in-fighting

The Only Thing California’s Gay Inc. Can Agree On: Prop 8 is Bad and Stuff

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Remember when gay rights groups were vehemently against moving the Boies-Olson Prop 8 lawsuit Perry v. Schwarzenegger to federal court because a ruling could backfire against the same-sex marriage push? And then those same gay rights groups started demanding they be allowed to join the case? Now another instance Prop 8-related turmoil between feuding gay factions!

Everyone wants the same thing: repeal Prop 8, which stripped away marriage rights from any California gays looking to wed from Nov. 5 onward. But strategies differ!

Some gay groups want to put a repeal on the ballot in 2010, ’cause they want to get ‘er done ay-sap. Others (like the three orgs who signed this letter) want to wait till 2012, when they feel the climate is stronger (read: a presidential election will bring more gay-friendly voters to the polls), and why waste cash on a likely-to-fail effort in 2010?

And then there are folks who want to have it both ways. Or at least making things vague enough that you don’t know where they really stand on the 2010 vs. 2012 debate. Like Equality California. Here’s EQ’s Marc Solomon, imported from Massachusetts’ marriage fight: “We initially said we believe 2010 was the right time to go back to the ballot … [but] we’ve also made it very clear we will only move forward if we have a clear road map to victory. . . . The last thing we want to do is go back to the ballot and lose.”

Not so wishy-washy is the Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition, an organization focused on the black gay community. It went knocking door-to-door and, with 70 volunteers and five hours, hit up 1,200 homes. Only 50 said they were on board with a repeal, giving the org pause about a 2010 effort.

And then there are groups like Love Honor Cherish, which sees no option but going to the ballot in 2010 — risk of exhausting donors be damned.

If only there was some way to tell what the future held.

UPDATE: Soloman provides this well-reasoned follow-up explaining the core of EQ’s strategy. Most notably, he says “we must be able to raise between $25 and $50 million, with a good portion of that coming early on in the campaign when much of the persuasion work needs to be done.” Otherwise … wait till 2012.