oh hell no

REBUFFED: Gay Groups Now Want In on Prop 8 Lawsuit. Too Bad


When Ted Olson and David Boies decided to take their clients’ same-sex marriage argument to federal court in San Francisco, they got the stink eye from many a civil liberties rights group, who feared the lawsuit could do more damage than good if it wound up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. But now at least three of those organizations want in on the case. Except when the asked nicely to join hands, despite once vocally criticizing the lawsuit, they were told to get the hell out.

Not surprising.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights were among those who expressed concern over the Perry v. Schwarzenegger lawsuit when it was first announced in May. Operating with umbrella group Freedom to Marry, these organizations issued a press release and media talking points about how badly timed this lawsuit was. “The climate of receptivity and momentum in the country on these issues matter as well,” they wrote. “There is much we can and should do together to strengthen our hand before we put a federal marriage case before the justices.”


So how come the ACLU, Lambda, and NCLR suddenly want to be a part of history? Well, because they want to be a part of history. Things might be looking up for the Olsen-Boies challenge to Prop 8, and Gay Inc. wants its share.

“Officially,” they just want to lend a helping hand. “We think it will be very helpful to Judge Walker and the ultimate resolution of the questions in the case for the litigation to have the benefit of the presence of the community in all its diversity,” says Lamba’s national marriage director Jennifer Pizer.

We can only imagine the laughter (and anger) that came from Chad Griffin (pictured, top), one of the plaintiffs and the head of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is funding the lawsuit. His response? “You have unrelentingly and unequivocally acted to undermine this case even before it was filed. Considering this, it is inconceivable that you would zealously and effectively litigate this case if you were successful in intervening. Therefore, we will vigorously oppose any motion to intervene.”

But Griffin will let these groups act as hangers-on; their role as “consultants” can remain.

And we can’t blame the guy. After working his connections to score sit-downs with Olson and Boies, then masterminding a giant fundraising operation to pay the costs, all while rebuffing criticism from Gay Inc. about how he was going to ruin gay marriage for everyone with his lawsuit, Griffin now hears these groups suddenly want to take some of the credit? Because they feel entitled to it? Uh uh.

As Griffin asserts, adding more lawyers (and agendas) to the case can only trip things up. ACLU, Lambda, and NCLR needn’t sit on the sidelines; their resources and reach can be worthwhile. Their brands can influence their membership and Americans at large. But Griffin & Co. have their strategy down, and have two of the nation’s best attorneys on retainer. This trio of groups have yet to offer up any good reason they should be a part of the federal suit. “Just because” is not an argument.

(Photo: Joshua Caine)

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #aclu #americancivillibertiesunion #california stories and more


  • Larry S

    Chad is right! He has assembled a great legal team and taking an approach I long believed in but found out leaders unable to or unwilling to do. The poor way Prop 8 was handled is testament to their inability to fight this fight. Let Chad and his team handle this now. We will win under their guidance. LAMBDA et al, stay on the sidelines but give all the help you can. LAMDA et al, do not delay this by one day or you face the backlash from the community if you screw this up. GO TEAM CHAD!

  • Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace

    Kudos to Messrs Griffin, Boies, and Olson.

    And to the late comers, all important groups, the more the merrier, rally your troops.

    Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
    Washington, Connecticut

  • Cam

    he has good instincts, don’t let the other groups come in and sabatoge this. If they want to help pay or do back up research great. But we’ve seen how badly they hadnle things when THEY are in charge.

    It sounds like they have FINALLY figured out that the community is not happy with them selling out our civil rights to maintain their lavish DC parties and access to congressional offices.

  • Nick

    Queerty: “But Griffin & Co. have their strategy down”

    Really? What strategy would that be? Could you outline what you see as the winning points of the Olson/Boies strategy, vs. the strategy these groups have actually used to win marriage cases in several states? Or do you not really know what you’re talking about?

    I’m hearing that Olsen and Boies don’t even want to have a trial, even though the DAMN JUDGE asked for evidence on a long litany of questions. Why would you not build up a factual record at the trial court, on a case that will surely proceed to the Ninth Circuit and even to SCOTUS? Answer: they’ve never tried a gay rights case before and don’t know what they’re doing. And are ignoring all advice from the organizations who HAVE done these cases, successfully.

    Fact is, these three orgs are the folks who won marriage in California in the first place. Then Chad Griffin was one of the ringleaders of the No on 8 campaign, which started with a lead and then lost it. So you’re basically saying you’d rather side with the guy who lost rather than the three orgs who won.

    This is too important for your faux “reporting” which is completely free of things like facts or analysis. I want to get married before I’m eighty, so please save your ignorant snark for one of your puff pieces on the Jonas Brothers.

  • Nick

    @Cam: When THEY are in charge, we win. And none of these groups do Congressional lobbying or have offices in DC. What the fuck are you talking about?

    These groups are not HRC, people. It’s Lambda Legal, NCLR and the ACLU, the ones who won marriage in California, Iowa, Connecticut and a ton of other non-marriage gay rights cases. Seriously, look at their record – and the non-record of Olson/Boies on gay issues – before you condemn.

  • Nick

    @Larry S: Chad “handled” Prop 8. He was behind the losing media non-strategy. GO TEAM CHAD!

  • Bertie

    sabotaging non-profit fat cat orgs who smell donations dropping off

    stay the fuck out of it !!

  • TANK


    Absolutely. The failures behind the no on 8 campaign should disappear forever. Talk about the wrong horses to back, queerty. Lambda legal is perhaps the only effective gay org extant.

  • Bertie


    hey shithead —
    the Non Prof orgs called for CHAD’s help in the 11th hour
    OCT 2008 (around the time Laurie Jean of LA’s “largest G&L Ctr in the Country” was on vacation.

    He had 3 weeks to barrel through the shitty non-strategy of these
    non-acting, non profits and CRISIS manage.

    In October 2008, Chad was called in by California’s No on Proposition 8 to help turn around the campaign. In just three weeks, he developed new messaging and produced a series of highly-praised ads that challenged the Yes campaigns most effective messages and sharply narrowed the polling gap. He raised more than $5 million for the No campaign through fundraisers in New York and Los Angeles that drew support from Brad Pitt, Rob Reiner, Steve Bing, Ron Burkle, Mary J. Blige, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and New York Governor David Patterson.

  • TANK


    And lost. That’s all that matters, idiot.

  • Bertie


    barely lost, shitforbrains

    he had 3 weeks to raise new funds and get more effective commercials on TV to battle the Mormon-sponsored lies which our shithead gay groups did not see coming …??

    you stupid fuck

  • TANK


    So barely lost matters to the fact that we lost? Oy…that’s loser talk. Are you a loser? If iF IF–well ,we didn’t, loser. Now it’s time to disavow ourselves of all the losers who were repsonsible for no on 8. LOSERS need to get the fuck out of the way.

  • Bertie


    Bumbling fucks need to get out of the way — and let the grown ups handle it.

    you apparently don’t understand the concept of 11th hour crisis management — Chad Griffin raised $5 mil in 3 weeks after other groups pissed through $20 mil on shitty ineffective ads with no offensive strategy. He narrowed the gap but it was too late for US losers in California.

    Now we have these undermining johnny-come-lately douchebags trying to be part of history to save their nice salaries at the non-profs.

    besides — look at Chad’s sexy receding hairline. He has more that enough testosterone (virile bugger) to lead gays to an effective win. They had the balls to make this a FEDERAL case.
    All you other monkeys would be counting state-by-state wins for the next 60 years to no avail.

    The Gay Apartheid Supporters (G.A.S.-bags) can go wait on the sidelines with your bumbling committee meetings — you are used to that.

  • Larry Kramer

    i implore the three organizations, lambda legal of los angeles, national center for lesbian rights, and aclu lgbt project, to not interfere with the olson/boies case. you will only botch up what they are trying to achieve. you have thus far not achieved it on your own and with your own tactics, so why are you trying to kybosh someone who has come along with fresh new energy, ideas, and clout? you are only behaving in the worst possible bitchy way, the way gay groups can fall victim to when their feelings are hurt. keep your noses out of it, will you please? i beg of you. you should be cheering these guys from the sidelines and showering them with gratitude for coming along and trying to help us in our hugely enfeebled position, brought on in great part by our inability to work together effectively ourselves. you are only perpetuating this useless behavior. BUTT OUT! look beyond yourselves for the sakes of all of us. larry kramer

  • Bertie

    40 years since Stonewall and so many would wait another 40 years to come out of apartheid and be considered equal US citizens.

    A FEDERAL lawsuit for full equality was never the original idea of the gay orgs (except maybe The Dallas Principles).

  • Fitz

    I can’t imagine a more feckless organization than NCLR.

    Useless, polite, anemic Iago.
    They told us not to use anger, and not to respond to the Mormon and Baptists and Catholics.

  • TANK


    I couldn’t give a fuck about your excuses. Chad BLEW IT. HE LOST, along with everyone else associated. Now this case that the admirable and dyslexic david boies is in front of is a nonstarter.

    As your you finding this disgusting pig of a man sexy, that pretty much sums up your support you vapid, shallow faggot.

  • Bertie

    excuses? no just the facts
    you cannot deal with the Real world, kiddo?

    which is why you shrug over whether or not you want to considered equal in the USA (United States of Apartheid).

    I may have the hots for a receding hairline
    but you are you are still salivating over Obama’s winning smile!
    youve heard of him, right? Our spiritual-leader-in-Chief who has “so much on his plate” that gays will be in apartheid for years to come even IF all his separate-but-noty-equal promises come to pass.

    I’d rather be a faggot than a bigot.

  • TANK


    ……………………….so are you calling me a bigot or a faggot? Get lost, adults talking here.

  • Monstro The Whale


    or in your case —
    clueless, gutless, I-am-okay-with-separate-but-not-equal adults.

    can you imagine?!! The same undermining orgs who CONDEMNED a federal lawsuit initially and were more than thrilled with USELESS state-by-state wins (which mean NOTHING federally), now want to join in the fight and feel ENTITLED to join!

    It reeks of everything you are, Tank. I pity your ilk. But that’s ok, you can enjoy the FEDERAL equality when the real leaders deliver it to your door. Ofcourse your doormat will be covered in mailers from the ineffective Non-Prof gay orgs seeking more of your money.

  • Nick

    @Bertie: Johnny-come-lately? Are you half-retarded? Or fully? Lambda, ACLU and NCLR filed the ORIGINAL lawsuit that won marriage in California. They’ve been around since the beginning.

    Olson/Boies/Griffin are the johnny-come-lately types here. Maybe you should read something before you shoot off your ignorant comments.

  • Bertie


    Johnny Come Latelies to the FEDERAL SUPREME COURT fight, dipshit.

  • Nick

    @Larry Kramer: We should be thanking the straight knights in shining armor for coming in and saving us poor, helpless “enfeebled” faggots, who couldn’t possibly do this ourselves or know better about how to win gay rights lawsuits?

    Pathetic bullshit. We’ve gotten every gay rights advance ourselves with these organizations. Now these two dudes on an ego trip with a bankroll from a bunch of rich, privileged Hollywood types are going to go on a rampage, without listening to any advice from the communities they’re pretending to “help.” It’s easy for them. If they lose, they can go back to their lives with hardly anything changed. But we’ll be paying the price.

    And to say these groups having achieved anything just shows that you are completely out of touch with what’s going on in gay rights. Educate yourself. And quit your own damn bitchiness.

  • Nick

    @Bertie: Answered my question. You are fully retarded.

    This lawsuit was filed five weeks ago, and these groups have been in the press about it since day one. Maybe you should read a newspaper. Not johnny-come-lately at ALL.

  • Bertie


    Olson/Boies/Griffin are the ONLY ones who have said (during this administration of our “fierce advicate”) that we have a HUMAN RIGHTS issue here in the USA and it should be dealt with FEDERALLY (the only thing that counts) and this state-by-state waiting game is a joke.

  • Nick

    @Nick: HAVEN’T not “having”

  • Bertie


    You all are bigoted against the retarded too !

    assholes –
    so, go sit in your apartheid toilet bowls in the gay ghetto and dream of a better day. But it’s not a priority – since you have not thought FEDERALLY before. So much easier to send tax-write-off checks to your Non Prof gay orgs and feel important, right?


  • Bertie


    oh so that’s it

    If it isn’t a GAY MAN up there winning FEDERAL EQUALITY than you a are a bitter bitch? How very Rev Al Sharpton of you.

  • TANK

    shaddup, bertie. YOu’re a bootlicker.

  • Nick

    @Bertie: State-by-state is how the women’s and civil rights movements did it. The federal lawsuits didn’t come until AFTER those movements had won in 20-30 states first.

    But I guess they were just joking, since Federal is all that counts.

  • TANK

    Their corrective is to insert three LGBT rights groups — the Our Family Coalition, based in San Francisco; Lavender Seniors of the East Bay; and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays — into the case as a supplement to the existing plaintiffs, a lesbian couple with four children from the Bay Area and a gay couple living in Southern California.

    These groups, the motion says, “represent much broader diversity among same-sex couples than the two Plaintiff couples (or any two couples by themselves), [and] would facilitate a more comprehensive examination of the harms inflicted on same-sex couples by Proposition 8’s exclusion of those couples from marriage.

    That’s it. I’ve changed my mind. I think that these groups need to stay the fuck away from this lawsuit. It does seem like they’re trying to sabatoge it by having themselves added. Non starter as it is, their intent seems clear given their criticism of it from the outset.

  • TANK


    That’s the argument. THat we need more individual states on board before a federal lawsuit is initiated. This is a recipe for a fifty year plan.

  • Bertie


    A fifty year plan, indeed. aww hell no.

    You think Alabama would have gone happily along with civil rights for blacks in 1965?

    or Utah will go kookoo for gays anytime soon?

    No – you need the Supreme Court to DEMAND equality for all in ALL of the USA.

    State by State…paleeease

    Maine is now facing another Prop 8 fiasco, and for what?
    so the Churches can show they have better propaganda machines?

  • Bertie


    yup Federal IS all that counts (wake up !!!!!!!)

    just go ask the married gay widow in Massachusetts
    who cant get a DIME of her spouse’s FEDERAL social security survivor benefits as of today…this very moment.

  • Bertie


    yah so?

    Tank ol’ buddy I knew you would come around.

  • Cam

    @Nick: You said… “”@Cam: When THEY are in charge, we win. And none of these groups do Congressional lobbying or have offices in DC. What the fuck are you talking about?

    These groups are not HRC, people. It’s Lambda Legal, NCLR and the ACLU,””

    See, this is what kills me, people just type out B.S. and either lie about it or haven’t bothered to check the facts. I’m pasting right here, a section RIGHT OFF THE ACLU’S WEBPAGE

    “”Although there is some overlap in the work done by each organization, certain activities the ACLU does to protect civil liberties must be done by one organization and not the other. This is primarily in the area of lobbying. The American Civil Liberties Union engages in legislative lobbying. As an organization that is eligible to receive contributions that are tax-deductible by the contributor, federal law limits the extent to which the ACLU Foundation’s may engage in lobbying activities. Therefore, most of the lobbying activity done by the ACLU and discussed in this Web site is done by the American Civil Liberties Union.””

    ——-So which is is Nick? Are you lying or do you just type things without knowing your facts?

  • Bertie

    Since Social Security’s inception, every time a gay died – their social security benefits got absorbed right back into the Government. So we paid higher taxes all along compared to married folks and had our benefits disappear and go into the hetero’s fund.

    The gays are good earners – and when we die – our benefits don’t go to MOM and POP. They only go to a FEDERALLY recognized spouse or child ONLY.

  • Nick

    @Bertie: No, but California sure as hell had. You can’t even win California. How are you going to win the Supreme Court?

    @TANK: Do you really think sabotage? It sounds to me they’re trying to supplement Boies/Olson’s inadequate, slapdash approach with some arguments that might actually win.

    @Cam: Awww, you got me. The ACLU does lobbying about Guantanamo and free speech. You can’t honestly tell me THAT’S what you were talking about when you wrote this:

    “It sounds like they have FINALLY figured out that the community is not happy with them selling out our civil rights to maintain their lavish DC parties and access to congressional offices.”

  • Bertie

    don’t stop believing baby

    but read my SS benefits item ^^^ and ask yourself if you want to be the US Government’s continued non-recognized slave-labor (no tax breaks and no spousal survivor benefits) for another 50 years?

    I dont…and why haven’t the gays gone APESHIT over being used loke this before now? oh yes — we had to deal with a pandemic that our GOV’t and FDA ignored for years…a generation of men (and earners) were wiped out.

    Bring on the Federal Supreme Court battles !!!

    I am sick to my fucking guts of the socially acceptable American apartheid. We deserve better, kids — we have for a long ass time.

  • Dan

    Has anyone here actually looked at the SCOTUS? In what reality do you believe we could possibly win a federal lawsuit? They only overruled sodomy laws six years ago (and that was only after 36 states had already done so). A bad ruling at the SCOTUS could set us back yet another generation. We’ve made enormous progress on gay rights and marriage. Why muck it up with a very dicey federal case?

  • Bertie


    ” We’ve made enormous progress on gay rights and marriage.”

    In what fairytale ?

  • Dan

    Marriage equality in 6 states
    Formal relationship recognition in 13 states +DC (something like a third of the population)
    Hate crimes in 31 states +DC
    Employment discrimination in 20 states +DC (with 13 including gender identity)

    Look, I get it that we’ve not made any progress federally, but that will only come after we win substantial state battles. But implying that state victories don’t count is both unfair to all of the folks who worked so hard for those victories and it’s just stupid. On ENDA and Hate Crimes, we’re just about there. But marriage will take time. It sucks, but it’s patently absurd (and factually incorrect) to suggest that we’ve not made progress. When I was in high school virtually none of this existed and I certainly never believed that I could marry a man. In only 20 years, that reality is completely different.

  • Bertie

    Yes– but we have turned a corner
    it’s time to THINK federally only.

    when I think of the MILLIONS the Government kept from dead gay’s social security benefits — and then you have Obama signing a defence of DOMA brief saying gays would be a financial BURDEN if we could federally marry? How dare he.

    I am DONE with counting states and seeing states flip/flop due to
    bigoted ballot measures corrupted by church groups.

    we live in the United States.
    If we are not UNITED – then we have NOTHING.
    We are 2nd class losers living under apartheid. No thanks.

  • Bertie

    Our money and votes are our only power.

    Obama and the Dems will do zilch for us otherwise —

    One of the big reasons that the current admin won’t be able to accomplish anything . . . Blue Dog Dems.

    But literally hundreds of details are involved in drafting legislation, and gaining a consensus even among Democrats is proving to be remarkably _ if predictably _ difficult, despite their large majorities in both houses.


  • Dan

    Those are platitudes, not strategy. No one is suggesting that we do nothing federally now, but to do so at the exclusion of devoting substantial resources to winning at the local and state level is just dumb and exacerbates the apartheid (and hurts LGBT people).

    We have a Constitution that gives lots and lots of power to the states. Exploit that for our benefit. By doing so, we can substantially increase our chances of winning at the federal level.

    While I agree that we’ve turned the corner on DADT, ENDA, and Hate Crimes, we’ve not done so on marriage…not even close. The majority of Americans are not there yet and neither are Congress, the White House, nor, I strongly suspect, the SCOTUS.

    We have lots of examples where trying to move the federal government too soon does way more harm than good. Lifting the military ban polled way better in 1992 than marriage equality does in 2009. Trying to grab the Federal ring too soon set us back a generation. Same thing for Bowers v. Hardwick in the court system. We were screwed for a generation. There are also plenty of non-gay examples as well (like Dred Scott).

    Our system does not and should not work top-down…never has, never will. It’s one of the reasons we actually do stay UNITED. Change has to come from the states.

  • Bertie

    re: Trying to grab the Federal ring too soon set us back a generation.

    I don’t think so, not for the next generation of activists —
    This generation can easily see the only real way to fight is with dollars and votes and loud united protests.

  • Dan

    Good luck with that.

    It’s always great to know that the “next generation” thinks that the old queens (who, of course, created this world that you are now living in with all of its glorious possibilities) are just a bunch of cautious curmudgeons who don’t know jack. You’re welcome.

  • Dan

    PS. You think we didn’t spend money, vote, and protest? Trust me, we did. We also litigated and a few of us died.

    We’ve made unbelievable progress. Petulant comments suggesting that hard won progress is a “fairytale” are an insult to the Stonewall vets, the “gay liberation” crowd, the HIV activists, and the everyday folks who lost jobs, family and friends to be out.

  • Bertie


    didnt mean to offend –
    but the gay marriage angle was never a verbal concern until recently and certainly not for any LGBT 45 yrs old or older.

    when the new generation will be able to look back at 2 Democrat administrations that screwed GLBT rights due to greed or religiosity — they will know there is no other choice but to start only spending and voting for government who can say ‘gay full equality’ with no mention of ‘personal religious beliefs’.

    okay — I is done.
    read the TheDallasPrinciples.org and teach your twink pals and children.

  • Bertie


    I am pretty old myself

    I saw that by the mid-1990s the LGBT community was now in synch with gay pandering/profitable ORGS who have since interfered or mismanaged or misled the community and never ONCE had FEDERAL EQUALITY as their mission statement — until we saw California’s Prop 8 debacle on the night of Obama’s great victory for the hopeful.

    Now we have a change of heart and mind — and want MORE than the first 40 years delivered.

  • manny

    this is one case where “better late than never” is actually “better never than late”

    for GayInc, lambda legal et al. to decide that NOW they want to join (seeing what a great case Chad Griffin had built with his awesome team) with no real reason is, as you said, laughable.

    To me, it seemed a logical next step to take this case to the federal courts…if gays were too blind to see why GayInc wouldn’t want this to happen, just look at their champagne and caviar donor dinners and paychecks…

  • michael

    I am putting my support behind this lawsuit. Its taken 40 yrs to get where we have and even when we get somewhere places like California just vote us back into slavery. Southern States like Tennessee, Alabama, Florida etc. will NEVER love us enough to give us our rights. Just ask the black folk in Mississippi about that. I am tired of trying to make me love me in order to not be oppressed. It does not work, it has never worked. Ask the six million jews who died in Europe, ask the people of Tibet how thats workng out for them. FREEDOM IS NEVER VOLUNTARILY GIVEN BY THE OPPRESSOR! If we lose this then we go to the next plan and that is going to be a constitutional amendment. And if we have to burn God damned cities down to get it so be it.

  • TikiHead

    I love how we’re all calling each other ‘fucktard’ and bootlicker’ and whatever over something that’s just a matter of strategy and political planning. Having a different opinion on how to proceed does not justify the name calling: with a few crazy exceptions, we’re all on the same side in these threads.

  • Hominy Grits


    oh fuck off, Tikihead

    we’re just playing and a bunch of passionate fucktards

Comments are closed.