dropping out

Why You Can Forget About a 2010 Prop 8 Repeal



So you can pretty much forget about a full-blown effort to repeal Prop 8 in 2010, because the project’s earliest backers are punting on the issue.

The Courage Campaign’s Rick Jacobs (pictured), which blew off Equality California’s attempt to back a 2012 repeal and move ahead faster, now says the latest very-expensive polling reveals they don’t have the financial leverage (or voter support) for a satisfactory stab at a 2010 repeal. “We do not see a path to victory,” says Jacobs after reviewing the $200k in polling data, bought with members’ support and led by Steve Hildebrand.


That leaves Restore Equality 2010, headed by Chaz Lowe (formerly? of Yes On Equality), also dropping out of the race — though the org will still “work with” (?) the last remaining big 2010 supporter. That’s Love Honor Cherish, whose co-founder John Henning (pictured) calls CC’s announcement “not entirely surprising.” And: “We’re going to go ahead.” Which is a nice sentiment, but Henning also won’t say how many signatures he’s collected (they’re shooting for one million by April), nor how much cash he’s raised (though this report says he’s got just $200k in the bank, a far cry from the estimated $50-$60m needed to run a successful campaign). Meanwhile, LHC faces criticism inside California’s Gay Inc. community as being “unorganized,” “self-serving,” and, according to one insider we spoke with, “an absolute mess to work with.”


As for Geoff Kors, head of EQCA, which in August officially announced it would back only a 2012 repeal, he says he won’t even sign a petition to put the repeal on the 2010 ballot. Then again, EQCA never thought 2010 had a chance in hell anyhow, and now they get to do the I Told You So chicken dance.

Of course, there are critics of Jacobs’s leadership. Namely, from our favorite Gay Inc. stalwart Michael Petrelis, who is curious about this two hundred thousand dollar research CC is citing as a reason to bail on 2010: “I do so hate to be the skunk at the Gay Inc garden party hosted by Courage and Lambda Legal, but can someone show me, and the rest of the affected community, this amazing research? If Gay Inc gave a damn about transparency, we would see these two orgs sharing the research leading to their decision, on our behalf.”

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  • Dan

    Quelle surprise. Has anyone considered what needs to be done so that the majority of Californians start to support us? Or are we just waiting for them to die?

  • Paul

    My reseach has informed me that the Courage Campaign should now change their name to the Coward Campaign. Once again, the Gay Inc. as you say has fucked up big time and has drown itself in the DNC/HRC cool aid. Sad, tragic and pathetic.

  • B

    Meanwhile in California, one wise-ass is pushing an initiative to ban divorce, claiming that people who voted for Proposition Eight to uphold the “sanctity of traditional marriage” should be in favor of that:


    “Marcotte said he has collected dozens of signatures, including one from his wife of seven years. The initiative’s Facebook fans have swelled to more than 11,000. Volunteers that include gay activists and members of a local comedy troupe have signed on to help.

    “Marcotte is looking into whether he can gather signatures online, as proponents are doing for another proposed 2010 initiative to repeal the gay marriage ban. But the odds are stacked against a campaign funded primarily by the sale of $12 T-shirts featuring bride and groom stick figures chained at the wrists.

    “Marcotte, who is Catholic and voted against Proposition 8, views himself as an accidental activist. A registered Democrat, he led a ‘ban divorce’ rally recently at the state Capitol in Sacramento to launch his effort and was pleasantly surprised at the turnout. About 50 people showed up, some holding signs that read, ‘You too can vote to take away civil rights from someone.'”

  • James

    i’m glad courage decided to do the smart thing and pull out. LHC is the most unorganized and pathetic group I have ever seen. all they do is whine about what EQCA “supposedly” did to them. they aren’t able to fundraise and have no chance in getting this on the ballot.

  • B

    “…. but can someone show me, and the rest of the affected community, this amazing research? If Gay Inc gave a damn about transparency, we would see these two orgs sharing the research leading to their decision, on our behalf.” … nice thought,
    but how do you make it transparent without providing useful data to the opposition?

  • Jaroslaw

    I guess I agree with everything posted so far:

    a) hurray someone is calling the bigots on divorce, I’ll buy a t-shirt just on principle from Mr. Marcotte.

    b) I want to see the research too

    c) where the hell is the SCOTUS? Equality is NOT a difficult concept to understand. Jesus H Christ this makes me made and I’ll probably never even get married.

  • Schteve

    You guys seriously need research? It’s not like public polling on the matter has really changed, should the issue even reach us in the first place. And as Queerty has pointed out in a recent article, the vast majority of voters don’t even want to see the issue in 2010 again, regardless of whether they support the repeal. Not to mention collecting those signatures probably isn’t going to happen without every large gay group on board. LHC already failed one attempt at collecting signatures this year to get it on next year’s May primary election ballot (why anyone thought that was a good idea is beyond me).

    Don’t get me wrong, it’d be a good thing to share with people, but don’t act too surprised, even without seeing the cold hard proof before your own eyes.

  • naghanenu

    Divorce banned?! Wow..id pay top dollar if this idiocy gets anywhere. Just another ammo for anti gay groups…maybe he should use that good PR for something productive

  • A Nonny Mouse

    The organizational end of our movement is pathetic. Nobody gets fired for doing a bad job. Nobody gets called out except for on these silly blogs. It’s like the worst of corporate America combined with an academia-style tenure system. And most every move made by the major orgs. regarding 2010 vs. 2012 is done purely for self-preservation, and their avaricious toadies go lock-step with their bad strategy and idiotic policies.

    Worst of all, next to nobody cares.

  • Dan

    I saw polling several weeks ago that essentially said 68% of California voters did NOT support a repeal 8 vote next year. They’re fed up and tired of the marriage wars right now. Many feel the state has more important issues on its plate–like its survival.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    If we are going to do this at all, it should be done in 2014, so that we don’t have a repeat of 2008. I question the reasoning of putting our civl rights up for a popular vote again. If this rights stripping can be done to us, who, then, is next? The financial and emotional burden on the queer community is too great. It needs federal intervention.

  • Attmay

    California deserves to go under.

    But if we had equal rights, these clowns would be out of a job. There’s no way any of these clowns could find work in the private sector with a for-profit business.

    Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    @3 B:

    I support banning divorce. The Romanist cult should, too, unless they’re hypocrites. Wait, what am I saying?

  • Jaroslaw

    #7 – Schteve – it is not that I don’t believe the public’s feelings haven’t changed much, but the money was already spent for the polling so let’s see the results; not to mention this article implies they were hiding the data.

    #10 – Dan – I did a lot of market research in college and it depends on how the questions were phrased. Perhaps people are tired of “the marriage wars” but they aren’t tired of the tax breaks they get from ME supporting their divorces and their zillion kids in school. HELLO, I pay taxes and am not married nor do I have kids. Questions can be worded (gently if you like) to make or NOT make respondents aware of various things.

    Let’s also not forget the people paying for the polling determine how the questions are worded. Sometimes even “objective” payers such as newspapers drop the ball and let issues get away. In fact, sometimes I think they have a vested interest in keeping the story going to keep selling papers (or magazines or whatever).

    How many times have you seen the phrase “those against SSM say they are really just trying to strengthen traditional marriage.” No one makes them say how banning SSM “helps” traditional marriage. No one makes them say how “traditional” marriage has changed even in the super short duration of our own country the USA.

    PS – I wonder what the poll results would be if you asked “are you aware same sex marriage was allowed in this country already for over 100 years?” (Native American tribes can make their own rules)

    Here’s a thought I’ve never seen anywhere:

    The opponents of SSM are always saying it will “ruin” the country, maybe the reverse is true: permitting SSM with the Native Americans ALLOWED this country to be great!

  • hyhybt

    The gray-and-orange maps are a lot blander and less interesting than the state flags modified with rainbow colors that Queerty was using a while back.

  • PopSnap

    The only thing that worries me is the possible risk of incurring populist rage in 2010 and 2012 from the “we want our country bahhhk ya’lll!” teabaggers. I mean, our problem is the fact that the people who are most likely to support gay marriage are also the least likely to vote. Old, conservative, religious, redneck, ect. types are usuaully the ones who are most likely to vote by far. I know for a fact that none of my friends would vote for anything unless it were a gay rights issue and I asked them to, offered to take them, ect.

    2010 rolls by, and Republicans gain some seats/ gain a majority and things are still fucked up; then Obama goes up against Palin and beats her in 2012, but its certainly more of a “lesser of the 2 evils” vote. 2014 could see a fairly hard swing to the left if the above things happen and the Dems pull healthcare off and jobs start to come back.

    I still say the only way to solve this is trhough the US Supreme Court.

  • hyhybt

    This Supreme Court?

  • Jaroslaw

    #16 I know you’re right, but supposedly the law is neutral right?

  • Sean Chapin

    I guess the big question I’d like to ask is the following:

    How important is marriage equality to Californians that we’re willing to start putting in the work *now* towards changing people’s hearts and minds?

    We keep on talking about going for it or waiting, as if there is no middle room or space between those two lines. If the 2010 effort fails to materialize, then do we just sit idly by watching days pass us by until we can get up again in 2012 (or whatever year we try to put marriage equality on the ballot if that’s what it will take), or do we keep the critical Prop 8 momentum going and keep pushing towards equality, like producing PSA’s about marriage equality and general LGBT equality, participating in door-to-door canvassing and phone banking, engaging in one-on-one conversations, even coming out to those important to us?

    I do have to beg the question of if there is a legitimate concern that our LGBT community is stricken by apathy and complacency, possibly born by a general splintering within our community resulting in us eating our own. Even if we may not seem like a community anymore, is there a way that we can really try to come together and form some semblance of a community and connection among each other, instead of keeping our claws at bay?

    To be honest, if I take a look at our opposition, and especially the churches, one thing I do see is that church members tend to bond together strongly and cohesively, and it seems that it results as an advantage over us and something that we must overcome maybe by doing the same among ourselves.

    At any rate, I’m rambling…

  • Dan

    For #13–the poll I saw was one done by the LA Times. The questions were pretty basic: Do you support same sex marriage? Roughly 51% said yes. Do you support a ballot measure repealing Prop 8 being placed on the ballot in 2010? Roughly 68% said no. The numbers were better for a ballot measure in 2012, but not by much. If 60-some percent say, essentially, that they won’t sign a petition, the odds of getting a repeal measure on the ballot are non-existant.

    It boils down to a couple of things: (1) “It’s the economy, stupid!” and (2) many Californians are tired of divisive ballot fights. A majority of Californians support giving queers full marriage rights, but don’t support calling it “marriage”.

  • Jaroslaw

    #19 Dan thanks – I got the impression though, the poll(S) referred to in this article were done by Gay organizations. (see par.2 above…Rick Jacobs says the very expensive polling….”)

    For the people who don’t want to see a ballot initiative in 2010 – well, that is a very different question that ‘will you sign your name on this petition’ I think. I could be wrong. Still though, petition gatherers are motivated by money or conviction and they may try to sell the idea by promoting fairness, etc.

    I will say again the “tired” people are not tired of me subsidizing THEM. :)

  • Jaroslaw

    #18 Sean: fighting against a common cause is always easier than trying to unite an incredibly diverse group…..which I’m sure you already know but just in case….. :) Thanks for your thoughtful insights also.

  • QueerToday.com

    Let’s not forget how Love Honor Cherish was racist and belittling of other activists…

  • James

    @No. 8 · naghanenu

    The banning divorce campaign is a great way to show the Yes On 8 voters how it feels like to have one of their rights voted on.

    I mean, if they support traditional marriage they should be all banning divorce.

Comments are closed.