Tag Archives: Proposition 8

The argument that the new marriage equality leaders have to refute

Let me begin by admitting that the plural of anecodote is not data–unless you have a statistically significant number of anecdotes.

That being said, in the aftermath of the California Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 yesterday, I have been hearing some of the same arguments in favor of the ruling that I heard during the campaign.  It is especially irksome because some of the people making these arguments against equality are people who logically should be on our side because they support equal rights.

As a professional qualitative researcher, I know that when you’re doing focus groups on a particular subject, one of the first things that you ask is, “when you hear the term ‘x’, what comes to mind?”  It may be a long stretch from there to the advertisement or concept that you’re actually testing, but the purpose of the question is a sound one: you can’t make a proper judgment on you successful your executions are unless you know the baseline of the instantaneous emotional associations your target audience makes with a particular phrase or idea.

So let’s take “marriage.”  What if you asked a hypothetical focus group the question outlined above regarding the term “marriage”?  You’d get a lot of emotional associations, most likely from women.  You’d get some discussion of the idea of commitment, and the joy it brings.  And, true enough, these are some of the ideas that marriage equality leaders have been using to win support for marriage equality in the state of California–and rightfully so, because they are emotionally persuasive to a particular section of the electorate.

But let’s move on to the legal rights issue.  For an exercise in contrast, it would be useful to examine a second question: where does a wedding take place?  You might get a few different responses, but religious institutions are likely to be high on the list, while the county courthouse and city hall are likely to be very low on the list.

Marriage equality advocates know that when we’re talking about gay marriages, what is really under discussion is the right for a same-sex couple to be able to go down to the civil institution of their choice to get a marriage license to obtain the full legal rights of marriage to that individual, without regard to any private or religious ceremonies being held in recognition of that couple.

Now, marriage equality advocates will never be able to reach the deeply religious who feel that homosexuality is an affront against God, in the same way that parental notification advocates shouldn’t go fundraising from Emily’s List.  However, there is a sizable–and persudable–middle ground: the people who want to maintain the exclusivity of their cultural trappings, but whose sense of fairness still dictates that gay couples should have equal rights.

Without hard statistical evidence to back up my assertions, I believe that this is the key segment that needs to be won at the ballot box in 2010.  And the problem is, we’re losing them.  The opponents of equality were out there with their advertisements front and center in 2008 with a very targeted message that said two things:

1) gay couples already have all the legal rights of straight couples through civil unions;

2) given the fact above, the only reason they’re pushing for this is to wage a culture war against your churches and schools.

It was persuasive, and left marriage equality advocates defending themselves against the accusation that they were waging a culture war by trotting out the likes of Jack O’Connell.  But the underlying argument had already been lost, simply because the opposition had done such a good job of convincing people that civil unions allowed all of the same legal rights as marriage.

And this fact was again borne out in the aftermath of Tuesday’s decision.  On the radio, on comments of other online opinion pieces, and in my inbox were all variations of the same theme: that gay couples already had equal rights through civil unions, and that they should be happy with that as opposed to trying to insinuate themselves into full acceptance at churches and schools.

So what’s the bottom line: Until marriage equality leaders outline concretely in their communications the specific rights that are available to married couples that are not available to straight couples, they will continue to leave themselves open to this argument.  And making that same argument will not just refute an attack, but actively win the votes of those who do legitimately believe in equal rights, but voted for Prop 8 anyway.  The road to victory at the ballot box will be difficult, and we can’t just rely on changing demographics to enable victory.  We have to change minds.

Green Party Press Release on Prop 8 Decision.

This is the Press Release today from the Green Party of California. I put the enter release below the fold.  

News Advisory

THE GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA        www.cagreens.org


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Contact:  Cres Vellucci, press secretary, 916.996-9170 [email protected]

 Susan King, spokesperson, 415.823-5524 [email protected]

Continue voter revolt: kick the rascals out, urges

state Green Party after ballot propositions crushed

Tuesday; Green candidates would better serve the people

SACRAMENTO – Although the state’s voters made it clear they did not like

the status quo when they voted down five ballot measures Tuesday during the

Special Election, they need to take the next step, urged the Green Party of

California today.

“Voters used the ballot box to say they are disgusted with the Legislature

and the Governor. Now they need to vote them out of office en mass and

replace them with candidates that represent the people,” said Joe Feller, a

Solano County Council member.

The Green Party has fielded those candidates – voter friendly candidates –

for years, Feller said, noting that the Green Party also opposed the ballot

measures, calling them a “rotten deal.”

“Pundits say voters are ‘angry and frustrated.’ The only real way for them

to really make their wishes known is to replace those in power, and that

means the Democrats as well as the Republicans,” said Los Angeles Green

Alex Walker.

Greens said the answer to the state’s budget woes is cutting waste, but not

workers’ jobs.

“The super wealthy do not pay their fair share, and haven’t for a long

time. They pay a lower tax rate that the average Californian. Cutting

salaries of workers who can barely pay their bills makes no sense. Those

who reside in mansions should be made to pay their fair share,” said Lisa

Green, a Green Party candidate for Assembly in the 53rd District.

Greens also have suggested Prop. 13 be amended so that the while

residential owners maintain their tax protection, business property should

be reassessed to raise billions.

But, primarily, the state Green Party urged voters to continue their

mini-revolt and replace the Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature

with alternative party candidates from the Green Party who would act first

to protect the rights of the voters, not special interests.

California is now a radical experiment in government

With the California Supreme Court’s decision on Prop 8 today, California cemented its transition to a radical form of government unintended by the framers of the U.S. Constitution.

The pain of LGBT couples at the decision is understandable, and should serve as a motivator to defeat this bit of hateful discrimination at the polls in 2010.  From a policy standpoint, today’s decision may actually be a blessing in disguise: a decision to overturn Prop 8 today would have engendered major backlash for decades against a supposedly tyrannical court, while winning a majority in less than two years’ time will have a more unifying effect without the sort of significant blowback a judicial overturn would have produced.

From a broader perspective, however, the Court’s decision is revolutionary in terms of what it means for the structure of our government.  The People of California have long constituted a 4th branch of government in the state through the ballot initiative process.  Until 1978, the People were essentially coequal with the legislature and the CA Supreme Court.

Proposition 13 was the first major change to this delicate 4-way balance of power.  Proposition 13 not only capped property tax increases; more importantly, it forced a 2/3 supermajority not only to pass a budget as in the past, but for revenue increases as well.  Meanwhile, ballot propositions still only required majority vote of the People.

Overnight after the passage of Prop 13, the legislature and the Governor’s Office became subservient branches of the government beneath the increasingly powerful Fourth Branch.  From that point onward, the only restriction on the power of the Fourth Branch was the CA Supreme Court.

In the thirty years that followed, the CA Supreme Court overturned a number of initiatives on the grounds that they violated aspects of the federal constitution or federal law.  The Proposition 8 case marked the first time that the Court found it necessary to rule on the constitutionality of an amendment to the California Constitution that conflicted with a fundamental aspect of that same Constitution, but that did NOT necessarily violate any aspect of federal law.

As such, because Proposition 8 put itself squarely at odds with the previous decision of the CA Supreme Court to see marriage as a fundamental right, today’s decision ultimately was not about gay rights or marriage at all.  Rather, it was about the appropriate balance of power between the Fourth Branch and the Court.  The Court’s decision today was to neuter itself, and declare the decisions of the Fourth Branch the highest law of the land.

As Adam Bonin points out today, that decision may have been the right one under the law, given the nature of California’s initiative process.

Fourth Branch is now King in California.  50%+1 rules.  It is an experiment in governance that has never been tried before in the United States.  And it isn’t working.

The inability of the legislature to raise revenues, coupled with the people’s desire for and enactment of spending programs through the initiative process, has led to a disastrous budget deficit in the State.  Decisions made by the public about budget issues are uninformed, and twisted horribly against the public’s own desires for a progressive government.

From the point of view of minority rights, Adam Bonin’s point bears repeating:

Given this structure, the majority goes, it’s not for courts to say what The People shouldn’t do with that power; the problem is the scope of the power itself.

The whole point of having rights safeguarded by a Constitution interpreted by an independent judiciary is that some things are so fundamental that they ought not be left to the caprice of a fleeting majority vote — if the People wants to amend the Constitution (at least, insofar as most of us understand what a “constitution” is supposed to do), it ought to be a more serious and onerous process than a one-day 50%-plus-one vote.  One wonders what makes it a constitution if it is so easily amendable.  Would the Miranda decision have survived a citizen initiative vote in its wake?  Brown v. Board of Education?

No, those decisions would not have survived popular referenda.  This is, in fact, a common complaint of racist, authoritarian conservatives who despise the Miranda, Loving v. Virginia and Brown v. Board decisions to this day as examples judicial tyranny against the “right” of a prejudiced majority to enshrine discrimination against minorities.  When it comes to eliminating minority rights, Republicans are radical populists.

But these radicals are anything but “conservatives.”  A true Conservative would want to preserve the system of representative Democracy tempered with an independent Judiciary as envisioned over 230 years by the Founders.  It is time that the State of California returned to a respect for that time-tested governmental tradition, and removed some of the disastrous prerogatives that have been accorded to the Fourth Branch.

It is time to end the 2/3 rule that ties the hand of the legislature, and grant to the state judiciary the respect it deserves as a coequal branch of State Government by reforming the initiative process.  Californians straight and gay simply cannot afford another decade of the radicalism to which we have been subjected.

Torie Osborn of Courage Campaign Says of Repealing Prop 8, “If Not Now, When?”

“We are who we've been waiting for,” quoted Torie Osborn, a respected leader in the movement and one of the founders of Camp Courage, borrowing a phrase from community organizer borrowing a line from African American, lesbian poet June Jordan's “A Poem For South African Women.”.

In her closing speech at the two-day grassroots organizing camp in Oakland, CA on Sunday, Torie channeled the energy of the movement when she announced that the Courage Campaign would be there to support and empower the grassroots for a November 2010 initiative to repeal Proposition 8 if the state's supreme court didn't overthrow it.

Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the Courage Campaign, summed it up in a statement to Unite the Fight:

“At Camp Courage Oakland over the weekend, Courage Campaign staff conducted a series of conversations with various marriage equality activists, progressive organizers and grassroots leaders. As Torie Osborn's closing speech demonstrated, the consensus was clear: We are ready to go back to the ballot in 2010, assuming the Supreme Court rules to uphold Prop 8. But before we can make the ultimate decision to support an actual ballot initiative, the Courage Campaign needs to survey our members and consult with our allies in the polling group formed by several organizations a few weeks ago. Based on a vote of our members, we will move forward on a decision along with our partners in the marriage equality movement.”

This is no small announcement.

Even though the organization is still waiting for more information from polling in regards to the technical aspects of submitting an initiative, their commitment to support the grassroots if they choose to go for a 2010 initiative speaks volumes.

Many a debate has waged within the LGBT population in California and abroad about whether an initiative to repeal Prop 8 should happen in 2010 or 2012. Pros and cons for both are numerous, but a lot boils down to one, do we have a enough time to organize a campaign for 2010? Two, can we persuade enough voters to swing the small percentage that gave the Yes on 8 campaign the majority to vote on our side the second time around?

But Torie pointed out that the grassroots, which was denied a role in the No on 8 campaign, is ready for the daunting challenge to take on a 2010 initiative. If the grassroots is ready to go, the Courage Campaign will be there to support them every step of the way.

This underlines the fact that a new campaign would be different, she noted. Instead of being ran top-down like the No on 8 campaign, it would be run from the bottom-up. Indicating the crowd that attended the camp, she added “by the grassroots.”

One could definitely feel the electric energy at the Camp Courage site, with exciting discussions peppered throughout about the inevitability of 2010. In a conversation with Rick Jacobs this weekend, he remarked that it was obvious where things were heading and that if Prop 8 isn't overturned, that the grassroots was ready to go full steam ahead for November 2010.

Another fact that makes this a big announcement is that it comes from the Courage Campaign, the organization responsible for the record breaking “Fidelity: Don't Divorce Us” video.

The organization is an online organizing network that empowers nearly 700,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change in California. Engineering online tools and giving voter information to anyone motivated to to make a difference, they provide a way for individuals to make a change in their neighborhood. It's as simple as logging in.

The network enables grassroots to set up their own “Equality Teams” to reach out to the electorate either through canvassing, phonebanking and more in order to change hearts and minds for equality. It's an unprecedented giving away of information that empowers the community to run a campaign on their own. Even if they belong to another organization.

Truly grassroots. And the key difference between victory and defeat.

Overwhelmed by the massive amount of work and strategy needing to take place for 2010, Torie admitted she was in denial about the need for an immediate campaign. But after seeing the passion and drive from hundreds of activists eager to repeal Prop 8, she knew justice couldn't wait.

With tears in her eyes, Torie made the announcement, alongside co-facilitators Mike Bonin and Lisa Powell, that the three of them and the Courage Campaign would be committed to working side-by-side with the grassroots for a 2010 campaign.

They were greeted with thunderous applause.

Rick Jacobs then took to the stage and read from MLK's “A Letter From a Birmingham Jail”:

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

Learning from the mistakes of 2008's No on 8 campaign, the leaders of the Courage Campaign and Camp Courage envision a new campaign for marriage equality that includes everyone – grassroots, big organizations, small organizations, LGBT, allies, young and old and of all races. Keeping to the mantra, “Respect. Empower. Include,” everyone will be responsible for winning their rights back and spreading equality for all. Most importantly, it will be sooner than later.

Are you up for the challenge? Because if not now, when?

Is Ken Starr Hurting Pepperdine University?

According to many of the university’s alumni, he is.

With the infamous lawyer’s long track record, ranging from being the prosecutor that impeached President Bill Clinton to Solicitor General, and now his position as lead counsel for the supporters of Proposition 8, many who attended Pepperdine are not comfortable having Ken Starr as the current dean of the university.  They feel his stance on Proposition 8 is “a disgrace.”

So they’ve decided to take action.  They’ve formed a Faceebook group, Pepperdine Law Alums in Support of Repealing Prop 8 and have addressed a letter to be sent to the dean.

In the letter, they urge the school to underscore the difference between the university’s beliefs and that of its figurehead.  “. . . you and the school have a responsibility to clarify where the line between your personal beliefs and the school’s position differ regarding the issue of equality.”

Holding degrees from a university that does not support equal rights threatens not only the school’s reputation, but also their reputation and the respect that said degrees may hold.

“We believe that your representation of supporters of Proposition 8 has the potential to irrevocably damage much of the good work those who have gone before you have done in building equity in the Pepperdine University School of Law reputation unless the School of Law clearly and unequivocally states its commitment to history’s move toward diversity and equality regardless of your personal position on these issues.”  The alumni also acknowledge that in fact LGBT students do exist at the conservative university and empathize what they must be feeling.

“Not only does your public position and active support of Proposition 8 offend and embarrass many alumni, one must imagine that the LGBT students at the School of Law are feeling even more marginalized being subjected to their dean’s public support for discrimination against them. Moreover, you are sending a very clear message about Pepperdine’s culture to prospective students, not only LGBT students, but also their straight allies, and all other minority groups. Unless the School of Law clearly states its commitment to equality, prospective students will no doubt view the school as having an environment where contrasting opinions are suppressed and anyone who supports diversity and equality will be ostracized.”

The school’s paper, the Pepperdine University Graphic, has confirmed that Starr has received the letter but doesn’t know how to respond.  Until the alumni are satisfied with the university, they plan to withhold donations and instead, give to organizations that actually support equal rights.

Not surprisingly, many of the alumni that have signed the letter have only recently graduated from the school, underlining the generation gap on this issue.   Salted throughout are very few who graduated more than just a few years ago.

However, one can feel encouraged that the younger generation, despite having been schooled in Ken Starr’s thought and philosophy, still believe in equality for all, and in very little time, will soon be the majority.

H/T Gay Rights Change.org

New Field Poll Shows Prop 8 Re-Do 48% YES, 47% NO, 5% UNDECIDED

Tuesday's Daily Roundup by the Capitol Weekly reports on a new poll which shows a closely divided electorate on the question of whether marriage equality should be allowed in California:

"Voters in California are sharply divided on same-sex marriage, and an amendment to overturn Prop. 8 would depend largely on campaigning and voter turnout, according to a Field Poll to be released today," writes the Chron's Leslie Fulbright.

"The poll of 761 registered voters shows 48 percent in favor of a constitutional amendment to allow same-sex marriages, with 47 percent opposing and 5 percent undecided.

"The California Supreme Court is currently considering challenges to Prop. 8, the initiative passed by voters in November that banned same-sex marriage. Proponents say that if the court doesn't side with them, they will work on a measure to overturn the ban."

Though views on same-sex marriage vary greatly according to age, geography, political party and religious preference, the numbers overall are almost equally split."'

Opinions haven't changed much since November,' said Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo of the election where 52 percent of voters approved Prop. 8. 'The closeness of the divide suggests it would depend on the quality of the campaigning and voter turnout.'" Dan Walters reads the poll and writes: "It could be argued that gay rights groups had their best shot in 2008 as they sought to defeat Proposition 8 and allow an earlier Supreme Court decision, validating same-sex marriage, to stand. It was an extremely high-turnout presidential election in which Democrats dominated from the White House down."

It's likely that 2010's voter turnout will be millions of voters smaller and somewhat less liberal than the 2008 electorate, although it's not certain yet whether a pro-gay marriage measure would be on the June primary ballot, whose turnout would be even lower, or on the November general election ballot."

If the Supreme Court were to uphold Proposition 8 and gay rights groups were to seek a 2010 measure, only to lose again, their cause could be stalled for many years."

So, what do you think? If the California Supreme Court does not overturn Proposition 8, should we try and repeal it in 2010 or 2012? MadProfessah votes for going forward on November 2010. I seriously question Dan Walters' views on this topic since he has been so wrong before.

There are some other interesting facts in the crosstabs of the poll:

According to the poll, Democrats favor same-sex marriage by 63 percent and 32 percent oppose. Republicans are 70 percent opposed and 24 percent in favor. In the San Francisco Bay Area, those polled are 64 percent in favor and 31 percent opposed. In Los Angeles County, 55 percent favor and 40 percent oppose. Voters aged 18 to 39 favor gay marriage by 55 percent while those 65 or older are 58 percent opposed, according to the poll.

Nothing to Confess

As Assessor-Recorder in San Francisco neither my religion nor my politics has anything to do with my job.  

As Assessor-Recorder in San Francisco neither my religion nor my politics has anything to do with my job.

But in the last few months, my Google Alerts has been buzzing with repeated mentions in various religious and ultra-conservative blogs about my decision to levy a transfer tax on the Catholic Church in San Francisco – a tax that could ultimately total between $3 and $15 million. The Archdiocese of San Francisco has made the decision to transfer ownership of virtually all the property they hold to another entity. The law is clear – if you transfer ownership of a property, you owe a transfer tax.

A certain strain of conspiracy theorists seem to think my faith or strong opposition to Proposition 8 had something to do with my decision. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Since the day I took office – I’ve taken a “call it as I see it” approach.  Even though I have a background in progressive politics and civil rights, as Assessor I leave politics out when it comes to doing my job.  I certainly know my religious heritage has nothing at all to do with my work. My job is to enforce the law fairly – and that’s what I do.

The Archdiocese continues to claim that the transactions are a mere  “re-organization,” and accordingly, that there is no substantial organizational change (i.e. beneficial interests remain the same).  That is not correct.  In fact, the church transferred multiple parcels from one legal entity to two separate legal entities, each one with a different corporate internal management structure.  This type of transaction is a taxable event under local law.  I have explained this to representatives of the Archdiocese many times.

According to some legal opinions, one of the effects of such a transfer of Church property in the fashion they seek will be that Church assets would be shielded from potential future legal judgments.  True or not, that is not within my power to stop.

What is in my power is the ability to enforce the law completely and fairly. And in San Francisco, if you transfer property, you owe property transfer tax, whether you’re an individual or an organization. It’s important to note that the Archdiocese remains exempted from annual property tax, as well as federal income tax related to their 501(c)(3) status.

The political pressure to reverse my decision is already building. And as I mentioned above, certain folks are already trying to spin my decision to be about politics or religion.

It is about neither. It is about enforcing the law fairly. And in San Francisco we have the same law for individuals as we do for powerful institutions.  

Prop 8 Should Be Struck Down

The California Supreme Court finds itself center stage tomorrow when it will hear oral arguments on whether it should uphold Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The case touches the heart of our democracy and poses a profound question: can a bare majority of voters strip away an inalienable right through the initiative process? If so, what possible meaning does the word inalienable have?

The state faced a dilemma like this before. In 1964, 65 percent of California voters approved Proposition 14, which would have legalized racial discrimination in the selling or renting of housing. Both the California and U.S. Supreme Courts struck down this proposition, concluding that it amounted to an unconstitutional denial of rights.

As California’s Attorney General, I believe the Court should strike down Proposition 8 for remarkably similar reasons – because it unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples and deprives them of the fundamental right to marry.

Some vigorously disagree. That’s the position of Ken Starr and those who argue that a simple majority can eliminate the right to marry. But such a claim completely ignores California’s history and the nature of our constitution.

Fundamental rights in California are recognized and protected by our constitution, which declares in Article I, Section 1 that “all people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights” and “among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”

These fundamental premises of a free people were declared when the constitution was first adopted. The initiative process came much later in 1911, when the immediate concern was to give the people power over the railroads, which were seen as having a stranglehold over the legislature. In creating this initiative process, there was no discussion or any evidence of intent to permit a simple majority of voters to take away the pre-existing rights deemed inalienable by Article I.

In 2008, the California Supreme Court was faced with the question of how the values enshrined in Article I apply to same sex marriages. It concluded that the concept of “liberty” includes the right to form the enduring relationship called marriage and that no compelling interest justified denying this right to same sex couples. Just like the right to be free from discrimination in housing, citizens have the right to be free from discrimination in state-granted marriage licenses.

With this Supreme Court decision, same sex marriage has the protection of Article 1 and, like other inalienable rights, cannot be taken away by a popular vote – whether it be 52% (as was the case in Proposition 8) or 65% (as it was for Proposition 14).

I believe, therefore, the Court must conclude as I have that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and should be stricken.

Jerry Brown is California’s Attorney General. Become a supporter of Jerry on Facebook or sign-up on his website (www.jerrybrown.org/join).

Fidelity: This video will break your heart

(full disclosure: I work for the Courage Campaign)

News broke Tuesday that the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on March 5, and will then make a decision within 90 days on the validity of Prop 8 and the 18,000 marriages that took place last year before the election.

When Ken Starr’s legal brief, on behalf of the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund went public in December, the Courage Campaign immediately launched the “Don’t Divorce…” campaign, asking our members to send us pictures with a simple message for Starr and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund.

Those pictures, and the heartfelt messages on them, inspired Calitician and all around great guy Paul Delehanty (kid oakland) to send us a suggestion: Would Regina Spektor allow us to put your pictures to the words and music of her hit song “Fidelity”? So, we asked her and she very enthusiastically said yes.

Regina Spektor’s song, in concert with the pictures, shines a beautiful light on the 18,000 couples that Ken Starr wants to forcibly divorce.

Watch “Fidelity” and then tell the Supreme Court not to divorce 18,000 California couples. Tell the Court to invalidate Prop 8, reject Ken Starr’s case, and let loving, committed couples marry.

Sign the letter to the Supreme Court here.

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.