want to hear about it.

    4. We were given specific scripts when we went to phone bank. We were given a list of numbers and instructions that our goal was NOT to convince people to vote no on 8 but to identify voters on a number scale;
    1. Voting No on 8 and financial support to No on 8
    2. Voting no on 8
    3. Undecided
    4. Voting Yes on 8
    5. Voting yes on 8 and supports their campaign

    We were doing this to identify 300,000 no voters. We knew from the start this issue is completely different and divides many families and normally reasonable people were voting yes on 8. There was no undecided margin that could have been even close to accurate. This went through October when, in my opinion, we should have been talking to people face to face rather than calling them on the phone. (Which people from No on 8 said wasn’t important)

  • Sean

    @Leland Frances:

    Leland… She did better than any one of us really. She got thousands of people in all 50 states to have a demonstration in less than 5 days. When was the last time that was done nationally? I would say that is an accomplishment. Second, we will win nothing but protesting our enemies. We aren’t trying to change their minds. We are trying to convince Americans of all demographics to join our cause and call for equality in all things that most Americans have. We should not be the angry gay at the temple gate. We must come out as the neighbor next door who shares the same street with them, worries about their savings and bills, provides for their kids, and pursues a good job and life. That is not sugar coating it that is the true reality. We happen to just have “a twist of lime in our cocktail” as Coco Peru might say. In the end we have a legal framework to navigate to protect our families that mounts up to a huge financial burden or if not pursued a potential legal nightmare if things don’t work out. We must stress economic security and our common belief in American values of family, home, and the pursuit of happiness that all Americans seek to employ. Anger will only have a potential supporter turn teh TV off and say “Damn gays.” An urgent conversation with real gay faces set in real life settings outside West Hollywood is what is needed to rally straights to our cause not because we are different but because we are the same.

  • M Shane

    Considering the immensity of this irresponsability, which I have heard uttered many times since the vote, it is so god awefully late to point up what a lot of people know. What on earth can this this Jean think she is hired for, in an urgent, time sensitive situation.
    We have to start doing our own fighting or we wil always lose.

  • Tara - Praenomenal

    @Robert: Um Robert, Listen to yourself. Sheesh. You re so dripping with superiority and snark it is amazing, not to mention insulting.

    I am glad for you that you feel comfortable in the valley. Bravo. I am going to go out on a limb and say I could guess the demographic you represent.

    However, To answer your question, No I no longer live in CA. My family does, I left.
    said, I was also not speaking for all of CA, just the Central Valley at large. You have yet to point out a single thing that you found so insulting.
    Finally, there is nothing insulting or inflammatory in what I said

  • DrewJWard


    I too was frustrated by my experience volunteering for No on 8. It didn’t seem that they had much use for volunteers, other than phone banking, and I sucked at phone banking!
    I just can’t telemarket. I tried. I seem to be a magnet for cranky old folks who get enraged by interruptions during dinner. When a rare person didn’t hang up on me, I got lost in those scripts. The campaign folks were walking around to make sure we were following them word for word!

    That’s why I tried to get the campaign to let me go door-to-door in my neighborhood, which is the most conservative part of San Francisco. I prefer face-to-face conversations. I am from Chicago, where we have a long tradition of taking a precinct list and going door to door talking to registered voters. It’s painfully slow, but it can work if you get enough people to take precincts and work the list. You talk to everyone. You check them off the list. You don’t waste time on people who can’t vote. You personally ask for votes. I thought that might be helpful in my neighborhood because the people here know me and might be swayed by neighbors explaining why this mattered to them.

    The No on 8 staff told me they didn’t want people doing that. They told me they couldn’t give me a list of voters in my precinct, and the board of elections staff here in SF said they wouldn’t give me a voter list if I didn’t have written “permission” from the campaign. I did my door-to-door campaign anyway without a voter list. My lover and I just went from house to house, asking folks not to take away our right to get married. It was a great excuse to talk to my neighbors, and even though I know we didn’t have much impact on the outcome, I’m hoping we turned a few votes. At the least, I know we clarified what a “No” vote meant for a few supporters of gay marriage.

    I also donated money to the official campaign and volunteered to be a team captain on election day. The volunteer work they had me do seemed kinda silly. They put my group on a street corner with a bunch of signs and made us wave to drivers all day. I felt like some sort of gay rights clown, trying to get people to honk, getting flipped off and generally wasting time.

    While it was frustrating that the No on 8 campaign was so opposed to this sort of campaigning, I do think my experience and those expressed here show that some of us are willing to do old-fashioned campaigning. I know it’s no replacement for a sophisticated media campaign and tons of mail/TV, but we volunteers are here for the asking.

  • Bob Conti

    My husband and I joined Love Honor Cherish, a grassroots group that strated right when the marriage case opinion came out in May. We’ve been frustrated by the No campaign, and we amazed that it simply refused to acknowledge that the Yes people would be playing the God and children card, instead telling us that they knew what worked. We created our own PSA’s that were put on YouTube, did our own fundraising and put on a gala that the Campaign suddenly decided to become a part of. In all, we raised a bit over a half million.

    We are still at it, and we are do NOT plan to carry Jean’s or Kor’s water for them. Simply put, we know better, and are mobilzing for 2010 (just in case). We are increasing outreach to people of color, women, and straight allies, because the Campaign failed to do so, and still apparently fail to acknowledge their dropping the ball on this.

    We’re looking for folks who want to work at the grassroots level via interpersonal outreach, technology and fundraising. We meet weekly, either in general session or committees. Interested folks can contact us at (the website is being retooled, it was robust for the campaign, and is now under re-construction, but the contact information for interested people is checked regularly).

  • DrewJWard

    I just wrote that I wish there was some sort of grassroots political organization that could use volunteers like me. I am critical of the campaign, but I don’t agree with personal attacks on the No on 8 staff. The folks who ran our campaign may not have been adequate to the task, but they were dedicated and wanted to win as much as any of us. It’s okay to critique tactics and strategy, but calling people “morons” and worse is much less helpful than specific complaints.

    That said, I take from your critiques (and of course, my own!) that we still lack the institutions that are equal to this task. The lawyers, lobbyists and executive directors of community centers who ran the campaign are undoubtedly good, smart people. They win lots of legal cases and pass legislation for us here in California all the time. They raise money pretty darned well. But they aren’t politicians, and contesting elections is not among their own core competencies. They hired folks who do that, but I wonder if we don’t need a more specific sort of institution that can take on this particular task as its core mission. Could we support such a group? Do we have enough work for them? Could we move its resources from state to state as ballot initiatives demand it or would our local egos and differing political cultures make that impossible?

  • Bob Conti

    @DrewJWard: Drew, check out Love Honor Cherish out, next general meeting is Tuesday, 12/2 at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Beth Am, 1039 S La Cienega Blvd (just south of Olympic), LA 90035

  • Bill Perdue

    @The Gay Numbers: My remarks and those of others who have no intention of giving Obama a free ride have a very large audience.

    The left’s audience constantly grows with every move He makes to the right on the recession/depression, the war and by pandering to bigots. All that hope, will, in time turn to rage.

    The Gay Numbers imagines that his whimpering about the lefts criticisms of Obama will make it go away. No chance. So give it a rest.

    The Gay Numbers supports a right wing candidate/president because The Gay Numbers is a right winger too.

  • John Smith

    Our side lost. Now we have to go back to living in sin. Is that so bad?

  • Roland Basque

    My belief is that queers know what is good for them and also the rest of the world that this qualifies them to have all their demands met.Since proposition 8 was passed by a majority vote and fell way short of gay expectations it should immediately be rescinded.The majority does not matter.The world needs to embrace heterophobia with open arms as only queers know how to make the correct calculations for social harmony.

  • Bruno

    @Roland Basque:

    I propose BASQUEPHOBIA.

  • Rudy

    It’s shocking to see the above opinion which I – an older gay man living in Alabama, pretty much share.
    I’d be ecstatic to have domestic partnerships or civil unions here, and as long as the same rights and privileges come with them, I really don’t care what they’re called.
    If you believe that makes you a second-class citizen and you get all weepy, that’s your issue.
    To me, you’re more interested in your wedding cake-topper than in achieving real equality for all gays and lesbians in this nation.

  • Bob Conti

    @Rudy: Rudy, all I can say is that after we got “married,” not “domestic partnered” our relationship went through a transformation. There’s a reason why there’s ritual, and there’s a reason why there’s a term for it. Marriage matters, it makes a difference in how the partners view the relationship, and how others view their relationship. On the suggestion of a post elsewhere, I said to some parties to opposite-sex marriages how their “domestic partner” was doing. They were shocked and said you mean my wife or my husband? Clearly to them, it wasn’t the same, in fact, to them it was an insult. So, I guess sauce for the goose…

  • Bob

    Lorri Jean is useless. The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center is useless. They were caught off guard by using “they’re coming for your kids” tactic? Hello! It’s been the bread and butter of the anti-gay forces for 30 years. They were surprised the anti-gay forces raised so much money? Naive, stupid, and useless. Jean and Kors need to go. And their apologists, like Jim Key, with them.

  • Geoffrey

    Rudy, I think you are right on the money. For all the talk about “domestic partnerships” being equal with marriage but just under a different name….they do not view it that way in truth.

  • Bill Perdue

    The distinctions between civil unions, partnerships and marriages will cease to be a question when two things happen.

    The first it that everyone either gets married, or everyone is in a civil union or a civil partnership. What we should aim for is one law for everyone without any separate but equal bullshit. There is nothing about GLBT relationships that merits a separate, second class status. Only bigots think we’re inferior.

    The second flows from the first. If everyone is partnered the same way in civil ceremonies that grant the same rights to everyone, all 1200 or so rights and privileges of marriage, then there is no argument. Right now only a few of those rights are granted by states offering civil unions or partnerships: all the rest are excluded by Clintons DOMA.

    Short of that we’ll keep fighting, even people like me who are perfectly content “living in sin” like Mr. Smith. Those willing to accept a second class status can continue to do so as long as they don’t get in our way.

  • Rudy

    @Bob Conti:
    Just a few years back when the first civil union law was passed, it was viewed as a monumental achievement by our community – now it is an insult. Condemning us to second-class citizenship even when marriage and civil unions include all the same rights and privileges.
    While you in California are indignant about by not being called married, those of us in red states go on without health insurance, social security, job protection, adoption rights – everything a national civil union law would provide.
    THAT is second class citizenship.
    I hope achieving functional equality does not stay on the backburner for too long while we continue to lose fights over a word.

  • Bruno


    Are you saying that the campaign for full marriage equality in California somehow causes civil union laws to not pass in red states? I beg to differ, the events of the last few weeks should help immensely in that regard, in red states.

  • Bob Conti

    @Rudy: First, we don’t have all the same rights. That’s a propoganda bit put out by the Yes campaign. Second, as already noted, California frequently sets the trend for the expansion of civil rights in other states. It it’s the same thing, why is everyone so perklempt about glbt folk using the term marriage? Clearly, it’s not the same or else there wouldn’t be the strident opposition to it. Finally, like I said before, we were domectic partnered. How nice, the state sanctioned the relationship via a notorary. Very traditional, very symbolic. There was a huge difference when an officiant was able to declare the marriage pursuant to the power vested in him by the state. Huge difference. Did I mention that the difference was huge?

    I’m sorry for the backward positions in your and other red states. We’re trying here to help you guys out, so maybe a little more, “go get ’em and thanks for what you all are doing” would be appropriate.

  • Rudy

    @Bruno: @Bruno: “Marriage Equality” has upstaged every other gay issue. I hope I’m wrong and see ENDA passed, see gay families included in any Social Security reform and in the Obana health care plan, and force school systems to provide a safe and nurturing environment where gay students can thrive.
    But after defeats in thirty states, marriage is looking like our Iraq, and we need to get some troops back in Afghanistan.

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