The LA Times ran an editorial on Monday, August 17th, ruminating on the recent decision by Equality California to work towards a 2012 ballot initiative. The Courage Campaign, which multiple websites have falsely reported are set on a 2010 campaign, are merely collecting funds for more research. This, despite the fact that the effort faces a deadline of late September to be eligible. Time has run out on the "research" strategy, or for that matter, any debate on which strategy should be taken. Any organization that has not come to a decisive conclusion at this point is most likely doomed, due to time constraints.
This timing debate continues to rage on a number of websites and blogs, often resulting in divisiveness and condemnation rather than progress. The 2010 camp, in comments and user blogs, regularly attacks those in favor of a 2012 strategy, calling them "lazy", "quitters" and worst of all, "apathetic". I’ve yet to find a comment online which opposes a 2010 campaign which is, at its core, hateful. The comments I’ve seen which are opposed to a 2010 movement point out the pitfalls of such an effort, often urging those in favor of 2010 to consider the pitfalls, while comments from 2012 supporters to those who question that date, begin and end at biting and dismissive.
Even in Fresno, very recently, the Fresno Bee quoted a well known local activist, who supports a 2010 campaign, as saying they hadn’t come across any LGBT Activists who were in favor of 2012. This was completely false, of course, as I’ve had personal contact with this person and questioned a 2010 move from the start. Or consider the recent Marriage Equality "Get Engaged Tour" held at Fresno State, where many local activists in the room, including myself, raised their hands when asked if they supported a 2012 strategy, and you begin to see that not only are 2010 supporters not listening, they aren’t playing fair.
It makes it clear that the effort to secure marriage equality in California has become more about egos and self serving victory than about strategy. Pity, since those in the 2010 camp are, for the most part, those who aggressively stood behind many of the failed strategies of our movement up to this point.
The following is an excerpt from the LA Times Editorial…
People shouldn’t have to wait for their rights. They shouldn’t have to campaign, raise money, create alliances or strategize to secure the basic recognition that others enjoy without effort. But history tells us that all of this is often necessary to overcome discrimination.
Thus our chagrin over the division in California’s gay-rights movement about how best to challenge Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in the state. Federal lawsuit? Initiative to repeal Proposition 8 in 2010? Or 2012?
The most important objective should be a decisive victory, sending a clear message that this state no longer will tolerate separate but not-quite-equal status for families based on sexual orientation. Given the opinion polls, the lack of a coherent campaign strategy and the current makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court, this most likely means an unfortunate wait. A loss at the ballot box or in the nation’s high court could set back same-sex marriage for years.
Read the full piece HERE