All posts by Autumn Sandeen

MarriageEqualityUSA: Collective Wisdom of Our Grassroots Community

In a post earlier this week on Pam’s House Blend, I commented that I was going to post a copy of  MarriageEqualityUSA‘s slideshow at last Saturday’s Equality Summit, entitled the Collective Wisdom of Our Grassroots Community (the link is to a PDF file of the PowerPoint slide show).

The PowerPoint slideshow was based on two written reports:

We Will Never Go Back; Grassroots Input on California’s No on 8 Proposition 8 Campaign

Prop 8 Hurt My Family: Ask Me How

Some of the thoughts from some of the slides:

Slide 4:

Clergy leaders were underutilized by the No on 8 campaign.

MarriageEqualityUSA - Slide 4 - Collective Wisdom of Our Grassroots Community• Clergy leaders, particularly those who had performed marriage ceremonies, were the best spokespeople to counter faith leaders used by the Yes on 8 campaign.

• Over reliance on focus group findings directed clergy to phone banks, instead of visibility actions and outreach to congregations.

• CA marriage case and now Prop 8 amicus briefs identified supportive clergy across California.

Slide 5:

Leaders of color were underutilized by the No on 8 campaign.

• There is a deep bench of Leaders from the Black, Asian, Latino and Native American communities. We must have a campaign where all communities are well-represented as leaders, spokespeople, and in campaign literature.

MarriageEqualityUSA - Slide 5 - Collective Wisdom of Our Grassroots Community• “We need to engage with all people and not just people “like us”…to ensure we are not acting in unintentionally marginalizing or discriminatory ways.”

• “I feel that some of the language used in the ads, particularly „unfair and wrong? was very Caucasian centric. Most people of color live in a world that is unfair and wrong, so this washed right over us.”

• Funding to distribute Spanish and Asian language materials and ads were needed at the outset of the campaign.

• We must make institutional changes so that the LGBTI leadership and organizations reflect the natural diversity of our communities.

Slide 6:

No on 8 ads lacked heart and inexcusably excluded LGBTI people.

• Survey respondents and town hall participants agreed:

MarriageEqualityUSA - Slide 6 - Collective Wisdom of Our Grassroots Community• “The decision to „hide? gay people was unacceptable.”

• No on 8 messaging was “swift boated”by the Yes on 8 campaign.

• No on 8 ads were too abstract and “lacked heart.”

• We can’t take the personhood out of a human rights campaign.

• In moving ahead, community input emphasized the need to present personal stories.

It goes without saying that I believe the slideshow is worth watching, and the reports are worth reading. Lots of good info in the collected thoughts.


Crossposted from Pam’s House Blend. Material from Mariage Equality USA used by permission.