Geoff Kors has been something of an institution in the California LGBT community, being on the job at Equality California since 2002. Yesterday, he announced that he was stepping down. His record at EQCA was nothing to scoff at:
While Kors was at the helm, the organization successfully pushed about 70 LGBT rights bills through the Legislature, including creating domestic partnerships and legalizing same-sex marriage. Both bills to legalize same-sex marriage were vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Other bills strengthened anti-bullying policies in schools, expanded rights for transgender people and created a Harvey Milk Day in the California.
He and the organization came under fire by some in the LGBT community, however, after the successful passage of Prop. 8, which eliminated same-sex marriage rights, in 2008. Kors was a leader of the failed effort to defeat the ballot measure.(SF Gate)
Of course, the later part of his tenure was dominated by marriage equality issues, and ultimately the passage of Prop 8. However, his work helped move California towards equality. He hasn’t announced his next move, but best of luck to him in his future endeavors.
Love Honor Cherish has officially submitted ballot language for a repeal of Prop 8 in 2010. The language still has to wind its way through the official process before signature gathering can commence.
But while Equality California opposes the measure, preferring to wait until 2012, Geoff Kors is still trying to ensure that he reigns supreme in the California LGBT land.
We helped Love Honor Cherish draft the language they have submitted, by spending hours with them on the phone for discussion and feedback. We didn’t approve the final version, as we aren’t involved in the effort to file this language, but we wanted the language to be as good as possible. Submitted language should always be shown to key stakeholders, and different options should be tested.
Good luck with that Geoff. The LGBT community still has some serious soul searching to define who exactly our leaders really are, because I’m not sure if Geoff Kors really has the authority and respect of the community at this point. And while elected leaders are pivotal to broad progressive goals, they cannot be the leaders on a ballot fight.
At any rate, congrats to Love Honor Cherish on this. Whether this actually has the institutional strength to get on the ballot is an open question, but no matter what happens, it must be the priority of every member of the LGBT community, and our progressive allies, to fight like hell once we get a measure on the ballot.