A lot of discussion is going on concerning the strategies of the No On 8 Campaign, in the wake of the devastating loss on November 4th. As with any other political campaign in the history of the United States, any loss tends to focus on how the campaigns played their cards, and this one is no different.
There’s also been a lot of backlash against those criticizing the No On 8 strategies, which is, of course, ludicrous. To move forward we have to analyze what went wrong, if we were even working in the right direction, and what we should do next. To criticize legitimate debate about the campaign is, in itself, working against the struggle for equal rights. Protest is never enough to solve complex miscarriages of justice. You have to understand how state and federal constitutions work, what it takes to overcome a majority prejudice, etc.
It may turn out that the Yes On 8 campaign, in putting the issue to voters after the California Supreme Court made the decision to legalize same sex marriage, has done themselves in. Their "amendment" may really be a "revision", which by the rules of the state constitution, can only be enforced through different methods.
Personally, I had a lot of problems with the No On 8 campaign from the start. I personally refused to participate in early strategies in Fresno which planted themselves in local malls and stores to discuss the issue with the customers coming and going. I asked what the strategy was (knowing how things were done months earlier, when Prop 8 was still just gathering signatures to qualify for the ballot) and I was more than disappointed with the answer. Those present were NOT to discuss the issue with anyone stating they were voting YES on Prop 8, to discuss gently with those on the fence, and to urge those voting NO to talk to their families and friends. They were told NOT to discuss the issue with those voting YES on 8 because it would likely be a no win situation and time would be wasted when more time could be spent with those "on the fence". Once I heard that, I opted out. First I went off, spewed my objections, raised my blood pressure, then I opted out.
Volunteers used across the state were also instructed on which words to use and not use ("Gay" was out) and given scripts with very generic and "non-threatening" language. And as some of the following links and articles reveal, classes and seminars were held on such things as "sign holding" and if you weren’t available for the classes, you weren’t needed at the last minute. Add to that the fact that gay couples weren’t used in television advertisements, that the No On 8 leaders were so complacent in their victory that they "sauntered" toward the finish line, ignoring certain threats such as the manipulations of the Mormon Church, and it’s hard to say anything about the campaign was done well.
I was much more impressed with the protests that followed our defeat. Those that marched after the vote were angry, decisive and directly addressed the civil rights trampling of the outcome. They targeted churches, which should have been done before the election, and they came out in force, which was only partially true before the election. Moreover, the marches after the vote were not necessarily organized by the particular gay "deities" which have decided they are the final word in what is said and what isn’t. And considering we are the last group in America denied equal rights because of a book called the bible, to be soft spoken is, in my opinion, an abomination. I recently heard the statement "Let’s have a moment of silence for all those who are speaking out." (I’ll give you a minute to digest the idiocy of that statement) If I hear one more speaker at a gay rally or protest call for a "moment of silence" I will personally SCREAM through the entire "moment".
Only one thing has made me angrier than much of the strategy that went on before the election, and that’s some of what’s gone on after the election. Let’s be clear. Once November 4th came and went, the vote was over. There’s no vote coming up, no ballot measure to vote on. So to watch people cozy up to a church or religion to plead for equality is, to me, traitorous. Forget that Christians are the enemy here, the ones that got us disenfranchised in the first place, the fact is there’s no vote in our future involving these people which would warrant methods of persuasion!
There was an attempt made at Fresno’s Cornerstone Church recently to extend a hand in order to bring our two opposing points of view to an agreement, or at least an "agree to disagree" agreement. Personally, I find any extension of friendship to such a disingenuous, prejudiced and closed minded group of Americans to be appalling, and at the very least, misguided. Religion and prejudice are why we are denied our equal rights. For any American to legislate against the principals of state and federal constitutions based on something they "believe" is beyond delusion. It violates American principals, the very principals the same people supposedly feel in their hearts when they wave little red, white and blue flags at football games.
Look at the fact that while the Fresno group approached the Cornerstone Church with the hand of friendship, holding single flowers with cards attached reading "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You" those flowers were treated with contempt. They were forcibly taken by Cornerstone Church representatives, denounced verbally, then deliberately snapped in half and thrown in the trash. By the end, the trash can was literally full of broken flowers and bible verses. Think about that. A flower, with a bible verse friendly to all, supposedly one of the "cornerstones" of the Christian movement and the Cornerstone Church, ripped from the hands of Americans entering the church in an effort of unity, and tossed in the trash.
That’s not what you saw on the local news. In fact, local news people on the scene were all made aware of the action, even told they could film the trash can full of broken flowers through a glass window without having to wrangle themselves into the church, and they REFUSED. Let me repeat that, the local media, which salivate at any suggestion of controversy, REFUSED to document the flowers. Add to that a poster in the lobby of the church detailing programs which Cornerstone endorsed, hailing the "healing" of gay people, and it becomes difficult to understand why any gay activist would reach out to these "Americans".
So where does the battle go from here? Right where it should and currently is, in the California courts. This war will be decided by the courts, not by the people. It’s where every civil rights battle has been decided in our nation’s history, but for some reason, many of us believe that cuddling up and getting those closed minded, anti-American Americans to "like us" is the answer. It’s not.
Currently, Prop 8 is being challenged in the courts under the basis that it’s actually a revision, and not an amendment. Looking at the details of the court filing, it’s hard to believe that we’ll lose this one. If we win, the only option for the Yes side is to get a 2/3 vote from the California legislature, the same legislature which twice now has voted to legalize same sex marriage. In other words, they’d be dead in the water. If the court decides against us, then the only option is for an amendment of our own, which means it’s subject to the popular vote, and while our numbers have been better of late, if I were you, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
The following LINKS refer to articles detailing the aftermath of Prop 8 and the strategies used by the campaigns, as well as a link to the actual court documents filed after Prop 8 passed.
Click on the following link to read the court filing to overturn Prop 8…Read The California Supreme Court Order
A current article in Rolling Stone magazine studies the Prop 8 campaign and the strategies used by both sides, focusing specifically on the steps taken by the No On 8 Campaign which appear to have doomed the effort…CLICK HERE…Rolling Stone – Same Sex Setback
The following LINK is a Frequently Asked Questions page concerning the No On 8 Campaign, the strategies used, as well as the future of the civil rights effort…LA Gay & Lesbian Center – Prop 8 FAQ
A Town Hall Meeting was conducted by the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. The meeting included major players in the No On 8 Campaign, and questions are directed to them regarding the strategies of the campaign as well as plans for the future…Click on the following link to see who was involved… LA Gay & Lesbian Center – Virtual Town Hall Meeting – Prop 8 The Facts & The Future
To listen to the audio recording of the Town Hall Meeting, click on one of the following links, depending on the system you are using… Town Hall Meeting – Audio (Windows Media Player) OR Town Hall Meeting – Audio (Mac Users & Others – Google Video)
The Bay Area Reporter has written an article revealing that one of the couples involved in litigation against school districts for teaching gay subject matter, were in fact doing so deliberately, in order to turn the tide against the legalization of gay marriage. The couple manipulated their children’s schooling in order to surreptitiously infiltrate an ongoing battle in Massachusetts, then participated as concerned parents in the California campaign. The husband is a direct relative of long time Mormon leaders… Bay Area Reporter – Memo Links Mass. Couple to Prop 22 & Mormon Strategy
The following link reveals a memo from the Mormon Church from 1997 which discusses strategies to defeat gay marriage at that point and in the future… Mormon Memo Regarding Strategy Against Gay Rights