Dissent Marks Possible California Gay Marriage Push


A straw poll of same sex marriage proponents gathered in San Bernardino over the weekend indicated the majority want to return to the ballot in 2010 to try to overturn Proposition 8.

Final count of the nonbinding measure: 93 people voted to go in 2010, 49 in 2012 and 20 undecided.

However, the movement still remains largely unorganized. It doesn’t have a leader or official decision making process.

And it definitely has dissenters.

Some critics would argue that this sort of loose structure resulted in the divisive herd of organizations that paddled upstream against Proposition 8 in the last election.

Leaders that participated in the poll will return to their organizations and then a final decision will be made in a couple of weeks.

However, if they’re going to go place it on the ballot in 2010, they’d better hurry. Ballot language is due to the Attorney General by Sept. 25. And needless to say, careful wording is everything.

Today’s New York Times features a story on how there is dissent in California’s marriage equality movement:

But the timing of another campaign has since been questioned by several of the movement’s big donors, including David Bohnett, a millionaire philanthropist and technology entrepreneur who gave more than $1 million to the unsuccessful campaign to defeat Proposition 8.

“In conversations with a number of my fellow major No on 8 donors,” Mr. Bohnett said in an e-mail message, “I find that they share my sentiment: namely, that we will step up to the plate — with resources and talent — when the time is right.”

“The only thing worse than losing in 2008,” he added, “would be to lose again in 2010.”

Read the entire story here.


2 responses to “Dissent Marks Possible California Gay Marriage Push

  1. Thanks for posting this, GPG — I saw the piece yesterday, and as I read it I was wondering how many 2010 supporters are NYT readers. I was once of the minority of respondents to the Courage Campaign and Equality California surveys who voted for 2012, for many of the reasons mentioned in this article — the main one being the time and effort it takes to do meaningful outreach to those communities that swung the state against us. I understand the fire-in-the-belly urge to continue fighting with the momentum we’ve gotten going, it just seems like there are other — and smarter — ways to fight right now than banging our heads on the ballot box.

    November 2010 is, like, barely more than a year away! I don’t think a bunch of cheap ads are going to do it for us — why not work hard at the grassroots level now, and in the meantime, let a handful more states, plus Washington DC, most likely, pass same-sex marriage laws, before we try again? Not that my vote is worth any six-figure donation… just another two cents.


  2. I certainly agree that you should let more states pass Gay Marriage laws, but I also think you should stop any and all attempts to make a federal case out of Prop 8, or try to get Gay Marriage in view federal law.

    I say this, not as an opponent of Gay marriage (I’m straight, male, and entirely without a dog in the fight, frankly), but as a Federalist, who thinks states should be allowed to decide matters for themselves.

    And stop calling marriage a “right”. It isn’t one. Not for you, and not for me. That doesn’t mean that you should then go around screaming (or shouting, or hollering, or even whispering) that if The State/Federal Government/Courts won’t make Gay Marriage legal, it should thus make man-woman marriage illegal.

    First off, it makes you sound like you’re five, and spoiled to boot. Seriously. Think about it for a second. What do you HONESTLY think about people that scream “If you won’t make heroin/coke/PCP/LSD/whatever legal, then you have to make ALCOHOL illegal!”? Do you roll your eyes and think “Oh for the love of Jebus, would someone shut that loon up?”

    Well, that’s what it sounds like when you try and argue that all marriage should be illegal.

    Second, a federal law making marriage legal would have some pretty nasty effects as far as religion goes. Sure, I get it… You aren’t fans of the Catholic church. I understand that, really I do.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that a federal law would probably end up forcing the Catholic Church to perform gay marriage cerimonies.

    “Good”, you probably are thinking, “Make those homophobes marry us! That’ll teach them!”

    Well, sure it will. It will teach them to dislike you all the more. I mean, really, when your 3rd grade teacher FORCED you to sit next to/give a card to/work with that kid no one liked in your class, did it make you LIKE the kid more?

    Be honest now. Did it?

    I doubt it. It probably made you tease the kid all the more, plus make you hate the teacher.

    If you want to actually win this fight, you need to do the following:

    1. Work on convincing the minority vote. Prop 8 passed “despite” Obama winning by a wide margin in California. I put that word in scare-quotes because frankly I must have been the only person who actually listened when then-candidate Obama said he didn’t support gay marriage. Why did Prop 8 pass? Largely because of the minority vote. You split the white vote (in fact, you actually got slightly more than 50% of the white vote in your favor), almost split the asian vote (you got about 51%), and you got about 47% of the latino vote.

    What’s that mean? It means that, absent the White Folk, it’s the minority vote that sunk Prop 8. Ignore all arguments that place the blame on those hateful religious white people, because a majority of them VOTED WITH YOU. All things equal, that should have made it EASIER to defeat Prop 8.

    2. Seriously, stop calling the people who don’t agree with you homophobes or intolerant. To start with, it really isn’t true. While some certainly don’t like “teh gheys”, most are completely indifferent. If you think calling someone to are trying to convert to your side of an issue names is a winning strategy, think about how effective it would be for me to call you “asshole” and “retard” while trying to convince you to vote for against a measure that would alter the local zoning laws – odds are, even if you didn’t give a damn about the issue, you’ll vote against it simply because I pissed you off.

    Stop calling people names if you want their help. It really doesn’t work very well.

    3. Turning the flame up extra high doesn’t do you any good. God knows I like The Village People and Cher music as much as the next person, but watching people parade down the street in outfits I can only describe as “leftover scraps from a wallet factory”, with excess body hair, gaudy coats, linebackers in sun-dresses, and 100 body-doubles for Dame Edna just doesn’t do it for me.

    People like Perez Hilton and his over-the-top ilk set back your efforts 10 years every time they open their… um… pie holes. Yeah, that’s the term I was gonna use, “pie holes”. Shut them up, and let the sane people talk, ok? I promise that people will listen way more if what they are hearing isn’t that shrill noise coming out of Hilton’s trap.

    4. Lose with dignity. If you don’t get the measure passed, suck it up and move on. Obviously you have more work to do in convincing people. The Civil Rights movement didn’t happen in a day, and it didn’t happen the week after Dr King gave his famous speech. You are try – whether you admit it or not – to change the societal norm. That is not an easy task, and you shouldn’t expect it to be simply handed to you.

    Think about it… Marriage in the USA has been one-man/one-woman since there WAS a USA. That’s a LOT of years of momentum to turn around, and it’s going to take a while.

    Sorry. that ended up WAY more rambling than I ever intended. And probably way more preachy.

    Mea Culpa.

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